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Tag: Oprah Winfrey (1-10 of 12)

How to win an Oscar in 34 days

Pity the poor Oscar nominees. By the time they reached the Academy Award nominations announcement last week, many of those inducted in marquee categories were feeling something close to bone-weary in their moment of triumph. Having pressed the flesh and smiled for the camera at an unending procession of movie-critic meet-and-greets, champagne toasts, and press events just to get to Oscar’s finalist round, these actors and directors felt fatigue compounded by a ­terrible new knowledge. After veering dangerously close to overexposure via attendance at lesser awards shows, industry panels, and countless red carpets during the ­unofficial five-month stretch of awards season, the contenders knew the real work of bringing home Academy gold still lay ahead.

Hailed across Hollywood as “Phase Two,” the span of weeks between the Jan. 15 nominations and the close of Oscar balloting 34 days later typically showcases a last-ditch promotional blitzkrieg that can decide the difference between glory at the Dolby Theatre and the awkwardness of a grimacing cutaway reaction shot. Phase Two is fourth-quarter football, a period of grand studio marketing gestures and come-from-behind onslaughts. But unlike other times during the year when filmmakers and publicity departments are free to go crazy when it comes to ­getting Academy voters’ attention, this period is governed by hard-and-fast rules. READ FULL STORY

Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay to march in Selma for MLK Day

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the cast and filmmakers of the Best Picture-nominated Selma are heading to the city for which the film is named, Paramount announced. Oprah Winfrey, who is a cast member and producer of the film, director Ava DuVernay, and cast members David Oyelowo and Common are set to participate in the day-long event Sunday, which will include a commemorative march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

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Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey confirm Mike Epps to star as Richard Pryor in biopic

Lee Daniels has finally found his Richard Pryor—and he made the announcement with a little help from his friend Oprah Winfrey.

On Sunday, Aug. 24, Winfrey posted a picture on her Instagram of herself, Lee Daniels, and Mike Epps after the trio had completed a first read-through of the Richard Pryor movie. Daniels did the same shortly after on his Twitter, confirming Epps’ starring role. READ FULL STORY

Video: Oprah and Steven Spielberg talk 'Hundred Foot Journey'

The Fourth of July may be upon us but The Hundred Foot Journey features a very different type of fireworks with the ultimate culture clash between dueling French and Indian restaurants.

Based on the international best-seller by Richard C. Morais, the film—out Aug. 8—follows the journey of the Kadams, an Indian family that opens a boisterous eatery just 100 feet from a classic French restaurant owned by a snobbish culinarian (Helen Mirren). Their culinary contest threatens to bubble over until gifted gourmand Hassan (Manish Dayal) and charming sous-chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) meld their cultures together in the ultimate fusion of flavors.

”It’s a bit of a fable, but a fable that wants to be realistically told,” director Lasse Hallström told EW of the film earlier this year. ”It’s a melting pot of languages, of food, and of people.”

Watch highlights of the film below in an exclusive featurette with producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. READ FULL STORY

Oprah-produced civil-rights drama 'Selma' will be released on Christmas

Selma, the Oprah Winfrey-produced historical drama about the landmark 1965 civil-rights march that was violently attacked by Alabama law-enforcement, will get a limited release on Dec. 25, 2014, before opening wide on Jan. 9, 2015.

David Oyelowo (The Butler) stars as Martin Luther King, Jr., who helped organize Selma’s voting-rights protests after many African-Americans were denied their right to register to vote. Winfrey will also appear as Annie Lee Cooper, “an elderly woman and visible leader amongst the civil rights protesters in Selma who tried to register to vote and was unfairly denied by the sheriff.” READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Kristen Wiig to direct, star in buddy comedy; Plus, Oprah Winfrey, Kylie Minogue, more

• Kristin Wiig is set to make her directorial debut on an untitled buddy comedy that she and her Bridesmaids co-scribe Annie Mumolo will write together. The story is about “best friends who find themselves in over their heads and out of their depths, which were, perhaps, not too deep to begin with.” Wiig will also star in the pic, which TriStar chairman Tom Rothman joked will be “a searing and depressing drama, which is what the world needs right now.” [New York Times] READ FULL STORY

Golden Globes: Sure-things, shocks, and shutdowns -- ANALYSIS

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It was a good day to be lesser-known. If Barkhad Abdi, June Squibb, and Lupita Nyong’o can win nominations from the celebrity-obsessed Golden Globes, then their path to the Academy Awards ceremony is a near certainty. On the other hand, today’s list of contenders was not so kind to one of the most famous women on the planet.

