Oscar History

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Review:The Lion King

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Entries in Precious (4)

Jun 03 2016

Posterized: Movies About Young Black Girls

Not every movie has a white straight male protagonist.It just seems like that since that's Hollywood's default and also the preferred proxy of most (white straight male) auteurs.

But the times are finally a-changing.This weekend features the platform release of a mesmerizing new indie calledThe Fits-- please see it as soon as it opens near you. I was so proud to push for honoring iton my jury at the Nashville Film Festival.Fresh perspectives on the screen can be so exhilarating.That's especially true when the execution is this confident.Remember the debut director's name,Anna Rose Holmer,since we're hoping for more great movies to come.

In the meantime,let's take a trip back through other features with young black girls as the lead character.I haven't seen the first or the last movie on this list of nine below but the rest all fall somewhere on the spectrum of good to great.

How many have you seen?

• Just Another Girl on the IRT(1992)
• Eve's Bayou(1997) - Really need to watch this againas previously earlier this week.It was the breakthrough role for Jurnee Smollett-Bell who went on to series regular gigs inFriday Night Lights,True Blood,andThe Underground.
• Our Song(2000) - When it comes to superstar Kerry Washington,it's important to remember that I saw her first.Articles from the early Aughts are no longer online but trust that I gave her a rave review when I saw this teeny tiny indie in theaters and was startled by her total naturalism onscreen.

• Precious(2009) - Best Picture Nomineeat the Oscars亚博主页,andright here.
• Akeelah and the Bee(2006)
• Pariah(2011) -One of the best LGBT films of the decade

• Beasts of the Southern Wild(2012) -Our #1 film of 2012,and also aBest Picture nominee at the Oscars亚博主页
• Girlhood(2014) - terrific French film
• Annie(2014)

If you can think of other films with a child or teenage black girl as the lead character,please do share them so our list is more complete.

Nov 09 2015

All Mariah Carey Wants for Christmas is LEGO

This time of year you'd expect to hear Mariah Carey's name because of people like me starting their Christmas music early.Today,Christmas comes early and we got the news that she is lending her voice toThe LEGO Batman Movie.


How delightfully bonkers!This is the kind of newsGlitterenthusiasts have been waiting 15 years to hear: the opportunity for Mariah to once again give us full camp.Originally reported to be playing Commissioner Gordon (because that would be too insane for our tender hearts),she is instead voicing the mayor of Gotham.This isn't the Mariah Carey political comedy we deserve,but the one we need.

Jokes aside,Mariah delightfully exceeded our low expectations inPreciouswith a performance as honest as any in that lively ensemble.She proved there that given the chance to try something different,she's still an engaging performer,so why not welcome another cinematic left turn.Oddball,unexpected casting such as this also promises that even without the original's directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller the follow-up will still preserve the original's madcap wit.Rosario Dawson is also playing Batgirl,so this is a win for us all.

Feb 23 2014

7 Days Til Oscar.Dallas Buyers Club & AIDS Pictures

Unless I've missed a random nomination somewhere -- and you may correct me gently in the comments if I have --  it occurs to me thatDallas Buyers Clubis the seventh non-documentary motion picture with a prominent HIV/AIDS story to receive Oscar nominations.(There have been more films with supporting characters who were living with HIV,but these are the major films that are more focused on it*).

Oscar's history with this feature topic stretches back 23 years through one Best Picture nominee,a pre-McConaughey Best Actor,two foreign films,and 1990'sLongtime Companionafter the jump

Click to read more ...亚博足彩app

Dec 29 2012

Kristen Stewart is a Rock Star and Other "On The Road" Discoveries

The Scene: September* 2012,NYC.An industry screening and cocktail party forOn the Road.

Kristen Stewart stood at the front of the crowded screening room in a white oversized dress shirt and black slacks.Director Walter Salles and co-star Garrett Hedlund stood beside her and she shifted nervously while they all spoke to the assembled Academy and Guild members and small pockets of press types like me.The "stop looking at me"vibe,already familiar from her many public appearances rippled outward.One wants celebrities to enjoy the rarified air they breathe,both because success is a beautiful coveted trophy and because careers in the public eyerequirebeing looked at to achieve any degree of it.I've written aboutmydiscomfort withherdiscomfort before in a piece that was provocatively called "Jodie Foster is Wrong: On the Mandatory Price of Fame."Yet,through the course of the evening I found myself reconsidering her particulars.

Kristen Stewart does her randiest (and maybe her best) work ever in "On the Road".

*Yes,this scene I've set took place in September.

I foolishly didn't write about the party immediately thereafter though it happened to be the first awards season get together of 2012 as "the Doyenne of Buzz"Peggy Siegal reminded us in welcome.Even thenOn the Road (The Movie)seemed to be as lost in time as its protagonists were on the map as they drove and drove,searching for connection,energy,sex,thrills,drugs,music -- anything that feltalive.I knew the film wouldn't open until the tail end of the yearin limited release (possibly near you)and I wondered,as I often do,what I'm to do as a film blogger about movies that remain so elusive,movies with strange and distant release dates.Films,like movie stars,are invented to be looked at,but many of them hide despite the best efforts of publicists,filmmakers and journalists who are eager to embrace them and discuss them with moviegoers.

[I worried,even then,that this moody sweaty retro film would be utterly ignored in the crush of Shiny Noisy Awards-Baiting Behemoths.The Adult-Oriented Christmas Multiplex Glut is simply no place for a film that so pointedly craves wide open spaces and young hormonal surges.I'm mystified that the distributor (Sundance Selects) didn't choose to open this one somewhere between July and October,much more comfortable climates for its subject matter and appeal.]

Very briefly at the after-party I spoke with Kristen Stewart about the green splint on her finger which I had mistaken for an oversized piece of costume jewelry.She told me I wasn't the first and held it up,not for my benefit but for her own 'why do people keep mentioning that?' contemplation.I never learned how she'd hurt her finger and that's all we said to each other.But in the little circles that form themselves around The Talent at these industry parties,she seemed perfectly content,if still a bit restless,to be talking to other people in her profession.As I left the party I felt a little bad about my impatience with her celebrity unease because up close andimpersonal,I suddenly saw it from a different and I assume clearer perspective.Kristen Stewart isn't,in spirit,a movie star but a rock star.Rock stars are allowed more antagonistic friction between themselves and the world.Sometimes they're even rewarded for it.

...all of those smashed-up guitars.

Hedlund & Stewart.True Lust Forever.

This is,quite obviously,why Stewart's previous best performance to date was as Joan Jett inThe Runaways.And it has to be why she's so mesmerizing again as the untamed teenage bride "Marylou".

Stewart's fame far outstrips that of her male leads but for all her screen magnetism in this particular role,the true star ofOn the Road is Garret Hedlund as "Dean Moriarty"the object of nearly everyone's affection.Hedlund made his way through that same September party with an eager friendliness in amusing unintentional direct contrast to his co-star.It's remarkably easy to fall in deep like with him and in the film it's impossible not to fall in deep love.WereOn the Roadto be more widely seen,Hedlund's explosive sexualityas Dean coupled with the quality of his acting would make him an instant 'cast him in everything!' sensation.On the Roaddoesn't always work but Hedlund's star turn definitely does.

I recently screened the film a second time and left with the same impression.The same impression that the film wisely underlines.The classic book and this film version both conclude with a confessional mantra:

I think of Dean Moriarty.I think of Dean Moriarty.I think of Dean Moriarty."

I dare you to see the film and leave thinking of anything else.

more Kristen Stewart
more Garrett Hedlund