Oprah‘s back! Apple TV+ present THE OPRAH CONVERSATION, debuting today!
The Series has the multimedia queen engaging in timely conversations with thought leaders. The first episode is a two-part discussion with Host of UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK MAN,Emmanuel Acho. She also will be having bold discussions in coming weeks with LatinX and white guests. Coming-up is a chat with Bryan Stevenson, Author of the Memoir which inspired acclaimed Drama JUST MERCY.
The first episode will be available to stream for free exclusively on Apple TV+ beginning Thursday, July 30 at 4:00pm PST.
The 75th annual Golden Globes Awards took place tonight in Beverly Hills, California. With the #TimesUp initiative front and center of our attentions, we saw all talent uniformly wearing black to draw attention to the cause for equality and an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Seth Meyers hosted the affair boldly poking-fun at the likes of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. In the face of change, he calls 2018 “the year marijuana was allowed and sexual harassment wasn’t anymore.”.
Oprah Winfrey who next can be seen in Disney‘s A Wrinkle in Time, was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Her Wrinkle Co-Star Reese Witherspoon introduced her as being all “a noun, a verb and an adjective”. And even Meyers joked DeMille should be honoured she was given the award. Winfrey recalls herself as a kid in Milwaukee back in 1964, watching Anne Bancroft speak a historic five words on television, “The winner is Sidney Poitier“. She hopes to inspire another black girl watching tonight seeing her be named the first ever black Cecil B. DeMille Award Winner. Winfrey states, “I wanted to express gratitude to all women who endured years of abuse and assault as they like my mother had mouths to feed, bills to pay and dreams to pursue.”. Recounting the story of rape (1944) victim Recy Taylor whose six attackers never were persecuted, she defiantly states that we are at the end of an era, “Their time us up!”.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri scored huge in the Film categories including a win for Motion Picture Drama. Martin McDonagh was awarded Screenplay for the Filmwhich he also directed. He jokes, “My mother really wanted Lady Bird to win.”. Oscar Winner Frances McDormand before tonight had been nominated seven times for a Globe, but finally received her first win for Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. She declined to make political comments but expressed pride that the Film still is filling seats in brick and mortar theatres across the U.S. the “old-fashioned” way. Sam Rockwell, after a career spanning almost three decades, finally won a Golden Globe for his work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. “It’s nice to be in a movie people saw”, he kids before thanking others involved with the TIFF ’17 People’s Choice Award-winning Film and also wife Leslie Bibb.
HBO’s Big Little Lies was a major force in the Television categories winning TV Miniseriesor Movie. Nicole Kidman was awarded her fourth Golden Globe for her Actress work, thanking her Co-Star, Co-Producer and fellow Nominee Reese Witherspoon with whom together she brought the HBO release to Television. Kidman despite getting the cue to shorten her speech, thanked her husband Country Star Keith Urban last, telling him “When your cheek is pressed against mine, the whole world just melts away, I love you.”. Co-Stars Laura Dern and AlexanderSkarsgård also won for their work as Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress (Dern‘s fourth Globe too!) in the Miniseries.
Lady Bird, which premiered at TIFF ’17, won Comedy or Musical. The Film which loosely is based on GretaGerwig‘s life, also is her directorial debut. Gerwig thanked her hometown Sacramento for giving her the wings and roots needed to succeed in life. 23-year-old Saoirse Ronan already has been nominated for three Globes but alas gets her first win tonight for her acclaimed work in Lady Bird. She kept pointing-out in her humble speech how her mom out of excitement was in the audience on FaceTime while she was on-stage.
Visionary Guillermo del Toro made a teary acceptance for Director with The Shape of Water while the Orchestra had tried drowning his speech out due to time restrictions. “Turn the music down, it’s taken me 25 years to get here” he said, drawing cheers from the audience. Moments before, Natalie Portman presenting his award alongside Ron Howard, pointed-out how all Nominees in the Category were male.
Gary Oldman was awarded Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in TIFF ’17 selection Darkest Hour. In his speech, he told us how his wife puts-up with his incredible dedication telling others “I go to bed with Winston Churchill and wake-up with Gary Oldman.”.
