Nominations for the 43rd Annual NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Awards have been released, marking some notable entries for in the realms of film, television, music and literature.
One of the biggest films of 2011, The Help, was recognized by the NAACP in several categories: the film itself earned a nod for Outstanding Motion Picture, while its stars Emma Stone and Viola Davis earned Outstanding Actress nominations. Furthermore, Supporting Actress nominations were assigned to cast members Bryce Dallas Howard, Cicely Tyson and Octavia Spencer. This past weekend, Spencer took home a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. The Help's writer/director Tate Taylor earned a nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture.
Other notable movies of 2011 to earn nods include Tower Heist and Pariah. Some of the bigger acting names on the list this year include Eddie Murphy (for Tower Heist), Laurence Fishburne (for Contagion), Paula Patton (for Jumping the Broom), Zoë Saldana (for Colombiana), Anthony Mackie (for The Adjustment Bureau), Don Cheadle (for The Guard) and Maya Rudolph (for Bridesmaids).
Check below for a complete list of the film, television, music and literature nominations. The 43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards will broadcast live on Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES
Outstanding Motion Picture
Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Pariah (Focus Features)
The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Tower Heist (Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Eddie Murphy - Tower Heist (Universal Pictures)
Laurence Fishburne - Contagion (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Laz Alonso - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Oliver Litondo - The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
Vin Diesel - Fast Five (Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Adepero Oduye - Pariah (Focus Features)
Emma Stone - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Paula Patton - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Viola Davis - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Zoë Saldana - Colombiana (TriStar Pictures)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Anthony Mackie - The Adjustment Bureau (Universal Pictures)
Charles Parnell - Pariah (Focus Features)
Don Cheadle - The Guard (Sony Pictures Classics)
Jeffrey Wright - The Ides of March (Columbia Pictures)
Mike Epps - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Bryce Dallas Howard - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Cicely Tyson - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Kim Wayans - Pariah (Focus Features)
Maya Rudolph - Bridesmaids (Universal Pictures)
Octavia Spencer - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
I Will Follow (AFFRM)
Pariah (Focus Features)
The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture
A Separation (Sony Pictures Classics)
Attack the Block (Screen Gems)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (FilmDistrict)
Le Havre (Janus Films)
Life, Above All (Sony Pictures Classics)
Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture - (Theatrical or Television)
Alrick Brown - Kinyarwanda (AFFRM)
Angelina Jolie - In the Land of Blood and Honey (FilmDistrict)
Dee Rees - Pariah (Focus Features)
Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture - (Theatrical or Television)
Alrick Brown - Kinyarwanda (AFFRM)
Ann Peacock - The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
Dee Rees - Pariah (Focus Features)
Elizabeth Hunter, Arlene Gibbs - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Tate Taylor - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Outstanding Comedy Series
Love That Girl! (TV One)
Modern Family (ABC)
Reed Between the Lines (BET)
The Game (BET)
Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Dulé Hill - Psych (USA Network)
Malcolm-Jamal Warner - Reed Between the Lines (BET)
Phil Morris - Love That Girl! (TV One)
Pooch Hall - The Game (BET)
Terry Crews - Are We There Yet? (TBS)
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Tatyana Ali - Love That Girl! (TV One)
Tia Mowry-Hardrict - The Game (BET)
Tracee Ellis Ross - Reed Between the Lines (BET)
Vanessa Williams - Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Wendy Raquel Robinson - The Game (BET)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Craig Robinson - The Office (NBC)
Damon Wayans, Jr. - Happy Endings (ABC)
J.B. Smoove - Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Nick Cannon - Up All Night (NBC)
Tracy Morgan - 30 Rock (NBC)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Amber Riley - Glee (FOX)
Gabourey Sidibe - The Big C (Showtime)
Keshia Knight Pulliam - Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
