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The Preview Reel: Ready Player One and Acrimony

Welcome to the “Preview Reel” column, where we look at the week’s upcoming wide-release movies. Last weekend Pacific Rim: Uprising took down the long-time box office king, Black Panther, with an impressive $28 million haul. It won’t likely repeat the feat this weekend as one of the more intriguing releases of the year arrives in the form of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Tyler Perry’s latest, Acrimony, also debuts with Taraji P. Henson in the lead role.

Ready Player One

What we are excited about: There’s two things to be very excited about with this movie—the source material and director Steven Spielberg. Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name is a fun, action-packed adventure filled with nostalgia and geek-filled glee. It pays homage to some of the best films of the 1980s, and who better to direct such a nostalgia-fueled adventure than the king of the blockbuster himself,
See full article at CinemaNerdz »

Phylicia Rashad to Receive League of Prof Theatre Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Rashad in “Creed”: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.

Tony winner Phylicia Rashad will soon have another award to add to her mantle. A press release has announced that the “Empire” actress will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Theatre Women Awards. Hosted by the League of Professional Theatre Women (Lptw), the awards are “dedicated to promoting the visibility of the theatrical work of female-identifying artists and their contributions to the field, across all disciplines.”

Rashad won a Tony in 2004 for her performance as Lena Younger in a revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” She received another Tony nod in 2005 for her role in “Gem of the Ocean.” Rashad’s other stage credits include “August: Osage County,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Into the Woods,” “Dreamgirls,” and “The Wiz.” She was honored by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company last year. Probably best
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Tyler Perry Studios President Ozzie Areu Exits to Form New Studio With Brother

Tyler Perry Studios President Ozzie Areu Exits to Form New Studio With Brother
Ozzie Areu is departing from his post as president of Tyler Perry Studios and joining with his sibling Will Areu to form Areu Bros. and purchase the former campus of Tyler Perry Studios.

The new company announced on Tuesday that the space is the former Delta Air Lines campus in Greenbriar, Ga., which served as Tyler Perry’s former studio space in southwest Atlanta. The brothers said they are building a multi-faceted media campus encompassing music, tech, motion pictures, and television operations.

While Ozzie Areu launches the venture, Will Areu will stay on as the president of production at Tyler Perry Studios.

“Ozzie has been a trailblazer in the entertainment industry since his start at Tps, where he and Will have worked tirelessly to contribute to our success,” Perry said. “While I am sad to say goodbye to Ozzie, I am excited for this next chapter in his career of entertaining people, as he continues
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dear Santa, These Sexy Photos of Omari Hardwick Are All I Want For Christmas

  • Popsugar
Dear Santa, These Sexy Photos of Omari Hardwick Are All I Want For Christmas
Omari Hardwick just might be the man of my dreams. The 43-year-old actor currently stars on the hit Starz series Power, and his racy sex scenes have earned him a legion of fans (myself included) who can't get enough of him. Besides the fact that he's a walking sexpot, the adorable father of two and University of Georgia graduate is also a poet and social justice activist when he's not on set. I'll never forget the first time I laid eyes on him in the 2010 film For Colored Girls, and I've been swooning over him ever since. If you're not yet familiar with Omari, scroll through these sexy photos to see why he's all I want for Christmas.
See full article at Popsugar »

5 Things to Know About Thor: Ragnarok Star Tessa Thompson

  • Popsugar
5 Things to Know About Thor: Ragnarok Star Tessa Thompson
You may not be familiar with Tessa Thompson's name right now, but the 33-year-old actress is about to be everywhere. She recently starred in the first season of Westworld, and she's playing Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (and maybe its followup Avengers: Infinity War). Before she blows up in Hollywood, check out a few key facts about the star below. Her father is in the entertainment business. Tessa is the daughter of singer/songwriter Marc Anthony Thompson of the musical group Chocolate Genius, Inc. She's a Shakespeare buff. While her first acting experience was a school play with Amber Tamblyn, her professional stage debut came when she starred in an La production of The Tempest. In 2003, she also appeared as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet: Antebellum New Orleans, 1836, which earned her an NAACP Theatre Award nomination. She's been on a few of your favorite shows. Before starring on Westworld,
See full article at Popsugar »

