Archive for "Oscars"

‘The Color Purple’ Marks 25 Years; Watch Whoopi’s Golden Globe Speech

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 8:30 am.

Tomorrow marks exactly 25 years since The Color Purple was released in the U.S. The movie featured a then-unknown Whoopi Goldberg in the starring role of Celie, an already established actor, Danny Glover, as Albert/Mister, and a local news anchor named Oprah Winfrey as Sofia.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, The Color Purple was originally met with bad reviews. Critics bashed Spielberg for straying far from the book and making the film too “soft.” Nonetheless, The Color Purple garnered 11 Oscar nominations and the fans spoke — this film is a classic.

The Color Purple was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. The book dealt with complex issues such as domestic abuse, homosexuality, sexism and racism. When Walker gave permission to remake the film, she insisted on three things: approval of the script, approval of the director (an already famous Steven Spielberg had to audition for Walker) and that the crew behind the scenes be at least 50 percent people of color.  All of these requests were met.

Famously, after 11 Oscar nominations – including Goldberg for best actress and Winfrey for best supporting actress — The Color Purple lost in every single category, even down to best makeup. Spielberg didn’t even receive a best director nod.

The Color Purple grossed over $94 million at the box office and was #4 in the yearly rankings for 1985. The film goes down in history as one of the few to feature an African-American cast and a high production budget. Twenty-four years later, we still haven’t seen anything quite like it… except for maybe Precious.

Watch Whoopi Goldberg’s vintage Golden Globe speech from 1986, where, just like Mo’Nique in 2010, she paid homage to the late, great Hattie McDaniel.

Also, click here for our recent interview with Desreta Jackson who played Young Celie.

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‘Precious’ Makes History, Mo’ and Screenplay Win; Plus, Live Blogging from the Oscars

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, March 8, 2010 at 12:00 am.

oscarIt’s Oscar time!  Stay here for updates on the Oscars, when the winners are announced their names will appear below in red.  Also, click here to read BET’s Live Blog straight from the press room of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre — blogged by BET’s own Sian-Pierre!

Supporting Actress:
Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. This makes Mo’Nique the fifth Black woman to win an Academy Award for acting! She joins the ranks of Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry and Jennifer Hudson.  Mo’Nique thanked Hattie McDaniel, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, her BET family, the Academy and said, “First, I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics.”  Congratulations Mo’Nique!

Adapted Screenplay:
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire The first-time an African-American has won this award (third African-American nominated.

Supporting Actor:
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Animated Feature Film:
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Up

Original Song:
“Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog, Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname” from Paris 36, Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas
“Take It All” from Nine, Maury Yeston
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from Crazy Heart, Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Original Screenplay:
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Tom McCarthy, Up

Documentary Short:
Music by Prudence, Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

Sound Editing:
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

Cinematography:
Avatar
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon

Sound Mixing:
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Original Score:
Avatar, James Horner
Fantastic Mr. Fox, Alexandre Desplat
The Hurt Locker, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
Sherlock Holmes, Hans Zimmer
Up, Michael Giacchino

Documentary Feature:
Burma VJ
The Cove
Food, Inc.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Which Way Home

Film Editing:
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Actor:
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Actress:
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia.

Director:
James Cameron, Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air.

Best Picture:
Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

Click Here To Read BET’s Live Blog Straight From the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre.  Be sure to check out our Oscar page full of all things Academy Awards.

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Are The Oscars Too Predictable This Year?

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 9:03 am.

oscars2010On Oprah, Roger Ebert said ” I can’t remember a year when it seemed easier to predict the Oscars.”  I agree, hopefully the Oscars will have some shockers Sunday night, but all the winners seemed etched in Hollywood stone.  Check out my list below, the ones in bold are the ones that will more than likely win and the nominees in red are the ones that should win.

Best Picture
Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

Avatar was a good movie and something we’ve never seen before, but most agree that the script was a recycled version of Dances With Wolves or Pocahontas.  I don’t think it deserves best picture, but a film that is the most expensive of all time seems to knock out the competition.  In my opinion, the most original film of the year, the most groundbreaking and truly something we’ve never seen before is Precious.  This movie is once in a lifetime.

