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Will Melissa McCarthy join 11 funny actresses who got serious for the Oscars?

Will Melissa McCarthy join 11 funny actresses who got serious for the Oscars?
Oscar often calls when funny ladies get serious on the big screen. This year, it might be Melissa McCarthy’s turn to be recognized for her dramatic change of pace in the truth-based “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” As Lee Israel, a Manhattan-based curmudgeonly author with a drinking problem whose style of celebrity biographies have gone out of fashion by the year 1991, McCarthy drops all pretense of adopting her usual bouncy and brassy comic persona.

Instead, she wallows in disappointment, bitterness and child-like prankish behavior. In order to raise much-needed cash to pay her bills, she stoops to forging letters from long-dead celebrities and selling them to gullible bookstore owners and collectors. I kept waiting for McCarthy to part the clouds that hang over her character and inject a bit of her sunny side. Instead, she is marvelously morose as she performs a committed overcast performance that pays off big time as the movie concludes.
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Love, Simon’ leading man Nick Robinson is this year’s Timothee Chalamet

‘Love, Simon’ leading man Nick Robinson is this year’s Timothee Chalamet
Timothee Chalamet was the break-out star of 2017, due largely to his lead role in Luca Guadagnino‘s Lgbt critical smash “Call Me By Your Name.” Chalamet was hailed by critics and adored by audiences for his weighty, emotional performance as a teenager who falls in love with a man in 1980’s Italy. At the tender of age of 22, Chalamet became the youngest person to be nominated for Best Actor at Oscars since Mickey Rooney in 1939 (for “Babes in Arms”) and the first person born in the 90’s to be nominated for the award.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Judy Garland's Daughter Lorna Luft Reflects On Her Mom's Role In 'A Star Is Born' Ahead Of Remake

The late Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft couldn't be happier about the upcoming Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga A Star Is Born remake. In fact, after reading the reviews, she was "jumping up and down with excitement," she told People. "They’ve picked up the torch of one of the greatest love stories ever told on film and brought it to a new generation." In her new book, A Star is Born, Judy Garland and the Film That Got Away, the 65-year-old reveals how the original movie's themes of stardom and addiction affected her mother — who starred in the 1976 version — in real life. "The film’s story and its underlying messages about fame hit too close to home," she writes in the book. (Photo Credit: Getty Images) After rising to fame on The Wizard of Oz, at the time, Judy thought A Star Is Born would kick off her stardom again,
See full article at Closer Weekly »

Film Review: Netflix’s ‘Sierra Burgess Is a Loser’

  • Variety
Film Review: Netflix’s ‘Sierra Burgess Is a Loser’
Teenager Sierra Burgess (Shannon Purser) steps out of the shower and gradually comes into view. Strong legs, pink robe, and finally, in the foggy mirror, a face: red hair, freckles, a Molly Ringwald for millennials. Other kids at her high school might sneer, as does the title of Ian Samuels’ cutesy throwback romantic comedy, that “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” By ’80s standards — clichés that Samuels adheres to with an asterisk — she is. Sierra’s in the marching band and, yes, she’s big-boned. But where Ringwald’s outcast characters in John Hughes’ “Pretty in Pink” and “Sixteen Candles” were lip-bitingly awkward, Sierra looks at her reflection and smiles. “You are a magnificent beast!” she grins, and she nods like she believes it. Though when Sierra heads into the kitchen for breakfast, her upbeat, ego-boosting parents (Hughes alums Alan Ruck of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and Lea Thompson of
See full article at Variety »

Peter Dinklage Shoots Down ‘Whitewashing’ Outcry for Playing ‘Fantasy Island’ Actor Hervé Villechaize

Peter Dinklage Shoots Down ‘Whitewashing’ Outcry for Playing ‘Fantasy Island’ Actor Hervé Villechaize
Peter Dinklage is responding to criticism that his casting as “Fantasy Island” and “The Man With the Golden Gun” star Hervé Villechaize amounts to “whitewashing.”

In an interview published by Entertainment Weekly Wednesday, Dinklage clarified that Villechaize is not of Filipino descent, as many of Dinklage’s critics assumed, and that those people who have used the phrase “whitewashing” are unfairly jumping to conclusions.

“Personally, I would never do that, and I haven’t done that, because he wasn’t,” the “Game of Thrones” star told EW. “What they’re doing is judging and assuming what he is ethnically based on his looks alone.”

