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Watch Oscar Nominee Richard E. Grant’s Touching Celebration

The announcement of the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards this morning undoubtedly brought disappointment for those left out, and non-stop elation for the nominees. One of those nominees was actor Richard E. Grant, who was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Richard E. Grant responded to his nomination with a touching celebration. Check it out:

The veteran actor who been in the industry for decades, so to finally get his first Oscar nomination is overwhelming and speaks to a lifetime of hard work to get to this place. Richard E. Grant seems to reflect on that journey in this video from his Twitter account, showing where he lived years ago and how far he has come from that cheap one-room apartment to the point that he now has an Oscar nomination.

It’s a touching way to celebrate the nomination and shows that Richard E. Grant remembers exactly where he came from and the long road it took him to get to this place.

Richard E. Grant seems genuinely surprised at his nomination and he can’t contain his excitement over it. You’ve got to feel happy for him watching this video and seeing how much the actor is positively glowing and can’t keep the infectious smile off his face. It’s awesome to see this kind of unbridled joy. and goes to show how much the Oscars and the respect of one’s peers means to actors like Grant.

In his celebratory tweet, Richard E. Grant thanks the Academy as well as Can You Ever Forgive Me? director Marielle Heller and his co-star and fellow Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy. He also notes the incredible company he now finds himself in with his fellow nominees.

Opposite Richard E. Grant in the Best Supporting Actor category are nominees Adam Driver for BlacKkKlansman, Sam Elliott for A Star is Born, Mahershala Ali for Green Book and Sam Rockwell for Vice. That is fine company to be in indeed, and it’s hard not to root for Richard E. Grant– seeing how much this means to the actor.

This isn’t the first nomination that Richard E. Grant has received this awards season for his performance as Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me? He also received nominations at the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, the BAFTAs and the Screen Actors Guild Awards for his performance.

The 91st Academy Awards airs on February 24 on ABC. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your Oscars coverage and check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the movies heading to theaters this year.

Ryan Reynolds Is Already Working On Deadpool 3

While comic book movies are everywhere, there are certain properties that have managed to find something totally unique, and stand out in the somewhat bloated genre. Chief among them is Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool franchise, which broke new ground with its R-rating, and has quickly become one of the most popular franchises out there. So when should we expect the threequel?

The status of Deadpool 3 and X-Force has been unclear, as the looming merger between Disney and 20th Century Fox puts the future of the greater X-Men franchise in jeopardy. Obviously the House of Mouse will want to keep Wade Wilson on board given his popularity, and now it appears that Ryan Reynolds is actually already developing the threequel.

This news comes to us from Variety, who caught up with Ryan Reynolds as he was doing Deadpool 2 press in China. According that report, Ryan Reynolds and his team are currently hard at work crafting the story of Deadpool 3, and it sounds like the threequel will be something wholly unique to the franchise. Reynolds told the outlet that the next blockbuster will be “looking to go in a completely different direction.” This includes the handling of the title character, with the actor/producer lamenting how “often, they reboot or change a character maybe like four movies too late.”

This is an especially enticing bit of intel, and shows that Ryan Reynolds plans on continue to innovate and surprise when it comes to Deadpool’s characterization onscreen, as well as the franchise itself. While Deadpool and the first sequel weren’t completely dissimilar projects, Deadpool 3 sounds like it’ll be something totally unique to the previous installments. Regarding what changes are coming, that’s a total mystery at this point.

Ryan Reynolds’ update on the state of Deadpool 3 may also be a relief for fans of the franchise, who are unsure of what will happen to Deadpool once Disney and Fox’s merger becomes official. The plans for the merger are still a mystery to the public, with Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld recently claiming that the X-Force movie was dead in the water due to negotiations. But it seems that report might not be true, with Reynolds actively developing the growing franchise, despite the deal with Disney.

