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Entries in Viola Davis (88)


Viola Davis to Break Records if She Crashes the Best Supporting Actress Party

Over the weekend Viola Davis's camp confirmed they were officially aiming for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences. This disappoints us since she won the Lead Tony on Broadway for the role and now it seems like we're going to remain ages and ages away from another WOC winning Best Actress. It's been a long time since Halle Berry. Viola will of course become the most nominated black actress at the Oscars ever if she's nominated for Fences (which will be her 3rd nomination) making her the immediate frontrunner. 

Can Viola & Denzel repeat their Tony winning dominance at the Oscars for Fences?

Updated Best Actress Chart
Updated Best Supporting Actress Chart 

But let's discuss a less cited but even more impressive (though frustrating) record Viola may break. If Viola is nominated for Fences she becomes not just the most nominated black actress but the most nominated black woman of all time in any category. Viola is currently tied with five other women with two nominations each: most famously Oprah Winfrey (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress... she also has the non-competitive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award), Whoopi Goldberg (both for acting), and Ruth E Carter (both times for costume design) who rose up in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the turn of the century three more black women have joined them: Viola, plus Sharen Davis (both times for Costume Design) and Siedah Garrett (both times for Original Song). The only way Viola doesn't keep this record for her own is if Sharen Davis joins her in a tie for most nominated in January. Sharen designed the costumes for Fences and could also be in the mix this year for a third time. Of those six women, only Whoopi has won a competitive Oscar. 

Costume Designer Sharen Davis (Fences) could break the record WITH Viola!

P.S. One Last Note: I would like to say that the way sites are reporting on Fences is going to be disturbing us all season. I keep reading sentences like this:

'August Wilson adapted his own play for the screen and beefed up Viola's role'.

As far as we know that is not true unless of course he wrote a screenplay version that collected dust in a drawer before any movie version was planned and before there was even a revival on Broadway that they ended up using a decade later when the movie finally got a greenlight. August Wilson died in October 2005, eleven years ago (five years before Viola and Denzel won their Tony Awards for his classic play). From our understanding the movie version is just the great playwright's revival text again with dramaturgy by Tony Kushner (he's not taking screen credit for "adapting" the transition to the screen... which is probably wise given the sensitive topic of the Oscars not appreciating black artists enough). A posthumous nomination for Wilson seems possible (given the current spin) but it's still odd since he passed away over a decade before the movie began filming.



Comics Alliance Joss Whedon on which Avenger would make the best US President
Vulture Tom Ford celebrates Jake Gyllenhaal's lack of manscaping
THR Viola Davis to star in Steve McQueen's Widows, a female heist picture 
Acidemic offers tips for hunting for buried genre treasures (in this case vampire films) on Amazon Prime
Bloody Disgusting the "Godfather of Gore" Gordon Lewis has passed away at 87. He's the cult filmmaker Juno and her new pal Jason Bateman obsessed over together
Huffington Post Danielle Brooks and Gabby Sidibe love their plus size bodies for Lane Bryant. Cute commercial

Watch This an interview with John Butler who made Handsome Devil which will hopefully get a release soon. Fair warning: the type is ridiculously small. What is this, Tumblr?
Coming Soon Dr Strange gets wobbly cosmic blurs motion posters
US Weekly continuing the garbage fire theme of 2016 in which both people and Love keep dying, Naomi Watts & Liev Schrieber are breaking up 
EW Tom Holland in Spidey suit with mask off, a image from filming a scene or just goofing off?
CASFFA 2016 our own Glenn Dunks was on the jury and Best Film went to Eva Nova which is Slovakia's entry in Foreign Film
TFE... those foreign film charts if you missed them. Sooo many exciting prospects to seek out 
Playbill Tony Awards announce their eligibility dates for next summer. The awards show will be June 11th 
Playbill The Broadway adaptation of Disney's Frozen just had a creative team shakeup
Kenneth in the (212) King Cobra opens next month. I forgot all about James Franco's latest gay baiting 

