Red carpet filled with color for Oscars ceremony after tumultuous Hollywood year

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90th Academy Awards - Oscars Arrivals - Hollywood, California, U.S., on Sunday - Nominee for Best Visual Effects, Christopher Townsend. (REUTERS)
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2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Arrivals Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Sunday. (REUTERS)
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This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Frances McDormand in a scene from "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," which is nominated for an Oscar for best photo. (AP)
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90th Academy Awards - Oscars Arrivals – Hollywood, California, U.S., 04/03/2018 - Jennifer Lawrence. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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Elizabeth Chambers, left, and Armie Hammer arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP)
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Leslie Mann arrives at the Oscars on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP)
Updated 05 March 2018

Red carpet filled with color for Oscars ceremony after tumultuous Hollywood year

LOS ANGELES: Stars arrived on the Oscars red carpet on Sunday under sunny but breezy skies for an Academy Awards ceremony filled with suspense over which will win the best picture, and whether the Hollywood sexual misconduct scandal will steal the spotlight on the movie industry’s biggest night.
“Get Out” actress Allison Williams, “I, Tonya” supporting actress Allison Janney, supporting actor nominee Christopher Plummer and “Spider-Man” star Tom Holland were among the early arrivals. Women sported flowing blue, lavender and white gowns often embellished with sequins and crystals.
Sandra Bullock, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Black Panther” star Lupita Nyong’o, Jane Fonda and Nicole Kidman are among an eclectic lineup of presenters due to take the stage on Sunday.
The best picture Oscar — presented at the end of the 3-1/2-hour show — is anyone’s guess this year.
Fox Searchlight fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” with a leading 13 nominations, Fox Searchlight dark comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and Universal Pictures racial satire “Get Out” all have a fighting chance, awards pundits say.
“I think ‘Get Out’ seems to have the momentum right now,” said Dave Karger, special correspondent for entertainment website
“Three Billboards,” the tale of an angry woman seeking justice for her daughter’s killer, scooped honors earlier this year, but “Get Out,” a bold horror movie that became a talking point around modern-day race relations in America, won best picture at Saturday’s independent Spirit Awards.
Hollywood also has other issues on its mind, including the sexual misconduct scandal that has brought down dozens of once-powerful men, and lingering questions over racial and gender fairness in the movie business.
The Time’s Up campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace, spearheaded by celebrities including Reese Witherspoon and Ava DuVernay, will be recognized in some form in Sunday’s ceremony, organizers say.
History could be made on Sunday.
“Get Out” director and writer Jordan Peele is vying to become the first black man in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 90-year history to win a directing Oscar.
“Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig could be only the second female to take home that prize when the decision of the 8,000 academy members is announced.
“Every year, the discussion around the awards is less and less who will win, but how many women are nominated, or how many blacks and Asians lost,” said Tom O’Neil, founder of awards website
Host Jimmy Kimmel has the task of navigating the wider political themes with the celebrations. He is also expected to turn into a running joke last year’s embarrassing best picture envelope mix-up that saw musical “La La Land” being declared winner instead of “Moonlight.”
No such suspense surrounds the main acting races, where Frances McDormand is heavily favored to win for her turn as an angry, grieving mother in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and British actor Gary Oldman’s performance as wartime leader Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” is widely expected to bring his first Oscar.
In the supporting actor categories, odds are on Allison Janney for “I, Tonya,” and Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards” after they swept previous awards.

Nicki Minaj shows off her quad biking skills in the UAE

Nicki Minaj recently released a new album. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2018

Nicki Minaj shows off her quad biking skills in the UAE

  • Nicki Minaj just hit the sand dunes in Abu Dhabi
  • She was just in Milan attending Fashion Week

DUBAI: Pop superstar Nicki Minaj just hit the sand dunes in Abu Dhabi and posted a string of photos on Instagram to show off her skills.

“Ride wit Minaj (sic),” the rapper-singer captioned a snap on the social media site, showing her astride a dune buggy in the desert.

She also posted a video in which she can be seen speeding through the desert with her loose hair streaming in the wind. Earlier in the evening, she posted a video in which she runs along a beach in the UAE at night and talks in a British accent, saying she wants her fans to “see the water.”

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Ride wit Minaj

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Before her trip to the Gulf country, Minaj sat front row at the Versace show at Milan Fashion Week.

She sat alongside Leona Lewis, Rita Ora, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, actor Luke Evans and Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni in an enormous industrial space in the modern CityLife neighborhood where the runway show was held, according to Reuters.

“I’m so proud of you @donatella_versace You’ve never missed a beat. So tiny, but so powerful,” Minaj posted after the runway show.

“Loved the show tonight. Thank you for my gorgeous flowers & for playing like 75 percent of the Queen album at the show,” she added, referencing fourth studio album, which was released in August to mixed reviews.

Minaj also took a front row seat at the Fendi show in Milan, taking a turn for fans on her way in decked out in a Fendi puffer jacket and matching leggings and cropped top.

Other front-row celebs included Ferragni with her rapper husband Fedez, leaving home their much-Instagrammed infant, Leone, but trailing television cameras as they toured backstage.

While the front-row celebrity attire was highly branded Fendi streetwear, the runway collection by Karl Lagerfeld was more elegant and subtle, the Associated Press noted.

The artist is fresh off a bout of controversy involving US rapper Cardi B, who infamously tried to attack Minaj during a scuffle at a party held on the sidelines of New York Fashion Week earlier in September.

Minaj and Cardi B were the center of attention as A-list guests reportedly huddled around their phones to watch footage of the fracas.
A person who witnessed the incident, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said Minaj was finishing up a conversation with someone when Cardi B tried to attack her, but Minaj’s security guards intervened, the Associated Press reported.
Video footage that circulated on social media at the time showed Cardi B lunging toward someone and being held back. Cardi B reportedly threw one of her shoes at Minaj.

Here’s to hoping Minaj has a more enjoyable time in the UAE.