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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Race and Diversity Archives

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Rosenwald

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2015

Aviva Kempner, the director of the acclaimed documentaries about baseball star Hank Greenberg and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, has a new film about early 20th century Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Like the prior films, this one is filled […]

Straight Outta Compton

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence, and drug use
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language throughout, strong sexuality/nudity, violence, and drug use
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2015

“What does NWA stand for?” asks Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti), who is offering to become the manager of a new rap group from the Compton area of Los Angeles. “No Whites Allowed?” “No,” Eric “Eazy-E” Wright answers: “N**** Wit Attitude.” […]

Native Americans Refuse to Work on Adam Sandler’s New Film

posted by Nell Minow

Adam Sandler is currently filming “The Ridiculous Six,” reportedly a comic version of the classic Western “The Magnificent Seven.” According to Indian Country Today Media, a group of Native American actors walked off the set because they were offended by […]

Black Reel Awards: Selma Ties the Record

posted by Nell Minow

It is a great honor to be one of the voters for the Black Reel Awards and I am so proud of our winners this year, with “Selma” deservedly tying the record set by “Precious” with eight awards. Outstanding Motion […]

On PBS for Black History Month: American Denial

posted by Nell Minow

Next Monday, PBS’ Independent Lens series will show “American Denial,” a documentary about where racism comes from and why it is so difficult to overcome. Follow the story of Swedish researcher Gunnar Myrdal, whose landmark 1944 study, An American Dilemma: […]

Replacing Jon Stewart — And Why the New Daily Show Host Should Be a Woman

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Nell Scovell has an excellent piece in the New York Times about why the “host of possibilities” that Jon Stewart’s departure from “The Daily Show” opens up should focus on a woman as his replacement. [I]t will be […]

Movies for Black History Month 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Every family should observe Black History Month and movies like these are a good way to begin discussions and further study. Start with “Selma,” the brilliant film now in theaters, about Dr. Martin Luther King and the march for voting […]

New Web Series: That’s Racist! with Mike Epps

posted by Nell Minow

I’m a big fan of Mike Epps, and am excited about “That’s Racist!,” his new web series on AOL. It is a provocative look at racism and stereotypes. Are Asians bad drivers? Are Jews cheap? Do African-Americans all like fried […]

Una Gran Noticia! Disney’s First Latina Princess

posted by Nell Minow

The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series “Sofia the First” before starring in her own series on the Disney channel. Disney says she is “a confident […]

Black or White

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight
Movie Release Date:January 30, 2015
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight
Movie Release Date: January 30, 2015
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2015

Writer-director Mike Binder sure likes to get Kevin Costner drunk. As in his uneven but impressive “The Upside of Anger,” Binder once again has Costner playing a man who is a little lost and usually shnockered, a role well suited […]

Trailer: Black or White

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer star as grandparents battling each other for custody of a child in “Black or White,” opening this week.

Premiering on Fox This Week: Empire with Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most exciting new televisions shows of the season is “Empire,” premiering on January 7, 2015 on Fox. It is part “King Lear,” part “Godfather,” part “Lion in Winter,” part soap opera, and set in the world of […]

Interview: Lacey Schwartz on Her Family’s “Little White Lie” — No One Told Her She Was a Black Daughter in a White Family

posted by Nell Minow

Lacey Schwartz grew up as the much-loved only child of warm, loving parents in a close-knit middle-class Jewish family. She did not resemble her parents, but they reassured her that she had a Sicilian grandparent who was the genetic source […]

Selma

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2014
DVD Release Date:May 4, 2015
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2014
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2015

“Selma,” director Ava DuVernay’s film about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital at Montgomery, to make the case for the right to vote, is superb as biography, as history, and as […]

Interview: Ava DuVernay of “Selma”

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite movie of the year is “Selma,” the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the Southern states were using to prevent black […]

Actors Of Color Discuss Racial Stereotypes In Hollywood

posted by Nell Minow

Film Courage produced this excellent and very compelling film with actors of color talking about the challenges they face in Hollywood. If we did a better job of representing diversity in film, we would not just tell better stories and […]

The Man Who Is Updating Peter Pan’s Indian Songs

posted by Nell Minow

As NBC prepares for the live production of “Peter Pan,” they are doing a bit of updating to the play, originally produced as a non-musical 100 years ago. This version is the musical best remembered as the Mary Martin production […]

Interview: Gina Prince-Bythewood of “Beyond the Lights”

posted by Nell Minow

It was an honor to speak to one of my favorite filmmakers, Gina Prince-Bythewood, writer/director of one of this year’s best romantic dramas, “Beyond the Lights.” As I spoke to her, she had just received word that Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who […]

Beyond the Lights

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:November 14, 2014
DVD Release Date:February 23, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: November 14, 2014
DVD Release Date: February 23, 2015

“Beyond the Lights” is a welcome return to the grand traditions of movie romance, with sizzling chemistry between gorgeous, fabulously charismatic stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker. And it also has some very astute insights about family, ambition, and the […]

Dear White People

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date:October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date:February 2, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use
Movie Release Date: October 17, 2014
DVD Release Date: February 2, 2015

Before I turn to whitesplaining this film, I will begin by suggesting that you read what Aisha Harris at Slate and what my friends and fellow critics Travis Hopson and Stephen Boone have to say first. If I did not […]

Dear White People: Interview with Writer/Director Justin Simien

posted by Nell Minow

“Dear White People” is fresh, provocative, timely, and very funny.  In the tradition of “Higher Learning” and “School Daze,” it is the story of four black students at an Ivy League college, all making different choices about adapting or challenging […]

