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‘The Favourite’ leads LGBT-inclusive Oscar noms

‘A Star is Born’ follows close behind

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Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in ‘The Favourite.’ (Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox)

The 91st Academy Awards announced the nominees for its class of 2019 with “The Favourite” and “Roma” tying for the most recognition with 10 nominations each.

“The Favourite” earned nominations for its three lead actresses with Olivia Colman scoring a Best Actress nomination for portraying Queen Anne and Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz receiving Best Supporting Actress nominations.

“A Star is Born” came in an overall close second pulling in eight nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Original Song nominations for Lady Gaga and a Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Bradley Cooper.

Other LGBT-inclusive nominations include the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which became the highest grossing music biopic of all time upon its release last year. Rami Malek was also nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. “Green Book” also earned Viggo Mortensen a Best Actor nomination and Mahershala Ali a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his portrayal of musician Don Shirly.

Melissa McCarthy was nominated for her role as lesbian writer Lee Israel in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Richard E. Grant received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing her gay friend Jack Hock.

LGBT nominees on the list were Jeff Whitty for co-writing “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman for their Netflix documentary “End Game,” Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for writing the original song “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” and Shaiman for Original Score for “Mary Poppins Returns.” The LGBT-inclusive film”Marguerite,” which tells the story of a nurse and an aging woman’s friendship, was also nominated for Live Action Short.

The Academy also finally gave some overdue credit to acting veterans Regina King and Sam Elliot with their first nominations. King was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Elliot received a nom for Best Supporting Actor for “A Star is Born.”

Notable snubs in this year’s Academy Awards crop were a Best Director nomination for Cooper for his directorial debut in “A Star is Born” and Timothée Chalamet for Best Supporting Actor in the drug addiction-fueled drama “Beautiful Boy.”

Two film nominations were also historical film moments. Netflix received its first Oscar nomination for “Roma” and “Black Panther,” which earned seven nominations, became the first Marvel film to be nominated for Best Picture.

The Academy Awards air on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Check out the complete list of nominees below.

Best Picture
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Best Actor
Christian Bale – “Vice”
Bradley Cooper –”A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe – “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen – “Green Book”

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio – “Roma”
Glenn Close – “The Wife”
Olivia Colman – “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Best Director
Spike Lee – “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski – “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos – “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma”
Adam McKay – “Vice”

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali – “Green Book”
Adam Driver – “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott – “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell – “Vice”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – “Vice”
Marina de Tavira – “Roma”
Regina King – “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone – “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz – “The Favourite”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee – “BlacKkKlansman”
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Barry Jenkins – “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters – “A Star Is Born”

Best Original Screenplay
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara – “The Favourite”
Paul Schrader – “First Reformed”
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly – “Green Book”
Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma”
Adam McKay – “Vice”

Best Cinematography
Łukasz Żal – “Cold War”
Robbie Ryan – “The Favourite”
Caleb Deschanel – “Never Look Away”
Alfonso Cuarón – “Roma”
Matthew Libatique – “A Star Is Born”

Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo”
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
“Minding the Gap”
“Of Fathers and Sons”
“RBG”

Best Animated Film
“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mirai”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Best Documentary Short Subject
” Black Sheep”
“End Game”
“Lifeboat”
“A Night at the Garden”
“Period. End Of Sentence”

Best Animated Short Film
“Animal Behaviour”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Live Action Short Film
“Detainment”
“Fauve”
“Marguerite”
“Mother”
“Skin”

Best Original Song
“All the Stars” from “Black Panther,” Kendrick Lamar, SZA
“I’ll Fight” from “RBG,” Diane Warren
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns,” Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born,” Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Best Original Score
Ludwig Goransson – “Black Panther”
Terence Blanchard – “BlacKkKlansman”
Nicholas Britell – “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Alexandre Desplat – “Isle of Dogs”
Marc Shaiman – “Mary Poppins Returns”

Best Production Design
“Black Panther”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Roma”

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Black Panther”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Vice”

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

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Books

‘Jackie & Me’ puts a refreshing spin on Camelot

Jack’s gay pal narrates fictional take on iconic love affair

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(Book cover image courtesy of Algonquin)

‘Jackie & Me: A Novel’
By Louis Bayard
c.2022, Algonquin
$28/352 pages

It is a truth that is universally acknowledged: A love story will be not only entertaining, but a moving, thought-provoking page-turner, if it has a gay best friend.

