Posts Tagged ‘Oprah Winfrey’

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “A WRINKLE IN TIME” & MORE!

A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at“A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and “Meditation Park.”

Watch the whole thing HERE !

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018.

Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “A Wrinkle in Time” starring Oprah Winfrey, the horror film “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and the dark comedy “Gringo” featuring break-out comedic work from David Oyelowo.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FOR MARCH 9.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan  to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the highly anticipated “A Wrinkle in Time” starring Oprah Winfrey, the horror film “The Strangers: Prey At Night” and the dark comedy “Gringo” featuring break-out comedic work from David Oyelowo.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Learning lines and meeting Oprah is child’s play for Wrinkle in Time star.

By Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

What was it like working with Oprah? That’s the question Deric McCabe, the nine-year-old star of A Wrinkle in Time, has been asked most often since he started doing press for the new film.

The Whitefish, Mont., native has nothing but praise for the icon but adds she didn’t awe him. “I didn’t know who she was,” he says, “so I didn’t get starstruck or anything. Every day I said, ‘Good morning,’ then goodbye. I said everything to her.”

McCabe plays Charles Wallace, a precocious, intelligent child whose father, astrophysicist Alex Murry (Chris Pine), disappeared through a “wrinkle in time” when the boy was very young. Charles believes he can help locate his dad with the help of three astral travellers, Mrs. Which (Oprah), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling).

Guided by the trio of spirit beings, Charles, his sister Meg (Storm Reid) and their friend — and Meg’s crush — Calvin (Levi Miller) ascend to the universe in search of Alex. In their celestial travels they meet a helpful seer called the Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis), talking flowers — “Everyone knows the flowers are the best talkers,” says Mrs. Whatsit — and the universe’s most evil entity. They will learn life lessons along the way that may — or may not — reveal what happened to their dad.

McCabe beat out thousands of other child actors for the role of Charles Wallace. A November 2016 entry on his Instagram shows him doing “a little happy dance” when director Ava DuVernay called to tell him he’d won the part.

“Deric worked hard for this,” reads the post, “Hours of auditions, callbacks, meetings interviews… 17 page, 5 page, 3 page, 21 page scripts to learn overnight…while continuing to spend time with family, do his regular chores, and excel in school. He prayed, remained patient, and was persistent.”

“The trick is you can be nervous,” he says of the audition process, “you just can’t show it. You put a straight face on. You can’t fake smile, like you’re nervous. You can’t wave nervously. You have to act confident.” As for all the memorization? “It is kind of easy remembering all those lines. I don’t know why.”

The youngster is working alongside established stars like Winfrey, Witherspoon, Kaling and Galifianakis but it was while watching another performer that the acting bug bit.

“When I was six I saw Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers and I thought, ‘I want to do that,’” McCabe says. “My parents were super supportive. They were like, ‘OK,’ and made it happen and here I am!”

The busy preteen is already winning praise for his performance in A Wrinkle in Time and will soon star opposite Luis Guzmán in the music industry drama Hold On.

“I think I know more about sets and acting than when I started,” he says. “I like how you get to act like a different person every day. That is pretty cool. You get to meet new people.”

Looking back at his A Wrinkle in Time experience, McCabe singles out a scene where his character’s personality changes as his favourite.

“I liked the evil Charles Wallace because I got to do things a regular kid wouldn’t get to do like drag his dad, his sister and her friend down a hallway.”

A WRINKLE IN TIME: 2 ½ STARS. “a real girl in an unreal situation.”

The last time someone tried to adapt Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel “A Wrinkle in Time” for the screen the author herself was not impressed. “I have glimpsed it,” she said of the 2003 TV movie, “I expected it to be bad and it is.”

The novel’s mix of science fiction, math and spiritualism is intoxicating on the page but the story’s trip through time and space, heavy on symbolism. alien life and pop psychology has rumoured to be an unfilmable fantasy. Fans of the book will find out this weekend if Ava DuVernay, Oscar nominated director of “13th” and “Selma,” can bring the wonder of L’Engle’s vision to the screen.

Like many Disney movies “A Wrinkle in Time” begins with the loss of a parent. Husband and wife Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine) and Dr. Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are astrophysicists and loving parents to Meg (Storm Reid) and Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Alex is determined to push the limits of their research, to find a wrinkle in time that could propel them to the ends of the universe. One night, alone in his laboratory he discovers the wrinkle and, just like that, he’s gone.

