Charlize Theron, Jay Roach, Charles Randolph on Bombshell, and Speaking Up About Sexual Harassment at FOX News

Posted on November 14, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Last night, a powerhouse Washington D.C. audience got an early look at one of this winter’s biggest and best movies, “Bombshell,” based on the true story of the sexual harassment complaints that caused a seismic shake-up at the most powerful media company in the world. The title is clever, referring to the “bombshell” anchors of Fox News, selected for their beauty as well as their credentials as journalists, and the “bombshell” disclosures of abuse that led to the departure of the company’s top talent, including the founder of FOX News, the late Roger Ailes and their top-rated broadcaster, Bill O’Reilly.

Following the screening at the spectacular new Washington DC office of the MPAA, CNN’s Dana Bash interviewed producer and star Charlize Theron, who plays Megyn Kelly in the film, director Jay Roach, and screenwriter Charles Randolph. Some highlights:

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Randolph described himself as “the least woke man in the room,” subject to “the masculine instinct to minimize” the experiences of women, which itself causes great harm — the “refusal to acknowledge the importance of these events in women’s lives is devastating.” But “how is that helping the world? And so, he told us the the reason he wanted to tell this story: “Sexual harassment has to stop. And this has such interesting characters. They are not earnestly passive, as we see too often in “good” characters. They are filled with quirks, contradictions, internal conflicts. My parents are FOX News people. These are characters they can relate to, laugh at, laugh with, fully identify with and respect.”

Roach also comes from a “Fox News family,” he said. “This could cross over. Even my mom and my aunts could connect to this because they know them. When this story happened, we were all talking about it but I did not hear my family talking about it. The women in this film did not call themselves feminists; it is a great predicament for a story.”

Theron on taking on the role: “This film began before the Harvey Weinstein/#meetoo/Time’s Up movement. In a way, it is the origin story. But this was already a part of my life as it has been for every woman. Producing the film was easier than playing Megyn. And in some ways, playing Aileen Wuornos in ‘Monster’ was easier, because everyone knows Megyn’s face, voice, gestures so well. It took a little time for me to put my personal feelings aside. Megyn says some things I don’t agree with and some that rub me the wrong way. We have different views on a lot of stuff, but the only way to do this job is to remove yourself from those judgments and come from an empathetic place, to find the emotional arc of the story and not hide yourself away from the thorns. It’s easy to do a heroic person who does everything right and the audience immediately likes them. But it is more interesting to take a conflicted person who has a moment to do something right, not fluffy nice and cozy. We are complicated as people and the characters should be, too.” The same goes for those in the story who are not the heroes. “The harasser you most have to worry about is not the guy twirling his mustache.”

“It’s the belittling factor,” Theron said. “We’ve always been able to wrap our heads around the violent injuries. But this is also incredibly damaging. You carry this stuff, adding more weight to the luggage you never get rid of.”

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Based on a true story Behind the Scenes Gender and Diversity Movies for Grown-Ups

Behind the Scenes of The Crown: A New Cast Takes Over

Posted on November 12, 2019 at 3:36 pm

Copyright 2019 Netflix

Peek behind the scenes as Oscar winner Olivia Coleman and Helena Bonham-Carter take on the roles of Queen Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, with Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip), Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Erin Doherty (Princess Anne).

 

 

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Behind the Scenes

Critics Choice Documentary Awards 2019

Posted on November 10, 2019 at 9:50 pm

We are proud to announce the winners of this year’s Critics Choice Awards for documentaries:

Apollo 11 took home the evening’s most prestigious award for Best Documentary Feature as well as Best Editing for Todd Douglas Miller, Best Score for Matt Morton, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

There was a tie for Best Director between Peter Jackson for They Shall Not Grow Old, and Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar for American Factory. They Shall Not Grow Old also brought home the award for Most Innovative Documentary. American Factory also won the award for Best Political Documentary.

“Once again, we are thrilled to celebrate and support the vibrant and groundbreaking work of these talented documentarians. We are proud that our yearly gala event has become an informed and valuable way for people to find the best films out there and for the work of these filmmakers to find their audiences,” said CCA CEO Joey Berlin. “It was a great night of lauding the greats in the documentary field as well as some outstanding newcomers.”

At the ceremony a special new honor, The D A Pennebaker Award, was  presented to legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman. The award, formerly known as the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, is named for prior winner D A Pennebaker, who passed away last summer. It was presented by filmmaker Chris Hegedus, Pennebaker’s long-time collaborator and widow.

Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Apted was presented with The Landmark Award, an honor bestowed upon him for his extraordinary and unparalleled achievement with the Up series, which has just added 63 Up, distributed by BritBox, to this historic work. The award was presented by Michael Moore, who was honored with the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award last year.

The award for Best Cinematography went to John Chester for The Biggest Little Farm.

Best Narration went to Bruce Springsteen for Western Stars.

Honeyland took home the award for Best First Documentary Feature for directors Tamara Kotevska an Ljubomir Stefanov.

The award for Best Biographical Documentary went to Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.

The Best Music Documentary award went to Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.

Maiden won the Best Sports Documentary award.

The Best Short Documentary Award was given to Period. End of Sentence.

This year’s honorees for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary are Dr. Amani Ballor (The Cave), David Crosby (David Crosby: Remember My Name), Tracy Edwards (Maiden), Imelda Marcos (The Kingmaker), Hatidze Muratova (Honeyland), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin (Knock Down the House), Linda Ronstadt (Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice), and Dr. Ruth Westheimer (Ask Dr. Ruth).

 

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Awards Documentary

Honoring Those Who Have Served: Movies for Veteran’s Day 2019

Posted on November 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served.

Copyright 2019 Warner Brothers

This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to account for all veterans in all wars.

We celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

This year, Midway is in theaters to remind us of the immeasurable dedication and courage of our WWII military.

Some movies for families to watch about real-life US military:

WWI

They Shall Not Grow Old On the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Peter Jackson used 21st century technology to make archival footage and audio feel contemporary, to make the experience of these men seem as though it happened to people we know.

WWII

Band of Brothers Historian Stephen Ambrose’s book was made into a stirring miniseries about “Easy” Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, from jump training in the United States through its participation in major actions in Europe, up until the end of the war.

Korean War

M*A*S*H is a dark anti-war comedy based on the real-life experiences of an Army surgeon. It inspired the long-running television series.

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War The documentary from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tells the story.

Persian Gulf War/Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Jarhead Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Sam Mendes’ film based on the memoir of Anthony Swofford’ about his experiences as a Marine Sniper in Gulf War I.

Restrepo is a documentary about U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, serving in a remote 15-man outpost, “Restrepo,” named after a platoon medic who was killed in action.

American Sniper Bradley Cooper stars as the late Chris Kyle, a top sniper who served four tours of duty in Iraq, and then was killed by a veteran he was trying to help after he got home.

The Messenger Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster play soldiers who have the hardest job of all, notifying families that someone they love has been killed.

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