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2017 Oscars: Two-sentence summaries of every Best Picture nominee

We know the struggle. Every year, when the Oscars get close, it goes something like this:

You: This year, I'm going to see every nominee for Best Picture.

Inner You: TBH, I'm really just in to see best dressed and who gives the most shocking speech.

>> Read more trending stories

Well you don't have to worry this year because we've got you covered. Without further ado, here's the lowdown on every single Oscar-nominated film for Best Picture -- in easily digestible two-sentence summaries:

"Manchester By the Sea"

This is a film where the least devastating plot line is that a miserable handyman, Lee, has to go home to plan his brother's funeral and take care of his equally miserable teenage nephew. We won't spoil the rest, but we are not sure we will ever recover from the ridiculously depressing reveal of Lee's past (and yet, the whole thing is kind of beautiful).

"Arrival"

Apparently, aliens are actually interested in saving humankind -- if we learn to talk to them. A linguistics professor (Amy Adams) is called in to attempt to communicate with shadowy, ink-dispensing giant squid monsters after they land their spacecrafts on Earth -- and all it really takes is a teeny, human-sized whiteboard.  

"Hidden Figures"

A group of lady geniuses are really the human computers quietly running NASA behind the scenes and simultaneously nailing 60s fashion -- all while putting up with rampant sexism and racism with utter class. In other words, two hours and seven minutes of gloriously nerdy girl power wrapped in a powerful story about the quiet civil-rights heroines who, thankfully, are hidden no more.

"La La Land"

This is a musical -- where, natch, characters do very old-school, romantic musically things like traipsing around L.A. and breaking into random song and dance like no one is watching. But really, the true love story here is that Hollywood is deeply, unabashedly in love with itself.

"Fences"

Denzel Washington is just super, super mean to his son and goddess of a wife Viola Davis for the entire (2+ hour) movie because he's still mad at the world about the end of his baseball career. His son isn't having it, but alas, Davis' character loves him anyway and puts up with all of his nonsense, and we're cool with that, because TBH, the world just needs every second of Davis/Washington screentime it can get.

"Hacksaw Ridge"

This is the incredible true story of a soldier-turned-conscientious objector who managed to save 75 men during WWII without ever firing a single shot. Or -- that movie where Mel Gibson finally managed to get back into Hollywood's good graces after years of exile.

"Lion"

This true story is proof that Google Maps is literally everywhere and can find anyone and anything. A lost child in India who got adopted as a child by an Australian couple grows up to be the seriously good-looking Dev Patel and uses “the Google” to try to find his birth parents, thanks Google, did we mention Google? Google.

"Moonlight"

If this heart-wrenching coming-of-age film doesn't make you cry (like, a lot) then you are not a real human person. A gay man struggles through 3 different phases in his life while dealing with drugs, his sexuality and his emotionally abusive, drug-addicted mother.

"Hell or High Water"

A modern-day western Robin Hood with some pretty epic 'stashes and Jeff Bridges playing the grizzled Texas Ranger he was always meant to be. Two brothers who are about to get their home foreclosed on ingeniously rob the same banks they owe and use the spoils to pay them back.

'Walking Dead' shirt with phrase said by character pulled for being 'fantastically offensive'

The AMC's show "The Walking Dead" is stirring up emotions, but not for gruesome scenes or unexpected endings.  

This time, it's for T-shirts. 

>> Read more trending stories

The Huffington Post reported that Primark, an international clothing retailer, stopped selling the shirt.

The Warwick Courier reported that Ian Lucraft wrote a letter to the store's CEO Paul Marchant, saying it was "fantastically offensive" and "racist."

#Primark removes #WalkingDead t-shirt from its stores after it was branded "fantastically offensive" and "racist".https://t.co/anuuCeQlZd pic.twitter.com/9PiJsJLp3A— Warwick Courier (@Warwick_Courier) February 22, 2017

The problem? The phrase "eeny meeny miny moe," which in the show is followed by the line, "catch a tiger by his toe." However, some historical versions of the rhyme include a racial slur instead of the word "tiger," which sparked the complaint, according to the Huffington Post. 

The phrase is said by Negan, a character played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the show. EW reported Morgan responded with a tweet, saying, "people are stupid."

