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« Visual Index: Death Becomes Her's Best Shot(s) | Main | Doc Corner: Documentaries at the Box Office in 2016 »
Tuesday
May032016

Linky Nyong'o

The Playlist Guillermo del Toro working on a movie where Richard Jenkins is a merman and Sally Hawkins is in love with him? What? And also: why not! 
Sense 8 returns soon. Here's a fun photo album blog on the making of Season 2
Decider It's the 20th anniversary of everyone's favorite crazy teen bitches and also witches movie The Craft (1996)
Variety because sooner or later every male star is required to play a serial killer, Michael Fassbender will do his duty for Entering Hades based on the John Leake's true crime novel
Vulture Jennifer Hudson gets unexpectedly honest about her lack of a Tony nomination

 

Interview talks with romance-novel-cover ready fantasy man, the Outlander star Sam Heughan
Playbill George C Wolfe and Oprah Winfrey are working on a cool sounding project called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks about a woman whose cervical cancer cells were harvested without her permission in the 50s and cloned again and again.
Pajiba this is not the angle of Pajiba's story but as with seemingly all biopic subjects Harriet Tubmann suddenly has two competing biopics in the work: Viola Davis's for HBO and one for theatrical release about which we had previously heard nothing. (Too bad that they can't be fused into one with the best elements of both because good luck finding an actress as famous and as talented and as theoretically bankable  as Viola for the actual theatrical version)
Playbill Patti Lupone on Penny Dreadful (uff, she's so great on that show) and her next musical War Paint
Lenny Letter Tony nominee and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o reveals why she chose a small play as Oscar follow up in a great piece. Here's a brief excerpt:

As an actress, feeling connected to a fully realized, complex character is what I look for first. The size of the role, and the budget, and the perceived "buzz" around the project are much less important to me. As an African woman, I am wary of the trap of telling a single story. I decided early on that if I don't feel connected to, excited by, and challenged by the character, the part probably isn't for me. If I'm ever in doubt, I envision the career choices of artists I admire, like Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, and Viola Davis. They are all fearless actresses who approach every role without ego or vanity. They have a fierce commitment to the moment and the role, whether it's the lead or a character we see for just one scene. They give it their all, and it shows. The thought of having a career that in any small way might resemble theirs excites me.

She has good taste in actress heroes!

To Get It Off My Chest
Collider says the Captain America & Avengers filmmakers, the Russo Bros, are game for an LGBT character in the Marvel-verse and the article praises them accordingly for saying so (sigh). I'm not pinpointing Collider but this is a classic example of something the internet loves: 'filmmakers/actors/authors are for insert progressive thing!' news (this is also happening a lot with Star Wars of late). But here is the thing: it is NOT news but hypothetical speculation and, as such, we should not be praising anyone. Until Marvel (and other studios) and filmmakers actually show diversity we MUST stop giving them credit for suggesting that they will one day show diversity. This is also true of their issues with race. Let's stop congratulating people for hypotheticals and start concentrating on praising filmmakers who already have diversity in their films. It's like everyone praising JK Rowlings for retconning Harry Potter's Dumbledore when she wasn't brave enough to actually have him gay within the books. UNLESS PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY DOING IT, STOP PRAISING THEM FOR SUGGESTING THAT THEY'RE COOL ENOUGH TO DO IT AND THEY MIGHT AT ANY MOMENT. JUST NOT RIGHT NOW 

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Reader Comments (38)

Sally Hawkins + Richard Jenkins? I'm in!

Fassy -- Boring choices lately.

Lupita -- Happy she's building a stage career since her movie career isn't really happening.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Harriet Tubman's life was long and full. It could definitely handle two different biopics. Viola's could focus on her years as a spy during the Civil War as well as her time as a Suffragette and advocate for the needy. The other film could focus on Harriet's early years as a slave, a runaway, and then a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Cast someone like Gugu, and you could have two completely different but potentially terrific movies about the same person.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercash

I miss Sally Hawkins. Her double punch of 2013 + 2014 was such a great time to be a fan of her.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTheis

Love the Lupita quote and it maybe why she hasn't done 'much' post Oscars? Maybe a lot of the roles offered didn't excite or interest her

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRami

cash: That's brilliant.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I like Jennifer Hudson more with every passing year.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Hear, hear, Nathaniel. We need to stop praising low-stakes allyship. It serves no one.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

100% agree with Nathaniel-it's time to put up or shut up in terms of diversity. Talking doesn't get you far enough.

I find that comment from Jennifer Hudson endlessly fascinating. Is it a case where she just wanted the experience or the money then, or why take this part, or was it something that she learned after that they weren't interested in her growing as an actress in the role? I'd love some follow-up tweets there, as it feels like a story.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Literally a headline I read today: "Shawn Ashmore Wants Iceman To Be Gay In 'X-Men' Film."

Edgy! Something to be said about comic book characters?

