Hollywood on the Potomac

Oscar Countdown: 'Brooklyn'

February 8, 2016

In the Best Picture category for The 88th Academy Awards 2016 that will take place on Sunday, February 28, today we cover Brooklyn.“Based on a novel by Colm Tóibín, Eilis Lacey leaves small town Ireland for a better life in New York, arranged by an Irish priest in Brooklyn. Working in a shop she takes a bookkeeping course and participates in the Irish community. There she meets an Italian, and falls in love. They marry but she wants to see her mother after the death of her sister in Ireland. Returning home she falls into the life of the small town, meets a local guy, but also a nasty neighbour who knows she was married in the US. Written by Barry Mahon.”  IMDb.  The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters.

Here’s the take: Hollywood on the Potomac loves a good love story and this one has all the elements of a good love story – attractive, sensitive actors in a period piece that tugs at the heartstrings.  It is also ripe with reminders for understanding what immigration was and is really like – important timing since immigration laws are under attack worldwide.  Riff with political implications, todays’ immigration problems oft forget the personal trauma of those who leave their families behind looking for a better life and integrating into a foreign culture that leaves them lonely, confused and sad as they try to make their way.

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Oscar Countdown

February 4, 2016

In the Best Picture category for The 88th Academy Awards 2016 that will take place on Sunday, February 28, today we cover Bridge of Spies: During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers. Powers was an American pilot whose Central Intelligence Agency U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission in Soviet Union airspace, causing the 1960 U-2 incident.  Directed by Stephen Spielberg, the film boasts an amazing cast including Tom Hanks, Mark Ralance and Alan AldaHollywood on the Potomac loves spy stories, especially ones based on true stories.

Here’s the take: The U-2 incident (no, not Bono) caused an international diplomatic crisis May of 1960. “Confronted with the evidence of his nation’s espionage, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) was forced to admit to the Soviets that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been flying spy missions over the USSR for several years. The Soviets convicted Powers on espionage charges and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. However, after serving less than two years, he was released in exchange for a captured Soviet agent in the first-ever U.S.-USSR “spy swap.” The U-2 spy plane incident raised tensions between the U.S. and the Soviets during the Cold War (1945-91), the largely political clash between the two superpowers and their allies that emerged following World War II.”  History Channel

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Real Clear Politics

February 1, 2016

“Winner, because he’s Donald Trump.” Managing Editor of Real Clear Politics Emily Goodin told Hollywood on the Potomac when asked whether Trump would come out a winner or a loser by bailing on Fox News’ presidential debate in Iowa and why.  “I think he’s a huge winner,” said Daily Mail’s political reporter Nikki Schwab in response to the same question. “I think now everyone’s going to have a split screen kind of night. Before it would have been all eyes on Fox News. Now everyone is going to tune into other networks because they want to see what Trump is up to in Des Moines as well. I think that it’s going to be a win for Trump and maybe also a win for Cruz if he dominates this debate and I think it’s going to be very close in Iowa if Cruz does well tonight.”  Everyone weighed in on the strange strategy of Donald Trump at the Real Clear Politics and Washington Examiner party sponsored by The Leadership for America at P.J. Clarke’s Sidecar where multiple screens dominated the room and guests took cracks at the winner-loser question.

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