Cut to four years later. Meg’s sunny disposition disappeared with her father. “What would happen if your father walked through the door,” asks her principal. “The world would make sense again,” she replies.

Charles Wallace has grown into a precocious, intelligent child who believes he can help locate his father with the help of three astral travelers, Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling).

Here’s where it gets trippy.

Guided by the trio of spirit beings Meg, Charles Wallace and their friend—and Meg’s crush—Calvin (Levi Miller) ascend to the universe in search of Alex. In their astral travels they meet a helpful seer called the Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis), talking flowers—“ Everyone knows the flowers are the best talkers,” says Mrs. Whatsit.—and the universe’s most evil entity. Meg will learn life lessons along the way that may—or may not—reveal what happened to her dad.

“A Wrinkle in Time” is a big, colourful and complicated movie with a simple moral. Love conquers all. Like all fantasy the story isn’t really about the tesseract, fifth-dimensional phenomenon time travel or any of that, it’s about fundamental truths, self-worth and the struggle between good and evil. Director Ava DuVernay wrestles all these themes and more into the film, which occasionally feels more interested in the visuals and ideas than it does with the story. The movie’s many moving parts and heaps of CGI overwhelm but DuVernay gets much right as well.

Casting wise, the success or failure of “A Wrinkle in Time” hinges on the kids. In Reid, DuVernay found a young actress capable of portraying Meg’s complexity, from her struggle to fit in to her very relatable flaws. She’s heroic but also a real girl in an unreal situation and Reid breathes life into her.

As Charles Wallace, the precocious preteen whose personality takes a turn for the worse in outer space, McCabe brings a weight to the character that feels beyond his years.

The trio of aliens are vividly portrayed by Winfrey, Witherspoon) and Kaling who impart wisdom and smooth the way for Meg’s emotional journey but I found their somewhat psychedelic presence distracted from the telling of the tale.

“A Wrinkle in Time” contains good messages for kids and some visuals that will make your eyeballs dance and it is made with heart but—there’s always a ‘but’ when I discuss this movie—it feels like it bites off more than it can chew.

RICHARD’S “CANADA AM” REVIEWS FOR JANUARY 9 WITH BEVERLY THOMSON.

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 3.36.00 PM“Canada AM” film critic Richard Crouse reviews “Selma” and “Taken 3.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

 

 

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Actor David Oyelowo: Led by a higher power to play Martin Luther King

selmaBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

“I like to think of myself as a good actor,” says David Oyelowo, “but Martin Luther King, I ain’t.”

The 38-year-old British actor plays the venerated civil rights leader in Selma, a dramatic retelling of Dr. King’s 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march.

It’s a stirring performance that has already earned him a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actor in a Drama. He admits he wasn’t a natural fit for the part— “I would never have cast me in this role, a British actor, having not done much work in Hollywood.”—but the film’s producer Oprah Winfrey (who also has a heart-wrenching cameo) said, “I can see King in you.”

The actor, best known for his work on the British TV show MI-5, told an audience at the AFI he always felt like he’d play King at some point. “Very soon after my wife and I moved to this country, I was told from above that I would play this role on the 24th of July, 2007. I couldn’t believe it, so I wrote it down.”

With the help of his higher power, Oprah, director Ava DuVernay, research and a weight gain of thirty pounds—eat lasagna late at night he says—Oyelowo found the character and won the blessing of Bernice King, Dr. King’s daughter. “It was huge for me to bridge that gap between the production and the family,” OIyelowo told The Daily Beast.

Martin Luther King III, son of Martin and Coretta Scott King, called Selma, “a very emotional experience,” and hopes that the film’s success will spur Hollywood interest in his father’s life, work and legacy.

Steven Spielberg is reportedly working on a biopic and a new German film called Schwarzkopf BRD features King in a study of racial politics in Berlin.

In more traditional films Dr. King has been portrayed by everyone from Paul Winfield, who earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in King, a three hour TV miniseries, to Jeffrey Wright in Boycott, to son Dexter King in The Rosa Parks Story.