Best Director
James Cameron, ‘Avatar’
Kathryn Bigelow, ‘The Hurt Locker’
Quentin Tarantino, ‘Inglourious Basterds’
Lee Daniels, ‘Precious’
Jason Reitman, ‘Up in the Air’

You just can’t compete with Hollywood billionaires. Again, Avatar was good, but I don’t think anyone’s vision, and I have seen all of these movies, was carried out better than Precious.  This was such a challenging story to bring to the big screen and it took a truly brilliant mind to do it.  There is a chance that Cameron’s ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, will win for The Hurt Locker.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, ‘Crazy Heart’
George Clooney, ‘Up in the Air’
Colin Firth, ‘A Single Man’
Morgan Freeman, ‘Invictus’
Jeremy Renner, ‘The Hurt Locker’

Bridges was good in Crazy Heart but I have seen so many films about a drunken country singer who makes a comeback.  Colin Firth in A Single Man was edgy yet subtle, humanizing a character that could’ve easily been unrelatable.  As Oprah said about his performance, “That is what acting is all about!”

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, ‘The Blind Side’
Helen Mirren, ‘The Last Station’
Carey Mulligan, ‘An Education’
Gabourey Sidibe, ‘Precious’
Meryl Streep, ‘Julie and Julia’

The Academy Awards is insisting on giving Bullock this Oscar, this is her year and she has paid her dues.  I liked The Blind Side, but I didn’t see or feel an Oscar worthy performance.  The character remained the same throughout the film, there was no climatic moment,  Bullock was good compared to her other films — but her performance in Crash was much more Oscar worthy than The Blind Side.  She deserved the nomination, but I thought she was the weakest compared to the other three (still a great performance).  If I had to chose, I would go with Sidibe in Precious.

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, ‘Invictus’
Woody Harrelson, ‘The Messenger’
Christopher Plummer, ‘The Last Station’
Stanley Tucci, ‘The Lovely Bones’
Christoph Waltz, ‘Inglourious Basterds’

If you haven’t seen The Messenger you are missing out on an excellent performance from Woody Harrelson.  Next to Mo’Nique, his performance is the best of the year by anyone nominated.  Nonetheless, the Oscar will go to Christoph Waltz.

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, ‘Nine’
Vera Farmiga, ‘Up in the Air’
Maggie Gyllenhaal, ‘Crazy Heart’
Anna Kendrick, ‘Up in the Air’
Mo’nique, ‘Precious’

Mo’Nique will win and she deserves it.  Her performance will go down with greats in a cinematic history.  I am still as deeply moved by her portrayal as Mary Jones as I was the first time I saw it.

Best Original Screenplay
‘The Hurt Locker’
‘Inglourious Basterds’
‘The Messenger’
‘A Serious Man’
‘Up’

It will be The Hurt Locker (possibly Inglourious Basterds).  Being that The Hurt Locker won’t win best film, I can see the Oscar giving it this win. Overall, The Messnger, which is about delivering news to families whose family members have died in the war, deserves the win.

Best Adapted Screenplay
‘District 9′
”An Education’
‘In the Loop’
‘Precious’
‘Up in the Air’

Up in the Air was an early front-runner for best film and now that Avatar is in the running, I think it will win this award.  There is a slight chance Precious might win best adapted screenplay, which it deserves, but I can’t see a George Clooney film walking away with nothing Oscar night.

I could be wrong about the possible winner but we will see Oscar night — you never know!

Who do you think will win?

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Sidibe Talks ‘Vanity Fair’ Debacle

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, February 19, 2010 at 11:24 am.

STIL0053The lack of diversity on the recent Vanity Fair cover confused people across the board.  Considering Hollywood can’t help but deny that Black stars are bankable and even worthy of historic Oscar nods, some color was missing.  Well, don’t expect Gabourey Sidibe to get too worked up, she was interviewed inside the magazine, but kept it classy in an interview with Access Hollywood:

“At first I thought, ‘Hmm, should I be there?  Then I very quickly got over it. I think if I were a part of that shoot I would have felt a little left out anyway.”