Maya Rudolph - Up All Night (NBC)
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family (ABC)
Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Andre Braugher - Men of A Certain Age (TNT)
Hill Harper - CSI: NY (CBS)
L.L. Cool J - NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
Taye Diggs - Private Practice (ABC)
Wendell Pierce - Treme (HBO)
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Chandra Wilson - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Khandi Alexander - Treme (HBO)
Regina King - SouthLAnd (TNT)
Sandra Oh - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Taraji P. Henson - Person of Interest (CBS)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Corey Reynolds - The Closer (TNT)
Ice T - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
James Pickens, Jr. - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Nelsan Ellis - True Blood (HBO)
Omar Epps - House M.D. (FOX)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alfre Woodard - Memphis Beat (TNT)
Anika Noni Rose - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
Archie Panjabi - The Good Wife (CBS)
Diahann Carroll - White Collar (USA Network)
Loretta Devine - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Hallmark Hall of Fame, Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith (ABC)
Luther (BBC America)
The Least Among You (Showtime)
Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Esai Morales - We Have Your Husband (Lifetime)
Idris Elba - Luther (BBC America)
Laurence Fishburne - Thurgood (HBO)
Louis Gossett, Jr. - The Least Among You (Showtime)
Samuel L. Jackson - The Sunset Limited (HBO)
Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Anika Noni Rose - Hallmark Hall of Fame, Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith (ABC)
Jenifer Lewis - Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Rosario Dawson - Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Taraji P. Henson - Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (Lifetime)
Tracee Ellis Ross - Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series
Aaron D. Spears - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Bryton James - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Emerson Brooks - All My Children (ABC)
James Reynolds - Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Texas Battle - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
Christel Khalil - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Julia Pace Mitchell - The Young & the Restless (CBS)
Tatyana Ali - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Tonya Lee Williams - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Yvette Freeman - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Outstanding News/Information - (Series or Special)
BET News Exclusive: The President Answers Black America (BET)
Judge Mathis (Syndicated)
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)
Unsung (TV One)
Washington Watch with Roland Martin (TV One)
Outstanding Talk Series
Oprah's Lifeclass (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
The Doctors (Syndicated)
The View (ABC)
The Wendy Williams Show (Syndicated)
Outstanding Reality Series
All-American Muslim (TLC)
American Idol (FOX)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Sunday Best (BET)
Tia & Tamera (Style Network)
Outstanding Variety Series or Special
2011 BET Awards (BET)
Black Girls Rock! (BET)
Oprah Presents: Master Class (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Prince! Behind the Symbol (The Africa Channel)
UNCF An Evening of Stars Tribute to Chaka Khan (BET)
Outstanding Children’s Program
A.N.T. Farm (Disney Channel)
Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon)
Go, Diego! Go! (Nickelodeon)
I Can Be President: A Kid’s-Eye View (HBO)
My Family Tree (Disney Channel)
Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program - (Series or Special)
China Anne McClain - A.N.T. Farm (Disney Channel)
Keke Palmer - True Jackson, VP (Nickelodeon)
Lance Robertson - Yo Gabba Gabba (Nickelodeon)
Leon Thomas III - Victorious (Nickelodeon)
Zendaya Coleman - Shake It Up (Disney Channel)
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Jay Chandrasekhar - Happy Endings - The Girl with the David Tattoo (ABC)
Kevin Hooks - Drop Dead Diva - Mother's Day (Lifetime)
Leonard R. Garner Jr. - Rules of Engagement - The Set Up (CBS)
Miguel Arteta - How to Make It in America - Mofongo (HBO)
Salim Akil - The Game - Parachutes/Beach Chairs (BET)
Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series
Ernest Dickerson - Treme - Do Watcha Wanna (HBO)
Ken Whittingham - Parenthood - Opening Night (NBC)
Kevin Sullivan - NCIS - Tell-All (CBS)
Paris Barclay - Sons of Anarchy - Out (FX Network)
Seith Mann - Dexter - Get Gellar (Showtime)
