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Madonna to direct movie based on life of ballerina Michaela DePrince

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MGM announces the singer will direct Taking Flight, the story of DePrinces journey from war orphan in Sierra Leone to world-class ballerina

Madonna is to return to the movies after a seven-year absence to direct Taking Flight, a feature film based on the life of Michaela DePrince, a war orphan from Sierra Leone who became a leading ballerina.

According to Deadline, Hollywood studio MGM has been developing the project since 2015 when it acquired the rights to DePrinces memoir, co-written with her adoptive mother, Elaine.

Michaelas journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity, Madonna said. We have a unique opportunity to shed light on Sierra Leone, and let Michaela be the voice for all the orphaned children she grew up beside. I am honoured to bring her story to life.

Ballet
Ballet dancer Michaela DePrince in Johannesburg, in 2012. Photograph: Gallo Images/Rex/Shutterstock

DePrince, 23, lost both of her parents in Sierra Leones civil war when she was three years old. The following year, she was adopted by a New Jersey couple and brought to the US, where she developed a passion for ballet. She was one of the stars of 2011 documentary First Position, about young ballet hopefuls, and is a soloist with the Dutch National Ballet and Opera. She also appeared in Beyoncs music video album, Lemonade.

We were immediately awestruck by Michaelas journey and know Madonnas vision and passion for the material will deliver a film that inspires audiences everywhere, said producer Leslie Morgenstein.

No cast or released date has yet been finalised. Camilla Blackett, writer of the comedy series Fresh Off the Boat, will write the screenplay.

Madonna is the bestselling female recording artist of all time but her movie career has been more chequered, especially behind the camera. Her 2008 feature debut, Filth and Wisdom, was described by the Guardians Peter Bradshaw as a dumb and tacky comedy-drama about three people sharing a flat in a quaintly conceived London. Its follow-up, 2011s WE, in which Andrea Riseborough played Wallis Simpson, was also critically panned, with Bradshaw describing it as one long humourless and necrophiliac swoon at the Windsors supposed tragi-romantic glamour.

Madonna wrote, produced and narrated 2008 documentary I Am Because We Are, about children in Malawi orphaned by the Aids epidemic. She has adopted four children from Malawi, including twin girls in 2017.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/14/madonna-to-direct-movie-based-on-life-of-ballerina-michaela-deprince

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Spielberg Casts 17 Year Old Youtuber as Maria in West Side Story

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Director Lord Steven Spielberg has plucked a relatively unknown 17-year-old schoolgirl from the depths of the internet and dropped her right in the middle of his upcoming most-likely box office gold hit movie West Side Story. The 72-year-old ET director is helming the modern adaption of the classic musical, and felt New Jersey student Rachel Zegler would make a perfect Maria, once made famous by late screen siren Natalie Wood in the 1961 original. The student will star alongside Ansel Elgort, who is in the role of Tony in the movie that is bound to be take all our money in tickets.

Read more:  https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/15/steven-spielberg-casts-17-year-old-youtuber-latest-probable-blockbuster-west-side-story-8346545/?ito=cbshare

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Netflix is begging people to stop doing the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

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Always look where you’re driving, no matter what they do in ‘Bird Box.’

Image:  Netflix

“Despite warnings from Netflix and just general common sense, it looks like people are still participating in that stupid Bird Box Challenge. Now, it has reportedly caused a car crash.

On Friday morning, the Layton Police Department of Layton, Utah shared the images showing the aftermath of a car crash in which one of the drivers was allegedly trying to drive with their eyes covered. They reportedly called out the Bird Box Challenge specifically.

Police told KSL that the driver, a 17-year-old girl, was driving the pickup truck seen in the photos above on Monday when the incident occurred. Additionally, Layton Police Lt. Travis Lyman said of the 17-year-old driver:

“Apparently, as a part of this ‘Bird Box Challenge,’ (the driver) used her beanie to pull over her eyes as she was driving on Layton Parkway, and she ended up losing control of her car and skidded into the westbound lanes of Layton Parkway and hit another car and ended up hitting a light pole as well.”

Of course, if you’ve seen Bird Box, you know there’s a scene in which several characters make a white-knuckle drive in a car with the windows covered, and it’s hardly a smooth ride.

It’s also — and I can’t believe we’re at the point where this actually has to be said — an incredibly dangerous stunt to pull off the in real world.

Luckily, no one was hurt as a result of the crash. But whatever punishment the driver faces, authorities should also consider revoking their Netflix account if this is how they’re gonna behave.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/bird-box-challenge-car-accident/

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Two ties and more surprises at the Critics’ Choice Awards

Charmaine Blake

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(CNN)Hollywood’s award season festivities continued Sunday with the Critics’ Choice Awards.

“She went on to tie for best actress in a motion picture with Glenn Close, who won for “The Wife.”
That wasn’t the only category with a double win. Amy Adams and Patricia Arquette tied for best actress in a movie made for TV or limited series and they gave a joint impromptu speech.
The historical comedy-drama “The Favourite,” starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, took the lead with 14 nominations and took home the award for best acting ensemble.
Mahershala Ali and Regina King, who each won Golden Globe awards one week ago, were acknowledged again for their respective performances in “Green Book” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
It was a big night for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” Darren Criss won the best actor in a movie made for TV or limited series for his role as Andrew Cunanan and the show took home the award for best limited series.
The big prize of the night went to the Netflix drama “Roma” for best picture.
See below for the complete list of nominees and winners.”
Best Picture
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Green Book”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Roma” *WINNER
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”
Best Actor
Christian Bale, “Vice” *WINNER
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Ryan Gosling, “First Man”
Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, “ROMA”
Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Glenn Close, “The Wife” *WINNER
Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born” *WINNER
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/13/entertainment/critics-choice-awards-winners/index.html

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