Johnny Depp Libel Case Against ‘The Sun’ Can Go Ahead -Judge

US actor Johnny Depp arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai' in London on January 19, 2015 (AFP Photo /Leon Neal)
US actor Johnny Depp arrives for the UK premiere of the film ‘Mortdecai’ in London on January 19, 2015 (AFP Photo /Leon Neal)

 

 

A British news group on Thursday failed in its bid to have a libel case brought by Hollywood actor Johnny Depp thrown out, paving the way for a full court hearing.

Depp, 57, is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) over an April 2018 article in The Sun tabloid that claimed he had been violent to his former wife, the actress Amber Heard.

He has strenuously denied the claims.

NGN tried to have the case dismissed, arguing Depp was in breach of a court order because he had failed to disclose documents from a separate libel case in the United States.

Judge Andrew Nicol on Monday agreed the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star had failed to hand over details of text messages, which allegedly referred to drugs.

But on Thursday he said he would grant Depp’s application for “relief from sanctions”, which means the trial will go ahead next week.

The text messages were sent in late February and early March 2015, shortly before what Heard, 34, claimed was a “three-day ordeal of physical assaults” in Australia, the judge was told.

Lawyers for the news group have argued the texts were “profoundly damaging to his (Depp’s) case.”

The alleged incident in Australia is one of 14 separate claims of domestic violence between early 2013 and May 2016 that NGN is relying on in its defence.

The judge has previously refused an application by Depp’s legal team to require Heard to disclose evidence, including a secret recording of a conversation with the actor.

He also asked for all communications between Heard and “Rocketman”, a contact saved in her phone who Depp claims is the SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, as well as with actor James Franco.

Lawyer David Sherborne told the court Heard had affairs with Musk and Franco while she was going out with or married to Depp.

He said it was relevant because it has been claimed Depp’s “supposed paranoia and mistaken belief that she was having affairs that caused him to be violent”.

But judge Nicol dismissed the application. “The central issue for the defence of truth is whether Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard,” he said.

“Even if she had been unfaithful to him, that would be irrelevant on that central issue.”

The case, which was delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak, is due to start next Tuesday at the High Court of England and Wales in central London.

Depp’s former partners, the French singer Vanessa Paradis, and the Hollywood actress Winona Ryder, are due to give evidence.

The actor himself is also expected to attend, as is Heard.

 

 

-AFP

Idris Elba, Tom Hanks And Other Celebrities Hit By The Coronavirus

 

From the European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to Hollywood star Tom Hanks, the new coronavirus has also hit the rich and famous as it continues its march across the globe. 

Here is a roundup:
– Politics –
Barnier, who leads negotiations with Britain on Brexit, announced in a video on Twitter on Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, and is strictly confined to his home.

“I’m fine, morale is good,” the 69-year-old former French foreign minister said, speaking from France.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been in isolation since March 13, after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive.

At a news conference in front of his residence on March 17, he called on Canadians to hunker down for the long haul against the coronavirus.

Members of governments in several countries — Britain, France, Iran, Morocco, Norway, Poland, and Spain — have been infected.

– Royals –
The principality of Monaco said on Thursday that Prince Albert II had tested positive, although a statement said there were “no concerns for his health”.

The titular head of the Mediterranean enclave is continuing to work from his private apartments at the royal palace, the statement said.

– Arts –
On Wednesday Cameroonian jazz star Manu Dibango, 86 was admitted to a French hospital suffering from the virus, his official Facebook page said, adding he was “resting well and calmly recovering”.

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actress, and singer Rita Wilson, announced they had tested positive for the virus on March 12, while the couple were in Australia.

Five days later they were released from the hospital and have since quarantined themselves.

British actor Idris Elba said on March 16 that he had tested positive for the virus and gone into self-isolation.

‘Game of Thrones’ actor Kristofer Hivju, who played the role of Tormund, has tested positive for the new coronavirus and is doing well, the Norwegian said in an Instagram post. He said he and his family were in self-isolation at home.

Chilean author Luis Sepulveda, who lives in northern Spain, also has the virus and is in hospital. He felt the first symptoms on February 25, two days after returning from a literary festival in Portugal.

