The 15th annual Latin Grammy Awards became a political platform for artists including Calle 13 and host Eugenio Derbez, who called for action for a group of missing students in Mexico and U.S. immigration reform. The prizegiving at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday (20Nov14) was delayed by nearly 20 minutes as the show was preempted by U.S. President Barack Obama who addressed the nation on his decision to push for changes to America's immigration policy.
During his speech, Obama announced he would take broad executive action to offer temporary relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and incidentally, he is expected to head to Nevada on Friday (21Nov14) to speak about the issue.
Derbez, who co-hosted the ceremony with actress Jacqueline Bracamontes, took a moment during his opening monologue to acknowledge Obama's address just minutes after the Grammys went live.
He said, "It was time that Latinos' rights were recognised. We stopped being the minority a long time ago. Latinos are already a part of this country, everyone!
"So what better way to celebrate this occasion than with music? Latinos have always used music to cross borders!"
Colombian singer Carlos Vives also echoed Derbez's sentiments, as he dedicated his win for Best Contemporary Tropical Album to President Obama.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rican rappers Calle 13 kicked off the ceremony with an invigorating performance of their Grammy-winning song El Aguante, which details human resilience.
Lead singer Rene Perez took the stage in a shirt that read, "Ayotzinapa Faltan 43", which translates to "there are 43 missing", referring to the students of the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College who went missing after taking part in a protest in the city of Iguala on 26 September (14).
The students' convoy of buses came under fire from local police, and it was later confirmed the entire group of young people had been killed. Thousands of Mexicans have subsequently taken part in protests across the country, demanding action from the government.
Towards the end of his performance, Perez exclaimed, "We are all Ayotzinapa. We can't allow for this to continue in these times. Viva Mexico!"
Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs scored a trophy for Best Folk Album, and upon receiving her prize, she told the crowd, "These are difficult moments for us. But we will come out ahead and we will find justice."
Banda el Recodo musician Poncho Lizarraga also used his acceptance speech for Best Banda album to speak on both hot button issues, and said, "We're Mexican, and all we want is a country with peace and security for our children and families.
"Tonight, there will be an announcement that could favour Latinos or immigrants, to allow them to be able to live and enjoy this country that's always opened so many doors for us. But what this award signifies is that I can't really criticise a country that's welcomed us and given us so much."
Enrique Iglesias nabbed three trophies at the 15th annual Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday (20Nov14) and accepted his prizes from halfway around the world. The Hero hitmaker was the big winner at the prizegiving at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but he was not able to pick up his honours in person because he was in Antwerp, Belgium as part of his ongoing Sex and Love tour.
Iglesias claimed the night's Best Urban Performance and Best Urban Song prizes before the ceremony for his hit Bailando, and during the main show, he scored the coveted Song of the Year accolade.
He was able to give an acceptance speech live via satellite from the Sportpaleis Antwerpen venue and later, a pre-taped performance of his Grammy-winning track with Descemer Bueno and Gente De Zona during his concert in Madrid last week (15Nov14) ended the ceremony.
Puerto Rican rappers Calle 13 were up for nine awards but only walked away with two - Best Urban Music Album for MultiViral and Best Alternative Song for El Aguante, which they performed at the beginning of the show.
Other multiple-trophy winners included Carlos Vives (Best Contemporary Tropical Album and Best Tropical Song) and the late Paco de Lucia, who died in February (14), aged 66. His wife, Gabriela Carrasco, and her children accepted his prizes for Album of the Year and Best Flamenco Album.
Spanish singer/songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat was named the Person of the Year in recognition of his career achievements.
Meanwhile, the night was filled with 20 performances from some of Latin music's biggest artists, including memorable collaborations between Pitbull, Wisin and Chris Brown, Ricky Martin and Camila, Marc Anthony and Magic!, and Pepe Aguilar and Miguel Bose, while Pitbull also joined forces with Carlos Santana, and Anthony returned for a duet with Vives.
The ceremony, which was hosted by actors Eugenio Derbez and Jacqueline Bracamontes, was delayed by almost 20 minutes as organisers had to wait for the end of U.S. President Barack Obama's televised speech to the nation about immigration reform.