How Tessa Thompson Went From Indie Actor to 'Thor: Ragnarok' Badass

How Tessa Thompson Went From Indie Actor to 'Thor: Ragnarok' Badass
Tessa Thompson doesn't saunter into Thor: Ragnarok until the end of the first act, when Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder crash-lands on the planet Sakaar – a "fantastically depraved place," she says. Her character, Valkyrie, a traumatized Asgarian expat, fits right in; she makes a living capturing potential gladiatorial combatants and selling them to the Grandmaster (played Jeff Goldblum) for booze. "Sometimes she'll do half-booze and half-money, which makes her feel sort of better than spending it all on drinks," Thompson muses, laughing. To her, the Prince of Asgard is
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Slideshow, Audio: Black Perspectives Red Carpet at 53rd Chicago International Film Festival

Previous | Image 1 of 3 | NextAlfre Woodard at her tribute at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival.

Chicago – It was an evening to celebrate the Black Perspective in filmmaking at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival, and also to celebrate one of the great African American actors with a tribute to Alfre Woodard. Woodard walked the Red Carpet on October 21st, 2017, with fellow actors Regina Taylor (“I’ll Fly Away”) and Jussie Smollett (“Empire”).

Alfre Woodard was born in Oklahoma, and studied drama at Boston University. Her breakthrough stage role was in 1977, with “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” and her film debut came a year later with “Remember My Name.” After winning an Emmy for a three episode run on TV’s “Hill Street Blues,’ she was hired by the same production team to portray Dr. Roxanne Turner on “St. Elsewhere” from 1985-88. Her film
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

‘Boo 2!’ Review: Tyler Perry Leaves a Flaming Bag of Poo on Your Doorstep

  • The Wrap
‘Boo 2!’ Review: Tyler Perry Leaves a Flaming Bag of Poo on Your Doorstep
It’s hard out here for a sporadic Tyler Perry apologist. Yes, his funniest films are his dramas, where he gives the leading ladies of “Temptation” or “For Colored Girls” HIV for skipping church or whatever, but his Madea still hasn’t gotten her due as a genuinely outrageous comic creation. When Perry-as-Madea is firing on all cylinders — as in “Madea’s Big Happy Family” or “Boo! A Madea Halloween” — the character’s comedic energy is enough to raise the boats of Perry’s sluggish direction. The success of last year’s “Boo!” has given Perry 12 months to crank out a sequel,
See full article at The Wrap »

Film Review: ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’

Film Review: ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’
In his career as a writer, director, actor, mogul, and one-man filmmaking factory, Tyler Perry has given us shamelessly over-the-top demon-yuppie melodrama; exuberantly dirty-minded dress-up burlesque; squeaky-clean family soap opera; a rare bid for prestige with his 2010 adaptation of “For Colored Girls”; and, in last year’s “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” his message-movie version of a fright-night comedy. But with “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” Perry pushes into novel terrain. He has made a slasher movie, or a satire of a slasher movie, or the world’s most purposefully ineffectual slasher movie, or something. Even if you’re just looking for a Tyler Perry night out, be afraid, be very afraid. (One qualification: Uncle Joe gets some tasty nasty lines.)

On her 18th birthday, Tiffany (Diamond White), the parochial-school heroine of the first “Boo!,” with her normal-girl-meets-Teen-Vogue generic Barbie-doll hauteur, is invited to another Halloween frat party thrown by the geek muscleheads of Upsilon Theta. Perry
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tyler Perry's Acrimony Trailer Sends Taraji P. Henson Into a Rampage

Tyler Perry's Acrimony Trailer Sends Taraji P. Henson Into a Rampage
Lionsgate has released the first trailer for Acrimony, the new film from director Tyler Perry, along with the new poster and first look photo featuring stars Taraji P. Henson and Lyriq Bent as the married couple Melinda and Robert. For those expecting a wacky Tyler Perry comedy, you won't find that here, with the director taking a turn into thriller territory with this tale of marital strife that is much, much darker than the filmmaker's Madea comedies, but it remains to be seen how audiences will react to this type of movie from the acclaimed director.