Had she been chosen to appear on the March cover, the Oscar nominated actress questioned if she would have even fit in.

“I would have felt a little like… whether or not I should have been there,” the 26-year-old explained. “[It] doesn’t matter, because I wasn’t on it and I’m excited to be mentioned anywhere, and it doesn’t matter to me where I’m not mentioned.”

She added, “I mean, I come from a world where I’m not on covers and I’m not in magazines at all. And so I was happy to be in the magazine.”

“It was a long transition,” she said. “I’m just grateful that I am there because so many people go through this — beautiful people, gorgeous people — don’t feel it, don’t feel as if they’re gorgeous and I think it’s really sad and I’m glad that I happen to be one of the people who does feel [it].”

Kudos to Gabourey! We look forward to seeing her shine Oscar night — hopefully she gets Justin Timberlake or Anthony Mackie as a date!

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Lee Daniels Talks Casting Mariah

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Mariah Carey and Lee DanielsLee Daniels made an appearance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show to talk about his six-time Oscar nominated film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. Stewart joked about working with a cast of mainly non-actors: Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Gabourey Sidibe.

Daniels describes how Mariah got involved; Helen Mirren canceled for a “paying job,” Mariah called later that day and soon after Mariah had the gig — with Mirren’s blessing.  Stewart, never one to miss a joke, laughed that Daniels somehow said, “Get me the girl from Glitter!”

Check out the video below.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Lee Daniels
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
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Whoopi Goldberg Says She Thought She Would Win For “The Color Purple”

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm.

whoopiWhenever cast members from 1985’s The Color Purple talk about the shock of being nominated for eleven Academy Awards and losing all of them, I immediately listen!  Precious made history by being the only film with a Black director and predominately Black cast receiving so many nods and one cannot help but make The Color Purple comparisons (even though the film had a White director).

Today on The View Whoopi Goldberg talked about her best actress nod for The Color Purple and said,  “I thought I might win for The Color Purple – I thought I would!”  Sherri Shepherd added, “We thought you would!”  Goldberg continued, “I realized there maybe other opportunities for me but I should be very careful saying what is going to happen when I’m not sure.”

Whoopi also said she lost to a brilliant actress named Geraldine Paige.  Whoopi would late win an Oscar for best supporting actress in 1990’s Ghost.

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TV Guide Network To Air One-Hour Special on “Precious”

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 12:51 am.

mariahcareypreciousSet your DVR! On Saturday, February 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on the TV Guide Network there will be a one-hour special on the the six-time Academy Award nominated film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. The special will feature never-before-seen footage, interviews and audience reactions.  According to TV Guide:

Already a multi award-winning film, “Precious” was recently nominated for sixAcademy Awards®, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Gabourey Sidibe), Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique), Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher), Best Director (Lee Daniels), and Best Film Editing (Joe Klotz). Director Lee Daniels, the first African American director to receive a “Best Director” nomination for a movie that was also nominated for “Best Picture,” spoke exclusively to TV Guide Network about the journey “Precious” had taken from its introduction at the Sundance Film Festival to becoming one of the most talked about films of the year. “I’m proud to have been a part of this, and it’s not just me…I’m proud for my cast…” He continues, “I’m happy for African American filmmakers…This is a statement…it’s a very exciting time for me.”

“TV Guide Network is proud to further explore “Precious” in a one-hour special, from its indie film beginning to its award-winning mainstream success,” said Diane Robina, TV Guide Network’s Executive Vice President of Development, Acquisitions and Programming Strategy. “The film and its journey to the screen are testaments to strength and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.”

In an exclusive interview for “Precious: The Story Behind the Movie,” star Gabourey Sidibe shares with TV Guide Network her perspective on the film. “A lot of people are afraid to see the movie because they think it’s so dark but it’s actually a beautiful film and it makes you appreciate the light in your life.”

I will definitely be tuned in for this special.  Everything involved with this film has been nothing short of amazing and history-making.