The full list of 2014 Latin Grammy Awards winners is:
Record Of The Year - Universos Paralelos by Jorge Drexler featuring Ana Tijoux
Album of the Year - Cancion Andaluza by Paco de Lucia
Song of the Year - Bailando by Enrique Iglesias
Best New Artist - Mariana Vega
Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album - Elypse by Camila
Best Musica Popular Brasileira Album - Coracao A Batucar by Maria Rita
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Fonseca Sinfonico by Fonseca
Best Urban Performance - Bailando by Enrique Iglesias
Best Urban Music Album - MultiViral by Calle 13
Best Urban Song - Bailando by Enrique Iglesias
Best Rock Album - Agua Maldita by Molotov
Best Pop/Rock Album - Loco De Amor by Juanes
Best Rock Song - Cuando No Estas by Andres Calamaro
Best Alternative Music Album - Romantisismico by Babasonicos
Best Alternative Song - El Aguante by Calle 13
Best Salsa Album - 3.0 by Marc Anthony
Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album - Celedon Sin Fronteras 1 by Jorge Celedon & Varios Artistas
Best Contemporary Tropical Album - Mas + Corazon Profundo by Carlos Vives
Best Traditional Tropical Album - Grandes Exitos De Las Sonoras, Con La Mas Grande, La Sonora Santanera by La Sonora Santanera
Best Tropical Song - Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar by Carlos Vives
Best Singer-Songwriter Album - Bailar En La Cueva by Jorge Drexler
Best Ranchero Album - Lastima Que Sean Ajenas by Pepe Aguilar
Best Banda Album - Haciendo Historia by La Banda el Recodo
Best Tejano Album - Forever Mazz by Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz
Best Norteno Album - Amor, Amor by Conjunto Primavera
Best Regional Song - De Mil Amores by Marco Antonio Solís
Best Instrumental Album - Final Night At Birdland by Arturo O'Farrill & The Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra
Best Folk Album - Raiz by Lila Downs, Nina Pastori and Soledad
Best Tango Album - Tangos by Ruben Blades
Best Flamenco Album - Cancion Andaluza by Paco de Lucia
Best Latin Jazz Album - Tie: The Vigil by Chick Corea and Song For Maura by Paquito D'Rivera & Trio Corrente
Best Christian Album (Spanish Language) - La Carta Perfecta - En Vivo by Danilo Montero
Best Christian Album (Portuguese Language) - Graça by Aline Barros
Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album - Multishow Ao Vivo - Ivete Sangalo 20 by Ivete Sangalo
Best Brazilian Rock Album - Gigante Gentil by Erasmo Carlos
Best Samba/Pagode Album - Coracao A Batucar by Maria Rita
Best MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) Album - Verdade, Uma Ilusao by Marisa Monte
Best Sertaneja Music Album - Questao De Tempo by Sergio Reis
Best Brazilian Roots Album - Amigo Velho by Falamansa
Best Brazilian Song - A Bossa Nova É Foda by Caetano Veloso
Best Latin Children’s Album - Coloreando: Traditional Songs For Children In Spanish by Marta Gomez & Friends
Best Classical Album - Verdi by Placido Domingo
Best Classical Contemporary Composition - Concierto Para Violín y Orquesta De Cuerdas by Claudia Montero
Best Recording Package - Wed 21
Best Engineered Album - De Repente
Producer of the Year - Sergio George
Best Short Form Music Video - Flamingo by La Vida Boheme
Best Long Form Music Video - El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco - La Pelicula by Cafe Tacvba
Person of the Year - Joan Manuel Serrat
Sofia Vergara and Eugenio Derbez have topped Variety's Power Of Latinos: 20 Most Influential Stars list for 2014. The two stars beat Eva Longoria, Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Pena to the top spots in the male and female categories, while Penelope Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal, Michelle Rodriguez and George Lopez also feature high.
The actors and musicians on the list were picked for the way they balance their mainstream success with their Latino heritage.
Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez has signed a first-look production deal with Pantelion Films. The Instructions Not Included star will develop Spanish and English-language projects for Latin and North American audiences through his 3Pas production company.
A statement from Pantelion Films CEO, Paul Presburger, says, "We are thrilled to take our longstanding relationship with Eugenio to the next level.
"He is a true auteur in every sense of the word, and he has an amazing ability to tap into the shared passions of Latino and American audiences."