Also Read: Peter Dinklage Is 'The Man With the Golden Gun' in Teaser Trailer for 'My Dinner With Hervé' (Video)

Dinklage said that Villechaize was French-born of German and English descent, but that he saw on Wikipedia that he was often considered Filipino.
See full article at The Wrap »

Peter Dinklage Addresses ‘My Dinner With Hervé’ Whitewashing Rumors: ‘I Would Never Do That, and I Haven’t Done That’

Years in the making, this October will finally play home to the HBO release of Sacha Gervasi’s “My Dinner with Hervé,” which stars Peter Dinklage as trailblazing actor Hervé Villechaize, best known for his roles in “Fantasy Island” and “The Man With the Golden Gun.” The film follows Villechaize, described as both high-energy and hard-partying, during what end up being his final days, as he unexpectedly bonds with a journalist sent to interview him (played in the film by Jamie Dornan).

Dinklage has long wanted to bring the story to the big screen, but its imminent arrival has already been met with some criticism, including claims that Dinklage’s casting whitewashes Villechaize, who many believe was half-Filipino. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dinklage addressed the criticism — HBO chief Casey Bloys was asked about it at the TCAs earlier this year — and talked more about his hopes for
See full article at Indiewire »

Oscar Flashback: Best Original Songs of the early 1950s, including ‘Mona Lisa,’ ‘High Noon’

Oscar Flashback: Best Original Songs of the early 1950s, including ‘Mona Lisa,’ ‘High Noon’
This article marks Part 5 of the Gold Derby series analyzing 84 years of Best Original Song at the Oscars. Join us as we look back at the timeless tunes recognized in this category, the results of each race and the overall rankings of the Academy Awards winners.

The 1950 Oscar nominees in Best Original Song were:

“Mona Lisa” from “Captain Carey, U.S.A.”

“Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” from “Cinderella

“Mule Train” from “Singing Guns”

“Be My Love” from “The Toast of New Orleans”

“Wilhelmina” from “Wabash Avenue”

Won and should’ve won: “Mona Lisa” from “Captain Carey, U.S.A. ”

Best Original Song in 1950 underwhelms a bit, with really only two particularly memorable nominees – one, the winning “Mona Lisa,” and second, the catchy-as-can-be “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.”

“Mona Lisa,” featured in the forgettable Alan Ladd war picture “Captain Carey, U.S.A.,” is performed sumptuously here by the always-marvelous Nat King Cole. His performance, coupled with the rich orchestrations,
See full article at Gold Derby »

Soundtracking: "Girl Crazy"

by Chris Feil

The Gershwin musical Girl Crazy was immortalized on screen by Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in 1943, shortly after it arrived on Broadway and brought with it a handful of legendary numbers from the songwriting duo. George and Ira Gershwin are part of the American musical fabric, having crafted a treasure trove of a songbook where the source material has become irrelevant to the legacy of the songs themselves. Indeed, Girl Crazy would later be expanded and reconfigured to make one of the first jukebox musicals Crazy For You.

So even with screen legends like Garland and Rooney, the legendary tracks still only compare to decades of plentiful versions we have heard since. And while neither star (both carrying essentially the entire film’s musical weight) create definitive versions of these Gershwin songs, how could you? Part of the film’s charms from a contemporary perspective is how
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Nashville’ Recap: Juliette Plots Revenge, Gunnar Gets Inspired

The penultimate episode of Nashville is now history, so with the series finale on the horizon, we’re left with several questions as to how it will all end before the show strikes its final, bittersweet chord. With that in mind, here’s a recap of this week’s action and scenes we’d like to see next week.

Juliette plots her revenge against Darius and the Movement and is not going down without a fight. Even though she’s pregnant and has yet to reveal that little tidbit, she
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Oscars flashback: ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ is first Disney winner in Best Original Song

Oscars flashback: ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ is first Disney winner in Best Original Song
This article marks Part 2 of the Gold Derby series analyzing 84 years of Best Original Song at the Oscars. Join us as we look back at the timeless tunes recognized in this category, the results of each race and the overall rankings of the Academy Awards winners.

