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Entries in Lee Daniels (15)

Tuesday
Apr292014

April Showers: The Paperboy

waterworks at eleven, here’s Andrew with a brief one

Would anyone be willing to stand with me when I declare The Paperboy to be the best thing Lee Daniels has done? The movie is undeniably crazy, out-of-control, off-centre, you name it. But, it’s this very tendency for excessiveness and divergent tones that makes it such a fine representation of Daniels’ skills as a filmmaker. The Paperboy, from its most hilarious moments to its most obscene, is completely a Lee Daniels in the best way possible. It has as many important things to say about race and social constructs in its era as much as Precious or The Butler but uses pulp, the ridiculous and even the improbable to tell its story. Sometimes with pit-stops at randomness for the hell of it.

Case in point, this evening’s shower about midway through the film. Important moment of character development, or just a chance for a fun, rainy dance with Zac Efron in underpants? You decide.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan102014

The Pryor Life

JA from MNPP here again, taking a look at the news that no less than Lee Daniels is about to sign on to directthe long-gestating bio-pic of the comedian and actor and genius Richard Pryor.



Apparently Bill Condon almost made it a couple of years ago, but I guess that's fallen through since here we are. I was really looking forward to Daniels making his interracial gay action movie, possibly to star Alex Pettyfer, but I'm not exactly surprised that producers aren't throwing money at that.

And not only do we have a director, but we have a trio of names that're rumored to be up to play the troubled, brilliant comedian. Eddie Murphy, who's been considered for the role for as long as they've been thinking about making the movie really, is still in the mix, although if they want to focus on Pryor's life in his 20s and 30s that seems a bit of a stretch, doesn't it? Eddie Murphy is 52 years old.

Of course also in the mix is Damon Wayans, who's actually a year older than Murphy so what do I know. (Condon was considering using Damon's brother Marlon, and he makes more sense to me.) But I guess they've got that CG they used in the third X-Men movie to make Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen look young, they can just spend millions and millions of dollars using that. (I hesitate to even mention make-up since I thought the make-up Daniels used to age people in The Butler was just awful.)

I personally find the third name in contention the most appealing - Michael B. Jordan, hot off a great performance in Fruitvale Station, and buzzy as all get out. I don't see why Daniels doesn't consider David Oyelowo too though - he was my favorite thing in The Butler (granted, I didn't like The Butler).

So who would you cast? And what do you think about Daniels tackling not just Pryor but another bio-pic largely set in the Sixties and Seventies so soon?

Tuesday
Jan072014

Mini-Symposium: Oscar's Fifth Spot (Part Two of Two)

Will American Hustle win multiple acting nods?ICYMI we are starting a new tradition here at The Film Experience. Though we usually gather a handful of prominent film bloggers to discuss the Oscar nominations in great detail (once they've had time to sink in), this year we're doing a mini-symposium before the nominations to discuss the always competitive situations surrounding the "just glad to be nominated" spot. Yesterday,  Kurt Osenlund (The House Next Door), Nathaniel R (The Film Experience, c'est moi), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and You (in the comments) began with the supporting categories and who might rise should one of the expected five in each category falter at the finish line. (Though if you really think it over, isn't Nomination Morning really the starting gate?)

Where we left off yesterday: Sasha thought Robert Redford's All is Lost nomination would still be nominated, despite worries that the campaign faded too quickly and that if anyone fell for DiCaprio or Whitaker it'd be Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips. Christopher thought Leo wasn't happening due to Wolf of Wall Street being "Zero-Dark-Thirty'd". We had spent a lot of time agreeing but that ends, now.

CHRIS: I had always thought Whitaker would get in, simply because he's really great and Lee Daniels' The Butler seemed like a perfect Oscar movie, but that one just has not seemed to take. If Harvey gets The Butler a Best Picture nod, I wouldn't be surprised to see Whitaker in there, probably at the expense of Hanks. But that's just crazy talk, since Captain Phillips is lined up as one of the strongest films in major categories. The Redford SAG snub was shocking, he hasn't really campaigned, and Bruce Dern has stolen away Redford's slam-dunk narrative for a win ... but I would still be stunned if Redford doesn't get a nomination. That said: Sasha's theory about Bale getting nominated as proof of the strength of American Hustle is a good one, but a more likely scenario for me is an Adams nomination for Best Actress. Either way, I think one of those lead performances gets a nod for that film, so if Bale winds up in, maybe he steals Redford's slot?