Acrimony centers on a faithful wife (Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson), tired of standing by her devious husband (Lyriq Bent), becomes enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. The trailer takes us back to the beginning of their relationship, when a young Melinda (Ajiona Alexus) first meets a young Robert (Antonio Madison
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Thor: Ragnarok’: Tessa Thompson And Other Marvel Stars Want A Female Super Team Movie

Beverly Hills — The review embargo for “Thor: Ragnarok” isn’t up yet, but if you’ve been following social media reactions, it’s clear the breakout star is Tessa Thompson.

The 34-year-old actress is best known for her work in Ryan Coogler’s “Creed,” but she’s had standout performances in the movie version of “Dear White People,” “For Colored Girls” and HBO’s “Westworld.” In ‘Ragnarok,’ Thompson takes the mantle of the sole remaining Valkyrie, a warrior goddess of Asgard who has become disillusioned with Odin’s reign and meets up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on Sakaar, a planet run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).

Continue reading ‘Thor: Ragnarok’: Tessa Thompson And Other Marvel Stars Want A Female Super Team Movie at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

The Best Performances in Bad Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey

  • Indiewire
The Best Performances in Bad Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: What is the best performance in an otherwise bad movie?

Joshua Rothkopf (@joshrothkopf), Time Out New York

There’s a Cult of Val (Kilmer, obviously) that I proudly belong to. Mainly it revolves around movies like “Real Genius,” “Top Secret!” and “Heat,” all excellent movies that don’t fit the parameters of this question. But you really don’t know Val until you’ve made your peace with Oliver Stone’s beyond-awful “The Doors.” The apocryphal anecdotes around Kilmer’s deep dive into Jim Morrison are insane: insisting that no one look him in the eye on set, wearing the same leather pants for months,
See full article at Indiewire »

Two Tyler Perry Movies Get 2018 Release Dates

Two Tyler Perry Movies Get 2018 Release Dates
Lionsgate has announced that it’s releasing a pair of Tyler Perry movies in 2018 — “She’s Living My Life,” starring Taraji P. Henson with Perry directing, and “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral.”

“She’s Living My Life” will hit theaters on March 30 and be written by Perry with Henson portraying a woman who is tired of standing by her devious husband, becoming enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. Warner Bros.’ “Ready Player One,” directed by Steven Spielberg, is opening on that date, which is the start of Easter weekend.

“Family Funeral” will be released on Aug. 3 and star Perry with Cassi Davis and Patrice Lovely. The comedy will center on a joyous family reunion that becomes a nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might unveil unsavory family secrets.

Related

Lionsgate Sets ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween’ for October

Lionsgate is launching the comedy sequel “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween” on Oct. 20. Perry brought his signature Madea character back to life last year in his ninth “Madea” movie — “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween.”

“A Madea Halloween” was a solid performer for Lionsgate with $73 million in domestic grosses.

Perry debuted the Madea character in 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” in a version of his stage play. That film was directed by Darren Grant — the only time a film written by Perry was not directed by Perry himself.

Lionsgate has handled many other Perry films such as “Good Deeds,” “The Single Moms Club,” “For Colored Girls” and the two “Why Did I Get Married” films as part of a strategy to offer movies to the African-American sector. The studio saw success recently with Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me,” which grossed $30 million domestically in its first five days.

Related storiesEighth 'Saw' Movie Gets a New NameLionsgate Signs Licensing Pact with HBO Europe for Premium Drama SeriesActor Claims He Was Injured on 'Horse Soldiers' Set
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Anika Noni Rose Joins Thriller ‘Assassination Nation’ (Exclusive)

Anika Noni Rose Joins Thriller ‘Assassination Nation’ (Exclusive)
Anika Noni Rose has been cast in the thriller “Assassination Nation” as the mother of the characters played by Abra and Suki Waterhouse.

Assassination Nation” follows four teenage girls in a small suburb who become the focus of unwanted, world-wide media attention after their personal information is leaked by an anonymous hacker. Odessa Young and Hari Nef play the two other teenagers.

