Rita Ora will take the stage at the Oscars, the Academy announced Wednesday. Ora will sing the nominated song “Grateful,” written by the now-seven-time nominee Diane Warren, which Ora performs on the Beyond the Lights soundtrack. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Beyond the Lights (1-7 of 7)
Dumb and Dumber fans flocked to theaters for the long-awaited Dumb and Dumber To this weekend. The sequel made an estimated $38.1 million for a strong debut — one that beat out Disney’s Big Hero 6.
Audiences first met Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels’ foolish alter egos in 1994’s Dumb and Dumber, a film that grossed $127.1 million in the U.S. and became an icon of low-brow comedy. Judging by this weekend’s box office, audiences’ tastes haven’t changed too much — even despite the critics’ consensus that the 20-years-later sequel is, well, not great.
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Last week’s major releases were Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, two films with huge expectations. This week’s biggest release is Dumb and Dumber To, the sequel to 1994’s Dumb and Dumber—and expectations aren’t quite as high.
When Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels first portrayed the Dumb and Dumber pair 20 years ago, audiences couldn’t get enough: The film grossed $127.2 million domestically and $247.3 worldwide. But those same audiences proved to be picky, because 2003’s prequel, When Harry Met Llyod, had a sad run—it made $26.3 million domestically and never cracked the top five.
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In Beyond the Lights, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) plays Noni, a young singer thrust into the music-industry pressure cooker—one that seems to transform female performers into hypersexualized commodities. Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) came up with the idea after noticing that her favorite genre, hip-hop/R&B, had lost its edgy playfulness, becoming more of a dark force that, in her opinion, objectifies women. “It’s moving into an ugly, angry place,” she says.
Before she could comment on the genre, she had to first create her own pop star. And she did so with help from the pros, including Lady Gaga’s choreographer LaurieAnn Gibson and Beyonce’s hairdresser Kim Kimble. The goal was to meld Beyonce’s swagger with Rihanna’s edge and Rita Ora’s playfulness, making a star all her own. READ FULL STORY
It was 2007 and Alicia Keys was singing “Diary” at the Hollywood Bowl when inspiration struck writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball) for her new movie Beyond the Lights, the tale of a perfectly packaged pop star, played by Belle‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who’s been groomed for stardom from a young age by her overbearing, opportunistic mother (Minnie Driver).
The movie spent years in development while Prince-Bythewood, who helmed 2008’s Secret Life of Bees, argued with Sony Pictures over her lead actress. “The studios wanted a big star, and I wanted the right person for the role,” says Prince-Bythewood, who hired her own casting agent to find Mbatha-Raw. “There is an innate vulnerability in Gugu. And you can sense her star power. That’s what we needed to believe–that she could be Rihanna or Beyonce.” READ FULL STORY
What's the best romance starring African-Americans (I vote 'Love and Basketball') and why are there are so few?
Last night at a showing of Think Like a Man Too I was thrilled to see a trailer for the upcoming Gina Prince-Bythewood movie Beyond the Lights. It’s the story of the romance between a vulnerable young woman on the brink of pop stardom (Belle breakout actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Nate Parker (Non-Stop). Hello, sold. But I was already in because of Prince-Bythewood, who wrote and directed one of my favorite romances, 2000’s Love and Basketball. The movie, which stars Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, just earned snaps in the second season of Orange Is the New Black when, in a flashback scene during episode 7, it’s revealed that Big Cindy named her daughter after Lathan’s character Monica.To get a sense of folks’ great affection for Love and Basketball, check out the numerous video tributes to the film on YouTube. Here’s a corny but effective one: READ FULL STORY
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