Jeered widely for having made the worst movie of all time, The Room, Filmmaker and Cult Icon Tommy Wiseau got the last laugh joining Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy Winner James Franco on-stage tonight. Franco stars in and directs The Disaster Artist which recounts Wiseau‘s process making that Cult Classic. Franco thanked his younger brother Dave in his speech saying “He always wanted his own Coen Brother” to make Films with and it looks like he too along with Wiseau saw his dream come true.
Allison Janney who delivers a chilling portrayal of Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Golden in I, Tonya, was awarded a well-deserved Globe beating-out some stiff competition including Laurie Metcalf whom many also feel is deserving for her work in Lady Bird. Janney made a poignant statement about perception of truth in Media, an enlightenment after having worked on the Film which gives us a fresh perspective on the disgraced Figure Skater. It was a good night for both Tommy Wiseau and Tonya Harding.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was this year’s Dark Horse, winning Comedy Series and also Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) winning Actress in a Comedy Series. The Amazon Series centers on a Jewish housewife in the ’50s who becomes a Stand-up Comedian.
Elisabeth Moss shone a light on Canada dedicating her Actress in a Drama Series win to Margaret Atwood who wrote the source material on which Toronto-made The Handsmaid’s Tale is based. The Series also took home a Globe for DramaSeries. This is her second GoldenGlobe win, her first for Miniseries Top of the Lake.
After four nominations, Ewan McGregor finally gets his first Globe win for Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie with Fargo. Another Canadian connection, the Series was filmed in Calgary.
Sterling K. Brown was awarded his first Globe for his work on Series This is Us. The rising star next can be seen in Marvel’s Black Panther and reminded his kids in his speech he’d be there to take them to school tomorrow morning, in addition to expressing his awe of Oprah Winfrey being seated before himon the podium.
After getting a nod last year and seeing MASTER OF NONE, for which he has directing and writing credits, Funnyman Aziz Ansari gets a Globe for Actor in a Comedy Series. He becomes the first ever South Asian Actor to win a Globe.
In addition to having grossed almost $600 million worldwide, Disney•Pixar‘s Coco goes on to Globe success, winning Animated Feature.
Hot off its #1 success on the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart, The Greatest Showman also wins a Globe for Original Song, This is Me, sung by Keala Settle and also Kesha.
Fatih Akin‘s In the Fade won Foreign Language Film. The German Film starring Diane Kruger as a woman dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist attack, received a TIFF ’17 Premiere.
Awards Season culminates in the Academy Awards which air Sunday, March 4, 2018 on ABC, 7 PM ET.
Another goodie unveiled at Disney‘s D23 Expo this weekend as Ava DuVernay (Selma)‘s A WRINKLE IN TIME‘s Teaser Trailer was shown for the first time!
A WRINKLE IN TIME is an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and ultimately, the triumph of love. The Film stars: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peňa, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, André Holland, Rowan Blanchard with Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine and introduces Storm Reid.
See the Teaser:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release A WRINKLE IN TIMEFriday, March 9, 2018.
If there was any one Film gaining rapid momentum this Awards Season, that certainly would be SELMA! The Martin Luther King Jr. Biopic screened in Toronto last week to rousing reception. Paramount Pictures Canada and Mr. Will want Readers in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal to witness SELMA before everyone else! Screenings take place on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, our v. first in the New Year!
SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Actof 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay’s SELMA tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.
SELMA also stars Carmen Ejogo, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Dylan Baker, Oprah Winfrey, Alessandro Nivola, Wendell Pierce and Henry G. Sanders.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will on Facebook. You may press the “share” button and share with your Friends on Facebook or Re-Tweet the below for an extra chance:
http://www.mrwillwong.com/selma @MRWILLW wants us to #win Passes to see #SELMAMovie in #OTT #YYZ + #MTL. Out 1/9!
Good luck, Willionaire$.
Paramount Pictures Canada release SELMA on Friday, January 9, 2015.
To be honest, we had no idea there even was a Martin Luther King Jr. Biopic in the works! Paramount Pictures over the weekend hit us hard with an amazing, gritty look at the Trailer for SELMA from Director Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere). We see nothing but chaos, a taste of an Era on the brink of a revolution
The story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s (David Oyelowo) historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
SELMA stars David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Dylan Baker, Oprah Winfrey, Alessandro Nivola, Wendell Pierce and Henry G. Sanders.