As for what Deadpool 3 might include, it seems like just about anything is possible. Ryan Reynolds and his collaborators have shown a ton of bravery and a wholly original vision for the franchise, keeping audiences on their toes through the use of time travel, breaking the fourth wall, and including unexpected X-Men characters. Reynolds’ comments make it seem like the change may be Wade Wilson’s characterization. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all shakes up

It’s currently unclear when Deadpool 3 and/or X-Force will arrive in theaters. In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies this year.

Would Hugh Jackman Make The Greatest Showman 2? Here’s What He Says

The Greatest Showman was a massive success, so of course, people want to know if we could get a sequel. While the movie may not have necessarily lent itself to an obvious follow-up, that doesn’t mean it could never happen. In fact, Hugh Jackman says that he loved making the first one so much he would absolutely be on board for a sequel if it felt like the right thing to do. According to Jackman…

While Hugh Jackman doesn’t elaborate on what “right thing to do” means exactly, we can probably safely assume he’s talking about a good script with a story worth telling. The story of The Greatest Showman follows Jackman as P.T. Barnum through most of his life, and ends with him seemingly leaving the circus life behind, more or less, so it would appear that the story was complete, but if somebody found a reason to make a sequel, Jackman would certainly listen to the pitch.

And if we’re being blunt, it’s not like The Greatest Showman was a particularly historically accurate movie, so there’s really no reason a sequel can’t contrive a reason to get P.T. Barnum back under the big top one more time.

It’s not too shocking that people would be curious about a potential sequel to The Greatest Showman. The film grossed over $400 million at the box office despite never finishing a weekend in higher than third place. The soundtrack was also a massive hit, outselling every other album last year by a huge margin.

Hugh Jackman does point out to BBC Radio Five Live that there is one potentially large hurdle to any talk of a sequel. The original Greatest Showman was a 20th Century Fox movie which means that the film is now, or shortly will be, the property of Disney. This means that there’s going to be a fair amount of work to be done on the business side of things before any consideration of a sequel could really be made.

Having said it, it certainly feels like The Greatest Showman is something that would fit perfectly within the Disney family. It’s family friendly. It’s a musical. It’s got songs that get stuck in your head. It made giant piles of money. Everything about that just screams Disney. I feel like the studio would be all for a sequel.

Time will tell whether a sequel actually happens. Once the Disney and Fox merger is complete and all the details are worked out you can be sure Disney will be looking at every film that’s been acquired to see what the new company can do with it, so maybe a sequel isn’t that crazy an idea after all.

Why Women Crave ‘French Style,’ and Men Want International Style

A guest at Paris Fashion Week struts into a show wearing a honking cowboy hat.
A guest at Paris Fashion Week struts into a show wearing a honking cowboy hat. Photo: Getty Images

ON MY FIRST NIGHT in Paris to see the fall menswear collections last week, I passed a young man wearing a weathered cowboy hat, a checkered flannel shirt and a pair of “how can he walk in those?” skinny jeans. It was the sort of outfit that would look more at home in a Los Angeles coffee shop populated by ironic Silver Lake hipsters than a side-street off the ritzy, historic Place Vendôme, so I assumed he was American. Yet, as I got closer, I heard him jabbering away in seemingly native French to his female companion. In a shin-skimming black coat and slim pants, she was the very picture of “French style,” one of the many women I’d see dressed “Parisian” over the next week. So why wasn’t he wearing something equally stereotypical: a black turtleneck—or at least a scarf knotted in “this old thing?” fashion?

Google the phrase “French style” and you’ll be bombarded with articles like “How to Nail French Girl Style Once & For All,” “French Fashion: 10 Secrets to Dressing Like the World’s Chicest Women,” and “Why We All Became Obsessed With the Latest ‘French-girl’ Look.” These stories, along with the dozens of books on the topic, such as “How to be Parisian Wherever You Are,” have been a phenomenon for the past decade, breathlessly instructing female readers on how to dress like a modern, espresso-sipping, beret-wearing, Louvre-prowling Parisian cliché. (Cliché or not, actual women throughout Paris seem to happily adopt this young, urban look.) For men, however, no corresponding “French style” template has crystalized. The reasons behind this say quite a lot about how global and uniform men’s fashion has become.