– Sport –
France’s 2018 World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi has been in self-isolation at his home since March 11 after testing positive. His club Juventus in Italy has announced their Italian defender Daniele Rugani has also tested positive.

As a precautionary measure, their teammate Cristiano Ronaldo has been in isolation for several days in Madeira, where he was born, though he has shown no symptoms. He has called on fans via social media to respect public health guidelines.

At Fiorentina, another top Italian club, 10 players are infected, including Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic, Argentinian defender German Pezzella and Italian striker Patrick Curone.

In Britain, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both tested positive.

Seven basketball players in the NBA have tested positive, most recently four from the Brooklyn Nets, including superstar Kevin Durant, who follows Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of Utah Jazz, and a Detroit Pistons player Christian Wood.

-AFP

From Tom Hanks To Trudeau’s Wife: Celebrities Hit By Coronavirus

Workers in protective clothes stand before passengers disembarkating off the Diamond Princess cruise ship, in quarantine due to fears of new COVID-19 coronavirus, at Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama on February 21, 2020. Hundreds of people have been allowed to leave the ship after testing negative for the disease and many have returned to their home countries to face further quarantine. Philip FONG / AFP

Hollywood star Tom Hanks has had it, and so has French World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi and Canadian premier Justin Trudeau’s wife — the new coronavirus has hit even the rich and famous as it continues its relentless march across the globe.

Here is a roundup of some well-known personalities who have tested positive for COVID-19 around the world.

– Artists –

Hollywood Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actress and singer Rita Wilson, announced they had tested positive for the virus on March 12, while the couple were in Australia.

Five days later the pair was released from hospital and have since self-quarantined.

British actor Idris Elba said on March 16 he had tested positive for the virus and has gone into self-isolation.

Chilean author Luis Sepulveda, who lives in northern Spain, has the virus and is in hospital. He felt the first symptoms on February 25, two days after returning from a literary festival in Portugal.

– Sport –

France’s 2018 World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi has been in self-isolation at his home since March 11 after testing positive. His club Juventus in Italy have announced their Italian defender Daniele Rugani has also tested positive.

As a precautionary measure their teammate Cristiano Ronaldo has been in isolation for several days in Madeira, where he was born, though he has shown no symptoms. He has called on fans via social media to respect public health guidelines.

Five footballers with the Italian club Sampdoria have tested positive, along with the club’s doctor. Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic at Fiorentina, another Serie A club, is also infected.

In Britain, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both tested positive.

A third basketball player in the NBA, Christian Wood, has tested positive. This follows the confirmed infections of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.

Colombian cyclist Fernando Gaviria and Russian cyclist Dmitry Strakhov, both at the UAE Tour, have been identified with the virus.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: More than 850 Million Students Shut Out of School – UNESCO

– Politicians –

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been in isolation since March 13, after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tested positive.

At a news conference in front of his residence on March 17 he called on Canadians to hunker down for the long haul against the coronavirus.

Members of governments in several countries — Britain, France, Iran, Morocco, Norway, Poland and Spain — have been infected.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is in hospital quarantine after being infected. He had recently met Ivanka Trump, the daughter and aide of US President Donald Trump.

The president himself, who finally agreed to be tested after coming into contact with several infected people, on March 14 announced that he was negative.

Brazilian far-right president Jair Bolsonaro said on March 13 he had tested negative, posting his test result to his Facebook page, along with a picture of himself flashing an obscene arm gesture.

AFP

Harvey Weinstein: From Hollywood ‘God’ To Convicted Rapist

Harvey Weinstein enters a Manhattan court house as a jury continues with deliberations in his trial on February 24, 2020 in New York City.  Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

 

For decades, Harvey Weinstein was untouchable, reigning over Hollywood as the mega-producer Meryl Streep famously called “God.” On Wednesday the convicted rapist was contemplating spending the rest of his life in prison.

A week before his 68th birthday, the “Pulp Fiction” producer with a knack for making Oscar-winning movies was sentenced to 23 years in jail for rape and sexual assault.

The sentencing in New York capped a sensational downfall for Weinstein, almost three years after allegations against him ignited the #MeToo movement, made him a pariah and ended his career.

Nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, have come forward alleging 40 years of vile predatory behavior by Weinstein.

The accusations, first made in The New York Times and New Yorker in October 2017, sparked a sexual harassment watershed that ended the careers of several powerful men as tens of thousands of women shared their stories of abuse online under the #MeToo hashtag.

Once the darling of film festivals such as Cannes and Sundance, Weinstein was quickly expelled from the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, the institution that awards the Oscars.

The one-time Democratic Party donor, who hobnobbed with Hillary Clinton, disappeared from public life, surfacing occasionally from reported sex addiction treatment, his name toxic and his reputation in tatters.

– 81 Oscars –
Then on May 25, 2018, he was charged with predatory sexual assault. Images of him handcuffed were beamed around the world.

Weinstein maintains that all his sexual relationships were consensual but he was convicted of forcibly performing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and of raping ex-actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

On February 24, he was found guilty of rape in the third degree and a criminal sexual act in the first degree but cleared of the most serious charge of predatory sexual assault.

Weinstein, in a wheelchair following heart surgery and considerably lighter than the 300 pounds (136 kilograms) he carried at the height of his success, came across as unrepentant when he addressed the court at his sentencing.

“I’m totally confused,” he said, suggesting he was a victim of the #MeToo movement.

“I was the first example and now there are of thousands of men being accused. I’m worried about this country.”

He also pleaded with the judge that he “might never see my children again.”

– ‘Scissorhands’ –
Born in Queens, New York, on March 19, 1952, the son of a diamond cutter, Weinstein studied at Buffalo University and initially produced rock concerts until he and younger brother Bob went into the movie business.

They co-founded Miramax Films, a small distribution company named after his mother Miriam and father Max, in 1979.

Their hits included 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” for which Weinstein shared a best picture Oscar. The company was sold to Disney in 1993 and the brothers left in 2005 to start up The Weinstein Company.

Over the years, Weinstein’s films received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.

The movies he steered to Academy Awards glory include “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Iron Lady” — which won best actress for Streep as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Through it all, the burly executive was famous for his hard-nosed approach to work and Oscars campaigns. He was nicknamed “Harvey Scissorhands” for his aggressive editing of movies.

Weinstein once had a personal fortune estimated at $150 million but it has rapidly disappeared following his fall from grace.

The Weinstein Company was declared bankrupt in March 2018 under an avalanche of lawsuits related to sexual misconduct claims.

In December last year, Weinstein reached a $25 million settlement with more than 30 actresses and former employees who sued him. The bill will be met by insurers and his former company.

Prosecutors say Weinstein has sold five properties totaling $60 million in the last two years to pay legal fees and support his two ex-wives.

The second, English fashion designer Georgina Chapman, divorced him following the scandal.

He was living in relative obscurity in a rented home in a New York suburb close to the two young children he has with Chapman before his trial started in January.

Weinstein spent ten days in the hospital following his conviction after complaining of chest pains. He had a stent installed before being transferred to New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail to await sentencing.

Weinstein is expected to be incarcerated in upstate New York. But his story may not be over: he has appealed and is facing a separate case in Los Angeles.

-AFP

‘Farewell’ Rebukes Oscars With Spirit Award Win

Winner of Best Feature for “The Farewell” (L-R) Peter Saraf, Daniele Melia, Lulu Wang, Andrew Miano, a guest and Anita Gou pose in the press room during the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, on February 8, 2020.
Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP

 

Chinese-American film “The Farewell” delivered a rebuke to its Oscars snub at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, as South Korea’s “Parasite” added a final burst of momentum to its much-hyped Academy Award challenge.

The awards, held on a beach outside Los Angeles a day before the Oscars, honor films with smaller budgets, and are often held up as an antidote to the Academy’s more mainstream — and less diverse — tastes.

“The Farewell,” about a family that reunites to visit a grandmother in China who doesn’t know she’s dying, won best picture, having missed out on any Oscars nominations.

Lulu Wang, the film’s director, told AFP that “so many people said nobody is going to want to see the film (because) it’s not Chinese enough, it’s not American enough.”

“For people to just see it as a family story, as a universal story, that’s really meaningful.”

