Sunday, January 31, 2016

Will 2016 be Leo"s Oscar Year?

Will 2016 be Leo"s Oscar Year?

He is the 41 year old, blue eyed good looking hunk of Hollywood who has earned lots of praises and many accolades in his acting career. He started acting at an early age appearing in the soap opera "Santa Barbara" and later the sitcom "Growing Pains". He has won numerous awards and trophies and is adored by millions of fans all over the globe.

He is Leonardo DiCaprio, one of Hollywood"s most talented and most liked heartthrob.

DiCaprio has fame, friendships and fortune but there is one thing missing from his credentials.Something which every actor desires; the grand trophy the ultimate award ... an Academy Award.

Leo DiCaprio is up for his fifth Oscar nomination this year, after brilliant work in "The Departed"and "The Wolf of Wall Street" it seems as he'll probably win this year as his acting in his latest film "The Revenant" is truly amazing.

At age 22, DiCaprio earned his first Academy nomination in 1994 for his breakthrough role in "What’s Eating Gilbert Grape." As Johnny Depp's developmentally disabled younger brother, he received a nod for best supporting actor. Leo lost to Tommy Lee Jones.

By the time he received his next nomination, in 2005, DiCaprio was an established movie star, having starred in the epic "Titanic," and "Gangs of New York." He was nominated for playing Howard Hughes in "The Aviator," but the award went to Jamie Fox for Ray.

Two years later, DiCaprio was back at the Oscars again. This time, he was nominated for best actor for his role as a diamond smuggler in "Blood Diamond." But it was Forest Whitaker, who won for "The Last King of Scotland".

Many thought DiCaprio would win for his portrayal of a crazy, cunning stockbroker with "The Wolf of Wall Street" but Matthew McConaughey, won the Oscar for his portrayal of an AIDS patient in "Dallas Buyers Club."

DiCaprio also lost as the producer of "Wolf of Wall Street" to "12 Years a Slave".

Leonardo Dicaprio may have a tough competition against Eddie Redmayne of "The Danish Girl" this year and that may be the obstacle in between him and the trophy. Thirty-four-year-old Eddie made a name for himself in "My Week with Marilyn" before getting more attention in "Les Miserables" and then winning an Oscar for his outstanding portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The "Theory of Everything", last year.

Redmayne has played the character of a transgender very beautifully in the "Danish Girl" which is based on a true story.

DiCaprio surely deserve an Academy Award. The question is does he deserve it for his performance in The Revenant? And maybe not just for one film but it's highly likely that Academy voters will think of his body of work more broadly when making the decision. DiCaprio’s depiction of the  bear-battered Hugh Glass serves as the perfect showcase for what have become DiCaprio’s trademark strengths: his surreal portrayal of facial expressions and his physicality.

At the moment, every single expert and pundit at the Hollywood Gold Derby is predicting a win for DiCaprio.

Let's see what happens on February 29,2016...

Oscar or not Leo will still be the ultimate super star for his fans.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lack of Diversity in Hollywood? maybe not...

Lack of Diversity in Hollywood?maybe not
While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is being criticized these days for lack of diversity and for nominating all white actors or directors in all the major category. 
Lack of diversity? 
Yeah maybe because a dark skinned guy or gal is not nominated in major acting or directing categories! 
But which 3 movies captured the attention of Academy Personal in the last 3 years... Gravity, Birdman and Revenant. 
Three spectacular films made by 2 Mexican film makers. 
Isn't that Diversity?
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron are called 3 Amigos of Hollywood.They all are Mexican film makers, who have slightly hard to pronounce names and talk with an accent but are incredibly talented film makers. Inarritu's "Babel," and del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth," were released almost 10 years back which started the sudden surge of talent Hispanics in Hollywood. Cuaron's "Children of Men," debuted at Venice Film Festival few years back and he won best director in 2014 for Gravity while Inarritu won last year for Birdman in best director, best screenplay and best picture categories.He is nominated again this year for The Revenant.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Absent Fathers; those honorable care-givers

The Absent Fathers
“Those honorable caretakers”

