Lila & Eve

I found “Lila & Eve” on Google Play. Interestingly,  I heard never heard of the film before. After doing a bit of research, I learned the movie came out early last year. I guess it just didn’t get enough promotion. A shame because it’s rare to see a film featuring two women of color in lead roles. “Lila & Eve” is pretty predictable. I wasn’t surprised to see that it was produced by Lifetime. If you’ve seen one Lifetime film, you already know the deal 🙂 However, Viola Davis (as Lila) and Jennifer Lopez (as Eve) both give good performances. I wasn’t too surprised by Davis, but was impressed with Lopez. She’s usually hit or miss to me. The film follows Lila as a mother coping with the loss of her son to violence. She meets Eve at a gathering for grieving mothers. They form a bond and before you know it, exacting revenge on those who killed their loved ones. There is a twist (of course). It’s kind of obvious, because we have seen it a hundred times at this point. But the film is still decent. Something to watch on a lazy Saturday evening.

 

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Empire

Poor Taraji P Henson.

Since being nominated for an Academy Award in 2008, Henson’s career has seemed to be a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Nothing significant has taken off for her. But this can be said for the majority of Oscar-nominated/winning Black women actresses. Unlike their white female counterparts, they tend to struggle. There’s been hope for Viola Davis (nominated for Academy Awards for her performances in “Doubt” and “The Help) and Lupita Nyong’o (Academy Award winner for her role as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave”). Davis is currently starring on the hit show “How To Get Away With Murder” and Nyong’o is slated to star in an adaption of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s “Americanah,” “Star Wars: Episode 7,” and “The Jungle Book.”

Henson’s acting is definitely on caliber with these women, so it’s surprising she hasn’t had her own big breakout opportunity. She may have found it in “Empire.” “A unique family drama set in the world of a hip hop empire.”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3228904/

I watched “Empire” on Hulu this past weekend. I thought it was okay. Also, I’m a bit turned off with Terrance Howard these days. I used to think he was a great actor, but he comes across as one-note these days. And it doesn’t help that he seems to have misogynistic feelings about women/allegations of abuse. But Henson did bring the heat with her “Cookie” character. She really is the star of the show.

There’s been criticism that “Empire” feeds into stereotypes about black folks. Well, of course it does, it’s on the FOX Network. But I also think “Empire” is just trying to capitalize on the current adult drama craze that mixes thriller/sex/murder/power/vengeance that can be found in shows like “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Scandal,” “Revenge,” “Deception,”  etc.

Besides side-eyeing Howard, I’ve also been side-eyeing some of the comments made by one of the creators of the show…Lee Daniels.  One of his goals  with the  show is to address homophobia in the hip hop community. Okay, cool. But his rhetoric has basically been  that the black community is more homophobic than other communities, which is not true. If that were the case, white LGBTQI folks would have wonderful coming out stories, which they don’t. The issue of homophobia is a problem in all communities.

It will be interesting to see where the “Empire” storyline goes. If it will even survive a season. It’s all over the map, right now. Henson deserves so much more, so hopefully it works out for her.

Viola Davis in “How to Get Away With Murder”

I am so glad that Viola Davis gets to possibly show her acting chops in ABC’s new fall show “How to Get Away with Murder.” The TV drama is written/produced by Shonda Rhimes:

ABC is becoming the Shonda Rhimes network. Rhimes, who created two of the network’s biggest hits with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” has been greenlighted for a third drama, “How To Get Away With Murder…” “How to Get Away With Murder” revolves around elite law school students who get caught up in a real-life murder case. —http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/abc-greenlights-shonda-grimes-drama-murder-article-1.1786112

Sounds interesting.

I have never cared for “Grey’s Anatomy” and haven’t watched a peep of “Scandal.” Well, I tried to watch it once, and it bored the hell outta me.  Rhimes’s new show seems more up my alley. I hope it doesn’t disappoint. I am already side-eyeing the “tough” black woman stereotype. Hopefully, Davis’s character evolves on the show.

Viola Davis Covers Essence Magazine

Wow! I just saw the new cover for the October issue of lessence Essence magazine. Forgive me, I’m still a bit bitter the magazine has fallen off. It was a great read back in the day. Before white corporate America, took it over.  Any who, Viola Davis looks great on the cover. I also like her quote:

“I had to defend myself as an artist, but I found myself defending myself as a dark-skinned Black woman in front of people who did not know my life. I took my wig off because I no longer wanted to apologize for who I am…

I’m feeling her on that. As a darker woman, I know the drama she has to deal with. We still leave in a society hostile towards darker skinned black  women.  Davis looks gorgeous. I just might buy this issue (gulp).

ESSENCE-October-Cover-Viola-Davis

Black Actresses & Colorism

I am starting to forgive Viola Davis for “The Help.” Lawd, I know it’s hard out there for black actresses (especially darker skinned ones), but it  sucked seeing such a classy woman play a maid. Not there is anything wrong with a film looking at the history of black maids, if it’s done with respect. “The Help” was typical white romanticizing of an exploitative/oppressive time.  White America loves to see black women play Mammy:

In this clip from Oprah’s upcoming Next Chapter, Ms. Davis (who looks GORGEOUS) speaks about the reality of colorism in Hollyweird.