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Talk about killing us with cuteness! Thandie Newton did just that this morning when she took to Twitter and posted an adorable photo of herself lovingly cradling her six-week-old son, Booker Jombe Parker. The snap marks the first time the 41-year-old star has publicy shared a shot of the bundle of joy's sweet face since she and husband Ol Parker welcomed him back in March. At the time of the little guy's arrival, Newton tweeted the happy news, writing, "Our baby boy is finally here! Booker Jombe Parker. Born joyously at home yesterday." Our only previous glimpse at Booker was when Newton posted a pic of just his hand resting on Mommy's chest four days after he was »
The acclaimed novel about the Biafran war never really hangs together on screen
Hopes were high for this adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's acclaimed novel about the Biafran war, starring Bafta-winning Chiwetel Ejiofor as the feckless father of a flawed emergent nation. But the road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions and Biyi Bandele's awkward arrangement of domestic squalls, milling extras and antique newsreel footage never truly hangs together. Still, Ejiofor and Thandie Newton turn in dogged, heartfelt performances as the Nigerian academics at the mercy of history and mired in conflict. Their house must find space for both toxic mother-in-law and illegitimate child. Meanwhile, the Hausa tribes to the north are targeting the Igbo majority in the south. Undeterred, our unhappy couple plough on through the years, eventually taking their places for the bloodiest wedding ceremony since Game of Thrones. It's another trumpeting metaphor for the world on their doorstep. »
- Xan Brooks
This adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel, though often sluggish, is a valuable reminder of Britain's toxic post-imperial legacy
Some of Britain's notable "postcolonial" fiction has translated uneasily into cinema: Monica Ali's Brick Lane and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children didn't entirely work as movies. Zadie Smith's White Teeth was adapted, with more success, as a television drama. Now comes the film of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2006 novel Half of a Yellow Sun, about lives in Nigeria torn apart by the 1960s Biafran war: the attempt to create a secessionist state whose flag showed the top half of a hopeful rising (not setting) sun. Adapted and directed by Biyi Bandele, the film is well intentioned and certainly very well cast: Thandie Newton is the elegant intellectual Olanna and Chiwetel Ejiofor her husband, the conceited, bullish academic Odenigbo. Their tempestuous private lives are made even more tumultuous by the history being made around them. »
- Peter Bradshaw
Director: Biyi Bandele.
Running Time: 111 minutes.
Synopsis: Sisters Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) both have a lot going for them. They’re intelligent young women, newly returned to their home country after an English education. However, the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War soon changes everything irrevocably.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s popular and well-received Half of a Yellow Sun successfully examined the political through the personal, exploring the horrors of the Biafran War through the viewpoints of three Nigerians and one Englishman and going on to win the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007. Hopes were therefore high for Biyi Bandele’s film; hopes which his debut feature has failed to live up to. Yes, you should judge a film by its own merits rather than those of the book, »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
While many of us still look at Chiwetel Ejiofor and see the anguished, broken Solomon Northup, given his quite miraculous and sincere portrayal in Steve McQueen’s Oscar winning drama 12 Years a Slave, the British actor is now back on home soil promoting his latest production, taking a starring role in Biyi Bandele’s Half of a Yellow Sun.