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBD

Lupita does not have a serious film career as a dramatic actress because Hollywood never invests in nonwhite actresses having a serious film career as dramatic performers. The stage and TV don't count because they are financial lows stakes mediums without the snob prestige of film.

Every time a new face comes along everyone gets excited about their potential after award season and they usually settle for bit parts wherever they may come. I remember being heartbroken about Angela Bassett as a kid. But I learned that lesson soon after. And now all I can do is bitch about everyone else seeing me as cynical while I will never let up on the truth about Hollywood's white supremacist and patriarchal controlled agenda.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Dang. Jennifer is keeping it REAL. I mean, I agree, but dang. That's a hard reality to face.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

John -- it does feel like a story but i worry it's a delusional story. when you win the Oscar the first time trying your hand at acting i bet you get a lot of yes people in your entourage telling you how brilliant you are. but her subsequent performances have revealed severe limitations as an actress -- she's never any better than adequate... so if shes not growing that's on her because she has the resources to really train, you know? That voice has taken her far and it is a beauty but she's just not a very good actress... i don't mean to be so rude about it but it's very clear watching The Color Purple that the other two principles (Cynthia & Danielle) who were nominated have huge great voices AND acting chops, so they were running circles around her. at least to these eyes and ears.

May 3, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

At best, Jennifer Hudson is merely serviceable....she should seriously look in the mirror and try to improve herself as an actress instead of leaning towards self-entitlement. I'm glad Lupita is creating her own arc on stage...applause!

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Wow that was very blunt J-Hud. It was like saying that they used her only for her celebrity status and that she doesn't have any talent at all.
Lupita is just extremely lucky I guess, Oscar win on film debut, Tony nom on Broadway debut. Damn girl.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

Lu is a trained actress. It should surprise no one she is success when given material that suits her. J-Hud works with Latifah's acting coach and he's of no service for either woman.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

When it comes to Marvel saying they are open to seeing more gay superheroes, I say rather than say I'm all for it, just do it and make it happen! It's easier said than done.

Lupita I think is carving a decent career for herself, Oscar win for her film debut, Tony nod for Broadway debut, work as a voice/motion capture actress. But I do hope to see her in more live action films.

While I enjoy seeing Michael Fassbender get role after role, my advice to him: Do some comedies!! He's a phenomenal dramatic actor. We all know that. But let loose a little.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

Sam Heughan needs to guest star in Sense 8 if you catch my drift. Just imagine the posible combinations...

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteph Bello

I love Lupita! LOVE! She has everything to be the star. Her beauty and interllect. That's why she slays on every appearances she makes, and kills on every interview she does, awesome soundbites.

But I can't feel any lesser that it just seems her road ahead is tough. Hollywood has no idea what to do with her.

I'm rooting for her, but even the article felt like she's struggling, so best to find good reasonings for the reason "I'm not happening as I should!". Seeing the whole thing from the self-perspective, once again, smart girl.

Bottom line, you awful hollywood, mighty and great, you are getting old and still, it's not the same like when it was your heydays, give the actresses what they deserve!

You can't flirt with the idea and then pet your head and stoke your cock, and feel 'great' ???

Your old box is OLD. Get out of it.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMingy

Mingy -- the weirdest thing about Hollywood not knowing what to do with Lupita is that she literally fits everything they value most in actresses: she's young, she's thin, she's beautiful, she's already a red carpet icon, she's charismatic, the press loves her, the public loves her.

It's all the things they ask for from female leads. Obviously Viola Davis is a genius actor but she was never "all the things they like" because she isn't young or svelte or traditionally breathtaking like Lupita. So them not knowing what to do with Lupita is so much worse because she's everything they require! It's impossible to look at the situation and not see that it's only because she's dark skinned that they're not throwing roles at her. Idiotic and aggravating. When I heard she'd turned down the role that Naomie Harris played in Southpaw all i could think was "wait, why wasn't she up for the better Rachel McAdams role". There isn't anyone who would have questioned Jake Gyllenhaal being hot for her because she is f***ing gorgeous.

May 3, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel has accurately diagnosed the problem. Lupita is an example of how a black actress can hit and even exceed ALL the requirements for female stardom (adding her Oscar win and her red carpet fashion dominance to the traits you already identified) and still be denied the roles necessary for that stardom. With some actresses you can dismiss the race conversation by pointing to their lacking one quality or another but not with Lupita. It is 100% undeniable that the only reason she's not getting more from Hollywood is because of implicit and structural racism. The Southpaw example that Nathaniel cites shows how racism functions. It's not some executive/producer sitting in a room and saying, "I don't want to higher than n-word." It's the complete digestion of a white dominant culture that prevents executives/producers from looking at Lupita and seeing that she could easily be slotted into Rachel McAdams/Alicia Vikander supporting roles or romantic comedies or ANYTHING ELSE that's not a voice-over or a role specifically designed for a black character.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

*hire (damn autocorrect)

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

Nathaniel-I just had a moment of rage for some reason thinking about, and for Lupita, after reading that article. Then I felt silly the emotions it stirred in me. What it all has to do with me, anyways, when I just love watching movies.

