Muse Reporting on popular and fine arts

Awards season in the post-Weinstein era

Culture | Early nominations show Hollywood stamping out sexual predators
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/15/17, 02:10 pm

As Hollywood awards season approaches, who doesn’t receive a nomination says just as much about the state of entertainment as who does. Nominations for the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards were announced this week and excluded several actors accused of sexual misconduct in recent months. Perennial nominee Kevin Spacey, who previously won acclaim for his role in Netflix’s House of Cards, didn’t make the list. Neither did actor Jeffrey Tambor, who played a transgender person on the show Transparent. Both men faced accusations of sexual harassment or misconduct in the past few months.

Actor Christopher Plummer earned a nomination for best supporting actor for his role in All the Money in the World, in which he replaced Spacey after director Ridley Scott cut the beleaguered actor from the nearly finished film. Scott furiously reshot all of Spacey’s scenes with Plummer to make sure the film was released in time for awards show consideration.

“We cannot let one person’s action affect the good work of all these other people. It’s that simple,” Scott told Entertainment Weekly about the decision to recast Spacey—one that appears to have paid off. Co-star Michelle Williams was nominated for the Golden Globe for best actress, and Scott received a nod for best director.

The slate of Golden Globe nominees appears to emphasize—at least more so than in years past—movies and TV shows about women and women’s issues. The Post focuses on Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham’s role in exposing the Pentagon Papers, which told government secrets about the Vietnam War. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, portrays a mother’s quest to bring her daughter’s killer to justice. Lady Bird is a rare female coming-of-age movie. And the miniseries Big Little Lies shows different women’s responses to domestic and sexual violence.

VidAngel VidAngel A scene from The Chosen pilot

New take on an old story

VidAngel, the video filtering company engrossed in a court fight with major film studios, launched an effort this week to crowdfund an original series about the life of Jesus. Director Dallas Jenkins says The Chosen will tell the story of Jesus through the eyes of the everyday sinners who interacted with him. Jenkins is the son of author Jerry B. Jenkins and directed The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

VidAngel has an intriguing proposition for filtering the swearing, smut, and violence out of existing TV shows and movies, but like all streaming platforms, it needs to develop strong original content to distinguish itself in the market. Its Dry Bar Comedy series of obscenity-free stand-up acts has performed better than expected, so a move into dramas seems like the natural next step. 

The series pilot of The Chosen is available to stream free online, along with an appeal from Jenkins for investments in the project, which is using an untraditional financing plan. The Chosen pilot tells the story of the birth of Jesus from the perspective of one of the shepherds from Luke 2. The pilot starts off slow but builds some interesting conflicts between characters that likely will bring viewers back for at least a few more episodes when they’re available. —L.L.

Associated Press/Photo by Luca Bruno (file) Associated Press/Photo by Luca Bruno (file) Sky television's headquarters in Milan, Italy

Disney’s big move

I’ve been watching with interest Fox’s attempt to acquire British entertainment company Sky, and it took an unexpected turn this week. Regulatory hearings in the U.K. have provided a glimpse into the corporate culture of Fox and may have contributed to the ouster of conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly. British regulators expressed concern that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch, who already owns two U.K. newspapers, shouldn’t also have control of news channel SkyNews. Then this week, Disney announced it will buy the film side of Fox from the Murdochs, who will keep the company’s cable networks, including the Fox News Channel. Disney will take over the ongoing Sky deal, removing Murdoch from the equation and improving the likelihood of the Brits approving the sale. When the dust settles, Disney might have not only acquired 21st Century Fox but also made a major power play in the British TV market. —L.L.

Music and memories

The site of a historic South Side Chicago church that burned down in 2006 soon will house the nation’s first gospel music museum, organizers say. Don Jackson, founder of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards and former chairman of the DuSable Museum of African American History, said the project will fill a need in Chicago for preserving black history. The National Museum of Gospel Music is planned on the site of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in the Bronzeville neighborhood. The church’s music director, blues pianist Thomas A. Dorsey, pioneered the music genre in 1932, blending Christian text with jazz and blues. The church drew singers such as Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, and James Cleveland. Don Jackson plans to open the museum in 2020 during the month of September, designated by former President Barack Obama as Gospel Music Heritage Month. —L.L.

For posterity

The National Film Registry announced this week 25 selections it plans to add to its collection for preservation. This year’s additions include Die Hard, Dumbo, Field of Dreams, Titanic, La Bamba, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Superman, and The Goonies. “The selection of a film to the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to American cinema and the nation’s cultural and historical heritage,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said. “Being tasked with selecting only 25 each year is daunting because there are so many great films deserving of this honor.” The registry’s website includes select film footage, much of which chronicles historic events. Visitors to the site can watch President William McKinley take the oath of office in 1901 or family movies from the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. —L.L.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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