The film takes place amidst the devastating Nigerian civil war during the late 1960s, and Ejiofor plays political activist Odenigbo, who falls in love with Thandie Newton’s affluent Olanna. Though Ejiofor was born and raised in London, it’s a series of events very close to home to the actor, who is of Nigerian heritage. “It was something that I was always aware of,” he said. “It’s a very important part of my family history and one of the reasons why I was born in London, because after the »
- Stefan Pape
Booker's mom is sizzling! Thandie Newton debuted her very slim post-baby figure five weeks after giving birth at the Half of a Yellow Sun UK premiere on Tuesday, April 8. Newton, 41, wore a tight-fitted black Osman dress, and accessorized with Christian Louboutin heels for the event. She was joined by costar and 12 Years a Slave actor Chiwetel Ejiofor for several photo-ops on the red carpet. Us confirmed back in September that the British star was expecting her third child. At the time, she revealed a tiny [...] »
Baby? What baby? When baby? Thandie Newton is back with a bang(ing body) just weeks after giving birth to a baby boy! Dressed in a black, formfitting shift dress with a golden eye design on her flat tummy, the mother of three looked effortlessly svelte as she flaunted her slim post-baby figure at the London premiere of Half of a Yellow Sun Tuesday night. The British actress accessorized her sleek ensemble with a pop of gold metallic heels, a satin navy blue clutch that matched the color of the eye emblazoned across her tiny waist, and some man candy in the form of her handsome costar Chiwetel Ejiofor. The two star as lovers in a civil war-torn Nigeria during the mid-'60s. Based on the »
The International Black Women's Film Festival announces the 2014 Black Laurel Film Series at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland, CA, for April 20, July 20, and October 26, 2014. A celebration of Black women in film, the Black Laurel Film Series presents rare, under-appreciated films from fresh perspectives that re-examine the role of Black women in film through historical context, social constructs and cultural expression. The series opens with an exclusive free screening of Half Of A Yellow Sun (director Biyi Bandele) based on the best-selling book by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, and Anika Noni Rose. The »
- Tambay A. Obenson
★★☆☆☆Odenigbo (12 Years a Slave's Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Olanna (Thandie Newton) are sat in uncomfortable silence at the dinner table before the quiet is pierced by a question: "Are we still trying to have a child?" This stuffy, uneasy scene - furnished with dialogue awkward and laboured - is regrettably Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) in microcosm. Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adicie's novel of the same name, Biyi Bandele's stuttering directorial debut is a valiant attempt to navigate a tumultuous period in Nigerian history, but not an enormously successful one. An uneven blend of melodrama and the horrors of civil war, it should be anchored by strong leads but instead remains listless and adrift.
- CineVue UK
"Rogue" Season 2 brings a lot of changes to the dark and gritty drama. Grace Travis (Thandie Newton) has moved to San Francisco with her daughter and is now working with the FBI. Take a peek at their new life in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video previewing the upcoming story.
In this new season, Grace is an FBI handler for a task force investigating corporate espionage. Through her job, Grace comes into contact with Ethan Kelly (Cole Hauser), the head of a security group with a secretive past in the military.
"Rogue" Season 2 premieres Wednesday, May 28 at 10 p.m. on DirecTV. »
TV news and notes:
- Chris Colfer has already written a feature film and several books, and now he'll stretch his writing muscles when he pens an episode of "Glee." He's reportedly writing an episode of the Fox comedy that will air later in Season 5, thanks to an offer from creator Ryan Murphy. Colfer has already met with the writing staff to hash out some ideas. [TVLine]
- Betsy Brandt is rebounding from the low-rated NBC comedy "The Michael J. Fox Show" with a new gig on Season 2 of Showtime's "Masters of Sex." The "Breaking Bad" alum will recur as Barbara, new secretary to Michael Sheen's Dr. William Masters. The new season of the Showtime series is due in fall 2014. [THR]
"Rogue," the crime drama created by executive producer Matthew Parkhill ("The Caller") that stars Thandie Newton as an undercover cop in Oakland, CA, wasn't universally acclaimed, but it was still enough of a success as a first attempt at an original scripted drama for DirecTV that the satellite service ordered a second season. DirecTV's now announced a premiere date for that second season -- Wednesday, May 28 at 10pm Et/Pt. Newton will return as Grace Travis, with Cole Hauser ("Transcendence") joining the cast as the charming and enigmatic Ethan Kelly. Season two of "Rogue" will find Grace attempt to start a new life and trying to provide a stable home for her daughter Evie (Sarah Jeffries) while separated from her husband. The unexpected arrival of her estranged mother Vivian (Clare Higgins) threatens to disrupt those plans, as does Grace's return to undercover life in her new job as a handler »
- Alison Willmore