Rose will portray an attractive woman with terrible taste in men, who has an unfortunate reputation in the conservative town of Salem. When the mysterious hacker outs her for her various affairs with the town’s married men, she faces scorn, public ridicule and downright abuse from the outraged citizenry.

Sam Levinson, whose credits include “Another Happy Day” and HBO’s upcoming “Wizard of Lies,” is helming from his own screenplay.

Producers are Foxtail Entertainment co-founders and partners Matthew Malek and Anita Gou, and Phantom Four partners David Goyer and Kevin Turen.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Finding the Balance: Crowdfunding Picks

“Architect Blues”

If you’re an avid reader of Women and Hollywood (and if you’re not, welcome!) the disparities between men and women in the film industry are of no surprise. These seemingly never-ending statistics are why projects that acknowledge, question, and challenge the status quo are so crucial; art can rapidly tip the slow scale of reality. This particular ensemble of projects explores balance — or lack thereof — in its many varying forms.

Like other recent crowdfunding projects, Arnetta Randall’s “Who Owns My Body?” explores “women’s bodily autonomy in today’s political climate.” This documentary, however, specifically focuses on black women and their unique experiences — a notion that still comes under attack, even in feminist circles. By doing so, Randall envisions this documentary as a necessary spotlight on the black female experience, as well as a potential line of communication between white and black feminists.

“Architect Blues,” a short film written by Adrianna Cherelle, is more introspective, but it, too, celebrates the strength and resilience of black women. It is dedicated to black women who are trying to find their inner selves while continuing to lift others up.

Choreographer Jinah Parker looks to build a universal community as a means of healing from trauma and pain in “She.” One in three women fall victim to some sort of sexual violence in their lifetime. Parker, who also founded the Jinah Parker Project, explores this epidemic, its effects, and its possible solutions through a theatrical experience rich in multimedia storytelling.

Comedy web series “UnCorked” instead strives to even out the industry playing field — the porn industry, that is. This all-female team “calls shenanigans” on the notion that “sex, desire, and love are the sole purview of the gorgeous, the young, and the thin.” In doing so, “UnCorked” offers female characters who take their own desire — and by extension, lives — into their own hands.

Finally, it goes without saying that gender imbalance still exists in the comic genre. But, did you know that “in the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, there was an abundance of female heroes who headlined their own comic strips?” That’s exactly what “Her-Pow! New Adventures of Vintage Heroines” would like to remind us of — with a contemporary flare, of course. By bringing three vintage heroines back to life, Dawn Alden and her team aim to remind Hollywood that Wonder Woman was, at one time, far from an anomaly.

Here are our women-created and women-centric crowdfunding picks for April 2017.

“Architect Blues” (Short) — Written and Produced by Adrianna Cherelle

https://medium.com/media/c006aa32fcac969063f1108aca8af07d/href

Adrianna Cherelle’s short film began as “form of therapy and love letter to [herself].” It follows graduate student Imara Jones as she’s hit with a case of “architect blues”: An introspective state that forces her to realize that the only life she hasn’t worked on is her own. As she observes the black women around her, Imara must decide whether or not she is ready to construct her own blueprint. According to Cherelle, this film is an “homage to all of the black women who put their jobs, family, love life, and worldly issues before their own personal health and self-realization.

Help “Architect Blues” explore the true meaning of #BlackGirlMagic by donating to its campaign on Seed&Spark.

“She” (Theatrical Experience) — Created and Choreographed by Jinah Parker

“She”: My Creative Photography

Jinah Parker’s “She” has been described as an amalgam of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” and Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls.” This theatrical experience employs spoken word, music, video, and dance to “highlight… one of the major human rights issues of the 21st century: gender violence.” Specifically, Parker focuses on “sexual violence, Sandra Bland, and healing,” and she does so through a communal lens.

“She” debuted in New York City last spring to a sold-out house. Now, Parker intends to bring her transformative work back to the Big Apple before taking it on the road to different states and various college campuses.

Check out how “She” needs your help by visiting its GoFundMe page.

