Entries in Octavia Spencer (23)
Hi, it’s Murtada. Despite “the world being in such turmoil”, I will take inspiration from my favorite awards speeches from actresses and get on with the job at hand. After setting up a monthly donation to the ACLU, and signing up to volunteer helping new immigrants, I’m ready with my “happy movie face”. First I will thank The Film Experience because when you leave it to the end, they play them “off with the music” or put them after the jump.
I'm thankful for….
- The Film Experience, its kind ringleader Nathaniel, its fantastic writers, its engaged readers and frequent commenters, a community, a breathing space, a respite.
- the great big fuck you and “truth telling” Octavia Spencer gives to racists everywhere in Hidden Figures, for her warm, funny and compassionate performance.
Fox may have a stealth player they are about to drop on the Oscar race. Hidden Figures, from Margot Lee Shetterly's book on this true story, follows a team of African American female mathemeticians that helped NASA's space program put John Glenn into orbit. Talk about a history we don't know nearly enough about, certainly not one we've seen expressed on film.
The cast carries it's own Oscar pedigree with nominee Taraji P. Henson and winner Octavia Spencer, but the standout here might just be musician Janelle Monáe (also coming this season in Moonlight). Her trademark showmanship and wit don't look to be a bit diminished by trying something new - we'll definitely be keeping an eye one her. The film also looks like a possible step up for St. Vincent writer/director Ted Melfi, so could this be a late season crowd pleaser surprise? Take a look at the first trailer:
Filming happened earlier this year, so even its planned wide release on MLK weekend is a sprint to the finish. Fox is confident enough in the film to be scheduling a first look of select footage during the Toronto Film Festival with a concert event led by Pharrell Williams. Sounds like a Christmastime limited release or qulaifying release is definitely on the table - and hopefully is yet another film to represent diversity this year.
Such Moving Pictures Clayton picks his top 11 of the year
The Film Doctor and his wife discuss Birdman and crisis of identity
The Backlot does a readers poll of the greatest gay movies but YIKES some of the titles and their rankings. It's also very very American movie centric. No Happy Together on a list of 100 greatest gay movies? THAT'S A DEAL BREAKER, LADIES.
20 Weeks to Oscar - David Poland wonders if it's wide open due to preferential balloting which he hates (and explains why)
NY Times Colleen McCullough author of the Thorn Birds dies at 77. My mom was obsessed with that miniseries when I was a little kid so I vaguely remember it.
Variety reviews Lila & Eve starring Viola Davis & Jennifer Lopez. Yes, I realize they're billed the other way round but let's be real, okay? I really wanted to see this one but it did not screen during the first five days when I was there. I'm hoping Michael saw it.
Film School Rejects talks about release / distribution for Sundance films. Sadly some of the biggest hits will undoubtely wait until the fall or winter to try to get Oscar traction. But a few will open before that like Dope (due in June).
Salon "I was an American Sniper, and Chris Kyle's war was not my war."
Art of the Title Sequence takes on Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing (1989)
The New Yorker Richard Brody thinks critics have failed female auteurs
/Film whoa. Martin Starr from Freaks & Greeks is all grown up and is playing a romantic lead in Amira & Sam
THR Oooh, a new leading role for Octavia Spencer in Seacole, a biopic of a Jamaican doctor
/Film Ezra Miller interviewed about The Flash on the street with Billy Crudup his Stanford Prison Experiment co-star. Nobody asks Billy Crudup about the time he turned down the Hulk in the early Aughts
Variety ooh Glenn Close & Frances McDormand are both going to be in a new drama called The Wife (Close is the lead who leaves her literary giant husband (Jonathan Pryce) just as he's about to be presented with the Nobel prize). Co-starring: Logan Lerman, Brit Marling, and Christian Slate
THR Megan Ellison saves Vidiots from closure
The Carpetbagger Clothes and character in The Theory of Everything and more
Allow me to be weirded out for a moment.
Did you know that Kirk (Sean Gunn) from Gilmore Girls played Rocket Raccoon on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy. I am dumbfounded. Perhaps this is common knowledge but I am only just realizing it. That Kirk was always trying new careers on for size in Stars Hollow but who knew he would ever end up like this!?
You is kind. You is smart. You is important."
I love The Help (2011). I don't care who knows it. So I'm immediately curious about Get On Up, Tate Taylor's follow up which reunites Minny & Aibileen though they both take a back seat since this time it's the story of rock legend James Brown (Chadwick Boseman). This trailer also starts with an affirmative.
You special. And your momma's a no account fool. But you ain't gonna be. One day everybody gonna know your name"
JAMES BROWN [*makes applause sound*]
Okay so that's not as universal an affirmation but... wait. oh. That makes Viola Davis the 'no account fool'? Do over! Not sure I'm okay with this. Time for a Yes No Maybe So™