, Sept 9 (Reuters) – The two women who
battled in Sunday’s final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament
earned prize money equal to their male counterparts and perhaps
no person was more instrumental in bringing about that parity
than Billie Jean King.
And yet, the 39-time Grand Slam title-winner is disappointed
with the progress of equality 40 years after her groundbreaking
achievements for women’s tennis and the women’s movement,
perhaps most notably her defeat of Bobby Riggs in 1973′s “Battle
of the Sexes.”
TORONTO (Reuters) – Ron Woodroof was about the most unlikely of heroes in the frightening early days of AIDS in the 1980s – a homophobic, cocaine-snorting, sex-addicted Texas rodeo cowboy who crudely made fun of actor Rock Hudson’s battle against the disease.
No one wanted to make the film about the guy for the longest time, says actor Matthew McConaughey. But 20 years after inception, “Dallas Buyers Club” – a chronicle of Woodroof’s transformation from bigot to AIDS patient to savior of many – has finally made it to the screen.
TORONTO, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Forget for a minute the Hugh
Jackman of Broadway musicals and “Les Miserables” and “X-Men”
movies, and envision the Australian actor as a Pennsylvania
survivalist and desperate father who takes justice into his own
As a carpenter without enough work who stockpiles supplies
and doesn’t trust government, he is the seething vigilante who
drives the dark thriller “Prisoners,” one of the most
talked-about films at the Toronto International Film Festival
and the subject of early Oscar buzz.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Actor Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t get any help from Julian Assange in his preparation to play the founder of WikiLeaks in the film “The Fifth Estate,” and guesses Assange probably won’t like his portrayal, even though the actor sees it as celebration of the activist’s achievements.
Cumberbatch said he didn’t have access to the polarizing figure behind the whistleblower website after Assange “stated very clearly at the beginning of the project that he didn’t want to condone the film.”
TORONTO, Sept 5 (Reuters) – “The Fifth Estate,” an unlikely
thriller that chronicles the emergence of anti-secrecy website
WikiLeaks and its enigmatic founder Julian Assange, premiered at
the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday.
English actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Assange,
called the debut at Toronto the “perfect marriage” of a
festival, known for its popular participation, and a film, about
what he called “people journalism.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For Oscar and Grammy-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson, the decision to play anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela in her first lead role was no easy matter, especially when she saw what the former South African first lady meant to the nation.
In the biopic “Winnie Mandela,” which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, Hudson plays the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela from the time she met him as a young woman, through decades as the public face for her imprisoned husband’s fight against white rule.
BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – With a voice several octaves underground and a piercing stare, action star Vin Diesel goes to an even darker place as Riddick in the third installment of the sci-fi film series, nine years after “The Chronicles of Riddick.”
In “Riddick,” which opens Friday, Diesel’s ex-convict character leaves his comfortable world as leader of the Necromonger death race to search for his homeland. Once double-crossed and left for dead, he resolves to rebuild himself, both physically and morally, but must do battle against beasts and bounty hunters.
LOS ANGELES/TORONTO (Reuters) – As director Bill Condon was finishing up his film “The Fifth Estate” about Julian Assange and anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden started leaking U.S. security documents, reigniting the public debate over secrecy, security and whistleblowing in the Internet era.
“The same lines were being used, the same script was being recited, it was fascinating,” said Condon. “And then Assange appeared and became part of the story.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – From the FBI agent tripping on acid to the action film star marrying a transsexual, the Sunday night Showtime drama “Ray Donovan” has served up its share of bizarre twists.
In the tale of a ruthless yet morally conflicted Hollywood “fixer” played by Liev Schreiber, “you never know where it is going to go,” executive producer Mark Gordon says.
LOS ANGELES, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Race in America has been a
hot topic of debate this summer and Hollywood, as if on cue, has
muscled its way into the conversation.
This year is shaping up to be a big one in film for African
American, black and civil rights themes, offering audiences
different lenses through which to consider the complex question
of racial equality, both historically and in the present day.