“Jackie & Me” by Louis Bayard, the acclaimed gay novelist, isn’t a Jane Austen tale. But Austen would have appreciated Bayard’s witty, poignant, new novel.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock, whether you’re Gen Z or a Boomer, you know about Jack and Jackie Kennedy and Camelot.

Yet, Bayard, in his tenth novel “Jackie & Me,” puts a refreshing spin on this story.

The novel is narrated by Kirk LeMoyne (a.k.a. “Lem”) Billings, Jack’s best friend. Lem has been JFK’s pal since they were students at Choate. Though Lem never says “I’m out and I’m proud,” it’s clear that he’s gay.

Lem is JFK’s fixer and court jester. He pays for Jack’s lunch. If Jack’s in the mood, Lem drinks with him. When Jack needs advice on love affairs, Lem’s on it.  

“Jackie & Me” brings us JFK and Jackie before they were iconic.

The novel takes place in 1952. Jackie, 22, then Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, is the “inquiring photographer” for the Washington Times Herald. Jack, 35, is a Massachusetts congressman. They don’t know each other until they meet up at a party in D.C.

What makes “Jackie & Me” so enjoyable is that Lem is our fly on the wall. He takes us along as the couple date, meet the parents, and wed.

Jack is from a wealthy, Irish, Catholic political family. The Kennedys know everyone from Harry and Bess Truman to Henry and Clare Luce to Joe McCarthy.

Jackie’s father, known as “Black Jack,” was a Wall Street stockbroker. Her mother Janet Auchincloss was a socialite. Her stepfather Hugh Auchincloss was a Standard Oil heir. Unlike many women at the time, Jackie is well educated (with a degree in French literature from Washington University and classes at the Sorbonne in Paris). 

Jack loves sleeping with women, but has no love for marriage. Yet he must marry because “my father says I can’t get elected [president] if I’m not married,” he tells Lem.

Knowing that matrimony is in his future whether he likes it or not, Jack thinks Jackie might be the right woman to marry. But he wants to be sure she’s not involved with other men and that, if they wed, she’ll tolerate his extramarital liaisons. He turns to his dependable buddy Lem and asks him to pal around with Jackie – to spy on her.

Lem isn’t thrilled by this. “Who would I be working for,” he says to Jack, “you? Your father ‘the bossman’?”

While Jack’s been busy in Congress and womanizing, he’s been escorting Jackie about town. They’ve gone to the Smithsonian, laughed at bad Loretta Young movies and gone to an amusement park. They’ve become close friends.

If something happens and Jack doesn’t work out, “would you be my back-up husband,” Jackie, who’s caught on to Jack’s foibles, jokes to Lem.

Billings, who lived from 1916 to 1981, maintained ties with the Kennedy family after Jack’s death.

But “Jackie & Me” is, without apology, a fictional work and “an exercise in alternative history,” Bayard writes in the acknowledgments.

Though a work of fiction, “Jackie & Me” feels true. In the novel, Jackie and Lem are outsiders. Jackie isn’t of the Kennedy family and doesn’t, as many women did then, aspire to be a homemaker. Lem was a closeted gay man when homophobia was socially acceptable.

Lem recalls how at Choate, boys who wanted sex or tenderness from other boys, would write notes on toilet paper. “I’m not that kind of boy,” responds Jack on receiving a note on toilet tissue from Lem.

“Jackie & Me” is intriguing because it’s not, at heart, about the romance of a glittering young couple. It’s an Austenesque triangle: the tale of the twists, turns, love and friendship of three compadres.

It’s a charming, elegant summer read.

