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‘Call Me By Your Name’ wins big at Dorian Awards

Greta Gerwig, ‘Get Out’ also receive top honors

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Call Me By Your Name, gay news, Washington Blade
Call Me By Your Name, gay news, Washington Blade

(Screenshot via YouTube.)

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics revealed the winners of its ninth annual Dorian Awards, which recognizes achievements in film and television, on Wednesday.

“Call Me By Your Name” earned Film of the Year while Timothée Chalamet received Film Performance of the Year for his role as Elio. Chalamet also was honored as the Dorian’s Rising Star.

Greta Gerwig was named Best Director for her coming-of-age film “Lady Bird” and the critically acclaimed film “Get Out” won for Screenplay of the Year.

For television, HBO’s hit series “Big Little Lies” won TV Drama of the Year and fantasy series “American Gods” won Unsung TV Show.

Meryl Streep was honored as the Dorian Awards’ Timeless Star. Previous receipets have included Jane Fonda, Dame Angela Lansbury and Sir Ian McKellen.

The winners will be celebrated at GALECA’s annual Winners Toast on Feb. 24 in Beverly Hills.

FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” – The Orchard
“Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)
“Get Out” – Universal
Lady Bird” – A24
The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (FILM OR TELEVISION)
Sean Baker, “The Florida Project” – A24
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” – A24 (WINNER)
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk” – Warner Bros.
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” – Universal

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight (WINNER)
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Fox Searchlight
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya” – Neon
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird” – A24
Daniela Vega, “A Fantastic Woman” – Sony Pictures Classics

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTOR
Nahuel Perez Biscayart, “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” — The Orchard
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist” – A24
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out” – Universal
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” – Focus Features

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound” – Netflix
Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip” – Universal
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” – Neon
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird” – A24 (WINNER)
Michelle Pfeiffer, “mother!” – Paramount

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project” – A24
Armie Hammer, “Call Me By Your Name”- Sony Pictures Classics
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Fox Searchlight
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)

LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” — The Orchard
“Battle of the Sexes” – Fox Searchlight
“Call Me By Your Name “- Sony Pictures Classics (WINNER)
“A Fantastic Woman” – Sony Pictures Classics
“God’s Own Country” – Samuel Goldwyn Films

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” — The Orchard (WINNER)
“A Fantastic Woman” – Sony Pictures Classics
“First They Killed My Father” – Netflix
“The Square” – Magnolia Pictures
“Thelma” – The Orchard

SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR (ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED)
James Ivory, “Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” – Universal (WINNER)
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” – A24
Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, “The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Fox Searchlight

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” – Zeitgeist/Kino Lorber
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” – Netflix
“Faces Places” – Cohen Media Group (WINNER)
“Jane” ­– National Geographic/Abramorama
“Kedi” – Oscilloscope

VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)
“Blade Runner 2049” – Warner Bros.
“Call Me By Your Name” – Sony Pictures Classics
“Dunkirk” – Warner Bros.
“The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight (WINNER)
“Wonderstruck” – Amazon

UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” – The Orchard
“Beach Rats” – Neon
“God’s Own Country” – Samuel Goldwyn Films (WINNER)
“Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” – Annapurna
“Wonderstruck” – Amazon

CAMPY FLICK OF THE YEAR
“Baywatch” – Paramount
“The Disaster Artist” – A24
“The Greatest Showman” – 20th Century Fox
“I, Tonya” – Neon
“mother!” – Paramount (WINNER)

TV DRAMA OF THE YEAR
“Big Little Lies” – HBO – HBO (WINNER)
“The Crown” – Netflix
“Feud: Bette and Joan” – FX
“The Handmaid’s Tale” – Hulu
“Twin Peaks: The Return” – Showtime

TV COMEDY OF THE YEAR
“Better Things” – FX
“GLOW” – Netflix
“The Good Place” – NBC
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – Amazon (WINNER)
“Will & Grace” – NBC

TV PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTRESS
Clare Foy, “The Crown” – Netflix
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” – HBO (WINNER)
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan” – FX
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Hulu
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies” – HBO