The 1940 Oscar nominees in Best Original Song were:

“Down Argentine Way” from “Down Argentine Way”

Who Am I” from “Hit Parade of 1941”

“It’s a Blue World” from Music in My Heart”

“When You Wish Upon a Star” from “Pinocchio

“Only Forever” from “Rhythm on the River”

Love of My Life” from “Second Chorus”

“Waltzing in the Clouds” from “Spring Parade”

“Our Love Affair” from “Strike Up the Band

“I’d Know You Anywhere” from “You’ll Find Out”

Won and should’ve won: “When You Wish Upon a Star” from “Pinocchio”

Let’s take a moment to stare in wonder at the star-studded nature of this line-up.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Film Review: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is purportedly the most-produced of all the Bard’s plays, but neither that nugget nor its cinematically friendly fantasy elements has done it many favors on film. Hollywood’s most famous stab was a notorious flop — stage titan Max Reinhardt’s garish 1935 Warner Bros. extravaganza featuring such unlikely (and highly variable) Shakespearean actors as Dick Powell, James Cagney, Mickey Rooney and Joe E. Brown. An almost equally starry 1999 effort, shot in Italy with Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Calista Flockhart and Christian Bale, wasn’t much better.

Since then there’s been the lamentably self-explanatory “A Midsummer Night’s Rave,” and the inexplicable “Strange Magic,” one Disney cartoon that children of all ages found easy to resist. That’s 80 years of evidence suggesting “Dream” might best be left sleeping by American filmmakers.

All the more surprising, then, that director-adapter Casey Wilder Mott’s debut feature proves
See full article at Variety »

Thai Cave Rescue Has Everyone Making the Same Scarlett Johansson Joke

  • The Wrap
Now that the anxiety over the rescue of a youth soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand has subsided, it’s time for the jokes — and the wags on Twitter apparently feel they’ve found the ideal butt in Scarlett Johansson.

Following news Tuesday that all 12 players and their coach had been rescued — and that Hollywood has already begun its inevitable rush to turn the real-life drama into a film — social media jokers turned its eyes to Johansson. And essentially made the same joke about the actress, who has more than once been criticized for seeming to take on roles outside of her race and gender.

“Congrats to Scarlett Johansson who just got cast as all 12 Thai soccer players,” one Twitter wiseacre chimed in.

Also Read: Scarlett Johansson Compared to 'Yellowface' Mickey Rooney for Trans Film Role

(Very) similarly, there was also, “Scarlett Johansson to play all 12 Thai boys in upcoming rescue thriller.
See full article at The Wrap »

Scarlett Johansson Compared to ‘Yellowface’ Mickey Rooney for Trans Film Role

Scarlett Johansson Compared to ‘Yellowface’ Mickey Rooney for Trans Film Role
Scarlett Johansson’s choice to play a transgender man in an upcoming role has been met with scorn from many in the trans community. But columnists have been weighing in too, largely with disapproval.

In an opinion piece for The New York Times, trans author Jennifer Finney Boylan said Johansson’s casting reminded her of Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which received backlash for using “yellowface” and caricaturing. Rooney, of course, was a white man playing an asian. And his comedic role has gotten fewer laughs as his part in the 1961 classic continues to grow more dated.

Boylan also criticized past transgender roles played by cisgender men, such as Eddie Redmayne and Jared Leto, who both won Oscars for their performances.

Also Read: Could Ant-Man Show Up in 'Captain Marvel'? We Think So

“Second, there’s usually something slightly off when cisgender actors play us.
See full article at The Wrap »

Scarlett Johansson Doesn’t Care About Trans People (and Neither Does Hollywood) — Opinion

Scarlett Johansson Doesn’t Care About Trans People (and Neither Does Hollywood) — Opinion
The real Dante “Tex” Gill, sporting a three-piece suit and a mean mug, was the archetype of masculine swagger. It’s hard to imagine Hollywood sex symbol Scarlett Johansson playing such a character, especially one described in their own obituary as “short and dumpy,” but that is exactly what she intends to do in “Rub & Tug.” Johansson’s casting announcements cited Gill as a woman who dressed as a man, but Screencrush writer E. Oliver Whitney pointed out that Gill was most likely a transgender man.