Lulu Wang

 

Wang was one of several acclaimed female directors who failed to win Oscars recognition, but said she was not surprised by her omission.

“When you win an award it is given to you by a group of your peers. When I look at the Academy, and the makeup of the voting body of the Academy, they are not my peers,” she said.

“That is the biggest problem. If my peers were represented in the Academy voting body then they would be voting for films that represent their lives and their stories.

“That’s always how it is. So I’m not surprised by any of it.”

Academy membership is 84 per cent white and 68 per cent male.

In the Spirit Awards’ biggest shock, Jennifer Lopez missed out on best-supporting actress for her turn as a wily stripper in “Hustlers” to Zhao Shuzhen, who plays the grandmother in “The Farewell.”

Zhao was, however, unable to travel from China due to the novel coronavirus outbreak gripping the country.

Meanwhile “Parasite,” a rare crossover foreign language success that could become the first non-English film to win best picture at the Oscars in Hollywood on Sunday, won best international film.

Director Bong Joon-ho said subtitles were no barrier for his dark comedy because its message about widening class inequality would resonate with “people living on Mars.”

“I didn’t create this film to make a grand contribution to international cinema,” said Bong.

“The deeper you delve into what surrounds you, what is near you, the more universal and broader the story can become,” he told journalists backstage.

‘Douchebags’

Brothers Josh and Benny Safdie won best director for their frenetic, anxiety-ridden thriller “Uncut Gems,” about a compulsive New York jeweler whose gambling addiction lands him in ever-deepening trouble.

The film’s star and audience favorite Adam Sandler won best actor, poking fun at his “quote-unquote snub” at the Oscars, saying: “Let all those feather-haired douchebag… (actors) get their Oscars tomorrow night.”

Olivia Wilde, whose female-focused teen comedy “Booksmart” won best first feature, said she hoped the win could “inspire more ladies to get out there and direct.”

“The Film Independent Spirit Awards is so much cooler than the Oscars — it’s the daytime, we’re on the beach, we recognize female directors,” joked host Aubrey Plaza as the show opened in Santa Monica.

Noah Baumbach won best screenplay for divorce tearjerker “Marriage Story,” which is also in the race for best picture at the Oscars — as is his partner Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women.”

“Even though she made a movie too expensive for the Spirit Awards, she’s no less independent than anyone here,” Baumbach said.

Renee Zellweger further cemented her Oscar frontrunner status by winning best actress for “Judy.”

Best documentary went to “American Factory,” the first film from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, about a US rust belt factory reopened by a Chinese billionaire.

“Even though it’s sort of sponsored by the Obamas, a lot of Republicans and people living in rural areas are watching it in the privacy of their homes,” director Julia Reichert told AFP, citing Netflix data.

“They might not tell their friends. But it’s really happening. So that’s really cool. We’ve got to get to those people because we’re in an election year.”

Sam Mendes Beats Scorcese, Tarantino To Top DGA Prize With “1917”

DGA Feature Film Award winner for ‘1917’ Sam Mendes poses in the press room during the 72nd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at The Ritz Carlton on January 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP

 

Hollywood’s directors handed World War I thriller “1917” their top annual prize on Saturday, one of the final major awards shows that typically spells success at next month’s Oscars.

The win makes British auteur Sam Mendes hot favorite for the best director Oscar — the Directors Guild of America Awards have correctly predicted the victor the past six years running.

The movie, which follows two British soldiers on a perilous mission across no man’s land, has already scooped the Golden Globe for best drama and has 10 Oscar nominations.

Mendes praised the work of fellow nominees Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”), Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”), Bong Joon-ho (“Parasite”) and Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit.”)

“To those who kick dirt on the grave of the movies — not so fast,” he said, dedicating the win to his grandfather, whose life inspired the film.

“I know it sounds a bit loopy but I did feel he was with us in a couple of occasions when I was struggling,” said Mendes.

The victory also boosts the film’s frontrunner status for the best picture Academy Award.

The win comes more than two decades after Mendes first received the DGA award for “American Beauty,” a victory that led to Oscars wins for that film.

Mendes told AFP his first win had been “frightening to be pitched into this sort of frenzy,” adding: “I’m 20 years older and I’m probably a little less scared.”

