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Entries by Margaret de Larios (50)

Thursday
Dec 18 2014

Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo to Star in Romantic Drama 'Americanah'

Earlier this year Lupita Nyong'o acquired the rights to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's award-winning 2012 novelAmericanah,signing on to star as Nigerian émigré Ifemelu,as well as produce along with Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment.David Oyelowo has also signed on to star as romantic lead Obinze.The book is divine: beautifully written,emotionally complex,swooningly romantic and often bitingly funny.It's also full of razor-sharp insight on immigration and cultural identity,the shifting concept of home,and blackness in America,Nigeria,and Britain.

The project is guaranteed to be a meaty opportunity for Nyong'o and Oyelowo,but is still several steps away from production.Some questions:

1.Should we worry that the project doesn't yet have a script?I'd say no,in part because of my love for the source material,but largely due to the strength of Plan B producing.They've got a respectable filmography,and the last couple years have been a serious hot streak (Moneyball,12 Years a Slave,Selma).They shouldn't have trouble attracting top-drawer talent.With the right team in place,this could be someone's shot at a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.

2.Who should direct?It's only natural that Ava DuVernay's name should come to mind,given her skill with romantic drama and epic political context.It would make hers a 3-for-3 David Oyelowo filmography,and she certainly already has the in with Plan B Entertainment.But since the story is so indivisible from the non-American experience,and so specifically Nigerian in perspective,perhaps a Nollywood director might be a better choice.Perhaps Biyi Bandele,whose adaptation of Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun came out earlier this year to mixed reviews,would be interested in another shot at the author's work?

3.Will Beyoncé help with the movie's PR?When Beyoncé dropped her secret album last year,she gave Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a major profile boost by sampling her TED talk "Everyone Should Be a Feminist on the song "***Flawless",which sentAmericanahrocketing up the Amazon sales charts.(To be honest,that's also how I first heard of the book.) Maybe the movie release can be preceded by a tie-in Beyoncé single that samples dialogue from the movie?Harness the power of Bey and you have the makings of a serious box office hit on your hands.

It's impossible not to admire Lupita Nyong'o's initiative and savvy in carving out her career,snapping up the rights to an interesting project herself and then backing that up by attracting major talent and industry clout.No production date is set;join me in hoping that this moves forward smoothly.

Have you readAmericanah?Who else do you think should be brought on to the production?

Wednesday
Dec 10 2014

‘Selma' Wins Big at the AAFCA Awards & NAACP Image Award Nominations

Margarethere with a look at the nominees for the 2014 NAACP Image Awards,as well as the winners of the African American Film Critics Association year-end prizes.

It continues to be a good season forSelma,which racked up eight Image Award nominations-- especially impressive when you consider that there are only seven categories.(Six of its nominations are for acting.) Period dramaBelleand James Brown biopicGet On Upboth received five nominations each,and the music industry romantic dramaBeyond the Lightsearned three.

The AAFCA announced their awards,namingSelmabest picture alongside nine other outstanding films.The AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2014 are as follows in order of distinction:

  • SELMA
  • THE IMITATION GAME
  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
  • BIRDMAN
  • BELLE
  • TOP FIVE
  • UNBROKEN
  • DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
  • GET ON UP
  • BLACK OR WHITE

A complete list of AAFCA winners,and Image nominees (some interesting stuff - now with double the Viola Davis!)after the jump...

Click to read more ...亚博足彩app

Thursday
Dec 04 2014

Thoughts I Had...While Looking at Cate Blanchett's 'Cinderella' Poster

Take it away Margaret...

