With so many strong female performances this year, it will be hard to chose who will win the Best Actress trophy from among them at the Oscars on March 4. Women led the box office this past year, with the top three films featuring women in leading roles. From Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman, 2017 might just have been the year of the woman. And one the strongest performances came from someone you might not expect.
Margot Robbie proved that she is more than just a pretty face in her role as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. The 27-year-old has come a long way from her small roles in About Time and The Wolf of Wall Street, and now she could very well take hold some gold as well thanks to her charming, yet funny and trashy role. In order to do that however, she will have to get by a veteran who has 20 nominations and 3 statues to her name.
There’s no denying it, Meryl Streep is the darling of the Oscars. Hardly a year goes by without another break-out performance and nomination. Her role as Kay Graham in The Post shows once again why she is considered the go-to actress for many dramatic roles. Streep’s real genius is finding the character’s true motivation, and her ability to do so is on display throughout the film as the character transforms from a rich, directionless woman with no voice, to a woman who discovers her true worth. This type of transformative character is also on display in another of the year’s top films.
It’s hard to describe Frances McDormand’s character in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, without using the word rage. Throughout her career she’s been known for playing quirky, odd characters, but in this film, she plays a grieving mother who lets her rage take control of her actions, and she flawlessly takes charge of the role. Still, as angry as she is, Frances allows the audience to catch a glimpse of the gentle, empathetic person her character truly is. It’s a difficult line to walk, yet Frances manages to balance all the traits just right. As strong as she is though in the film, Frances might just not be as good as Sally Hawkins.
Hawkins received an Oscar nominations for 2014’s Blue Jasmine, but throughout her career a case could be made for several more. Last year however her role as a mute janitor who falls for a fish creature in a top secret laboratory in The Shape of Water might just be her best performance yet. Hawkins has the ability to draw viewers in and feel empathy for whatever character she plays, and this role is no difference. In a year of exceptionally great female performances though Hawkins might get overlooked once again, this time for Saoirse Ronan.
Ronan has been growing as an actor right in front of our eyes. With three Oscar nominations already in her career, it’s hard to believe the Irish lass is just 23. In Lady Bird she plays an energetic, angsty teen on the cusp of adulthood. Her strong spirit guides her in the direction she wants to head, yet she’s still learning along the way as she stumbles onward. For those of us dealing or have dealt with, millennials who find everything boring, and have a need to find the excitement they think they are missing in life, Lady Bird, and more specifically Ronan’s performance, will ring true. The best thing though, is that Ronan brings a relatable depth to the character, that should bring her right to Oscar gold.
Indiana Jones 5 Will Start Production In 2019
Even though Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Ready Player One, isn’t set to hit theatres until next week, people have already started talking about the Oscar winning director’s upcoming films; including the fifth film of the long running Indiana Jones franchise.
While making an appearance at the Rakuten Empire Awards in London this weekend, Spielberg not only praised the Time’s Up movement, but he also started discussing the upcoming Indiana Jones 5 film during his acceptance speech for the Legend of Our Lifetime award. “It’s always worth the trip when I get to work with this deep bench of talent coming out of the UK,” he said. “The actors, and the crew, the chippies, the sparks, the drivers — everybody who has helped me make my movies here, and will continue helping me make my movies here when I come back in April 2019 to make the fifth Indiana Jones movie right here.”
Originally the fifth movie was due out in 2019, but that was switched to July 10, 2020 last April by Disney. What we know is that Harrison Ford will once again star in the film, but Shia LaBeouf, who was one of the stars of the fourth installment The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, won’t be in it at all. Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will once again produce the film, and David Koepp is currently writing the script. Other than that the film, including the plot and co-stars, is a complete mystery.
Before getting to the unnamed Indiana Jones sequel however, Spielberg is filming West Side Story and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara first.
Fifth Harmony Set To Go On Hiatus
We’ve been hearing for month now that the remaining four members of Fifth Harmony were going to take some time apart so they could launch their solo careers, and now it appears as if it is happening.
The pop group announced this morning through Twitter that the remaining members, Ally Brooke, Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordei, and Dinah Jane , were going to go on hiatus as a group. The note begins with “Reflecting on the past six years since we started on X-Factor, we’ve realized just how far we’ve come and we appreciate everything so much, more now than ever. We’ve really had one hell of a memorable journey together and can’t begin to express our gratitude to y’all for coming along with us on this wild ride!”
Before going on to thank their fans, and stating that they would fulfill their scheduled obligations throughout the year, the group said that “After six years going hard, non stop, we also realized that in order to stay authentic to ourselves and to you, we do need to take some time for now to go on a hiatus from Fifth Harmony in order to pursue solo endeavors. We are all very excited and grateful to be able to take this time to learn and grow creatively and really find our footing as individuals. In doing this we are allowing ourselves to gain new experiences, strengths and perspectives that we can bring back to our Fifth Harmony family.”
It was just a little over a year ago when Camila Cabello departed the group for a solo career. Cabello had what could be considered the hit of the summer with her single “Havana” off her self titled album. Whether the other four members of the group will have the same sort of success is yet to be seen.
Photo: Natanya Hansen on Wikipedia
Tomb Raider, And Other Top Movie Remakes
This weekend Tomb Raider opens, which is a remake of the 2001 and 2003 films starring Angelina Jolie. Of course those films themselves were based on a popular video game series that has seen its story line change and evolve ever since it first appeared in 1996. As you are more than likely aware, remakes are a common thing in Hollywood, and they don’t always work. They are always being compared to the original, and in a lot of cases the original is better. Here are some of the top remakes though that stand out for being better than the original.
Ocean’s Eleven: Sure the 1960 original had Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., but the 2001 version had George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Plus, the remake was more stylish. The basic story of robbing casinos is still the same, and of course the character name of Danny Ocean, but other than that the two films are pretty different from one another.
Scarface: Admit it, you didn’t know Scarface was a remake. When you hear the movie title you automatically think of the quote”Say hello to my little friend,” and think of Al Pacino playing a greedy Cuban who takes over a drug cartel. The original though was released in 1932, and while it is critically acclaimed, it doesn’t have the punch of the remake.
Casino Royale: This one should almost not count, since the original Casino Royale was played as a spoof of the James Bond series. While the movie was sort of based on the novel by Ian Fleming, which happened to be the first James Bond novel, it really goes off the rails quickly. The 2006 remake however is considered to be one of the best James Bond movies of all times.
True Grit: John Wayne may have won an Oscar for the 1969 original film, but it looks dated and lacks, well grit. In 2010 a lot of people wondered why they would remake a film that a lot of people loved, but after receiving 10 Oscar nominations those doubts disappeared.
The Maltese Falcon: As long as their have been movies, Hollywood has been remaking them. Even this 1941 classic film starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor was a remake. The original came out ten years earlier, and although it was still a good film, it was missing Humphrey Bogart who quite simply was born to play the role of private detective Sam Spade.
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