There will be many arguments about the perceived snubs (Ben Affleck?) and surprises (Beasts of the Southern Wild) following this morning’s Oscar announcement. But one thing we can all agree on? Between Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington, it may just be the hunkiest Best Actor race ever.
Tag: Denzel Washington (11-20 of 24)
Slavery remains American’s original sin, written into the original U.S. Constitution and responsible for the country’s ever-evolving, ever-complicated attitudes about race. So when a director like Quentin Tarantino decides to use slavery as the backdrop for his spaghetti Western revenge fantasia Django Unchained, it should not be exactly surprising that the film has come under a great deal of scrutiny.
What should be surprising — what should be at the center of any conversation about slavery and the movies — is how infrequently the words “slavery and the movies” are spoken in the same sentence.
Last month, Spike Lee declared he would not see Django Unchained, tweeting “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust” — a not so subtle implication that American slavery is too fraught to serve as a venue for Tarantino’s unique blend of genre-smashing, blood-splattering filmmaking. Training Day director Antoine Fuqua later admonished Lee for not airing his beef with Tarantino in private, declaring “I don’t think Quentin Tarantino has a racist bone in his body.” (When reached by EW, a rep for The Weinstein Company and Tarantino had no comment regarding either statement.) But Spike Lee is far from alone in expressing concerns about Tarantino’s tale of the titular freed slave (Jamie Foxx) who teams up with a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from a nefarious slaveholder (Leonardo DiCaprio). The public handwringing over the film has included its profligate use of the N-word (sparking a most fascinating exchange between Samuel L. Jackson and a white journalist over speaking the word aloud); its impact among African-American cultural tastemakers and audiences; and its appropriateness for teenage audiences (as penned by EW’s Abby West).
None of the controversies have exactly harmed the film’s box office; quite the opposite, it just zoomed past $100 million this weekend, en route to becoming Tarantino’s biggest hit to date. READ FULL STORY
Earlier this month in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Denzel Washington let slip that he’s planning to return to Broadway “next year.” As for what show he’ll do, the actor gave the vague, “Don’t know yet.” The star, who’s in the hunt for his third Academy Award this year for his performance as a drug- and alcohol-addicted airline pilot in Flight, has starred in two hit productions on the Great White Way in the last decade: He played Marcus Brutus in a sold-out 2005 revival of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and then had a memorable turn as professional baseball player–turned–garbageman Troy Maxon in a 2010 revival of August Wilson’s Fences (the latter show won Tonys for both Washington and his costar, Viola Davis). READ FULL STORY
Flight is not always an easy movie to watch. To start with, if you have just a teensy little bit of flying phobia, prepare to sit through a most harrowing and horrifying plane crash. Denzel Washington, playing pilot Whip Whitaker (one of the greatest character names in some time, don’t you think?), must control a commercial airliner in mechanical failure and get it to the ground as safely as possible under impossible conditions. Whip stays cool and collected while everyone around him — from flight attendants to co-pilot to passengers — quite rightly falls apart, and he manages to pull off a mind-boggling feat of flying. Of course, the fact that we know that he did these heroic actions while drunk and high out of his mind makes things a lot more complicated. READ FULL STORY
Despite some reported personal turmoil this week, Johnny Depp can rest easy that America’s still got his back. The Pirates of the Caribbean star has topped Harris Interactive’s “Favorite Movie Star” poll for a second year in a row. There were plenty of surprises on the list, like how the reclusive Depp beat out four of Hollywood’s most charismatic A-listers and a Westerns legend, the complete absence of Tinseltown’s ultimate power couple, and the demographic breakdown of Depp’s fan base that shows his supporters are truly a silent majority. See who Depp bested for the title and which Oscar-winning actresses dropped off the list entirely after the jump. READ FULL STORY
When she gets a look at the latest list on Forbes.com, Drew Barrymore won’t be smiling anymore. The magazine ranked her first on its list of “Hollywood’s Most Overpaid Actors,” reporting that her films only bring in 40 cents for every dollar she is paid as an actress — and that’s without taking into account the fall TV bust Charlie’s Angels, on which Barrymore served as an executive producer.
Eddie Murphy had the unenviable fate of taking second place, though his return ($2.70 for every dollar he’s paid) was significantly higher than Barrymore’s. While the jury is still out whether Tower Heist (opening today) and his stint as Oscars host will bring Murphy the gold in 2012, his fate for 2011 is sealed. See what other big names made the list after the jump. READ FULL STORY
It’s every actor’s nightmare — or at least 25 of them. Watch the video below to see 25 actors’ early, mostly embarrassing roles cut together in a three-minute torture reel. I would say Daniel Craig, Jennifer Aniston, Natalie Portman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger should be cringing. Also that Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice sounds exactly the same, and Sean Connery in Darby O’Gill and the Little People could have been the basis for hunky Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. READ FULL STORY
Robert Redford has been talking about making a Jackie Robinson movie for seven years, and according to the Los Angeles Times, it’s finally in motion. Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale) will write and direct, focusing on the special relationship between the Hall of Fame player who broke baseball’s color barrier and Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey, who orchestrated the historic move with both pragmatic and noble intentions. Redford, who hasn’t starred in a film since 2007’s Lions for Lambs, will play Rickey, but no one is yet attached to play Robinson, the dashing and charismatic infielder who stared down vicious bigotry when he joined the Dodgers in 1947. A few years back, there was one logical person to play Robinson: Denzel Washington. In fact, in the mid 1990s, Washington and Spike Lee nearly made a Robinson movie. It wasn’t meant to be. READ FULL STORY
Amy Poehler, Tom Hanks, and Denzel Washington are all speaking at college graduations. Who would you have picked for your commencement?
I am incredibly jealous of Harvard’s class of 2011. No, not because they go to a famous school in Boston (well, not in Boston, but nearby. No, not Tufts!), or because they’ve got two glorious months of college left before they’re thrust out into the real world. Instead, my jealousy stems from the fact that those lucky Ivy Leaguers have scored an amazing Class Day speaker: Amy Poehler, star of Parks and Recreation. This is possibly the best thing to potentially ever happen to anyone anywhere in the history of the universe.
But Harvard’s graduation isn’t the only commencement that’s getting an injection of star power this year. Here’s an incomplete list of the boldfaced names that will be orating before cap and gown-clad masses come May: READ FULL STORY
Weekend Box Office Poll: Will you see 'Unstoppable,' 'Morning Glory,' or 'Skyline'? Or maybe just 'Megamind' again?
If Harrison Ford starred in a movie about aliens attacking a runaway train, you’d probably want to see that, right? Well, that will never happen. But if you don’t sleep for the next 48 hours and then go see Morning Glory, Unstoppable, and Skyline on Sunday, maybe your sleep-deprived brain will mix them together into one beautiful hallucination! EW’s John Young is betting that you won’t see any of them — or, at least, it’s more likely that last week’s box office topper Megamind will win the weekend. (Morning Glory already had a soft opening on Wednesday.) He predicts a No. 2 slot for Unstoppable and a No. 3 finish for
Cloverfield Goes to District 9 Skyline, with returning Due Date beating back Morning Glory for No. 4.
Personally, I’ll be first in line for Unstoppable tonight. (I just love trains. ) PopWatchers, what are you planning on seeing this weekend? Tell us in the poll, and if you feel like it, tell us why in the comments!
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