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The Globes Celebrated Strong Female Characters Written and Directed by Men

Charmaine Blake

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The best moment of Sundays Golden Globes wasnt Oprahs speech, although that was very good. It wasnt The Rooms Tommy Wiseau trying to steal the mic from James Franco, who won a Best Actor statue for playing Tommy Wiseau, although that ruled. It was when Natalie Portman brought the room down by pointing out that all of the Best Director nominees were male, followed by the flickers of shame across the faces of all of the nominees as cameras cut from disheveled genius to disheveled genius. Natalie Portman just whipped it out, right there, in front of everybody.

Its more pleasant to feel uplifted than it is to feel guilty. The truth is not uplifting.

Attendees of the 75th annual award ceremony wore black either in protest of sexism in Hollywood, in solidarity with those who were protesting sexism in Hollywood, or on the advice of their stylists who warned them that not wearing black might be some bad optics at this particular moment in history. Some actresses ditched their traditional dates and brought activists with them instead. During red-carpet interviews, these actresses steered discussions in the direction of the work that their activist companions were doing. A few called out E! for paying its female hosts less than its male hosts. It felt like a revolt.

But inside the Beverly Hilton ballroom, it read a little more like window dressing.

The Globes seemed eager to reward depictions of female strength, but after a few awards, it was clear that Hollywoods version of Female Strength () is mostly written, shot, produced, and directed by men.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, the Crash of 2017, is a great example of this. The film won Best Picture in the Drama category last night, and its star Frances McDormand won Best Actress.

Critics tout the film as a great example of a strong female character, a great female role, for a female woman to play. Its director Martin McDonaghs third film, the first that doesnt star Colin Farrell. Thats nice. But McDormands tough yet unlikable Mildred Hayes is the sort of character that reads like she was drawn from memory by a man who had only half paid attention to women for his entire life. Slates Inkoo Kang rightfully compares her outfitcoveralls and a bandanato Rosie the Riveter and notes that she wears it on a first date. She also wears it to work at a gift shop, which makes utterly no sense. Does Mildred spend her days sweating in the knickknack mines below the floorboards, or is she a half-assed Hollywood penance for decades of the same sin?

Not one male award winner recognized the #MeToo movement or their female counterparts work in creating more visibility for victims of harassment and abuse across industries. Not one.

Smart people dont need to remind others that they are smart; movies about strong women shouldnt have to remind the viewers, over and over again, that the women are strong. The movie that brought us Mildred Hayes firebombing a police station was conceived by a man, directed by a man, scored by a man, with cinematography by a man, and produced by nine people, eight of whom are men.

But congratulations to Frances McDormand.

Im not picking on Three Billboards, although it is the worst movie this writer has seen this year. Many of the strong women Hollywood is so yen to thrust forward of examples of how far its already come are mens idea of what strong women look like.

And men have made some great entertainment starring women this year. The world would be worse off without David E. Kellys adaptation of Big Little Lies, a novel by a woman, into a miniseries that gave its female stars a literal murderers row of roles befitting their talents. Mollys Game, which is excellent, stars a virtuoso Jessica Chastain commanding a great script written and directed by a man. Eighteen of 20 episodes of The Crown, a showcase for a cast led by Claire Foy, were directed by men. The 2017 box office champ Star Wars is helmed by a female character conceived, written, and directed by a man. The Handmaids Tales grim depiction of a dystopia where womens bodies are controlled by religious zealots was created by a man, and 10 of its 15 episodes were directed by men. Men are perfectly capable of making good art about women; they just shouldnt be called upon so often to speak in their place. How many movies about the lives of men are created and shaped by women?

When women are given a chance to tell the stories of women, what they create resonates with an authenticity that all but the best of Hollywood lacks. Greta Gerwigs Ladybird (full disclosure: a company owned The Daily Beasts parent company produced the film) is one of the most tender, funny, and true depictions of teenage girlhood Ive ever seen. Wonder Woman was a solid film that cleaned up at the box office, written and directed by a woman. SMILF, despite going home empty-handed last night, is sharp, funny, and real.

Host Seth Meyers did his best to self-flagellate during his opening monologue. But not one male award winner recognized the #MeToo movement or their female counterparts work in creating more visibility for victims of harassment and abuse across industries. Not one.

Aziz Ansari, who won an Emmy for writing alongside Lena Waithe, did not thank her in his acceptance speech for Best Actor last night, although he did thank three men who worked on the show with him and the country of Italy. Justin Timberlake dutifully walked the red carpet in a Times Up! pin, like viewers would have forgotten that he has yet to apologize to Janet Jackson for ripping part of her top off during the Super Bowl halftime show 14 years ago, as though audiences cant look at IMDB.com and see that he just worked with Woody Allen. Alexander Skarsgrd, who played the abusive husband of Nicole Kidmans character in Big Little Lies, came closest to expressing gratitude or regret when he thanked Kidman for the best experience of his career.