Paramount Pictures release SELMA on Friday, January 9, 2015.
Author, Entrepreneur and Speaker Stedman Graham currently is in Toronto for the second edition of the Toronto Black Film Festival. Known very much as the Partner of Oprah Winfrey – the Couple have been together since 1986 – Graham will be speaking at TIFF Bell Lightbox tonight for his Nine-Step Plan for Success where the Audience will learn how they can achieve their individual goals and plans. Learn more here.
Graham utilized his time wisely meeting with local Media yesterday, shedding focus on his latest Book Identity: Your Passport to Success. Earlier today, he Co-Hosted Global Television‘s The Morning Show (National Edition), speaking with Liza Fromer, Rosey Edeh and Leslie Roberts. He spoke about his humble beginnings, growing-up with an overwhelming sense of shame with two disabled Brothers, also coping with racial identity issues. “It took me 30 years to realize it isn’t about race”, he says. “Empower yourself and get beyond labels defining your existence.”.
On his Media Mogul Partner, whom hopefully he will be spending Valentine’s Day with tomorrow, he states to him she is “perfection, excellence and being the best you can be.”.
I caught-up with Graham who was heading-over to Sunset Grill on Bloor Street for Breakfast following his appearance, taking a quick minute to greet a growing crowd of Fans hoping to get a Photo with him and of course, he was a Gentleman, shaking hands and accepting graciously compliments how inspiring he is.
The Toronto Black Film Festival currently is taking place in the City, running till Sunday, February 16, 2014. More here.
In conjunction with Black History Month, the second Edition of the Toronto Black Film Festival runs from Tuesday, February 11 – 16, 2014. The Festival celebrates Diversity in the Black Communities through Special Events and Films and in addition to commemorating the memory of iconic Nelson Mandela, it celebrates the 20th year of Democracy in South Africa. A Series of Short Films from South African are slated to pay tribute to Mandela.
Stedman Graham, who many of us will recognize as being the longtime Partner of Oprah Winfrey, brings some starpower to the Festival, the Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author and Speaker holding a Conference at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Thursday, February 13, 2014 called The Nine-Step Plan for Success. One of Nelson Mandela‘s favourite Singers, Lorraine Klaasen is set to perform a Concert at Al Green Theatre and also, Author Robert H. King, who spent 32 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, also will be speaking at the Festival.
The Festival was launched today at Carlton Cinemas and a List of Films to screen this year were unveiled including The Forgotten Kingdom (Opening Film), The Retrieval (Closing Film), Blue Caprice (for whichwe ran a Giveaway!), Angels in Exile (narrated by Charlize Theron), Haiti Untold (features Sean Penn) and several, several more.
For more about the Toronto Black Film Festival,founded by the Fabienne Colas Foundation and presented by Global Toronto, click here.
Some Snaps from today’s Launch including Global‘s Leslie Roberts:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/Toronto Black Film Festival)
Hypothetical situation: someone you love deeply, whether it be a Partner, Grandparent, Sibling, Best Friend or even a Pet for that matter, unexpectedly passes on. Imagine being barred from being by their side in their final hour or even worse, you are denied the opportunity to mourn their death – forbidden from attending their their Wake, their Funeral, their Burial. What happens when the Law, which is supposed to protect you, also is part of the reason why the System has failed you?
Such is the case with Shane Bitney Crone, whom after six loving years together with his same-sex Partner Tom Bridegroom, cruelly was left ostracized without the legal protection of Marriage after the latter died in a tragic accident in 2011; he was only 29. This enabled members of Bridegroom‘s Family, who disapproved vehemently of their relationship, to prevent Crone from attending his Lover’s Funeral or be a part of their healing process amidst the misfortune. Crone‘s Story, originally a Short Film on Youtube titled It Could Happen to You, after two years of development now is a feature-length Documentary titled aptly, Bridegroom. The irony of course, being that the Deceased’s Family and the Legal System had denied him the right to fulfil the destiny of his own namesake with the Man he loved.
Crone takes a moment amidst his hectic promotional schedule for the deeply-affecting Documentary to call me from Los Angeles, where the Film would premiere later that night. “You sound really echoey and far away”, he comments as some technical glitches occur while we set-up the Conference Call. “I don’t want people to think I’m weird or anything”, he says thoughtfully, hoping to make the best of our ten minutes.