TV PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None” – Netflix
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” – NBC
Jonathan Groff, “Mindhunter” – Netflix
Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks: The Return” – Showtime (WINNER)
Alexander Skaarsgård, “Big Little Lies” – HBO

TV CURRENT AFFAIRS SHOW OF THE YEAR
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – TBS (WINNER)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – HBO
“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – NBC
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – CBS
“The Rachel Maddow Show” – MSNBC

TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga, “God Bless America,” “Born This Way,” etc., Super Bowl LI – Fox
Kate McKinnon, “(Kellyanne) Conway!” “Saturday Night Live” – NBC (WINNER)
Brendan McCreary, John Mulaney, “I’m Gay,” “Big Mouth” – Netflix
Pink, “Beautiful Trauma,” American Music Awards – ABC
Sasha Velour, “So Emotional,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” – VH1

LGBTQ SHOW OF THE YEAR
“Difficult People” – Hulu
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” – VH1 (WINNER)
“Sense8” – Netflix
“Transparent”– Amazon
“Will & Grace” – NBC

UNSUNG TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
“American Gods” – Starz (WINNER)
“Dear White People” – Netflix
“Difficult People” – Hulu
“At Home with Amy Sedaris” – TruTV
“The Leftovers” – HBO

CAMPY TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
“Dynasty”
“Feud: Betty and Joan” (WINNER)
“Riverdale”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Will & Grace”

‘WE’RE WILDE ABOUT YOU!’ RISING STAR AWARD
Timothée Chalamet (WINNER)
Harris Dickinson
Tiffany Haddish
Daniel Kaluuya
Daniela Vega

WILDE WIT OF THE YEAR AWARD
(honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)
Samantha Bee
Stephen Colbert
Kate McKinnon (WINNER – TIE)
John Oliver
Jordan Peele (WINNER – TIE)

WILDE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
(honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television)
Guillermo del Toro
Greta Gerwig
Patty Jenkins
David Lynch
Jordan Peele (WINNER)

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Online Culture

Vlogger StanChris; My religious mom reacts to Norway’s “gay Santa” ad

My religious mom reacts to Norway’s gay Santa advertisement! Let’s see what she has to say about it.

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Screenshot via YouTube

LOS ANGELES – The twenty-something StanChris, the Out YouTuber who has been building his audience on his YouTube channel by vlogging about the ordinary everyday experiences of his life as a young gay guy is back- this time interviewing his mother.

My religious mom reacts to Norway’s gay Santa advertisement! Let’s see what she has to say about it.

My religious mom reacts to Norway’s “gay Santa” ad

********************

S O C I A L – L I N K S

→Instagram : stanchris https://instagram.com/stanchris

→ Twitter : stanchrisss https://twitter.com/stanchrisss

Subscribe here!!: https://youtube.com/c/stanchris

Watch more: https://youtu.be/rjI4c7nSXkw

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Movies

Verhoeven returns with subversive tale of lesbian nun in ‘Benedetta’

Period drama delivers sex, violence, and horrors of the Black Death

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Daphne Patakia and Virginie Efira in ‘Benedetta.’ (Photo courtesy IFC Films)

There was a time when Paul Verhoeven was a big deal in Hollywood.

The Dutch filmmaker first attracted international attention during an early career in his homeland, with critically acclaimed movies like “Turkish Delight” and “Soldier of Orange,” which found an audience outside of the Netherlands and brought him greater opportunities in America, Once here, he adapted his style to fit a more commercial mold and forged a niche for himself with violent, action-packed sci-fi blockbusters, scoring major hits with “Robocop” and “Total Recall” before reaching a pinnacle with “Basic Instinct” – arguably still his most influential and iconic film.

Then came “Showgirls.” Although the Joe Eszterhas-scripted stripper drama is now revered as a “so-bad-it’s-great” cult classic, it was a box office bomb on its initial release, and its failure, coupled with the less-spectacular but equally definitive flopping of his next film, “Starship Troopers,” effectively put an end to his climb up the Hollywood ladder.