It was just depressing. I didn't want to go directly to the 'color' thing, maybe I didn't want to get more depressed. I was totally feeling that but also beating around the bush about it. That is the problem. How to adrress it but also not go over board about it? I feel you have done a good job with it on your blog-more facts stating than feelings.

Hollywood is too busy making movies with super powers, dewelling on old successes, when they've already failed and forgotten many, then they are not doing anything with the current potentials we have gotten to know, don't forget the ones awkwardly stuck in the middle.

Odd industry and world to comprehend. Should just love good movies and be happy.

May 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMingy

JHud's honesty, Lupita's career goal, and Season 2 of Sense8 all make me happy.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, omg! That was the book my freshman year of college that they made, like, the "book of the semester" and gave to all of us at orientation and told us we could enter the essay contest by writing about it, lol. So random. Never thought I'd hear about it again hahah.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

The only reason Lupita is not being hired left and right by Hollywood producers in leading and baity roles is structural racism. Truly. Margot Robbie broke out in Hollywood the same year she did--both get extensive press coverage, praised for their beauty and acting chops, are red carpet darlings, but Lupita is nominated and WINS the Oscar and yet Robbie is the one producers are clamorimg for in every fucking project. This is no knock on Margot Robbie (I think she's very talented), but obviously something is amiss here.

However, I love what Lupita talked about in her essay in how film is often considered the gold standard in entertainment but her prerogative as an actor is to go where the meaty, complex parts are. Theatre is not a demotion at all for her, as many actors seem to think within the biz if they can't get substantive or lucrative movie work. I admire her conviction and passion. Even though I don't see her on screen nearly as much as I want to, I'm admiring her choices as an actor. She's in this for the long haul, and is not going to take insignificant, reductive parts just for her to make a name in Hollywood.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Hudson never has struck me as anything other than gracious and humble about her success, so to think that her tweet comes from a place of self-entitlement or malice doesn't ring true to me. Her blunt honesty supports what we already assumed as fact and preemptively shuts down any "poor snubbed Jenny" sentiment.

While I don't doubt the earnestness of Nyong'o's comments, I firmly believe that had the film industry come calling for her the way it does for white actresses after their Oscar wins, she wouldn't be on Broadway right now. Instead she'd be wielding that same discerning taste to choose from a number of projects deserving of her talents, but I understand that she's only playing the hand she's been dealt.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was a terrific book...I kept thinking what a great movie it would make. Hopefully, the parties involved do justice to Henrietta's life and legacy.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick gould

Yay for Jenkins and Hawkins--they're both so watchable in anything. Mermaid/merman/merpeople myths seem to be all the rage. The highest grossing film in China right now is The Mermaid. Whatever happened to that sci-fi flick, The Moon and the Sun, based on the Vonda McIntyre book?

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Someone needs to tell Fassbender that the most interesting role he could play right now is a charming Irishman.

I like Sam Heughan quite a bit on Outlander, though he's the weakest of the three lead actors (Menzies is the best). He's best at the sensitive romantic aspects and the comedic bits though.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Kate -- yes on Fassbender. Needs a comedy!

May 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ugh. Why can't the Viola Davis film be the one that's in theaters? Get that Oscar, Miss Davis!

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Her Oscar is for Fences this year DJDeeJay.

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

3rtful - possibly (I forgot about that), but like Nat's prediction list shows, it's already a crowded Best Actress year and it hasn't even really started AND there's already debate if it's really a lead. Fingers crossed...

May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

@Nat - for your next link round-up, there's this new interview with Woody Allen (I hope posting this link works):

http://flavorwire.com/574697/woody-allen-discusses-soon-yi-cafe-society-and-how-he-tried-to-prevent-manhattan-from-being-released?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=2EDITORIAL%20-%20FLAVORWIRE%20-%20DAILY

The choice bit: "when asked if he could erase any film he’s made, the director who notoriously makes a film a year says he’d “erase all but a few” — Purple Rose of Cairo, Match Point, Husbands and Wives, Zelig, and Midnight in Paris being some of the exceptions he names on the spot."

He then goes on to explain how he didn't even want "Manhattan" released.

May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Davis in Fences is a long suffering wife. She has a huge outburst you can watch on You Tube from the play version. She will be making history earning a third acting nomination as a black woman and a second as a black woman in best actress. Just give her the damn Oscar so souls can rest easy concerning her. If she is able to secure two more nominations after this season she'll be the first likely only for sometime black actress to have five nominations. Jesus the Academy feels impenetrable for nonwhite actresses to become perennial nominees or multiple winners. And of course keeping best actress exclusively white with the exception of Halle Berry is doing them no favors either.

May 5, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Well, from your fingers to the Academy's eyes...

May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Nathaniel- But Jennifer IS growing as an actress! Didn't she receive rave reviews for her performance in The Color Purple?

May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAkim

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