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Gabourey Sidibe Wants Justin Timberlake To Be Her Oscar Date

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 12:00 am.

justintGabourey Sidibe has been all over the news after her Oscar nod for lead actress in Precious, she is only eighth Black woman to be nominated in this category. Gabby is probably battling off the boys now on who she will take to the Oscars, but she has Justin Timberlake in mind — or maybe Anthony Mackie. According to MSNBC.com:

“I want to make Justin Timberlake and (“The Hurt Locker” actor) Anthony Mackie fight it out for the honor of being my date,” Sidibe told the Canadian entertainment TV show “eTalk” this week. “I’m just going to throw them in the ring and make them do it!”

But if Sidibe had to narrow it down to one guy, her heart is set on Timberlake. At one point during the interview, Sidibe turns toward the camera and makes her direct appeal. “Justin,” she says, “if you’re not doing anything on that night, maybe you could be my date or something. It’s fine. No pressure!”

Gabby should be careful with Justin — the last time JT hung out with a sistah in public her bosom popped out and she was thrown under the sexist bus!  Gabby might want to go for Anthony Mackie — I’m just sayin’!

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‘Vanity Fair’ Cover Sparks Pale Outrage

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 2:15 am.

vanityfairIn one of the most diverse and history making years for people of color in film – Vanity Fair somehow missed the rainbow colored memo.  All over the web from urban to pop sites, folks are giving Vanity Fair the side-eye for their March issue that declares “New Hollywood.”  Sadly, new Hollywood to Vanity Fair seems a lil’ Jim Crow-ish.  The cover includes up and coming starlets like Abbie Cornish, Mia Wasikowska, Amanda Seyfried, Rebecca Hall and Evan Rachel Wood. What’s missing?  Well, despite the black letters on the cover — color is missing!

It wouldn’t have been a stretch to pull some diverse names into the mix like 2009 Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, recent Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose from The Princess and the Frog, or one of the hottest actress in the world right now (regardless of race), star of Avatar and Star Trek, Zoe Saldana.  Leaving all of these successful names out would be like doing a story on the “new face of politics” and not including President Barack Obama!

African-American films are making more money than ever and Black stars have proven to be bankable — especially more bankable than any of the women on the cover of this Vanity Fair issue (with the exception of the girl from Twilight Kristen Stewart).  A writer from Vanity Fair described the girls with “Ivory-soap-girl features” — wow!  That sounds like something from a 19th century slave narrative!

Did Vanity Fair miss the mark or just following the lily White tradition of their magazine?

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Mo’Nique Receives an Oscar Nomination; ‘Precious’ Makes History

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 8:49 am.

monique-preciousNo surprise — Mo’Nique received an Oscar nomination for her now-legendary performance as Mary Jones in PreciousThe BET talk show host has already won a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and countless other awards since the Lee Daniels film debuted at Sundance last year. Unless the Academy Awards pulls one of its legendary upsets, this Oscar is all Mo’Nique’s, which would make her the fifth Black woman to win an Oscar for acting in 82 years (wow!).  She is now the 16th Black woman to receive an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.

Other nominations include Morgan Freeman for best actor in Invictus and Gabourey Sidibe received a best actress nod for Precious.  Sidibe is only the eighth Black actress to receive a nod for lead actress.  Freeman has been nominated twice before for lead actor, once in 1989 for Driving Miss Daisy and another in 1994 for The Shawshank RedemptionThe Princess and the Frog received three nominations, one for best animated feature and two for best original song.

Precious racked up four more nominations (totaling six) and history was made.  Lee Daniels was nominated for best director, the first time since John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood in 1991 that an African American received a nod in this category.  In addition, Precious earned a nomination for best adapted screenplay, which was honored to Geoffry Fletcher — only the third time an African American received a nod in this category, which hasn’t happened in over 25 years.  Precious was also nominated for best picture with nine other films — this is the first time that a film with a predominately Black cast and Black director was nominated in this category.  The film also received a best editing nod.

Expect the usual suspects Oscar night — Avatar for best film, Sandra Bullock for best actress and Mariah in a busty, tight dress.

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards will air March 7th, hosted by Steve Martin and Alec BaldwinClick here for a full list of nominees.

Check out the clip below of Halle Berry winning the Oscar for best actress in a leading role at the 74th Annual Academy Awards.

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