That was not, however, the end of his story. Verhoeven moved back to his native country (where he was hailed as a returning hero) and rebounded with the critically lauded “Black Book” before spending the next two decades developing and producing new projects with other filmmakers. In 2016, he assumed the director’s seat again, this time in France, and the resulting work (“Elle”) put him once more into the international spotlight.

Now, he’s back with another French film, and fans of his signature style – a blend of social satire, psycho-sexual themes, graphic violence, and near-exploitation-level erotic imagery that has prompted some commentators to label him as a provocateur – have every reason to be excited.

“Benedetta,” which receives its long-delayed (due to COVID) release in the U.S. on Dec. 3, is the real-life story of a Renaissance-era Italian nun (Virginie Efira), whose passionate devotion to her faith  – and especially to Jesus – sparks disturbing and dramatic visions. When young novice Bartolomea (Daphne Patakia) enters the convent and is assigned to her as a companion, it awakens a different kind of passion, and as their secret relationship escalates, so too do her miraculous episodes, which expand to include the physical manifestation of stigmata. Soon, despite the skepticism of the Mother Abbess (Charlotte Rampling), she finds herself heralded as a prophet by the other sisters and the local community, leading to controversy, investigation, and a power struggle that threatens the authority of the church itself.

Inspired by “Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy,” Judith C. Brown’s biography of the real Sister Benedetta, Verhoeven’s latest work is perhaps his most quintessential to date. In his screenplay (co-written with “Elle” collaborator David Birke), the Dutch auteur – who is also a widely recognized, if controversial, religious scholar – gives free reign to his now-familiar obsessions, weaving them all together into a sumptuously realized period drama that delivers copious amounts of nudity and sex, bloody violence, and the horrors of the Black Death while exploring the phenomenon of faith itself. Is Benedetta a saint or a harlot? Is she chosen by God or mentally ill? Are her visions real or is she a fraud, cynically exploiting the beliefs of those around her in a bold-faced grab for power and glory? And if she’s lying, in the larger context of a world held firmly in the grip of a church that treats salvation as transactional and levies its presumed moral authority to unlimited financial and political gain, which is greater evil? Though the film strongly implies the answers lie somewhere between the “either/or” of absolutes, it shrewdly leaves the viewer to contemplate such questions for themselves.

What concerns “Benedetta” more than any esoteric debate is a sly-yet-candid commentary on the various levels of societal hierarchy and the ways in which the flow of power perpetuates itself through their devotion to maintaining the status quo. As Benedetta’s perceived holiness carries her upward through the strata, from unwanted daughter of the merchant class to Mother Superior and beyond, more important than the veracity of her claims of divinity are the shifting and carefully calculated responses of those she encounters along the way. Fearing the loss of their own power, they ally and oppose themselves in whichever direction will help them maintain it. It’s a Machiavellian game of “keep-away” in which those at the top will not hesitate to use economic class, gender, sexuality, and – if all else fails – torture and execution as weapons to repress those they deem unworthy.

Inevitably, the above scenario provides plenty of fodder for Verhoeven’s movie to make points about religious hypocrisy, systemic oppression, and the way white heterosexual cisgender men keep the deck eternally stacked in their own favor – all of which invites us to recognize how little things have changed in the five centuries since Sister Benedetta’s time. That, too, is right in line with the director’s usual agenda.

Ultimately though, the signature touch that makes the movie unmistakably his is the way it revels in the lurid and sensational. Verhoeven delights in presenting imagery designed to shock us, and key elements of the film – from hyper-eroticized religious visions and explicit lesbian sex, to the prominent inclusion of a blasphemous wooden dildo as an important plot point – feel deliberately transgressive. This should be no surprise when one remembers that this is the director who brought us not only “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls” but also “The Fourth Man,” a homoerotic psychological thriller from 1983 still capable of making audiences squirm uncomfortably today; and while all this titillation may trigger the most prudish of viewers, it makes “Benedetta” into a deliciously subversive, wild-and-wooly ride for the rest of us. More to the point, it underscores the film’s ultimate observation about the empowering nature of sexual liberation.

