We finally made it to 2021, however, I must say that I have watched more movies and television series during the COVID pandemic than ever before.
Streaming channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others have made it very convenient for families and people who never made time or didn’t have the funds to go to the movie theaters, to see shows they never would have seen.
For example, how many people would have been able to afford to see the Broadway show HAMILTON at the theater? Tickets can cost as much as a car note. Even though seeing it on television or using a laptop does not take the place of seeing HAMILTON as a live performance, more people have been reached over the streaming platforms.
The awards season is coming up and there are so many shows that showcase people of color that should be in the running. A few of my choices are:
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Based on August Wilson’s play of the same name and produced by Denzel Washington, this film is interesting, exciting, and so well done. Having seen the play on stage, director George C. Wolfe did a fantastic job of bringing the feeling that you, the audience, are a part of the scenes on the screen.
The setting is a day in a Chicago recording studio where Ma Rainey is recording an album. Viola Davis is amazing as Ma Rainey. Maxayn Lewis did most of the singing for the role but Davis sold it. Chadwick Boseman’s performance was untouchable. His death was a shock to all; however, his performance stands on its own. He learned to play the trumpet so he would have the look just right. I am positive he will be nominated as Best Actor in all the upcoming awards shows.
Denzel Washington – Producer
Chadwick Boseman as Levee
Viola Davis as Ma Rainey
Bridgerton, produced by Shonda Rhimes and created by Chris Van Dusen, is a Netflix period drama series based on Julia Quinn’s novels, around the Bridgerton family. It is set in Regency London high society where Queen Charlotte rules, and there are Dukes and Lords, Ladies, and debutantes.
The series is beautifully written and watching those of African descent with titles as high or higher than those of the European aristocrats is quite interesting, especially seeing that Queen Charlotte is of mixed race. However, it is not lost on viewers that those of color were not always accepted or had titles.
Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury is a standout with her sassy ways and knowing looks. When she is on screen, all focus goes to her. Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, is the perfect leading man. He is handsome, an amazing actor, and brings to life the plight and emotions of the young Duke.
Best Drama Streaming Series Shonda Rhimes, Producer
Best Supporting Actress
Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury
Best Supporting Actor
Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
To be honest I am not sure if this is going to be classified as animation or regular film, as it is a mixture of both. It is a fun, whimsical film full of magic, adventure, and love. I can visualize this as a live Broadway stage production. Forest Whitaker is one of my favorite actors, but I did not know he could sing. He has a beautiful voice. Writer-Director David E. Talbert brought this fantasy story to life. Madalen Mills makes her debut in this film and steals the show. This film warmed my heart.
Best Supporting Actress
Madalen Mills as Journey
Forest Whitaker as Jeronicus
Best Supporting Actor
Best Original Song
Square Root of Possible performed by Madalen Mills, Produced by Davy Nathan, Harvey Mason Jr. and Philip Lawrence
This is a cute story about Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a teacher who dreams of being a jazz performer. He finally gets his chance when he falls through a manhole and is headed for the “Great Beyond.” As he tries to run away, he falls into the “Great Before,” which is where new souls are assigned the personalities that make them who they are on earth.
SOUL is an impactful story that is deeper than one may think, depending on the age of the soul that is watching. It had a very deep affect on me. The story, artwork, animation, voices, and music are bright, colorful, and just fantastic.
Best Animated Film
Sylvie’s Love takes place in 1950s Harlem, when a young man walks into a record store and falls in love with the store owner’s daughter. He is an aspiring jazz saxophonist, and she is engaged to a high society young man. Of course, things happen, and they are parted but meet up again in the 60s. It is a true romantic love story that many people do not think or believe happens to people of color. Tessa Thompson is open and loving in the role of Sylvie. Nnamdi Asomugha as Robert is the romantic man girls dream of.
There are so many more that should be mentioned. As we get closer to the awards shows, we will have a lot to discuss. I would love to hear from you about who you think should be nominated and why. Email me at [email protected].
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!