In just a couple of hours, Hollywood royalty will all gather together for the 86th Academy Awards. We’ll find out who will win big at this year’s Oscars and it’s the culmination of a long, but very exciting and entertaining awards season. I’m going to be up from around 1am, CAT watching E! Entertainment’s Live from the Red Carpet, followed by the live show. I can’t wait to see what Ellen DeGeneres has in store for us and I’m really excited to see the big winners. The only big film contender I haven’t seen is Blue Jasmine, but if the other awards are anything to go by, Cate Blanchett should ready herself for an Oscar speech.
Here are a few more of my Oscars 2014 predictions:
Right, so the Creative Workers’ Union of SA is having a go at Jennifer Hudson because she’s been cast to play Winnie Mandela in an upcoming film about the “mother of the nation”. In an article by Sipho Masondo in today’s The Times, he writes “The union said foreign actors should not play leading roles in South African movies because it undermined the growth of the local creative industry.” Read the rest of the story here.
Now I’m waiting to find out more about the casting process of this role and how Ms Hudson got it, but you know what I’m pretty sure it’s because of her talent. As an actor, one is expected to transform into any given character, be it speaking with a different dialect or a change in one’s physique in order to pull off the role. Charlize has done it in America, so why can Hudson not do it in South Africa? Why was this not an issue when Morgan Freeman was cast as Nelson Mandela in Invictus? Come on, the double standards here are priceless.
@ Oupa Lebogo. This is a legitimate question… besides Florence Masebe, who else would play the role better? Also if you look at the caliber of actresses she beat out at the 2007 Oscars, who are we to judge how good she is an actress if she won an Oscar
(Fellow nominees included Adriana Barraza (Babel), Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)
Yes I agree that the arts aren’t given nearly enough credit that they’re owed, but perhaps instead of pouncing on J Hud, the union should pounce on the president, the arts and culture minister. Tell them to put more money into the arts. Tell them to provide more funding to filmmakers who want to compete (technically) with the rest of the world. In that way film producers won’t have to go out and abroad to look for funding. Film director Anant Singh and actress Florence Masebe make good points, “From a creative point of view we have a great wealth of talent locally. However, it’s very difficult to prescribe how a movie should be made. There are commercial imperatives and if you want a movie to be made you have to do it a certain way. It’s all about balance.
“The integrity of the South African film industry can be maintained. Look at Sarafina. I had [American actress] Whoopi Goldberg, but I also had Leleti Khumalo playing a leading role.” (Singh)
Actress Florence Masebe said the issue was far bigger than “Winnie and Jennifer. Why do Americans and foreigners play the roles we hold so dear? The roles of people we respect. I don’t think [anyone but a South African] can even begin to understand what we mean when we say Winnie is the mother of the nation.” Again I go back to my point on Morgan Freeman playing Madiba….
This is a tricky and rather sensitive subject, I get that. We all know this movie is going to happen, no matter what. So here’s a possible solution I have in mind. Why not have Hudson share some of her skills, secrets into being an A-list actress with local talent when she’s here. Set up a workshop, funded by government one day during shooting, empower the artists by knowledge-sharing? I think instead of lambasting this talented woman, we should look at suggestions and possible solutions rather…