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Oscars 2021: Chloé Zhao makes history, wins best director for ‘Nomadland’

At the end of the weirdest Oscar race ever, it’s finally time to hand out the serious hardware.

Taking place primarily at L.A.’s historic Union Station (as well as from the ceremony’s usual home of the Dolby Theatre), the pandemic-delayed 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night bring to a close a truly crazy year Hollywood would like to forget but also honor a new bunch of fresh Oscar winners with the biggest prizes in the movie industry.

Check out below all the live updates from the Oscar night pre-show and the winners from the Academy Awards ceremony (8 PT/5 PT).

Oscars 2021 nominees:See who could win big at the Academy Awards

‘Two Distant Strangers’ takes best live-action short

“Strangers” is about a Black man who gets stuck in a time loop reliving a deadly incident with a cop, and after speaking about police violence, writer/co-director Travon Free quoted from James Baldwin in his acceptance speech: “I just ask that you please not be indifferent to our pain.”
‘Sound of Metal’ wins the Oscar for best sound (of course)

Come on now, shame on you if you didn’t have this in your Oscar pool. This was a gimme for the amazing and innovative character study about the deaf community.

Chloé Zhao makes history as first woman of color to win best director

As expected, Zhao takes the top filmmaking Oscar for “Nomadland” and recalls a sentence that meant a lot to her growing up in China playing word games with her dad: “People at birth are inherently good.” Zhao asked the crowd to hold on to the goodness in each other. “Even though it might sometimes seem like the opposite is true, I have always found goodness in the people I’ve met everywhere in the world.”

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ earns hair/makeup, costume design Oscars

The world of “Ma Rainey” looked so good, and two of the main technical awards go to the Netflix musical drama starring Viola Davis as a fiery blues singer. Hairstylists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson are the first Black nominees (and now winners) in the category, and Neal celebrated “breaking this glass ceiling” for people of color when accepting her Oscar.

Daniel Kaluuya wins first Oscar, named best supporting actor

The “Judas and the Black Messiah” actor ran the table through award season all the way to Oscar glory for playing Black Panther Party Illinois chairman Fred Hampton. He shared the award with his castmates and filmmakers, and also honored Hampton: “Bro, what a man. How blessed we are to have lived in a lifetime where he existed. Thank you for your light. … Thank you so much for showing me myself.” He also found some time to embarrass family members: “My mum, my dad, they had sex, that’s amazing.”
Best international film goes to ‘Another Round’

If you’ve seen the scenes of Mads Mikkelsen dancing around with a beer, it’s from this great, uplifting Danish movie that’s now an Oscar winner. “This is something I’ve always imagined since I was 5,” director Thomas Vinterberg says in his acceptance speech. “Now here I am. It’s real.” He also thanks his star: “Mads, you gave us your finest.” Vinterberg tears up talking about the death of his daughter before filming the movie, in which she was supposed to have a role: “We ended up making this movie for her, her monument.”
‘The Father’ snags adapted screenplay honors for Florian Zeller

“It’s such a great joy and such a great honor,” says French director and co-writer Florian Zeller, who adapted the drama about a man with dementia from his own play with Christopher Hampton. Zeller also thanked his star, Anthony Hopkins: “I wrote the script for him. To me he’s the greatest living actor.”
“Promising Young Woman” filmmaker Emerald Fennell accepts for best original screenplay.
Emerald Fennell wins best original screenplay for ‘Promising Young Woman’

The British filmmaker gets the first award of the night. “I didn’t think this would ever happen,” Fennell says, hoisting her award: “He’s so heavy and so cold.” She shouts out Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell” when trying not to cry, as well as her cast and crew. “They just made me look good.”
Regina King kicks things off to begin the Oscars

The “One Night in Miami” director starts the show a little political – “If things had gone differently this last week (with the Derek Chauvin trial), I might have traded in heels for marching boots,” she says – but then gets into how the movies helped us over the last pandemic year. She runs down all the masks and protocols they’re doing to present the Oscars like a movie and hints that the night will be a celebration of a “creative family of storytellers.”
H.E.R. performs funky ‘Fight for You,’ celebrates Fred Hampton

The Grammy-winning musician starts out on the drums and then grabs a mic to sing her nominated tune from “Judas and the Black Messiah.” She’s backed by a large band and masked dancers raising their fists a la Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton, the Black Panther Party leader whose words are also celebrated during the performance.
Leslie Odom Jr. is the Oscars’ musical ringer with ‘Speak Now’

