Tag Archives: Tyler Perry

‘Whites Only’ Oscars? Not If These Tour De Force Turns Are Remembered

Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, Djimon Hounsou

Will the 2010 Oscars be a whites-only club? Gregg Kilday and Matthew Belloni projected the possibility in the Hollywood Reporter back in September, and as this awards season has moved forward, indeed, the focus has been on a collection of Caucasian colossi.

Where are the faces of color? Minority stars have been busy cranking out big commercial movies this year rather than Oscar-type fare, goes the prevailing industry wisdom — Denzel Washington in “Unstoppable,” Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson in “Iron Man 2.” The dearth of African-American, Latino and Asian players in the critics’ awards picks is either 1) just a coincidence or 2)another result of the recession, as distributors fail to pick up independent films that feature minorities, and studios “play it safe.”

Before we get too carried away with this theme, however, the picture could still change. There are Oscar-worthy performances by non-whites in this year’s crop of films, performances that merit more attention than they’ve been getting, starting with Djimon Hounsou in Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest.”

Two-time Academy Award nominee Hounsou plays the enslaved island native Caliban as quite literally a force of nature, the offspring of a witch and the devil. The actor studied Butoh, an ancient form of Japanese dance that represents nature, to prepare for the role. He moves with raw, animalistic grace. He went through five hours a day having makeup applied to his nearly naked body, a process the actor admits always left him in a terrible mood — which he used in his performance as a not-quite-human being consumed by rage.

Taymor continues to have the artistic audacity to follow her own creative instincts rather than playing to critics’ or audiences’ expectations, which has resulted in a “Tempest” that’s excited passionate responses both negative and positive. That this film, with its flawless performances and unforgettable stark imagery, will stand the test of time is without doubt, whether the Academy pays more attention than critics’ groups or not. “The Tempest” opens tomorrow
(12/10).

Meanwhile, would Kimberly Elise be getting more notice for her heart-wrenching portrayal of a woman who submits to abuse in “For Colored Girls” if it weren’t for the fact that Tyler Perry directed the film, and critics don’t like Perry?

The flaws of Halle Berry’s “Frankie and Alice” — also opening, in limited release, tomorrow (12/10) — have been widely enumerated, but there is no ignoring the daring performance of Oscar-winner Berry as a severely emotionally damaged woman with two alternate personalities.

Almost certainly, Javier Bardem, another Academy Awards nomination veteran, will be remembered for his portrayal of a terminally ill criminal in “Biutiful,” which already won him Best Actor honors at the Cannes Film Festival. That, at least, will add a dash of Spanish flavor to the mix.

Beck/Smith Hollywood’s Fearless Predictions for Tinsel Town in 2010

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

The New Year — make that the New Decade — is upon us. While we can’t tell you how long the economic recovery will continue or give you a timetable for climate change, we do have our trusty celebrity crystal ball here and we’re ready to make our fearless predictions about Hollywood and its stars in 2010.

By the end of next year, people will finally catch on that “The Hills” is the worst show on television and it will be canceled … if we’re lucky.

Brad and Angelina will adopt a child from an obscure country while Madonna stands by jealously watching the media attention.

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson will finally announce they’re a couple.

Tyler Perry will make a movie in which he’s wearing a dress.

Lady Gaga will make a movie in which she’s wearing half a dress.

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz will bring into the world a little sister or brother to go with son Bronx Mowgli Wentz. The new baby’s name will be Brooklyn Bagheera Wentz or Manhattan Shere Khan Wentz.

2010 will be a comeback year for Dave Chappelle.

It won’t be a comeback year for Bobby Brown.

Meryl Streep will make it 16 Academy Award nominations with her “Julie & Julia” performance. Duh! She already has the record for Oscar noms with 15, three more than Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson.

Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson will make headlines once again for dating Mr. Wrong while John Mayer will wallow in his self-appreciation.

Tina Fey will rule the universe.

The Kardashian sisters will have started collecting alimony from some of the world’s biggest athletes.

Jane Lynch will get an armload of awards for her instant classic character, the Machiavellian, sadistic yet delightful Coach Sue on “Glee.”

Like a ticking time bomb, Lindsay Lohan will self-destruct. Oh, wait, too late.

Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski will join the rest of “The Bachelorette” broken hearts club.

Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper will become the first TV personalities to negotiate contract extensions with bonuses on a “per pound” basis, as NBC keeps bringing in heavier and heavier contestants (coming up: a 526-pounder) to get more episodes out of each “Biggest Loser” season.

Michael Jackson’s family will find new ways to cash in on his legacy.

Amid reports of infidelity, Jessica Alba will finally realize that she cannot bank on her husband, Cash.

George Clooney will finally settle down.

Yeah right. Like that would ever happen.

New ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer will be judged on her appearance.

The countdown to Oprah’s last show will become unbearably drawn out and exhausting, and it isn’t even 2011 yet.