New on ABC: Black-ish

posted by Nell Minow

One of the best new shows of the year is Anthony Anderson’s “Black-ish.”  Anderson plays Andre “Dre” Johnson has a great job, a beautiful mixed-race doctor wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the mostly-white suburbs. […]

Kickstarter Campaign for a New Documentary on Diversity in Films: The Hollywood Blackout

posted by Nell Minow

I am very excited about my friend Kevin Sampson’s new Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about diversity in the film industry.  I’m supporting him — I hope many others will as well.  This is a story that needs to […]

“Let’s Be Cops” Could Have Been Not Terrible

posted by Nell Minow

“Let’s Be Cops” is a dumb movie that wants to be like “Lethal Weapon” or “The Other Guys,” a comedy action film about buddies with badges. It’s moderate box office returns are possibly in part because the unrest in Ferguson […]

Writing for the Industry: Black Writers Talk About Their Work

posted by Nell Minow

This afternoon at 3PM, the 8th annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair in Los Angeles will host a “Writing for the Industry” panel, which will aid “beginning, advanced and aspiring screenwriters through the steps of writing their first feature length script, […]

Get on Up

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug use, some strong language, and violent situations
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2015

There are a lot of challenges in taking on the life story of James Brown, known variously as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite and others with variations on the term “Funk.” First […]

Who Should Play Non-White Characters?

posted by Nell Minow

Amanda Scherker has an excellent piece in the Huffington Post about “whitewashing” in films — ethnically white actors playing non-white characters. We understand now how absurd it was to have John Wayne play Genghis Khan or Katharine Hepburn play “Dragon […]

Cliff Curtis is a New Zealander Who Plays All Ethnicities

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to take a look at this extraordinary compilation of clips showing off the astonishing versatility of a actor Cliff Curtis.  And I love his comment on being cast as characters of so many different ethnicities in an interview […]

Belle: The Real Story

posted by Nell Minow

“Belle,” expanding to theaters across the country tomorrow, is based on the real-life 18th century story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a titled British Naval officer (played in the film by Matthew Goode of “A Good Wife”) […]

White Actors Cast In “The Gods of Egypt”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m in favor of race-blind casting except when race is a part of the story.  And that seems to be the case in a $450 million epic film called “The Gods of Egypt” that takes place in Egypt.  But instead […]

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:April 4, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: April 4, 2014

It was a galvanizing moment.  A divisive moment.  An iconic moment. President George H.W. Bush had just nominated Clarence Thomas to be the second black man and the first black Republican Supreme Court justice.  The Senate Judiciary Committee was conducting […]

All Children Need Books About All Children

posted by Nell Minow

Author Walter Dean Myers, former Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, wrote about a troubling issue in the New York Times: the lack of diversity in books for children. “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just […]

Trailer: Get On Up — The James Brown Story

posted by Nell Minow

Chadwick Boseman (“42″) looks electrifying as James Brown in this biopic directed by “The Help’s” Tate Taylor, produced by Ron Howard, and co-starring Viola Davis, Jill Scott, and Octavia Spencer.  It will be in theaters this summer.

Lupita Nyoung’o Made a Beautifully Gracious Statement

posted by Nell Minow

I hope Lupita Nyoung’o wins the Best Supporting Actress award tomorrow night.  She deserves it.  But there’s another reason: I want to hear her acceptance speech.  Her speech at the Essence Awards this week was beautifully heartfelt, gracious, and wise. […]

Was 2013 the Best Year in History for African-American Films?

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Kevin Sampson for inviting me to join my friends Tim Gordon and Jason Fraley and director and DC film office head Pierre Bagley for a lively discussion and debate on movies made by African-American filmmakers.

Movies for Black History Month

posted by Nell Minow

Every family should observe Black History Month and movies like these are a good way to begin discussions and further study. 1. “Glory” The true story of the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of their own […]

Black Reel Awards 2014: 12 Years a Slave Breaks the Record

posted by Nell Minow

I always look forward to the announcement of the Black Reel Awards, which each year pay tribute to the greatest achievements of African-Americans and people of the African Diaspora in feature and independent films and television.  This year, I was especially […]

Tonight on PBS: Alice Walker

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight on most PBS stations is the premiere of a new episode of the American Masters series, “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth,” in honor of the acclaimed author’s 70th birthday and Black History Month. Walker is the first African-American woman to […]

Previous Posts

Trailer: Barely Lethal with Jessica Alba, Samuel L. Jackson, and Hailee Steinfeld
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y-CJjJ-jtw[/youtube] A teenage special ops agent who wants to experience a "normal" adolescence fakes her own death and enrolls in a suburban high school. She quickly learns that surviving the ...

posted 8:00:57am Sep. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Kim Campbell on Caring for Glen Campbell and "I'll Be Me"
Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me is a beautiful documentary about an ugly disease. Glen Campbell, one of the most popular and successful musical performers of all time, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011. As memories, words, and some basic ...

posted 12:07:58pm Sep. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Adorable BB-8 Drone from the New "Star Wars" Meets Some Adorable Puppies
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQIeBPjEiys[/youtube] ...

posted 11:43:57am Sep. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Lobster, an Offbeat Sci-Fi Romance with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpt0tn1-54k[/youtube] This is the most intriguing trailer I've seen in ages -- a love story set in a world where everyone must be romantically paired and if they don't get together fast enough they ...

posted 8:16:04am Sep. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Transporter Refueled
It must be said. The refueled "Transporter" is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a ...

posted 5:34:15pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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