Kate Hudson in, Spike Lee out and more Golden Globe chaos
From the Kate Hudson movie that no one has heard of to the very awkward shut out of Spike Lee, here’s a look at some of the biggest surprises of the morning. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t surprised to hear Kate Hudson’s name announced among the best actress nominees. Lee’s acclaimed Vietnam drama “Da 5 Bloods” was expected to be a shoo-in for any number of categories: Best picture, best director, best actor for Delroy Lindo or supporting actor for Chadwick Boseman, who died last year. The Globe nominations also tested our understanding of what constitutes a film with some interesting categorizations and nominations, putting Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology film series in a television category. The filmed “Hamilton” performance on Disney+, meanwhile, was eligible in the film categories and picked up two nominations.
John Boyega isn't going to 'take the money and shush'
This year, Boyega has made it clear he doesn't feel that way, that he isn’t going to bite his tongue. The five-film series is playing on the BBC in the U.K. and on Amazon Prime in the U.S.; “Red, White and Blue” will debut Dec. 4 on Amazon. In the true story, Boyega plays Leroy Logan, an aspiring research scientist who gives up the lab to join the overwhelmingly white London police force in the 1980s. “Red, White and Blue” puts Boyega front and center and wrestles with many of the social issues -- race, change, belonging -- that he is grappling with, too. Since Boyega’s comments about “Star Wars,” he’s received a supportive phone call from producer Kathleen Kennedy that Boyega has described as frank and transparent.
In McQueen's 'Small Axe,' an epic of West Indian heritage
In “Small Axe,” McQueen’s ambitious five-film anthology about London’s West Indian community, the “12 Years a Slave” director resurrects the British capital in the decades before its multicultural present, tracing the Caribbean immigrant experience through the racism of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s in order to illuminate the injustices of today. “I’d end up sleeping in a bed with coats piled on top of me when I woke up.”The first film of “Small Axe,” “Mangrove,” begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Friday. But “Small Axe” is his first production in his native Britain. The films, themselves, became a collective; the title references a West African proverb popularized by Bob Marley: “If you are the big tree/ We are the small axe/ Ready to cut you down.”Taken together, “Small Axe” stitches together a little-known history, both intimate and sweeping, that had previously lingered on the margins and in family folklore. It was all about energy.”In a way, “Small Axe” has also carved out a space for itself in an industry traditionally inhospitable to such stories.
Steve McQueen unveils an anthology of racism and resistance
NEW YORK – In a movie year mostly lacking big, ambitious releases, Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology is an unqualified main event. For the filmmaker of “Hunger,” “Shame” and “Widows,” “Small Axe” is a shattering masterwork — a compendium, both damning and celebratory, of Black resilience. The only fictional tale of the bunch, it brings to vivid, pulsating life a blues party from 1980, when young London Black people found refuge, and love, at house parties. Casting “Small Axe,” he has said, was easy because of all the untapped talent just in need of an opportunity. But if anyone expecting a neat arc to “Small Axe,” McQueen says that’s not its shape.
John Boyega quits perfume ambassador role over Chinese ad
LONDON – Black actor John Boyega has stepped down from his role as a global ambassador for perfume brand Jo Malone after the company decided to hire a Chinese actor to replace him in an ad he created. “The film celebrated my personal story– showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family,” Boyega wrote. He played a leading role as Finn in 2015′s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but he and other nonwhite characters were removed or diminished from a Chinese poster for the movie. Boyega recently told GQ that Black characters have been “pushed to the side” in Disney’s “Star Wars” franchise. In June, the star made an emotional speech on racism when he joined Black Lives Matter protests in London.
Perfume brand says cutting Black actor from ad was misstep
NEW YORK – British perfume brand Jo Malone has apologized to Black actor John Boyega of “Star Wars” fame after cutting him out of the Chinese version of a cologne commercial he helped create. Jo Malone London said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that the ad designed for Chinese audiences was a misstep and has been removed. The recreated ad replaced Boyega with Chinese star Liu Haoran. It's not the first time Boyega has been deleted from a China-based ad. Boyega has spoken out about Hollywood racism, recently telling GQ that Black characters have been “pushed to the side” in Disney’s “Star Wars” franchise.
Steve McQueen sets 3 premieres at New York Film Festival
This image released by the New York Film Festival shows a scene from Steve McQueens "Lovers Rock" which will premiere at the 58th New York Film Festival. (New York Film Festival via AP)Three original films by Oscar-winner Steve McQueen will debut at the New York Film Festival this year, organizers said Monday. Its an incredible honor and also very humbling to show three of my films at the New York Film Festival, McQueen said in a statement. Steve McQueen is one of the essential artists of our time, and he reaches a new level of mastery with the Small Axe films, said Dennis Lim, the festival's programming director. Dates haven't been set for the 58th edition of the New York Film Festival because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but organizers say that specifics will be announced in the coming weeks.
Thousands in Europe decry racial injustice, police violence
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON – Thousands of people demonstrated in London on Wednesday against police violence and racial injustice following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has set off days of unrest in the United States. The London demonstration began in Hyde Park, with protesters chanting “Black lives matter,” before many of them later marched through the streets, blocking traffic. Earlier, the U.K.'s most senior police officer said she was “appalled” by Floyd's death and “horrified” by the subsequent violence in U.S. cities. Her death has come to symbolize the high toll the virus has taken on ethnic minority Britons and front-line workers -- and, for some, social injustice. — Police cut short a demonstration in the Dutch port of Rotterdam by thousands of protesters when the crowd got too big for coronavirus social distancing measures.
'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Special Look: Is Rey Going to the Dark Side?
The new teaser opens with a retrospective on 40 years of Star Wars -- looking back at Luke and Leia, Yoda and Vader -- before cutting to the new footage: Lightsaber battles and planets being decimated, culminating in a final, ominous shot of a hooded Rey (Ridley) looking especially Sith-like as she unsheathes a dual-sided red lightsaber. But could Rey really be turning to the dark side? We see this battle in this character, and it was very fun to play and it will be very fun to watch." Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters on Dec. 20. RELATED CONTENT:J.J. Abrams Says Working on Final Installment of 'Skywalker' Trilogy Was 'Very Meaningful' (Exclusive)John Boyega Says Carrie Fisher's Scenes in 'The Rise of Skywalker' Are 'Respectful' to Her Legacy (Exclusive)'The Mandalorian' Trailer: First Look at Pedro Pascal in Live-Action 'Star Wars' Series