Okay, so we know this post is long overdue, but we were so caught up with all of the drama on Empire that we forgot to weigh in on it. So, without further ado, here is a round-up of the five things Blindie loves about Lee Daniels’ Empire, besides the obvious -like Cookie, and Gabourey … Read more
Forget the praise given to Tarantino for rebooting and reaffirming the careers of Bruce Willis, Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and others. Give that crown to Lee Daniels, for stripping away the stardust personas of Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and Mo’Nique to reveal believable and very real working class New Yorkers in Precious, the tour-de-force film adaptation of the novel Push.
Daniels not only showcases the talent of a most unlikely ensemble cast, he succeeds in pushing these actors to the forefront of the Awards season competition. They’ve gone from being the biggest long shots for dramatic roles to possible award contenders, which makes the vision and talent of Lee Daniels’ direction one to watch during award season as well.
Newcomer Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe, a Harlem raised 26-year-old has already won a New Hollywood Award on Monday in Los Angeles and Daniels received the Breakthrough Director Award.
Paula Patton turns out a performance Blindie always knew she was capable of giving if ever the right script came along. She plays her role with such delicacy and care that we can’t help but see the forming stages of the motherly adoption we all hoped would eventually develop between her and Precious.
The tension in Lee Daniels’ film Precious is as gripping as any Hollywood Thriller. There are no chase scenes, no explosive helicopters and no espionage wordplay. There is however the poetic hard-edge slang of the late eighties, brought to you in hues of grey and dark-brown depictions of Harlem circa 1987, when crack cocaine was in full-effect.
Clairece “Precious” Jones chooses to live in her head. In her dreams she’s locking lips with her curly-haired light skinned boyfriend, and posing for the flashing bulbs of fashion photographers. Already, Daniels’ showing us that this girl dreams big, even if she dreams to drown out the onslaught of abuse from her mother, played to perfection by Mo’Nique, in the year’s most head-spinning drama boot-camp makeover.
Precious opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, and if Oprah’s endorsement of Halle Berry’s performance in “Monster’s Ball” was any indication, her late addition to the film as one of the executive producers alongside Tyler Perry, is definitely serving as a marketing goad, pushing Precious to the top of both the critics list and (fingers-crossed) the Oscar nom list. O! The power of Oprah.
Blindie will be watching and reporting on the trajectory of Precious.
The Lee Daniels directed and produced film Precious took home top honors at this year’s Toronto Film Festival on Saturday nabbing the People’s Choice Award.
Previously titled Push, the intense drama has already picked up awards at the Sundance festival and has critics buzzing about possible Oscar noms. Last year’s People’s Choice Awards went to Slumdog Millionaire which then took home Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Oprah Winfrey has since picked up the film, which opens in theaters in November.
After picking up three awards at Sundance and a lot of praise, Lee Daniels’ dark drama Push, based on the 1996 novel by Sapphire, has picked up dueling distributors. Lionsgate Films and The Weinstein Co. have both filed lawsuits in Los Angeles and New York claiming to have nabbed distribution rights first.
Weinstein’s attorney Bert Fields released a statement attesting there was a “firm agreement for the rights” and “Lionsgate was well aware of the [Weinstein] contract but went forward anyway.”
Weinstein is suing for breach of contract and Lionsgate is seeking a judge’s ruling that it has the right to distribute Push in the U.S. and Canada.
The heart-wrenching drama Push about a 16-year-old overweight and illiterate pregnant girl based on the bestselling novel by Sapphire won top honors at this year’s Sundance film festival -snagging the grand jury award, audience award, and a special jury prize for comedianne Mo’Nique who plays an abusive mother.
Produced and directed by Lee Daniels, Push stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the lead role and a handful of well-known music and film stars in unexpected roles, including Mariah Carey as a social worker, Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse, and Paula Patton as a teacher.
Lee Daniels was overwhelmed with the film’s performance at the festival and gushed, “We don’t have no money. We got $2 to make some s— happen. We’re doing this story about this fat black girl who doesn’t have a voice. They’re all in it for the craft.”
The film has yet to be picked up for distribution but Daniels is hopeful. “I think [this win] means there’s hope for people of color. Just because Obama’s president doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to translate down to our world of cinema. And I think what it does is reiterate and strengthen this power of, Get yourself a freakin’ video camera. And you go out and tell your truth. That’s what I started doing as a kid, and I think inevitably, it led to this. It’s just so much hope.”
PHOTO CREDIT: AP
The Sundance film festival kicked off on Thursday in Park City, Utah and while there are more than a few impressive black films in the lineup we are most excited about sexy rocker Lenny Kravitz‘ big screen debut in Lee Daniel’s film Push.
Not to be confused with the Dakota Fanning thriller Push, which hits theaters in February, Daniels’ Push is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Ramona Lofton, aka Sapphire -the heart-wrenching drama of an abused, overweight and illiterate teenage mother trying to turn her life around in the Bronx section of New York.
Not only does Push provide Daniels’ with much needed directorial redemption from the disappointing 2005 film Shadowboxer, but Lenny Kravitz finally follows in his mother Roxie Rocker’s footsteps and show off his acting talents.
Kravitz, the ex-husband of Lisa Bonet and father to Blindie’s favorite budding actress Zoe Kravitz plays a male nurse who shows kindness to the teenage mother Clareece ‘Precious’ Jones played by newcomer Gabourey ‘Gabbie’ Sidibe.
Blindie hopes the film gets picked up at Sundance so we can see nurse Lenny on the big screen!