Mia Neal celebrated her historic Oscar win for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by hoping for a future where Black trans women can enjoy their own success on film’s biggest stage.
At last night’s 93rd Academy Awards, Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to win the Oscar for best hair and makeup, alongside Sergio Lopez-Rivera.
Neal led the hairstyling department on Netflix’s film about Black queer blues icon Ma Rainey, while Wilson was star Viola Davis’ personal hairstylist and Lopez-Rivera her makeup artist.
During her acceptance speech, Neal acknowledged the historic nature of her win, but also hoped for a future where it would be “normal” to see Black trans women winning Oscars.
“I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, [and] were denied but never gave up,” Neal said. “I also stand here, as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future.
“Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here. And Asian sisters. And our Latina sisters. And indigenous women.
“And I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking,” she added. It will just be normal.”
"I can picture Black trans women standing up here.
And Asian sisters.
And our Latina sisters.
And indigenous women.
And I know that one day it won't be unusual or groundbreaking.
Speaking to reporters after giving her speech, Neal added: “In moving forward, I’m just excited about the future because these conversations are taking place, these questions are being asked by reporters. I think that we all should be excited about what’s to come.”
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was nominated for five awards, including Best Actor for the late Chadwick Boseman and Best Actress for Viola Davis.
In addition to Best Makeup and Hairstyling, the film also scooped Best Costume Design for veteran designer Ann Roth, making the 89-year-old the oldest woman to win an Oscar.
She tied with gay director and writer James Ivory, who won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay at 89 for gay drama Call Me By Your Name.
As with any great sports movie, King Richard, the stirring new biopic chronicling how tennis dad Richard Williams guided daughters Venus and Serena towards greatness, locates truth and emotions that lie beyond the bounds of skill and competition.
Telling the foundational story of two all-time great athletes and cultural icons, the film's director, Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men), understood that the Williams family's story is bigger than just grand slams and gold medals.
"They're so much more than that," says Green. "Their legacy is going to be far greater than anything that they accomplished on the court, and they've accomplished a lot on the court."
It was a chilly February afternoon in 1997. The year of cloning sheep. My friend Beth and I decided to get stoned and see David Lynch's latest, Lost Highway. Or, rather, I decided we'd see it. Beth had little say. Cause, you know, I was desperate to demonstrate my newfound-elitist-boarding-school-film-snobbery and Lost Highway checked all the right boxes: indescribable plot, bizarre red lighting, and Balthazar Getty's naked ass.
But also, Beth didn't push back. She never did. With anything. She always let me choose, which was something I wasn't used to. I grew up in a family where "choice" was made by whomever was the loudest. But Beth -- she let me take over.
They're smiling only in the flashbacks in Isaac (★★☆☆☆), a pensive Spanish melodrama based on the stage play El día que nació Isaac (The Day Isaac was Born) by Antonio Hernández Centeno. In the present, reserved lawyer Nacho (Pepe Ocio) and aspiring chef Denis (Iván Sánchez), long-separated childhood friends, reconnect in Barcelona after 16 years.
Nacho's sexual attraction is unmistakable though unspoken. Sunny flashes back to their frolicsome youth show the closeness the two once shared with their third musketeer, Isaac.
Now, Isaac is long out of the picture, and even sunny days look grayer for Nacho and Denis. Both are desperately in need of something the other might help to provide. Nacho and his wife Marta (Maria Ribera), also an attorney, want a child but haven't been able to conceive. Denis, who waits tables at the cabaret where his girlfriend Carmen sings (Erika Bleda), is seeking a loan to open his own restaurant.
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