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Arthur Harris - Reed Between the Lines - Let's Talk About Ms. Helen's Son Part 1 (BET)
Prentice Penny - Happy Endings - The Girl with the David Tattoo (ABC)
Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil - The Game - Parachutes....Beach Chairs (BET)
Vali Chandrasekaran - 30 Rock - It's Never Too Late For Now (NBC)
Vince Cheung, Ben Montanio - Wizards of Waverly Place - Wizards vs. Angels (Disney Channel)
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series
Cheo Hodari Coker - SouthLAnd - Punching Water (TNT)
Janine Sherman Barrois - Criminal Minds - The Bittersweet Science (CBS)
Lolis Eric Elie - Treme - Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get the Blues? (HBO)
Pam Veasey - Ringer - Oh Gawd, There's Two of Them? (The CW)
Zoanne Clack - Grey's Anatomy - I Will Survive (ABC)
Outstanding Documentary - (Theatrical or Television)
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (Sony Pictures Classics)
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (Submarine Deluxe)
Sing Your Song (HBO Documentary Films)
The Rescuers (Michael King Productions)
Thunder Soul (Roadside Attractions)
Outstanding New Artist
Diggy Simmons (Atlantic Records)
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. (Columbia Records)
Mindless Behavior (Streamline/Conjunction/Interscope Records)
Wynter Gordon (Big Beat/Atlantic Records)
Outstanding Male Artist
Anthony Hamilton (RCA Records)
Bruno Mars (Elektra Records)
Cee Lo Green (Elektra Records)
Chris Brown (Jive Records)
Common (Warner Bros. Records)
Outstanding Female Artist
Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
Jennifer Hudson (Arista Records)
Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
Ledisi (Verve Forecast)
Mary J. Blige (Geffen)
Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration
Boyz II Men (Benchmark Entertainment/MSM Music Group)
Cee Lo Green feat. Melanie Fiona (Elektra Records)
Mary J. Blige feat. Drake (Geffen)
Sounds of Blackness (Malaco Music Group)
The Roots (Island Def Jam Music Group)
Outstanding Jazz Album
Chano y Dizzy - Terence Blanchard and Poncho Sanchez (Concord Music Group Inc.)
Friends - Stanley Jordan (Mack Avenue Records)
Guitar Man - George Benson (Concord Jazz)
Legacy - Gerald Wilson (Mack Avenue Records)
Road Show Vol. 2 - Sonny Rollins (Emarcy)
Outstanding Gospel Album - (Traditional or Contemporary)
Becoming - Yolanda Adams (N House Music Group)
Church on the Moon - Deitrick Haddon (Verity Gospel Music Group)
Hello Fear - Kirk Franklin (Verity Gospel Music Group)
Something Big - Mary Mary (Columbia Records)
The Journey - Andraé Crouch (RiverPhlo Entertainment)
Outstanding World Music Album
Afrodiaspora - Susana Baca (Luaka Bop)
Carnival Fever - Brother B (King Chero Records)
Live at 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Boukman Eksperyans (MunckMix, Inc.)
Sounds of Blackness - Sounds of Blackness (Malaco Music Group)
The First Grader - Alex Heffes (Varese Sarabande)
Outstanding Music Video
25/8 - Mary J. Blige (Geffen)
Hear My Call - Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
I Was Here - Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
Someone Like You - Adele (Columbia Records)
Where You At - Jennifer Hudson (Arista Records)
Best Thing I Never Had - Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
Fool for You feat. Melanie Fiona - Cee Lo Green (Elektra Records)
I Smile - Kirk Franklin (Verity Gospel Music Group)
So In Love feat. Anthony Hamilton - Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
Someone Like You - Adele (Columbia Records)
4 - Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
F.A.M.E - Chris Brown (Jive Records)
I Remember Me - Jennifer Hudson (Arista Records)
Lasers - Lupe Fiasco (1st & 15th/Atlantic Records)
The Light of the Sun - Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction
A Silken Thread - Brenda Jackson (Harlequin Kimani Press)
Boundaries - Elizabeth Nunez (Akashic Books)
Say Amen, Again - Reshonda Tate Billingsley (Gallery Books)
Silver Sparrow - Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
The Plot Against Hip Hop: A Novel - Nelson George (Akashic Books)
Outstanding Literary Work - Non-Fiction
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America - Melissa Harris-Perry (Yale University Press)
Super Rich - Russell Simmons (Gotham Books)
The Cosmopolitan Canopy - Elijah Anderson (W. W. Norton & Company)
The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place - Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
Who's Afraid of Post- Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now - Toure (Free Press)
Outstanding Literary Work - Debut Author
2Grieve 2Gether: A Journal from the Heart Helping Survivors & Supporters Navigate the Healing Process - Denise Hall Brown (2Lift 1Up Publishing)
A Defining Moment - Patricia Duncan (IJABA Publishing Inc.)
