When Warner Bros. made only lukewarm efforts to promote Edward James Olmos for an Oscar nomination, the actor and his friends took matters into their own hands. They felt Olmos should be a nominee at the March 29 ceremonies for his portrayal of East Los Angeles math teacher Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver.”
They mounted their own Oscar campaign in the Hollywood trade press. It paid off as Olmos won a best actor nomination for what Times film critic Sheila Benson called “his beautifully shaded and unsparing portrait” of Escalante.
While Olmos has his eye on an Oscar, the awards just keep coming for Jaime Escalante. The California Bicentennial Commission saluted the advanced calculus teacher by delivering six bronze plaques commemorating the 200th anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to predominantly Latino Garfield High.
“Arriba el mariachi,” Linda Ronstadt said when “Canciones de Mi Padre,” her Spanish-language “personal project,” won a Grammy award in the Mexican-American category. Carlos Santana took the Rock Instrumental Performance award for orchestra, group or soloist for his “Blues for Salvador,” and Roberto Carlos won the Latin Pop award for his album, “Roberto Carlos.” Ruben Blades y Son del Solar captured the award in the Tropical Latin category for “Antecedente.”
KMEX-TV, Channel 34, has begun airing Spanish-language “movie specials” with English subtitles for the first time. The films broadcast were “La Historia Oficial,” a painfully personal portrait from Argentina’s “Dirty War,” and “Volver a Empezar,” the story of a Spanish professor who returns home after 40 years in this country. Both won Academy Awards for best foreign film.