  • If you've got (1) Blanchett looking imperious,or better yet (2) Blanchett looking imperious in afabuloushat,I'm already sold.I sort of hope the whole movie is just Cate posing with glacial elegance in an increasingly imposing series of chapeaux.
  • Now that she's bagged Oscar #2,the time might just be right for her to try some camped-up villainy.
    * pretending Indiana Jones 4 doesn't exist,pretending Indiana Jones 4 doesn't exist *
  • I love Cate as a redhead.Reahhhlly I do.
  • And oh look,It's DAISEH fromDownton Abbey!Hi,Daiseh!I stopped watching your show in season 2 but I think it's safe to say whatever Julian Fellowes is doing with you,you deserve better.
  • Merciful heavens,the florals are strong with this one.Is that supposed to be what makes them wicked?A heavy hand with competing patterns?
  • Something about the stepsisters being decked out in those bright shades of pink and yellow makes me think of the Power Rangers.I will now be taking volunteers to write the treatment for a Cinderella/Power Rangers crossover.
  • The Oscar campaign for Most Costume Design 2015 starts now.Our gal Sandy Powell should start draftinggloriously blunt acceptance sound bytesnow.
  • Not sure what to make of the March release date.Certainly when a big studio picture with no major competition opens in March it has potential to take off into an enormous hit (à la Eyesore in Wonderland orOz the Great and Powerful) but by that same token it's often where weaker films get sent when they can't hold up against the blockbusters..

What does this new poster bring toyourmind?

Wednesday
Dec 03 2014

Team FYC: Carrie Coon for Best Supporting Actress

Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen FYC's for various longshots in the Oscar race.We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks.And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS,HFPA,SAG,Critics Group voter,take note!Here'sMargareton Gone Girl.

David Fincher'sGone Girlhas been praised,and deservedly so,for excellence in casting its leads.Certainly Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck are immensely successful in their chilling game of spousal one-upmanship,both turning in career-best performances.But looking a little further down the call sheet,some of the best work is being done by arguably the least known in the cast.Carrie Coon,Chicago-based stage actress and recent Tony nominee (for playing Honey in the revival ofWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?),made her film debut inGone Girl,but blends in so seamlessly you'd never guess.

Carrie Coon plays Margo Dunne,twin sister of Ben Affleck's Nick.Frank,wry,and loyal to a fault,she quickly becomes the heart of the movie as the central couple reveal themselves to be less and less reliable.Margo functions effectively as an audience stand-in,but she's much more than that.Coon's lived-in,effortless rapport with Affleck creates a believable and affectionate sibling relationship that emphasizes the ambiguity,and keeps Nick from being too easy a villain.Her pointed observations and bluntness are a steady source of humor,welcome in Fincher's grim universe,and essential in keeping the movie from tipping too far into the unpleasant.Not even the source novel's pickiest devotees could find anything wanting in her performance.She's perfect.

Carrie Coon's Margo Dunne has neither the narrative heft of near co-leads like Rene Russo inNightcrawleror Jessica Chastain inA Most Violent Year,nor the scene-grabbing outre of Tilda Swinton inSnowpiercer,but her contributions toGone Girlare no less potent.She makes everyone with whom she shares a scene better,and she makes the movie as a whole better;it's a true supporting performance.

Previously in Team FYC
Visual FX,Under the Skin
Cinematography,The Homesman

Tuesday
Nov 25 2014

Cast This!Steve McQueen's Actressful Gangster Movie 'Widows'

The story: three armed robbers are killed during a planned heist,leaving behind three widows.Under pressure from the police and rivals to their late husbands' crime business,they team up to carry out the robbery themselves,enlisting another widow in the process.CEO of New Regency Brad Wilson,who financed12 Yearsand will be producing again on this project,said it will be McQueen's "own version of a gangster film..[it] gives him the commercial jumping-off point,but then allows him to twist it into a Steve McQueen film."

Now,doesn't that just make you say "Oooooh"?

The film will take place in a modern-day American city instead of in the U.K.,and will likely end up with a different title,but promises to be a showcase for four actressing talents.The plan is to be in pre-production by year's end.

Naturally,our question here at TFE iswho should play the widows?Detailed character information is frustratingly scarce,but the parts are Dolly (the woman they turn to leadership),Shirley,Linda,and the addition to their group is Bella.The property has been dramatized three times with two British series (one in the 80s and one in the 90s) andan American mini in 2002with Mercedes Reuhl & Rosie Perez.Did any of you see the latter?

My picks would be Michelle Pfeiffer for Dolly (Married to the Mob,you guys!),with Rosario Dawson,Jenny Slate,and Lupita Nyong'o filling out the rest of the team.

Make a case for your dream cast in the comments!

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