October 25, 2016
        Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams        

Oscars: Special-interest groups speak out on “Speech,” “True Grit”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be held this Sunday, Feb. 27. Ballots have been turned in, so there isn’t much more we can do regarding the lengthy awards race except sit back, wait … and see what a few special interest groups have to say about their favorite Best Picture nominees.

“‘The King’s Speech’ has truly given a voice to the voiceless, hope to those who had none, and courage to those who struggle daily to be heard,” said Stuttering Foundation President Jane Fraser in a release this morning.

The foundation has shown steady support for Tom Hooper’s period drama for months, and used this last frame ahead of the Oscar ceremony to let audience members know, once again, how pleased they are at the dialogue “Speech” has stimulated.

“By enlightening the public to the challenges that people who stutter face, ‘The King’s Speech’ has raised awareness to a level never before seen and won the heartfelt support of the 68 million people who stutter worldwide,” Fraser said. “This movie is far more than just entertainment to people who stutter. Our world has truly been turned upside down.”

From the serious to the lighter side of entertainment … unless, of course, you’ve been bit by a snake.

One company who sells a medication for snakebites claims that Joel and Ethan Coen’s Best Picture-nominated “True Grit” perpetuates the “Hollywood myth” of snakebites by having Jeff Bridges’ character, Rooster Cogburn, doing “precisely the opposite of proper snakebite protocol, although the hero does get it right when it comes to the need for speed in seeking immediate treatment.”

“Although nowadays we don’t cut and suck snakebites like the cowboys used to do, Rooster knew the best thing for Mattie was to get her to a doctor as fast as he could,” said Sean Bush, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda School of Medicine in Loma Linda, CA.

“The same is true today. The difference now is that there is a treatment to prevent the progression of a venomous pit viper bite.”

They do know this is a movie, right?

And speaking of movies, the man whose life story led to Danny Boyle’s Best Picture-nominated “127 Hours” will be speaking at his college, Carnegie Mellon University, during the school’s May 15 commencement ceremony.

Alumnus Aron Ralston notoriously amputated his own limb after being trapped beneath a boulder in Utah. Think he has a few good stories to spin about perseverance and determination?

“Aron’s incredible story has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to millions around the world,” said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. “He turned grave adversity into a learning and teaching experience for all of us. I know our graduates will enjoy and greatly benefit from hearing Aron speak.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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