AFI Highlights Clooney’s Life of Acting, Activism

George Clooney says he looks forward to more changes in Hollywood as he reflects on his career after being awarded the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.

The 57-year-old’s work as an actor, director and human rights activist was the focus of a star-studded celebration at the Dolby Theatre earlier this month. TNT will air the ceremony on Thursday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

Clooney’s career spans more than three decades, from his breakthrough role on television’s “ER” to drifting through space in “Gravity.”

He’s also known for directing films such as “Monuments Men” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

Among those who toasted the star were Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Aniston.

Shirley MacLaine presented Clooney with the honor and urged him to direct more. (AP)

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Select List of Nominees for 2018 Tony Awards

The musicals ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ garnered 12 Tony nominations each, leading the pack for the June awards ceremony. Also cleaning up were “The Band’s Visit,” and revivals of “Carousel” and “Angels in America” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Best Musical: “The Band’s Visit;” ”Frozen;” ”Mean Girls;” ”SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Play: “The Children;” ”Farinelli and the King;” ”Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two;” ”Junk;” ”Latin History for Morons”

Best Book of a Musical: “The Band’s Visit;” ”Frozen;” ”Mean Girls”; “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater: “Angels in America”; “The Band’s Visit;” ”Frozen”; “Mean Girls”; “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Revival of a Play: “Angels in America;” ”Three Tall Women;” ”The Iceman Cometh;” ”Lobby Hero”; “Travesties”

Best Revival of a Musical: “Carousel;” ”My Fair Lady;” ”Once on This Island”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America”; Tom Hollander, “Travesties”; Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”; Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and The King”; Denzel Washington, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”; Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”; Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”; Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”; Joshua Henry, “Carousel”; Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”; Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical.”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”; Hailey Kilgore, “Once On This Island”; LaChanze, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”; Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”; Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”; Jessie Mueller, “Carousel”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”; Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”; Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”; Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”; David Morse, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Susan Brown, “Angels in America”; Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”; Deborah Findlay, “The Children”; Denise Gough, “Angels in America”; Laurie Metcalf, “Three Tall Women”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”; Alexander Gemignani, “Carousel”; Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”; Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”; Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”; Renee Fleming, “Carousel”; Lindsay Mendez, “Carousel”; Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”; Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”

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Online: http://tonyawards.com   (AP)

Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay to Serve on Cannes Jury

-Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay will serve on the Cannes Film Festival jury that is being led by Cate Blanchett.

The French film festival Wednesday announced the jury that will choose the Palme d’Or winner at the 71st Cannes. Also serving are filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, French actress Lea Seydoux, Chinese actor Chang Chen, French director Robert Guediguian, Burundian singer Khadja Nin and Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s artistic director, recently said that Cannes is paying more attention to the gender ratio on selection committees. Blanchett’s jury will feature five women and four men. Some have criticized Cannes for not selecting more films directed by women. This year, there are three movies by female filmmakers in competition.

The festival runs May 8 – May 19. (AP)

Songs by Bennett, Estefan Being Added to Recording Registry

Songs performed by Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan and Run-DMC are among 25 recordings being added to the National Recording Registry.

The Library of Congress announced on Wednesday the list of titles being honored for their cultural and historic importance to the American soundscape.

Bennett’s standard “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” is being added, along with “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” by Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, Run-DMC’s “Raising Hell” album and the soundtrack to “The Sound of Music.”

Other notable entries include Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album, Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose,” ”Le Freak” by Chic, Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” and Smokey Robinson’s “My Girl,” which was sung by the Temptations.  (AP)

Sandra Bullock, Dave Chappelle, Rita Moreno Join Oscar Show

Sandra Bullock, Dave Chappelle, Christopher Walken, Rita Moreno and Helen Mirren are among the latest slate of stars set to appear on the 90th Academy Awards.

Oscar telecast producers revealed another round of celebrity presenters on Tuesday, which also includes Jane Fonda, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong’o, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Ashley Judd and Eugenio Derbez.

Chadwick Boseman, Mark Hamill, Gal Gadot, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gina Rodriguez and Zendaya were previously announced as presenters.

Producers also said last week that all five Oscar-nominated songs will be performed live on the show by their original singers, including Mary J. Blige, Natalia Lafourcade, Andra Day and Common.

Jimmy Kimmel will host the show Sunday from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. (AP)

James Ivory, 89, May Set Oscar Record

James Ivory is 89, and should he win the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “Call Me By Your Name,” he’ll become the oldest Oscar winner ever.

It’s a record Ivory may hold for only minutes. The 89-year-old French filmmaker Agnes Varda, born a week before Ivory, is nominated for her documentary “Faces Places.”

But regardless of the outcome, “Call Me By Your Name” has proven an unlikely, yet fitting, encore for a master filmmaker whose movies have already pocketed 31 Oscar nominations and six wins.

For some 50 years, Ivory and his partner and producer Ismail Merchant were considered one of the most illustrious independent filmmaking duo in film history.

Ivory says retirement isn’t in his plans. He’s hoping to direct a film of Shakespeare’s “Richard II.” (AP)

2018 Oscar Nominations Announced

The nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards were announced today:

The Oscar nominees for best motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They include: “Call Me By Your Name,” ”Darkest Hour,” ”Dunkirk,” ”Get Out,” ”Lady Bird,” ”Phantom Thread,” ”The Post,” ”The Shape of Water” ”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

The Oscar nominees for best actor in a motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They include: Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”; Daniel Day Lewis, “Phantom Thread”; Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”; Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”; Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

The best supporting actor nominees include: William Dafoe, “The Florida Project”; Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”; Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”; Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”; Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

The Oscar nominees for best actress in a motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They are: Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”; Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”; Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”; Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”; Meryl Streep, “The Post.”

The Oscar nominees for best song in a motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They include: “Mighty River” from “Mudbound; “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me By Your Name”; “Remember Me” from “Coco”; “Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall; and “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman.”

Oscar nominees for best foreign-language film have been announced by the film academy. They include: Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman”; Russia’s “Loveless”; Lebanon’s “The Insult”; Hungary’s “On Body and Soul”; and Sweden’s “The Square.”

The Oscar nominees for best supporting actress in a motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They include: Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”; Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”; Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”; Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”; and Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water.”

The Oscar nominees for best original score in a motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They include: “Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer; “Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood; “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat; “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams; “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell.

The Oscar nominees for best visual effects in a motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They include: “Blade Runner 2049,” ”Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” ”Kong: Skull Island,” ”Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” ”War for the Planet of the Apes.”

The Oscar nominees for best cinematography in a motion picture have been announced by the film academy. They include: They are: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2024”; Bruno Delbonnel, “Darkest Hour”; Hoyte van Hoytema, “Dunkirk”; Rachel Morrison, “Mudbound”; Dan Laustsen, “The Shape of Water.”

The 90th annual Academy Awards are on March 4th. (AP)