Lupita Nyong’o was plucked from obscurity and is now the frontrunner to win an Oscar for her riveting turn in 12 Years A Slave. The actress opens up about her wild ride.
Who is she?
That was the question on my (and everyone else’s) mind after taking in the first public screening of 12 Years A Slave at last year’s Telluride Film Festival. Yes, Steve McQueen’s gripping film chronicling the real-life odyssey of Solomon Northup, a free man duped into bondage, shackled, and then shipped to the antebellum South, boasted a courageous, dignified turn by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role (an actor who’s been brilliant since Dirty Pretty Things and has finally received a role worthy of his immense talent), a ferocious one by Michael Fassbender as a diabolical slave owner/false prophet, and even a deus ex machina courtesy of a Jesus-like Brad Pitt. But it was the character of Patsey, the prized cotton picker—and chronically abused scapegoat—of Fassbender’s bête noire that audiences couldn’t shake. It’s a performance imbued with anguish and fortitude; a delicate balancing act that might prove elusive to the most seasoned of actresses, let alone a novice. And yet there she was, this unknown force of nature, commanding the screen.
Cast member Lupita Nyong'o poses at a special screening of "12 Years a Slave" at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, California October 14, 2013. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)
They’re ba-ack! Late Friday night, viral BFFs Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake collaborated on the fifth installment in their epic ‘History of Rap’ series, and boy was it a doozy. Check it out here.
Television’s most dynamic musical duo is back.
To close out Jimmy Fallon’s stellar first week taking over the reins of NBC’s The Tonight Show, one that included cameos by everyone from Kim Kardashian to First Lady Michelle Obama, his pal Justin Timberlake stopped by prior to a headlining stint that evening at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The two joked about sleepovers, how JT and his wife, Jessica Biel, drank all the booze in Fallon’s home, and the ex-‘N Sync-er even performed his track “Not A Bad Thing” off double-album The 20/20 Experience.
Whoever lost the USA vs. Canada hockey game would also have to ‘keep’ Justin Bieber, effectively adding insult to injury.
Tensions were running high leading up to today’s Canada vs. USA men’s Olympic hockey game. The bitter rivalry is about as bitter as any rivalry involving Canada can be. Canadians may be polite, but they are serious about their hockey—and Americans are serious about their social media smack talk.
But the Twitterverse’s game day anticipation reached new heights with the debut of one simple, potent hashtag: #LoserKeepsBieber.
He had a month to prepare for the game show. But instead of boning up on trivia, he read my blog—and schooled himself on game theory.
It's been the best of times for Arthur Chu: four victories and a six-figure paycheck on Jeopardy!, a streak he'll attempt to continue on Monday.
Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions
For many fans, however, it's been the opposite. Chu's unusual style of play has angered a large contingent of his audience, earning him the title of "Jeopardy! Villain" and comparisons with Richard Hatch, the conniving champion of the original Survivor. (Unlike Hatch, Chu has managed to keep his clothes on. At least for now.)
Sisters like to giggle. But these 45 seconds would’ve changed the film.
Disney has released a deleted scene from the Oscar-nominated Frozen on YouTube. And it’s a good thing it was deleted, too.
What do we talk about when we talk about love? A breathtaking new play from Caryl Churchill explores love through 57 different short scenes with 100 characters.
Recently, my young nephew got in trouble for peeling all the stickers off his scrambled Rubik’s Cube. Yearning to appear clever, but incapable of making the color-blocks line up in the right configuration, he tried to fake mastery by resticking the colored tabs in the correct spots. But they wouldn’t stay in place; all he did was spoil the game. This is the paradox that the British playwright Caryl Churchill tackles in her intricate, moving (in both senses) puzzle of a play, “Love and Information,” which opened Wednesday at the Minetta Lane (a production of New York Theatre Workshop)—its Playbill illustrated by a defective Rubik’s Cube whose images don’t align. Churchill’s characters cling to the elusive and illusive notion that, with enough information, they could understand each other and control their hearts and their environment. The playwright catches them out. In fifty-seven very short scenes, set in the here and now, fifteen actors play more than a hundred recognizable types of people (spouses, friends, children, colleagues, doctors, lovers, insomniacs and others) in a variety of relationships and moods, allowing the playwright to demonstrate countless permutations of the flawed human equation, and to explode the notion that a solution is even possible.
The setting for this engrossing production is a five-sided cube, walled, floored and ceiled in graph-paper lines (the work of Miriam Buether). The missing sixth side is the “fourth wall” that opens onto the audience, giving theatergoers the sense that they’re spying on the living experiments that pop up in the box every few minutes, each made distinct by a decisive change of props and a different relational twist. A scene may last five minutes, or might span only a few sibylline lines; but whether short or long, each carries Churchill’s characteristic, haunting resonance. One minute her words prompt laughs, the next, they summon tears. On an LED display, a sentence extracted from Churchill’s script could recall a Jenny Holzer pronouncement; but the force of her words resides off the page, twinned to an actor’s interpretation and embodiment of them. This is more true of her than of many other playwrights, particularly in this play. Her spare, essential, everyday language gives the director, James Macdonald, and the superb cast the chance to show off the unique power of theatrical performance to flex a playwright’s muscle and flesh out her subtlest intentions.
An hour-long interview on Grantland featured a few great moments of epic hyperbole, and a handful of Hannah Horvath-esque explorations of the extremely myopic and incredibly personal.
A trip down the dark recesses of Lena Dunham’s brain would be incomplete without a bunch of weird cultural references and humble brags. On Bill Simmons’s podcast the B.S. Report, Dunham essentially began the conversation with a rant on Ishtar, the 1987 flop comedy that she harbors fantasies of rebooting with two female leads, loosely based on Sarah McLachlan and Fiona Apple. Naturally, this fantasy led into a conversation about ‘90s female singer-songwriters, as well as the classic Lena Dunham retort, “well I was at the first Lilith fair.” Ok, Lena.