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Movies

Dorian Awards cast a queer eye on television

Netflix favorite ‘Heartstopper’ nabs three nominations

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Kit Conner and Joe Locke in ‘Heartstopper.’ (Photo courtesy Netflix)

As Hollywood gears up for the year’s second “Awards Season” ahead of July 12’s scheduled announcement of the 2022 Emmy nominations, it seems only fitting for us to bring some attention to another awards organization that has already dropped its picks for the year’s best in TV content. We’re referring, of course, to the Dorian Awards, which have been bestowed by the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics since 2009. 

If you’ve never heard of the Dorians, that’s not surprising. In keeping with the entertainment industry’s frustratingly persistent skittishness when it comes to All Things Queer, the Dorians haven’t gotten much attention in the mainstream press – though with a 385-member voting body and a scandal-free history, they are arguably more reputable than the Golden Globes. Named in honor of iconic queer writer Oscar Wilde (as a reference to his novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”), they are admittedly low profile when it comes to glitz and glamour, handing out their prizes at an annual “Winner’s Toast” day party instead of a formal evening affair. Nevertheless, they’ve gained traction as Hollywood’s attitudes toward LGBTQ inclusion and representation have shifted, and each of their two annual ceremonies – one for TV, one for film, held about six months apart – draw an increasing number of A-listers to participate, both as nominees and presenters; and while the Dorians may not hold the level of prestige enjoyed by some of the industry’s other awards, at least we can be sure their voting membership won’t overlook queer shows and talent as often as their counterparts at the Motion Picture and Television Academies.

That doesn’t mean the Dorians are exclusively focused on LGBTQ content. The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics – formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, or GALECA – explicitly states that its awards are to honor “the best in film and TV, mainstream to queer+”, while calling attention to the importance of queer contribution and sensibility within the wider culture and reminding “bullies, bigots, and our own at-risk youth that the world loves the sly Q eye on entertainment.” With some state governments and the SCOTUS itself dedicating themselves an all-out assault on the LGBTQ community and its hard-won rights, that last point seems particularly resonant; with so much homo- and transphobic hate pouring its efforts into erasing us, our visibility is more crucial than ever.

Fortunately, as the slate of Dorian nominees announced by GALECA on June 22 reveals, the queer presence on television is strong. No longer segregated to a “niche” genre, the LGBTQ community has finally begun to appear on our screens as it does in life – blended, alongside everyone else, into a world that has room for us all. That’s what ideal inclusion looks like, and it’s heartening – especially now – to see that it has become the norm in so much of the industry’s best offerings.

This year, HBO leads the pack in terms of nods. Two of its heavily queer-inclusive shows, “Hacks” and “Somebody Somewhere,” received five nominations each, while “Euphoria” and “The White Lotus” snagged 4 and 3, respectively. In total, the cable-and-streaming giant got 24, with an additional 13 for programming exclusively on HBO Max, bringing the total to 37.

Coming in second with less than half that number is Netflix. Among its 15 nominations are three nods for “Heartstopper,” the runaway queer fan favorite based on a sweet UK webcomic about two schoolboys in love, and two each for Natasha Lyonne’s brain-twisting time travel dramedy “Russian Doll” and the already-award-winning Korean thriller “Squid Game.”

New series scored high among Dorian voters this year. Besides “Heartstopper” and “Somebody Somewhere,” ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” Showtime’s “Yellow Jackets,” and Apple TV+’s “Severance” each received multiple nominations, with many other freshman titles picking up individual nods.

As for the awards themselves, the Dorians feature fewer overall categories – instead of being split into “gendered” divisions, actors of all genders compete for a single award in each category – and set themselves apart by striking a mildly tongue-in-cheek pose in the presentation of its “special” accolades. In presenting awards like Campiest TV Show or the brand new “You Deserve an Award” award, the Dorians give a tip of the lavender hat to the tradition of Wildean wit at their back – but they also assert the importance of queer perspective when it comes to taste-making and the aesthetic arts.

