The Help Wins Big At Image Awards Houston Remembered

“The Help,” which chronicled the experiences of black maids in the 1960s, and the comedy “Jumping the Broom” were honored at the NAACP Image Awards on Friday, and the life and career of Whitney Houston was celebrated with rousing gospel songs a week after the singer’s untimely death.

The box-office hit about black maids speaking out against their white employers in Mississippi in the early 1960s won best movie and acting awards for Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. The film, Davis and Spencer have been nominated for Academy Awards.

Davis said “The Help” was an important movie because “the maid hadn’t been humanized before. I felt she remained a cardboard cut-out” before the movie was made.

“Jumping the Broom” also took home three award, for best actor Laz Alonso, Salim Akil and supporting actor Mike Epps.

The two-hour ceremony recognizing the accomplishments of people of color was tinged with grief over the death on Saturday of Houston, best known for her hit song “I Will Always Love You.”

Yolanda Adams, singing with a gospel choir, led the tribute on Friday, belting out a version of “I Love the Lord” from Houston’s film “The Preacher’s Wife” after video clips of a smiling Houston were shown receiving NAACP awards in the 1990s. Continue Reading…

Oscar Nominations 2012

Oscar Nominations 2012: Oscar nominations are out and there are both surprises and notable trends. Moviegoers are rewarding films that provide a respite from the turbulent world outside the theater. And women seem to be at the forefront of the charge.

Unexpected nods for dark horse “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” about a son’s search for meaning in his father’s death, include both a supporting actor and best film nomination. Also a surprise, Terence Malick’s polarizing, “Tree of Life,” made it onto the list for best film.

Other best-film candidates include “The Artist,” “The Help,” “Hugo,” and “The Descendants.” These films all reflect a turn to nastalgia and familiy – what one pundit calls “’The Blind Side’ effect.”  Continue Reading…