Sorry, Oprah. You’ve been snubbed. The Globes also had two opportunities to get George Clooney at the ceremony — and declined both chances.

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Box office report: 'The Butler' cleans up with $25 million, wipes the floor with 'Kick-Ass 2'

This weekend at the box office, a superhero comedy, a Steve Jobs biopic, and a Harrison Ford thriller all got served by a butler. Lee Daniels’ The Butler, to be exact. The Weinstein Company’s awards-bait drama, which stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, topped the chart with an excellent $25 million from 2,933 theaters in its first frame. Audiences issued the well-reviewed picture an enthusiastic “A” CinemaScore grade, which sets it up for a lucrative box office run as summer draws to a close.

The Butler opened in the same range as The Help, which found $26 million in its first weekend in August 2011. Like that film, The Butler tells a racially charged story that is playing particularly well with older women. According to Weinstein, crowds were 60 percent female and 76 percent above the age of 35. Winfrey’s presence no doubt helped lure in many of those ticket-buyers, as did The Butler‘s “inspired by a true story” cachet.
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Box office preview: 'Kick-Ass 2' may get served by 'The Butler' this weekend

Welcome to the dog days of the August box office, when studios flood theaters with their final summer releases before the prestigious fall season begins.  Last weekend, four new releases entered theaters, this weekend four new releases are hitting the big screen, and heck — next week, four more new releases are opening.

This week’s new movies — Kick-Ass 2, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Jobs, and Paranoia — fall into two camps: the number one contenders and the likely underperformers. Here’s how the weekend may play out:

1. Lee Daniels’ The Butler – $25 million
The Danny Strong-penned historical drama, which stars Forest Whitaker, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, and, notably, Oprah Winfrey, may be able to swipe the top spot away from Kick-Ass 2. Sure, Weinstein, which is releasing the $30 million film about longtime White House butler Eugene Allen, says it’s expecting a debut in the high-teens, but stories about race in American culture are reliably appealing at the box office (42 opened to $27.5 million earlier this year; The Help opened to $25 million in August 2011).

The Butler is also a patriotic tale and its real-life inspiration makes it even more appealing for audiences. Oscar fans will flock to the first awards-bait of 2013, history buffs that loved Lincoln will turn out to see presidents come to life on screen, and audiences that love Oprah (according to a Fandango poll, 72 percent of ticket-buyers said she increased their likelihood to see the film) won’t miss the chance to catch her in a rare scripted role. Out in 2,933 theaters, The Butler may take in about $25 million. READ FULL STORY

Oprah Winfrey talks about 'The Butler,' and acting for the first time in 15 years -- VIDEO

Once Oprah Winfrey decided to act in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, playing the wife of Forest Whitaker’s White House servant, she had one primary concern: she didn’t want to embarrass herself. Though she’d been nominated for an Oscar for her role in 1985’s The Color Purple and voiced characters in animated films, Winfrey hadn’t starred in a movie since Beloved in 1998.

But the story of Cecil Gaines, a man who was born the son of a poor sharecropper but grew up to work in the White House during a time of great social change in this country, was an opportunity that Winfrey couldn’t pass up, even as she was juggling the massive responsibilities of her media empire. Not only is Gaines — who’s based on the real-life White House butler Eugene Allen — an eyewitness to history, but he represents multiple generations of African-Americans who were maids and butlers and ultimately allowed their children to thrive in other professions — children like Winfrey, who comes from a long line of domestics.

In this exclusive video, Winfrey explains her initial reluctance in playing Gloria Gaines and how Lee Daniels ultimately got her to say yes. Whatever Winfrey’s initial reservations were, Whitaker was won over, saying, “People are going to be blown away by her performance.” READ FULL STORY

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