Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington, and Eva Longoria were among the stars honoured at Women In Film's Crystal + Lucy Awards on Wednesday (11Jun14). Blanchett was feted with the Crystal Award for ladies who have helped expand the role of women in the entertainment industry while Scandal star Washington was presented with the Lucy Award for Innovation in Television by the show's creator Shonda Rhimes.
The Australian Oscar winner used her acceptance speech to urge her peers to take chances, saying, "A creative career is only as good as the risks you take with it." Washington told the audience, "When we step up for ourselves, we create opportunity, whether it's because we inspire other people or we employ other people" and later took to Twitter.com, writing, "What an inspiring night! THANK U (you) #wif - Women In Film! Was an honor 2 (to) be part of tonights (sic) celebration."
Desperate Housewives star Longoria was presented with Norma Zarky Humanitarian award and Rose Byrne scooped the MAXMARA Face of the Future trophy. Frozen director Jennifer Lee was honoured with the Dorothy Arzner Directors award and was presented with the prize by the film's star, Kristen Bell. The gongs were handed out at a ceremony at Los Angeles' Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.
Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria and Frozen director Jennifer Lee are among the women who will be honoured at the 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards. The trio will be joined by Australian actress Rose Byrne and Kerry Washington at the Women in Film gala in June (14).
The awards are handed to "creative, groundbreaking women who lead by example and excel at their chosen fields in the entertainment industry".
Blanchett will follow her second Oscar win with the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film, while Scandal star Washington will receive the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television.
Byrne will be honoured with the Face of the Future award, Lee has been chosen as the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award recipient and Longoria will be recognised with the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award.
The event will take place in Los Angeles.
There is something particularly unnerving about demon possession. It's the idea of something you can't see or control creeping into your body and taking up residence eventually obliterating all you once were and turning you into nothing more than a sack of meat to be manipulated. Then there's also the shrouded ritual around exorcisms: the Latin chants the flesh-sizzling crucifixes and the burning Holy Water. As it turns out exorcism isn't just the domain of Catholics.
The myths and legends of the Jews aren't nearly as well known but their creepy dybbuk goes toe-to-toe with anything other world religions come up with. There are various interpretations of what a dybbuk is or where it comes from — is it a ghost a demon a soul of a sinner? — but in any case it's looking for a body to hang out in for a while. Especially according to the solemn Hasidic Jews in The Possession an innocent young person and even better a young girl.
The central idea in The Possession is that a fancy-looking wooden box bought at a garage sale was specifically created to house a dybbuk that was tormenting its previous owner. Unfortunately it caught the eye of young Emily (Natasha Calis) a sensitive artistic girl who persuades her freshly divorced dad Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen and Grey's Anatomy) to buy it for her. Never mind the odd carvings on it — that would be Hebrew — or how it's created without seams so it would be difficult to open or why it's an object of fascination for a young girl; Clyde is trying really hard to please his disaffected daughters and do the typical freshly divorced parent dance of trying to please them no matter the cost.
Soon enough the creepy voices calling to Emily from the box convince her to open it up; inside are even creepier personal objects that are just harbingers of what's to come for her her older sister Hannah (Madison Davenport) her mom Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) and even Stephanie's annoying new boyfriend Brett (Grant Show). Clyde and Stephanie squabble over things like pizza for dinner and try to convince each other and themselves that Emily's increasingly odd behavior is that of a troubled adolescent. It's not of course and eventually Clyde enlists the help of the son of a Hasidic rabbi a young man named Tzadok played by the former Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu to help them perform an exorcism on Emily.
The Possession is not going to join the ranks of The Exorcist in the horror pantheon but it does do a remarkable job of making its characters intelligent and even occasionally droll and it offers up plenty of chills despite a PG-13 rating. Perhaps it's because of that rating that The Possession is so effective; the filmmakers are forced to make the benign scary. Giant moths and flying Torahs take the place of little Reagan violently masturbating with a crucifix in The Exorcist. Gagging and binging on food is also an indicator of Emily's possession — an interesting twist given the anxieties of becoming a woman a girl Emily's age would face. There is something inside her controlling her and she knows it and she is fighting it. The most impressive part of Calis's performance is how she communicates Emily's torment with a few simple tears rolling down her face as the dybbuk's control grows. The camerawork adds to the anxiety; one particularly scary scene uses ordinary glass kitchenware to great effect.
The Possession is a short 92 minutes and it does dawdle in places. It seems as though some of the scenes were juggled around to make the PG-13 cut; the moth infestation scene would have made more sense later in the movie. Some of the problems are solved too quickly or simply and yet it also takes a while for Clyde's character to get with it. Stephanie is a fairly bland character; she makes jewelry and yells at Clyde for not being present in their marriage a lot and then there's a thing with a restraining order that's pretty silly. Emily is occasionally dressed up like your typical horror movie spooky girl with shadowed eyes an over-powdered face and dark clothes; it's much more disturbing when she just looks like an ordinary though ill young girl. The scenes in the heavily Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn look oddly fake and while it's hard to think of who else could have played Tzadok an observant Hasidic Jew who is also an outsider willing to take risks the others will not Matisyahu is not a very good actor. Still the filmmakers should be commended for authenticity insofar as Matisyahu has studied and lived as a Hasidic Jew.
It would be cool if Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures were to release the R-rated version of the movie on DVD. What the filmmakers have done within the confines of a PG-13 rating is creepy enough to make me curious to see the more adult version. The Possession is no horror superstar and its name is all too forgettable in a summer full of long-gestating horror movies quickly pushed out the door. It's entertaining enough and could even find a broader audience on DVD. Jeffrey Dean Morgan can read the Old Testament to me any time.
After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
Dr. Laura says she's sorry. The controversial radio and TV talk show host, aka Laura Schlessinger, apologized on Monday to gays and lesbians for "poorly chosen" words she said have been perceived as hate, The Associated Press reports.
"On the Day of Atonement (the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday), Jews are commanded to seek forgiveness from people we have hurt," Schlessinger, who is Jewish, said in a newspaper ad. "I deeply regret the hurt this situation has caused the gay and lesbian community."
The ad, signed by Schlessinger, was included in a Gay Hollywood special edition of Daily Variety today. The special edition examines gays and lesbians in the entertainment industry.
Schlessinger has referred to homosexuality as a "biological error" and "deviant."
While Schlessinger apologized for the hurt her comments have caused, the good doctor didn't apologize for the remarks about homosexuality.
The ad failed to placate her critics.
"Laura Schlessinger once again blames others for the impact of her rhetoric, refusing to take responsibility for her precisely chosen, scientifically inaccurate description of gay and lesbian lives," said Joan M. Garry, executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "The anger Schlessinger's words have caused is too great and too profound to simply go away after a qualified admission of some guilt."
'DAWSON'S CREEK' DAD PASSES AWAY: David Dukes, a veteran character actor who portrayed Andie and Jack McPhee's (Meredith Monroe and Kerr Smith) father on "Dawson's Creek," has died. Dukes, 55, was filming "Rose Red" in Tacoma, Wash., on Monday when he collapsed on the set and never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Among Dukes credits are "The Winds of War" and its sequel "War and Remembrance," "The Josephine Baker Story," "Norma Jean and Marilyn" and "Gods and Monsters."