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Entries in Viola Davis (44)

Monday
Aug252014

How To Get Away With Linking

/Film Keith Stanfield of Short Term 12 fame will play Snoop Dogg in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. He also has a key supporting role in Selma. So glad things are going his way
Buzzfeed Must read list of 17 black women who deserve their own biopic. God, if we could get even half of these projects greenlit there'd finally be roles for our best black actresses to fight over. I'd replace some of the dream names with better actresses though. Where's my Lorraine Toussaint and Kimberly Elise?
In Contention icymi images from Selma have been going around. Can't wait to see this movie 
Playboy interviews the one and only Terry Gilliam on Zero Theorem and his past pictures


Playbill in light of all the 'was it or wasn't it cut from the movie?' discussion around Into the Woods' songbook, here's a list of famous numbers that were cut from their film versions like Cabaret, Dreamgirls and so on
Gawker has an amusing objection to Clive Owen hawking vodka
MI6 the new James Bond film is looking for a memorable assassin called "Hinx" -- muscular and over 6'2" and will have some major fight scenes. 
Bam Smack Pow a twitter account called Josh Trank gave us our first look at what Jamie Bell will look like in Fantastic Four (i.e. not like Jamie Bell at all. Ugh. Why you wanna cast him in a role where we can't see his face. Sigh) but it turned out to be a prank
Moviefone talks with Joseph Gordon-Levitt about Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and tries to ask about that proposed Sandman adaptation, too

Tweet of the Week

 

 

 Love you Viola! We do. We do

Gay Gay Gay
The Guardian MPAA is homophobic. What else is new. If you have gay content you're obviously always R. Even without sex scenes. See: Love is Strange
The Advocate explains why there needs to be more gay sex on television. Looking can't do it alone!   

Cinema and Real Life
The Stake on what we can learn from sci-fi movies and TV about the militarization of police forces 
Salon is the medium's obsession with Robin Williams suicide rough on those struggling with depression? That'd be a yes.

Off Cinema But Of Interest
i09  incredible photo tribute to the cats who served in World War I. I had no idea about this. I now feel personally cheated that there's never been a good cat moment in a prestige war movie.
AV Club have you heard there's a transphobic Congressmen messing with Laverne Cox's Wikipedia page. Shameful. (And while we're on the subject of Orange is the New Black stars, I'm thrilled that Lori Petty will be joining Season 3. I guess she'll get transferred to Litchfield or something)
Salon interviews Sinead O'Connor on her new record and why she won't sing some of her early work anymore 

Friday
Aug222014

Viola Davis. 'Holy s***, that woman can act!'

Here's Matthew Eng on where we are in the career of one of the great screen actresses... 

“Holy shit, I love watching this woman act!” is what I immediately thought during Viola Davis’s doozy of a “big scene” in Get on Up, which nearly every review of Tate Taylor’s surprisingly strong James Brown biopic has been well-inclined to praise. As Brown’s aged, long-estranged mama, Davis—with the aid of terrific star Chadwick Boseman and some pretty expert makeup artists whose numbers Clint Eastwood should find immediately—manages to reinvigorate a set-up familiar from any number of tortured artist-biopics (i.e. absentee parent comes groveling years later to abandoned child-turned-superstar at the peak of his fame) with the same smart, electrifying clarity of character and tender yet tough-minded emotionalism that should be long-recognizable by now to anyone who has seen Doubt or Antwone Fisher or Solaris or Won’t Back Down, or else FencesKing Hedley II, or Seven Guitars on Broadway, or, more likely, witnessed Davis’ extraordinary, one-woman rescue job on Taylor’s The Help.

Holy shit, I love watching this woman act. It’s not the first time the thought’s run through my head.

Davis is, as usual, great in Get on Up, a superior musical drama that’s prone at times, like all entries in this genre, to some patchy plotting and tacky set-pieces, but which sports the affecting ensemble, sobering insights, and stellar, sweat-stained concert sequences that Eastwood and his animatronic Jersey Boys could only dream about. Davis’ role is also, as usual, brief but crucial to the movie at-hand. [More...]

 

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Friday
Aug082014

Review: Get On Up

Michael has joined Nathaniel on weekend review duties so you get two. Here he is on Get On Up...

The opening scenes of Get On Up are so loose and dynamic they give the viewer reason to hope that Tate Taylor’s take on James Brown’s life story sidestepped the pitfalls that trap so many musical biopics. The film shuffles back and forth through Brown’s life with such breathless energy it’s as if the screenplay itself is possessed by the spirit of Soul Brother No. 1. It’s exhilarating, but the thrill dissipates quickly when it becomes clear that underneath the exploded chronology and the surface razzmatazz, Taylor’s film is operating from the same old biopic playbook. It turns out Get On Up is as square as the squarest prestige Oscar grab, right down to the dumb trope of pinning all of the star’s self-destructive behavior to a childhood trauma.

With the hyper-kinetic structure, not to mention the wall-to-wall James Brown music (which remains irresistible) it’s easy to miss the fact that the Get On Up never musters much insight into its subject. The Hardest Working Man in Show Business was the next logical choice to get the Walk the Line treatment, so here we all are. The script by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth opts for an all-of-the-above approach that skips from topic to topic without ever really coming to a point. Here’s James Brown performing in Vietnam. Here’s an unknown Brown stealing an open mic night from Little Richard. Here’s a past-his-prime Brown stoned out of his gourd, waving a shotgun around while wearing a hideous green sweat suit. No one will miss the boring old three-act arc, but the portrait of the man never emerges from the mosaic.

