The Other Oscars: Our fourth Alternative Academy Awards

A recent meme under the hashtag #OscarsWeNeed, dubbed "Outstanding Background Extra", perfectly encapsulates what The National's Alternative Academy Awards (aka The Other Oscars) is all about.

There he was, an extra standing behind Spectre star Daniel Craig, sweeping as if his life depended on it - even as his broom never came close to the ground. As Hollywood prepares to honour the best of American and foreign cinema in 2016 at the 89th Academy Awards, Arts&Life's film buffs round up all the moments that definitely won't be commemorated on Sunday night.


Best product placement for Kia minivan: Office Christmas Party

Kate McKinnon's Christmas sweater-wearing HR manager stole much of Office Christmas Party, which was filled with not-so-hidden advertisements for an assortment of products (Red Bull, Lululemon, anyone?). But rarely is such an average automobile the subject of such daredevil maneouvres. The crazed scenes of her at the wheel of her trusty bird-carrier Kia were one of many hilarious highlights in what was a worthwhile but uneven comedy.

*Ann Marie McQueen


Best costume that ruined Halloween fancy dress, possibly forever: Margot Robbie/Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad)

Once upon a time, Margot Robbie played unremarkably attired semi-airhead Donna on cult Australian soap opera Neighbours. At which point, you probably wouldn't have predicted she would blossom into a glamorous Hollywood star. Nevertheless, her get-up as damaged damsel-causing-distress Harley Quinn became the female fancy-dress look last Halloween (backed up by stats from Google Trends' Frightgeist site). Sadly, as thousands of girls of often questionable age followed the blind rush to transform themselves into sanitarium-bound school cheerleaders, few stopped to ask: but what if we just cut two eyeholes in a bed sheet, instead?

* Adam Workman


Most gratuitous pole-dancing scene: Shailene Woodley (Snowden)

Oliver Stone’s biopic about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden strives for historical accuracy, but did it really need a cutaway to Shailene Woodley pole-dancing? Playing Snowden’s performance artist girlfriend Lindsay Mills, Woodley looks pro. But it’s so out-of-context: one minute Snowden’s downloading top-secret documents, the next Mills is teaching others how to gyrate round a pole.

*James Mottram


Most lovable fugitive: Sam Neill in Hunt for the Wilderpeople

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel uncomfortable, but you’ll fall in love with Sam Neill’s portrayal of Hector, the grumpy uncle of Ricky Baker, a boy abandoned by his mum and left to live with his aunt and uncle. Aunt Bella dies, Ricky burns the barn down and the two end up the subjects of a national manhunt while trying to survive in the New Zealand bush. Hector and Ricky form a heartwarming bond that will give you all the feels and, even though you know Hector has to go to jail once the pair are caught, you’re left hoping he’ll find a way to escape.

*Stacie Overton Johnson


Most embarrassing use of a tricycle: Geoffrey Rush (Gods of Egypt)

Poor old Geoffrey Rush. The Australian Academy Award winner is made to look like a complete buffoon in Alex Proyas’ risible pantomime fantasy. As the Sun God Ra, he lives above Earth, hovering in the stratosphere on a divine vessel, which requires peddle power for reasons unknown. Rush duly hops on a mini-tricycle, leaving his dignity far behind. Oh, that is has come to this.

*James Mottram


Worst hashtag for marketing of a political film in an election year: Miss Sloane

This film about an ethically challenged political lobbyist made like Donald Trump and used #NastyWoman in their promotional campaign. Much like Hilary Clinton’s run for office, the uneven film isn’t about to win any awards and offered a last-minute plot twist many people didn’t see coming.

*Craig Courtice


Best death scene using just a pencil: John Wick: Chapter 2

For anyone who has watched the John Wick film franchise series, it's well known by fans that assassin John Wick (played by Keanu Reeves) is spectacular at his job. In the first film (which was released in 2014), viewers learned how John Wick gets his nickname "The Boogeyman", as one rival describes witnessing Wick kill "three men in a bar using a pencil". But the scene was never shown and viewers were left to wonder how it was done. This year's sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 provided them much satisfaction, in the form of a slick action sequence that just goes to show that anything can be used a weapon.

*Evelyn Lau


Most disparate examples of Christopher Walken roles to date: 2016

Every appearance by Walken is wacky these days, but last year must have been a high point. In Eddie the Eagle he appeared as a legendary ski-jumping coach; in Nine Lives (released in the UAE as Mr Fuzzypants) he played a cat whisperer and the only person able to talk to Kevin Spacey after the House of Cards actor turns into a feline following a nasty fall. Just typing that last sentence should give an indication of how nutty Walken's career choices were last year.

