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The 89th Annual Academy Awards will take place Sunday February 26th at 8:30pm Eastern time. Here is our overview of the major awards nominees in case you didn’t get to see them yourself.
There’s always a lot of talk leading up to the big day about who will win what awards. We try to make our predictions based on trends from the past, but we can’t help to be swayed by our own personal opinions. Some movies truly strike a chord with us, while others aren’t interesting at all. Furthermore, Oscar films are usually heavy in the drama department and therefore they aren’t always the easiest or most entertaining movies to watch.
That’s why we’re here. Here is your guide to the nominees of this year’s Academy Awards. We’ve compiled the following brief summaries, interesting facts, and critical reviews for all these films and people. »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
This drama about a trio of African-American women doing maths wonders for Nasa has few subtleties, but is done with such verve it’s hard to dislike
Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe are Katherine Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, a trio of Nasa scientists who each played their part in sending astronaut John Glenn (the first American to orbit the Earth) into space in 1962. These three are fun, fast-talking and fabulously coiffed (thanks to costume designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus). They’re also African American women, which perhaps explains why this nugget of history has remained untold until now. Sure, some of it feels a little obvious, but with its “based on a true story” title card, cartoon palette and bouncy Pharrell (co)-penned soundtrack, this splashy, feelgood period piece is every bit as enjoyable as a best picture Oscar-nominated blockbuster could hope to be.
- Simran Hans
Author: Jon Lyus
Grammy-award winning songwriter and performer Pharrell Williams came on board Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures as a producer and composer alongside Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. In this interview, conducted by James Kleinmann, he talks about the importance of the story, his own childhood questions which sparked his interest in the film, and explains the story behind one of his most enduring compositions from the film – Running.
Going all the way back to his early childhood, Williams talked about the moments he recalled when he first became involved with the project,
“I used to stare into space as a child, and ask all the questions like ‘How far does that go?’, ‘Where does it end?’, ‘What’s on the other side, if it ends?’ “
Each of the interviews we have conducted with the cast and director of Hidden Figures have their own reasons why they wanted to tell the story. »
- Jon Lyus
Taraji P Henson leads a strong ensemble in Hidden Figures, a story of Nasa's past that makes for compelling and important cinema.
Cinema is good at this. At finding little known stories, and shining a beacon of light on them. In the case of Hidden Figures, arriving in UK cinemas off the back of Oscar nominations and a $100m+ gross at the Us box office, author Margot Lee Shetterly got there first; it’s her best seller that’s the basis of this excellent film. The movie adaptation does it proud.
The story here focuses on the space race in the early 1960s, specifically the moment where it looked as if Russia had firmly seized the initiative. As Nasa was struggling to get an American into space, Russia was having far more success, and the pressure was duly on.
That pressure in part fell on the shoulders of Al Harrison »
Author: Jon Lyus
The historically overlooked real-life heroines of the Nasa Space Race are quite rightly the stars of Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures. However, the supporting cast of the likes of Kevin Costner and Jim Parsons add a depth which allows Melfi’s film to explore the wider society of 1960s America. James Kleinmann had the chance to sit down with Kevin Costner to talk about his role as Al Harrison, a fictional composite of a number of the top men who headed up Nasa’s Space Task Group.
Costner explained how he approached the role, and what the essence of Harrison’s role in the narrative was,
“You have to be a scientist first and foremost, or you can’t lead them. They talk in a very specific language, and a lot of scientists and engineers don’t have that. They’re so brilliant at what they do »
- Jon Lyus
Author: Jon Lyus
We absolutely loved Hidden Figures. Theodore Melfi’s film tells a distinctly important story of three African-American women, each essential to the Nasa Space Program in the 1960s and beyond, whose importance has long be overlooked. James Kleinmann sat down with actresses Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe to talk about their experience working on the film, and bringing these real life stories to light.
Octavia Spencer’s discovery of the story played a crucial part in her taking on the role, she explained,
“I hadn’t heard this story of the contributions that Any women made to the space program in America. So, when I realised it was true I wanted to be a part of telling this story for the masses. It’s something that should be consumed in large amounts.”
Henson readily agreed,
“It’s an important piece of history that was left out. »
- Jon Lyus
Fox and AMC Theatres have set free screenings for “Hidden Figures” on Feb. 18 in 14 U.S. cities to celebrate Black History Month.
