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Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

"All I know is that if I had worked on A Monster Calls, I'd be pretty pissed that I didn't get in but Sully did." -The Jack

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Entries in Naomie Harris (16)

Monday
Nov212016

Thoughts I Had... on THR's Actress Roundtable Cover

The annual tradition commences. Thoughts that came to me in the order they came to me with a few interjections from others...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct302016

Podcast: Moonlight, Sully, and Birth of a Nation

Impossible though it may be to believe, the podcast is back after an unintended hiatus. Joe, Nick, Nathaniel, Katey (and special guest Charlie) are all in house to discuss the arthouse hit Moonlight with a little on previous releases Sully and Birth of a Nation, too. Please continue the conversation in the comments if you've seen any of the films!

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 Welcome back everyone
01:48 Sully
09:08 Tom Hanks Best Actor nomination?
10:00 Moonlight
22:55 Moonlight's ensemble and Oscar prospects
30:25 Birth of a Nation's implosion and the Braveheart comparisons
38:20 Moonlight again for the wrap-up

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Articles referenced in this conversation
Thankless Marvel Roles | Nick's Moonlight Tweets |  TFE's Moonlight Review | VF's conversation with Barry Jenkins | Joe's Series "The Gay We Were" 

Moonlight and More

Friday
Oct282016

Moonlight's Trevante Rhodes on acting

With Moonlight adding more cities today after its impressive NY/LA first weekend, the cast and crew continue their press tour. In a conversation with Interview Magazine the film's breakout Trevante Rhodes revealed that until recently he didn’t think of himself as an actor. Rhodes, who plays the adult Chiron, had parts before Moonlight in Terence Malick’s yet to be released Weightless, and on HBO’s current hit series Westworld. However he didn’t fall in love with acting until he filmed a pivotal scene in Moonlight with Naomie Harris as his mother.

We cried every take. It was real to me. It was being in it with Naomie, who's incredible. In Chiron's mind, that was the first time she told him that she loved him in 15, 20 years, genuinely. Before that it was to get money. She looked at me in my eyes and told me that she loved me. What kid doesn't want to hear that from a family member who's been shitty to them their entire life? I was just being Chiron then, which was a blessing, because it was such a beautiful moment.

Now that he’s an actor, whose career would he like to emulate?

I told my team, "If at all possible, I know it's tough, but I want Jake Gyllenhaal, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Fassbender"—I want to encapsulate all that. And I want to be the black version.

You can read the whole interview here.

Monday
Oct032016

The Scene at NYFF with Naomie Harris and Kenneth Lonergan

Murtada reporting from a weekend at the NYFF.

The New York Film Festival enables local cinephiles to catch a finely curated collection of films that have screened at other festivals earlier in the year. It is also a veritable hotbed of casual sightings of the New York film crowd: there’s Todd Haynes entering the Alice Tully Hall animatedly chatting with his Carol editor Alfonso Gonçalves (who has two films in the festival: Gimme Danger and Paterson). Here's Mikhail Baryshnikov posing with his daughter Anna who’s in Manchester by the Sea; I see Bob Balaban making his way through the security line. And, look, Edie Falco introducing herself to Casey Affleck after the Q and A for his movie.

Lonergan in conversation with Jones

Most interesting though are the stories filmmakers tell as they screen their films...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep092016

A Brief Note on Moonlight's Oscar Buzz

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto Film Festival

I'll need more time to process Moonlight, a stunning triptych about a black gay man named Chiron at three stages in his life (played by Alex R Hibbet as a child, Ashton Sanders as a teenager, and Trevante Rhodes as an adult). A full review then is yet to come. Barry Jenkins' film inspired by the play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" is beautifully calibrated to explore its central theme of finding your identity. It provides no easy answers as to how to do that and no simple catharsis which could make it a difficult sell. If anyone is up to the task it's the distributor A24 who will platform release the film beginning on October 21st. 

As to the reductive topic of all the Oscar buzz, I am uncertain. Yes, it's going to be a huge critical success and some people's favorite of the year. Barry Jenkins has most definitely announced himself as a exciting formidable writer/director. Yes the cast is performing the material gorgeously particularly Mahershala Ali as a complex father figure to Chiron in the first act, and Trevante Rhodes who pulls all the Chiron's together with heartbreaking interiority in the last act. (Of note: Naomie Harris as Chiron's drug-addicted mother is the only actor to appear in all three chapters but she's impactful each time). But, how to put this... it's definitely an art film that's going to work best for audience members for whom identity politics resonate (*raises hand*). It's also a double minority story about being black and gay.

Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaches Chiron (Alex R Hibbet) to swim in Moonlight's first chapter "Little"

Oscar is, rather infamously, a majority instution if you get me. They normally need some "in" for LGBT or black stories, in the form of an already renowned director for the former or a famous historical event or famous actor in celebrity bio or some such for the latter. We'll see.

I repeat: If anyone is up to the task it's the distributor A24!