The film’s two lead actors paid tribute to Mendes.

“He’s a master of so many mediums… he’s pretty much done it all,” said George MacKay.

“We’ll be very excited to see what happens at the Oscars — I’ve never been before!” his co-star Dean-Charles Chapman told AFP.

 ‘New voices’ 

A-list presenters at the glamorous downtown Los Angeles event Saturday included Al Pacino, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Alfonso Cuaron, with Judd Apatow returning as host.

Like the Oscars, the DGAs were criticized this year for excluding women from the top prize shortlist.

DGA president Thomas Schlamme said the movie industry “still has a lot of work to do” on boosting diversity but pointed to the recently introduced first-time director category, featuring three women.

Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”) won the prize, praising fellow female nominees Mati Diop (“Atlantics”) and Melina Matsoukas (“Queen & Slim”) as “the future.”

The category means “new voices like us can be included and celebrated,” said Har’el, voicing support for a campaign to assist new mothers in the movie industry.

Around 50 Hollywood women including Amy Schumer, Amy Poehler and Greta Gerwig recently co-signed a letter stating women “are penalized for having children in a way that their male counterparts are not.”

 ‘Zeitgeist film’ 

“American Factory,” a film about a US Rust Belt factory reopened by a Chinese billionaire, and which was produced by the Obamas, won the best documentary.

“When we started (the film), we didn’t have President Trump even, let alone trade wars and the conflict with China,” director Julia Reichert told AFP. “I think we’re kind of a zeitgeist film.”

The DGAs also honor television — Bill Hader won for directing dark hitman comedy “Barry,” in which he also stars, while the limited series prize went to “Chernobyl.”

Superhero series “Watchmen” won the drama prize, seeing off an all-HBO shortlist including the much-maligned final season of “Game of Thrones.”

Although lower key than the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards, the DGAs are longer-running and offer prestigious recognition from 18,000 voters including top directors.

“To be nominated alongside these absolute legends is very surreal for me,” Waititi told AFP. “I am amongst the greats right now.”

The Oscars will be handed out in Hollywood on February 9.

AFP

‘Joker’ Bags 11 Oscar Nominations

Todd Phillips attends the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association/AFP

 

Todd Phillips’s “Joker,” a dark, arthouse take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix, on Monday topped the Oscar nominations with 11.

The pre-dawn Academy Award announcement capped months of ceaseless campaigning by A-listers and studios, revealing which stars and movies have a shot at Hollywood’s ultimate prize next month.

Todd Phillips’s “Joker,” a bleak, arthouse take on the comic book villain starring Joaquin Phoenix, was just ahead of three films.

Quentin Tarantino’s 1960s Tinseltown homage “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” Sam Mendes’s World War I odyssey “1917” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” each earned 10 nominations, including best picture as well as best director.

South Korean class satire “Parasite,” from Bong Joon-ho, secured the final best director slot, meaning once again no female directors made the shortlist.

Much of the focus so far this award season has been on the lack of women and ethnic minority filmmakers honored.

Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed “Little Women” adaptation has been notably absent in several award nominations announcements, although it was one of nine films nominated for the best picture Oscar.

“Unfortunately there are just five nominees” for best director in an “incredibly strong year,” one Academy voter who asked not to be named told AFP, pointing to the revered track records of the likes of Scorsese, Tarantino and Mendes.

Controversy over those omissions, in an industry criticized for its lack of diversity, was fueled at last week’s BAFTA nominations, which were also condemned for overlooking ethnic minorities.

Showbiz legend 

The Oscars picked only one non-white actor — British star Cynthia Erivo, who plays US anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman in “Harriet.”

Notable snubs included Eddie Murphy for blaxploitation biopic “Dolemite Is My Name,” Jennifer Lopez for “Hustlers,” Awkwafina for “The Farewell” and Lupita Nyong’o for “Us.”

Last year, three of the four acting Oscars went to non-white performers.

Voting for Oscar nominees ended last Tuesday, two days after the Golden Globes.

But Taron Egerton’s Globe-winning turn as Elton John in “Rocketman” was not enough to earn an Oscar nomination in an outrageously competitive best actor field.