Johansson’s casting prompted harsh rebukes from the trans community, which has repeatedly complained of seeing their stories co-opted by cis people in Hollywood. Johansson told Bustle through a representative: “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”

It’s a statement that has echoes of “let them eat cake,” and her
See full article at Indiewire »

Arby's Gives Brandi Chastain a Saucy Hall of Fame Plaque Redo

  • TMZ
Arby's Gives Brandi Chastain a Saucy Hall of Fame Plaque Redo
Soccer legend Brandi Chastain's Hall of Fame plaque left a lot to be desired, but luckily ... Arby's came to the rescue! The fast food sandwich chain went out and found a sauce artist that did a much, much better job capturing the former Team USA star's likeness, saying ... "it’s not made of gold, but we think you look much better in Arby’s Sauce." We strongly agree. As we reported ... Chastain was
See full article at TMZ »

I’m an Asian American Actor Who Went to China Before Hollywood Would Cast Me as a Lead (Guest Blog)

Producing and starring in AMC’s “Into the Badlands” is a professional experience that I never thought I would see. It’s not just because drama and martial arts done together with a diverse cast is an American television first. Or because joining its cast was an unexpected homecoming for me.

For the 20 years before “Into the Badlands,” I spent my career working largely in Hong Kong and China. In 1997, while traveling in Hong Kong just after graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in architecture, I was spotted by director Yonfan. He asked me to take the lead role in his film “Bishonen.” Without either acting experience or a full grasp of the Cantonese language (Shanghai dialect was spoken at home), I turned down the role at first. He relentlessly pressed me to change my mind, and after a month I gave in.

It was a decision that changed my life and put me on a path that I never dared dream for myself. Two weeks after the film wrapped, I was on the set of my second film. Within two years I had done six films. By 2000, I was playing lead roles in everything from romantic comedies to big-budget action films. Now, 70 films later, my work has been embraced all over Chinese-speaking Asia.

Would any of this happened to me if I’d decided to start a career in acting at home? I really don’t think so.

Also Read: 'Into the Badlands' Renewed for Season 3 on AMC

Growing up a Chinese-American kid in 1970s and 1980s California, I saw no possibility for me to become an actor, especially one playing lead roles. There were many characters I loved on television — white, black and Latino — but I rarely saw people like myself represented. When I did see an Asian man appear on the screen, he was either a gross stereotype or something even worse.

I grew up watching “Kung Fu,” a TV series starring a white man (David Carradine) in yellow face playing a Chinese man. Legend has it that Bruce Lee had developed the concept for the show, hoping to creating an opportunity for himself. The studio loved the idea but cast a white man. While Bruce Lee eventually became a global icon, it was only after his untimely death — and after he first found opportunity in Hong Kong.

Almost two decades before “Kung Fu” aired, my parents immigrated to the U.S. Escaping war and political unrest, they came in pursuit of their idea of the American Dream. Both earned advanced degrees in the U.S. and worked to establish themselves professionally.

Also Read: 15 White Actors Miscast in Non-White Roles, From Mickey Rooney to Emma Stone (Photos)

Arriving in Berkeley, Calif., as newlyweds in 1961, my parents were barred from purchasing the house they wanted when the realtor told them it was in a “Whites Only” neighborhood. Undeterred, they went on to buy a house in a neighborhood nearby. From that house they could see up into the Berkeley Hills where the most beautiful and coveted homes in town were.

My mom would often tell my dad, “One day we will have a house there. ” And less than 10 years later they did it. And from that point on, they set their sights on making sure that their three kids received every opportunity to achieve their own dreams.

My mother had lofty goals for us. I remember a period when my mother kept planting a seed in my head, telling me that I could be the first Chinese-American president of the United States.

Also Read: 'Mulan' Fans Thank Disney for Not Whitewashing Live-Action Movie by Casting of Chinese Star

So it is kind of ironic that I had to leave the country for 20 years and become known to an audience of 1 billion Chinese before I would have the opportunity to come back to the U.S. and live my American Dream. And it’s also ironic that my Shanghai-born parents were immigrants to the U.S. and that I went the opposite way, to Hong Kong. But the root of my parents’ journeys and my own was the same — the pursuit of opportunity.

In retrospect, I feel very fortunate to have begun my career the way I did. Living and working in Asia insulated me from the race issue that is all-pervasive in entertainment in the U.S., especially now. When I won a part in Hong Kong, it was because I was right for it and not just because I fit the bill racially. Conversely, if I was rejected, it was because of my ability, which was something I could work on and not because of my race, which I couldn’t. So instead of being an angry Asian American actor lamenting about limited roles, being in Asia allowed me to focus on the craft of acting and to choose roles that helped broaden me as an actor.