Beige, a store in Paris’s 16th Arrondissement features a curated assortment of brands from around the world.
Beige, a store in Paris’s 16th Arrondissement features a curated assortment of brands from around the world. Photo: Beige

Last year, when Basiel Khadiry was strategizing the assortment of clothing at Beige, the men’s boutique he co-founded in Paris’s sleepy 16th Arrondissement, he never once considered if it should “look French.” Once, he saw parallels between the way French men dressed and their taste in music: Growing up in Normandy, he and his friends would pick whether they were into rap or punk just as they decided whether to dress like a skateboarder or an outdoorsy tween. “You had to choose your tribe,” he explained. Today, though, he said, he encounters few, if any, customers who think that way. “With globalization, you have to choose your tribe less.”

In the age of international shipping, Mr. Khadiry is not restricted to carrying brands from within France, or even Europe for that matter. Within a selection that’s as worldly and compelling as that of any store I’ve visited, Beige stocks just a single French brand (Boivin, a tie company). You can find rakish checkered raincoats from Japan’s Coherence, crepe-soled chukka boots from the venerable English shoemaker Sanders and heavyweight hooded sweatshirts by Camber, a factory in New Jersey. When asked to define Gallic dressing for men today, Mr. Khadiry said, “Parisian style is just a good mix of Italian and English and American Ivy.”

A few blocks away, vintage dealer Gauthier Borsarello operates a basement-level, appointment-only showroom that made me feel as if I’d stepped out of Paris and into Plano, Texas. Beautifully beat-up Levi’s, faded high-school gym T-shirts (I spotted one from my home state of Maryland), plaid flannel shirts and Vietnam-era U.S. military jackets fill the racks. These archetypal American designs have always appealed to Mr. Borsarello (who spent time at Ralph Lauren’s rugged RRL label), but the response from his fellow Parisians surprised him. The biggest segment of his client base? Designers who sift through Mr. Borsarello’s Americana assortment in search of inspiration for their next contemporary collections.

At the latest Paris Fashion Week for men, there was little that was discernibly “French” among on display. From left, UFOs at Valentino, a world flag motif at Louis Vuitton and a sleek grey look at Dior.
At the latest Paris Fashion Week for men, there was little that was discernibly “French” among on display. From left, UFOs at Valentino, a world flag motif at Louis Vuitton and a sleek grey look at Dior. Photo: Getty Images

Days later, some of those designers showed their latest during Paris Fashion Week. The week’s schedule was filled with shows by venerable French labels, but I saw very little that was discernibly “French.” A brown single-breasted overcoat from Dior or a grey puffer jacket by Louis Vuitton lacked any discernible regional hallmarks. As if to underscore this, the last few looks at Louis Vuitton included jackets printed in a hodgepodge of world flags: “We Are the World” in garment form.

That said, two designers, Clare Waight Keller (a Brit) and Hedi Slimane (a Frenchman), who design menswear and womenswear at Givenchy and Saint Laurent respectively, did strike at something truly Parisian, albeit of the 1970s. Givenchy showed flare-legged suits, conspicuously notch-heeled boots and turtlenecks galore in a collection that Ms. Waight Keller said was inspired by Alain Pacadis, a suave 1970s French journalist and legendary nightclubber. Celine’s nipped suits, Breton-striped shirts and anoraks felt Left Bank modish, an attitude that was underscored by the models’ mop-top haircuts. It should also be said that for the past nine Saturdays, one very “French” piece of clothing has filled the streets of Paris: a yellow vest, which all French people are required by law to have in their cars, has been the garment of choice for the tens of thousands of “gilets jaunes” protesters rallying against economic and social issues.

By channeling 1970s journalist Alain Pacadis Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller was one of the few designers in Paris who showed clothes that felt explicitly French.
By channeling 1970s journalist Alain Pacadis Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller was one of the few designers in Paris who showed clothes that felt explicitly French.

