Through all his ups and downs in a career spanning several decades, Guillermo del Toro holds just one Academy Award nomination, for the screenplay of Pan’s Labyrinth from 2006. From the looks of things, del Toro may be hunting some new Oscar nominations in the very near future, as his next project has just landed a very awards-friendly release date.
We’ve had a few weeks off from SNL, and considering Hidden Figures star Octavia Spencer will make her hosting debut this weekend, we’d forgive some unfamiliarity with the 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios. So it is with Spencer’s first promos, which bring a familiar face behind the desk from SNL’s Weekend Update glory days.
SNL didn’t quite have its ducks in a row with the announcement that Hidden Figures star Octavia Spencer would lead the first March show; lacking a musical guest to accompany. Now, not only has NBC filled out the March 4 dance card, but so too will Scarlett Johannson make a return appearance the following week.
Only a half-hour into Alec Baldwin’s SNL return, and March might be ready to top it. NBC has announced the first official SNL host of March 2017, setting Hidden Figures star Octavia Spencer to make her hosting debut.
Like many American moviegoers, I caught the new film Hidden Figures over the weekend. And throughout the true-to-life account of three pioneering women of color that broke boundaries at NASA, one thought kept reoccurring to me (well, two, if you count my realization that I am deeply in love with Janelle Monae): that much like the Wu-Tang, Hidden Figures is for the children. The story’s prevailing message that gender or skin color shouldn’t hinder anyone from achieving excellence is precisely what the youth in this country need, arguably now more than ever. The one problem, of course, is the astronomical price of a movie ticket — not everybody wants to or is able to shell out $15 for a day at the movies.
What does God look like? It’s an eternal question with which fiction has tussled on plenty of occasions, from the standard-issue “bearded white guy clad in flowing robe” to the off-beat “wordless flower child Alanis Morisette” to the factually accurate “Morgan Freeman chilling.” The upcoming faith-based drama The Shack takes a rather unusual tack in its depiction of the Lord; the film adapted from William P. Young’s best-selling novel splits the divine presence into the Trinity, with Jesus Christ as a carpenter of Middle Eastern descent, the Holy Spirit as a meek Asian-American woman named Sarayu, and God portrayed by none other than Octavia goddamn Spencer. Let the record show — God’s real, she’s black, and she’s got an Oscar.
There are few things I’m more excited about right now than the start of Janelle Monae’s acting career. The R&B funk singer made her big screen debut earlier this year in Barry Jenkins Moonlight, which she is wonderful in, and next up she’ll crack some quips in Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures. That film, which also stars Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer, is the next thing I’m most excited about.
It’s still not easy for women in the STEM industry, and it was even harder in the 1960s. It’s rare to get a glimpse behind the scenes of auspicious historical events like the success of Project Mercury, and even rarer for the movie to look like so much fun. The new trailer for Hidden Figures gives us just that, with Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe portraying the real-life women who helped NASA get ahead in the Space Race that seems as honest to history as it is entertaining.
Okay, now here’s a bit of exciting news to end the week: Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, director Michelle MacLaren and Octavia Spencer are teaming up to develop a new project for HBO about the infamous Jonestown cult. The incredibly talented trio are joining forces to produce the limited series, with MacLaren also set to direct.
So far the Rio Olympics have featured a handful of wins for female athletes, from U.S. gymnast Simon Biles to swimmer Katie Ledecky, which made it the perfect opportunity to debut the trailer for ‘Hidden Figures.’