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Nomadland and Movies With Complicated Older Women

Posted on February 21, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Copyright 2020 Searchlight
Daniel Arkin writes about Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” and the increase in movies about older women characters.

The film industry routinely casts “men of a certain age” as romantic leads or action heroes. But women over 50 tend to be relegated to supporting or one-dimensional parts, and major stars such as Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman might be exceptions that prove the rule, Malone said.

“When we see older women, they’re in sideline roles with a lot of stereotypes around them and a lot of jokes being made at their expense,” Malone said. “They’re rarely shown to be at the center of stories as viable, complex characters.”

My thanks to Arkin for including me in the story:

Nell Minow, a film critic and expert in corporate governance, said she believes there has been more cultural oxygen available to small-scale and women-led projects during the coronavirus pandemic because leading studios were forced to postpone the release of many male-driven blockbusters.

“It’s been a bonanza for more intimate films like ‘Nomadland’ in many ways,” said Minow, pointing to Channing Godfrey Peoples’ “Miss Juneteenth” and Radha Blank’s “The 40-Year-Old Version” as examples of women-anchored projects that received welcome attention last year.

“I have realized that so much of the media I consume requires me to translate from the male point of view into something that speaks more directly to me,” Minow said. “When I see these movies, I can relax. I don’t have to translate anything.”

“It’s a cliché at this point to say ‘representation matters,’ but it makes me feel connected and listened to because I have something in common with these characters,” she added.

Black Reel Awards Nominees: One Night in Miami, 40-Year-Old Version, Ma Rainey, and More

Posted on February 18, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Copyright Participant Media 2021
he Black Reel Awards (BRAs) announced today the film nominees for the 21st Annual Black Reel Awards. The winners will be revealed on Sunday, April 11, 2021 from 8-10pm, virtually across several media platforms.

The nominees are:

OUTSTANDING MOTION PICTURE
(award given to the producer)

DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)
Jon Kilik, Spike Lee, Beatriz Levin & Lloyd Levin, producers

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
Charles D. King, Ryan Cooler & Shaka King, producers

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
Denzel Washington, Todd Black & Dany Wolf, producers

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder & Jody Klein, producers

SOUL (WALT DISNEY MOTION PICTURES)
Dana Murray, producers

OUTSTANDING ACTOR

KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

CHADWICK BOSEMAN
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

DELROY LINDO
DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)

ROB MORGAN
BULL (SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE)

LAKEITH STANFIELD
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS

NICOLE BEHARIE
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

VIOLA DAVIS
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

ANDRA DAY
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (HULU)

TESSA THOMPSON
SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)

ZENDAYA
MALCOLM & MARIE (NETFLIX)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR

RADHA BLANK
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)

REGINA KING
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

SHAKA KING
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

SPIKE LEE
DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)

CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR

CHADWICK BOSEMAN
DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)

COLMAN DOMINGO
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

ALDIS HODGE
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

DANIEL KALUUYA
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

LESLIE ODOM JR.
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS

ALEXIS CHIKAEZE
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

DOMINIQUE FISHBACK
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

KIKI LAYNE
THE OLD GUARD (NETFLIX)

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
THE HIGH NOTE (FOCUS FEATURES)

GABOUREY SIDIBE
ANTEBELLUM (LIONSGATE)

OUTSTANDING SCREENPLAY

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
RADHA BLANK (NETFLIX)

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
WILL BERSON & SHAKA KING (WARNER BROS.)

