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Three Billboards triumphs at Screen Actors Guild awards

Black comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri scooped the top prize at the Screen Actors Gu..

Black comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri scooped the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild awards.

The film about a bereaved mother's fight for justice picked up the prestigious outstanding cast in a film prize at Sunday's ceremony.

It also collected two acting honours for Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.

British star Gary Oldman, hotly tipped for an Oscar for his turn as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, picked up the best actor prize.

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Oldman fought back tears and called the award "a tremendous honour".

Speaking backstage, he sounded philosophical about his success, saying: "So my feeling is: enjoy the moment in the sun, it will eclipse, it always does, and it will be someone else standing up here next year. I'm enjoying it."

'Silence breakers'

The ceremony was dominated by support for the fight against sexual misconduct in Hollywood, with several speeches about female empowerment.

Rosanna Arquette, one of the actresses to allege she was harassed by producer Harvey Weinstein, was applauded on stage at the ceremony as she presented an award, accompanied by Marisa Tomei.

Tomei told Arquette: "You are one of the silence breakers and we all owe you a debt of gratitude."

The pair also paid tribute to other accusers, including Asia Argento, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino.

Anthony Rapp, who alleged he was harassed by Kevin Spacey, was also praised by Tomei.

"We are inspired that so many powerful voices are no longer silenced by the fear of retaliation," the actress said.

Both Spacey and Weinstein have denied allegations against them.

'Watershed moment'

The red carpet was awash with colour after the Golden Globes ceremony earlier this month were dominated by black to show solidarity with victims of sexual assault and harassment.

The SAGs have never had a host before but this year opted to have one, with Kristen Bell taking the helm.

Bell said: "We are living in a watershed moment and as we march forward with active momentum and open ears, let's make sure we are leading the charge with empathy and diligence.

"Because fear and anger never win the race."

Other awards went to Allison Janney, who picked up best supporting actress for I, Tonya, while in the TV categories, Claire Foy won best actress for The Crown, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus picked up best comedy actress for Veep.

Louis-Dreyfus was accorded four more awards and, in doing so, made history – becoming the first TV actress to win five individual honours at the ceremony. The 57-year-old, however, was not present to collect her trophies because she is currently receiving treatment for breast cancer.

Nicole Kidman won outstanding performance by a female actor in a TV movie or limited series for her role as a victim of domestic violence in Big Little Lies.

The 50-year-old star said: "How wonderful it is that our careers can go beyond 40 years old.

"Twenty years ago we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives. That is not the case now, we have proven that we are potent and powerful and viable."

Her co-star Alexander Skarsgard won the outstanding performance by a male actor prize for playing her abusive husband.

Family drama This Is Us picked up the ensemble in a drama series prize, while its star, Sterling K Brown, picked up the male actor in a drama series award.

'Place in history'

That made him the first black man to win the SAG for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series.

Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman said he was receiving "a place in history" as he was honoured with a life achievement award.

And in other awards news, Guillermo del Toro's fantasy romance The Shape of Water took home best film at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday.

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So, we guess this means Beyonce and Jay-Z are OK then

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last..

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last weekend. As you'd expect, it's a statement.

There is arguably no couple better at controlling their own press than Beyonce and Jay-Z. When a video surfaced in 2014 showing Bey's younger sister Solange attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator, rumours of a strained marriage proliferated.

Rather than battle the tabloids, the spouses used the gossip to fuel the creation of two critically beloved, commercially successful records: Beyonce's Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44. And, in them, they offered just as many details about their private lives as they chose.

Beyonce and Jay-Z on stage in France for the 2014 On the Run tour.

Photo: Rob Hoffman

Now the couple have continued their domination of pop music, surprising the world last Saturday by releasing their joint album Everything Is Love, which is something of a sequel to those two solo records. Though they have collaborated for at least 15 years, this marks their first joint album, which they dropped under the name The Carters.

The record is a victory lap from a couple who have mined their relationship for universal truths and then presented them as art. It's a fierce love letter to success, to family, to blackness – but, most of all, to each other.

Artwork for the album Everything is Love by The Carters, aka Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Photo: Karl Quinn

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Lyrically, it primarily focuses on two aspects of the Carters' lives: their marriage and their success. (more…)

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Rachel Griffiths: female characters are finally getting real on screen

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, P..

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Top of the Lake show that female characters are finally coming of age on Australian screens.

In a spirited speech at the launch of a new state government scheme to support more women directors in television, the actor-turned-director said it was exciting to see female characters move beyond "the typical tropes of 'likable, f—able, adorable'" to "more complex depictions of female experience" recently.

Happy to see "more complex depictions of female experience": Rachel Griffiths (left) with Leah Purcell at the launch of #SheDirects.

Photo: Louie Douvis

While she acknowledged there were male directors who created fresh and compelling women characters, Griffiths said the "male gaze" often reduced them to colouring the characters of their male counterparts.

"[They are created to] make him hot, make him authentic, make him empathetic, make him fatherly, make him conflicted, make him grieve," she said. "In the male gaze, we are so often not the gatekeepers; we're not the ferryman. Sometimes the mentor but usually only ironically, like Judi Dench's M…

"Under-written and under-observed, brought into our sexual awareness precociously and prepubescent in order to accommodate the male libido.

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"Often in television we're used by lazy writers and producers who can think of nothing more interesting this week than 'let's have her have sex with X' or 'discover she's a lesbian – for an episode'."

Griffiths, who is about to begin editing the Melbourne Cup drama Ride Like A Girl after finishing the shoot, endorsed Hollywood star Sandra Bullock's recent comment that it was time for women to "stop being polite" about gender equality. (more…)

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Rachel Maddow breaks down on air over Trump immigration policy

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest development..

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest developments in the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

Maddow, who hosts her own show on MSNBC, was reading from a breaking news release from the Associated Press that revealed government officials have been sending babies and toddlers to what are being called "tender age" shelters in the US.

The youngsters are some of the 2,300 children who have been forcibly separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border since the White House announced a zero-tolerance policy on migrant families in May.

"The AP has just broken some new news," Maddow started.

"Um, this has just come out from the Associated Press, this is incredible. Trump administration have been sending babies and other young children – oh, hold on," she said, her voice breaking.

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Maddow attempted to get through the breaking news piece one more time before moving the show over to a guest. "To at least three – three tender age shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers… I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry."

Maddow took to Twitter shortly after the segment aired to say sorry to her viewers. "Again, I apologise for losing it there for a moment," she wrote. "Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile."

She also tweeted out what she had been trying to say in her live read, writing out what was presented in the AP story. "Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the "tender age" shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis…" she wrote.

"Decades after the nations child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents." (more…)

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