This movie centers on three brilliant African-American women (referred to as “human computers”) working at NASA in the 1960s. The three leads are Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae (who is also a singer). They are joined by Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Kristen Dunst, and Mahershala Ali (House of Cards; Luke Cage). Before Col. John Glenn (up-and-coming actor Glen Powell) went into space, Henson’s character (Katharine Johnson) had to “check the math” behind the mission. I learned that Johnson is still alive in small-town Virginia- wow! Check out the trailer below.
Critics have raved re: Dev Patel in this film, as well as the boy who plays Indian adoptee to Australia (Saroo Brierley) as a child. In case you’re NOT a big fan yet of the British-Indian actor, know that Patel is transformed for this role (hair, body, and accent). I’ll be seeing it next weekend.
See the trailer below; the cast includes Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, and David Wenham.
Singin’ in the Rain (in select theaters: SUN, 1/15 & WED, 1/18)
TCM and Fathom Events is co-presenting this musical at select theaters for two days ONLY. This movie premiered 65 years ago (1952) and stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds (who recently passed away at age 84), and Donald O’Conner. I heard about it on TCM, then checked online for details (see link below).
One of the most famed/respected dancers/choreographers of her time, Cyd Charisse, has a supporting role. Checking IMDB, I found that Rita Moreno is part of the ensemble (VERY cool). I’ve never seen this film before, but it’s available on YouTube for ONLY $2.99!
The Salesman (AFI Silver Theatre: SUN, 1/22 at 5:15PM)
This film is part of the 21st Annual Iranian American Film Festival which was previously held at the Freer Gallery (now undergoing renovations). It is directed by Asghar Farhadi (A Separation), who is NOT afraid to realistically tackle subjects which are still taboo in his native Iran. While A Separation was about impending divorce, this film deals w/ the assault of a young wife and her husband’s subsequent emotional turmoil and drive for revenge. I got my ticket already.
Follow the link below for tickets and see the trailer.
As You Like It: Folger Shakespeare Theatre (Pay-What-You-Will: TUES, 1/24 at 7:30PM)
This adaptation of The Bard’s comedy will run from JAN 24th – MAR 5th starring actors from Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. I’m interested in this b/c I’ve only seen one movie re: this play. I haven’t read the play (it’s rarely taught/studied in schools/universities).
See the link below for more info.
Caroline, or Change: Round House Theatre (UPDATED: Pay-What-You-Can on THURS, 1/26 at 7:30PM & WED, 2/1 at 7:30PM)
This is a musical written (book and lyrics) by the renowned Tony Kushner; it contains aspects from his own life as a boy growing up in the South. The play centers on Caroline, an African-America maid for the Gellmans, a Jewish family in 1960s Louisiana. It combines different types of music: spirituals (gospel), blues, Motown, classical, and Jewish klezmer and folk.
More details at the link below.