My time in Asia not only insulated me from spirit-breaking casting situations that my fellow Asian American actor friends endured, but it allowed me to become a better actor. It also brought me closer to my culture, and made me who I am today. When I did enter Hollywood, knowing that my peeps had my back gave me a lot of confidence. If I had spent years in U.S. casting rooms getting rejected because I wasn’t the right skin color, or turning down one stereotypical role after another, or taking said roles because I needed to pay rent, I would have quit a long time ago.

After the first season of “Into the Badlands” debuted, I was reluctant to be a racial role model. I just wanted to focus on the work and make great television. During my 20 years in Asia I never needed to talk about these topics, let alone be the center of attention about them.

But after the second season premiered, and we learned about the impact the show was having, I started to understand the importance of stepping up. I’ve accepted the fact that I am one of the very few Asian men in the American entertainment and that by default people were going to look to me symbol of change. So as people have embraced me I have learned to embrace that new role.

Am I going to run for president? Hell no. But I think my parents’ dream for me was to find my place in this country, to be successful at what I do and most importantly, to be happy. I am proud to know that I might have some part in righting what happened to Bruce Lee over 40 years ago. And I am proud that some kid might watch “Into the Badlands” and think, “I want to be like him!”

Read original story I’m an Asian American Actor Who Went to China Before Hollywood Would Cast Me as a Lead (Guest Blog) At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Lpga Tournament Gets Lesson in Hollywood History

Lpga Tournament Gets Lesson in Hollywood History
The venerable Wilshire Country Club, where Howard Hughes, Harold Lloyd, Leslie Nielsen and Tommy Smothers were members — but Mickey Rooney was not — is opening its Rossmore Avenue gates to professional golf next week when it hosts an Lpga tournament.

The inaugural Hugel-jtbc L.A. Open, with a purse of $1.5 million and featuring one of the deepest fields in women's golf in some time, will be held Thursday through April 22 at the Hancock Park layout.

While the PGA Tour comes to Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades each February, this will mark the Lpga's ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Mary Hatcher, Mickey Rooney's Co-Star in 'The Big Wheel,' Dies at 88

Mary Hatcher, Mickey Rooney's Co-Star in 'The Big Wheel,' Dies at 88
Mary Hatcher, a dark-haired beauty who starred opposite Mickey Rooney in <em>The Big Wheel </em>and with Desi Arnaz in <em>Holiday in Havana</em>, has died. She was 88.

Hatcher died Tuesday of bile duct cancer in a hospital in Riverside, California, her grandson John Stoller announced.

Hatcher also played Laurey Williams during the original run of <em>Oklahoma!</em> on Broadway (Shirley Jones famously played the part in the 1955 movie version).

Hatcher, who had a wonderful soprano operatic voice, sang and danced with Arnaz in the musical comedy <em>Holiday in Havana</em> and portrayed Louise "Lou" Riley, the tomboy mechanic daughter of a race track ...</br></br></br></br></br></br>
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Garry Marshall Reflects on 'The Odd Couple' in a Recovered Interview (Exclusive)

The loss of writer/producer/occasional actor Garry Marshall in 2016 was something felt by anyone who is or ever has been a fan of Classic TV. Think about it: He got his start as a writer for Tonight Starring Jack Parr, but made the shift to writing sitcoms like Make Room for Daddy, Gomer Pyle: Usmc, The Lucy Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Love, American Style. Then he began creating or co-creating his own shows, some of which didn’t work (Hey, Landlord; Me and the Chimp, Blansky’s Beauties, Joanie Loves Chachi), and a lot that did. In terms of the latter, there was Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and, of course, The Odd Couple. In their time, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirely, and Mork & Mindy were huge, while The Odd Couple — based on Neil Simon’s play of the same name — struggled to
See full article at Closer Weekly »

How Do You Solve a Problem Like 'Isle of Dogs'?

How Do You Solve a Problem Like 'Isle of Dogs'?
When you see Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs, which opened in a limited run and will go wide this weekend, you will undoubtedly be bowled over by the sheer imagination and technical chops on display. You will thrill to the extraordinary stop-motion animation – the director's first return to the form since his 2009 near-masterpiece Fantastic Mr. Fox – which not only makes sure each strand of fur seems tactile but lets you see the soul behind its canine characters' eyes. You may shudder at the way the movie portrays a futuristic dystopia in which,
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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