From humble beginnings online, the 27-year-old Los Angeles Native now finally is seeing the rewards of his pure passion, persistence and determination. Bridegroom, after winning emphatic accolades this year at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and the Inside Out Festival in Toronto, now will be seen and heard on a wide scale with Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN and Netflix both giving it their vote of confidence. Make no mistake though, the Film isn’t simply a tragic Tale about two Gay Men – or as Crone‘s Grandmother would call it Romeo & Romeo. It is a Portrait of Injustice and a look at just how deeply-institutionalized Homophobia is in a Country which at once has embraced the likes of Will & Grace, Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, Anderson Cooper and Rosie O’Donnell.
I ask Crone about his greatest hope for Bridegroom and he says, “The main goal is to open people’s minds. Director Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and I believed there isn’t an other way of opening people’s minds than by sharing personal stories.”. Clearly having struck an emotional chord with Audiences already, one might wonder what he would deem a success for the Film. He ponders the question and declares, “Just the fact that we made the Film. At the end of the day it’s a Film that I’m proud of, the Director is proud of, and I think Tom would be proud of. Now with the help of Oprah Winfrey and Netflix, I think it will spread the message in a very big way.”.
One can only imagine how difficult it must be to screen repeatedly a Film about something so deeply-painful and personal as what he still is going through. He admits, “It is hard revisiting the most difficult period of my life, but at the same time I see how it’s helping people and it makes me feel good – that I did the right thing by sharing my Story”. “When you put yourself out there, you open yourself to a lot of criticism, but also support. At the end of the day I had to trust my instincts and do what I felt was right to me. “.
Making Bridegroom truly was a labour of love and as Crone now calls it proudly, “The People’s Film”. From YouTube to the Big Screen and Television Sets, it wasn’t long before his Supporters were uniting their voices towards a call for change, contributing generously via Kickstarter – the World’s largest funding Platform for Creative Projects. “I was fortunate to have so many people believe in the Story and its message to the point that we have become the most funded Project in the history of Kickstarter“, he explains. “One thing which has been eye-opening in my experience is that I’d realize how many others have gone through similar and even more tragic stories. My Story is a lot of people’s stories and I think that’s one of the main reasons why we were so successful in people supporting us.”.
One unfortunate reality about this Documentary is that TomBridegroom‘s Family had refused any involvement in its making. His disputably-sympathetic Mother is seen briefly, but only in archived video footage sharing tender moments with him after his and Crone‘sdramatic ‘coming-out’ to her. “I still haven’t heard from any of them. I was told they wouldn’t participate. There are Family members of Tom whom are supportive. Some didn’t want to risk ruining their relationships with their Family”, he says as a matter of fact. “I see this as an opportunity to help a lot of people. It’s not too late for Tom‘s Parents to honour their Son for being who he was”. He adds, “I think for them to come out and share their voices and acknowledge that maybe they made a mistake and do what’s right – that would be so powerful”. “Maybe they’ll come around.”.
With the World eager to learn Crone‘s Story now, he is uncertain just what his next steps are and what the future will hold for him. “‘I don’t know what will happen next and I’d like to think it’ll all work-out the way it was supposed to. As long as I’m sharing a Story about people, I feel that’s my responsibility”. He pauses. “And that’s what I’m gonna do”.
Bridegroom is available for streaming via Netflix on Sunday, October 27, 2013. It premieres also on OWN that night at 10:00 PM EST.
One Man, eight Presidents. The Butler tells the True Story of Cecil Gains (played by both Aml Ameen, Forest Whitaker), who served eight Presidents between 1952 and 1986, having a front-row seat as political and racial History was made in the United States. The Film marks Oprah Winfrey‘s big return to the Big Screen, playing the pivotal role of Gloria Gaines, his Wife.
Lee Daniels (Precious, The Paperboy) features an All-Star Cast including Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, Mariah Carey, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Alan Rickman, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Cusack, Melissa Leo, Lenny Kravitz, Minka Kelly, James Marsden and several more.
Seen widely as a Contender at the Oscars, the The Weinstein Co. Film originally was to get an October release, but gets pushed-back to August 16, 2013, meaning no TIFF Premiere unfortunately!