Posts Tagged ‘Ariana Debose’

75th BAFTA Awards / The British Academy Film Awards

The 75th British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFAs, were held on 13 March 2022 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2021.

Best Film: The Power of the Dog

Best Director: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Best Actor: Will Smith – King Richard

Best Actress: Joanna Scanlan – After Love

Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur – CODA

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana de Bose – West Side Story

Best British Film: Belfast directed by Kenneth Branagh

Best Original Screenplay: Licorice Pizza – Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Adapted Screenplay: CODA

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Best Costume Design: Jenny Beavan – Cruella

Best Foreign Language Film: Drive My Car directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

Rising Star Award: Lashana Lynch

94th Oscar Awards

94th Academy Awards took place on Sunday 27th March 2022 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Best Picture: CODA

Best Director: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Best Actor: Will Smith – King Richard

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur – CODA

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana deBoseWest Side Story

Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth BranaghBelfast

Best Adapted Screenplay: Sian HederCODA

Best Cinematography: Greig FraserDune

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Best Costume Design: Jenny BeavanCruella

Best Make up & Hairstyling: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Visual Effects: Dune

Best Film Editing: Joe WalkerDune

Best Sound: Dune

Best Production Design: Dune

Best Documentary Feature:  Summer of Soul directed by Questlove, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein

Best Documentary Short Subject: The Queen of Basketball – directed by Ben Proudfoot

Best Live Action Short Film:

Best Original Score: Hans ZimmerDune

Best Original Song: No Time to DieBillie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

Best Animated Feature Film: Encanto

Best Animated Short Film:

Best Foreign Language Film: Drive My Car directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan)

79th Golden Globe Awards

Took Place on Sunday 9th January 2022 in Los Angeles and held virtually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Here are the 2022 Golden Globe Winners in the Film Categories:

Best Film Drama: The Power of the Dog

Best Film, M/C: West Side Story

Best Director: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Best Actor Drama: Will Smith – King Richard

No publicity material or film poster available for Being the Ricardo’s

Best Actress Drama: Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardo’s

Best Actor, M/C: Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick, Boom!

Best Actress, M/C: Rachel Zegler – West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor: Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose – West Side Story

Best Foreign Language Film: Drive my Car directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan)

Gangs Without Territory

West Side Story

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, Corey Stoll, Rita Moreno, David Alvarez, Ariana Debose, Brian d’Arcy James, Mike Faist

Film Rating 9.5 out of 10

Running time: 2 hours and 36 minutes

Oscar winning director Steven Spielberg’s cinematic adaptation of West Side Story is truly phenomenal.

A vibrant, beautifully filmed remake of the 1961 film which won 10 Oscars back then and is going to sweep the board at Oscar season in 2022. With a beautiful script by Tony Kushner, the multi award winning playwright who penned the 1990 AIDS drama Angels in America, West Side Story tells the story of two rival teenage street gangs in New York City in 1957, as their neighbourhoods are going to be torn down, to make way for the building of the now impressive Lincoln Theatre on the edge of Manhattan and Harlem.

More significantly West Side Story is a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with all the themes of forbidden love, the individual versus society and the inevitability of fate, violence and sexual desire. Impressively, director Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is beautifully shot, with vibrant colour saturation, authentic production design and choreography and dance numbers that will dazzle the audiences and then pull them into the fate of the two star crossed lovers: Tony superbly played by Ansel Elgort (The Goldfinch, Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars) and Broadway star turned film actress Rachel Zegler who plays the beautiful Puerto Rican girl Maria.

In a genius stroke of casting, Rita Moreno who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1961 version of West Side Story is cast as Tony’s Puerto Rican boss Valentina, who also steals the show.

West Side Story sensitively addresses the contemporary issues facing most industrialized cities today: gentrification, turf warfare, gang violence, xenophobia and systemic racism with a flamboyance and a style which is both insightful and entertaining.

As Tony and Maria meet at a dance off in a beautiful colour saturated scene highly representative of the opulent Capulet Ball scene in director Baz Luhrmann’s 1997 William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, their fate is sealed forever, as Tony, a Polish ex-con falls helplessly in love with the gorgeous Maria a young Puerto Rican teenager who makes a living cleaning plush department stores by night .

