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Entries in Beyoncé (9)

Friday
Aug282015

TV @ The Movies: "Difficult People" and the Golden Globes of Hate

NEW SERIES! Since our eyes always flash and a smile spreads when a movie is referenced on a tv show we're watching, we've decided to make it a habit to share these cross-platform romances with you. Whenever we see one worth discussing, we'll share it.


Have you been watching Hulu's Difficult People? You should be watching Difficult People! Admittedly, it could be a very hard show to fall in love with if you’re not a fan of watching terrible New Yorkers act like exclusionary, entitled gits while spouting cruel insults about celebrities – but hey, that’s one of my favourite genres! What it does mean is references galore, like an audition for a remake of the 1988 body swap comedy Vice Versa in episode two, or a PBS roast in episode three that finds time for jokes about Shining Time Station (“If there’s one thing children love, it’s having Ringo Starr yell at them about trains”) and Maggie Smith’s genitals being named after Mr. Bean.

Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner star as Julie and Billy. They are less successful, but very pseudo-autobiographical versions of themselves - a mildly successful recapper of reality television and a waiter trying to be an actor respectively. They are trying to build a career in comedy while he works for Gabby Sidibe and she deals with her psychiatrist mother (Andrea Martin). Their love of pop culture knows no meta-bounds and they show has already landed in hot water over a joke in episode one about Beyonce that was the target of people who apparently know nothing of irony, criticising the show, the network, Klausner, and executive producer Amy Poehler as “disgusting”.

Sigh, right? [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar252015

A Star is Born Again... With Bradley Cooper as Midwife. 

A Star is Born is like the undead of showbiz movies. Every so often it rises from the grave. The oft told tale of a young actress whose star rises as her alcoholic svengali husband's star falls has four film versions What Price Hollywood? (1932) A Star is Born (1937) A Star is Born (1954) and A Star is Born (1976), the latter shifting the story to the music world instead of the movies. Incredibly ALL of them were Oscar nominated for something or other for a total of 18 Oscar nominations, 3 wins and an Honorary plaque to boot! But we've actually gone without it for quite some time now. The last version, the Streisand (critically reviled but a major hit), was a full 39 years ago so it's unsurprising that there's been talk of a remake for quite a while now. Especially considering that each version has ranged from somewhat successful to blockbuster sized and statistically you'll receive about 4 nominations and an Oscar for your troubles should you make your own.

What was surprising, apart from Oscar security, about the proposed fifth version was that Clint Eastwood was the one that wanted to do it. With Beyoncé no less! So Streisand's music-word detour for the unofficial franchise stuck... at least with ol' Clint. Despite Eastwood's Barry Allen-like speed, that ability to take a project from glimmer in his eye to finished movie in theaters in 6 months, he somehow never got it made and has now passed the project on, supposedly to...

Bradley Cooper (?) his American Sniper star. Cooper wants Beyoncé back on the project who has vacated it since it entered development hell. 

So saith several outlets and noisy funny twitter. Bradley will also star in it. Why an actor at the heighth of their white hot career would want to try directing is a little puzzling -- don't get distracted, secure your possible place in the pantheon of movie stars! -- but Coop wouldn't be the first. Costner, Gibson, Eastwood, Foster, and Jolie all moved over while they were still bankable movie stars... some to stay in that chair and lose interest in acting altogether. 

Related / Recommended:
Mike's Movie Projector found an original review from 1954 of the Judy Garland version.
TFE and you can always revisit our Best Shot episode on that classic film Or...
Nick's Flick Picks incredible piece on Judy Garland's five-star performance 

Tuesday
Feb242015

Beauty Break: Random Oscar Night Gowns You Might Not Have Seen

Because they weren't on the stage but at after parties. Many beauties after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb112015

Tweets o' the Week Like Buttah

I've been struggling for inspiration today which is a good reason to clear my head via the dispensing of a whole lot of randomness. And by randomness I mean, compilation lists.

We have so many Oscar races to discuss and a few more interviews and I don't know what's keeping me but until the next post, please to enjoy these marvelous tweets from the week that was, divided into helpful subcategories for your skimming pleasure. These are the only posts you are allowed to skim. Otherwise you should read. Reading is fundamental.

RANDOMNESS

 Streisand! Kidman! Beyoncé! Grammys! 
and more after the jump 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec182014

Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo to Star in Romantic Drama 'Americanah'

Earlier this year Lupita Nyong'o acquired the rights to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's award-winning 2012 novel Americanah, signing on to star as Nigerian émigré Ifemelu, as well as produce along with Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment. David Oyelowo has also signed on to star as romantic lead Obinze. The book is divine: beautifully written, emotionally complex, swooningly romantic and often bitingly funny. It's also full of razor-sharp insight on immigration and cultural identity, the shifting concept of home, and blackness in America, Nigeria, and Britain.

The project is guaranteed to be a meaty opportunity for Nyong'o and Oyelowo, but is still several steps away from production. Some questions:

1. Should we worry that the project doesn't yet have a script? I'd say no, in part because of my love for the source material, but largely due to the strength of Plan B producing. They've got a respectable filmography, and the last couple years have been a serious hot streak (Moneyball, 12 Years a Slave, Selma). They shouldn't have trouble attracting top-drawer talent. With the right team in place, this could be someone's shot at a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.