But overall, the men who took to the stage last night seemed to understand themselves as good guys in their world, instead of beneficiaries of a system where those complicit get credit when they finally stand up to injustice but no consequences for perpetuating it. It seems that it hasnt quite sunk in that to sate the publics demand for more women on film, more women on TV, more womens voices, more women will have to be involved in making that entertainment, both on and offscreen. Making more room for women will eventually mean less room for men.

All of the men wearing their Times Up! pins and black dress shirts beneath black tuxedo jackets (truly brave) carried themselves with the air of diplomats who caught the last helicopter flight out of Saigon. Theyd weathered the purge; the bad guys are out and the door is shut and they are aboard. And they carried on as though the women who were making noise were celebrating a job well done instead of firing themselves up for a long, hard slog. As though one or more of them wont be in the room next year, as though his chair wont one day be filled by a talented and, until now, overlooked woman.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-globes-celebrated-strong-female-characterswritten-and-directed-by-men

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Drop everything and listen to Pitbull’s version of Toto’s ‘Africa’ for the ‘Aquaman’ soundtrack

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“Future acoustic prodigies, I regrettably must inform you… your services will not be needed. The peak of mankind’s musical ability has already been reached.

There are a lot of reasons to see Aquaman, not the least of which is the absurd banger that is Pitbull’s contribution to its soundtrack, titled “Ocean to Ocean.” An aquatic and very Pitbull take on Toto’s “Africa,” this soon-to-be chart-topper features original verses alongside Rhea covering the original’s iconic “I bless the rains” lyrics.

The track accompanies a sequence in which Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) head to the Sahara Desert. Get me an ambulance. I’m simply not ready.

When asked why he took on the task of creating this oceanic masterpiece, Pitbull told Entertainment Weekly, “Bottom line: water gives us freedom.” Yes, it does, sir. Yes. It. Does.

Aquaman is in theaters Dec. 21. Its soundtrack is available Dec. 14.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/video/aquaman-pitbull-toto-africa/

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Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is now the most-streamed song from the 20th century

Charmaine Blake

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(CNN)In the battle for 20th-century streaming glory, Queen reigns supreme.

“The 1975 song bested such other classics as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
The label says the song and official video for “Bohemian Rhapsody” have garnered more than 1.6 billion streams globally across all major streaming services.
“So the River of Rock Music has metamorphosed into streams! Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!” Queen’s guitarist and founding member Brian May said in a statement.
The six-minute song likely received a bump thanks to the recent release of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Queen biopic that stars Rami Malek as singer Freddie Mercury. The movie has grossed almost $600 million worldwide and is nominated for two Golden Globes.
The singular song, which combines elements of balladry, opera and hard rock, returned to the Billboard Hot 100 last month.
In a statement, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Sir Lucian Grainge called “Bohemian Rhapsody” “one the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands in history.”
“We are so proud to represent Queen and are thrilled to see the song still inspiring new fans around the world more than four decades after its release,” he said.
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” from Queen’s album “A Night At The Opera,” was Queen’s first Top 10 hit in the United States and topped the charts in the UK for nine consecutive weeks, a record at the time.
The song got renewed life in 1992 when it was featured in the movie “Wayne’s World.” It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.”

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/11/entertainment/queen-bohemian-rhapsody-streams/index.html

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Elizabeth Debicki Brought her A-Game in ‘Widows’

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Article by Mark Olsen LA Times

“The heist thriller “Widows” has arguably the most impressively stacked ensemble cast of the year, including Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez, Brian Tyree Henry, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell and Cynthia Erivo.

Which makes it all the more impressive that 28-year-old Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki has been singled out for her performance as Alice, a young woman who gets out from under the repression of her abusive husband and her exploitative mother to discover she has more to offer than anyone, including herself, had previously known.

“She resonated on many, many levels,” Debicki said of the part during a recent interview in Los Angeles. “I mean, I’ve been looking and waiting for some time to play somebody like Alice, somebody who was very real and raw and multidimensional, had an arc that was quite an amazing sort of growth in that woman’s life. So there was me as the actor looking at it and thinking, ‘I just want to get my hands on that.’”

In the movie Davis plays Veronica, a woman who is suddenly in debt to a dangerous gangster when her husband, a career criminal, dies during…………………………………..”

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-elizabeth-debicki-widows-20181119-story.html

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