TOADY — Worst Toy Award 2016

Posted on December 5, 2016 at 11:15 pm

CCFC has announced the results of its annual TOADY award for the worst toy of the year:

The votes are in for the 2016 TOADY (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children) Award, and Pink Fizz’s skin-irritating, endocrine-disrupting makeup set — marketed to girls as young as age three as the “the ultimate glam makeup collection in a box” — took the title handily with 33% of the vote.

The Game of Life: Empire was runner-up (17%), followed by the View-Master Batman: The Animated Series Virtual Reality Pack (16%), Shopkins Tall Mall Playset (16%), Pokemon GO (15%), and Play-Doh Hulk and Iron Man (2%).

Thanks so much to this year’s TOADY partners: EPIC Privacy (which nominated Pokemon GO), Families Managing Media (View-Master Batman Virtual Reality Pack), New Moon Girls (Lulu’s Makeup Set), Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert program (Game of Life: Empire), The Story of Stuff (Shopkins Tall Mall Playset), and TRUCE (Play-Doh Hulk and Iron Man). If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll take a minute to read their great nominating blog posts.

And thanks to all who voted! Many of you left great comments which captured the essence of exactly how “oppressive and destructive” these toys are.

Kaylan Crowther of San Antonio, TX, commented on our award winner so tartly, we may ask her to be a guest writer for next year’s campaign materials! Crowther said: “Pink Fizz Lulu’s Makeup Set deserves the 2016 TOADY. Ages 3 – 20? Hey, you know what your beautiful toddler face needs? MAKEUP. Start having insecurities about your looks already! Need to sexualize your preschooler? Look no further! But wait, there’s more! Because this makeup set doesn’t just contain subtle misogyny, it also has flammable and carcinogenic ingredients!”

Frank Rogers of Washington, DC, said the runner-up, Game of Life: Empire, was “Shameless corporate advertising to kids. There’s more to ‘Life’ than mindlessly giving all of your money to corporations.”

Pokemon GO, the fad of the summer of 2016, earned the vote of Thomas Mason of Scotts Valley, CA. “Children need more time outside, but not looking at a smart phone,” Mason said. “What happened to catch, or playing in a mound of dirt? We have stifled their imaginations.”

Craig Hinch of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, voted for the Shopkins Tall Mall Playset. “I believe this is the worst, and the series in general, as it encourages a child to consume and shop,” Hinch said. “It encourages the notion that shopping and spending money is a goal to achieve, all while disguised as cute characters. It’s using stereotypes, marketing it as something for girls alone (despite boys liking it too) because girls ‘should be’ all about shopping and materialism.”

Mary Ann Jacob, M.D., of Anchorage, AK, voted for the View-Master Batman Virtual Reality Pack. “As a pediatrician, I had a difficult time just picking one of the candidates for the 2016 TOADY,” Dr. Jacob said. “In the end, two things made me choose the View-Master Batman: the fact that ‘virtual’ reality keeps young children from experiencing the real world, and the concern that with this ‘toy,’ children could access developmentally inappropriate images and stories.”

Vicki Bartolini of Franklin, MA, lamented the 2016 version of Play-Doh. “Originally Play-Doh encouraged children to really use their imaginations—to come up with all kinds of scenarios from the simple to the complex,” Vicki notes. “There was no push in any direction—especially towards any kind of violence. The ‘power’ was in the creativity. Let’s keep Play-Doh open-ended to stimulate children’s expressiveness!”

But Lulu’s Makeup Set was clearly the worst of the worst—exploiting the aspirations of very young girls, with chemicals that can hurt them!

Thanks to everyone who voted and helped spread the word. Together, we’re shining a light on the toy industry’s most troubling trends—because children’s play is too important to surrender to marketers.

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Features & Top 10s

Jackie Kennedy’s White House Tour

Posted on December 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

“Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, expands in wider release this week. The focus of the film is Mrs. Kennedy’s efforts to shape her husband’s legacy following his assassination in 1963. But it also gives us a glimpse of her famous televised tour of the White House, the first time most Americans got a chance to see the interior. Her taste and expertise in art and antiques brought an unprecedented commitment to history and design that continues today.

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The Real Story

Washington Area Film Critics Awards 2016

Posted on December 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

This morning the Washington Area Film Critics announced our award winners for 2016.

“La La Land” was singing a happy tune when The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) announced their top honorees for 2016 this morning. Sparkling musical love story “La La Land” was the big winner, racking up seven awards, including Best Film and Best Director (Damien Chazelle).

“La La Land,” a song-and-dance romance about two star-crossed lovers struggling to make their professional dreams a reality, also earned the Best Original Screenplay prize for Chazelle’s adept balance of intimate human drama and heart-soaring musical set-pieces. The film swept the technical categories, including Best Original Score for Justin Hurwitz’s lushly beautiful compositions and Best Cinematography for Linus Sandgren’s resplendent lensing.

WAFCA awarded Best Actor to Casey Affleck for his quietly devastating work in touching family drama “Manchester by the Sea.” In the film, Affleck plays a grieving handyman who is given custody of his teenage nephew following the sudden death of the boy’s father. Lucas Hedges, who portrays his nephew, took home the award for Best Youth Performance.