I like playing with Sahab jee and Begum Sahiba"s young son. Every morning he gives me a hug, he calls me Uncle. I take him to school. He is such a nice, well behaved kid, reminds me of my younger son back in my Village. Yeah I have 4 kids, two sons and two daughters. The live in my village with my wife, my father and my mother in Khyber Pakhtun Khuaw province in the northern part of the country. There are not many good paying jobs available in my area so I had to move to Karachi to look for a job. I have been living in this city for almost 12 years. I came here as an 18 year old with my father and learned driving cars. My father moved to Karachi when I was 5 years old, he was unable to find a job in our area and he had many people to take care of; parents, wife and two children, younger siblings. I remember he used to send us letters, my mom used to cry after reading every letter. He came to visit us once every year for five or six weeks. He was a driver with a family in Karachi who lived in a big house. They had given one of their servant quarters to my dad to live in. 

My Abu sent money to us every month, we were able to build more rooms in the house with it. Abu worked with the family for 15 years then he became sick. He suffered two heart attacks and was unable to work. I was 18 years old at that time, I went to Karachi to stay with Abu jee and took care of him. Abu jee taught me how to drive a car. After I got my liscence he went back to the village and I started working in his place. 
I was happy that my mother would not cry and that my father would be with her and my younger brother all the time. I was also scared in the big city with so many cars, people, big traffic lights and noise. I did not know anyone...

As time passed I made friends. I went back home after a year with lots of gifts for every one. My parents and younger brother were very happy to see me. After few days my mother said next time when you will come home, you should get married. 

"Why, not now, I can’t," I replied. 

"I don't want another woman live alone without her husband, children miss their father every day of the year, who they meet after every 10 or 11 months,” I can't do it to myself.

"But for how long,” said mother.

I got married to a distant cousin next year. Left my wife live in the village with my family. It’s been almost 12 years I am father now, I see my family just once a year. I tried once to find a small apartment so I can call them to Karachi. I earn Rs 18,000 I cant afford an apartment in this city and keep my family here. Living is not very expensive in my village and my family lives in my ancestral house. 

I miss my family every day, I wonder how long will this cycle continue? Will my son do the same?
Many people from many small villages travel everyday to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. They all leave their families back and make this journey to earn money for their better future. 

Every year thousands of Pakistanis move to Middle-East or Persian Gulf in search of better, high paying jobs. They too leave their loved ones back home.When will our country will have enough good paying jobs for every citizen in every small town. When will all the fathers stay with their children, every day of every year...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Can I build One Pakistan without Disparity

Can I? 

I hear political leaders talking about Naya Pakistan ( new Pakistan) and more Prosperous Pakistan...good initiatives but has anyone thought about building One Pakistan...a Pakistan which is strong and united where everyone is provided the basic necessities of life and a chance to be successful...
There is a sharp contrast in the lifestyles of the rich and the not so rich in Pakistan. The middle class is shrinking rapidly as a matter of fact has shrunk by now.
The rich 10% have too much money they shop, eat, live lavishly... the other 90% barely can survive the 30 days of the month. Inflation has eaten them up! They can't afford anything good...
The focus is always on the owner of the restaurant or the glamorous lady who owns the boutique. They both sit in their beautiful offices and give interviews about the success of their businesses while their chefs, waiters, tailors, embroiders sit in the back in a dark or dingy kitchen or work room in the scorching heat cooking or stitching ...
Why are such individuals not given proper attention or respect, why manual labour is so cheap in Pakistan?
Why people seldom show respect to the "working class"?
Why ? It's the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Is that what Islam teaches us?
The son of a mill worker goes to a very small not recognized school. He may be smart and hard working but he may not be able to get admission in a good college either because he could not afford it or the school he went to did not provide him or her with good education. On the contrary the quite spoiled and very average child of the mill owner gets the best education money can buy in the country or overseas. 
Even education and medical treatment in Pakistan are not granted by availability or by merit but just according to connections or by offering money.
How can such a country prosper?

The son of the Gardner can play cricket with the son of the homeowner but his job will be of entertaining the rich kid. Right from the beginning the poor learns to obey and the rich to command? Why? A person is acknowledged by the virtue of his status and connections not by his character...

So painful yet so vibrant...
Why the gap between haves and have nots growing which political leader will erase it? 
I wish I can get a magic wand to change all this!