The Tony-winning performer was cast in Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami” – and played Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” – so you know he’s got some pipes. And the double Oscar nominee (for song and supporting actor) kills it again on the pre-show singing “Speak Now” from “Miami.” Hoping he’s back here sooner than later to entertain a live Academy crowd.
Celeste says ‘Hear My Voice’ to the masses

Next up on the parade of original song nominees was the tune from Aaron Sorkin’s best picture contender “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” British singer-songwriter Celeste sings, songwriting partner Daniel Pemberton plays piano, and the throwback soul tune rocks.
Diane Warren back in the Oscar mix with ‘Io Si’

Laura Pausini gets a little orchestra – plus legendary songwriter Diane Warren on piano – for her performance of original song nominee “Io Si” (from “The Life Ahead”). Maybe this is Warren’s lucky night: She’s been nominated for 12 Oscars (going back to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from 1987’s “Mannequin”) but is still seeking her first win.

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An experimental gene therapy was little Alissa’s only hope. Now, instead of certain death, she faces an uncertain future

Thomas Feldborg and Daria Rokina set off nearly every afternoon to explore this city. They leave from their hotel in the Charlestown neighborhood, pushing their baby carriage, some days heading deep into downtown, others choosing a path along the Charles River.

Every few minutes, Rokina stops to peek inside and check on 16-month-old Alissa. She gently rubs Alissa’s cheek and coos a few soothing words, making sure the little girl is warm enough in her yellow snowsuit and adjusting her sparkly unicorn earmuffs.

Alissa rests better in the outside air. The daily walks allow the couple to relieve some of the stress of not knowing whether their daughter will survive – and if so, in what condition.

Feldborg, 50, has three older sons, and Rokina, 43, has one. Alissa, their first child together, was born Dec. 2, 2019, in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the family lives. For her first four months of life, Alissa seemed perfectly normal. She learned to roll and sit up. She babbled and grabbed for toys.

Then her progress began to stall. By six months when Alissa wasn’t trying to crawl, Rokina took her to the pediatrician. Children advance at their own pace, the doctor assured her. Nothing was wrong.

At eight months, the trouble became impossible to ignore. Alissa was hospitalized, dehydrated and unable to eat. A neurological exam turned up cherry red spots at the back of her eyes, a devastating observation in a baby, because it indicates one of a few genetic disorders, most terrible and deadly before age 5.

Feldborg immediately started Googling. Before Alissa received the diagnosis of Sandhoff disease, an extremely rare condition, he already had stumbled across the idea of gene therapy. If they could just repair the faulty gene Alissa inherited from him and Rokina, she might have a shot at life.

That internet research led the couple to the University of Massachusetts, where in late January, Alissa, then nearly 14 months old, became the first child in the world to receive a full dose of a new gene therapy. If it worked, it would trigger the cells in her brain to start making the enzyme they had been missing, clearing out cellular debris, so they can function normally.

Gene therapy like Alissa’s – a scientific vision for decades – is finally becoming a more common reality in the United States.

Dozens of disorders are now being treated, though most still only in clinical trials, like Alissa’s. Within the next few years, experts say, gene therapies could soon be available for conditions never effectively treatable before, such as sickle cell disease, Huntington’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, some forms of heart disease and a host of very rare diseases.

“The exponential growth phase” of gene therapy has arrived, said Dr. Cynthia Tifft, director of the Pediatric Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the National Institutes of Health.

“Finally, after literally decades of hearing it was just around the corner, we are witnessing some real successes,” said Dr. Isaac Kohane, chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School and head of the federally funded Coordinating Center for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network.

At their best, gene therapies offer the possibility of a cure, truly reversing the root cause of a disease.

But as simple as the idea seems – just fixing a DNA typo – it is incredibly difficult to turn into an actual therapy. Scientists so far have spent decades on each step in the process.

And with such a new procedure, aimed at having lifelong benefits, it’s too early to know whether these approaches will change a child’s trajectory, allow an adult to live without fear and pain, or prevent a disease from ever coming back.

“People are underestimating what it’s going to take to make (gene therapy) work in the short term,” Kohane said, “and under-appreciating how transformative it will be in the long term.”

Finding courage

On her first birthday, Dec. 2, 2020, Alissa received a colorful book and toy. She grabbed for both, excited to reach them.

But by the end of the month, she could no longer make that simple movement. She could barely hold up her head and slipped into silence. Seizures accelerated the regression.

“She went more into herself … she was not very present anymore,” Feldborg said.

He and Rokina felt totally alone deciding whether to pursue the treatment for Alissa. Two other babies had similar procedures with a lower gene therapy dose, but medical privacy laws prevented the couple from speaking with their parents.