The fact remains that though a fashion show happens blocks from the Eiffel Tower, it is received by the world. Today, fashion shows are beamed out internationally in an instant, whether via a brand’s livestream or in Instagram photos taken by editors in the front row. An hour after the Louis Vuitton show, I opened up Twitter to see that over 400,000 people had watched a livestream of the event online. What’s more, once those clothes hit the racks, they must appeal to shoppers in France, Finland or Florida in equal measure. This is true for both men’s and women’s clothing, but some women seem to crave a sense of what might be called Parisian poise that, particularly in this comfort-minded moment of men’s fashion, doesn’t cross the gender divide.

As Beige’s Mr. Khadiry and I walked the streets around his shop, we passed a trio of French teenagers. Each was dressed in sneakers, sweatpants and lightweight down coats. Their outfits were slathered with Nike logos. They were, as Mr. Khadiry explained, not his customer base, which he defines as men who care about “well-made, quality clothing,” but their look is certainly pervasive, not only in Paris, but across the planet. We could have passed those dressed-down teens on any street anywhere in the world. And that, more than anything, is style for young men in France today.

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Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com

The Best Books of 2019

The news is relentless. No one human can keep track of all the memes on the internet. You’ve sworn off prestige TV until Game of Thrones is back. Allow us to make a suggestion: Read a book. We’ve compiled a list of 2019 new releases that’ll please even the choosiest readers. Unpredictable, addictive thrillers. Romance novels to savor over a luxurious weekend. Memoirs that the whole book club will love. Plus dozens more whose plots are as good as their ‘grammable covers. Here’s a guide to the best books of 2019.

So About the Rumor That Charlize Theron and Brad Pitt Are Dating…

A rumor popped up last week that Charlize Theron and Brad Pitt, two of the hottest people on Earth, are dating. According to The Sun, the A-list actors were set up by Theron’s ex-fiancé Sean Penn and have been hanging out since December. Their potential union, though, is like staring into the literal sun. Seriously, Theron and Pitt’s combined beauty is just too much for us mere mortals to handle! Imagine walking down the street and seeing them hold hands. I’d lose control of my limbs! How would our minds even process such hotness joining forces?

Well, it looks like we don’t have to worry about this now. Both People magazine and Entertainment Tonight report the dating rumors between Theron and Pitt are false.

Per People, the two stars met while filming an ad for Breitling watches but they’ve never been romantically involved. “They did a shoot together six months ago,” a source tells the magazine. “They have not been out together recently, and were never dating. Reports of them being involved romantically are false.” This source also added The Sun‘s claim that Penn set up Theron and Pitt “couldn’t be more false.”

ET doubled down on this, too, with a source telling the outlet, “They are both very single at the moment so it’s no surprise people are talking romance. They truly would make a Hollywood power couple, but at this point, they’re friends.”

“Brad and Charlize have known each other for years and recently became even better friends after working together,” ET‘s source added, referring to the Breitling campaign. “They enjoy each other’s company and connect on many levels. Brad and Charlize have a lot of mutual friends and share their love of acting, but neither of them are ready for a serious relationship right now.”

Well, that settles things, I guess. Here’s the Breitling commercial both People and ET reference:

Theron and Penn split in June 2015. Meanwhile, the Internet broke in September 2016 when Pitt and Angelina Jolie confirmed they were divorcing after their decade-plus relationship. For now, at least, it appears Charlize Theron and Brad Pitt are both just single, hot friends.

Related Stories:

Charlize Theron on the Power of Being a Woman

Charlize Theron on Filming Atomic Blonde: “I Can’t Believe We Actually Did That”

Charlize Theron Speaks Out at AIDS Conference: “We Value Some Lives More Than Others”

Dry Skin Makeup That Won’t Flake or Cake

Each season comes with its own uniquely annoying beauty challenges. In the summer, it’s finding a way to keep foundation and eyeliner on our face through sweat and oil. Impossible as that might be, putting on makeup with dry skin in the winter is somehow even worse. Between the dry air sucking moisture out of your hands, hair, lips and face, the idea of putting makeup on top of that is just unappealing. But rather than throw in the towel and skip makeup until spring gets here, we wanted a better way.

