December 31, 2012 |
On screen and off, Kerry Washington is a strong woman with strong convictions. Not only does she play the tough political crisis manager Olivia Pope on ABC's highly rated show "Scandal," she also commanded the national stage on the final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. So it's a bit incongruous to see Washington taking on a role like Broomhilda von Shaft - a plantation slave desperately in need of being rescued by her man - in "Django Unchained. " Washington, though, describes herself not just as a feminist but also a womanist - a term coined by Alice Walker to define black feminism.
December 5, 2013 |
"12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" became the best picture front-runners after flooring audiences at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, and little has changed in the ensuing weeks. Naturally, then, given their estimable craft, both movies are also leading the way in the director and cinematographer races. The key category to watch: original screenplay. If "Gravity's" outer-space tale of spiritual rebirth can land a nomination in that competitive group, it will signal the movie has the kind of broad appeal needed to carry it to a best picture win. Here's how the races for director, cinematography and original and adapted screenplay are shaping up on the eve of the L.A. unveiling of the season's final puzzle piece, Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street.
March 3, 2014 |
In the end, Oscar voters couldn't truly avert their gaze from "12 Years a Slave. " Even though many Oscar voters found filmmaker Steve McQueen's searing chronicle of enslavement almost too harrowing to watch, "12 Years a Slave" prevailed Sunday to win the best picture trophy in one of the closest contests in modern Academy Awards history. In a ceremony in which the space thriller "Gravity" collected a leading seven statuettes - including the first directing Oscar won by a Mexican-born filmmaker - the biggest honor went to the true-life account of the kidnapping and auctioning of Solomon Northup, a New York freeman bartered as a Louisiana cotton picker.
July 15, 2013 |
"I don't want to survive," Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) says in "12 Years a Slave," the new film from British director Steve McQueen. "I want to live. " Based on a true story of a free man who is abducted from the North and sold into slavery in the South, the Fox Searchlight film costars Michael Fassbender, the lead in both McQueen's "Hunger" and "Shame," as a sadistic slave owner as comfortable quoting Scripture as brandishing a whip. The trailer makes it clear that this is a far bleaker -- and more realistic -- tale than "Django Unchained.
October 19, 2013 |
The state of Louisiana - with its manicured plantations, moss-draped sycamores and creeping kudzu vines - serves almost as a character itself in "12 Years a Slave," Steve McQueen's historical drama based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who was drugged, kidnapped and enslaved in the antebellum South for a dozen years. At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series , actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Northup, and Alfre Woodard, who plays a former slave married to a plantation owner, discussed how the film's powerful sense of place helped them get into character.
October 15, 2013 |
The seventh annual Envelope Screening Series opens Tuesday night with the acclaimed historical drama "12 Years a Slave" from director Steve McQueen. The film, based on the account of Solomon Northrup, a free black man in the pre-Civil War North who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Antebellum South, has connected with festival audiences and received a standing ovation from academy members at a screening on Sunday. Harrowing in its depiction of slavery, the film has been called by many awards watchers an Oscar front-runner for best picture.