Entertainment

Latinos Have A Long History Of Being Nominated At The Academy Awards With Some Major Wins

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“Roma” is obviously the talk of the town leading up to the Academy Awards ceremony, but Latino talent has made itself heard for decades. Actors, directors and cinematic craftspeople have been nominated and sometimes been declared the winners. For example, Mexican directors have won four out of the last five Best Director Oscars. Here’s a list of some of the standouts of Latino origin in Oscar’s famed history. This year “Roma” could indeed make history as the first Spanish-language film to win as Best Picture.

Here’s a brief look into the history of Latinos are the Oscars and the wins and nominations that validated our work in the industry.

Salma Hayek: nominated for “Frida”

Category: Best Actress in a Leading Role

Year: 2002

Credit: Frida / Miramax Films

Now that the can of worms concerning Harvey Weinstein is open and that we know that he bullied Salma all throughout the production of this film, we are even prouder of her. She gave us a performance for the ages despite the dire circumstances in which she had to embody Mexico’s most famous painter.

Guillermo Del Toro: nominated for “Pan’s Labyrinth” (El laberinto del fauno)

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 2006

Credit: Pan’s Labyrinth / Estudios Picasso, Wild Bunch, Tequila Gang

Del Toro first got the spotlight with this amazing fantasy film. He didn’t win, losing to the German “The Lives of Others,” but he certainly made an impact.

 

Adriana Barraza: nominated for “Babel”

Category: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Year: 2006

Credit: Babel / Paramount Pictures

The veteran telenovela actress impressed us with her portrayal of a nanny caught in the midst of a terrible twist of fate. Her character was tender, yet brave.

Benicio del Toro: win for “Traffic”

Category: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Year: 2001

Credit: Traffic / Compulsion Inc.

We can forgive this Puerto Rican actor his fake Tijuana accent. Through his imposing figure, he could really communicate the violence and despair involved in the cartel wars, north and south of the border.

Guillermo Del Toro: win for “The Shape of Water”

Categories: Best Director and Best Picture

Year: 2018

Credit: guillermo-del-toro-shape-of-water-bts. Digital image. Variety.

His reimagining of fairy tales set in the Cold War era is an impressive feat, a lovely ode to the monsters he loves. It is a spectacular achievement in film.

Alfonso Cuarón: win for “Gravity”

Category: Best Director

Year: 2014

Credit: cuaron_gravity. Digital image. Variety

This movie is a miracle. Not even Stanley Kubrick had made us feel like we were in space. Cuarón’s mastery of cinematic space left the Academy speechless and for good reason.

Alejandro González Iñárritu: win for “Birdman”

Categories: Best Director and Best Picture

Year: 2015

Credit: birdman-alejandro-gonzc3a1lez-ic3b1c3a1rritu. Digital image. Variety.

The Mexican director had already been nominated for “Babel,” but with “Birdman” he actually had fun! And it shows. His take on the state of the movie industry won the top prizes in the 2015 ceremony and established him as a powerhouse in Hollywood.

Alejandro González Iñárritu: win for “The Revenant”

Category: Best Director

Year: 2016

Credit: therevenantinterview-932×501. Digital image. Deadline.

Oops, I did it again. Yes, the director repeated the feat with this extremely violent yet beautiful film that also gave Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar after tons of nominations.

Juan J. Campanella: win for “The Secret in Their Eyes” (El secreto de sus ojos)

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 2010

Credit: The Secret in Their Eyes / Tornasol Films

This is perhaps one of the best Latin American films ever made. A brainy and emotional take on the scars that the military dictatorship on Argentina left for people to deal with. Ricardo Darin is in his element, a true acting legend.

Demián Bichir: nominated for “A Better Life”

Category: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Year: 2012

Credit: A Better Life / Summit Entertainment

An important film about migration gave Bichir the opportunity to shine. He is an illegal worker who fights the system in order to be able to care for his son. Heartbreaking. Brace yourselves for a year or two in the not-so-happy ending.

Anthony Quinn: nominated for “Zorba the Greek”

Category: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Year: 1965

Credit: Zorba the Greek / Twentieth Century Fox

The Mexican actor is a true Hollywood legend and this is perhaps his most famous role. Ask your abuelito and he wi will start singing and dancing to Greek music. Believe us.

Fernanda Montenegro: nominated for “Central Station” (Central Do Brasil)

Category: Best Actress in a Leading Role

Year: 1999

Credit: Central Station / Audiovisual Development Bureau, Ministerio da Cultura, BEI Comunicações

The veteran Brazilian actress was vulnerable and heroic in her portrayal of a woman who cares for a lost child.

 

Catalina Sandino Moreno: nominated for “Maria Full of Grace”

Category: Best Actress in a Leading Role

Year: 2004

Credit: Maria Full of Grace / HBO Films

This Colombian actress came out of nowhere to gather a nomination for portraying a drug mule who also happens to be pregnant. She is wise beyond her years.

Rita Moreno: win for “West Side Story”

Category: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Year: 1962

Credit: West Side Story / The Mirisch Corporation

What an energetic Latina goddess! If you haven’t watched this classic musical, do it a la voz de ya!

