World War Two code breaker Alan Turing's great niece and nephew have announced they will be delivering a star-studded petition requesting a pardon for their late relative to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron later this week (ends20Feb15). Rachel Barnes and Nevil Hunt will travel to Downing Street in London to hand deliver the petition, which sparked a worldwide movement to demand pardons for the estimated 49,000 men who, like Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under anti-gay laws.
Newlywed Benedict Cumberbatch, who is Oscar nominated for his role as Turing in The Imitation Game, is one of the many celebrities whose names appear on the list.
He says, "Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do.
"Sixty years later, that same government claimed to 'forgive' him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing’s actions did not warrant forgiveness - theirs did - and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same."
Cumberbatch's co-stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech and Rory Kinnear and Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, James Corden, filmmaker Lee Daniels and Rosie O'Donnell are also among the 340,000 who have added their signatures to the petition.
Oscar-nominated civil rights drama Selma and U.S. TV comedy Black-Ish were among the big winners at the 2015 NAACP Image Awards on Friday (06Feb15). The Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic earned director Ava DuVernay the Outstanding Motion Picture prize, while her leading man David Oyelowo took home the best actor honour at the Los Angeles ceremony.
There were also prizes for Selma supporting actors Common and Carmen Ejogo, who portrayed King, Jr.'s wife, Coretta.
Taraji P. Henson was a double winner, walking away as best movie actress for thriller No Good Deed and earning the Entertainer of the Year title.
In the TV categories, Black-ish dominated the comedy section, with event host Anthony Anderson and his onscreen wife Tracee Ellis Ross scoring the top acting accolades, while co-stars Laurence Fishburne and Yara Shahidi won the supporting honours. The programme was also named Outstanding Comedy Series.
Shonda Rhimes' hit shows also emerged victorious, with How to Get Away with Murder landing Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for Viola Davis, and Scandal's Joe Morton and Khandi Alexander earning the supporting acting titles.
Meanwhile, in the music categories, Pharrell Williams was named Outstanding Male Artist and Beyonce took home the female equivalent, as Sam Smith and Mary J. Blige claimed the Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration prize for their hit song Stay With Me.
John Legend's You & I (Nobody in the World) was awarded Outstanding Music Video and new mum Alicia Keys scored Outstanding Song for We Are Here.
Music mogul Clive Davis received the Vanguard Award, in recognition of his work regarding racial and social issues and director Spike Lee was presented with the NAACP President's Award, which celebrates those who have combined career success and public service.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards celebrates diversity in film, TV, music and literature.
Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's drama Me & Earl & The Dying Girl took home the top accolades at the 31st Sundance Film Festival awards, winning both the U. S. Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in Utah on Saturday (31Jan15). The emotional movie, which is based on Jesse Andrews' 2013 novel of the same name, tells the tale of two student filmmakers who become friends with a young cancer patient.
The winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for a documentary was filmmaker Crystal Moselle's The Wolfpack, which follows six brothers who are isolated from the outside world.
The awards mark the end of the annual Robert Redford founded festival, which closes on Sunday (01Feb15).
The full list of winners is:
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic - Robert Eggers, The Witch
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic - Tim Talbott, The Stanford Prison Experiment
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Collaborative Vision - Advantageous
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Editing - Lee Haugen, Dope
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography - Brandon Trost, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary - The Wolfpack
Directing Award: U.S. Documentary - Matthew Heineman, Cartel Land
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography - Matthew Heineman, Cartel Land
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Break Out First Feature - Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe, (T)ERROR
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Verite Filmmaking - Bill Ross, Turner Ross, Western
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact - Marc Silver, 3½ MINUTES
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize - The Stanford Prison Experiment
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary - The Russian Woodpecker
Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary - Kim Longinotto, Dreamcatcher
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing - Jim Scott, How To Change The World
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Impact - Pervert Park
World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Unparalleled Access - Pervert Park
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic - Slow West
Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic - Alante Kavaite, The Summer of Sangaile
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting - Regina Case and Camila Merdila, The Second Mother
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting - Jack Reynor, Glassland
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography - Germain McMicking, Partisan
Audience Award: NEXT, Presented by Adobe - James White
Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary - Dark Horse
Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic - Umrika
Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Presented by Acura - Meru
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic, Presented by Acura - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Short Film Grand Jury Prize - World of Tomorrow
Short Film Jury Award: US Fiction - SMILF
Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction - Oh Lucy!
Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction - The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul
Short Film Jury Award: Animation - Storm hits jacket
Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting - Back Alley
Short Film Special Jury Award for Visual Poetry - Object
Actor David Oyelowo felt obligated to keep up his American accent in between takes on Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma, because he feared locals in the civil rights icon's native Atlanta, Georgia would not accept him in the lead role if they knew he was British. The Lee Daniels' The Butler star, who packed on the pounds for the role, reveals he was keen to try the method acting technique on the set of Selma after watching fellow Brit Daniel Day-Lewis in action in their movie Lincoln, but he soon realised it was necessary for him to keep up the American twang to avoid disappointing the hundreds of extras who had no idea he was from overseas.
He explains, "I felt I had to stay in character the whole time, partly because I did this film Lincoln and I had a scene with Daniel Day-Lewis, my favourite actor of all time, and he would stay in character the whole time and I felt that's the blueprint of how to get this right... But he's a genius; I'm a pragmatist.
"We were shooting in Atlanta; Dr. King is from Atlanta, revered in Atlanta... you go and say (in his British accent), 'Hello everybody, I'm going to be playing Dr. King', it's not (going to be) so good when (you have) 500 extras waiting for you to give a speech, so I felt I needed to stay in (the American accent)..."
However, there was one person who couldn't handle hearing Oyelowo speaking with an American accent - his wife Jessica.
He says, "It was weird for my wife because we were moving house at the time and she called me once (while he was on set) about the curtains: 'Should we go for the brown or should we go for (another colour)?'. (In his American accent, he replied), 'Well I think we should, er, go for the...' She went, 'Stop! Stop! We'll do this after you wrap! I cannot talk to you when you are talking like Dr. King, I already feel like I'm having an affair!'."
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl rang in his 46th birthday a few days early on Saturday (10Jan15) by jamming onstage with rock legends Alice Cooper, SLASH, Paul Stanley and David Lee Roth. The Best Of You hitmakers announced plans to play a "surprise" birthday show for Grohl last week (ends09Jan15) and fans who managed to snap up tickets to The Forum show in Los Angeles were treated to an all-star line-up packed full of rock icons.
KISS star Stanley kicked off the night by joining the band onstage to perform Detroit Rock City and Do You Love Me?, while Cooper thrilled fans with renditions of School's Out and I'm Eighteen.
Perry Farrell from Jane's Addiction took over the microphone for Mountain Song and a cover of Miss You by the Rolling Stones, while Van Halen's Roth delighted the crowd by belting out Panama and Ain't Talkin' Bout Love.
Guitarist Zakk Wylde treated fans to versions of Black Sabbath's N.I.B. and Fairies Wear Boots, before bringing the gig to a rousing end with Slash and Motorhead's Lemmy for their version of Chuck Berry's Let It Rock.
There were also appearances from Queens of the Stone Age's Nick Oliveri, musician Trombone Shorty and Tenacious D stars Jack Black and Kyle Gass, who stepped onstage to rock out with Slash and the Foo Fighters for a cover of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song and Queen's Tie Your Mother Down,.
The concert, billed as An Evening With Foo Fighters in the Round, also doubled up as a benefit show, raising funds for three music-related charities - Sweet Relief, MusiCares and the Rock School Scholarship Fund.
Grohl actually turns 46 on Wednesday (14Jan15).
Comedian Will Arnett has reportedly struck up a new romance with actress Arielle Vandenberg. The Lego Movie star was spotted out with his new lady at a Christmas concert in Los Angeles last month (Dec14), following his recent split from producer Erin David, who he had been dating on and off since 2013.
A source tells UsMagazine.com of the budding relationship, "She (Vandenberg) loves to laugh. The past few girls haven't been fun enough for him (Arnett). He's a child at heart."
Arnett was previously linked to Billy Joel's ex-wife, celebrity chef Katie Lee.
The funnyman separated from Amy Poehler, the mother of his two sons, in 2012 after nine years of marriage.
Poehler has since moved on to date comedian Nick Kroll.
