Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 by Angie Han
Having tackled racism in Civil Rights-era Mississippi with the help of Emma Stone in last summer’s The Help, Viola Davis is now taking on the modern public education crisis with the aid of Maggie Gyllenhaal in Won’t Back Down.
Directed by Daniel Barnz (Beastly) from a script he co-wrote with Brin Hill, the apparently fact-based drama stars Gyllenhaal and Davis as a pair of determined mothers who team up to establish a charter school for struggling children in their Pittsburgh neighborhood. Oscar Isaac co-stars as a ukelele-strumming teacher who takes a romantic interest in Gyllenhaal, because he’s in everything these days. Watch the first trailer after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2012 by Angie Han
Viola Davis may have lost the Oscar to Meryl Streep in one of the few upsets at this year’s ceremony, but it appears she’s taking a page out of Streep’s book for her next leading role. Davis is eyeing a role in her own political biopic, about Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.
Davis is currently developing the project with director Paris Barclay, and would produce with her husband Julius Tennon and Barclay. Also producing are Shelly Glasser and Diane Nabatoff, who optioned the rights to the biography on which the film will be based. More details after the jump.
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Michael Peña has called labor organizer Cesar Chavez his dream role, and now the actor is set to play the part in Chavez, which will be produced and directed by Diego Luna. That’s a great step up from supporting roles in films like Battle: Los Angeles, Tower Heist and The Lincoln Lawyer.
Peña will be joined by America Ferrera as Helen Chavez, and Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta. Variety says the film, scripted by Keir Pearson, “depicts Chavez organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his ultimate goal of obtaining basic human rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California.”
Chavez will start shooting in Sonora, Mexico in April. Gael Garcia Bernal and John Malkovich are also among the film’s producers. This is Luna’s second film about a public figure, as his first directorial effort was the documentary J.C. Chavez, about Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez.
After the break, Jennifer Beals produces and stars in a jazz-themed indie called The Lord of Vinyl, and the supernatural YA adaptation Beautiful Creatures gets a little addition from Project X. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012 by Angie Han
Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba have boarded No Good Deed, a thriller written by Aimee Lagos (96 Minutes) and directed by Sam Miller (Luther). The Screen Gems project centers around a district attorney who gives up her career to stay at home with her two young children. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger shows up claiming to have car trouble, she invites him into her home, only for him to kidnap and terrorize her and her family.
Though neither Variety nor THR confirm which character each will be playing, we can probably assume that Henson will be the mom and Elba the charming but dangerous stranger. The film marks Elba’s third time working with Screen Gems, having previously made Takers and Obsessed for the studio. Not such an auspicious track record, but for the sake of these talented actors let’s hope for the best.
After the jump, Nicole Kidman subs in for Rachel Weisz, and Emmy Rossum is a beautiful creature.
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The Muppets star Miss Piggy went on the red carpet to interview all the celebrities and award contenters at the 2012 British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. The resulting 8-minute video features off-the-cuff exchanges with Jon Hamm, Chris Dowd, Jessica Chastain, James Corden, Michael Fassbender, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Adam Deacon, Daniel Radcliffe, Tate Taylor, Octavia Spencer, Tom Hiddleston, Viola Davis, Jonah Hill, and more. Watch Miss Piggy’s red carpet coverage embedded after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2012 by Angie Han
The Bridesmaids ladies aren’t the only female ensemble cast enjoying a well-deserved career boost this awards season. Hours after we reported that Octavia Spencer had signed on for Bong Joon-ho’s post-apocalyptic thriller Snow Piercer, Spencer’s The Help co-star Viola Davis has booked supporting roles in Gavin Hood‘s sci-fi flick Ender’s Game and Richard LaGravenese‘s fantasy adaptation Beautiful Creatures. Read more after the jump.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 by Angie Han
As we head toward the end of the year, it’s clear that 2011 has yielded some damn great performances from both established stars (Gary Oldman, Glenn Close) and rising talents (Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska). So naturally, the best way to celebrate their accomplishments is by inviting each of them to play characters wholly unlike the ones they’ve recently received acclaim for.
In a video gallery from The New York Times Magazine titled “Touch of Evil,” thirteen of this year’s most notable stars tackle thirteen villainous types, from “The Menacing Dummy” (Oldman) to “The Sociopath” (Rooney Mara channeling A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex DeLarge) and everything in between. Hit the jump for a photo gallery from the feature.
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Every year during awards season, The Hollywood Reporter somehow organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress, writer and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Actress’ Roundtable, they’ve brought together Glenn Close of Albert Nobbs, Charlize Theron of Young Adult, Carey Mulligan of Shame, Michelle Williams of My Week With Marilyn and Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer of The Help to discuss their own, and each others’, performances, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »
The first trailer for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer‘s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close tried to live in the area between quirky, endearing and sentimental. The balance didn’t work for me, especially thanks to the reliance on U2 as the score for the trailer. As a result I think that first look at the movie pegged it as little more than cloying Oscar bait.
Now there is a new trailer that goes straight for the sentiment by opening with the character played by Tom Hanks calling his wife, played by Sandra Bullock, from one of the high floors of the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11. From there, the trailer swirls into minor portraits of some of the film’s characters and situations as it follows that couple’s son (newcomer Thomas Horn) through the turbulent days that follow 9/11, but there still isn’t much explanation of the story. See for yourself below. Read More »