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON (NETFLIX)

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
KEMP POWERS (AMAZON STUDIOS)

SOUL
PETE DOCTER, MIKE JONES & KEMP POWERS (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
(award given to the director)

ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY (AMAZON STUDIOS)
LIZ GARBUS & LISA CORTES, DIRECTORS

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE (MAGNOLIA PICTURES / PARTICIPANT)
DAWN PORTER, DIRECTOR

MLK/FBI (IFC FILMS)
SAM POLLARD, DIRECTOR

TIME (AMAZON STUDIOS)
GARRETT BRADLEY, DIRECTOR

THE WAY I SEE IT (FOCUS FEATURES)
DAWN PORTER, DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
(award given to the director)

HIS HOUSE | UNITED KINGDOM
REMI WEEKES, DIRECTOR (NETFLIX)

NIGHT OF THE KINGS | SENEGAL
PHILIPPE LACOTE, DIRECTOR (NEON)

THE LIFE AHEAD | ITALY
EDOARDO PONTI, DIRECTOR (NETFLIX)

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE
(award given to the casting director)

DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)
KIM COLEMAN, CASTING DIRECTOR

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
ALEXA L. FOGEL, CASTING DIRECTOR

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
AVY KAUFMAN, CASTING DIRECTOR

MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
TISHA BLOOD, CHELSEA ELLIS BLOCH, MATTHEW WEST TAYLOR, CASTING DIRECTORS

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
KIMBERLY HARDIN, CASTING DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING VOICE PERFORMANCE

ANGELA BASSETT
SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

JAMIE FOXX
SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

MAYA RUDOLPH
THE WILLOUGHBYS (NETFLIX)

OCTAVIA SPENCER
ONWARD (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

PHYLICIA RASHAD
SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

OUTSTANDING SCORE
(award given to the composer)

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)
GUY C. ROUTTE, COMPOSER

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (NETFLIX)
JOHN DEBNEY, COMPOSER

THE PHOTOGRAPH (UNIVERSAL PICTURES)
ROBERT GLASPER, COMPOSER

SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)
TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS & JON BATISTE, COMPOSERS

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
FABRICE LECOMTE, COMPOSER

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
(award given to the performer and songwriters)

“FIGHT FOR YOU” (JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH)
H.E.R, PERFORMER ; H.E.R, DERNST EMILE II & TIARA THOMAS, WRITERS

“MAKE IT WORK” (JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY)
ANIKA NONI ROSE & FOREST WHITAKER, PERFORMERS; JOHN LEGEND; WRITER

“POVERTY PORN” (THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION)
RADHAMUSPRIME, PERFORMER; RADHA BLANK, WRITER

“SPEAK NOW” (ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI)
LESLIE ODOM JR., PERFORMER; LESLIE ODOM JR. & SAM ASHWORTH, WRITERS

“TIGRESS & TWEED” (THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY)
ANDRA DAY, PERFORMER; ANDRA DAY & RAPHAEL SAADIQ, WRITERS

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT FEATURE
(award given to the director)

AMERICAN SKIN (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
NATE PARKER, DIRECTOR

FAREWELL AMOR (IFC MIDNIGHT)
EKWA MSANGI, DIRECTOR

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)
RADHA BLANK, DIRECTOR

MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES, DIRECTOR

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
EUGENE ASHE, DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM
(award given to the director)

BROTHER
YA’KE SMITH, DIRECTOR

CANVAS (NETFLIX)
FRANK E. ABNEY III, DIRECTOR

THE CYPHER
LETIA SOLOMON, DIRECTOR

GRAB MY HAND: A LETTER TO MY DAD
CAMRUS JOHNSON, DIRECTOR

THE PANDEMIC CHRONICLES
YA’KE SMITH, DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY
(award given to the director)

MR. SOUL! (SHOES IN THE BED PRODUCTIONS)
MELISSA HAIZLIP, DIRECTOR

THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW (PEACOCK)
YORUBA RICHEN, DIRECTOR

WITH DRAWN ARMS (STARZ!)
GLENN KAINO & AFSHIN SHAHIDI, DIRECTORS

OUTSTANDING EMERGING DIRECTOR

EUGENE ASHE
SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)

RADHA BLANK
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)

REGINA KING
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

SHAKA KING
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, MALE

Copyright Netflix 2020

YAHYA ABDUL-MANTEEN II
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (NETFLIX)

KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

DUSAN BROWN
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

ELI GOREE
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

NTARE MWINE
FAREWELL AMOR (IFC MIDNIGHT)