Off Cinema
Time Out lists the 25 best Broadway cast recordings of the new century. I definitely don't love the whole list (the high placement for The Full Monty is rather baffling) but there are many gems here. The two albums I've listened to the most from this list are Wild Party (love this write up) and The Light in the Piazza (utterly sublime -it would've been my #1)
Slate the cast of Wil & Grace reunites for a special episode about the 2016 Election
John Oliver breaks down the Trump scandals vs the Clinton scandals. The punchline is a work of prop department genius 

Tweet of the Day
Post-presidential debate movie jokes for the win 


Review: Suicide Squad

Well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  But it wasn't very good, either.

by Lynn Lee

Suicide Squad was supposed to be DC Comics’ answer to Marvel’s big-screen dominance.  It had even more pressure riding on it to make up for the underwhelming Batman vs. Superman.  Unfortunately for DC, there’s nothing here to challenge Marvel’s crown.

It’s not that it’s unwatchable, it’s that everything about it is either unfocused or uninspired: the plotting, the fight scenes, the visual aesthetic, and most damning of all, the character development.  Let’s face it, most superhero movies are variations on the same handful of basic plot arcs and themes; their rhythms are so familiar to us that they rarely pack true surprises.  What makes some more compelling than others is the characterization of the heroes (and, less frequently, their villains)...

Click to read more ...


Queen Viola. And Other Links

Bless Viola Davis forever
A TMZ reporter asks her if Suicide Squad will net her another Oscar nod. Her face at this question! Her quote while laughing:

No. But that's okay. I'll stick with it. 

We'll take it she means acting and not critically lambasted supervillain movies. P.S. Have you heard about the hilarious petition to shut down Rotten Tomatoes because of  Suicide Squad's abyssmal approval percentage (worse than Batman v Superman's score!). I guess we need a PSA on what "aggregate" means and also a PSA on how to find a good therapist in your neighborhood. In more Suicide Squad news, THR has a story about its rushed production and competing edits. Worth a read if you're curious (but just ignore that confusingly written subheader). 

Vulture Mark Harris on the indie boom for actresses over 60: Streep, Smith, Danner, Field, Mirren and hopefully more to come...
Times Talk Meryl Streep will be doing one on August 11th so watch the live webcast
Awards Daily Cheryl Boone Isaacs reelected as Academy president
Awards Daily TV on how a new rule may hurt shows with multiple nominees in various Emmy categories
TFE ICYMI we looked at David Harbour's best work --> He was glad to see stage work on it

Off Cinema
The Washington Post The once prolific Stephen Sondheim, who hasn't written a musical since 1999, reportedly has a new one nearing the finish line!!! 
Playbill Cheyenne Jackson lists his favorite theatergoing experiences - fun group
Social Justice For All "How very dary you Hillary" a change of heart from a former Bernie man
Esquire "A few words about progress. And grace. And American cool." Gorgeous piece on Obama's place in history and his Democratic Convention piece.

Look at this perfect instagram from the Academy! 


#Oscars #movies #greatmovies #oscarweekend

A photo posted by The Academy (@theacademy) on Aug 2, 2016 at 9:00am PDT



Q&A: Magnani, Cameos, Oscar Ties, and Homoeroticism

I promised a second round of Q&A this week so here we go. Seven more reader questions answered...

Mr W: Do you have any thoughts on Anna Magnani? She's one of my Top 10 Actresses of all time, but I don't think I've ever read anything on her from you.

I do not. Embarrassing to admit but I've only seen her in The Rose Tattoo (1955) which she was wonderful in. Any suggestions as to where to start?

/3rtful: Is there one unsung veteran actress you would like to see get an award season career boost through Ryan Murphy?

There's very few veterans I wouldn't want to see good a career boost. But i'll just name a dozen (and anyone reading should know I could list another 5 dozen with ease -- I shoulda been a casting director). Given that Murphy usually pulls from the 80s and 90s actressing packs (which, one assumes, reflects his formative fandoms) I wish he would throw a bone to Shelley Duvall (though maybe given her rumored mental health this isn't a good idea), Ally Sheedy, Daryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, or Lesley Ann Warren any of whom might be brilliant within his unusually creepy heightened worlds...