UnCorked” (Web Series) — Written by Mandy Turpin, Lisa K. Wyatt, Debbie Pollack, Tiffany Jeneen, Laura Carson, and Christina Donnelly

https://medium.com/media/854e4261de2155f744cb9153bec6fc02/href

The fictitious characters of “UnCorked” are here to expose the real-life sex industry for what it truly is: “A load of bunk.” This web series follows six wine-loving women as they trade in their Jane Austen book club to produce porn. Unlike other products from this male-dominated, male-centric industry, their porn is “tasteful, elegant, and made with their needs in mind.”

Through a comedic premise, “UnCorked” explores the complexities of female desire, and, more importantly, it does so in a collective fashion. Each team member took the lead on her respective episode, promoting female camaraderie as opposed to competition. If you ask us, it sounds like this project aims to debunk more than just the porn industry.

Help the “UnCorked” team reach its goal during the final hours of their Seed&Spark campaign.

“Her-Pow! New Adventures of Vintage Heroines!” (Short Film Series) — Written by Dawn Alden, Stina Pederson, and Tracy Schmetterer; Produced by Angela Acuna

https://medium.com/media/d99045024080d9f9e045577f0acc8b40/href

“Her-Pow! New Adventures of Vintage Heroines!” — led by Vicarious Films founder Dawn Alden — is a triple threat to say the least. Alden and her team intend on bringing not one, but three female comic heroines back to life in film form. Unlike their source material, these shorts, which showcase The Woman in Red, The Veiled Avenger, and Ghost Woman, “will feature ethnically diverse casts that are either gender balanced or skew female” and are Lgtbq inclusive.

Female directors, cinematographers, and characters will bring these action-packed, female-centric stories to life. Down the road, Alden hopes that “Her-Pow!” will evolve into a feature or web series.

Help bring these heroines back to fight another day on Seed&Spark.

“Who Owns My Body?” (Documentary) — Written and Directed by Arnetta Randall

https://medium.com/media/ed45ac7932687313b85e80798232b0e0/href

As writer-director Arnetta Randall emphasizes, “feminism has become a widespread movement, but not necessarily an inclusive movement.” By specifically focusing on the black women, this feature-length documentary aims to provide a side of the conversation that, time and time again, mainstream feminism tends to overlook.

“Who Owns My Body?” stresses the need for intersectionality whilst breaking down the multifaceted nature of body image, sexuality, and reproductive rights. Alongside other issues, Randall explores the politicizing of black hair, the correlation between race and sexual violence, and black motherhood through conversations with ordinary women and scholars, animation, and multimedia. By providing a voice for this “gravely marginalized group,” her work aims to “inform, entertain, and empower.”

Help “Who Owns My Body?” explore female autonomy by contributing to its Kickstarter campaign.

To be considered for Women and Hollywood’s biweekly crowdfunding feature, please write to womenandhollywoodinterns@gmail.com. All formats (features, shorts, web series, etc.) are welcome. Projects must be by and/or about women.

Finding the Balance: Crowdfunding Picks was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

The Real Scandal Is How Amazing Kerry Washington Has Always Looked

  • Popsugar
The Real Scandal Is How Amazing Kerry Washington Has Always Looked
Kerry Washington has been on our radar since the early 2000s, when she graced the screen as single mom Chenille in Save the Last Dance (such a classic). Since then, she's starred in critically acclaimed films like Ray, For Colored Girls, and Django Unchained and has us completely captivated with her role as Olivia Pope on the ABC hit show Scandal, for which she's received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. Off screen, Kerry's life has been pretty golden as well; she and husband Nnamdi Asomugha welcomed their daughter Isabelle in April 2014, and became parents again when their son Caleb was born in October 2016. Like the rest of us, Kerry fell victim to some of the more unfortunate fashion trends in the 2000s - like denim maxi skirts, woven belts, and skinny scarves - but she's clearly come out on the other side. In addition to her fashion prowess, Kerry has a megawatt smile,
See full article at Popsugar »

Black Panther Gets Cosby Show Mom Phylicia Rashad

Black Panther Gets Cosby Show Mom Phylicia Rashad
It was said early on about Black Panther that the cast would be 90-percent African-American and that it would be "among the best ensembles" of any movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige definitely set the expectations high, but he and director Ryan Coogler seem to be delivering on those promises so far. Now it looks like yet another very encouraging actress may be joining the cast in the form of Emmy nominee Phylicia Rashad.