The Loom - Shella Gillus (Guideposts Books)
The Strawberry Letter - Lyah Le Flore (Ballantine/Random House)
We the Animals - Justin Torres (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Outstanding Literary Work - Biography/Autobiography
A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother - Janny Scott (Riverhead Books)
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention - Manning Marable (Penguin Group (USA)-Viking)
My Song - Harry Belafonte (Knopf)
No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington - Condoleezza Rice (Crown Publishers)
The John Carlos Story - John Carlos, Dave Zirin (Haymarket Books)
Outstanding Literary Work - Instructional
A Year to Wellness and Other Weight Loss Secrets - Bertice Berry (Freeman House Publishing)
Living My Dream: An Artistic Approach to Marketing - Synthia Saint James (Create Space)
Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy, & Social Justice in Classroom & Community - Quraysh Ali Lansana (Teachers & Writers Collaborative)
The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God - T.D. Jakes (Atria Books)
Too Important to Fail: Saving America's Boys - Tavis Smiley (Author), Juan Roberts, (Illustrator) (SmileyBooks)
Outstanding Literary Work - Poetry
Afro Clouds & Nappy Rain: The Curtis Brown Poems - James Golden (iUniverse)
Head Off & Split - Nikky Finney (TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press)
Honoring Genius: The Narrative of Craft, Art, Kindness and Justice - Haki Madhubuti (Third World Press)
Intimate Thoughts - Darrin Henson (Author), Anna Saunders (Illustrator) (Godzchild Publishing)
Last Seen - Jacqueline Jones Lamon (University of Wisconsin Press)
Outstanding Literary Work - Children Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band - Kwame Alexander (Author), Tim Bowers (Illustrator) (Sleeping Bear Press)
Before There Was Mozart - Lesa Cline-Ransome (Author), James Ransome (Illustrator) (Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House Children's Books)
Heart and Soul - Kadir Nelson (Author/Illustrator) (Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books)
White Water - Michael S. Bandy (Author), Shadra Strickland (Illustrator) (Candlewick Press)
You Can Be A Friend - Tony Dungy (Author), Ron Mazellan (Illustrator) (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Little Simon)
Outstanding Literary Work - Youth/Teens
Camo Girl - Kekla Magoon (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Aladdin)
Eliza's Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary - Jerdine Nolan (Author), Sadra Strickland (Illustrator) (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Paula Wiseman Books)
Jesse Owens: I Always Loved Running - Jeff Burlingame (Enslow Publishers, Inc.)
Kick - Walter Dean (HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books)
Planet Middle School - Nikki Grimes (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
There are 115 films selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Even the most die-hard film buff couldn’t see each one that Park City, Utah has to offer but luckily we have selected the few that look most promising based solely on their loglines, cast, etc. (for a full list of competing films go here, for a full list of non-competing films here). Check out our top picks below!
Cedar Rapids (Director: Miguel Arteta; Screenwriter: Phil Johnston) —A wholesome and naive small-town Wisconsin man travels to big city Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at a regional insurance conference. Cast: Ed Helms, John C Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Alia Shawkat, Sigourney Weaver.
Ed Helms helped write the movie. That alone should sell the film to you.
The Details (Director and screenwriter: Jacob Aaron Estes) —When hungry raccoons discover worms living under the sod in a young couple’s backyard, the pest problem sets off a wild and absurd chain reaction of domestic tension, infidelity, organ donation and murder by way of bow and arrow.Cast: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert. A movie with raccoons, infidelity, Elizabeth Banks, and a death by bow and arrow? Sold.
Life in a Day (Director: Kevin Macdonald) —Life in a Day is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film. On July 24, 2010, professional and amateur filmmakers captured a glimpse of their lives on camera and uploaded the footage to YouTube, serving as a time capsule for future generations. While the film may be boring, the fact that they did this makes the film worth watching.
The Music Never Stopped (Director: Jim Kohlberg; Screenwriters: Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks, based on the story “The Last Hippie” by Oliver Sacks) — A father struggles to bond with his estranged son who suffers a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. He learns to embrace his son’s choices and to try to connect with him through the power of music. Cast: J.K. Simmons, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Mia Maestro. While this sounds a little too sad for my tastes, J.K. Simmons is the man. He alone could get me into any movie so I guess I’ll stick it out for this one.