There was no doubt what would happen if they did nothing.
For babies with Alissa’s disorder and a “cousin” condition called Tay-Sachs disease, “their quality of life is essentially vegetative,” Tifft said. Feeding tubes and other supportive care can keep them alive for a while. But they all die by the time they should be entering kindergarten.

So, as Feldborg said, the pair decided to “let hope conquer the fears.” It was simply too awful to watch her decline without trying anything when they were among the first families in history who could try something.

But even as he and Rokina packed and boarded a plane for the U.S. in early January, they were tormented by the idea that the therapy might only keep Alissa alive longer in the same miserable state.

“Instead of having this cruel, short life of two, three, maybe four years, maybe she will just have a cruel, long life,” Feldborg said, while walking through a park on a brisk, early spring afternoon. “That’s what we were fearing.”

On Jan. 26, after weeks of testing to make sure she was still a good candidate and prepare her for the procedure, Alissa was wheeled into an operating room at UMass Memorial Medical Center in nearby Worcester for brain surgery

Researchers felt that the best way to unclog her brain cells was to inject the gene therapy directly into her thalamus, two oval structures deep inside the brain that act as sort of a highway junction, connecting paths from many parts of the brain. Doctors used an image-guided robotic arm to ensure it got to the right spot.

The next day, the same gene therapy was infused into the fluid around her spinal cord so it could penetrate the nerves there.

If it worked as planned, the added genes would instruct cells throughout her nervous system and brain to start producing the missing enzyme.

“You don’t actually need a lot of enzyme activity in order for the neurons to function better,” said Dr. Pavan Cheruvu, CEO of Sio Gene Therapies, the New York-based biotech company running the trial and paying the full cost of Alissa’s treatment and her parents’ stay in the U.S.

One previous child had received the thalamic surgery, but there wasn’t enough of the therapy available to give her a full dose. So far, her condition has been stable at a time when most kids with the condition decline, said Dr. Terence Flotte, dean of the UMass Medical School, who is leading Alissa’s trial. Another child got the spinal injection but not the thalamic one.

Alissa was the first to get a full dose in both places. Later patients in the trial will get an even higher dose. Feldborg and Rokina hope Alissa got enough to make a profound and positive difference in the course of her life.

https://online-tvchannel.org/

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Oscars 2021: Daniel Kaluuya wins best supporting actor for ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

At the end of the weirdest Oscar race ever, it’s finally time to hand out the serious hardware.

Taking place primarily at L.A.’s historic Union Station (as well as from the ceremony’s usual home of the Dolby Theatre), the pandemic-delayed 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night bring to a close a truly crazy year Hollywood would like to forget but also honor a new bunch of fresh Oscar winners with the biggest prizes in the movie industry.

Check out below all the live updates from the Oscar night pre-show and the winners from the Academy Awards ceremony (8 PT/5 PT).

Daniel Kaluuya wins first Oscar, named best supporting actor

The “Judas and the Black Messiah” actor ran the table through award season all the way to Oscar glory for playing Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton. He shared the award with his castmates and filmmakers, and also honored Hampton: “Bro, what a man. How blessed we are to have lived in a lifetime where he existed. Thank you for your light. … Thank you so much for showing me myself.”

Best international film goes to ‘Another Round’

If you’ve seen the scenes of Mads Mikkelsen dancing around with a beer, it’s from this great, uplifting Danish movie that’s now an Oscar winner. “This is something I’ve always imagined since I was 5,” director Thomas Vinterberg says in his acceptance speech. “Now here I am. It’s real.” He also thanks his star: “Mads, you gave us your finest.” Vinterberg tears up talking about the death of his daughter before filming the movie, in which she was supposed to have a role: “We ended up making this movie for her, her monument.”

‘The Father’ snags adapted screenplay honors for Florian Zeller

“It’s such a great joy and such a great honor,” says French director and co-writer Florian Zeller, who adapted the drama about a man with dementia from his own play with Christopher Hampton. Zeller also thanked his star, Anthony Hopkins: “I wrote the script for him. To me he’s the greatest living actor.”

Emerald Fennell wins best original screenplay for ‘Promising Young Woman’

The British filmmaker gets the first award of the night. “I didn’t think this would ever happen,” Fennell says, hoisting her award: “He’s so heavy and so cold.” She shouts out Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell” when trying not to cry, as well as her cast and crew. “They just made me look good.”

