Final predictions for all 24 Oscar categories from L.A. Times awards columnist Glenn Whipp

Talking to academy members the past couple of weeks, I heard an earful about all the problems they had with various best picture contenders — “Why’d she have to … that fish?” lamented one voter of “The Shape of Water’s” interspecies sex scene — but not so much about the ways they loved the nominated movies. Right up until the Feb. 27 deadline, many still couldn’t decide how to rank their ballots.With Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney sweeping all of the key precursor awards, the four major acting races appear to be locked down. But the overall indecision in the best picture field has proved contagious. With this year’s best picture race being such a wide-open free-for-all, I’ve gone back and forth on my own prediction a couple of times.Will it be “The Shape of Water”? Could “Get Out” sneak in? What about “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”? Can't we just give it to “Moonlight” again, this time in a proper fashion? But the wheel’s got to stop spinning sometime. Here’s where it landed.(Note: In races where an upset may be looming, I’ve offered an alternate prediction. The others you can take to the bank.)FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2018 »BEST PICTURE“Call Me by Your Name”“Darkest Hour”“Dunkirk”“Get Out”“Lady Bird”“Phantom Thread”“The Post”“The Shape of Water”“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”Winner: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”Alternate: “Get Out”The safe bet is “Shape of Water” with its PGA and DGA wins, plus its leading 13 noms. And “Get Out” appears poised for a “Moonlight”-style ambush with voters gravitating toward its social message as a way to extend another middle-finger salute to Continue Reading

30 Must-Read (Or Must-Revisit) NPR Music Articles From 2017

Amelia Randall Meath and Nicholas Sanborn of Sylvan Esso perform at the NPR Music showcase during 2017's SXSW. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW hide caption toggle caption Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW Amelia Randall Meath and Nicholas Sanborn of Sylvan Esso perform at the NPR Music showcase during 2017's SXSW. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW What we try to do here at NPR Music isn't that complicated. First and foremost, of course, we like to introduce readers and listeners to artists they may never have heard that will challenge, excite and soothe them. We also enjoy celebrating, reframing, revisiting and enlivening the music everyone already knows and loves, to give it a new life in a changed world. But another significant part of this project is to use music as a medium in order to decode our present moment — and maybe divine a little of the future from it. As you'll see below, we've done this across a range of mediums — video, illustration, photography, podcasts (of course), writing and mishmashes between all of them. We published over 3,100 articles on the site this year — below, you will find 30 of our favorite slices from all that work. The criteria was only that the piece say something important, hopefully in a striking and beautiful way, about the present moment and the lives being lived within it. There are reorientations of the popular music canon with women at its center (a project has continued long after that initial list was published), the mystery of a "missing" classic rocker, an illustrated tour of a teen-oriented music festival, a record collector who desires just one album, lullabies, re-examinations of masculinity in hip-hop, a group Austrians who bumbled their way to fame, a fake genre nobody asked for (but everyone needs) ... the list is long. And time well-spent. New Orleans is inseparable from the music that animates it. In this short video documentary, Nick Michael examines the toll Continue Reading

Critics Groups Split Between 11 Different Films as 2017’s Best

Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 Critics Groups Split Between 11 Different Films as 2017’s Best 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Film critics groups around the country have spoken out about the best movies of 2017, and the verdict is that they can’t really agree. A full 11 different films have been named the year’s best by the more than two dozen national and regional critics groups that have announced their awards by late December, with five of them being awarded by multiple groups. Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” led the field, being named year’s best film by seven different critics’ groups, from the African American Film Critics Association to groups in Boston, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and the southeastern U.S. Latest entertainment videos Now Playing: Now Playing Bono Called Music 'Girly' and Twitter Was Not Happy Wibbitz Could Miss America pageant disappear? Euronews_News Sissy Spacek And Jack Fisk’s 43-Year Marriage Is One For The Books CountryLiving Showbiz Minute: Clinton, Miss America, 'Nashville' AP Fox Business Beat: Lil Jon wants to be Papa Johns CEO Fox5DC Woman Underwhelmed by 'Bop It' Game After Beating it in Just 100 Moves Storyful Lily James' resolution: 'Text people back' AP Woman Gives Hilarious Thanksgiving Recipe From Predictive Text Storyful Les 10 plus grands moments de la culture pop 2017 Wibbitz 'Bright' stars like to chill out to Netflix AP Also Read: 'Get Out' Wins the Producers Guild's Stanley Kramer Award “Lady Bird” was tops with four groups, followed by “The Florida Project” and “The Shape of Water” (three wins and one tie each) and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (two wins and a tie). Also landing on Continue Reading

Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2017

Bernard Mcghee, Associated Press Updated 10:55 am, Sunday, December 31, 2017 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', target_type: Continue Reading

