I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about TIFF and the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the best of the fest and “The Woman King,” playing in theatres.
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the Viola Davis action movie “The Woman King,” immersive David Bowie film “Moonage Daydream,” the Jon Hamm reboort “Confess, Fletch” and the creepy FOMO flick “Pearl.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Graham Richardson to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the Viola Davis action movie “The Woman King,” immersive David Bowie film “Moonage Daydream” and the Jon Hamm reboort “Confess, Fletch.”
“The Woman King,” is a ripped-from-the-history books story of fierce camaraderie, discipline and determination, starring Oscar®-winner Viola Davis as a general in charge of all-female unit of warriors called the Agojie, who served as the inspiration for the “Black Panther’s” Dora Milaje warriors.
Set in the 1823 West African kingdom of Dahomey, the story begins as menace from white slave trader Santo Ferreira (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) and nearby Oyo Empire, led by the ruthless Oda (Jimmy Odukoya), threaten the reign of King Ghezo (John Boyega). He can no longer rule by diplomacy and cleverness alone. “An evil is coming that threatens our kingdom, our freedom,” says the King, “But we have a weapon they are not prepared for.”
That weapon is the Agojie, a.k.a. the Dahomey Amazons. They are a generations-old fighting force led by a brilliant tactician and general Nanisca (Davis), with right-hands Amenza (Sheila Atim) and Izogie (Lashana Lynch). “We fear no one,” Nanisca says. “We fear no pain.”
Armed with blades, spears and unlimited fearlessness, the Agojie fight against the heavily armed Oyo, for their land, freedom and King. Any Oyo prisoners are sold off to the Europeans in return for weapons. Nanisca knows her King is complicit in the slave trade, and tries to convince him to stop human trafficking and replace the cash flow with the sale of palm oil. “The slave trade is the reason we prosper,” she says, “but it is a poison.”
Until then the change, they must train a new batch of recruits, including the 19-year-old Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), a rebellious woman offered to King Ghezo by her father. Brought into the Agojie by Izogie, the teenager finds a sisterhood with the group she has never known in her life.
“The Woman King” breathes the same air as 90s era action epics like “Braveheart” and “Gladiator.” Crowd-pleasers that mixed interesting characters with history, some humor, a bit of melodrama and fierce fight scenes. That may feel like a dash of déjà vu, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s story comes steeped in Black history, specifically female Black history, and characters that bring it to vivid life.
As the battle-scarred general Nanisca, Davis commands attention, balancing the character’s authority, resilience and battle prowess with a hidden vulnerability.
As Nawi, Thuso Mbedu steals every scene she is in with a combustible charisma that keeps her coming-of-age story compelling.
“The Woman King” is a character driven epic, one that tempers the rousing action scenes—the audience I saw this with cheered for the Agojie—with powerful interpersonal relationships to keep us engaged. It feels like an old-fashioned action movie, but with a fresh and fascinating update.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
Richard joins Jay Michaels and Ryan Doyle of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show The Rush to talk about the long road the Bloody Caesar made to becoming Canada’s National Drink, “The Suicide Squad” in theatres and the look on his wife’s face when she met Idris Elba.
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the sickly but sweet “The Suicide Squad,” the family drama of “Lorelei,” starring Jena Malone and the inspirational sports film “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Angie Seth chat up the weekend’s big releases including “The Suicide Squad,” starring Idris Elba and Margot Robbie, the Matt Damon drama “Stillwater,” the gritty family story of “Lorelei” and the inspirational sports flick “Twelve Mighty Orphans.”