So we went to one of the best celebrity makeup artists in the game, Katie Jane Hughes, for her tips on how to apply makeup when your skin is dry and flaky. True to excellent form, Hughes let us in on exactly how she pulls off the incredible looks she demonstrates on Instagram, no matter what winter skin issues the season serves up. All that winter brings, from chapped lips to the weird flaky dry patch that shows up next to your mouth around midday—consider them resolved. Welcome to a better world. Meet back here in spring, and we’ll get to allergies.

Bradley Cooper Deserved An Oscar Nomination For Best Director

The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards were announced bright and early this morning. And as is the case every year, there is a lot to discuss. Just like every other year, a lot of that discussion will be around who got snubbed. Snubs are a natural product of awards, where only a certain number of people can be recognized. This is an evaluation of art, not a mathematical measurement, it is subjective and imperfect and susceptible to multiple forces that have nothing to do with the art itself. That means that fair or unfair, like it or not, someone inevitably always gets left out.

Still, Bradley Cooper deserved an Oscar nomination for Best Director for A Star is Born.

When the five nominees for Best Director were read off, Bradley Cooper’s name was glaring in its absence. The category consists of Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, Pawel Pawlikowski for Cold War, Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite and Adam McKay for Vice. It is a fine list of deserving candidates, but Bradley Cooper deserved to be among them. More than that, he was expected to be.

There is no such thing as a sure thing, especially when it comes to Oscar prognostication. But Bradley Cooper getting a Best Director nod for A Star is Born seemed about as much a lock as anything else this year. This wasn’t a case of everyone hoping he would get in against all odds and despite evidence to the contrary. Bradley Cooper has been a mainstay of awards season, and that led us to believe that he would be recognized with a nomination for the industry’s highest honor.

Bradley Cooper netted a Best Director nomination at the Golden Globes, and although the award wound up going to Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, at least Cooper was among the nominees. Bradley Cooper also received a record 5 nominations for the BAFTA Award, including for Best Director. The Directors Guild of America nominations are usually a pretty good indicator of the eventual Oscar nominees and Bradley Cooper received a DGA nomination for Best Director there too.

This is not to mention the many nominations that A Star is Born itself has garnered throughout awards season. The point is that there were plenty of reasons and historical indicators to think that Bradley Cooper was a shoe-in for a Best Director nomination. And with good reason, because what he did with A Star is Born is nothing short of incredible.

With A Star is Born, Bradley Cooper took a story told multiple times before and remade it for modern audiences. And in doing so, he crafted an emotional musical epic. This is a deftly directed film that is both hugely entertaining and has a deeply human core. Bradley Cooper makes smart choices that have a huge impact and help this film to say something.

Everything from the concert that opens the film, to the calamitous awards ceremony, to the heartbreaking end, and all the quiet moments in between are crafted with skill– conveying meaning and expanding his characters. The romance between Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga’s Ally is positively electrifying and the first 45 minutes of A Star is Born alone are deserving of a Best Director nomination.

Bradley Cooper not only directed A Star is Born, but he co-wrote the script, starred in it and sang his own songs, some of which he helped write. He also directed his co-star Lady Gaga, who is relatively new and inexperienced in acting, to an Academy Award nominated performance (to be fair Alfonso Cuarón did the same with Yalitza Aparicio). He also got a stellar (no surprise) performance out of Sam Elliott, netting him his first nomination. Bradley Cooper brought the best out in himself and in his cast and that is one of the primary jobs of a director.

What makes the achievement all the more impressive is that this was Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut; he did all of this his first time out. That shouldn’t be an excuse for him not receiving a nomination either, because Robert Redford, Kevin Costner and Sam Mendes as well as a few others all won Best Director statues their first time out. This precedent disproves any sentiment that a director has to pay their dues and shouldn’t be nominated or even win for their first film.

In addition to being one of the best-reviewed movies of 2018 A Star is Born was also a smash hit at the box office, earning more than $400 million worldwide. A Star is Born checks every box the Academy could want in a film: it’s artistic, critically-acclaimed, it’s about the entertainment industry, and it was commercially successful and that wouldn’t have happened without Bradley Cooper.

