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If Beale Street Could Talk

"Thank you ! Did we all read "Giovanni's Room" when we were teens ... and were slightly baffled and taken ?? Now I'm curious .. about this movie" - Martin

"We don’t deserve something this beautiful in 2018..." - Margaret

"I thought it was a terrific, lovely film but with some flaws. I don't think the voiceovers work well in the film and nor was it necessary since the film was already so infused with Baldwin's voice. " - Raul 

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Entries in Viola Davis (122)

Sunday
Nov182018

Podcast: Green Book, Widows, and the Best Supporting Actor Race

Nathaniel R and Murtada Elfadl talk new films and the Oscar race


Index (68 minutes)
00:01 We didn't see Fantastic Beasts 2
01:46 Steve McQueen's Widows is more than a heist movie. We dive into its themes, best scenes, and particularly its all star ensemble: Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Brian Tyree Henry, Cynthia Erivo, Robert Duvall, Michelle Rodriguez,and Olivia the dog!
25:44 Widow's Best Picture chances?
28:09 'Crowd-Pleaser' Green Book does not please Murtada. Thoughts on the movie, escapist laughter, road trip tropes, and Mahershala Ali's Oscar clip.
42:05 Best Supporting Actor discussion including Richard E Grant, Mahershala Ali, Michael B Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Sam Rockwell, Adam Driver, Steven Yeun, etc...
52:00 Spirit Nominations: Suspiria for ensemble? We the Animals, Blame and other micro-indies that did well. Who is going to win?
1:07:00 Byeeee

Further Reading / References
Shadow & Act's pan of Green Book
Vox's pan of Green Book
Middleburg's Green Book audience win
• The Spirit Award nominations
Murtada's We the Animals interview
Supporting Actor Oscar Chart

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

Green Book and Widows

Thursday
Oct042018

Months of Meryl: Doubt (2008)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

#40 —Sister Aloysius Beauvier, a nun and Catholic school principal who wages battles with a suspicious new priest.

JOHN: Arriving at John Patrick Shanley’s 2008 film adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt felt like stumbling upon a waterfall in the desert. After a fallow period marked by smallish, adequate performances in dull-to-dreadful films, Meryl Streep finally inherited a meaty, challenging role in a tony adaptation well worth her time and talent, and alongside fellow acting titans at that.

In Doubt, it is 1964, and Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Streep) is the harsh and unforgiving principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx. Feared by most students and routinely respected by her fellow nuns, especially the younger, guileless Sister James (Amy Adams), Sister Aloysius comes to believe that a heinous crime has been perpetrated under her roof...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep122018

Viola Davis has regrets about 'The Help'

by Murtada Elfadl

Viola Davis has some regrets about her Oscar-nominated performance in The Help (2011). In the film she played Aibileen Clark one of several black maids - along with Oscar winner Octavia Spencer - interviewed by a young white journalist (Emma Stone) who’s writing a book about the racism and prejudice they faced in 1960s Mississippi. At the time the film faced criticism of having a white saviour problem. That is, only dealing with racism from the perspective of the white characters and what they do to combat it.

It’s a story as old as film, with numerous examples. Some set in the US like Driving Miss Daisy (1989) and others elsewhere, Cry Freedom (1990), to name just a couple. Davis agrees with that take, telling the NYTimes in a recent interview...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep102018

Beauty Break: Toronto Red Carpet

by Murtada Elfadl

The reviews and tweets are coming in fast and furious from Toronto. Let's take a break from all that and look at the many premieres from the weekend and the many beautiful people who walked the carpet.

If Beale Street Could Talk brought together (L-R) Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Barry Jenkins and Teyonah Parris.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep092018

TIFF Review: "Widows"

by Chris Feil

If you thought that Steve McQueen’s Widows would be less of a body blow as his other films simply because the genius director is dipping into the mainstream, guess again. A quaint notion that is thankfully not the case - McQueen hasn't softened a bit, and thank goodness.

Watching the film is like laying on a bed of nails, danger at every turn as you dodge its narrative and formative land mines. McQueen’s previous films such as 12 Years a Slave and Shame depicted viscerally physical experiences, making for intense films that can be felt as deeply in the body as well as the soul. Though Widows is less concerned on physical tolls taken on its characters than those efforts, that doesn’t mean you don’t still feel Widows down to your bones.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep042018

We ❤️ Viola

So proud to have been a fan since 2002! Viola Davis gets the cover story in the current Variety as she gears up for her Widows debut at TIFF. Can't wait to see it. But damn, that Best Actress race is getting crowded. (Kris Tapley even suspects Olivia Colman will go lead