*Craig Courtice


Best Example of How Not to Adapt a Love Story for the Screen: Mirzya

Flamboyant Bollywood director Rakeysh OmPrakash Mehra, usually a sensible man, took an age-old romantic tragedy and transformed it into a gaudy pantomime so full of bad actors butchering Shakespearean verse that audiences walked out of cinemas, went home and did something that made India proud: they created enough memes to make sure the lead stars never find work again.

*Christine Iyer


Most indulgent vanity project: Voyage of Time

American auteur Terrence Malick reportedly spent 40 years and more than US$10 million dollars (Dh3.67 million) realising his ambitious documentary Voyage of Time, which – after being sued by financial backers in 2013 – finally premiered at last year's Venice International Film Festival. With the lofty aim of telling the story of the universe, the meandering, formless work mixes awe-inspiring CGI sequences with grainy footage of civilisations from across the world – and gives a notable cameo to the Burj Khalifa. The feature length movie – which was screened at Dubai International Film Festival in December – features a dreamy, oblique monologue from Cate Blanchett, while Brad Pitt (who starred in Malick's Tree of Life) narrates a shorter, 40-minute Imax cut. The result was beautiful, baffling, beguiling – and utterly self-indulgent.

*Rob Garratt


Engine: 3.5-litre supercharged V6

Power: 416hp at 7,000rpm

Torque: 410Nm at 3,500rpm

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Fuel consumption: 10.2 l/100km

Price: Dh375,000 

On sale: now 

In numbers: China in Dubai

The number of Chinese people living in Dubai: An estimated 200,000

Number of Chinese people in International City: Almost 50,000

Daily visitors to Dragon Mart in 2018/19: 120,000

Daily visitors to Dragon Mart in 2010: 20,000

Percentage increase in visitors in eight years: 500 per cent


Youngest F1 driver (17 years 3 days Japan 2014)
Youngest driver to start an F1 race (17 years 166 days – Australia 2015)
Youngest F1 driver to score points (17 years 180 days - Malaysia 2015)
Youngest driver to lead an F1 race (18 years 228 days – Spain 2016)
Youngest driver to set an F1 fastest lap (19 years 44 days – Brazil 2016)
Youngest on F1 podium finish (18 years 228 days – Spain 2016)
Youngest F1 winner (18 years 228 days – Spain 2016)
Youngest multiple F1 race winner (Mexico 2017/18)
Youngest F1 driver to win the same race (Mexico 2017/18)

Key changes

Commission caps

For life insurance products with a savings component, Peter Hodgins of Clyde & Co said different caps apply to the saving and protection elements:

• For the saving component, a cap of 4.5 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 90 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term). 

• On the protection component, there is a cap  of 10 per cent of the annualised premium per year (which may not exceed 160 per cent of the annualised premium over the policy term).

• Indemnity commission, the amount of commission that can be advanced to a product salesperson, can be 50 per cent of the annualised premium for the first year or 50 per cent of the total commissions on the policy calculated. 

• The remaining commission after deduction of the indemnity commission is paid equally over the premium payment term.

• For pure protection products, which only offer a life insurance component, the maximum commission will be 10 per cent of the annualised premium multiplied by the length of the policy in years.


Customers must now be provided with a full illustration of the product they are buying to ensure they understand the potential returns on savings products as well as the effects of any charges. There is also a “free-look” period of 30 days, where insurers must provide a full refund if the buyer wishes to cancel the policy.

“The illustration should provide for at least two scenarios to illustrate the performance of the product,” said Mr Hodgins. “All illustrations are required to be signed by the customer.”

Another illustration must outline surrender charges to ensure they understand the costs of exiting a fixed-term product early.

Illustrations must also be kept updatedand insurers must provide information on the top five investment funds available annually, including at least five years' performance data.

“This may be segregated based on the risk appetite of the customer (in which case, the top five funds for each segment must be provided),” said Mr Hodgins.

Product providers must also disclose the ratio of protection benefit to savings benefits. If a protection benefit ratio is less than 10 per cent "the product must carry a warning stating that it has limited or no protection benefit" Mr Hodgins added.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat


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Manchester City 1
(Sterling 16')

Man of the match: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

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