Derbez's 2013 comedy/drama, Instructions Not Included, is the most successful domestic release ever for a Spanish-language film, grossing $44 million (£26 million) in the U.S. after hitting movie theatres a year ago (Sep13).
Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez is set to welcome his second child later this year (14). The Instructions Not Included star's wife, Alessandra Rosaldo, is expecting a baby girl and the couple is currently searching for a home in California to prepare for the impending birth.
This is the second child for Derbez, who has a 22-year-old son with actress Victoria Ruffo.
Derbez and and Rosaldo have been married since July, 2012.
Eugenio Derbez's Instructions Not Included has taken Hollywood by surprise with a $10 million (£6.6 million) opening, becoming the largest debut for a Spanish-language film ever over America's Labor Day holiday. The movie, which Derbez wrote, directed and starred in, ranked fifth overall at the U.S. box office - just behind much larger films like Lee Daniels' The Butler, One Direction: This is Us and Planes.
Instructions Not Included follows the story of a ladies' man who is forced into single parenthood after he becomes a dad to a daughter.
Derbez has only starred in a few movies in the U.S., but he is a big name in Latin America and relied heavily on his social media presence to promote the film. It opened in 347 theatres, earning $28,800 (£19,200) in average ticket sales at each venue, according to Hollywood.com.
The coming-of-age movie is nothing new of course; it's just that so often their subjects are sulky teen boys or man-children. Movies like Thirteen Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains The Legend of Billie Jean and even Mean Girls are few and far between and even when they do appear like blips on a radar the casts are usually entirely white upper middle class teens. Girl in Progress is a lighter take on the adolescent turmoil and it's often heavy-handed and its characters seem flat but one thing it does with ease is put Latinas front and center without any sort of back-patting or race-related teachable moments. That's not to say Girl in Progress doesn't occasionally dip into Lifetime movie territory though.
Girl in Progress stars Cierra Ramirez as Ansiedad a budding teen who wants to be absolutely nothing like her irresponsible party girl mom Grace played by Eva Mendes. When Ansiedad's teacher Ms. Armstrong (Patricia Arquette) tells her class about coming-of-age rituals and how they're used to navigate between the world of childhood and adulthood she takes it as a literal guide to leaving her childhood — and her mother — behind.
Ansiedad is clever and a bit of a goody-two-shoes; she outlines a plan to go from being a regular girl to a woman as if it were a multimedia project for history. She explains in detail the different stages — acting out losing her virginity to a bad boy etc. — to her best friend Tavita (Raini Rodriguez) who looks on skeptically but agrees to help her friend even when part of the plan includes dumping her dorky BFF. Naturally the best-laid plans of teen girls often go awry and Ansiedad learns the hard way that these things are actually all pretty crappy ways to try become an adult. Unfortunately her dialogue is often reduced to exposition; she literally explains to the adults around her the steps she's at in her transformation. It undercuts Ramirez's performance and distances us from engaging with her emotionally.
Grace is Ansiedad's foil; she never finishes anything she moves them from town to town and she makes poor choices in men. Although this character could have really gone off the rails Mendes isn't vying for a dramatic Oscar bid; yes Grace likes to dance and drink and she's not a present mom but she's an overgrown teenager not a cruel parent. Unfortunately this is overemphasized with scenes of Grace getting ready to go out eating cereal sitting on the counter (and drinking the milk from the bowl of course) or falling asleep with her shoes on which Ansiedad carefully removes.
There's a subplot with Grace and two men but it doesn't do much to forward the story. One is her boyfriend a married gynecologist played by Matthew Modine and the other is a guy she works with at the crab shack whose nickname is Mission Impossible played by Eugenio Derbez.
This is actually one of the more confusing ways Girl in Progress deals with race. Grace needs money for the balance of Ansiedad's scholarship so while it makes sense that she'd take an extra job or two to make ends meet she's actually the housekeeper for Dr. Harford (Modine)'s family. Although Mission Impossible seems like he could be a good candidate for Grace there are some implausible plot developments that make him a rather unsuitable character.
Is the point here that it's more important for Grace to figure things out on her own? But then why when race isn't even spoken of in the movie would these odd details crop up? Girls can sniff out the most tender spot to attack in a weaker girl but the mean girls make fun of Ansiedad's clothes or Tavita's weight never their race. It doesn't quite add up and while I'd like to not make this a bigger deal than it is it seems odd that Girl in Progress would make race a non-issue in Ansiedad's world and then rely on tired clichés for Grace.