Helping Verhoeven make maximum impact with this obscure historical narrative is a cast that clearly relishes the material as much as he does. In the title role, the statuesque Efira successfully creates a compelling and charismatic figure while remaining an enigma, someone we can believe in equal measure might be sincere or corrupt and with whom we can empathize either way; likewise, Patakia exudes savvy and self-possession, transcending moral judgment as the object of her affection, and the two performers have a palpable chemistry, which is made all the more compelling by their thrillingly contemporary approach to the characters. Rounding out the triad of principal roles is Rampling, a cinematic icon who brings prestige and sophistication to the table in a masterful performance as the Abbess; more than just a grounding presence for her younger co-stars, she provides an important counterbalance with a subtle and layered performance as a woman who has devoted her life to a belief in which she has no faith, only to find herself overshadowed by a charlatan.

“Benedetta” is not exactly the kind of film that’s likely to put Verhoeven back on the Hollywood fast track – it’s far too radical in its underpinnings for that. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome return to form from a unique and flamboyant filmmaker we’ve missed for far too long, and his fans – along with anybody with a taste for provocative cinema – should consider it a must-see.

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Books

‘Capote’s Women’ is catnip to older pop culture fans

Revisiting iconic author’s seven ‘swans’

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(Book cover image courtesy of Putnam)

Capote’s Women
By Laurence Leamer
C.2021, Putnam $28/356 pages

Her lips are locked tight.

Your best friend knows all your secrets, and she’s keeping them; you told her things you had to tell somebody, and she’s telling nobody. You always knew you could trust her; if you couldn’t, she wouldn’t be your BFF. But as in the new book “Capote’s Women” by Laurence Leamer, what kind of a friend are you?

For months, Truman Capote had been promising a blockbuster.

Following his success with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood,” he was “one of the most famous authors in the world” but he needed a career-booster. The novel he was writing, he teased, would be about “his swans,” seven wealthy, fashionable women who quite personified “beauty, taste, and manners.”

His first swan was Barbara “Babe” Paley, whom he’d met on a trip with the David Selznicks to Jamaica. For Capote, “Babe was the epitome of class,” simply “perfect” in every way; it helped that the famously gay writer was no threat to Paley’s “madly jealous” husband.

Babe’s “dearest friend” was Nancy “Slim” Keith, who quickly learned that if a lady wanted her confidences kept, she didn’t tell Capote anything. She shouldn’t have trusted Babe, either: When Slim left for a European trip, Babe asked if Slim’s husband could accompany Babe’s friend, Pamela Hayward, to a play.

Slim was aware of Pamela’s predatory reputation, but what could she say?

Of course, Pamela, another of Truman’s swans, stole Slim’s man, a scandal that Capote loved.

Gloria Guinness was highly intelligent, possibly enough to be a spy in Nazi Germany. Lucy “C.Z.” Guest was an upper-crust “elitist” with a “magical aura.” Marella Agnelli “was born an Italian princess”; Lee Radziwill, of course, was Jacqueline Kennedy’s sister.

Through the late 1960s, Capote claimed to be writing his masterpiece, his tour de force based on his swans, but several deadlines passed for it. He was sure Answered Prayers “would turn him once again into the most talked-about author in America.”

Instead, when an excerpt from it was published, his swans got very ruffled feathers.

Every time you stand in line for groceries, the tabloids scream at you with so much drama that you either love it or hate it. Or, in the case of “Capote’s Women,” you cultivate it.

And that’s infinitely fun, as told by author Laurence Leamer.

Happily, though, Leamer doesn’t embellish or disrespect these women or Capote; he tells their tales in order, gently allowing readers’ heads to spin with the wild, globe-hopping goings-on but not to the point that it’s overdone. While most of this book is about these seven beautiful, wealthy, and serially married women – the Kardashians of their time, if you will – Capote is Leamer’s glue, and Truman gets his due, as well.

Readers who devour this book will be sure that the writer would’ve been very happy about that.

“Capote’s Women” should be like catnip to celeb-watchers of a Certain Age but even if you’re not, find it. If you’re a Hollywood fan, you’ll want to get a lock on it.

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