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, FEMALE

RADHA BLANK
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)

ALEXIS CHIKAEZE
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

ANDRA DAY
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (HULU)

DOMINIQUE FISHBACK
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

ZENDAYA
MALCOLM & MARIE (NETFLIX)

OUTSTANDING FIRST SCREENPLAY

Copyright Vertical Entertainment 2020

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)
RADHA BLANK

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON

MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
CHANNING PEOPLES GODFREY

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
KEMP POWERS

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
EUGENE ASHE

OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY

DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)
NEWTON THOMAS SIGEL, CINEMATOGRAPHER

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
SEAN BOBBITT, CINEMATOGRAPHER

MALCOLM & MARIE (NETFLIX)
MARCELL REV, CINEMATOGRAPHER

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
TAMI REIKER, CINEMATOGRAPHER

TENET (WARNER BROS.)
HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA, CINEMATOGRAPHER

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (NETFLIX)
MICHAEL WILKINSON, COSTUME DESIGN

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
ANN ROTH, COSTUME DESIGNER

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
FRANCINE JAMISON-TANCHUCK, COSTUME DESIGNER

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
PHOENIX MELLOW, COSTUME DESIGNER

THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (HULU)
PAOLO NIEDDU, COSTUME DESIGNER

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (NETFLIX)
GAVIN BOCQUET, PRODUCTION DESIGNER

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
SAM LISENCO, PRODUCTION DESIGN

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
MARK RICKER, PRODUCTION DESIGN

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
BARRY ROBISON, PRODUCTION DESIGNER

TENET (WARNER BROS.)
NATHAN CROWLEY, PRODUCTION DESIGNER

The story of a group of icons and friends who spend an evening together celebrating Cassius Clay’s heavyweight championship victory, One Night in Miami, led a crowded field of contenders receiving 15 nominations. Oscar and Black Reel Award winner Regina King’s debut film came within two nominations of matching Black Panther’s record of 17 nominations. The film received nominations for Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Actor (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Leslie Odom, Jr. and Aldis Hodge), and Outstanding Screenplay (Kemp Powers). King, who received an Outstanding Director nomination, becomes the first actress honored with a Director nod.

Also receiving 12 nominations was Judas and the Messiah. The story that recreates the unfortunate conditions that led to Illinois Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton assassination, was nominated for Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Actor (Lakeith Stanfield), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Dominique Fishback), Outstanding Screenplay (Will Berson and Shaka King), and Outstanding Director (King).

The final on-screen performance of the late Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom took home ten nominations. The film garnered Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Actor for Boseman, Outstanding Actress for Viola Davis; Outstanding Supporting nods Colman Domingo, Outstanding Screenplay (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) as well as an Outstanding Ensemble nomination. Boseman becomes the first Male Actor and the second actor to receive acting nominations posthumously.

This year was also notable for several record-setting individual achievements; most notably, it was the first year where the majority of the nominated directors were women. The essence of that change was writer/director/producer Radha Blanks who received seven nominations for her debut film, The Forty-Year-Old Version. Blank becomes the most nominated individual in Black Reel Awards history scoring nods for Outstanding Director, Outstanding Screenplay, and Outstanding Song, among her accolades. In addition, Dawn Porter becomes the first director to earn multiple nominations in the Outstanding Documentary category for both John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Way I See It. In addition, Pixar’s Soul becomes the first animated film to earn a Screenplay nomination and the second animated film (The Princess and the Frog) to earn an Outstanding Picture nom.

In the studio/network tally, Netflix leads with 36 nominations, followed by 23 nominations for Amazon, with 14 for Warner Bros.

“Last year was a historic year in film, if for no other reason that there were more films released than ever before by Black filmmakers, featuring a tremendous amount of quality performances by a group of tireless creatives, who overcame unique challenges to create a group of memorable and indelible images,” said Black Reel Awards founder Tim Gordon. “We look forward to creatives continuing to tell our stories and we congratulate all of this year’s talented nominees.