As for Mendes herself it's impossible to totally tone down her bombshell good looks but that also acts as a foil for Anseidad. The way Mendes is portrayed isn't particularly salacious or even shaming; she's just a damn good-looking woman with a young daughter who would prefer to be nothing like her. She's given more to do than in her usual roles but even when she's telling Ms. Armstrong all the reasons why she shouldn't judge her for her life choices it doesn't come across as particularly hard-hitting. The rote dialogue doesn't do anyone any favors.
Girl in Progress doesn't transgress or shock like Thirteen or other movies about the traumas of being a teen but that could be a good thing. Although it's not the hippest movie around town it is something that moms and daughters to watch together and talk about. It's also worth boosting a movie that doesn't rely on the same Hannah Montana clones to cast; the more that young girls can see themselves onscreen the better.
The heartbreak of illegal immigration is vividly displayed in this poignant story of nine year old Carlos (Adrian Alonso) a boy living in Mexico with his grandmother while his mother (Kate del Castillo) works as an illegal domestic in Los Angeles trying to make enough money to send home so the son she has been separated from can live a good life--even if it means being without her. When the grandmother suddenly dies Carlos decides to cross the border and look for mom. As his journey continues he encounters a woman (America Ferrera) and her brother (Jesse Garcia) who make tuition money taking babies into the U.S. In this instance she decides to help smuggle Carlos across by hiding him in her van. Once he lands in Tuscon he meets a sympathetic middle- aged migrant worker named Enrique (Eugenio Derbez) who accompanies him to East L.A. Once there they try to locate his mother--their only clue being a vague description of the area around a pay phone she used in her weekly calls home to Carlos. The film which is shot mostly in Spanish with some English language scenes as well offers great big screen opportunities to some of Mexico’s biggest television stars including telenovela favorite Kate del Castillo. She delivers a moving performance as a mother living separated by borders with her only son but living “under the same moon.” The film really belongs however to young Alonso--a natural in front of the cameras who impressed American audiences as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas’ son in The Legend of Zorro but breaks out here as the determined Carlos. Both create a touching mother-son relationship even though they are never in any scenes together. Also playing against type is superstar Derbez unquestionably one of Latin America’s most popular actors who develops a winning chemistry with Alonso making every moment of their screen time count. Ugly Betty’s Ferrera also turns up for some effective moments including a heart-stopping sequence in which she is questioned by border guards while the van carrying the hidden Carlos is searched. Although she has made some award winning shorts Under the Same Moon represents the first feature length film for Mexican-born Patricia Riggen. She succeeds on all levels emphasizing the characters in the story over the potentially political hot button topic of immigration which her film so eloquently humanizes. Working with screenwriter Ligiah Villalobos the two women give urgency to the tragic separation of mother and son caught between two disparate cultures. Given the time restraints and low budget Riggen’s command of the camera is impressive particularly in the inventive and almost spiritual ways she manages to bring mother and son together on screen even though they never share a shot. Use of music is also hugely effective with Carlos Silotto’s melodic score recalling a similar film about a young dreamer Cinema Paradiso. Ultimately though Under the Same Moon lives or dies with the actors and Riggen’ spot-on casting decisions--particularly in the case of Alonso--really lift it to new levels. Most of the actors have extensive TV followings and Riggen knew by casting them she would risk the wrath of Mexican film critics who uniformly look down on television. Doesn’t matter. Under the Same Moon has universal appeal and should find approving audiences around the world.
In addition to his television and film career, Derbez has enjoyed a long career on stage as both actor and director, most notably in the Mexico City production of the Broadway musical "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
Derbez is much in-demand as a host for various Spanish-language award shows, including the Latin Grammys, which he hosted in 2010.
His 2012 wedding to Alessadra Rosaldo was broadcast live on Televisa
Won the Supernova Award, the top honor at the 2013 "Premois Juventud" (Univision, 2004- ), a popular entertainment award show. His appearance drew a record 11 million viewers.
"Instructions Not Included" became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in North America, as well as the fourth highest-grossing foreign film released in the United States.