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ONE. Best Motion Picture, Drama
Hell and High Water, A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.
Tables, lights, café, action. This waitress goes in on hat officers want or don’t want. The order, revolving around a T-bone steak from the famous T-Bone Café. Jeff Bridges, Margaret Boman and Gil Birmingham star. Does the customer get what he wants. Does the café live up to its fame. Is the waitress a pivotal a supporting character as the café itself.
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TWO. Best Motion Picture, Musical Comedy
The Lighthouse Cafe
Operating for over a half a century, The Lighthouse Café near Hermosa Beach makes an appearance in the musical comedy, La La Land. In addition, main character Sebastien played by Ryan Gosling can be seen playing piano with a cup of coffee nearby, ordering coffee from the studio lot café where Mia, played by Emma Stone’s character works. She has coffee spilled on her before heading to an audition, eventually quits the cafe to take a shot at acting in a self written and self directed one-woman show and returns to the cafe at the end of the movie’s trajectory for a full-circle coffee order.
THREE. Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture
Ruth Negga, Loving, Interracial marriage is illegal in the home state of Virginia. The Lovings fight for their love and the love of all and any like them. As they fight, their case goes on to lead a historical precedent and is one of the greatest love stories that move the Supreme Court to a landmark civil rights case. Of note, is the grip on that cup of coffee as a ‘law enforcement officer’ holds it. Can love break even the firmest of grips?
Best Performance by an Actress in any Motion Picture, Fences,
Adapted from the great playwright, August Wilson, who wrote a centennial of plays on the black experience through the century of the 1900’s, Fences is a family tale about a father, a son and a dream.
Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson, a sanitation worker in 1950’s Pittsburgh. The time has passed for his dream of making the major leagues as a baseball player, but not long enough to cease his bitterness about it. When his son, Jovan Adepo nears a similar dream in football, his father hinders his projeny’s opportunity. A lot of conversation and character action happens in the kitchen of this family, where a stove heats more than food, coffee too.
Best Television Series Drama, The Crown
A Netflix original series, The Crown follows the wearer of it, the young anointed Queen Elizabeth, newly married, mourning her father, parts of her private self that must be buried to carry the jewel of aristocracy. From the 1940’s to now it spans fashion across the decades, a culture of formalities in hosting, dining and relationships to an heir owning her rightful place as Sovereign. Tea with the red box please. Keep an eye for Episode Three when over a conversation between the Queen and the Prime Minister hen tea is offered and then dismissed for something stronger. Or, the power of the cup – coffee and tea – in Episode four, seven and eight as a major player in scenes.
Best Television Series Drama, This is Us
A Pittsburgh couple begin a family with the expectancy of triplets. Their story – familial and flawed – shows the humanity of any family, multi-cultural and real growing lemons out of lemonade and creating family traditions along the way. Poignant, heartwarming, meticulously well-written its a plot full of humans for all ages. And, yes, this family knows how to bring coffee into a room.
May the screen continue to be with the culture. Happy viewing.