My Idiot Brother (Director: Jesse Peretz; Screenwriters: Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall) — After serving time for selling pot, Ned successively moves in with each of his three sisters as he tries to get back on his feet. His best intentions quickly bring the family to the cusp of chaos and ultimately the brink of clarity. Cast: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer. If the cast alone isn’t working for you, Zooey Deschanel plays a lesbian with Rashida Jones. Don’t forget to breathe.
Perfect Sense (Director: David Mackenzie; Screenwriter: Kim Fupz Aakeson) —A poetic and magnetic love story about two people who start to fall in love just as the world begins to fall apart. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Ewen Bremner, Stephen Dillane, Denis Lawson and Connie Nielsen. I only included this one for its ridiculous logline.
Red State (Director and screenwriter: Kevin Smith) — A group of misfits encounter extreme fundamentalism in Middle America. Cast: Michael Parks, Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner, John Goodman, Melissa Leo. Let’s see how well Kevin Smith handles the horror genre. He’s been talking about this one for years, time for him to put up or shut up. Though something tells me that won’t happen any time soon.
Salvation Boulevard (Director: George Ratliff; Screenwriters: Doug Max Stone and George Ratliff, based on the novel by Larry Beinhart) —An evangelical preacher who has captivated a city with his charm frames an ex-hippie for a crime he did not commit. Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Marisa Tomei. There is something alluring about the prospect of a preacher framing someone for something they didn’t do. Add this cast in and we’re definitely excited.
The Son of No One (Director and screenwriter: Dito Montiel) —Two men in post-9/11 New York are forced to relive two murders they committed as young boys. Their lives start to unravel by the threat of the revelation of these shocking and personal secrets. Cast: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche. The closing night film doesn’t sound too interesting except that it has Tracy Morgan. Color me intrigued and let me stroke my long and gorgeous goatee.
Bobby Fischer Against the World (Director: Liz Garbus) — The drama of late chess-master Bobby Fischer's career was undeniable,as he careened from troubled childhood, to World Champion and Cold War icon, to a fugitive on the run. Bobby Fishcer is one of the most fascinating people to ever become a grand champion of chess. His story has been told before but personally I don’t think one more will hurt.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Director: Morgan Spurlock) — A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement is financed and made possible by branding, advertising and product placement. A film buff endorsing a movie from one of the best documentarians working in his new film about the film business? You must be crazy.
Bellflower (Director and screenwriter: Evan Glodell) — A ballad for every person who has ever loved and lost – with enough violence, weapons, action and sex to tell a love story with apocalyptic stakes. Cast: Evan Glodell, Jessie Wiseman, Tyler Dawson, Rebekah Brandes. Case in point of a second half of a sentence completely saving the sentence from the first half.
Lord Byron (Director: Zack Godshall; Screenwriters: Zack Godshall and Ross Brupbacher) — When he's not pursuing women, Byron is smoking weed and loafing around. But he's grown restless in his middle-age and feels the need to escape – he just doesn't know where to go. Cast: Paul Batiste, Gwendolyn Spradling, Kayla Lemaire. We’re definitely not wanting to see this looking for advice. Definitely not.
The Off Hours (Director and screenwriter: Megan Griffiths) — A passing truck driver brings an unfamiliar sense of optimism to a woman working the night shift at a quiet diner, reminding her it's never too late to become the person you always wanted to be. Cast: Amy Seimetz, Ross Partridge, Scoot McNairy, Lynn Shelton, Bret Roberts, Tony Doupe. I love truck drivers. I’m pretty sure I still want to be one. If this doesn’t have a killer country soundtrack I want my money back (which is whopping zero dollars, but whatever).
to.get.her (Director and screenwriter: Erica Dunton) — Five girls come together for one fateful night where anything goes. They all had secrets, but their friendship was the only thing they knew to be true. Cast: Jazzy De Lisser, Chelsea Logan, Adwoa Aboah, Jami Eaton, Audrey Speicher. BLUGH.
Kaboom (Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki)— A science fiction story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students. Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, Juno Temple. A science fiction film about sexual awakening? I’m there.
Meek’s Cutoff (Director: Kelly Reichardt; Screenwriter: Jon Raymond) — In 1845, three families who have hired mountaineer Stephen Meek to guide their wagons over the Cascade Mountains get lost and face hunger, thirst and a lack of faith in their instincts for survival. Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Zoe Kaza, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson. So this is basically a period piece of Alive with two of the best actors around. Done.