King siblings, Dexter and Yolanda, collaborated with filmmakers Rob Smiley and Vincenzo Trippetti on the most unique retelling of their father’s life. Combining animation and historical footage, Our Friend, Martin is a time travel story about a student sent back in time to meet King at significant moments in his life. The hour long film is difficult to find but features wonderful vocal performances from Angela Bassett, LeVar Burton, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Dexter King as his father at age 34.

SELMA: 4 ½ STARS. “essential viewing almost fifty years after King’s assassination.”

selmathumb-1415393489596“Selma” is a snapshot of a time. Instead of trying to cover the width and breadth of Martin Luther King’s life and accomplishments, director Ava DuVernay hones the story down to one seminal event, Dr. King Jr.’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. It’s an effective and uncluttered approach that brings one of the biggest events of the civil rights movement into sharp focus.

The heart and soul of the film is Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey), a Selma nurse who tries to register for the vote. The legal right is hers, but this is 1965 and a racist county clerk asks her a series of questions to make sure she is qualified to vote. After she recites the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution he asks her how many county judges are in the area. “Sixty-seven,” she replies confidently. “Name them,” he says, stamping Denied on her application.

Cooper is not a main character. She pops up now and again, but the power of this scene informs the rest of the movie. She is an average woman who stood up for herself and neighbors, and with the help of Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and a dedicated group of civil rights workers broke down barriers in a state where the governor (Tim Roth) is firmly in favor of segregation.

“Selma” is a powerful movie not just because of what it does show but because of what it doesn’t show. There is no “I Have a Dream” speech or Bus Boycotts to be seen. Instead the script focuses on the salient details of the Selma marches which leaves time to humanize and get under the skin of the Dr. King and several of the other characters.

The movie is helmed by a gobsmackingly good performance from Oyelowo as King. He’s righteous, fiery and but plays King like a man, not an emblem. It is career making work but he’s not alone in handing in powerful work.

Winfrey’s big scene is a showstopper, a quietly played moment of frustration, hurt and anger, all of which flash across her face in a nicely underplayed role. For me, however, the movie’s most effective scene happens between King and an elderly man, Cager Lee (Henry G. Sanders), who has lost his son in a burst of race related violence. The men meet in the morgue and say what you might expect people in that situation to say to one another, but the look of Sanders’s face, in the presence of the civil rights leader, is heartbreaking and hopeful simultaneously.

“Selma” is a historical document, but so alive and timely, it is essential viewing almost fifty years after King’s assassination.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY: 3 STARS. “good old-fashioned romance.”

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is a rich concoction that flavors its story with the sweetness of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and the sour competitiveness of “MasterChef.”

It’s a feel-good movie about an Indian family who moves to a town in France to open a restaurant. Across the street is a Michelin-starred French eatery run with an iron fist by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Cultures and personalities clash, but soon Hassan Kadam’s (Manish Dayal) talent in the kitchen leads him on a journey. First he crosses the hundred feet between his father’s (Om Puri) restaurant to Madame Mallory’s kitchen, then to Paris and ultimately to his real passion.

The last time director Lasse Hallström went all Food Network on us the result was the 2000 bonbon “Chocolat,” a comic story with a bittersweet edge. He’s revisiting similar ground here, mixing gastroporn, good old-fashioned romance and cross-cultural farce.

The conflicts between restaurateurs Madame Mallory and Mister Kadam, and newbie chefs Hassan and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), (SPOILER, BUT ONLY IF YOU HAVEN’T EVER SEEN A MOVIE BEFORE), are, of course, going to change from rivalry to romance, that much is obvious from the beginning, but the predictability of the story is tempered by very charming performances from the leads.

Mirren essentially plays two characters. As Madame comes to respect and then like her new neighbors, her ice queen demeanor slowly melts, allowing the actress to subtly reveal layers of character. There’s no neighborly epiphany that changes her mind—although a cowardly racist act sets things in motion. Instead, she rediscovers her various passions and each new revelation is registered on her face and in her body language.

Puri’s stubborn patriarch is mischievous and charming while Dayal and Le Bon (who lives up to her name) are solid romantic leads.

Despite its predictability, “The Hundred-Foot Journey’s” collection of characters keeps things lively and amusing and the food looks so good you’ll wish the movie was in Smell-O-Vision. It’s an enjoyable film about passion; the passion for food, passion for culture but most of all, passion for life.