A Star is Born was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay. There is often the question of how a film can be nominated for Best Picture if the director, the person most responsible for the final film, isn’t nominated for Best Director and Bradley Cooper’s snub demands that question be answered.

Bradley Cooper wasn’t some hired gun; he was intimately involved in the creation of this film beyond just directing. So how could A Star is Born be deserving of all these nominations and Bradley Cooper not be? This is a snub akin to Ben Affleck’s Best Director snub in 2013 for Argo.

I’m not saying that any of the nominees don’t deserve the honor and I’m not sure who I would take out to give Bradley Cooper the spot, but I do know that he deserved a nomination. Ultimately the Best Director Oscar is probably Alfonso Cuarón’s to lose, but the cliché is true, it is an honor just to be nominated and Bradley Cooper deserved that honor for A Star is Born.

The 91st Academy Awards air on February 24 on ABC. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the big movies looking to make a splash at next year’s ceremony.

Did Bradley Cooper Deserve A Best Director Nomination For A Star Is Born?

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How Did Emily Blunt Not Get A Best Actress Oscar Nomination For Mary Poppins Returns?

It’s too damn early in the morning on the west coast when they announce the Oscar nominees, and while I had coffee in hand, I still wasn’t entirely with it as the nominees were being announced. Maybe I was still in shock over Won’t You Be My Neighbor? not receiving a nomination in the feature documentary category. I didn’t even realize at first that Emily Blunt hadn’t been nominated for Best Actress for Mary Poppins Returns, but now that the smoke has cleared, this is the one Oscar snub that has me the most surprised. More than that, I’m sort of angry about it.

Mary Poppins Returns made a perfectly respectable showing at this mornings reveal of the 2019 Oscar nominees. It received four nominations, for song, score, productions design, and costume design. The musical nominations seemed very likely going in, and the pair of technical nods also make sense considering the film, but Mary Poppins Returns was also expected to compete for some bigger prizes and chief among them was Emily Blunt’s performance in the title role.

Instead, the five nominees were Yalitza Aparicio for Roma, Glenn Close for The Wife, Olivia Colman for The Favourite, Lady Gaga for A Star is Born, and Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

I’m not going to get into the question of whether or not these five nominations were deserved. There are certainly some surprises in this list, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fine performances worthy of recognition. That doesn’t make Emily Blunt‘s lack of nomination any less surprising.

From the beginning, Mary Poppins Returns was a movie that risked being buried under a mountain of its own expectation. The original Mary Poppins was itself an Oscar winner. It was nominated for Best Picture and it won the Oscar for Julie Andrews‘ performance in the title role. It’s also one of Disney’s most beloved films. The idea of even making a sequel was a massive risk. How could such a movie possibly live up to the incredible expectations?

However, in the opinion of myself, and a lot of other people, Mary Poppins Returns succeeded in doing everything it set out to do. Emily Blunt was the centerpiece of it all. If she had faltered then the movie doesn’t work, but she nailed the performance. She accomplished everything the role required, which was a lot, and then some.

From almost the instant Emily Blunt comes on the screen, you forget for two hours that the role of Mary Poppins was ever played by somebody else. She makes it her own and she becomes Mary Poppins. The glint in her eye and the smile when nobody is looking are pure magic.

While there are certainly some similarities between Blunt’s performance and that of Julie Andrews, those are more due to the fact that the movie is a sequel and less to do with any attempt to be Julie Andrews. Blunt’s version of the character has a bit of a rougher edge to her than Andrews did, which calls back to the original P.L. Travers stories more than it does the Disney original.

While Emily Blunt is able to do new things with the role, (try to imagine Julie Andrews singing “The Cover is Not the Book.”) she’s no less the Mary Poppins that you expect when you sit down to watch the movie. She can be funny and silly (though she’d never claim to be silly) and serious and emotional. Hell, Blunt’s performance of the song “The Place Where Lost Things Go” should have been enough to secure the nomination. There’s an entire emotional journey in that four minutes of song. At least the song itself was nominated.