Submarine (Director: Richard Ayoade; Screenwriter: Richard Ayoade from the novel by Joe Dunthorne) — Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents' marriage and to lose his virginity before his next birthday. Cast: Craig Roberts, Paddy Considine, Sally Hawkins, Yasmin Paige. This film had a big showing at this years Toronto Film Festival. I just want to see it already!
Uncle Kent (Director: Joe Swanberg; Screenwriters: Joe Swanberg and Kent Osborne) — A pothead cartoonist in Los Angeles spends a weekend trying to sleep with his visiting house guest – a woman from New York he met on Chatroulette. Cast: Kent Osborne. While the premise sounds awesome, basing around the already past its prime fad Chatroulette seems like a wrong move.
Hobo with A Shotgun (Director: Jason Eisener; Screenwriter: Johnathan Davies) — A hobo hops from a train with dreams of a fresh life in a new city, but instead finds himself trapped in an urban hell. When he witnesses a brutal robbery, he realizes the only way to deliver justice is with a shotgun in his hands and two shells in the chamber. Cast: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Gregory Smith, Brian Downey. Looks like we found the winner for Best Title.
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Director and screenwriter: Madeleine Olnek) — A shy greeting card store employee unknowingly falls for a lesbian space alien while two government agents closely track their romance. Cast: Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler, Jackie Monahan, Cynthia Kaplan, Dennis Davis, Alex Karpovsky, Rae C Wright. Just kidding about the best title thing from above. This is the clear winner.
Troll Hunter (Trolljegeren) (Director: Andre Ovredal) — A group of student filmmakers get more than they bargained for when tangling with a man tasked with protecting Norway from giant trolls. Cast: Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Hans Morten Hansen, Johanna Mørch, Tomas Alf Larsen. Norwegian giant trolls, what more could you ask for?
Corman’s World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel (Director: Alex Stapleton) — Tracks the triumphant rise of Hollywood’s most prolific writer-director-producer, the true godfather of independent filmmaking. Cast: Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, James Cameron, Roger Corman. Just look at who all is involved and tell why you wouldn’t watch this? Now shut up and learn something.
Jess + Moss (Director: Clay Jeter; Screenwriters: Clay Jeter and Debra Jeter) — Without immediate families that they can relate to, and lacking friends their own age, second cousins Jess and Moss only have each other. A series of visceral vignettes conjure memories of companionship and sexual awakening during a summer shared together on their Kentucky farm. Cast: Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers. So it’s like George Michael and Maebe make a movie? Whatever, I’ll watch.
The Nine Muses (Director and screenwriter: John Akomfrah) — An allegorical fable divided into overlapping musical chapters, this film retells the history of mass migration to post-war Britain through the suggestive lens of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. And the Most Pretentious Sounding Film award goes to The Nine Muses. Thanks for playing.
Benavides Born (Director: Amy Wendel; Screenwriters: Daniel Meisel and Amy Wendel) — A high school senior in a forgotten town has earned admission to the University of Texas at Austin but can't afford to go. Her one shot is a scholarship for winning the State Powerlifting Championship. Cast: Corina Calderon, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Joseph Julian Soria, Julia Vera, Julio César Cedillo. Female Powerlifting hasn’t exactly gotten the best films attached to it. I hope this film changes that.
Homework (Director and screenwriter: Gavin Wiesen) — Quirky, rebellious George has no ambitions other than to cut his next class. But one day, one girl gives him the perfect reason to figure out who he really is. Cast: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Elizabeth Reaser with Rita Wilson and Blair Underwood. This sounds stupid but Emma Roberts is kind of cute, so who knows.
The Ledge (Director and screenwriter: Matthew Chapman) — Perched on a ledge, a man says he must jump by noon, while a cop races against time to get to the bottom of it. Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson and Terrence Howard with Christopher Gorham. Early reviews of this film say its really good. So I’ll go along for now.
Like Crazy (Director: Drake Doremus; Screenwriters: Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones) — A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship. Cast: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, Alex Kingston. UGH... wait, it’s Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence? Never mind, this is going to be awesome.