Renee Zellweger, who has swept the best actress nominations so far during this awards season, headed the best actress Oscar shortlist thanks to her acclaimed turn as showbiz legend Judy Garland in “Judy.”

Some 9,000 Academy members vote for the Oscars.

In the nominations round of voting, members were asked to rank their top choices only for best picture, and for the categories corresponding with the specific Academy branch to which they belong.

Voting for winners — in which members can vote in every category — begins January 30, closing five days later.

The Oscars will be handed out in Hollywood on February 9.

AFP

Oscars: Cynthia Erivo, Saoirse Ronan Nominated For Best Supporting Actress

 

The following are the nominees for the best actress Oscar, which will be handed out on February 9 in Hollywood:

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”

Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”

Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”

Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

AFP

Oscars 2020: Tom Hanks, Al Pacino Among Best Supporting Actor Nominees

 

The following are the nominees for the best supporting actor Oscar, which will be handed out on February 9 in Hollywood:

Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Al Pacino, “The Irishman”

Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”

Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”

AFP

Hollywood Stars Shine On Globes Red Carpet

 

Hollywood’s brightest stars sparkled on the red carpet at the Golden Globes on Sunday, the first showbiz awards gala of 2020.

Under sunny skies, the best and brightest of film and television gathered at the Beverly Hilton in their finest for the ceremony, hosted by British comedian Ricky Gervais.

Here is a look at some of the trends spotted on the red carpet:

Black and White

Tinseltown’s A-list wants to make a good impression on the first major red carpet of the year, and how better to do that than in classic black and white, a fashion staple.

Billy Porter attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP
Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Style icon Billy Porter, a nominee for best actor in a TV drama for his work on “Pose,” wowed fans in an all-white Alex Vinash tuxedo with a coat featuring a giant feather train — that zips off, he explained to E! television.

 

Actor Joey King attends the 2020 Walt Disney Company Post-Golden Globe Awards Show celebration at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Hulu/AFP Rachel Murray / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Nominated actress Joey King (“The Act”) created a daring carpet moment in a sculptural black and white Iris van Herpen dress with a mind-boggling wavy detail and bare shoulders.

 

US actress and director Greta Gerwig arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. VALERIE MACON / AFP

 

Actress-filmmaker Greta Gerwig — whose “Little Women” was in contention but who was notably snubbed in the best director category — turned heads in a black Proenza Schouler dress with a notable side slit and a white off the shoulder neckline.

 

Cynthia Erivo attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Nominee Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) rocked a similar look — a custom Thom Browne number with flowers embroidered in the inner lining of her dress.

 

Awkwafina

 

And Awkwafina, who took home the award for best comedy film actress for her starring role in “The Farewell,” sported a sleek Dior tuxedo with a ruffled collar blouse and a long ball skirt.

Midnight (mid-afternoon?) Blues

The stars hit the red carpet in the middle of the afternoon in Los Angeles, but midnight blue was all the rage.

Ana De Armas attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Ana de Armas, a nominee for best comedy actress for the murder mystery “Knives Out,” said she was “a little bit of a mess” at her first Globes but looked like a million bucks in a glittering, strapless Ralph & Russo gown with a full skirt.

 

Beanie Feldstein attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Beanie Feldstein, a nominee in the same category for “Booksmart,” beamed in her strapless blue Oscar de la Renta gown and matching headband.

Ladies in Red

A red dress is the stuff of Hollywood legends, and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars delivered.

Nicole Kidman attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Nicole Kidman, who stars in the Fox News harassment scandal flick “Bombshell” as Gretchen Carlson, went strapless — a big trend on the night — in a crimson Versace gown with a train and strappy stilettos.

 

US actress Scarlett Johansson arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. VALERIE MACON / AFP

 

Scarlett Johansson, who starred in the searing Netflix divorce drama “Marriage Story,” upped the va-va-voom factor in a plunging strapless Vera Wang gown in a hue that matched her name.

 

Olivia Colman poses in the press room with the award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama for “The Crown” during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

And Olivia Colman, a winner on Sunday for her turn as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s “The Crown,” opted for a red Emilia Wickstead gown with dramatic puff sleeves and an Empire waist.