The proper balance of originality and nostalgia was always going to be the difficult part of making Mary Poppins Returns work as a film, and nearly all that load was on the shoulders of Emily Blunt. It’s not simply that Blunt’s performance works, it’s that it seems to be so utterly effortless. Maybe the Academy overlooked her because the role didn’t seem to be so tough, but then that’s just how good she was at it.

And those are just the reasons the performance was worthy of nomination. Whether or not other factors should ever be considered in these decisions, we all know they are, but that fact makes the lack of nomination that much more surprising. Emily Blunt is a popular actress who has never been nominated for an Oscar, so seeing her get her first would be a big deal.

The Academy has also been dealing with a little problem recently, nobody gives a crap about their awards. The divide between the movies that win Oscars and the movies audiences actually go see seems to only be getting wider. While Mary Poppins Returns may have been playing second fiddle to Aquaman at the box office for the last month, the fact is the movie has made over $300 million around the world. Of the five films that were nominated in the Best Actress category, only A Star is Born has made more, the other four don’t even come close, having made less than $100 million in total between them, though the fact that Roma is a Netflix movie throws off the math a bit. Emily Blunt being added to the category adds another name people actually care about.

It also adds an element of drama into the race that people might tune in to follow. Will Emily Blunt be able to win an Oscar for the same role that won Julie Andrews the prize 55 years ago? Or, will Lady Gaga play spoiler? The commercials write themselves.

Emily Blunt was great in Mary Poppins Returns and she deserved to be nominated for an Academy Award for the performance, but even if we’re entirely mercenary about, there was every reason she should have received the nod. It’s utterly shocking that she wasn’t regardless of which way you look at it.

Maybe I’ve been tripping the light fantastic a little too much. Should Emily Blunt have received an Oscar nomination today or not? Let us know n the poll below.

Should Emily Blunt Have Received An Oscar Nomination?

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Why Forgetfulness Might Actually Help You

Why Forgetfulness Might Actually Help You
Illustration: anna godeassi

Many people worry that forgetting names, facts or tasks on their to-do list is a sign of aging or mental decline.

A growing body of research offers a more welcome excuse: Forgetting stuff can actually be a byproduct of rigorous thinking, smooth decision-making or heightened creativity.

Forgetting can help us block out useless or outdated information and keep us from fixating on a single set of ideas or thoughts. And contrary to the notion that forgetfulness reflects a withering of brain cells, scientists say it can actually be driven by the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region linked to memory.

This doesn’t excuse major memory mishaps. It’s a problem to draw a mental blank when making a presentation, forget to pick up a co-worker you promised a ride or offend a client by spacing out on a critical rule of etiquette. And of course, purposeful forgetting doesn’t include the kind of extensive memory loss that comes with dementia or similar health problems.

Still, forgetting can serve a purpose, enabling us to think more clearly by eliminating interference from competing thoughts.

This pattern is called retrieval-induced forgetting. It’s directed in part by the prefrontal cortex, which controls executive functions involved in mental control and decision-making. It makes it easier to access memories that get used a lot, and more difficult to retrieve memories that compete with them, says Michael C. Anderson, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in England and a leading researcher on the topic.

He likens the process to search-engine optimization for the brain. “The brain balances remembering and forgetting gracefully to facilitate optimal use of memory,” Dr. Anderson says.

Understanding that people’s memories are malleable can be helpful to managers. After one of Susan Weinschenk’s consulting teams had a bad experience with a difficult client, she called team members together for a debriefing and listened to their frustrations. Then, she encouraged them to turn their focus to what they could learn from the experience, and to parts of the project that turned out better because of their work. “Now, you can move on,” Dr. Weinschenk, a behavioral scientist and consultant at The Team W in Edgar, Wis., told them.

The discussion changed how employees remembered the project. “Now when the name of that client comes up, we remember the lessons instead of the bad feelings. And we’re able to laugh about it,” she says.