From the beautiful balcony scene, with washing flying in the moonlit night, Tony climbs up to Maria’s apartment and professes undying love for her despite their opposing cultural backgrounds and that they both come from rival gangs which are fighting over a territory which will soon be demolished.

Representative of Tybalt, Maria’s hot headed brother Bernardo is played with all the machismo and bravado of a young gang leader by David Alvarez. Mercutio is represented on the other end by Riff played by another Broadway star Mike Faist, a dynamic fast talking hothead and best friend of Tony who refuses to back down against the threat of violence.

Ariana DeBose (The Prom, Hamilton) also shines in a riveting performance as Bernando’s girlfriend Anita and mentor to Maria and deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

As a film, West Side Story is truly remarkable, from the beautifully choreographed dance numbers to the stunning costumes, to the authenticity of recreating New York City in 1957, as this magical city was transforming into a new modern metropolis of the 1960’s. The film is shot with luminescent cinematography by Polish director of photography Janusz Kaminski who won Oscars for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan.

Once again Oscar winning director of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg directs a flawless film, from the way that the dance numbers are set up, to the editing and production design as he effortlessly recaptures all the vibrancy and violence of a forbidden love torn apart by rival gangs, gentrification and systemic racism.

West Side Story gets a film rating of 9.5 out of 10 and is real cinematic gem, a truly brilliant film with a superb script by Tony Kushner and a cast that is as authentic as they are talented.

This 21st century retelling of a classic musical is highly recommended viewing and remains as relevant today as it did back in 1961.

Broadway Comes Out in Indiana

The Prom

Director: Ryan Murphy

Cast: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, Kerry Washington, Tracey Ullman, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana Debose, Jo Ellen Pellman

This Film is Only Available on Netflix

Eat, Pray, Love director Ryan Murphy and TV writer of such hit shows as American Horror Story, Glee, American Crime Story assembles an all-star cast for the Netflix film production of the Broadway hit show The Prom, about a group of failed Broadway stars who decide to take on a personal crusade to assist a teenage lesbian girl Emma Nolan played by Jo Ellen Pelman who is not allowed to take her in the closet girlfriend Alyssa Greene played by Ariana Debose to the James Madison High School prom in conservative Indiana, in the American mid-West.

Besides James Corden’s cringe worthy performance as gay theatre actor Barry Glickman, it’s really three time Oscar winner Meryl Streep’s beautiful and tantalizing turn as the Broadway Star Dee Dee Allen which makes The Prom worth watching.

Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours) reunites with Meryl Streep and stars as the leggy actress Angie Dickinson to give some back up support. The Boys in the Band and Black Monday star Andrew Rannells plays the dashing but slightly dim-witted Trent Oliver, also a wannabe Broadway actor.

Django Unchained star Kerry Washington plays Alyssa’s conservative mother Mrs Greene, which is an interesting casting choice and Washington pulls off the role as a stuffy PTA mother who is ruling her daughter’s life and spearheading a campaign to prevent the lesbian Emma from bring another girl to the prom.

The traditional nexus of liberal open-minded egotism which clashes with small town conservatism is explored and laboured upon multiple times with numerous bouncy song numbers, which is just sufficient to convert the conservatism into an acceptance of all LGBT teenagers in the Midwest. Idyllic but not realistic. After all Broadway is a far cry from Indiana.

Director Ryan Murphy’s obsession with Indiana comes from the fact that he was born and grew up there, so The Prom could be a story about the director’s own difficulties with coming out in a conservative environment.

Barry Glickman’s own coming out as a gay man is heightened by the arrival of his mother Vera wonderfully played by Tracey Ullman, James Corden’s co-star in Into the Woods.  

The Prom is a really light and fluffy musical, a dream inspired vision of a culturally accepting Midwest which is a far cry from reality. Meryl Streep channels her Oscar nominated performance from The Devil Wears Prada as the outrageously narcissistic Broadway star Dee Dee Allen, although the script leaves such talented stars as Streep and Kidman floundering to make a lasting impression.

If audiences are looking for something superfluous and unsubstantial, then watch The Prom, it’s fun  but not intellectually challenging. This film is a far cry from Gus van Sant’s Oscar winning film Milk but nor is it meant to make a significant statement about LGBT rights in American schools in the 21st century.

The Prom gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and watch it for Meryl Streep and no one else. Streep plays a Ryan Murphy inspired version of herself, which is poignant since he had a fan club of her work when he was in high school in Indiana.

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