Brad Pitt amused attendees at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Saturday night (03Jan15) by breaking into an impromptu song to teach fans and critics alike how to properly pronounce David Oyelowo's name. The Hollywood superstar helped to produce Oyelowo's new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, Selma, through his Plan B Productions company, and he took it upon himself at the California event to teach others how to say the British actor's Nigerian last name.
Before introducing the Lee Daniels' The Butler star to the stage to present him with the Breakthrough Performance Award (Male), Pitt said, "I know that there is one lingering question in the back of your minds and that question is, how the hell do you pronounce his name? It's all right, I've been there, and I'm here to help."
He proceeded to lead the crowd in a sing-along pronunciation of Oyelowo's name to the tune of popular soccer chant, Ole, Ole, Ole.
Turning serious, he then hailed Oyelowo as "a man whose name will one day be synonymous with (Sidney) Poitier and (Sir Laurence) Olivier."
As a flattered Oyelowo stepped up to the platform to accept his prize, he quipped, "You know you've 'broken through' when Brad Pitt sings your name!"
The ceremony also featured touching tributes from Shirley MacLaine, who presented Boyhood director Richard Linklater with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, while Laura Dern was on hand to honour Reese Witherspoon with the Chairman's Award, and Robert Downey, Jr. celebrated the career of his The Judge co-star and Icon Award recipient Robert Duvall, who was so moved by the honour, he struggled to fight back tears.
The term "Easter egg" usually refers to an inside joke or a hidden message in a movie or a TV show. Usually they're brief moments popping up on screen, repeated motifs used to foreshadow parts of the story, or just references to other media for the savvy watcher. A viewer may watch something over and over before ever realizing there was an intended message in part of the movie, or that there are any eggs to be discovered. Below are some of our favorites that we bet you didn't catch; if you did, you're a pro. Tell us, which of your favorites did we miss?
The Departed - The Xs
Brace yourselves: X marks the spot in Scorcese's crime masterpiece. Before each character meets their end, an X can be seen in the shot. From Leonardo DiCaprio to Matt Damon to Martin Sheen (falling to his death below), the film has X's in tons of the shots, giving a wink of foreshadowing, and another wink to 1932's Scarface.
The original verison of Scarface inspired The Departed's X motif, where every death is marked onscreen with an X or foreshadowed by one. The image above shows seven shadows about to be massacred with seven X's above them.
Fight Club & Starbucks
20th Century Fox
Fight Club director David Fincher has claimed there is a Starbucks cup in nearly every shot of the movie. In a nod to the film's criticism of consumerism and subliminal advertising, Fincher features the giant coffee franchise in every single scene.
20th Century Fox
Monsters, Inc. Found Nemo
Buena Vista Pictures
Nobody likes Easter eggs and film references more than the team over at Pixar. One of our favorites is in 2001's Monsters, Inc., when Boo hands Sulley a toy of Nemo before he leaves her room. Finding Nemo was made after Monsters, and this served as a sneak peak and became a retrospective wink for fans of Pixar films. She also handed him one of Pixar's signatures, the Luxo ball, which can be seen in a great deal of Pixar films.
Finding Nemo + The Incredibles
Buena Vista Pictures
Finding Nemo itself contains a nod to yet-to-be-released Pixar film, 2004's The Incredibles, if only very briefly. At the dentist's office, a young boy can be seen reading a Mr. Incredible comic book. You can actually find a little nod to the next film in the Pixar lineup in all of their films (but this isn't a Pixar list, so we'll keep it short and not name them all). In the same office, we get a glimpe at Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear, chilln' by a toy chest.
Buena Vista Pictures
Toy Story Loves The Shining?
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Toy Story editor Lee Unkrich's favorite movie is reportedly The Shining, which explains this similarity between the children's classic and the seminal horror film. The carpet in Sid's house is noticeably similar to the Overlook Hotel's, and infamous Room 237 makes appearances throughout the toy trilogy.
That Dang Pizza Planet Truck
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Every Pixar movie since Toy Story features a Pizza Planet truck in it somewhere. WALL-E's EVE scans the engine of one of the trucks for evidence of plant life after she arrives on the planet, while the vehicle makes a cameo in A Bug's Life during a bug zapper warning. The above photo shows the truck in Pixar's most recent release, Monsters University, at the first house party.
Did Marty McFly land at Mr. Peabody's House?