The mind also tends to suppress memories that are irrelevant at the moment.

The brain undertakes a building process to accomplish this. Mice trained to find a certain location in a maze have an easier time forgetting the training and learning a new route if researchers induce neurogenesis, or growth of new neurons in the brain, when they’re trained to find a different location, says Paul Frankland, a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, an affiliate of the University of Toronto, and co-author of a 2017 research review on the topic. Researchers believe a similar process occurs in humans.

Novelist Jill Shalvis sometimes becomes so immersed in the creative process that she forgets to make sure her shoes match when she leaves home.
Novelist Jill Shalvis sometimes becomes so immersed in the creative process that she forgets to make sure her shoes match when she leaves home. Photo: ZRStudios

Eliminating unneeded details from memory makes it easier to draw general conclusions and spot abstract patterns based on our experiences. A manager might forget that an employee missed a meeting if the rest of her team was there, for example, making it easier to remember more important takeaways, such as the meeting’s outcome.

“Our memory systems didn’t evolve to be good at Trivial Pursuit or ‘Jeopardy!’ but to enable us to be smart about how we think and act,” says Blake Richards, assistant professor of neuroscience and machine learning at the University of Toronto and co-author with Dr. Frankland of the 2017 research review.

Forgetting prevents a memory problem called interference, which causes you to recall incorrect information because it’s similar to the memory you want, Dr. Richards says. This happens when, say, you mix up the names of people who play similar roles—calling your current intern, whose name is Matt, by the name of your intern last year, Mike, or when you suffer the tip-of-the-tongue syndrome, unable to recall a word or name because your memory of a similar one is blocking it.

Forgetting also helps solve another thinking problem called fixation, or a blind adherence to ideas, solutions or designs that already exist.

By clearing the mind of past patterns and practices, forgetting can make way for breakthrough thinking, says Benjamin Storm, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and co-writer of numerous studieson the role of memory and forgetting in creative thinking. “One of the biggest obstacles to thinking of something new and different is our old ideas, our current perspective and things we already know. Forgetting is at the heart of getting around that,” he says.

Michele Woodward forgot about a blog post she wrote a year ago until recently, when a friend posted it a second time on Facebook. Looking back, she’s glad it slipped her mind, because her lapse in memory freed her to write another post recently on the same topic, finding meaning in daily life, in an entirely fresh, new way. “Sometimes forgetting is an opportunity to create something new,” says Ms. Woodward, a Washington, D.C., executive coach.

Deep concentration can temporarily erase irrelevant details from the mind. Novelist Jill Shalvis sometimes becomes so consumed by writing and creating scenes in her mind that she leaves her house wearing her sweater inside-out or shoes that don’t match. When a checkout clerk at the grocery store pointed out her mismatched flip-flops, Ms. Shalvis’s teenage daughter piped up, explaining that her mother’s shoes never match when she’s on deadline.

“I have gone outside to walk the dog and forgotten to take the dog,” says Ms. Shalvis, who lives near Lake Tahoe in California, and owns two Labrador retrievers with her husband. “When I’m on deadline, I can forget what I’m doing while I’m doing it.”

Thinking hard about ideas or problems also can disrupt your ability to remember why you decided to do some other, less-important chore or task, says Chris Bailey, author of “Hyperfocus,” a book on staying productive amid distractions.

He sometimes finds himself walking into his kitchen and realizing he’s forgotten the reason he wanted to go there in the first place—such as picking up a grocery list from the table. “It’s usually a sign that I need to let my mind wander a little, and carve out more space to process that problem or decision,” he says.

Why We Forget

Memories slip away for a variety of reasons that have little to do with physical health:

  • Other, similar memories compete for our attention.
  • We fail to access the information soon or often enough.
  • The memory threatens a valued relationship.
  • Concentrating hard on something else inhibits unrelated memories.
  • The memory evokes unpleasant emotions such as guilt or sadness.
  • The information threatens to undermine valued beliefs.
  • The experience threatens our self-image.
  • We must forget an offense to forgive a loved one.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

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