More...

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Saturday
Jul262014

Live from Comic Con: Teasing Crimson Peak, Godzilla 2, Blackhat

Anne Marie still here in Hall H at San Diego Comic Con, delivering unto you the major studio announcements via an increasingly busy LTE signal. Legendary Pictures was up after WB, ready to deliver on its name. Here's what it brought.


Godzilla 2
Despite the fact that Godzilla isn't even on DVD yet, Legendary rolled out an announcement that the King of Monsters would get a round two. Via recorded message, director Gareth Edwards thanked congoers for inspiring Legendary to make the film two years ago, and for ensuring its success. Then, they revealed the identities of Godzilla's next three adversaries: Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidora. That's 4 monsters for the price of one. Will Legendary be stretching its 100 ton supermonster too thin?

Michael Mann's thriller and Guillermo del Toro all-star Crimson Peak cast after the jump...

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Thursday
Apr102014

Where My Girls At? Brie Larson, Viola Davis, Kiki Dunst & More...

And now our semi-weekly check in with actresses we love. Where / What / Who are they up to?

BRIE
Brie Larson has accepted an offer to star in the psychological horror drama as "Ma", about a woman who's trapped in her father's basement for years with her son. It's based on the novel by Emma Donoghue who also did the screenplay but the novel is narrated by the 5 year old child who's only ever known this one room so that one's going to be tricky to make breathe as a film. This seems a better fit for her dramatic gifts than that dumb Terminator reboot she lost out on. The actress is in demand now post Short Term 12 as well she should be. She's also got The Gambler remake and the comedy Trainwreck coming out. Room is not the only novel adaptation she's attached to. She'll probably co-star in The Good Luck of Right Now based on a forthcoming novel by Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick. From descriptions of the novel I'm guessing she's playing the librarian girlfriend of the bipolar leading man, who believes she was once abducted by aliens. [src]

VIOLA
As we feared but predicted Hollywood wasted the golden years right after The Help (a white actress in that kind of huge hit / breakthrough would have gotten a ton of follow up offers) and kept on casting Viola Davis in thankless supporting bits that didn't really require her skill level. Just as they'd always done. But the actress stays busy. As previously discussed she has a small but potentially showy role in Get On Up, the James Brown biopic.  And she is politically active too. The actress, who often went hungry as a child living in poverty is speaking out as part of the "Hunger Is" initiative. [src

You wake up thinking about food, you go to sleep thinking about food. We live in a country where you can have anything in your reach, and it's emotionally shameful to live in a land of plenty with nothing to eat. 

That little girl who grew up in dysfunction and poverty is still with me. That's why I need to help those who don't have a voice."

She's already filmed her next five roles: as previously discussed she'll play the showy small role of James Brown's mom in Get On Up (August, 2014); she's excellent as a college professor in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Pts 1 and 2 (release date still TBA but I saw it at TIFF); she's in Michael Mann's thriller Cyber (January, 2015) with Chris Hemsworth as the headliner and supposedly her role is large there as an FBI agent; She'll headline Shonda Rhimes TV series "How To Get Away With Murder" and if it gets picked up past the pilot, don't expect to see her on your movie screens for awhile; The other leading role is Lila & Eve (she plays Lila) but her co-star is... (wait for it)... Jennifer Lopez? Huh. They play moms out to avenge their children who were gunned down in a drive by. The film is directed by Charles Stone III (Mr 3000 and Drumline). There's been little movement on the most exciting Viola projects though -- still no word on a film version of Fences (her Tony winning role despite the obvious marketability (Denzel Washington  is proven to be one of the surest box office draws in the world) and her proposed biopic about politician Barbara Jordan with a screenplay by Tony Kushner is also quiet. Both are the kind of prestige projects that could challenge her and win her an Oscar but I fear neither are going to happen.

SIGOURNEY
[SPOILER ALERT] Lt. Ellen Ripley may return in Prometheus 2 from Ridley Scott. Rumor has it that Sigourney Weaver will return to her signature role. Or a clone version thereof. [/SPOILER]

MICHELLE
There is nothing happening. I continue to be so disappointed that she does not care. She's an empty-nester this year even so for god's sake get back to work.

KIKI
Kirsten Dunst, whose career is back on track with the 1-2-3 punch of great performances in All Good Things, Bachelorette, and Melancholia has upset people with not-exactly progressive gender comments she made to Harpers Bazaar UK (she's on the cover, pictured above). But we're here to talk about her career. 

She'll be back on screens very soon in the Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January (torn between Viggo & Oscar Isaac? Tough life) and not very soon but maybe later this year in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special a father and son sci-fi-tinged drama (his follow up to Mud so one assumes he'll get bigger budgets now) so it surely won't be focused on her. Still... I feel more offers really ought to be headed her way, right? Her career is back on track but it isn't quite on fire. Some auteur needs to bring some gasoline. Because, as former co-star Ben Foster agreed in our interview in 2011, her talent is major. "She is a beast of an actor, always has been."