Click to read more ...


Thoughts I Had... The 'Suicide Squad' Character Posters

After Finding Dory's big opening this past weekend, our last remaining potential mega hit of the summer is Suicide Squad. The twist on the superhero super-antihero blockbuster is our only comic book film of the season left (shocking, right?) and is pushing hard to turn favor for the DC Universe after this spring's unmentionable. While it has a cast packed with stars and recognizable faces, some of its characters are still unknown to the masses.

And wouldn't you know, here's a new set of character posters to get you acquainted! We've covered the film's building teases, but this is too poppy and fun to pass up. 

Here are some thoughts...

Viola Davis: Superhero sounds like the summer blockbuster we actually need and deserve. Special powers include being flawless, cutting victims down to size with a single withering glance, and making the masses cry on cue. "Worst. Heroes. Ever."?? Not on your life, darling...

Click to read more ...


Linky Nyong'o

The Playlist Guillermo del Toro working on a movie where Richard Jenkins is a merman and Sally Hawkins is in love with him? What? And also: why not! 
Sense 8 returns soon. Here's a fun photo album blog on the making of Season 2
Decider It's the 20th anniversary of everyone's favorite crazy teen bitches and also witches movie The Craft (1996)
Variety because sooner or later every male star is required to play a serial killer, Michael Fassbender will do his duty for Entering Hades based on the John Leake's true crime novel
Vulture Jennifer Hudson gets unexpectedly honest about her lack of a Tony nomination


Interview talks with romance-novel-cover ready fantasy man, the Outlander star Sam Heughan
Playbill George C Wolfe and Oprah Winfrey are working on a cool sounding project called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks about a woman whose cervical cancer cells were harvested without her permission in the 50s and cloned again and again.
Pajiba this is not the angle of Pajiba's story but as with seemingly all biopic subjects Harriet Tubmann suddenly has two competing biopics in the work: Viola Davis's for HBO and one for theatrical release about which we had previously heard nothing. (Too bad that they can't be fused into one with the best elements of both because good luck finding an actress as famous and as talented and as theoretically bankable  as Viola for the actual theatrical version)
Playbill Patti Lupone on Penny Dreadful (uff, she's so great on that show) and her next musical War Paint
Lenny Letter Tony nominee and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o reveals why she chose a small play as Oscar follow up in a great piece. Here's a brief excerpt:

As an actress, feeling connected to a fully realized, complex character is what I look for first. The size of the role, and the budget, and the perceived "buzz" around the project are much less important to me. As an African woman, I am wary of the trap of telling a single story. I decided early on that if I don't feel connected to, excited by, and challenged by the character, the part probably isn't for me. If I'm ever in doubt, I envision the career choices of artists I admire, like Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, and Viola Davis. They are all fearless actresses who approach every role without ego or vanity. They have a fierce commitment to the moment and the role, whether it's the lead or a character we see for just one scene. They give it their all, and it shows. The thought of having a career that in any small way might resemble theirs excites me.

She has good taste in actress heroes!

To Get It Off My Chest
Collider says the Captain America & Avengers filmmakers, the Russo Bros, are game for an LGBT character in the Marvel-verse and the article praises them accordingly for saying so (sigh). I'm not pinpointing Collider but this is a classic example of something the internet loves: 'filmmakers/actors/authors are for insert progressive thing!' news (this is also happening a lot with Star Wars of late). But here is the thing: it is NOT news but hypothetical speculation and, as such, we should not be praising anyone. Until Marvel (and other studios) and filmmakers actually show diversity we MUST stop giving them credit for suggesting that they will one day show diversity. This is also true of their issues with race. Let's stop congratulating people for hypotheticals and start concentrating on praising filmmakers who already have diversity in their films. It's like everyone praising JK Rowlings for retconning Harry Potter's Dumbledore when she wasn't brave enough to actually have him gay within the books. UNLESS PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY DOING IT, STOP PRAISING THEM FOR SUGGESTING THAT THEY'RE COOL ENOUGH TO DO IT AND THEY MIGHT AT ANY MOMENT. JUST NOT RIGHT NOW