The countdown to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s departure from the California governor’s mansion a year from now will become unbearable — because it’s still so far away. With an eye on his future, the bodybuilding champ turned movie star turned politician will sign up to become a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” proving once again that ballroom dancing doesn’t make you a girlie man.

The Jonas Brothers’ fans will start to come to grips with the fact they’re growing up and moving on — Kevin got married, Nick has a solo album and his own group, and Joe is moving more into acting and being the center of dating rumors. So girls, better drink in all of the second season of the “Jonas” series this coming summer while you can.

More people will come to grips with the hard truth that when you call a television network to complain about something, you make it stronger, e.g. MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” The latter premiered to about 1.4 million viewers, but thanks to controversy over its portrayal of Italians, the viewership jumped to about 2.1 million viewers in its second week. And then there’s Adam Lambert’s American Music Awards performance.

Lambert will become the first male celebrity to land a cosmetics spokesmodel gig, hawking eyeliner.

Since he’s proven that he helps anything he emcees — the TVLand Awards, the Tonys, the Emmys — Neil Patrick Harris will be asked to host the 2010 Tiger Woods Chevron World Challenge golf tournament.

The “Ghost Hunters” on SyFy will at long last capture unequivocal proof of post-mortem activity when they stumble onto the vaporous visage of Jon Gosselin’s TV career.

— Stacy Jenel Smith and Emily-Fortune Feimster

Gladys Knight Thinks ‘See You Later’ Rather Than Farewell for Tour

Gladys Knight © Verve Photo credit: Kwaku Alston

Gladys Knight © Verve Photo credit: Kwaku Alston

Gladys Knight is backtracking a bit from the Farewell in her Midnight Train to Love — Farewell Tour.  “I should have re-titled that.  Instead of ‘farewell,’ I should have been saying ‘see you later,’” says the gracious Motown legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.  “I’m not saying I’m never going to see you again.  But you know, you can’t take time for granted.  I don’t get back to Europe for seven, eight years – so we don’t know if there’ll be another time when I’ll get there, and I want to say my goodbyes now and let everyone know how much I appreciate them.”

 Knight has a two-night stand at California’s Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (Sept. 25, 26), then heads to the U.K..  Tito Jackson’s opening for her, and plans to include a Michael Jackson tribute in his performance.  Other Jacksons will be turning up as well, she says.  And as far as the Jackson connection continuing when she returns to the States, “There’s a very good possibility.  It’s going to be fun, really big time.”

 That’s exactly how Gladys feels about her experience acting in Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” which opens today (9/11).  She’s delighted to have played a character – a churchgoing woman who wants to turn Taraji. P. Henson’s hard-drinking nightclub chanteuse character around.  She tells us Perry helped her forget her nervousness over lines by having her improv.  Will she be doing more acting as a result of this movie?  “I sure hope so.  I would love to.”  Movies, TV, a series?  “I’d be open to any ideas,” she says.  “I wouldn’t mind a recurring part on a TV show.  I love playing a character, someone who isn’t me.  I’ve done so many cameos as myself, it’s been-there-done-that.”

Adam Rodriguez CBS photo

Adam Rodriguez CBS photo

MEANWHILE:  Adam Rodriguez starts shooting a seven-episode arc on “Ugly Betty” today (9/11), glad to be back in his home town of New York City.  He has a big week behind him, including the “I Can Do Bad” premiere and promotion work.  The “CSI: Miami” actor is on his way out of that show, in case you haven’t heard, with a commitment to finish out his Eric Delko character in 10 more episodes of the crime drama.  He says he found himself at a crossroads, and that he and the network made a mutual decision about his future. 

 “I’m going to miss ‘CSI,’ it’s been a great eight seasons and everybody there is like a family member.  Still, it felt like my time to move forward.  This was a great way to start out – this movie,” he says.  “I’m really, really happy about the way it turned out.”

 The actor plays a Colombian immigrant who starts working for Henson’s character, and then romantic sparks ignite.  “It’s a simple family movie,” Adam attests, “the message is clear and at the end you walk out feeling good, feeling inspired maybe, to make changes in your own life.”

GOING FOR THE GOLDEN LADY:  “Wizards of Waverly Place” creator Todd J. Greenwald is hoping that he and the rest of the show’s creative team and cast head into their big D-23 Expo Appearance Sunday (9/13) “coming off a high at the Emmys the day before as opposed to a low.” 

 The Disney Channel show starring Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin is up for Outstanding Children’s Program honors, being presented at tomorrow’s (9/12) Creative Arts Emmy Awards.  “Up until this year, they tied together the fictional and non-fictional shows in this category, and Linda Ellerbee and Maria Shriver won, and deservedly so,” Greenwald notes.  “This year is the first time they’ve had a category for purely fictional shows.” 

 Win or lose, on Sunday, the “Wizards’ group expects to be communing with a crowd of some 5,000 fans at the Anaheim Convention Center, in a setting that emulates the living room seen on the show. 

 “We’re going to have some special guests from the show as well,” he notes.  And the band Honor Society is performing.