WILD

For those of you that know me, you know how much I love my mother.  She is my buddy, my confidant, my rock and most of all My Mommy.  As the years progress and we both become older in this world, I know the day will come when one of us will be without the other.  It is unspeakable and unthinkable until one day it is just a reality.  A reality that neither of us wants, needs or will accept with ease.

Riddled with guilt after the death of her Mom (beautifully and lovingly played by Laura Dern), a drug induced/sexually promiscuous Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) embarks on a 1000 mile hiking journey through the Pacific Crest Trail back to the person her Mom believed she could be.

Mostly told through flashbacks, one knows at the beginning of Wild when Cheryl lets out a primal scream from losing her shoes and a toenail that we are about to go on an intense emotional roller coaster...and what a ride it becomes.

Based on the best-selling memoir  "Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail" by Cheryl Strayed  we are privy to a life that becomes transformed through solitude in the the wild.  Being someone, who would NEVER be caught dead camping, one of my favorite scenes was watching Cheryl pack her backpack for the impending journey.  I won't ruin it for you, but is is pure comedy!

It's a sure bet that Dern and Witherspoon will join the ladies for Oscar nods in the Best Actress and Supporting categories.  I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Cinematographer Yves Bélanger, for capturing the stunning beauty of the Mohave Desert and the Pacific Crest Trail (he is also responsible for last season's big hit Dallas Buyers Club).  Fox Searchlight opened this film in limited release as of December 5th.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn2-GSqPyl0

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

The Good Lie

The Lost Boys of Sudan was given to the groups of over 20,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005). Nearly 2.5 million were killed and millions more were displaced. The Good Lie  based on these unfortunate turn of events in the early 80's, gives us a "fly on the wall " account of four Sudanese children relocated to American from the point of view of their employment agency counselor - Carrie. (Reese Witherspoon)

Things we take for granted like fast food, phones ringing and driving present real challenges and magical consequences for this group of Sudanese refugees.  Not to mention the fact that being separated from their only sister. losing several siblings to disease, watching their parents murdered and having another sibling captured by militia leaves them all with a sense of being lost while trying to assimilate to a way of living as foreign to them as they are to America.

It was interesting to me that Reese Witherspoon is being touted as the star of the film just as Brad Pitt was pushed as the star of 12 Years A Slave in order to put butts in the seats.  Regardless, I am just glad the story is being told and brought to the forefront.  We take a lot for granted here in America and need to open our eyes and hearts to other parts of the world who are less fortunate.  Now more than ever, the lessons and words of the 60's Civil Rights Movement should be resoundingly heard...not as a whisper barely heard or spoken.

Kudos to Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Casting Director Mindy Marin for using actors who are real Sudan survivors.

The Good Lie opened in theaters on October 3rd to $841K and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.  Run...don't walk.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/c2tI5zW3IU8?t=6s]

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Recap: Telluride Film Festival

This is an abridged report from Variety's Tim Gray recapping the 2014 Telluride Film Festival, which wrapped up over the Memorial Day Weekend...

wild-reese-witherspoonAs the four-day Telluride Film Festival wrapped Sept. 1, the big awards question is: Did we see the 2014 Oscar best-pic winner?

Telluride has cultivated its reputation as an awards launch pad, premiering four of the last six best-pic Oscar winners (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King’s Speech,” “Argo” and “12 Years a Slave”) and screening one that had bowed at Cannes (“The Artist”). So out of six years, Telluride only skipped “Hurt Locker.”

Three films are clear possibilities for a best-pic nomination and maybe more: “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game” and “Wild.” The festival also offered Sony Classics’ “Foxcatcher,” which bowed at Cannes and seems destined to be a golden player in all categories.

“Foxcatcher” is universally admired; no one seems to dislike it, and some love it. “Birdman” is inspiring the most animated discussions, with many enthusing about the content and the technical magic. But it is too early to declare either film a front-runner.

Aside from the aforementioned,  Telluride offered films that had premiered at other fests and could be possibilities in various awards categories, including “The Homesman,” “Mr. Turner,” “99 Homes” and “Two Days, One Night.”

The fest also premiered “Rosewater,”  the Jon Stewart film. It's a gem, and audiences have been enthused. But awards chances? Ask again in December. For right now, Open Road needs to build word of mouth but to manage audience expectations on the film, so it seems unfair to burden “Rosewater” with awards talk at this point.

And that is the double-edged sword of mixing kudos campaigns with film festivals.   Last year, a few overeager bloggers here declared “12 Years a Slave” the inevitable Oscar winner. As it turns out, they were right, though the season offered more competition and more plot twists than they had expected.

This year, it’s too early to declare a front-runner, but three things are clear. First, it is shaping up to be another good year. Second, awards talk is a valid part of fest conversations, but not the only part. And third, it’s six months until the Feb. 22 Oscar ceremony. So fasten your seat belts.

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!