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.
True Blood The Musical On Its Way
True Blood ran for 81 episodes from 2008 to 2014, and at the time was one of the most popular shows on TV. The HBO series was based on the novels by Charlaine Harris and followed the story of Sookie Stackhouse and the residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana. The series was right in the middle of the vampire craze of the mid-2000s, and still has a strong following today. Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the series, and at the Vulture Festival in Los Angeles where they screened the pilot episode for fans, the creator of the series Alan Ball discussed plans for a special musical production of the series.
Ball told the crowd that he had heard composer Nathan Barr’s musical that is in development was “pretty good”. He went on to say that “It tells the story of vampires coming out of the closet. Ultimately it really departs from the book, because people aren’t ready, and they’re too bigoted and they end up going back in to the closet.” Fans shouldn’t be getting their hopes up that the musical will be coming anytime soon though, as it was originally announced in 2014 and is still being workshopped. Ball himself didn’t say if he is involved in the project at all either, but by the way he was describing the project it doesn’t feel like he is.
Whether or not the True Blood musical finally hits the stage is unknown at this point, but we’ll be keeping our eyes open for it.
Ariana Grande Gets Her First Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 Single With “thank u, next”
Ariana Grande has been in the news a lot lately thanks to her highly public split from Pete Davidson, and shortly after the split she released a new single called “thank u, next”. The song was meant as an ode to how her past relationships (to Davidson, Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, and the late Mac Miller), affected her personal growth. The song quickly became a huge hit, and now it’s made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 in the number one spot.
The 25 year old Grande has been releasing music for seven years now, and even though she’s had a very successful career so far, she never had a number one song on the American Billboard Hot 100 before. Once the new broke yesterday, Grande took to Twitter stating “yeeeeeee baby’s first number one”.
The single is meant to be the lead single from Grande’s upcoming fifth studio album, which is also named “thank u, next”. Billboard stated that the single was only the 32nd in the chart’s 60-year history to debut at number one, and the first such single by a female artist in three years. The last was Adele’s “Hello” in 2015. Grande is also the first solo female to top the chart since Cardi B did it in October of last year. The single also broke Spotify’s single-day record for the most streams for a song by a female artist with almost 10 million listens in a 24-hour period.
Grande’s fifth album hasn’t been given a release date as of yet, but is expected sometime soon.
Gerard Butler Posts Videos Of Home Destroyed By California Wildfires To Instragram
Gerard Butler may play a lot of tough guys and action heroes in film, but on Sunday when he posted videos of himself touring the destroyed remains of his home in California, you can’t help but see the softer side of him.
As Butler walked the remains of his property in the video posted to his Instagram story, he was close to tears. In one video the 300 star said “Welcome to my home in Malibu” as he toured the charred remains. The videos showed how devastated he was by the California wildfire, and he took the time to salute the bravery of the firefighters battling the blaze. He wrote “Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LosAngelesFireDepartment.” He also added a link to donate money to those affected by the Woolsey fire that started last Thursday.
Butler wasn’t the only celebrity affected by the fire either. Kelsey Grammer’s ex-wife Camille lost her home, as did singer Robin Thicke. Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian were evacuated from the fire struck region, as was Lady Gaga. Caitlyn Jenner was luckier than her stepdaughters though,because her place was damaged, but not destroyed. Charlie Sheen was also desperate to locate his parents earlier this weekend when he couldn’t get a hold of them, but Martin Sheen eventually responded to let everyone know he was alright. Neil Young and Miley Cyrus also lost their homes.
Over 250,000 people have been evacuated because of the blaze, that has destroyed over 83,000 acres and 180 homes already and has a long way to go before being contained.
Photo: Gerard Butler Instagram
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