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BARRY WETCHER/WARNER BROS.
Mindy Kaling (third from left) in the recently released “Ocean’s 8” with (from left) Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter.

 

LOS ANGELES — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars people) has invited Kendrick Lamar, J.K. Rowling, and Audra McDonald among the 928 actors, writers, casting directors and others both in front of and behind the camera to join its growing membership. Today’s move comes as the Academy is trying to diversify its ranks. 

This year’s record-number of new members invited tops 2017 with a previous record of 774 new members and that of 2016 when 683 new members were invited, according to Variety

Among those invited to join the Academy today are several with Boston and New England ties including actors Cambridge native Mindy Kaling, who graduated from Buckingham, Browne & Nichols; Medford native Julianne Nicholson; and  Sarah Silverman, who hails from New Hampshire. Invitees from the casting branch includes Sheila Jaffe, whose work on the Oscar-winning “The Fighter,” which starred Mark Wahlberg as  boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, is among her enviable list of credits. 

“The expansion of Academy membership to more than 8,200 stems from an ongoing effort to diversify its ranks following uproar over the lack of African-American nominees in 2015 and 2016, which culminated in  2016’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy,” Variety wrote. 

 

For his latest (soon-to-be) bestseller, “Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History,” Ben Mezrich turns his laser-like gaze to the high-stakes story of two Russian oligarchs. The rise and fall of Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich may seem more like a Robert Ludlum novel than a Ben Mezrich-crafted true-crime account, but Ben, who lives and writes in Boston, covers this new turf like a seasoned foreign correspondent. The author of a dozen books, including “The Accidental Billionaires” (which became the Oscar-winning film “The Social Network”), Ben sat down with our own Carol Beggy just a couple of days after the book’s release to talk about his “first grown up book,” what he learned while researching some of the world’s wealthiest (and most corjrupt) people, and what his next project is going to be. And, yes, he talks about his next Hollywood deal.

(Ed. Note: Ben’s wife, Tonya, is styleboston’s chief fashion correspondent.)

Video produced by V-Neck Media

For more info go to Amazon Books.

The 87th Academy Awards was a night of pearls, embellishments, simple high ponies, lots of red, strapless downward turned necklines, and statement necklaces.

THE HITS:

LUPITA NYONGO, custom Calvin Klein Collection

FAITH HILL, J. Mendel

DAKOTA JOHNSON, St. Laurent

MARGOT ROBBIE, St. Laurent

JENNIFER ANNISTON, Versace

ROSAMUND PIKE, Givenchy

ZOE SALDANA, Atelier Versace

SIENNA MILLER, Oscar de la Renta

REESE WITHERSPOON, Tom Ford

JENNIFER LOPEZ, Ellie Saab

THE MISSES:

FELICITY JONES, Alexander McQueen

NAOMI WATTS, Armani Privé

JULIANNE MOORE, custom Chanel

KERRY WASHINGTON, Miu Miu

VIOLA DAVIS, Zac Posen

GWYNETH PALTROW, Ralph & Russo

JESSICA CHASTAIN, Givenchy

NICOLE KIDMAN, Louis Vuitton

EMMA STONE, Ellie Saab

SCARLETT JOHANSEN, Versace

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie

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BUY

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain

Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Jess, over here, nailed it. Dressed in an Armani Privé gown, Christian Louboutin shoes and jewelry by Harry Winston, this Jessica Rabbit look-a-like is everything Hollywood glamour is about– grace and poise with flair. Now, if this was just a dress contest, it would probably land her on the borrow list but– my oh my– is that style execution or what, my friends?!

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