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Entries in Quvenzhané Wallis (19)


Tim's Toons: Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Tim here. To the right kind of viewer (e.g. the kind writing this review), Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is THE animated event of 2015. Which does not, unfortunately, turn out to mean that it is THE best animated film of 2015, or even in the running for that title. But let us not accentuate the negative; it's still a special and enormously idiosyncratic little movie, and its failures are honorable.

The film is a long-simmering passion project for producer Salma Hayek, one of the many ardent fans to accrue to Gibran's 1923 English-language collection of essays (Gibran was Lebanese, as was Hayek's grandfather). When, exactly, she decided that the adaptation needed to be done in animation is anyone's guess, but it was exactly the right choice: the book consists primarily of a series of spiritual lessons in the form of prose poetry, with the ghost of a narrative connecting them. The film by necessity fleshes out that narrative considerably and literalizes it, but the meat of the film is still those essays: eight out of Gibran's original 26, each handed off to a different luminary in the world of international animation.

Those eight sequences are easily the best reason to see The Prophet.

Click to read more ...


No Sophomore Slump?

Here’s Murtada with casting news for three directors’ sophomore efforts after the critical success of their debuts.

Insane chemistry retread?

While everyone is talking about Miles Teller and how maybe he was fired from La La Land, the new movie from his Whiplash (2014) director Damien Chazelle, that movie has been adding cast members. It's got a rather charming cast all told. Joining Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in lead and J.K. Simmons and Ex Machina’s Sonoya Mizuno in support, are John Legend (Selma) and Rosemarie Dewitt (Rachel Getting Married).

The movie is about an aspiring actress (Stone) and a musician (Gosling) falling in love while trying to make it in LA. Legend’s role is unknown but we assume his talents as an Oscar winning songwriter will be used in some capacity in addition to his acting. DeWitt will reportedly play Gosling’s sister. Can you spot any family resemblance?

Yesterday Michael Shannon and  Aaron Taylor Johnson were announced as the latest additions to Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals joining Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams. There were reports a few months ago that Joaquin Phoenix was being considered for a part, which we'll assume is the one Shannon has now taken. Plot details are sketchy on this one beyond the fact that it’s based on Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony And Susan, and it involves two interlocking stories. One story is maybe a fictional one within the other. Ford has written the script and could have veered a bit from the book. Any readers of the book that can shed some light on the plot?

Will he find someone as talented as Quvenzhane Wallis?

And  Benh Zeitlin is finally following up Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). Reports appeared online that he has put up a casting call for child actors to appear in his new movie Wendy. Filming will take place in Antigua and the story is about “a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging over a form of pollen that breaks the relationship between aging and time.” Hmmm, sound similar to Beasts, no? Other reports say it's loosely based on the Peter Pan myth.

Expect to see these three intriguing projects in 2016. Have they jumped to the top of your most anticipated lists?



Another Lead Role for Quvenzhané Wallis

Margaret here to talk about what's new with everyone's favorite collector of puppy purses: Quvenzhané Wallis is on a roll. Her breakout performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild could have easily put her in the pantheon of one-hit wonder child actors, but the way she's been lining up projects makes that look unlikely. Now 11 years old, Little Q is two months out from the release of her first big studio film in the musical Annie which, with the Columbia promotional muscle behind it, might make her a real star. She has also just signed on to star in an adaptation of best-selling middle grade novel "Counting by 7s."

In the Holly Goldberg Sloan story, Quvenzhané will play a 12-year-old genius named Willow Chase who loses her adoptive parents in a car crash and has to push past her grief to find a new community of support. Said Quvenzhané to Deadline:

I am honored to play the role of Willow in 'Counting by 7s'. I love the message behind the story. I am excited to be a part of it and to see it come to life." 

Other upcoming projects for the busy young Oscar-nominee include voice work in an adaptation of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, and Fathers and Daughters, where she will star alongside Jane Fonda, Octavia Spencer, and Russell Crowe.

Even if none of these particular jobs ends up being earth-shattering, this steady work is heartening for those of us rooting for her to grow into a full-fledged acting career. At the very least we're in for some incredibly charming press tours. Is it foolish to hope that there's another Hushpuppy-level performance in her future?

Who'da man?


Yes, No, Maybe So: "Annie" and Kneejerk Musical Reactions

"How many 'Tomorrow's until Annie comes out?"
"293, kids!"

Quvenzhané Wallis stars as little orphan "Annie"

That means we just need to get through 294 days of internet hyperbole BEFORE ANYONE SEES IT about how the new Annie (the third filmed version after a 1982 feature and a 1999 telefilm) is the worst thing that ever existed and musicals suck and it's going to kill everyone's career... Give me strength! BUT in fairness to whatever social media hatred happened (I only saw a little but I'm assuming there was more since I wasn't online much last night) the new trailer which is embedded at the end of the post, does ring alarm bells.

Here's the thing. I realize that my own kneejerk defensiveness/love for any and all new musicals before I see them, is, in some ways exactly like the internet's kneejerk distrust/hatred of any and all new musicals before they see them. Both reactions have less basis in reality than in indoctrination. But the reason my indoctrination is superior (heh) is because its self-indoctrination - a connosieur's faith in his own taste and in the possibilites of the genre and not lazy long-since disproven cultural indoctrination that this genre is over or passé. I can blather about this peculiar problem for HOURS but I should probably spare you and we'll get back to "Annie".

After the jump we'll discuss the pros, cons, and "which column do I put this in" beats from the trailer. 

Click to read more ...


Tomorrow tomorrow I luv ya tomorrow. You're only 411 days away

Quvenzhané Wallis strutting to playback

Sounds tinny? And what do you need that much oxygen for "a (breath) day (breath) a (breath) wayyyyyyyyy" but set footage always looks/sound chintzy so I shan't judge. Things look sound/different onscreen. Annie arrives for Christmas (December 19th to be exact) 2014.


First Look: Quvenzhané Wallis as Lil' Orphan "Annie"

Classic musical moppet "Annie" may no longer be a brilliant orange redhead but the new film version was savvy enough to still give her a memorable mop o' hair. Here's our first peek at Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis as the singing orphan.

This photo also reveals that the musical is no longer a Depression era fable, but set in the here and now. But it's obviously still not going for realism. Quvenzhané, who turned 10 last month, was biking around Harlem like so in character and CitiBike is not offered up here in Harlem much to the frustration of residents like Harlem Gal Inc and me... I was totally going to sign up but CitiBike currently ends at 59th street. Damn them!

Annie (2014), opening Christmas day next year, will be our first chance to see the Oscar nominee act since she was a five year old since Beasts of the Southern Wild was filmed years before it was released. Yes, she's in 12 Years A Slave but you won't even realize -- mere seconds of screentime!



Podcast: The Spectacular Now & Lovelace

On this week's podcast -- four in a row bitches! (bet you thought we'd falter by now) -- Katey, Joe, Nick and Nathaniel discuss Amanda Seyfried's VOD title Lovelace and "research" on Deep Throat. We also hit the touching romantic teen drama The Spectacular Now with Miles 'Hit & Miss' Teller and Adorable Shailene Woodley. Before wrapping up we offer up 10th birthday gifts to Beasts of the Southern Wild's adorable star Quvenzhané Wallis.

To find out how Diane Warren's oeuvre, Eric Robert's junk, Lindsay Lohan & Amanda Bynes twin trajectories, and Maggie Gyllenhaal's marriage figure in to all of this you'll have to tune in.


You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download it on iTunes. Did you see Lovelace or The Spectacular Now? What would you give Hushpuppy for her birthday?

Lovelace & The Spectacular Now