A United Kingdom dir. Amma Asante (2016)

There’s something about A United Kingdom that feels a little disjointed from time. That’s not a bad thing, but it struck me as the credits started to roll that if this had been released in the late ‘90s or the early ‘00s it would be exactly the sort of prestige end-of-the-year release that would have been made in-house by a studio and coasted to a half a dozen Oscar noms and maybe even a couple of wins.

At the same time, for all the ways it may seem conventional, A United Kingdom as it was made could never have existed in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. It represents a slow, decades-long progression of films set in Africa slowly shifting from having African characters treated as backdrop for the plight of white characters, to being the principal focus of their own stories. 

That African main character in this case is Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), a young law student originally from Bechuanaland (what is now modern day Botswana) studying in post WWII London. Seretse meets pretty white English clerk Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). They’re both charming and popular A-types who notice each other immediately at a missionary dance. Seretse takes Ruth out on a whirlwind date that ends with a startling confession: he’s actually a prince who is being educated and groomed so that he can one day take over leadership responsibilities from his uncle. Ruth thinks that this will be the end of the relationship, but Seretse’s confession actually means the opposite: despite the very real threats to their physical safety, along with the difficulty of marrying a woman outside his native land, Seretse recognizes a kindred spirit in Ruth and is serious about courting her. 

And here in lies the problem with A United Kingdom. The real life Seretse and Ruth had an epic sweeping love story and gave up so many things, including their own families at various points, in order to be with each other. Though Oyelowo and Pike are wonderful actors the chemistry between them doesn’t sizzle and the courtship between them is rushed. About ten minutes into the film Ruth is sitting on the side of the road with all her things waiting for Seretse as her father has banished her from the family home because the man she loves is black. Seretse nobly doesn’t want to continue the relationship if it means separating the woman he loves from her family, but Ruth gives an impassioned speech about how she wants to be with him. Unfortunately it falls flat since at that moment the script has given the audience almost nothing to connect with outside of the fact that Seretse and Ruth both love jazz. 

And this is a real pity because if the script doesn’t give Oyelowo and Pike enough time as lovers, it really lets them breathe as a married couple. I almost wish the movie had excised the London scenes entirely and begun with the newly married couple deplaning in Bechuanaland where Ruth sees whites-only signs everywhere and realizes that being a royal in Bechuanaland doesn’t have the same privileges as in her home country. Unfortunately though, that same lack of depth in the script carries over to the rest of the film because while Seretse and Ruth are given arcs and personalties everyone else is given very little to do. 

I was a huge fan of Asante’s previous feature Belle, even though I felt that there were some small nitpicks here and there in terms of editing and sequences. Not so in A United Kingdom which shows how Asante’s craft has grown in a few short years. The film is a visual delight and Asante makes up for the lack of romance in the script by boosting the visual romance in the film and shooting her actors like old-fashioned movie stars. It’s too bad the script doesn’t rise to her level, but between Asante and her two stars, A United Kingdom is a pleasure to watch, the kind of classic old-fashioned filmmaking where knowing the beats beforehand means knowing that at the end of the road there will be a prince, a kiss, and a happy ending.

Harry + 2017:

  • Released his debut single, Sign of the Times, which went platinum in the U.S.
  • Was featured in and was on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, where he was interviewed by Cameron Crowe and talked about the importance of his largely female fanbase
  • Performed on the Today Show, where he requested that the stage be lowered so he could create an intimate show for the fans
  • Was the musical guest on the first episode of SNL that was broadcast live from coast-to-coast in the U.S.
  • Sold out his first solo worldwide tour in a record-breaking 29 seconds
  • Released a documentary, ‘Behind the Album’ on Apple Music, which shows him playing some of his songs at Abbey Road Studios. Full-length performances of all his songs would later be released on ‘Behind the Album: The Performances’ 
  • Released his debut self-titled album, which was well received by critics and was #1 in 87 counties. It is the highest first week sales for a British male’s debut album since 1991 and has been certified gold in six countries.
  • Did a week-long stint on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden,’ where he participated in Carpool Karaoke and other skits, delivered one of the opening monologues, and performed a different song every night 
  • Covered The Sunday Times Magazine, where he personally reached out to the writer to arrange the interview
  • Announced a second tour in stadium venues for 2018
  • Held secret shows in London, LA, and Mexico and donated all the proceeds to charity
  • During the LA show at the Troubadour, he performed with Stevie Nicks and they sang Two Ghosts, Landslide, and Leather and Lace together
  • Dedicated his show in Mexico to the victims of the Manchester attacks by doing an intimate acoustic set
  • Performed ‘Two Ghosts’ on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden in London’ on a rooftop overlooking the city
  • Made his acting debut in the Christopher Nolan-directed film Dunkirk in a role for which he auditioned. With its success, he became the first person to have a #1 debut single, #1 debut album, and #1 debut movie
  • Performed in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge during its 50th anniversary special, where he covered ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac and ‘Wild Thoughts’ by Rihanna, DJ Khaled, and Bryson Tiller
  • Performed at the Grammy Museum, where he was also interviewed on his songwriting process
  • Began his debut tour in September in front of a sold-out San Francisco crowd 
  • Recorded acoustic versions of ‘Two Ghosts’ and a cover of ‘Girl Crush’ by Little Big Town for the first ever U.K. version of Spotify Sessions
  • Released a music video for Kiwi, which features young kids, a food fight, and puppies (lol)
  • Had his own hour-long special, ‘Harry Styles at the BBC,’ where he sang his songs and had fun roaming his hometown with his good friend
  • Performed ‘Two Ghosts’ at the Industry Trust Awards honoring Sony CEO Rob Stringer  
  • Returned to his roots, the X-Factor stage, to perform Kiwi
  • Opened the Victoria Secret Fashion Show and performed twice
  • Was nominated for two MTV VMAs 
  • Is currently nominated for an ARIA and will open the award show
  • Has been announced as a performer at the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute where Fleetwood Mac will be honored
  • Is in conversation for multiple Grammy Awards (among other music awards), while Dunkirk is in contention for Best Picture at the Oscars and other film awards

Most importantly, he achieved all of this while promoting kindness (and being kind himself), embracing love in all forms, encouraging originality, being authentic and unapologetic with his music and stage presence, pushing the boundaries of pop music, never ceasing to show love to his fans, working extremely hard and making no excuses, and having a bit of fun. 

You’ve got a bright future ahead, kid, and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next 

listen la la land is a good movie but that’s it. its not 14 oscar noms good. the real problem is that it’s safe. it’s nothing spectacular. it’s a decent, safe, white movie. movies like moonlight and fences are important and daring and fantastic and so much more

the academy is sleeping on my man c farrell

Originally posted by haidaspicciare

look at this shit, he threw dirt all over that flawless face just to not even get nominated

Originally posted by voight-kampff-for-short

that’s right colin, u heard right, that rat bastard casey fuckin affleck is on the list instead smh

Originally posted by valliamerie


Oscars: Taylor Swift May Shake Off Criticism of New Single — With a Nomination (Exclusive)

By: Scott Feinberg for The Hollywood Reporter
Date: September 7th 2017

“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” a song on which the 27-year-old collaborated with Zayn Malik and two others for the film ‘Fifty Shades Darker,’ will receive a full-fledged awards push from Universal.

Taylor Swift, the biggest pop star in the world, has been taking incoming fire since Aug. 24, when she released “Look What You Made Me Do,” the first single from her sixth album, Reputation (due out Nov. 10), with many disapproving of her departure from the upbeat sort of music that made her famous over the past decade. But the 27-year-old, who often gets the last laugh when it comes to disputes in her life — namely, by singing about them — may get the last laugh yet again.

That’s because, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, Universal Pictures, the distributor of Fifty Shades Darker, which was released in February, is laying the groundwork for a full-fledged campaign to bring Swift and three of her collaborators — ex-One Direction singer Zayn Malik, plus writers Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew — a best original song Oscar nomination for “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” the song that they contributed to that film’s soundtrack.

“Universal is fully supportive of the song’s campaign for awards of merit consideration,” a studio spokesperson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter, while declining to get into specific plans.

“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” was released ahead of the film on Dec. 9, 2016. It debuted at number one on the Digital Songs chart and reached number two in the U.S. on Billboard’s Hot 100, US Adult Top 40 and US Mainstream Top 40 lists. And it was Swift’s 20th song to crack the top 10 on the Hot 100 list, making her just the sixth female music artist ever to achieve that feat.

Lest you question if the venerable Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ music branch would ever bestow its seal of approval on a song featured in a Fifty Shapes of Grey film, I would remind you that “Earned It,” a chamber pop song written by The Weeknd and collaborators for the original Fifty Shades of Grey film in 2015, did indeed receive a best original song Oscar nom. Meanwhile, another song from that film, Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do,” garnered a best original song Golden Globe nomination.

Read the original article here.