Regina King kicks things off to begin the Oscars

The “One Night in Miami” director starts the show a little political – “If things had gone differently this last week (with the Derek Chauvin trial), I might have traded in heels for marching boots,” she says – but then gets into how the movies helped us over the last pandemic year. She runs down all the masks and protocols they’re doing to present the Oscars like a movie and hints that the night will be a celebration of a “creative family of storytellers.”
H.E.R. performs funky ‘Fight for You,’ celebrates Fred Hampton

The Grammy-winning musician starts out on the drums and then grabs a mic to sing her nominated tune from “Judas and the Black Messiah.” She’s backed by a large band and masked dancers raising their fists a la Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton, the Black Panther Party leader whose words are also celebrated during the performance.
Leslie Odom Jr. is the Oscars’ musical ringer with ‘Speak Now’

The Tony-winning performer was cast in Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami” – and played Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” – so you know he’s got some pipes. And the double Oscar nominee (for song and supporting actor) kills it again on the pre-show singing “Speak Now” from “Miami.” Hoping he’s back here sooner than later to entertain a live Academy crowd.
Celeste says ‘Hear My Voice’ to the masses

Next up on the parade of original song nominees was the tune from Aaron Sorkin’s best picture contender “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” British singer-songwriter Celeste sings, songwriting partner Daniel Pemberton plays piano, and the throwback soul tune rocks

Diane Warren back in the Oscar mix with ‘Io Si’

Laura Pausini gets a little orchestra – plus legendary songwriter Diane Warren on piano – for her performance of original song nominee “Io Si” (from “The Life Ahead”). Maybe this is Warren’s lucky night: She’s been nominated for 12 Oscars (going back to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from 1987’sMannequin“) but is still seeking her first win.

https://online-tvchannel.org/

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‘Manifest,’ ‘The Rookie,’ ‘For Life’: Vote for your favorites in USA TODAY’s Save Our Shows poll

It’s time to save your favorite show.USA TODAY’s 24th annual Save Our Shows poll asks you to pick your favorites among 25 endangered sitcoms and dramas fighting for survival on the major broadcast networks. Don’t worry: Fan favorites like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “This Is Us” are safe, even if a contract or two needs signing.

But this year’s list of series hovering “on the bubble” between renewal and cancellation includes a long-running comedy (“The Goldbergs”), a cult favorite (“Manifest”), newer entries ranging from Dwayne Johnson’s “Young Rock” to “All Rise” and last year’s winner, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” which won extraordinary support from a record 67% of 2020 respondents – and a second season. For some shows, it’s simply too soon to tell how they’ll perform: NBC’s “Law & Order: Organized Crime” and CBS’ “United States of Al” premiered only last week.
See the endangered series
Photo gallery

Also among this year’s crop: ABC’s “For Life,” a drama based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a wrongfully convicted Black man who became a jailhouse lawyer to help himself and others. “It’s a relevant show that needs to be seen,” says series star Nicholas Pinnock, who hopes for a third season. “There’s more to the story; we’re not finished yet.” (But not for CBS’ “MacGyver” remake, canceled after the poll was published; the drama will end its five-season run on April 30.)

Which will stay and which will go? You can have your say, for a limited time, before the networks make their own calls ahead of their 2021-2022 schedule announcements in mid-May.

Save Our Shows 2021: Vote now to save ‘Young Rock,’ ‘Call Me Kat,’ ‘For Life,’ more(1:24)
USA TODAY TV Editor Gary Levin explains this year’s Save Our Shows poll. Plus, Nicholas Pinnock explains why ABC’s “For Life” should get your vote.
Entertain This!, USA TODAY

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Central Michigan quarterback John Keller hospitalized after shooting; condition improving

Quarterback John Keller and another Central Michigan University student were hospitalized after a shooting at an apartment complex a few miles from the campus early Saturday morning.

Central Michigan president Bob Davies said the pair were Keller, 20, and senior Tyler Bunting, 23. Bunting was initially listed in stable condition and Keller in serious condition by the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office, but that was updated Sunday afternoon.

“The two men that were injured in the shooting off campus yesterday are recovering,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

Keller didn’t play in a game as a freshman for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2018 as a walk-on from North Canton Hoover High. After Cincinnati, he attended Pearl River Community College before committing to Central Michigan in 2020. He sat out last season.

An investigation determined several subjects arrived at a party, and shortly after, a fight broke out, the student newspaper CM Life reported.

According to the sheriff’s press release, someone went to a vehicle during the fight, retrieved a weapon and then started firing at the party.

“I and many other CMU staff have personally reached out to each of the students and their families to offer support,” Davies said in a statement. “We are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. Please join me in hoping for a speedy recovery for both individuals.

“Local law enforcement, led by the Isabella County Sherriff, continues to investigate the incident and is searching for the suspect or suspects involved.”

https://online-tvchannel.org/