The potential casting didn't come from anyone official, like Marvel Studios or Ryan Coogler, but another new cast member seemingly spilled the beans. This is Us star Sterling K. Brown recently landed a role for himself in Black Panther and in an interview with The Undefeated, he named dropped Phylicia Rashad. Here is what he had to say.

"I just worked with Chad on a film called Marshall, about Thurgood Marshall. He's such a
See full article at MovieWeb »

BAFTA Nominations: A Good Day for Ken Loach and ‘La La Land,’ Less So for Diversity

BAFTA Nominations: A Good Day for Ken Loach and ‘La La Land,’ Less So for Diversity
There was a time, way back in the mists of the 20th century, when you wouldn’t have looked to the BAFTAs to confirm any predictions you had about the upcoming Academy Awards — not least because they took place comfortably after the Oscars, happily marching to their own beat not just in terms of scheduling, but voting too. Those were days when “Jean de Florette” and “The Commitments” won Best Picture, while Wim Wenders could sneak in a Best Director win for “Paris, Texas.”

They’re also very much over: Since 2001, when BAFTA jumped back to precede the Academy’s shindig, they’ve embraced their Oscar precursor status, gravitating almost exclusively around films and artists with awards buzz echoing from across the Atlantic, and giving mostly short shrift to Britain’s own independent cinema.

This morning’s BAFTA nominations see them largely stick to that system, albeit with some key
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Denzel Washington Stuns With ‘Fences’: How He Dodged Broadway’s Stagey Curse

Denzel Washington Stuns With ‘Fences’: How He Dodged Broadway’s Stagey Curse
Transporting a lauded Broadway play to the screen is a mixed bag. Among those that hug the yellow section of Metacritic are “Phantom of the Opera,” “M. Butterfly,” “Evita,” “Nine,” “For Colored Girls,” “The Producers,” “Rent,” “Carnage,” and more. Too often, a script’s theater origins condemn a film adaptation to the curse of being “stagey.” It’s a transition that requires real skill — and Denzel Washington has it.

In his third directorial outing (“The Debaters,” “Antwone Fisher”), Washington skirts the hazards of “opening up” a play by chasing honest emotions. A two-time acting Oscar winner, Washington knocks ’50s Pittsburgh drama “Fences” out of the park, both as director and disgruntled former baseball player Troy Maxson. Viola Davis as Rose Maxson, and Mykelti Williamson as her husband’s brain-damaged brother Gabriel, are also likely supporting Oscar players. (Davis made the call to change her status to supporting, partly to take
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Denzel Washington Stuns With ‘Fences’: How He Dodged Broadway’s Stagey Curse

  • Indiewire
Denzel Washington Stuns With ‘Fences’: How He Dodged Broadway’s Stagey Curse
Transporting a lauded Broadway play to the screen is a mixed bag. Among those that hug the yellow section of Metacritic are “Phantom of the Opera,” “M. Butterfly,” “Evita,” “Nine,” “For Colored Girls,” “The Producers,” “Rent,” “Carnage,” and more. Too often, a script’s theater origins condemn a film adaptation to the curse of being “stagey.” It’s a transition that requires real skill — and Denzel Washington has it.

In his third directorial outing (“The Debaters,” “Antwone Fisher”), Washington skirts the hazards of “opening up” a play by chasing honest emotions. A two-time acting Oscar winner, Washington knocks ’50s Pittsburgh drama “Fences” out of the park, both as director and disgruntled former baseball player Troy Maxson. Viola Davis as Rose Maxson, and Mykelti Williamson as her husband’s brain-damaged brother Gabriel, are also likely supporting Oscar players. (Davis made the call to change her status to supporting, partly to take
See full article at Indiewire »
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