The Takedown of Tupac

When twenty-five-year-old Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas last fall, he was riding in the passenger seat of a B.M.W. 750 sedan driven by Marion (Suge) Knight, the head of Death Row Records. Death Row, the leading purveyor of West Coast “gangsta rap,” is a music-business phenomenon. The company earned seventy-five million dollars in revenues last year. The first album Tupac made for Death Row, “All Eyez on Me,” which was released in early 1996, sold over five million units. Tupac had made three earlier albums, but they had never reached the stratosphere of “quintuple platinum.” Still, the days preceding his murder were anything but halcyon for him. It had become increasingly clear that there was a steep penalty to pay for having thrown in with Suge Knight. Even for the rough-edged music industry, which has historically been prone to excess and to connections with criminal elements, Death Row was a remarkable place. It was nothing for Knight to hand over a stack of hundred-dollar bills to Tupac for a weekend’s expenses. Knight’s office in Los Angeles was decorated in red, the color of the Bloods, one of the city’s principal gangs. A guard holding a metal detector stood at the front door of the Death Row studio. “I have not been to one other studio to this day where you have to be searched before you get in,” a veteran of the L.A. music business who worked with Tupac told me. “They have a checklist of people who can go in with guns. So you have to figure, These guys have guns, and it’s a long run to the front door, and there’s security at the front door that may try to stop you, even if you get there. . . . Some of the security guys . . . were gangsters just out of the penitentiary. They would look at you, staring right through you No words would have to be said.” Intimidation was Suge Knight’s stock-in-trade. It is said that he Continue Reading

Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and more fall concerts

We've still got it. That's what a cadre of veteran musicians spanning genres from hard rock and pop to rhythm-and-blues, boogie and new wave are out to prove this fall. The artists headlining area arenas and theaters skew decidedly older, but their music has proven to be timeless.Rock and pop icons like Paul McCartney and Barry Manilow, R&B star Janet Jackson, former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, and hard rock heroes Guns N' Roses are just a few of the acts that are booked to play the Prudential Center, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in the coming months. That's not to say younger acts are missing in action. Pop sensations Katy Perry and Bruno Mars and the alternative rockers Imagine Dragons are also headlining arena shows in the next few months.Those who prefer to see big names in a more intimate setting can check out Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, Blondie (featuring Hawthorne native Debbie Harry), Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, and ZZ Top at venues in Englewood, Newark and Morristown.There's also a special treat for jazz fans on the calendar. Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are crossing the river for performances in Englewood and Morristown.So get ready to rock, dance and swing this fall to a stellar lineup. We'll see you at the shows!Waters may be best-known as the principal songwriter and creative force behind Pink Floyd, most notably on such classic albums as "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall," but he's also an accomplished solo artist. Waters kicks off this fall's best bets with five area shows supporting his first rock solo album in 25 years. "Is This the Life We Really Want?" was released in June.Waters, who co-founded Pink Floyd in 1965 and went solo in 1985, is an outspoken critic of modern society, and his new album follows that path. The English musician has characterized the disc as "part magic carpet ride, part political rant, part anguish." Dubbed the "Us + Them" tour, the show is an Continue Reading

Master magician Lance Burton reappears in Louisville as a movie star

When master magician Lance Burton was 22 years old, he pulled off his greatest magic trick ever: he vanished from Kentucky to become a worldwide celebrity. Among all his entertainment success, this week Burton is reappearing back home, in part, to fulfill a life-long dream of his: becoming a movie star.Tuesday night, Burton will host a red-carpet showing of his award-winning film, "Billy Topit: Master Magician" in which he starred, directed and produced. In addition to being a fundraiser for the Kentucky Humane Society and a kick-off to one of the largest magic conventions in the world, the film project is a love-letter of sorts for Burton. It's an ode to his childhood and a call for other kids to enter the world of magic that so drastically changed his life.“I’ve had opportunities that I would never have had,” Burton said in an interview with the Courier-Journal. “If it wasn’t for magic, I’d be driving a tractor somewhere in rural Kentucky." More headlines ► Kentucky drug epidemic's smallest victims: Sleeping babies ► Lynn's Paradise Cafe replacement eagerly awaited on Barret ► Yarmuth's message at health care forum: Keep speaking out Burton, who grew up in Shively and was a theater major at the University of Louisville, fell in love with illusions at 5 years old when a local magician pulled coins from his ear at a Christmas Eve party at the Frito-Lay plant, where his mom worked on the factory line. He started his career in his backyard, charging friends a nickel to see him make candles and silks appear out of thin air.At age 22, he outgrew his backyard and moved to Los Angeles to try and make it as a professional. Within one week, he appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and would go on to perform on "The Tonight Show" 20 more times in his career.In 1994, his Las Vegas dreams became a reality – he Continue Reading