BBC News reported that the retailer said it removed the product.

Primark apoligized in a statement:

The T-shirt in question is licensed merchandise for the US television series, "The Walking Dead," and the quote and image are taken directly from the show. Any offense caused by its design was wholly unintentional and Primark sincerely apologizes for this.

McDonald’s giving away high-tech limited edition straws at select locations

McDonald’s USA announced Feb. 15 that they would be giving away some super high-tech limited edition straws for customers who purchase a chocolate Shamrock Shake.

>> Read more trending stories

The "probably-more-revolutionary-than-actually-needed" Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal -- or STRAW --was designed by San Francisco-bases design studio JACE and Massachusetts-based NK Labs.

According to Forbes, the high-tech straw is meant to deliver an ideal flavor ratio of 50 percent chocolate and 50 percent mint in each sip of the Shamrock Shake.

The restaurant posted a spoof video promoting the item and the new chocolate Shamrock Shake on its YouTube channel Feb. 16.

>> RELATED: McDonald’s worker comes through for boy with autism

>> RELATED: This is how McDonald's hamburgers are actually made

Select locations worldwide will be giving them away starting Feb. 24, at select locations including restaurants in Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Pennsylvania in the United States. Those not near those locations can follow McDonald’s on Facebook or their local resturant on Twitter for a chance to win a straw.

The full list of locations, dates and times is located at the McDonald's website.

Rihanna Harvard Humanitarian of the Year? Absolutely, here’s why

It’s no Grammy, but Rihanna is winning an Ivy League honor that none of her peers can brag about.

Harvard University has named the popular Caribbean-born singer its 2017 Humanitarian of the Year for her charitable works.

>> Read more trending news  

 In addition to selling 200 million albums worldwide, which is quite an achievement, the Barbados-born and raised Rihanna is quite the philanthropist.

Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter said the internationally acclaimed musician deserves recognition for her good works.

“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” Counter said.

“She has also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program (named for her grandmother and grandfather) for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project,” he said.

The Harvard Foundation has named Rihanna the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year.Posted by Harvard University on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rihanna, who celebrated her 29th birthday this week, will attend the award presentation ceremony next week on campus.

Other Harvard Humanitarian Award winners include actor James Earle Jones, United Nations Secretaries General Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, gender rights advocate Malala Yousafzai and tennis player and activist Arthur Ashe.

Just one more reason to love Rihanna.Posted by College Candy on Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rihanna Harvard Humanitarian of the Year? Absolutely, here’s why

It’s no Grammy, but Rihanna is winning an Ivy League honor that none of her peers can brag about.

Harvard University has named the popular Caribbean-born singer its 2017 Humanitarian of the Year for her charitable works.

>> Read more trending news  

In addition to selling 200 million albums worldwide, which is quite an achievement, the Barbados-born and raised Rihanna is quite the philanthropist. Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter said the internationally acclaimed musician deserves recognition for her good works.

“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” Counter said.

“She has also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program (named for her grandmother and grandfather) for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project,” he said.

The Harvard Foundation has named Rihanna the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year.Posted by Harvard University on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rihanna, who celebrated her 29th birthday this week, will attend the award presentation ceremony next week on campus.

Other Harvard Humanitarian Award winners include actor James Earle Jones, United Nations Secretaries General Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, gender rights advocate Malala Yousafzai and tennis player and activist Arthur Ashe.

Just one more reason to love Rihanna.Posted by College Candy on Thursday, February 23, 2017

A look back at the last 5 movies to win Best Picture at the Oscars

With the Academy Awards airing on Sunday night, Best Picture will be a compelling contest as"La La Land" competes with "Manchester by the Sea," "Hacksaw Ridge," "Fences" and "Hidden Figures."

>> Read more trending stories  

>> The Oscars 2017: What time, what channel, live streamed; who is the host?

>> The Oscars 2017: Complete list of nominees

Here is a look back at the last five Best Picture winners:

2016: Spotlight

Plot: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic archdiocese, shaking the Catholic Church.