Gabriel Figueroa: nominated for “The Night of the Iguana”

Category: Best Cinematography

Year: 1965

Credit: The Night of the Iguana / MGM

The veteran Mexican cinematographer shot this John Huston movie and showed everyone why the Golden Era of Mexican cinema had produced such amazing images.

Rodrigo Prieto: nominated for “Brokeback Mountain”

Category: Best Cinematography

Year: 2005

Credit: brokeback-mountain-lg. Digital image. MovieStillsDB

Alongside Guillermo Navarro and Emmanuel Lubezki, Prieto has shown that Mexican cinematographers are a force to be reckoned with. He worked with Ang Lee to produce majestic images of the American West as the backdrop of perhaps the most celebrated mainstream queer romance of all time.

Guillermo Navarro: win for “Pan’s Labyrinth”

Category: Best Cinematography

Year: 2006

Credit: Pan’s Labyrinth / Estudios Picasso, Wild Bunch, Tequila Gang

What an amazing win for Navarro. He had been working in the Mexican film industry for quite some time, but it was his careful rendition of Guillermo Del Toros feverish imagination what got him the coveted statue.

Fernando Meirelles: nominated for “City of God”

Category: Best Director

Year: 2003

Credit: 7AN54PJB6VFS7N6R6KJULBL2RU. Digital image. Los Angeles Times.

Energetic and punchy: “City of God” injected new energy to Brazilian cinema and made Hollywood look at a forgotten national film industry. Meirelles went on to build a fruitful career in Hollywood.

Carlos Saura: nominated for “Tango”

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 1999

Credit: Tango / Adela Pictures

The most Argentinian film you can think of. Elegant costumes, dramatic plots and dance moves that will make you sweat. With this nomination, Saura established himself as the leading director of his generation.

Claudia Llosa: nominated for “The Milk of Sorrow” (La teta asustada)

Category: Best Foreign Language Film

Year: 2010

Credit: The Milk of Sorrow / Generalitat de Catalunya – Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals (ICIC)

This Peruvian movie deals with the problems and joys of being a Latin American woman. A great film about the new role of Latinas, who are mothers, carers and independent women.

Emmanuel Lubezki: win for “Gravity,” “Birdman,” and “The Revenant.”

Category: Best Cinematography

Years: 2013, 2014, 2015

Credit: Emmanuel-Lubezki-Failing-Mentorless.com_-e1457105662609. Digital image. Mentorless.

After having gone home Oscar-less five times, Lubezki took three in a row. He has worked with the best directors in the world, including Tim Burton, Terrence Malick and obviously Cuarón and González Iñárritu.


READ: ‘Roma’ Leads With Ten Oscar Nominations Including For First Time Actress Yalitza Aparicio

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Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

Entertainment

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

We all know by now that is no “one way” to be Latinx. Latinos come in a variety of forms, from Black to white, tall to short, descended from Indigenous, African, and European populations. And while Roman Catholicism may be the dominant religion in most of Latinidad, it goes without saying that Latino culture is not a monolith. Latinos practice a variety of religions, from Islam to Buddhism to, yes, Judaism. 

And while most people don’t necessarily think of Judaism when they think of Latin America, there is, in fact, a small but proud population of Jewish Latinos who keep their culture alive through tradition and a strong sense of community. But being a part of such a small community within an already-marginalized community can feel isolating at times. Especially when there are no public role models to see yourself reflected in.

That’s why Tuesday’s news that Disney is debuting a Jewish-Latinx princess sent shock-waves through the internet. 

Walt Disney Television Animation News announced via Twitter that an upcoming Elena of Avalon episode in December would be featuring a “visiting princess” from a “Latino Jewish kingdom”.The as-yet-unnamed princess will be voiced by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, the actress famous for her portrayal of Meadow Soprano on HBO’s seminal masterpiece, “The Sopranos”. 

The Tweet also revealed that the princess would also make an appearance in Elana’s “royal coronation special” next year. Although we do not know any further details of Sigler’s character or her storyline, “Elena of Avalor” writer Rachel Ruderman gave a small preview of what’s to come. “A little over a year ago, I had the honor of writing an Elena of Avalor episode featuring Disney’s first Jewish princess,” Ruderman said via Twitter. She continued: “Jamie Lynn Sigler knocks the role out of the park (wait ’till you hear her song!) Can’t wait to share this one”.

In a move of conscious-casting on Disney’s part, Jamie Lynn Sigler herself happens to be both Latina and Jewish–a giant step for a media giant that can sometimes miss the mark with casting.

Raised by a Jewish father and a Cuban mother, Sigler grew up in New York City as part of a multicultural family.In the past, Sigler has talked about being raised Jewish–attending Hebrew school, having a Bat Mitzvah, and even going on a Birth Right trip to Israel in 2008. 

This episode can serve as an educational experience for many people (including those of Latinx descent) who are unaware that Jewish Latinos even exist. In fact, what some people might not even know, is that the term “Sephardic” (a term used to describe Jewish people of European descent) literally means “of Spain or Portuguese descent” in old Hebrew. In other words, it’s not a stretch to imagine a character of both Latin and Jewish roots on our TV screens. In fact, it’s completely historically plausible!

