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Movie Review: Halle Berry Dives Head First In 'Bruised'

11/18/2021 0
What makes Halle Berry such a great actress is that regardless of the role, lead or supporting, good or bad, you never doubt her commitment to giving it everything that she’s got, and that commitment is more than evident in her latest film, ‘Bruised’, which debuted in theaters yesterday (11/17) and will hit Netflix a week later (11/24).

In the film, she plays Jackie Justice, a disgraced MMA fighter looking for redemption after her last fight left her crawling out the cage. It’s the classic fight story, but in this instance, Jackie is also fighting to be a mom to the son that she abandoned years ago.

For the role, Berry dives in headfirst (literally headbutting her opponent in the early moments of the film) by putting herself through grueling training for nearly three years and helping reimagine the story that was originally written for a young white woman, and had Blake Lively attached as its star. It’s a familiar fight that Berry has faced for most of her career and one that she, for the most part, wins here as she also steps behind the camera for the first time.

Berry is fearless as Jackie providing both the physically needed to believe that she is a fighter and the emotional awareness to deliver in the dramatic scenes. There are few actresses as gifted at displaying the strength of a broken woman, and if anyone needed a reminder, she shows that she is far greater than the material that she has been rewarded by delivering her best performance since her powerfully understated work in ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’.

She also shows potential as a director and despite some choppy shots here and there that lack fluidity, you can tell Berry cares about each and every character as she frames their faces in ways that bring the best out of them. Danny Boyd Jr., who plays Manny, says so much with his eyes without saying a thing at all, Sheila Atim is revelation as her trainer turned lover Buddhakan, Adriane Lenox is great as her mom and Stephen McKinley Henderson feels at ease as Pops despite his presence being severely underused until the final stretch.

Still, ‘Bruised’ does take quite a beating in the grand scheme of things as the script by first-time screenwriter Michelle Rosenfarb is a laundry list of cliches that are often put out there without any true resolution. The characters feel undeveloped and with the story being so familiar there needed to be something that separates it from the pack besides a black female protagonist.

There isn’t and as a result, the only thing that leaves a mark are the performances.

3 OUT OF 5

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2021 Academy Awards: Complete List Of Winners

4/26/2021 0

'Mank' came into the night with a leading 10 nominations, but 'Nomadland' collected the top award of the night, Best Picture, at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25th.

Anthony Hopkins and Frances McDormand were named Best Actor and Best Actress for 'The Father' and 'Nomadland' (respectively), while in the supporting categories, Daniel Kaluuya and Yuh-Jung Youn were awarded for their work in 'Judas and the Black Messiah' and 'Minari' (respectively).


Best Picture

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Best Actress
Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Actor in a Supporting Role
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Actress in a Supporting Role
Yuh-Jung Youn

Original Screenplay
Promising Young Woman
(Emerald Fennell)

Adapted Screenplay
The Father
(Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller)

International Feature Film
Another Round (Denmark)

Animated Film
(Pete Docter and Dana Murray)

Animated Short
If Anything Happens I Love You
(Will McCormack and Michael Govier)

Music (Original Score)
(Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste)

Music (Original Song)
“Fight For You” from Judas and the Black Messiah
(Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas)

Visual Effects
Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher

(Erik Messerschmidt)

Sound of Metal
(Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh)

Film Editing
Sound of Metal
Mikkel E. G. Nielsen

Makeup and Hairstyling
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
(Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson)

Costume Design
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
(Ann Roth)

Live Action Short Film
Two Distant Strangers
(Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe)

Documentary Feature
My Octopus Teacher
Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster

Documentary Short Subject
(Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard)

Production Design
(Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale)
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2021 Academy Awards: Anthony Hopkins Wins Best Actor [Video]

4/25/2021 0

In the biggest twist of the night, Chadwick Boseman lost his first and final bid for Best Actor to no-show Anthony Hopkins for his heartbreaking role in 'The Father' at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25th.

Other nominees included Riz Ahmed in 'Sound of Metal', Chadwick Boseman in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom', Gary Oldman in 'Mank' and Steven Yeun in 'Minari'.

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2021 Academy Awards: Frances McDormand Wins Best Actress [Video]

4/25/2021 0

In a tightly contested race, history was shutout as Frances McDormand claimed her third Best Actress win for 'Nomadland' at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25th.

Other nominees included Viola Davis in 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom', Andra Day in 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday', Vanessa Kirby in 'Pieces of a Woman', Frances McDormand in 'Nomadland' and Carey Mulligan in 'Promising Young Woman'.

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2021 Academy Awards: Yuh-Jung Youn Wins Best Supporting Actress [Video]

4/25/2021 0

2x-winner Brad Pitt, who captured last year's Best Supporting Actor trophy, presented Yuh-Jung Youn with Best Supporting Actress for her role as Soonya in 'Minari' at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25th.

Other nominees included Maria Bakalova in 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm', Glenn Close in 'Hillbilly Elegy', Olivia Colman in 'The Father' and Amanda Seyfried in 'Mank'.

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2021 Academy Awards: Daniel Kaluuya Wins Best Supporting Actor [Video]

4/25/2021 0

As expected, Daniel Kaluuya completed his sweep by winning his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Fred Hampton in 'Judas and the Black Messiah' at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25th.

Other nominees include his co-star LaKeith Stanfield, Sacha Baron Cohen in 'The Trial of the Chicago 7', Leslie Odom Jr. in 'One Night in Miami' and Paul Raci in 'Sound of Metal'.

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