TV stars go for the gold

‘War and Peace’ and ‘Vinyl’ are coming soon.

TV review (photo credit: PR)
TV review
(photo credit: PR)
 Once, the idea of a television actor winning an Oscar would have seemed absurd.
Then Flying Nun star Sally Field won two Best Actress Oscars, and gradually things changed for others as well. While almost all actors appear in an episode or two of a television show early in their careers, many of this year’s Oscar nominees have major television roles on their resumes.
Best Actor front runner, Leonardo DiCaprio, who stars in The Revenant, has been in the movies for most of his career, but did start out on the sitcom Growing Pains.
His fellow nominee, Bryan Cranston, who stars in the film Trumbo, the biopic of the blacklisted screenwriter, will always be remembered as Walter White on the TV drama Breaking Bad.
Brie Larson has a good chance of winning a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the film Room, and her breakout role was as Toni Collette’s daughter in the TV series The United States of Tara.
Mark Rylance, who starred in the TV series Wolf Hall, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steven Spielberg’s film Bridge of Spies.
Tom Hardy is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Revenant.
The British actor starred in a number of television series and miniseries, playing such iconic roles as Heathcliff in a 2009 version of Wuthering Heights and Bill Sikes in a 2007 television adaptation of Oliver Twist. More recently, he played Alfie on Peaky Blinders.
Rachel McAdams, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the film Spotlight, just starred in the second season of True Detective.
The Oscar ceremony will be held on February 28 and will be broadcast here early on the morning of February 29.
Alicia Vikander, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl, stars in the 2015 film Ex Machina as Ava, a sexy robot. The creepy drama Ex Machina is being aured on HOT on January 23 at 8:10 p.m.
Directed by Alex Garland, who wrote the screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine, it co-stars Domhnall Gleeson as a man brought in to test the robot, and Oscar Isaac plays the mystery man who sets up the test.
Downton Abbey’s final season is being aired on Channel 1 on Thursdays at 9 p.m. The finale was already aired in most of the world in late December, and if you’ve managed to avoid reading any spoilers up to now, I certainly won’t give anything away here.
Growing up, I loved the series Upstairs, Downstairs and the miniseries of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited so much, I could never give my heart to another group of British aristocrats and their servants. But I have always enjoyed the actors on Downton Abbey, particularly Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Elizabeth McGovern and, of course, Maggie Smith.
If you’re craving another BBC series, a six-part adaptation of War and Peace begins airing Sundays on YES Oh at 10:50 p.m. on February 7. Paul Dano, best known for his roles in Love & Mercy, There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine, stars as Pierre, while Lily James, who played the title role in the most recent version of Cinderella, plays Natasha. The cast also includes Jim Broadbent, Greta Scacchi, Gillian Anderson and Stephen Rhea. Mathieu Kassovitz plays Napoleon.
The series so many of us are waiting for, Vinyl, an HBO drama about the rock music industry in the 1970s, produced by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese, will be aired at 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. on YES Oh on February 15. YES is also releasing a companion documentary series about the 1970s on YES Docu on the same date at 9 p.m. Throughout the month, YES will be showing Scorsese films and other ‘70s classics on its movie channels.
Not to be outdone, Netflix is releasing The Get Down, a series about teens from the South Bronx who get into the music scene in the 1970s and pioneer hip hop, to be directed by Baz Luhrmann. He directed the musicals Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge! and Romeo & Juliet, as well as The Great Gatsby. The cast includes Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito and Jaden Smith. The Get Down will be released in August.