Shades of Green

Charlize Theron attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Charlize Theron, who plays journalist Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell,” looked stunning in an off-the-shoulder vibrant green Dior gown with a black corset bodice.

 

Jodie Comer attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP Frazer Harrison / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

“Killing Eve” star Jodie Comer channelled her eccentric assassin character Villanelle in a full emerald green gown with puff sleeves and a canary yellow clutch.

US actress Jennifer Lopez arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. VALERIE MACON / AFP

 

Jennifer Lopez is 50 and fabulous, and has earned lots of praise for her Globe-nominated performance as a veteran stripper with a plan in “Hustlers.”

Her red carpet moments are sometimes the stuff of legend, like her iconic green Versace dress at the 2000 Grammys.

But on Sunday, her Valentino look — topped with a giant green and gold bow — was… less than universally loved.

“Jennifer Lopez has come as a giant present. I thought

‘Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker’ Premieres

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 16: Stormtroopers are seen at the Premiere of Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker” on December 16, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Rich Fury/Getty Images/AFP
Rich Fury / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

The final film in the epic “Star Wars” trilogy of trilogies brought Hollywood to a standstill, as a galaxy of VIPs from the space saga that began four decades ago descended on a glittering world premiere.

Veterans Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo) arrived Monday to bid farewell to the movies that launched their careers in style at a futuristic hangar filled with life-size X-wing starfighters in Los Angeles.

They were joined by a who’s who of Hollywood, with special guests from Steven Spielberg to Spike Lee.

“Tonight, looking at this whole mise-en-scene is quite bewildering,” Anthony Daniels, who has played droid C-3PO in every main “Star Wars” film, told AFP.

“In fact, it’s such a big experience that I’m not sure I can quite cope with it. But I do feel proud to be here and proud to be part of it.”

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“The Rise of Skywalker” officially concludes the so-called “Skywalker saga” of films begun by George Lucas in 1977 — a fact Disney’s all-conquering publicity machine has used to ramp up hype on an intergalactic scale.

Analysts predict a stellar $200-$225 million at domestic box offices this weekend, which would put the film among the biggest openings in movie history.

Disney chief Bob Iger told AFP that fans would get “some kind of closure, some sense of satisfaction” for their favorite characters.

“Star Wars is probably the most important, most valuable mythology of our time, of the modern time,” he said.

“If you just consider the global base of fans that have worshipped this storytelling since 1977, over 40 years… tonight being a culmination of nine films is an incredibly important night.”

‘The Final Word’

Heading the glitzy premiere were the new film’s young stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac.

Plot details have been kept tightly under wraps. But director JJ Abrams has said the trio’s characters — Rey, Finn, and Poe — will be reunited on-screen, after scattering for 2017’s “The Last Jedi”, which divided fans.

While Disney has embargoed full reviews until Wednesday, social media reaction from those inside the three Hollywood theaters blocked out for Monday night’s event was broadly positive.

“Epic. All of it,” tweeted Erik Davis, managing editor of Fandango movie website, calling the finale a “wonderful way to end the Skywalker story.”

“It’s amazing,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Ryan Parker. “‘Last Jedi’ haters will be very pleased.”

The film is set one year after its predecessor, and at 141 minutes will be slightly shorter.

Abrams returns after his first outing, 2015’s “The Force Awakens”, broke the all-time North American box office record, making him the only person other than Lucas trusted to helm multiple “Star Wars” installments.

But his presence has stoked controversy — “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow was initially lined up but was fired for failing to satisfy Lucasfilm bosses with his script.

And Abrams had to cope with the death of Carrie Fisher, whose iconic Princess Leia was set for a central role in the finale. Leia will instead appear using unused, re-cut footage from Abrams’ last film.

Meanwhile, Disney has whetted fans’ appetites further by releasing new clips and trailers at the weekend.

In one, a returning Emperor Palpatine’s voice declares, “This will be the final word in the story of Skywalker,” while Star Destroyers and red Stormtroopers battle X-wings and Resistance fighters.

A second saw the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) growl, “I know who you are. I know the rest of your story,” sending fans abuzz over the long-standing mystery about heroine Rey’s parents.