The film — starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe — tells the story of three female, African American Nasa mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960s. “Hidden Figures” has been nominated for three Academy Awards, including best picture and best supporting actress for Spencer’s portrayal of Dorothy Vaughan.
The drama has continued out-performing forecasts at the box office and has topped $144 million in the U.S. The screenings are intended to build broader awareness of the true story on which the film is based.
Fox and AMC Theatres have also invited school and community groups, and non-profit organizations to apply for additional special screenings to be held in their towns.
- Dave McNary
The perfect match this Valentine’s Day!
Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with these great titles from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. To help you make the most out of this romantic day with that special someone in your life, we have this unmissable feel good package up for grabs.
From an all time classic to a modern heart-pumping blockbuster, a real tear-jerker to those that get your heart racing, we have a film to suit any mood. Including Casablanca, The Lucky One, Dr Zhivago, The Bodyguard, and You’ve Got Mail.
To win this Valentine’s Day DVD bundle, just answer the following question:
a) Mariah Carey
c) Diana Ross
Email your answer to NerdlyComps@gmail.com, making sure to include your name and address. You can also leave your answer on our Facebook page, just »
- Phil Wheat
John Wick: Chapter 2, 2017.
Directed by Chad Stahelski.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, Common, Claudia Gerini, Lance Reddick, Tobias Segal, Ian McShane, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Peter Stormare, Laurence Fishburne, and Franco Nero.
After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.
Action cinema is in a sort of dirge at the moment where geriatric superstars – Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington, Kevin Costner – fight valiantly against disposable henchman while being cut to shreds in the edit room because to truly believe them as dangerous would be to take too big a leap of faith. Enter real life Dorian Grey, Keanu Reeves, appearing once more as he did with Neo way back in 1999 with John Wick, a character in a similar mold to those mentioned – vengeance induced by death (of his dog) – who was brought »
- Amie Cranswick
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glen Powell | Written by Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder | Directed by Theodore Melfi
1961. Yuri Gagarin is about to leave Earth, and Alan Shepherd is not far behind. The USA is desperate to beat the Russians into space. But in Hidden Figures, global politics take a back seat – this isn’t a film about a Space Race, but the slow marathon to social equality. The revolution is through “math” and engineering. Those who cringe at the sound of chalk on blackboards, beware: Hidden Figures contains some serious equation-based grandstanding.
Katherine (Taraji P. Henson), Mary (Janelle Monáe) and Dorothy (Octavia Spencer) work at the segregated “West Group” at Nasa. Mary is a wannabe engineer. Dorothy yearns to be a supervisor, a job she already commands but for the title and the pay. And Katherine – once »
- Rupert Harvey
Author: Stefan Pape
If there is one criticism to be had about Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures, it’s how conventional the storytelling formula is, abiding stringently to the tropes and beats of the genre. But when done in such an affectionate manner, and when telling such an important story, particularly pertinent now as America regresses, to present the narrative in such an accessible way is not necessarily a bad thing, ensuring this tale is told to many, and with impressive box office figures in the States, and a handful of Oscar nominations to boot, it’s proven to have been something of a triumph.
Based on a true story, we meet Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), with a broken down vehicle on the side of the road, having to explain themselves to a police officer – suspicious about the intentions »
- Stefan Pape
Hidden Figures, 2016.
Directed by Theodore Melfi.
Hidden Figures explores the role of Katherine G Johnson and her contribution to Nasa in their space race with the Russians, during a time of segregation, civil rights struggle and cultural change. How she breached a staunchly white male workplace, and through mathematics, became the first African American woman in Sixties America to help put men in orbit.
With three Oscar nominations including Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Motion Picture, Hidden Figures invites expectations. Taken from a book by Margot Lee Shetterly and co-written by director Theodore Melfi with Allison Schroeder. It’s funny, feisty and heartfelt.
Charting the rise of Katherine G Johnson engagingly play by Taraji P Henson, from maths prodigy to chief number cruncher at Nasa during America’s space race. »
- Amie Cranswick
Hidden Figures review
Arriving in UK cinemas following a successful awards campaign that saw the film nominated for a Best Picture gong at the 2017 Academy Awards, Hidden Figures tells the untold story of a group of African-America women who helped propel John Glenn into orbit in the 1960s.
Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson are three names that will probably not register in memory of those that were around to remember the first time an American man was rocketed to space, but, as the title of the film suggest, were indeed three women who contributed hugely to the Friendship 7 mission of 1962. The three mathematicians are played in the film by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer »
- Paul Heath
Ten days after declaring war is a lousy time for a party, let alone a Super Bowl.
On Jan. 17, 1991, an armed coalition led by the United States commenced Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf, marking the first major military action of the post-terrorism age. Less than two weeks later, the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills prepared for their own conflict as Super Bowl Xxv kicked off in Tampa, Florida. Fears that Saddam Hussein would target this, the most American of sporting events, led some NFL officials to consider rescheduling. The big game would proceed as planned, but the festive mood of Jan. »
- Jordan Runtagh
While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may have come in for heavy criticism in some quarters, it’s fair to say that the big warehouse showdown between The Dark Knight and Anatoli Knyazev’s goons is one of – if not the – best Batman fight scenes ever put to film, and thanks to Heroic Hollywood, we’ve got a look at some behind the scenes images from the production of said sequence…
“The script was still being worked on when we came in, and that’s generally earlier than a lot of directors have us come in, but Zack likes to really let it flow from early R&D,” said second unit director Damon Caro with regards to the conception and construction of the scene. “Half the time it’s like, ‘try this, try that,’ because there are a »
- Gary Collinson
In terms of genre movies, there has been a lot of talk about reshoots and studio executives tinkering with movies until they no longer resemble what was once supposed to be. Just over the past year, we've heard that Suicide Squad and Rogue One were both victims to too many cooks in the kitchen. But guess what? Oscar nominated movies aren't exempt from this either. The Wrap recently gathered a number of Oscar nominated screenwriters and directors to talk about some of the bad advice they've been given while trying to bring their magical ideas to life. And most of these are pretty laughable.
Studio executives, producers and even actors sometimes think their ideas are better than what has landed in their hand from the screenwriter. Take Hidden Figures for example. It's a science drama that is essentially about math. Screenwriters Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, attending the annual Writers »
The Oscars celebrating the best of 1991 was a little more business as usual when compared to the stellar line-up of a year like the 1976 nominations. We had some good films, but not many that would go on to be iconic. The winner for Best Picture at this ceremony was The Silence of the Lambs, a win that I love because it demonstrated that even horror films could be Oscar worthy – and don’t go saying it’s a thriller, it’s a horror film. End of story.
However, while I love The Silence of the Lambs and the actors were more than deserving of their statuettes, I still feel that it wasn’t deserving of the top award.
- Graeme Robertson
With screenwriting comes notes — from stars, directors, producers and studio executives — and stories about notes that make no sense.
Nominees for this year’s Writers Guild Awards bonded Thursday night on a panel that delved into many topics including the “worst notes ever” — helpful hints from collaborators that were not helpful at all.
“Moonlight” writer-director Barry Jenkins shared a couple of “worst notes” memories from the making of his film about a young African-American man growing up poor in Miami. The biggest clunker: “So where are the white people?”
That non sequitur drew peals of laughter from the crowd at “Beyond Words,” the Writers Guild of America West’s annual panel with the wordsmiths nominated for awards the organization will give out on Feb. 19.
Jenkins appeared with eight other writers and one producer at the event in Beverly Hills, which was co-presented by the Writers Guild Foundation, in partnership with Variety. »
- James Rainey
“Hidden Figures” chronicles the way a handful of African American women working at Nasa during the height of the Space Race hanged the course of history. But its production also had a profound effect on its director, Ted Melfi.
“It’s changed my life in very, very dramatic ways,” Melfi recently told IndieWire. “I don’t see myself ever doing a film that doesn’t represent the world today, in terms of the cast and in terms of the crew. I won’t touch anything that’s about four white guys with wigs. Ever.”
Melfi surely speaks from a place of privilege — not just as a white male director in an industry that still favors them, but as the director of a film now nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture — but it’s a promise that was already in action on the set of “Hidden Figures.” The film featured »
- Kate Erbland
When Academy Award winners are announced Feb. 26, about four-fifths of the contenders will go home empty-handed. Though they might feel bad for a while, they’ll always be identified as Oscar nominees. But what about all those people who turned in great work and didn’t even get that far?
Take Stephen Frears. When “Florence Foster Jenkins” opened, there was appropriate buzz about the performances and the design work, but almost none fSor him. Frears takes tricky material and succeeds, but maybe he makes it look too easy.
- Tim Gray
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