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Entries in Lorraine Toussaint (5)


The Toughest Emmy Quandary: Supporting Actress in a Drama Series?

We begin an Emmy FYC series tomorrow (Daily at Noon) since voting commences this month for nominations for the 67th Annual Emmy Awards. Emmy rules allow for 6 acting nominees per category. Though I shudder when any pundit suggests expanding lineups in any awards show -- it reduces the meaning if it's easy to get nominated -- if there were ever a convincing argument against honoring twice as many actors as usual, isn't it the 2015 Supporting Actress in a Drama Series field? 

For the past three years the category has been almost exclusively dominated by five women. The 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons saw a nominated shortlist that always included Christine Baranski (5 nominations for The Good Wife, 7 previous nominations with 1 win), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men, 5 nominations), Maggie Smith (4 nominations and 2 wins for Downton Abbey, 4 previous nominations with another win) and Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad, 3 nominations and 2 wins). Joanna Froggatt (Downton Abbey, 2 nominations) was usually in the lineup as well leaving very little wiggle room for other fine actresses. Essentially voters had one free spot each year that they were then quite fickle with. All but one of these five women are still eligible (Breaking Bad is finally off the air) which begs the question of how Emmy will deal with so many new and valuable players from freshman series or players who've been coalescing fans and momentum towards nominations without quite breaking in for other series.

Unless Emmy is willing to ditch one of their four beloveds (and it better not be Hendricks who had such a great sendoff in Mad Men and has been robbed in the past) there's only room for two newbies or returning players and there are a couple dozen of them (at least) to consider after the jump...

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AFI: Selma Premiere or, We Ate Cookies With Lorraine Toussaint!

Safely happily physically ensconced back in New York City, my head is still ping-ponging around that exciting week in Los Angeles. My thoughts take scary stumbles back in time to 1960s Alabama when white politicians and racists were trying to stop black citizens from voting. Sound familiar? The first part, I mean. Sadly in 2014 we're still fighting efforts to surpress the vote, making Ava DuVernay's upcoming Christmas release Selma a historical drama that is also uncomfortably contemporary.

The AFI FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY CORPORATION (don't make me say it, publicists!) closes tonight with Foxcatcher but we'll have a few more days of coverage to catch up. My closing night film was the world premiere of Selma. It was so fresh from the editing bay that the great cinematographer Bradford Young was brought up on stage five days earlier for that A Most Violent Year premiere (he's busy) only to instantly return to the film for color corrections. It was so new that a couple of visual effects and a few sound issues had not been fully resolved. The event was pitched as a preview of 30 minutes of the film but Oprah Winfrey, who produced, convinced Ava to seize the opportunity to present the (nearly) completed work. We were actually asked not to review it though I see that the rest of the internet has thoroughly disobeyed this studio request. Virtually the whole cast was there with the exception of the white guys (Allesandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Wilkinson) and Carmen Ejogo who plays Coretta Scott King.

More on Ejogo, Oscar play, and a party photos after the jump...

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Best Shot: OITNB Season 2

No sophomore slump for this sensation. Orange is the New Black's second season arrived on June 6th for the masses to binge watch on Netflix. We ended Season 1 with a cliffhanger battle between Piper and meth-head hilbilly Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning,) which landed Piper in the SHU (solitary confinement) and as Season 2 begins she's being hauled off in the dead of night, completely unaware of what's happened, whether Pennsatucky is dead or alive, and where she's headed. The unfamiliar guards act as if she isn't even there.

Please tell me where we're going."

It's a sensible enough question, and a perfect one for a new season which no longer has the source material to work from (Chicago was the end of Piper's jail term in the book and here it lasts just the first episode of the season). Untethered to adaptation, and with the rich often fictionalized world of the prison already established where will Jenji Kohan take us? [More...]

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The Daily Beast the sexual politics of Ghostbusters, 30 years later
The Wire the career of Lorraine Toussaint before Orange is the New Black 
BFI let's kill the buzzword "hybrid" when it comes to documentaries 
/Film there might be a sequel to Neighbors... which wouldn't surprise anyone
Variety Kino-Lorber has picked up one of Sundance's buzziest titles A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, an Iranian vampire movie, for US distribution (Glenn's review icymi)

In Contention on an new animated contender from GKids, Boy vs. World 
Pajiba celebrates Emily Blunt's greatness as an action star in Edge of Tomorrow
Guardian The director and his muse will try for more Oscars in 2016 with a biopic called Joy about the creator of the Miracle Mop. She was 12 years out of college with 3 children when all this stuff happened. Eventually Jennifer Lawrence will be old enough for the parts David O. Russell keeps casting her in.  
MTV Channing Tatum still super excited about Gambit prospects. Everyone wants their superhero dollars
AV Club rumors abound that it's either Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy or Jared Leto for Doctor Strange. I worry that Marvel has no clear vision of what they want. What connects any of those actors beyond fame? Very different gifts and styles. (I love Hardy as an actor but he seems like a terrible fit for that character)

Off Cinema
Variety on the explosion of new TV shows in summer now that the game has changed
Cinema Blend Steven Spielberg wants to turn Bryan Cranston's tony winning performance into a tv miniseries
Playbill shares the Tony "In Memoriam" segment that strangely didn't air 
Playbill collects all the Tony performances in one place (seriously, it's like no one even needs to watch live tv anymore) 

And finally I just want to say a big congratulations to Peyton Reed for his new gig.  I've been rooting for him ever since the one-two punch of Bring It On and Down With Love, two stylish, absorbing, joyful, funny movies with a real vision behind them. I was bummed when his proposed retro version of Fantastic Four was cancelled in the Aughts and for what: A low-rent generic lousy f/x heavy version? But it's been so long since he was in the news that I figured his career was over. But now he'll direct Ant-Man. There's been a lot of online sniping calling him a hack, even from sites I otherwise like, but those writers should really think before they type and consider his filmography. There's some "for hire" business yes, but he's a good director. It's an unexpected choice but a good one... even if I'm still deeply suspicious of the project considering Wright's departure and Marvel's current game plans.


Supporting Actress, My Ballot

With Oscar barrelling towards us (at last) I have no choice but to wrap up my own awards. I don't know where I'll find the time but forward into film bitch awardage...

there's an anchor of grief under those voluminous dresses pulling her down

My Best Supporting Actress Starter Kit, about 20 actresses long, was quite a lot different than the one we heard about all pre-season. For starters Helen Hunt and Ann Dowd, who Oscar season dubbed "supporting", were leading stars for me (Hunt's designation is entirely debatable, Dowd's is not). I am, as ever, more impressed with stylized genre-friendly work than awards bodies, particularly Oscar, ever are. I think Eva Green in a movie that wasn't much good (Dark Shadows), Gina Gershon and Nicole Kidman in movies that might accurately be called "trashy" (Killer Joe and The Paperboy) were all running circles around more respectable names like Maggie Smith or Amy Adams that kept cropping up in "Best of" lists. And though surprise Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver did make my top 12 for her homey egg-shell peace-making in Silver Linings Playbooks, my personal vote for Doing the Most With The Least this year would go to Olivia Munn in Magic Mike... though I didn't go quite so far as to nominate her.

That's all just preface - the point being that I debate this with myself (and with you in the comments) all year long. In the end while Oscar chose an entirely respectable list (save for the exclusion of the incomparable Nicole Kidman which I shall forever deem indefensible) my list has only two women in common with theirs. I had to make room for Diane Kruger (Farewell My Queen) and Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere), too.


As always I welcome respectful disagreements, fan mail and counterpoint lists. In Actressland many five-top opinions are welcome in "Best" lists.