"Rogue," the crime drama created by executive producer Matthew Parkhill ("The Caller") that stars Thandie Newton as an undercover cop in Oakland, CA, wasn't universally acclaimed, but it was still enough of a success as a first attempt at an original scripted drama for DirecTV that the satellite service ordered a second season. DirecTV's now announced a premiere date for that second season -- Wednesday, May 28 at 10pm Et/Pt. Newton will return as Grace Travis, with Cole Hauser ("Transcendence") joining the cast as the charming and enigmatic Ethan Kelly. Season two of "Rogue" will find Grace attempt to start a new life and trying to provide a stable home for her daughter Evie (link=nm5152585 auto]Sarah Jeffery[/link]) while separated from her husband. The unexpected arrival of her estranged mother Vivian (Clare Higgins) threatens to disrupt those plans, as does Grace's return to undercover life in her new job as a handler »
- Alison Willmore
Speaking of black British actors leaving the UK for greener pastures in the USA (see my post just below this one)... DirecTV announced today that the second season of the suspense-drama Rogue, which stars Thandie Newton, from leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) and Greenroom Entertainment in conjunction with Momentum TV, will premiere on Wednesday, May 28 at 10 p.m. Et/Pt. Newton will resume her role as Grace Travis, and will be joined by Cole Hauser as the enigmatic Ethan Kelly. Season two of the DirecTV original series will see Grace attempt to navigate a new life. But things can't stay quiet for long. Separated from her husband, she is committed to providing a »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Speaking of black British actors leaving the UK for greener pastures in the USA (see my post just below this one)... DirecTV announced today that the second season of the suspense-drama Rogue, which stars Thandie Newton, from leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) and Greenroom Entertainment in conjunction with Momentum TV, will premiere on Wednesday, May 28 at 10 p.m. Et/Pt. Newton will resume her role as Grace Travis, and will be joined by Cole Hauser as the enigmatic Ethan Kelly. Season two of the DirecTV original series will see Grace attempt to navigate a new life. But things can't stay quiet for long. Separated from her husband, she is committed to providing a stable home for her daughter Evie (Sarah Jeffries), but those plans are thwarted by the unexpected arrival of her estranged mother Vivian (Clare Higgins). Professionally, Grace has taken a job as a handler for an FBI »
- Tambay A. Obenson
The second season of the suspense drama starring Thandie Newton and new addition Cole Hauser will debut on Wednesday, May 28 at 10 Pm, DirecTV announced today. Newton (The Pursuit Of Happyness, Crash) will resume her role as the morally and emotionally conflicted undercover detective Grace Travis, and Hauser (Transcendence, Olympus Has Fallen) joins the cast as the charming and enigmatic Ethan Kelly. Season 2 of Rogue will pick up with Grace trying to navigate a new life as she remains separated from her husband while balancing her job as handler for an FBI Task Force investigating the shadowy world of corporate espionage in San Francisco. Rogue is a Canada-uk co-production from eOne, which also handles worldwide rights, and Greenroom, produced in participation with DirecTV. Series creator Matthew Parkhill executive produces with Greenroom’s Nick Hamm and eOne’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
For evidence of how bad working actresses have it in contemporary Hollywood, look no further than the cavalcade of talented female performers who have subjected themselves to toiling in the flat-footed melodramas of Tyler Perry; if Alfre Woodard, Kathy Bates and Sanaa Lathan (“The Family That Preys”), Thandie Newton and Gabrielle Union (“Good Deeds”) and Taraji P. Henson (“I Can Do Bad All By Myself”) aren't getting better offers than to star in Perry's hacky, retrograde, low-budget movies, times are tough indeed. The most misused performer in his latest, “The Single Moms Club,” would have to be the talented comic. »
- Alonso Duralde
View Photo Gallery
Ahead of the release of The Single Moms Club, a film written, directed, produced by and starring Tyler Perry, we thought it was worthwhile looking back on all the Tyler Perry Productions (Tpp) that came before it. In total, Perry has produced 16 films (including Smc) from the ongoing Madea franchise to stand-alones, such as Temptation and Why Did I Get Married? All of the films have been met with varying degrees of praise and success. But who has actually sat down and watched all of them? Inspired by that question, I decided to review all of Perry’s film in order to grade and rank each film.
To see how they fall in order (from worst to best), flip through the gallery above. For a more in-depth, critical analysis keep on reading!
(Warning: The films were not watched in order of release. In fact, if watched in »
- Stacy Lambe
This week: The Coens' folkie phase, Christian Bale's ignored other flick of 2013, and Thandie Newton's randy Rogue. ► Inspired by folk music troubadour Dave Von Ronk, the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis follows a fictional singer (Oscar Isaac) as he travels New York’s famed folk scene in1961. You know those movies about following your dreams? Ya, this is the dark side to that. Another »
- John Law
As I reported last l week Half of a Yellow Sun director Biyi Bandele was interviewed by Nadia Denton (The Black British Filmmaker's Guide to Success: Finance, Market and Distribute Your Film) this weekend at the Watersprite Cambridge International Student Film Festival in the U.K. Luckily for all of us, now an audio recording of the entire hour long conversation is now available for everyone to listen. Among the many things that Bandele talks about is how he got started directing films and his early film career and the physical toll it took on him and the cast and crew to make the film and he addresses extensively as well the controversy over the casting of Thandie Newton in »
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