KURT: Hey all. Sorry for the silence on my end. I was out pretty late last night, braving the bitter streets of SoHo tucked into my coat, like a latter day Llewyn Davis. On that note, I think it's absolutely criminal that Oscar Isaac won't be making it into our Best Actor five this year, but I've pretty much accepted that reality, and I guess it's appropriate given the character's non-trajectory.

Leonardo of Wall Street, 30 Years a Butler, and Best Actress after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov192013

Hello Linky

In Contention talks to Saoirse Ronan about Grand Budapest Hotel, How I Live Now and acting for Ryan Gosling
DP/30 Chiwetel Ejiofor from 12 Years a Slave
Instagram James Franco's 'all the kids are doing it' selfie. (I love seeing celebrity mirror shots because that's how they see themselves. Ever notice how different you look in photos -how other people see you- versus how you look to yourself in the mirror?)
The Hollywood Reporter TIR wins the top prize and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Scarlett Johansson (Her) the acting awards at the Rome Film Festival

In Contention doublestuffed Oscar season coming at'cha
Pajiba on the highest grossing black directors. I expect Lee Daniels will keep moving up this list since he's prolific.
Coming Soon the German trailer to a new animated Tarzan

Off-Cinema
Playbill Carol Channing and Justin Bond for a little Hello Dolly 50th anniversary special? YES PLEASE
Salon are confused earnest celebrities the best at Twitter?
Variety Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark will (finally) close on Broadway in early 2014
Television Blend Arrow could lead to The Flash getting his own tv series. (I wish I liked this show but I've given it more than a fair try and it's dull/lame.)
Towleroad Warren & The Bening's son Stephen is so adorable (and totally looks like a blend of them if you ask me). Good for him becoming a reliable trans activist these past couple of years.

Today's Watch
The artist Anders Ramsell has "paraphrased" Blade Runner (his words) with 12,597 paintings. 

I've done nothing with my life!

Saturday
Sep212013

Link Hunter

Variety mourns film criticism wondering if Roger Ebert was the last critic who really mattered
Cinema Blend talks "narrative" in Oscar campaigns and what they might mean for the futures of Gravity and 12 Years a Slave
Pop Matters Matt Mazur elaborates on his comments from the last Supporting Actress Smackdown
Antagony & Ecstasy another rave review for Short Term 12, beautifully written by one of the web's best film critics. (This is why I hired him, yknow)


i09 in today's stupid remake news Neil Marshall who once directed a movie as good as The Descent is going to remake the clever Norwegian film Troll Hunter. Despite the fact that Trolls are kind of, you know, Scandinavian in nature in their appeal/fictional dominance. 
Awards Daily Sasha thinks its crazy to doubt a nomination for Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Maybe I am crazy but I'm kind of doubting it. Not wholly mind you... she's definitely in the running. But Oscar's acting branch does not like scifi and have only gone there a couple of  times really in lead (Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and Jeff Bridges in Starman spring to mind). But it could be that my feelings about the averageness of her performance are getting in the way. All that said, I do think it's strange to suggest that Oscar WANTS to reward women over 40 for being successful. On what basis is this a thing since they're always going for 20somethings when they could reward older women?
/Film Michael B Jordan, Saorsie Ronan, and David Oyelowo all being talked up for the next Star Wars movie 
Empire the first official picture from the tank-centric war film Fury starring Brad Pitt. I used to think that one day I'd grow out of Brad Pitt but it hasn't happened. And shan't. I just love him. 
Playbill Kristin Chenoweth to play Jennifer Lopez' best friend in the thriller The Boy Next Door about a woman (Lopez) who falls for her teen son's friend. I love me some Cheno but that is bizarre casting + genre weirdness, right? 

Today's Must Listens
Here's Lee Daniels talking about being gay and black in Hollywood... and in life. When asked which is harder in Hollywood he replies:

 I don’t know what to say to that. I want to answer that question to you but I have to be very honest with you that I’m afraid to answer that question because, uh, and I have to stay like Cecil and stay silent because I want to work."

 

Finally can we talk about BEST ORIGINAL SONG for a minute? I've been remiss as per usual in thinking through this category. IndieWire is pushing this rap number from Short Term 12, which is one of the film's key moments narratively and also emotionally courtesy of a pretty great performance from Keith Stanfield who also co-wrote the song with the director.

Until they abolish the category as some have argued they should, it's worth trying to suss out. But which songs will be eligible? Let's make a list in the comments while I'm updating my Oscar charts.