Nominees for the 14th Annual Dorian TV Awards (honoring shows which debuted June 1, 2021-May 31, 2022) are listed below. Winners will be revealed on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

BEST TV DRAMA: “Better Call Saul”; “Heartstopper”; “Yellowjackets”; “Severance”; “Succession”

BEST TV COMEDY: “Abbott Elementary”; “Barry”; “Hacks”; “The Other Two”; “Our Flag Means Death”

BEST LGBTQ SHOW: “Hacks”; “Heartstopper”; “The Other Two”; “Our Flag Means Death”; “Somebody Somewhere”; “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

BEST TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES: “Dopesick”; “The Dropout”; “Midnight Mass”; “Station Eleven”; “The White Lotus”

BEST NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE TV SHOW: “Elite”; “Lupin”; “My Brilliant Friend”; “Pachinko”; “Squid Game”

BEST UNSUNG SHOW: “Better Things”; “The Other Two”; “Our Flag Means Death”; “Russian Doll”; “Somebody Somewhere”; “We Are Lady Parts”

BEST TV PERFORMANCE: Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”); Kit Connor (“Heartstopper”); Bridget Everett (“Somebody Somewhere”); Bill Hader (“Barry”); Lily James (“Pam & Tommy”); Natasha Lyonne (“Russian Doll”); Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”); Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”); Jean Smart (“Hacks”); Zendaya (“Euphoria”)

BEST SUPPORTING TV PERFORMANCE: Murray Bartlett (“The White Lotus”); Anthony Carrigan (“Barry”); Jennifer Coolidge (“The White Lotus”); Hannah Einbinder (“Hacks”); Jeff Hiller (“Somebody Somewhere”); Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”); Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession”); Christina Ricci (“Yellowjackets”); Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul”); Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”)

BEST TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Beyonce, “HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aeDlZOD-B0″Be Alive” (94th Academy Awards); Kristin Chenoweth and cast, “HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PmS5JIfSkk”Tribulation” (“Schmigadoon!”); Bridget Everett and Jeff Hiller, “HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As-a_bzFrl0″Don’t Give Up” (“Somebody Somewhere”); Jean Smart, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” (“Hacks”); Cecily Strong and cast, “HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj5mJGyoYIM”Corn Puddin’” (“Schmigadoon!”); Hannah Waddingham and cast, “HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B0HktX4xqQ”Never Gonna Give You Up” (“Ted Lasso”)

BEST TV DOCUMENTARY OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES: “The Andy Warhol Diaries”; “The Beatles: Get Back”; “How to with John Wilson”; “Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known”; “We Need to Talk About Cosby”

BEST CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM: “The Amber Ruffin Show”; “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”; “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”; “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”; “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”; “The Rachel Maddow Show”; “ZIWE” (Showtime)

BEST ANIMATED SHOW: “Arcane”; “Big Mouth”; “Bob’s Burgers”; “Q Force”; “Tuca & Bertie”; “What If…?”

BEST REALITY SHOW: “Legendary”; “The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans”; “RuPaul’s Drag Race”; “Survivor”; “Top Chef: Houston”; “We’re Here”

MOST VISUALLY STRIKING SHOW: “Euphoria”; “The Gilded Age”; “Loki”; “Severance”: “Squid Game”

CAMPIEST TV SHOW: “Diana: The Musical”; “Euphoria”; “Girls5Eva”; “Nine Perfect Strangers”; “Schmigadoon!”

WILDE WIT AWARD (to a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse): Joel Kim Booster; Quinta Brunson; Jerrod Carmichael; Jennifer Coolidge; Bowen Yang

THE “YOU DESERVE AN AWARD!” AWARD (to a uniquely talented TV icon we adore): Gillian Anderson; Christine Baranski; Lynda Carter; Kim Cattrall; Cassandra Peterson

GALECA LGBTQIA+ TV TRAILBLAZER (for creating art that inspires empathy, truth and equity): Jerrod Carmichael; Margaret Cho; Russell T. Davies; Kate McKinnon; Bowen Yang

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Photos

PHOTOS: 2022 Baltimore Pride

Annual LGBTQ march held on Saturday

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Baltimore Pride 2022 (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

The 2022 Baltimore Pride Parade was held on Saturday, June 25. The march was followed by a block party and entertainment.

(Washington Blade photos by Linus Berggren)

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