2. Who should direct? It's only natural that Ava DuVernay's name should come to mind, given her skill with romantic drama and epic political context. It would make hers a 3-for-3 David Oyelowo filmography, and she certainly already has the in with Plan B Entertainment. But since the story is so indivisible from the non-American experience, and so specifically Nigerian in perspective, perhaps a Nollywood director might be a better choice. Perhaps Biyi Bandele, whose adaptation of Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun came out earlier this year to mixed reviews, would be interested in another shot at the author's work?

3. Will Beyoncé help with the movie's PR? When Beyoncé dropped her secret album last year, she gave Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a major profile boost by sampling her TED talk "Everyone Should Be a Feminist on the song "***Flawless", which sent Americanah rocketing up the Amazon sales charts. (To be honest, that's also how I first heard of the book.) Maybe the movie release can be preceded by a tie-in Beyoncé single that samples dialogue from the movie? Harness the power of Bey and you have the makings of a serious box office hit on your hands.

It's impossible not to admire Lupita Nyong'o's initiative and savvy in carving out her career, snapping up the rights to an interesting project herself and then backing that up by attracting major talent and industry clout. No production date is set; join me in hoping that this moves forward smoothly.

Have you read Americanah? Who else do you think should be brought on to the production?

Saturday
Dec142013

Catching Up With the Linkses

The Wire a definitive ranking of the hair in American Hustle. Elizabeth Röhm's Dolly Polito and that awesome bathroom showdown between Amy & Jennifer are not high enough!
NY Post gives you more background on The Wolf of Wall Street's Jordan Belfort and how filthy rich he still is. So much for penance!
Vulture interesting piece on Inside Llewyn Davis and discrepancies with actual folk music culture as it was experienced at the time
Cinema Blend first images from Transcendence with Johnny Depp
Movie City News 12 weeks to go in the Oscar punditry game. Why is so little changing?
MNPP renames Hercules "The Legend of Pecules" which is all well and good since Kellan Lutz beefcake will surely be the only reason to watch it 
LA Times looks at the quiet subversive Oscar campaign for James Franco in Spring Breakers (oh I so wish the Globes had had the guts to go there 

List-Mania
Alan Sepinwall's  top ten TV of the year including Southland and Top of the Lake (yes times two) and I really co-sign the comments on both Mad Men and Masters of Sex
Matt Zoller Seitz's top ten TV of the year 
Stephen Holden's top thirteen of the year. So much capitalistic anxiety
Cinephiled this podcast gives you a peek inside the voting for the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards. I meant to share this last week but it's very much worth a listen: Starring James Rocchi, Karina Longworth, Alonso Duralde, and Amy Nicholson 
A.O. Scott's top ten of the year with love for the Coens and the McQueen but I'm most enthralled by #10 which goes like so:

10. ‘The Great Gatsby’/‘The Wolf of Wall Street’/‘The Bling Ring’/‘Spring Breakers’/‘Pain and Gain’/‘American Hustle’ Six variations on the big theme of our times: “Just look at all my stuff!” It’s capitalism, baby! Grab what (and who) you can, and do whatever feels good. We’re all going to hell (or jail, or Florida) anyway.

Slant individual top 10s from their team. And...
Slant top 25 films of the year (collectively) with lots of love for Museum Hours, Her, and Inside Llewyn Davis.They also loved two films I hated: Bastards (to me Claire Denis' nadir) and Upstream Color


Off Cinema

The Advocate on the gayest responses to Beyoncé's surprise album release. 
Gawker 'Beyoncé is just like everyone else only much better'
(I'm not really a music person but I definitely admire a capable surprise and in this day when most entertainment WILLFULLY spoils itself before it premieres I am so proud of this woman I don't even care about! I can't imagine how a celebrity that big kept all of that a secret when other celebrities and their teams were involved)
Playbill it's hard to imagine an odder pairing than avante garde performance artist Taylor Mac and Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin but here they are co-starring in The Last Two People On Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville which starts performances today! Hope I get a chance to see this one.

Wednesday
Jan112012

Crazy in Link

I Need My Fix Kate Winslet for St. John. I want to bury my hands in that rug. Look at it! So comfy.
The Atlantic remembers the worst January releases in recent memory. Ah, the toxic dumping ground.
Towleroad Madonna's new album will be called M.D.N.A ... maybe. So she said but was she serious?
THR reports from the NBR awards ceremony where Hugo was honored. Their photo gallery is from last year though so save the clicking on that.

IndieWire Catherine Deneuve will be honored at Lincoln Center this spring, receiving the Chaplin Award
Gold Derby The DGA's television nominees include actresses!
AWFJ Female film critics name their award winners with The Artist taking the top prize
Animation A big informative piece on Oscar finalist The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore.
Carpetbagger Jean Dujardin tries to impress Robert DeNiro... who is not easily impressed (at the NYFCC awards)

Guardian much about about nothing. They've closed the Natalie Wood case again in case you were wondering.
Scanners doesn't believe film critics should read screenplays until after they've seen the movie (but is happy to dissect them afterwards (Moneyball & Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). I kind of agree but I keep wanting to read Django Unchained. It is tempting me!
Gunaxin on Oscar nominations that look baffling in retrospect to some. Unfortunately it sounds like they didn't even see Howard's End before dissing it. I cry foul. Howard's End is GREAT. Merchant/Ivory movies get no respect and it makes me so angry. They were great filmmakers and that was the best film nominated that year.

P.S. "Do not weep for Beyoncé..."


BREAKING: Witch Who Granted Beyoncé Fame Returns To Claim Firstborn Child

[maniacal laugh maniacal laugh]