Take Shelter (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Nichols) — A working-class husband and father questions whether his terrifying dreams of an apocalyptic storm signal something real to come or the onset of an inherited mental illness he's feared his whole life. Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker. This looks super serious, and that’s great, but I really just want to see Katy Mixon.
Terri (Director: Azazel Jacobs; Screenwriters: Patrick Dewitt and Azazel Jacobs) — Orphaned to an uncle who is fading away, mercilessly teased by his peers and roundly ignored by his teachers, Terri is alienated and alone. When the dreaded vice-principal sees something of himself in Terri, they establish a friendship which opens Terri up to the possibility that life is not something to be endured, but something to be shared, and even enjoyed. Cast: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton, Olivia Crocicchia, Bridger Zadina. Ok, I know this film sounds ridiculous, but it has Creed Bratton in it. That’s gotta count for something, right?
The Untitled Sam Levinson Project (Director and screenwriter: Sam Levinson) — A pair of reckless siblings are dragged into a chaotic family wedding by their overwrought mother. Cast: Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Jeffrey DeMunn, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, Thomas Haden Church. Wedding movies involving dis-functional families are always the best.
BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer’s Journey (Director: Constance Marks) — The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash. A movie about the guy who has his hand up Elmo’s butt all day? Actually, that sounds kind of sweet.
Page One: A year inside the New York Times (Director: Andrew Rossi; Screenwriters: Kate Novack and Andrew Rossi) — Unprecedented access to theNew York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity. Something tells me it will be more than bored journalists checking Twitter all day.
The Redemption of General Butt Naked (Directors: Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion) — A brutal warlord who murdered thousands during Liberia's horrific 14-year civil war renounces his violent past and reinvents himself as an Evangelist, facing those he once terrorized. And the award for logline least like the film the title suggests goes to this film.
Abraxas (Director: Dai Sako; Screenwriters: Dai Sako and Naoki Kato) — After botching a speech on career guidance at a local high school, a depressed Zen monk with a heavy metal past realizes that only music can revive his spirit.Cast: Suneohair, Rie Tomosaka, Manami Honjou, Ryouta Murai, Kaoru Kobayashi.
Zen monks and heavy metal? This nirvana goes to 11.
All Your Dead Ones (Todos Tus Muertos) (Director Carlos Moreno; Screenwriters: Alonso Torres and Carlos Moreno) — One morning, a peasant wakes to find a pile of bodies in the middle of his crops. When he goes to the authorities, he quickly realizes that the dead ones are a problem nobody wants to deal with. Cast: Alvaro Rodríguez, Jorge Herrera, Martha Marquez, Harold Devasten, John Alex Castillo. Sounds gross to find a bunch of dead bodies amongst your crops, but it does sound like a great film.
Happy, Happy (Sykt Lykkelig) (Director: Anne Sewitsky; Screenwriter: Ragnhild Tronvoll) — A perfect housewife, who just happens to be sex-starved, struggles to keep her emotions in check when an attractive family moves in next door. Cast: Agnes Kittelsen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens, Joachim Rafaelsen.
You had me at sex-starved Norwegian housewife.
Vampire (Director and screenwriter: Iwai Shunji) — On the surface, Simon seems like a fairly normal, average young man, devoted to his teaching job and ailing mother. Secretly, he is compelled to hunt through online chat rooms and message boards, searching for the perfect girl who will ensure his own survival. Cast: Kevin Zegers, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rachel Leigh Cook, Kristin Kreuk, Aoi Yu and Adelaide Clemens. A Japanese film about creepy guys hunting girls? Surely you jest.
KNUCKLE (Director: Ian Palmer) — An epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveler bare-knuckle fighting, this film follows a history of violent feuding between rival clans. I hope this film will make me want to break a bottle over my head and throw someone out a pub window.
Project Nim (Director: James Marsh) — From the Oscar-winning team behind Man on Wire comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who was taught to communicate with language as he was raised and nurtured like a human child. I’ve often dreamed of a world where men and monkeys live as one. Also I’ve always wanted to ask a Gorilla if he wanted to play video games with me.
Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (Director:Matthew Bate) — When two friends tape-recorded the fights of their violently noisy neighbors, they accidentally created one of the world's first 'viral' pop-culture sensations. And with a great title and an intriguing logline, this film has me wanting more. Sounds delightful.