When she wasn’t rocking out to serious lady vocalists, young Lena Dunham was engaged in intense virtual love affairs with a considerable number of teenage heartthrobs. Dunham lists Brad Renfro and Jimmy Fallon as two of her most serious adolescent crushes, and offers some pretty choice quotes on the other men in her life.
Maybe it was rigged. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the judges scored the Russian skater generously because they just wanted to be done with it all and get out of Sochi alive.
Adelina Sotnikova skated beautifully Thursday night, the night she won the gold medal for women’s figure skating…and the night she sparked a global inferno of anger.
John Berry / Getty Images
The little 17-year-old Russian cherub lutzed and salchowed like she was born for that expressed purpose. She spun like the Tasmanian Devil after four bumps of cocaine. She flitzed and flounced around the arena like a spritely Soviet fairy. And she won the gold medal. It is bullshit.
Beck's new album, ‘Morning Phase’, is his best since the 1990s. But can it resurrect a dying genre?
Read the reviews of Beck's new album, Morning Phase, and you'll start to notice a pattern. Typically, the critic will ease into his essay by mentioning that Morning Phase, out Feb. 25, is Beck's first proper LP since 2008—an unusually long hiatus for such a prolific artist. He will explain the lull by noting that Beck suffered from back problems, which made creative work difficult, which in turn forced him to focus on lesser pursuits: a series of cover albums, a "record" released solely as sheet music.
The critic will continue by noting that work on Morning Phase began in Nashville in 2005, but that the songs didn't really click until Beck reunited with his band in 2012. He will expound upon the many sides of Beck—the post-modern hip-hop collage artist Beck; the funky ironist Beck; the mellow California songsmith Beck—and ask, rhetorically, which Beck made Morning Phase. He will answer his own question: the last one. He will compare Morning Phase to Beck's 2002 breakup record, Sea Change, because the two discs sound somewhat alike—acoustic guitars, slower tempos, string arrangements—and also because Beck has called them companion pieces. The critic will announce which album is better and why. And that's about it.
What the reviews don't mention is that Morning Phase could be something more than the latest Beck LP. It could also be the Last Big Singer-Songwriter Album.
Who should join Michael Jordan on the mountain of NBA greatness? Since King James proclaimed his choice, it seems like everyone’s jockeying for a spot.
Would Mount Rushmore have ever happened if the presidents themselves had been asked to choose the four worthiest heads? LeBron James was asked what four players he thought should be carved on the NBA’s version of Mount Rushmore, and the players, fans, and media haven’t shut up since.
During an upbeat All-Star break interview with NBA TV’s Steve Smith, the King casually reeled of his picks. “Easy three,” James replied, “that we talk about in our league is Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and you got Magic Johnson.”
Who would be the fourth head? LeBron threw in Oscar Robertson, but also said “I’m going to be one of the top four to ever play this game for sure.”
A group of con artists allegedly ran a boiler room telemarketing scam, convincing 70 investors to fork over $1.7 million to fund a film supposedly set in Paris during WWII and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
As audiences revel in the excesses of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which tells the real-life tale of Jordan Belfort, a lascivious broker—played by Leonardo DiCaprio—who scammed investors out of millions, a group of California men were arrested and indicted on federal fraud charges Thursday morning for running a scam so incredible not even Hollywood could cook it up.
The Daily Beast
According to a grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, as well as a separate civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the four men—Samuel Braslau, 53; Rand Jay Chortkoff, 64; Stuart Rawitt, 47; and Robert Matias, 50—allegedly ran a boiler room operation out of Van Nuys, Calif., that scammed 70 investors out of $1.7 million to fund a film project supposedly set in Paris during World War II and starring a cast of luminaries ranging from Gerard Butler to Jean-Claude Van Damme.
People love to hate Marnie, Lena Dunham's practically perfect and perfectly despicable, best friend on HBO’s Girls. Could she possibly be that bad? (Maybe not. But also…maybe!)
Isn’t Marnie the worst?
Maybe you don’t agree. Maybe you couldn’t agree more that the impeccably groomed ingrate, with the looks of a young Brooke Shields and the personality of that girl from college you wanted push into oncoming traffic every time you saw her on campus (you know the one), is so diabolically awful that rage consumes you every time she speaks.
What’s better than ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’? A kid acting out ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’ Bliss out to this video of adorable children renacting this year’s Best Picture nominees.
The only thing more guaranteed to make moviegoers smile than Tom Hanks on screen? An impossibly cute little kid pretending to be Tom Hanks.
One such child re-enacts one of Hanks’s scenes from Captain Phillips in an adorable new video from Cineflix and mom.me that reimagines this year’s Best Picture Academy Award nominees with little kids acting out the scenes.
It's no easy feat to live up to the hype of Hugh Grant. But David Walton, a staple of network TV for the better part of a decade, manages it in NBC's adaptation of 'About a Boy.'
Few actors come off as effortlessly charming as Hugh Grant, which is why when the human personification of suaveness finally showed some emotional range and acting complexity in the 2002 film About a Boy, his fans were taken off guard—in the best way possible.
The same thing is about to happen with David Walton.
Isaiah Washington Back on ‘Grey’s’
7 years after firing for gay slur.More
'Wolf,' 'Hustle' Lead MTV Nods
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CLOSE YOUR EYES!
Nude Bieber Video to Be Released
Judge orders private parts blurred.More
John Travolta: ‘Let It Go!'
Speaks out about Oscar slip-up.More
Rob Ford Laughs Off Idea of Rehab
On “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”More
Scarlett Johansson is Pregnant
She and fiance Romain Dauriac are expecting.More