Biggest and best upcoming events around Phoenix

You won't want to miss any of these concerts, festivals and other events in the weeks and months ahead in metro Phoenix. You can even start planning your summer - including where to go to have fun away from the heat! Want to check out even more events?MORE EVENTS: Best things to do in Phoenix this week | 111 fall festivals around Phoenix | Top events for kids this week | Latest concert announcementsKirkman, who is the author of the New York Times bestseller “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself” also stars in a Netflix original comedy special “I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine).” Kirkman is also a regular on numerous late night shows like “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and her weekly podcast “I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman” is typically in the top 100 on iTunes.Details: September 1-3. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Stand Up Scottsdale, 5101 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. $10 and $15. 480-882-0730, the cool indie vibe of downtown Phoenix at this popular monthly art walk. More than 70 galleries participate with special exhibits, bands, DJs and food and drinks. The bars and restaurants near the arts venues are packed, and many, including the intimate Lost Leaf Bar & Gallery, hip Carly’s Bistro and funky Third Space, display works by local artists and feature live music. Roosevelt Row is the general hot spot, and there is a free trolley that takes visitors around to the different neighborhoods including Grand Avenue and the major museums just north of downtown.Details: 6-10 p.m. the first Friday of the month; hours vary by location. Downtown Phoenix along Roosevelt Street and Grand Avenue. Five shuttle stops available at Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Museum, Oasis on Grand, CityScape and Arizona Center. Free. 602-256-7539, ninth annual Saboten Continue Reading

Fall 101: The best things to do, see, hear, taste, buy & experience this season!

LITTLE RED LIGHTHOUSE Head below the George Washington Bridge to Fort Washington Park and tour Manhattan's only remaining lighthouse as part of the 15th annual Little Red Lighthouse Festival on Sept. 15. There are celebrity readings and hayrides, too. Call (212) 360-8737. SCOTT ON She's had a period of silence and a recent divorce, but Jill Scott isn't giving up her R&B crown quite yet. The tunes on her album "The Real Thing," out Sept. 25, are as soulful and sexy as ever. Also, be sure to catch her big-screen debut in Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" (out Oct. 12) to see how she's shaping up for an even bigger film role - in "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," currently in production. TOOTHY ENCOUNTERS They're back! (Again.) A fresh crop of blood-sucking vampires hits both big and small screens. The monsters chase Josh Hartnett in director David Slade's "30 Days of Night," out Oct. 19, in which Hartnett's efforts to enforce the law (and battle evil) in an Alaskan town are challenged by deep winter darkness that allows the fiends to roam free. On CBS' "Moonlight," premiering Sept. 28, Alex O'Loughlin smolders his way into the role of Mick St. John, a private investigator who happens to have a rather thirsty past. Still as youthful as the day he was bitten by a nasty ex-girlfriend, St. John can't stand fellow vampires who quaff human cocktails. He wiles away his infinite days trying to help the living with his acute crime-solving skills, but all could change forever when an intrepid mortal reporter (Sophia Myles) catches his eye. CELEB SMACKDOWN TMZ Gossip Web site TMZ takes its tricks to television Sept. 10 with a nightly newscast promising to be anything but tame. "We don't do red carpets, we don't do junkets," the site's mastermind, Harvey Levin, has said of its celeb coverage. "We're going to be fair, but we're not going to fear publicists." In fact, it's the publicists who should be scared. In New York, "TMZ TV" airs on WNYW/Ch. Continue Reading

Robert De Niro: Tribeca Godfather or business bully?

Page 1 of letter from Robert De Niro's lawyers regarding rights to the name 'Tribeca'Page 2 of the letterPage 3 of the letterRobert De Niro is celebrated as the tough guy savior of post-Sept. 11 lower Manhattan - a homegrown hero who rejuvenated downtown when it was down and out. But the acting icon also is De Niro Inc., a business baron who has jacked up ticket prices, unleashed his lawyers on small companies that use the name Tribeca, angered Village residents with a proposed mega-project on the Hudson River - and collected millions of dollars in state subsidies. Armed with $39 million in tax-exempt Liberty Bonds awarded after 9/11, De Niro will soon unveil his newest moneymaker, an 83-room hotel, The Greenwich, complete with a pricey new eatery, Ago. Bettina Damiani, project director of Good Jobs New York, a watchdog group that tracks subsidies, questions the logic of providing a hefty taxpayer subsidy for a luxury hotel. "Precious and desperately needed federal financing is being plopped on projects like this that don't really need it," she says. "Robert De Niro - like Goldman Sachs and American Express - already has access to capital and other resources for development projects that smaller businesses who are most in need in lower Manhattan do not have." The Greenwich will open on Greenwich St., the epicenter of his expanding empire, on a block known as "Bobby Row," just a short stroll from two of his celebrity-packed restaurants, his gleaming new luxury condo development and his iconic Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Institute and Tribeca Film Center. The festival has relied heavily on taxpayer subsidies since its debut following the Sept. 11 attacks, getting $3.2 million in state grants to the for-profit film festival and $800,000 to the nonprofit film institute. David Poland, publisher of Movie City News and the Hot Blog, worries the festival has become more a vehicle for promoting De Niro than promoting Tribeca. Noting that ticket Continue Reading