‘Blank Canvas’

These are familiar tropes to “Star Wars” aficionados — but it may be the last time they are seen for years.

“Rise of Skywalker” is the franchise’s fifth film in five years, and Disney has promised to apply the brakes to avoid fatigue.

The company’s release schedule has untitled “Star Wars” films listed for 2022, 2024 and 2026.

“We’re in no rush. We know that fans will want another film, or another few films, and we’ll make them,” said Iger.

Until then, fans can make do with Disney+ television series “The Mandalorian”, and two further series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and the stars of hit spin-off movie “Rogue One” (2016).

“The beauty of all this is that we stand in front of a blank canvas, and we paint and we paint and we paint,” added Iger. “And when the picture looks good we’ll show it to the world.”

AFP

Oscar Honorees Target Hollywood Gender Equality

Geena Davis, Lina Wertmüller, David Lynch, and Wes Studi attend the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ 11th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on October 27, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP

 

Hollywood’s female filmmakers set out plans to achieve gender equality Sunday as actress Geena Davis and director Lina Wertmuller collected honorary Oscars at a star-studded ceremony focused on diversity.

“Thelma and Louise” star Davis told the annual Governors’ Awards in Los Angeles how the feminist road movie had prompted her lifelong campaign for gender balance at the movies.

“It made me realize in a very powerful way how few opportunities we give women to come out of a movie feeling excited and empowered by female characters,” said Davis of “Thelma and Louise.”

Davis, already an Academy Award winner, received the special statuette for her work to highlight the lack of women in films. She founded an institute compiling data on gender bias in 2004.

She called on filmmakers to immediately go back to their ongoing projects and “cross out a bunch of names of ensemble characters and supporting characters and make them female.”

Director and actress Olivia Wilde said Davis “was ahead of the #TimesUp conversation by about 20 years.”

“She really bangs the drum on this issue… She’s the real deal,” Wilde told AFP.

Wertmuller, 91, finally received an honorary Oscar more than four decades after she became the first woman nominated for best director.

She collected the statuette flanked by fellow Italian screen legends Sophia Loren and Isabella Rossellini, who translated Wertmuller’s call for the award to be given a new, more feminine name.

“She would like to call it ‘Anna.’ Women in the room, please scream, ‘We want Anna, a female Oscar!'” said Rossellini.

The origin of the nickname “Oscar” is unclear, but is thought to derive from the statuette’s likeness to a male relative of an early Academy member.

 ‘About time’ 

Stars at the glitzy ceremony in Hollywood’s Ray Dolby Ballroom included Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Quentin Tarantino, Eddie Murphy, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lopez.

“Last of the Mohicans” star Wes Studi became the first Native American actor to receive an Oscar.

“I’d simply like to say — it’s about time,” said Studi, to a raucous ovation. “It’s been a wild and wonderful ride,” he added.

Studi was introduced by Joy Harjo, the first Native American US poet laureate, and actor Christian Bale, who called it a “long overdue moment.”

“Too few opportunities in film, on both sides of the camera, have gone to native or indigenous artists — we are a room full of people who can change that,” said Bale, who starred with Studi in 2017’s “Hostiles.”

The #OscarsSoWhite protests surrounding the 2016 Oscars drew attention to the awards’ diversity issues.

Studi’s award comes almost half a century after Marlon Brando declined his best actor Oscar for “The Godfather” in protest at the movie industry’s treatment of Native Americans.

Canadian indigenous musician Buffy Sainte-Marie shared a best original song Oscar in 1982.

The night kicked off with an honorary Oscar for David Lynch, the surrealist auteur who has been nominated three times for best director but never won.

Regarded as one of the greatest American filmmakers of his generation, Lynch is the enigmatic director of cult classics such as “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive,” as well as television’s “Twin Peaks.”

He was introduced by Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan, who have both acted in several of his films.

The pair paid tribute to Lynch as a “modern Renaissance man.”

“David is a man who dares to invent and to create and challenge himself, every single day,” said Dern.

The honorary Oscars are handed out every year to honor lifetime achievement, and were spun off into a separate event in 2009 to declutter the main show’s packed schedule.

AFP