Naturally, both the Latinx and Jewish Twitter population is super excited at this groundbreaking news.

As we mentioned before, the acknowledgment of Jewish Latinos in popular culture is such a rarity. When the media shines a spotlight on such a marginalized group of people, the advent is worth celebrating. And even though changes are slow in the making, any progress on the representation front is a step in the right direction.

Jamie Lynn Sigler herself expressed her excitement at the news, calling to attention the novelty of her position:

Yes, it’s exciting that the Jewish Latinx population has finally gotten some princess representation, but it’s still a little bit frustrating that we had to wait until 2019 for a Jewish princess. We have a long way to go.

This Latina Jew was incredibly excited at the prospect of having the chance to see her own unique lifestyle reflected onscreen:

The self-styled “Jewyorican” is one of many New York-based Puerto-Rican Jews who identify fully with both cultures. It’s not as rare as people think.

Some Latinx Jews took to Twitter to give some suggestions on how Disney could go about bringing the new character to life:

This Hispanic Linguistics Professor suggested incorporating the ancient Judeo-Spanish language of Ladino into the show. 

This multi-cultural woman celebrated the inclusion of multiple cultures in one character:

Families like hers are the way of the future–at least according to statistics. Although many media outlets still see American families in black and white, the rest of us living our lives know that our identities are increasingly a hodgepodge of cultures. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Samantha Barbash Said Jennifer Lopez Should Not Have Played Her In ‘Hustlers,’ It Would Have Been Better With Cardi B

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Samantha Barbash Said Jennifer Lopez Should Not Have Played Her In ‘Hustlers,’ It Would Have Been Better With Cardi B

Jennifer Lopez cannot believe the incredibly positive reviews she’s getting over her lead role in the film “Hustlers.” She was so moved that she cried on national TV. Last week while being interviewed by Hoda Kotb, Lopez expressed her emotional reaction over the surprising reviews for her role, which some critics say could get her an Acadamy Award nomination. Here’s just a snippet of what film critics are saying about the film that made a big debut this weekend. “Hustlers asks what a movie like Goodfellas looks like with women at the center of the story,” one film critic said. “If nothing else, we get to see Jennifer Lopez command the screen as easily as Ramona does the stage, offering up a seductive awards-worthy performance that makes us remember why she became a movie star in the first place,” another said

There is at least one person who isn’t raving about Lopez’s role, and that’s the one who inspired the film. 

Samantha Barbash, the woman who inspired “Hustlers,” said she would have liked to have seen Cardi B in the lead role instead of Jennifer Lopez. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

The 45-year-old said in an interview with Hollywood Life that rapper Cardi B should have portrayed her instead of the veteran actress, even though this is Cardi’s first film. “I said it from day one, even to the producer. Cardi doesn’t have the acting skills that Jennifer does, but Cardi could relate more to who I was because even though she wasn’t in the same club, we were in the same industry,” she told the lifestyle website. “If Cardi took some acting lessons and shadowed me, I’m sure that she would have played a better role for my character.”

Barbash goes on to say that she is flattered that Lopez wanted to play her in a movie but stresses that the film got several things wrong about her. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

For starters, Barbash wasn’t a stripper at all. The film, based on a 2015 New York magazine article, shows Lopez as a stripper who ends up drugging wealthy bankers and robs them of their money. However, Barbash said she was never a stripper. Barbash actually worked at a strip club in New York City as a hostess. Yes, the other stuff about the drugs and taking their money is correct, but seeing Lopez play her a stripper didn’t sit well with her. Barbash also said that Lopez never reached out to her in order to learn about her mannerisms, which is what actors do when they’re portraying real-life characters. Even when the real-life character is deceased, actors still study old footage to learn more about the role they are playing. You may recall the extensive research Lopez said she did to portray Selena Quintanilla. She even slept in her bed to get into deep character.  

Earlier this year, Barbash said she would release her own memoir about the ordeal (which she did) that got her 5 years probation and said she planned to sue the filmmakers. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

“This is a living nightmare,” Barbash said in April in the New York Post after videos leaked of Lopez on a stripper pole. “So now I’m going to have to do a lawsuit. I’m getting a gag order.” Bruno Gioffre, also said back then, that Barbash was “considering all legal avenues with the possibility injunctive relief, including a lawsuit.” The movie was made despite her legal threats. Today, Barbash is an entrepreneur and owns her own spa business. 

We can see why she would have preferred to see Cardi B in the title role. 

Credit: Instagram/@iamcardib

The Bronx rapper did admit to drugging men and robbing them, just like the characters did in the movie “Hustlers.” In 2017, Barbash was charged for conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny in exchange for five years probation

In March, Card admitted on social media that during her stint as a stripper in New York she too did what the “Hustlers” did in the movie. “I had to go strip, I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you want to f*ck me? Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go to this hotel,’ and I drugged n*****s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do.” 

Soon after that post, Cardi said she it was wrong of her to do that and has since tried to make a better life for herself. 

READ: Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar-Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’