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August 11: Happy Birthday Viola Davis and Sophie Okonedo


Viola Davis is turning 52 today.  She studied theater at Rhode Island College and then did further study at Juilliard.  She made her film debut in 1996 in a brief appearance in The Substance of Fire, and then had small parts in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight and Traffic, and a more substantial role in the director’s Solaris in 2002.  These days, many people will recognize Davis for her roles in some big budget films, such as Knight and Day, Blackhat, and especially Suicide Squad.

However, her stature as an actress is tied most of all to the three roles for which she has been an Oscar nominee.  Her first nomination came for the role of Mrs. Miller in John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, and her second, her only Best Actress nomination, was as Aibileen Clark in The Help.  Earlier this year, she won her first Oscar, Best Supporting Actress, for the role of Rose Maxson in Fences.

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Supporting Actress Oscar Nominees (89th Academy Awards)


Oscar’s not so white this year, is he? In case you were wondering, that’s a good thing, culturally and business-wise. Also, we’ve got good performances from good movies. There are some familiar faces in this category this year and one which most of us might not know was already familiar. What we also have is the most hands-down favorite of the year. No other potential acting winner is as predictable as this one this Sunday night. A little issue that bit us in the butt last year is maybe rearing its ugly head again this time around, but maybe not to the same degree depending on where you come down on that particular performance. Let’s dive right in!
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August 11: Happy Birthday Chris Hemsworth and Hulk Hogan


Australian actor Chris Hemsworth turns 33 today.  He got his start working in Australian television, notably a 3-year gig on the long-running Aussie soap opera Home and Away.  He made his entry into Hollywood cinema playing George Kirk in the Star Trek reboot, and then was cast as the muscular gentleman pictured above.  He has played the mighty Thor in four Marvel Cinematic Universe installments thus far, with, apparently, three more in the offing in the near future (Thor: Ragnarok and the projected two parts of Infinity Wars).

Hemsworth has also portrayed Eric the Huntsman in Snow White and the Huntsman and its prequel/sequel Winter’s War, and has made films with directors Ron Howard (Rush and In the Heart of the Sea) and Michael Mann (Blackhat).  Although it would be tempting to dismiss him as merely a hunk, it takes at least a little in the way of acting chops to be convincing when tossing off lines like this:

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