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Entries in Mary J. Blige (6)

Monday
Nov272017

The Furniture: Building a Way out of Mudbound

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. 

“I dreamed in brown,” remembers Laura McAllan (Carey Mulligan), surveying the near-monochrome dirt of a Mississippi farm. This small pocket of land is owned by her husband, Henry (Jason Clarke), but one doesn’t get much of a sense that she’d call it home. He appears not to like it either, but is motivated by a sour sense of duty. Perhaps this is why his agricultural efforts fail, barely introducing any green into this expanse of brown.

Even more obvious, when it comes to metaphors, is the way Mudbound begins. Dee Rees opens her earthbound epic on Henry in the dirt, digging a grave. The deceased is his Pappy (Jonathan Banks), an acrimonious Klan member who has done his utmost to pass his ideology down to his sons. It’s largely worked on Henry. Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) resists, but still winds up digging in the mud.

 

At the bottom of this new ditch, Henry finds a skull. It’s a “slave’s grave,” he declares; he can tell by the bullet-hole. It’s a hint at an old story, one that Rees knows she needn’t bother put into words...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov162017

The 2017 Actress Roundtable Lineup

Chris here. There may already Gotham noms and film festivals, but Oscar season doesn't really start until The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable - at least in our hearts. This year's lineup includes returning folks Jennifer Lawrence (mother!), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes), and Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game), while the newbies are Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound - finally arriving on Netflix today!), and Allison Janney (I, Tonya).

The reliance on returning guests is still irksome, and that is particularly felt this year with a smaller lineup. The ongoing reckoning with sexual predators in the industry looms large over the conversation, but we also get the usual soundbites on creative risk, career advice, and dream collaborators. Who who you like to add to this lineup? Or what film would you recast with these ladies? (I'll offer Tiffany Haddish, and a Steel Magnolias where Lawrence plays Ouiser) Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Friday
Oct202017

The Epic and Crowded "Mudbound"

by Murtada

About halfway into Mudbound, the new film from Dee Rees (Pariah), the matriarch of a family of landowners in the Mississippi Delta Laura Mcallan (Carey Mulligan) offers a maid job to Florence (Mary J Blige), whose family are land tenants of Laura's husband Henry (Jason Clarke). The offer comes after Florence had been forced to leave her own family for a few days to help Laura with her sick young daughters. It is a startling offer that comes out of nowhere and Florence isn't given an option to accept or refuse, but rather told it’s been decided to hire her.

However before the audience can process the audacity of Laura’s offer and Florence’s resignation, we are immediately pulled into a combat battle in WWII where Henry’s brother (Garrett Hedlund) and Florence’s oldest son (Jason Mitchell) have enlisted. Herein lies Mudbound's dilemma...

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Friday
Sep082017

Dee Rees on 'Mudbound' 

by Murtada

Mudbound is having a moment this week. On the eve of its TIFF premiere, the trailer drops and Dee Rees, Carey Mulligan and Mary J Blige get the cover at Variety. Rees talks about how difficult it was to find a distributor at Sundance in the year after The Birth of a Nation debacle:

I feel like we were in the shadow of other films. This film is certainly on the level of — if not better than — that. To burden our film with that was unfair. That’s the hard thing about Hollywood; you realize it’s not fair. It’s not a meritocracy. It’s like, Come on.

More from Rees plus the movie's trailer after the jump..

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Thursday
Dec032015

THE WIZ LIVE! Live Blog with Anne Marie and Margaret

MARGARET: Good evening, Kansans and citizens of Oz! Margaret here with Anne Marie, ready and excited to ease on into NBC's The Wiz Live! 

ANNE MARIE: Last year Margaret and I re-capped that musical where Christopher Walken kinda sang a little bit, to the joy of few and the dismay of many. HOWEVER, this year The Wiz Live! looks like everything we ever wanted and more! The live-blog begins after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug142015

'The Wiz Live!' Has Its Full Cast

Margaret here with your live TV musical update. NBC has just announced the final principal cast members for its live production of The Wiz: R&B singer Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, Elijah Kelley (aka the showstopping dreamboat from Hairspray) as the Scarecrow, and Common as the Emerald City gatekeeper. 

The full cast, then, is set:

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