Black Reel Awards annually recognize excellence of African-Americans, as well as the cinematic achievements of the African diaspora, in the global film industry.

Follow the 21st Annual Black Reel Awards on Twitter and Instagram @BlackReelAwards and on Facebook/TheBlackReelAwards. Join the conversation using #BlackReelAwards.

Classic Movie Kisses for Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 14, 2021 at 7:00 am

Lady and the Tramp

Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in “Notorious”

James Stewart and Donna Reed in “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire in “Spider-Man”

Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Danes in “Romeo + Juliet”

And one of the great movie hugs — Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton in “Reds”

 

 

Ruth — Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words

Posted on February 12, 2021 at 5:40 pm

B
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
Profanity: None
Nudity/ Sex: References to reproductive rights
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: None
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Date Released to Theaters: February 13, 2021
copyright 2021 Virgil Films

We’ve had a feature film about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early years (“On the Basis of Sex“) and an excellent documentary already (“RBG“). But if the late Justice Ginsburg were here today, she might prefer this documentary, featuring, as its title indicates, her own words, as she spoke them.

A few other people get to speak as well, including a colleague who worked with then-Professor Ginsburg on her ground-breaking briefs for her Supreme Court challenges to laws because they denied vital civil rights on the basis of gender. She says their goal was to see if they could get the briefs to “sing.” And “hers sang.” The elegance, grace, erudition, imperishable integrity, and inescapable logic of her legal writing was her superpower.

It almost seems laughable now that there was an Oklahoma statute allowing women to buy beer at age 18 but prohibiting men from buying it until age 21. Not only was there one, but Oklahoma felt so strongly about it they actually argued in support of it at the Supreme Court. The brilliance of Professor Ginsburg’s strategy was to bring cases that were unfair to men because of stereotypes about women. And so, she argued the case features in “On the Basis of Sex,” about a widower denied Social Security benefits because they were only given to single mothers, not fathers. And a case brought by a man who objected to the law making jury duty mandatory for men, but not for women, denying him a fully representative group. If the outcome of these cases seems obvious to us now, it is only because of Justice Ginsburg, who argued six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, winning all but one.

Most of her career was before the ubiquity of cameras, so the archival footage that this documentary draws from public appearances, most of them involving her being honored. One especially touching scene has her returning to the grade school she attended as a child. Her face is luminous as she visits the First Grade classroom where she learned to read and the library, now named for her, that she loved.

This familiar with her work will recognize but enjoy the segments about her devoted husband Marty, her amusement at her iconic status, and her love for opera, including an opera based on her improbable friendship with her ideological opposite, Justice Scalia. We also get a glimpse of some of today’s biggest names in their younger days, President Biden as Senator and as Vice President, for example, and a more collegial era in politics as Justice Ginsburg was nominated and confirmed. And we learn about the impact of Justice Ginsburg’s majority decision requiring the Virginia Military Institute to accept qualified women. Somehow she was not persuaded by the lawyer who argued that WMI teaches “manly values that only men can learn.” Her dissents had an important impact as well, as we learn from Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of landmark legislation tracking Justice Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion. (Be sure to stay for the credits to see Ledbetter again.) Here’s hoping her blistering dissent in the Citizens United case has as meaningful a result.

Those who want to understand the importance of Justice Ginsburg’s words should read her decisions, which mean more than the interviews and interactions in this film. It is not so much the words that matter here as Justice Ginsburg’s intellect and her “consuming love” for the law, her character, her kindness, her empathy, and her purpose. She says she wants to be remembered as “someone who cares about people and does the best she can with the talents she has to make a contribution for a better world.” This movies shows she did all that and more.

Parents should know that this movie concerns gender discrimination. There is no bad language or violence but there are references to a sad death of a parent to injustice.

Family discussion: Why did Justice Ginsburg become such a well-known figure? Why are her dissents so significant?

If you like this, try: “On the Basis of Sex” and “RBG”