For her exquisitely authentic turn in “Jackie,” Natalie Portman was feted with Best Actress honors. Portman portrays First Lady Jackie Kennedy during the week following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Best Supporting Actor was awarded to Mahershala Ali, as a sympathetic drug dealer who offers solace to a bullied and neglected young boy, in “Moonlight.”

Best Supporting Actress went to Viola Davis for her searing work in “Fences,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by August Wilson. Of special note, Davis previously earned a Tony Award for playing the same role in a 2010 Broadway production.

The Best Acting Ensemble award went to gritty Texas-set crime drama “Hell or High Water,” starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham and Katy Mixon.

In thoughtfully adapting author Ted Chiang’s short story “Story of Your Life,” Eric Heisserer earned Best Adapted Screenplay honors for humanist science-fiction drama “Arrival.”

Lyrical stop-motion animated adventure “Kubo and the Two Strings,” set in Ancient Japan, was awarded Best Animated Feature.

Best Documentary kudos went to “13th,” director Ava DuVernay’s incisive look at racism and the United States criminal justice system.

Paul Verhoeven’s electrifying psychological thriller “Elle” won Best Foreign Language Film.

WAFCA introduced two new categories this year. For his delicious turn as a big friendly giant who befriends a young orphaned girl in “The BFG,” Mark Rylance won the award for Best Motion Capture Performance. Tenderly playing a different kind of giant who comes to the aid of a child in need, Liam Neeson earned Best Voice Performance for “A Monster Calls.”

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC, given each year in honor of one of WAFCA’s cherished late members, went to “Jackie.”

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association comprises 50 DC-VA-MD-based film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. Voting was conducted from December 2-4, 2016.

THE 2016 WAFCA AWARD WINNERS:

Best Film:
La La Land

Best Director:
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor:
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress:
Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress:
Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Acting Ensemble:
Hell or High Water

Best Youth Performance:
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Voice Performance:
Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls)

Best Motion Capture Performance:
Mark Rylance (The BFG)

Best Original Screenplay:
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Eric Heisserer, Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang (Arrival)

Best Animated Feature:
Kubo and the Two Strings

Best Documentary:
13th

Best Foreign Language Film:
Elle

Best Production Design:
Production Designer: David Wasco;
Set Decorator: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, SDSA (La La Land)

Best Cinematography:
Linus Sandgren, SFS (La La Land)

Best Editing:
Tom Cross, ACE (La La Land)

Best Original Score:
Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC:
Jackie

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Awards

WAFCA Movie Award Nominations 2016

Posted on December 4, 2016 at 1:48 am

I am proud to announce the nominations for the 2016 movie awards from the Washington Area Film Critics Association.

Best Film:
Arrival
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Best Director:
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Best Actor:
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Joel Edgerton (Loving)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best Actress:
Amy Adams (Arrival)
Annette Bening (20th Century Women)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Supporting Actress:
Viola Davis (Fences)
Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Molly Shannon (Other People)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Acting Ensemble:
Fences
Hell or High Water
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
20th Century Women

Best Youth Performance:
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls)
Sunny Pawar (Lion)
Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen)
Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch)

Best Voice Performance:
Jason Bateman (Zootopia)
Auli’i Cravalho (Moana)
Ellen DeGeneres (Finding Dory)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Zootopia)
Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls)

Best Motion Capture Performance:
Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls)
Mark Rylance (The BFG)

Best Original Screenplay:
Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)
Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou (The Lobster)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Eric Heisserer, Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang (Arrival)
August Wilson, Based on his Play (Fences)
Luke Davies, Adapted from the Memoir “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley (Lion)
Patrick Ness, Based on his Novel (A Monster Calls)
Tom Ford, Based on the Novel “Tony and Susan” by Austin Wright (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Animated Feature:
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
Sausage Party
Zootopia

Best Documentary:
Gleason
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J.: Made in America
13th
Weiner

Best Foreign Language Film:
Elle
Julieta
The Handmaiden
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Best Production Design:
Production Designer: Patrice Vermette; Key Decorator: Paul Hotte (Arrival)
Production Designer: Stuart Craig; Set Decorator: Anna Pinnock (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Production Designer: Jean Rabasse, ADC; Set Decorator: Véronique Melery (Jackie)
Production Designer: David Wasco; Set Decorator: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, SDSA (La La Land)
Craig Lathrop (The Witch)

Best Cinematography:
Bradford Young, ASC (Arrival)
Stéphane Fontaine, AFC (Jackie)
Linus Sandgren, SFS (La La Land)
James Laxton (Moonlight)
Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Editing:
Joe Walker, ACE (Arrival)
Sebastián Sepúlveda (Jackie)
Tom Cross, ACE (La La Land)
Nat Sanders, Joi McMillon (Moonlight)
Blu Murray (Sully)

Best Original Score:
Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival)
Mica Levi (Jackie)
Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
Nicholas Britell (Moonlight)
Cliff Martinez (The Neon Demon)

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC:
Jackie
Jason Bourne
Loving
Miss Sloane
Snowden

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Awards
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