Mr. Peabody and Sherman are two animated time travelers from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. They also happen to be the names of the family who own the farm that Marty McFly crashes into when he travels through time in Back to the Future.
Kill Bill with some Killer Shoes
If you ever doubted Uma Thurman's badassery in the Kill Bill series, you clearly never peeped the soles of her shoes in her fight scene with the Crazy 88's. As the camera drops below the floor, "Fuck U" can briefly be seen on the bottom of her kicks. They can also very briefly be seen while she's on her motorcycle, but we prefer the poetry of quite literally adding insult to injury as she kicks ass with a shoe that cusses victims out. Where can we get these?!
Charlie's Angels Revisits E.T.
In Charlie's Angels, after Drew Barrymore's character, Dylan Sanders, is shot out of a window by Knox, she stumbles down a hill in the buff. She then knocks on the door of a house where two boys are distracted playing video games (and talking about naked women, of course). Barrymore had already been at this very house before though -- it's the same house as in E.T., and the boys also have a bowl of Reese's Pieces between them. In case you didn't pick up on those two references, there's also an E.T. poster behind the TV in the same shot.
Iron Man is a Captain America Fan
Marvel's universe is interconnected (as quite obviously seen with their characters coming together for the Avengers), but in 2008's Iron Man, a replica of Captain America's shield can be seen behind Tony Stark. It's a possible prototype, foreshadowing the first standalone Captain America film (2011).
Disney's Hidden Mickey Mouses
Buena Vista Pictures
The most elaborate of all of these Easter eggs may be Disney's Hidden Mickeys -- not just from their theme parks, but in almost every Disney film, there is a moment with a hidden Mickey Mouse. Pictured above is Aladdin's Rajah as he transitions from a cub back to his full-sized self, briefly appearing as Mickey. Below The Fox and the Hound shows perhaps a hidden Mickey face with two signature ears, seen in the ripples of the water.
Buena Vista Distribution
David Oyelowo's parents were not convinced he had what it took to become an actor until they saw him portray the King of England in a stage play. The Lee Daniels’ The Butler star was introduced to a youth acting class in his native U.K. by his pastor's daughter, who he had a crush on, but he soon fell in love with the craft and set his sights on pursuing a career in the arts.
However, Oyelowo admits his Nigerian parents were far from happy about his non-traditional career choice.
He says, "They thought it was a phase. I told my dad I was thinking of becoming an actor and he said, ‘Why do you want to be an actor? You need a proper job; you need to be a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer'. So I secretly applied for drama school, got a scholarship. So I came home to him and I said, 'Daddy, I got a scholarship to go to drama school.’ He said, 'Scholarship? We can tell everyone back home my son is a scholar.'"
It wasn't until the Black British star landed the royal role in a William Shakespeare production that his mum and dad realised just how good he was.
Oyelowo explains, "He came to see me, I got to play Henry VI at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and my dad, he came to the U.K. when there was quite a lot of racism, and we did Henry VI parts one, two and three and he sat through 12 hours of Shakespeare... and at the end of the play, he came up to me and said, 'I cannot believe it, that they would allow a black man to play the King of England and it is my son.'"
Actor David Oyelowo worked with a dialect coach and underwent a physical change to portray late U.S. civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in acclaimed new movie Selma. The Lee Daniels' The Butler star admits the transformation was difficult to capture, but he trained with a dialect coach and gained weight as he attempted to get into character - and he admits his struggles and the research were worth it.
He tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "Everyday I would do something to try and get closer to him (King) because I knew this was going to be my future at some point. I worked with an incredible dialect coach..."
Oyelowo also consulted King's friends and was stunned when civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis praised his performance.
He continues, "It was one of the most extraordinary things. I hadn't met him before. The first time I met him was on the set of Selma and he walked straight up to me; I was in costume as Dr. King, and he said, 'Dr. King, it is so nice to see you again'. I was just frozen by that, because what a thing for him to say having not seen his friend for nearly 50 years."
The actor also explains his 30-pound (13.6 kilograms) weight gain was important in helping him master the role of the late political icon.
He adds, "I put on quite a bit of weight and shaved my hairline back... It got a little strange... There was this weird spiritual exchange - it's the only way I can describe it. There was a moment I looked in the mirror and I couldn't see myself anymore. It was a little bit strange, but I'm glad to be back to me."