Rating: 93 (Metacritic.com)

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy, Stanley Tucci

Other awards: Won the Oscar and BAFTA for Best Screenplay, Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast and more than 100 other awards

Fun fact: Although the movie never mentions it, the Boston Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for the Spotlight reporting team’s articles on the church sex abuse cover-up. The prize citation read, “For its courageous, comprehensive coverage of sexual abuse by priests, an effort that pierced secrecy, stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church.”

Also, this is the first Best Picture winner since The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) to win only two Oscars.

 

2015: Birdman (or the Unexpected Value of Ignorance)

Plot: Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor’s struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown.

Score: 88 (Metacritic.com)

Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, Naomi Watts

Other awards: It won Best Screenplay at the Oscars and Golden Globes. It also won Best Cinematography at the Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTAs. Director Alejandro G. Iñàrritu won the Oscar for Best Director, while Keaton won Best Actor at the Golden Globes.  It won Best Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and more than 150 other awards.

Fun fact: The movie was the first winner that was shot entirely digitally. Every winner before this had been shot at least partially on film. It’s also the first Best Picture winner to have parentheses in its title.

Keaton’s Birdman costume was modeled using a mannequin from when he played Batman (1989).

2014: 12 Years A Slave

Plot: In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Score: 96 (Metacritic.com)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Alfre Woodward

Other awards: "12 Years" won Best Picture at the Golden Globes and the BAFTA awards as well. In her film debut, Lupita Nyong’o won the Oscar and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the film also won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor at the BAFTA Awards.

Fun fact: Before filming brutal scenes together, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender performed a ritual of “making nice.” According to Nyong’o: “We wouldn’t say anything to each other, just a look in the eye and a grasping of hands. Our characters are in such opposition, but we as actors needed each other in order to be able to go the distance.”

 It was also the first Best Picture Oscar winner with Arabic numerals in the title, rather than Roman numerals or a spelled-out number.

2013: Argo

Plot: Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. 

Score: 86 (Metacritic.com)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber

Other awards: In addition to the Best Picture Oscar, Argo also won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. It also won Best Picture and Ben Affleck won Best Director at the Golden Globes and BAFTA. The Screen Actors Guild gave it the Outstanding Performance by a Cast award.

Fun fact: Affleck, a longtime Led Zeppelin fan, admitted he was desperate to use the track “When the Levee Breaks” (from "Led Zeppelin IV"). The band allowed the usage, but Affleck needed to make a very specific change. The scene featuring the song was originally shot with actor Tate Donovan placing the record needle on the beginning of the album, which was wrong: “When the Levee Breaks” is actually the last song on the second side of the album. Affleck later told the Los Angeles Times he appreciated the band’s attention to detail, despite having to pay for another shoot.

2012: The Artist

Plot: A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.

Score: 89 (Metacritic.com)

Other awards: The Artist won four other Oscars, including Best Actor for Jean Dujardin and Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius. Dujardin also won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. The film won more than 140 other awards.

Fun fact: Dujardin was the first French actor to win Best Actor.

This film is only the second silent film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The first was "Wings" (1927) — the first ever Best Picture. "Wings" won just two Oscars, for Best Picture and Best Effects, making "The Artist" the first ever silent film to win Oscars for Best Director, Best Score, Best Costume and Best Actor.

Here’s why you are seeing a red X on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts

You are likely to see a lot of red Xs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Thursday as politicians, celebrities and others support the “Shine a Light on Slavery Day."

The Xs are part of a campaign by a coalition of 16 non-profit groups that is working to raise awareness of the problem around the world. The End It Movement has adopted the red X as a sign of support for efforts to stop modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Appreciate @aplusk @thorn & @ecmassimino @humanrights1st's commitment to the #enditmovement & support of #EndSlaveryAct pic.twitter.com/RpJ9YH5mYH— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 15, 2017

Last week, the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee held an End Modern Slavery hearing. Actor Aston Kutcher was among those who testified to the horrors of human trafficking and slavery that still exists in many countries. 

If you want to take part in the movement, go to the website for the End It awareness campaign. There, you can find downloadable resources, including red Xs.

Or, some are taking red lipstick, making an X on their hand, and posting a photo of it to show their support.

Look for the hastags #EndSlaveryAct and #EndItMovement.

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