Viola Davis

Don’t Believe the Hype — ‘Prisoners’ Is a Cheap Thriller

There is a scene about two-thirds of the way through Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners that sums up pretty much everything that’s wrong with the picture. Here’s how it goes: Two little girls have been abducted. While the parents (Terrence Howard and Viola Davis) of one of them are out, the prime suspect for the crime breaks into their home. Their teenage daughter is at her most vulnerable: naked and taking a bath, talking on her cell phone. Villeneuve cuts away. We then see Howard and Davis return home. They call out for their daughter; she does not answer. They call out more, open doors, flip on lights. A good half-minute of screen time is spent on this exercise before they break down the bathroom door — and discover her walking out, chastising them for not telling her they were leaving. No explanation is provided for her lengthy silence and lack of response, because there isn’t a logical one. She was inexplicably quiet so that Villeneuve could build in a cheap, easy moment of faux-tension that wouldn’t have made the cut in a second-tier horror movie. … Read More

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James Franco, Backstreet Boys and Jane Lynch To Join the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced the 24 honorees who will be bequeathed a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year — if, of course, they shell out that $30,000 celebrities are asked to pay to, er, cement the honor. Some of the choices make sense to us — Javier Bardem, Helen Mirren, Jane Lynch all definitely deserve stars, even if the whole thing is a racket that ends up with gum trod into your name — but some seem a little bizarre. After all, if the HCC was going to give the Backstreet Boys and NKOTB stars, why do it in 2012 at the peak of their irrelevance? And you’re only just noticing Janis Joplin now? Click through to check out the complete list of honorees, and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More

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This Week in Trailers: ‘Maniac,’ ‘Won’t Back Down,’ ‘Hit & Run,’ and More

Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got new seven trailers this week, featuring Bradley Cooper, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Orlando Bloom, Kristen Bell, Elijah Wood, Zoe Saldana, and Olivia Wilde. Check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More

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Which of Your Favorite Cultural Icons Made the TIME 100?

Time has just published its annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Most of the names you expect are there — Barack Obama, Kim Jong-un, the lady who invented Spanx — but here at Flavorpill, we’re especially interested in the magazine’s picks within the cultural realm. Along with the obvious choices (Adele, Harvey Weinstein, Stephen Colbert), some intriguing trends emerge. All five of the actors on the list are women, for example, and the only two filmmakers come from Muslim countries. See who made the cut after the jump, and be sure to click through and read the blurbs by celebrities who are just as noteworthy as their subjects. … Read More

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Audiobooks and the Celebrities Who Were Born to Read Them

Audiobook superstore Audible has recently rolled out a new series of books called the “A-List Collection,” featuring celebrities lending their vocal talents to classic books. They have some great talent on tap: Annette Bening reading Mrs. Dalloway, Colin Firth reading The End of the Affair, Dustin Hoffman reading Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There, but the project got us to thinking about the celebrities we’d pick to read our favorite novels to us if we had our choice. Click through to read our list of our dream audiobook narrators and why we think they’d be perfect for the gig, and let us know who you’d want to whisper sweet prose into your ear in the comments. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we realized the uncanny similarities between the Cathy comic series and Requiem for a Dream. We looked at 37 minimalist superhero and villain posters. We wondered what Milla Jovovich will be wearing when she hosts the Scientific And Technical Awards at this year’s Oscars. We said … Read More

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2011′s Most Underrated Films and Performances

As the year winds to a close, you’ve seen plenty of “best of 2011″ lists — and we’ve certainly contributed a few of our own to the mix. Wading through them can lead to a sense of fatigue; yes, we liked The Artist and Hugo and The Descendants and The Tree of Life just fine too, but it feels like we’re reading praise for all the same movies and performances, everywhere we look. So, late in the “best of” season, we wanted to take a moment to spotlight a few films and actors who, we feel, are getting overlooked in the year-end shuffle. Our picks are after the jump; yours (we hope) will join in the comments. … Read More

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The Year's Biggest Film Stars Channel Cinema's Greatest Villains

In Touch of Evil, a video project for The New York Times Magazine’s new Hollywood issue, photographer/filmmaker Alex Prager asked the actors behind some of the best performances of the year to take on a few of cinema’s most villainous roles. We can’t decide which of the resulting vignettes is our favorite: Brad Pitt doing his creepiest Henry Spencer from Eraserhead, Viola Davis’ chilling take on Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rooney Mara’s androgynous homage to Alex from A Clockwork Orange, or a very angry Michael Shannon as Wall Street’s Gordon Gecko. Either way, Gary Oldman as the ventriloquist’s dummy from the 1978 film Fats is definitely going to give us nightmares. All 13 of the beautifully-shot clips are well worth your time; click through to preview a few stills, and then head over to Times’ website to check them all out. … Read More

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Trailer Park: Docs, Death, and Dolly

Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got seven new trailers this week, ranging from the joy of Elmo and Dolly to the horrors of Katherine Heigl; check ‘em out after the jump. … Read More

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