Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 11/21/2014
Running Time: 123
Rated: PG-13
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney and David Thewlis.
Crew: Director: James Marsh. Producers: Anthoney McCarten, Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Richard Hewitt and Lucas Webb. Executive Producers: Amelia Granger. Screenwriters: Anthony McCarten and Jane Hawking (Book: "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen." Cinematographer: Benoit Delhomme.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“The Theory of Everything” from director James Marsh (“Man on Wire”) tells the tragic yet inspiring love story between Stephen Hawking, the British cosmologist/theoretical physicist and his wife Jane.

The movie is based on Jane Hawking’s 2008 memoir, “Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen” and is adapted by screenwriter Anthony McCarten.

Eddie Redmayne (“Les Miserables” and “My Week with Marilyn”) stars as the brilliant 21-year-old scholar whose passion for quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of relativity amazed his colleagues and teachers while attending Cambridge University.

Hawking’s intellect and quirky personality also attracted Jane (Felicity Jones, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and soon the two became inseparable. They share touching moments, romantic dates and soon fall madly in love, marry and raise three children together.

What should have been a truly happily ever after love story turns into anything but that when Stephen becomes ill and soon loses control of his muscles. He can’t walk or do simple tasks like pick up a pen or pencil.

Stephen is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The doctor’s prognosis isn’t good. They’ve given him just two years to live.

Despite the grim news, the disease hasn’t altered Stephen’s mental capacity and he is able to plow ahead and immerse himself even more into his work.

For many years Jane remained a pillar of strength for Stephen, but the disease and caring for him does take its toll on her and the children.

Their lives start to unravel when Jane attends church and starts having an affair with the choirmaster (Charlie Cox) and when Stephen is captivated by his striking nurse Elaine (Maxine Peake, TV’s “Silk” and “The Village”) who he winds up marrying.

Redmayne brings such self-assuredness to the role of Hawkings. His ability to transform into him required months of researching the scientist and studying how to convincingly convey his complex physical incapacitation.

Hawkings has said in recent interviews that he was so impressed by watching Redmayne’s portrayal that it was like seeing himself on screen.

It is a gripping performance and one that isn’t likely to be overlooked this awards season.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.


Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/21/2014
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/14/2014
Beyond The Lights

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/14/2014
Dumb And Dumber To

Rated: PG
Opens: 11/07/2014
Big Hero 6

Rated: R
Opens: 11/07/2014

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 11/05/2014


Brian's Song Title: Brian's Song
Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 90
Production Company: Sony (Screen Gems)
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Now with summer behind us, the arrival of fall means weekends attending and watching plenty of football games. Whether they’re college, pro or high school, I’m all over them. I’m looking forward to attending a few games at the San Francisco 49ers new Levi’s Stadium.

On the college front, my husband Rickey is a former UC Davis player/alum and...

The Expendables 3 <b>(Nov. 25)</b> Title: The Expendables 3 (Nov. 25)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 126
Production Company: Lionsgate Films
Director: Patrick Hughes
Review By: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Wesley Snipes returns to action in Sylvester Stallone’s bold, brawny B-movie, “The Expendables 3.”

Snipes’ last major movie was “Brooklyn’s Finest” in 2009. Snipes’ wry humor and swagger is just the sort of infusion “The Expendables 3” needed.

Stallone stars as Barney Ross, the leader of an elite crew that consists of: Lee Christmas (Jason Statham, “Homefront” and the upcoming “Fast & Furious 7”), Gunnar (Dolph Lundgren, TV’s “SAF3”), Toll Road (Randy Couture, “The Expendables 2”) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews, “Blended” and TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”).

They are on a dangerous mission to bust out Doc (Snipes), a former Expendable who has been holed up in jail for eight years on some bogus tax evasion charges. Imagine that.

Normally these guys don’t miss a beat. But when Hale, the weapons expert, is shot and nearly killed by Barney’s former friend-turned-villainous arms dealer, Conrad Stonebanks (a deliriously good Mel Gibson), Barney has to reassess his squad and their strategy.

Have his boys lost a step because they’re too old? Barney thinks so and before he sees any more bloodshed from them, he coldly tells the guys they have to retire.

Naturally they don’t take the order lightly. They are ticked that Barney is recruiting some younger assassins for his next mission in Somalia. It’s an order that’s come from a head CIA honcho named Drummer (Harrison Ford, “Star Wars: Episode VII”). And Drummer emphasizes to Barney that he wants Conrad brought back alive.

Barney turns to his old trusted black ops talent scout and friend Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”) to see who is worthy of hiring. He winds up getting a sharp group of mercenaries. There’s Thorn (Glen Powell, “The Dark Knight Rises”), Mars (Victor Ortiz, welterweight boxing champ), Smilee (Kellan Lutz, “Twilight” and “Hercules”), Luna (Ronda Rousey, MMA fighter and upcoming “Fast & Furious 7”) and the loquacious but highly skilled, Galgo (Antonio Banderas, “Machete Kills”).

In order to take down Conrad and his mighty henchmen, Barney realizes the old and new school camps must join forces. Fortunately, The Expendables--with assists from long time buddies Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Yin Yang (Jet Li)--get the job done.

Bullets, bombs and bodies fly throughout “The Expendables 3.” It’s a messy, but an crazy, entertaining romp.

The November Man <b>Nov. 25</b> Title: The November Man Nov. 25
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 108
Production Company: Relativity Media
Director: Roger Donaldson
Review By: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Seeing Pierce Brosnan portraying a hard-nosed, former CIA agent who has to fiercely fight and run and gun his way throughout the movie, “The November Man” doesn’t seem like a stretch at all. After all, were talking about the same guy who played James Bond. Mr. 007 in “GoldenEye” (1995), “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), “The World Is Not Enough” (1999) and “Die Another Day” (2002).

In “The November Man,” Brosnan is Peter Devereaux, a ruthless and cynical CIA operative. In terms of toughness, he puts Bond to shame.

Martinis? Never that. Peter’s drink of choice is Scotch. And it doesn’t have to be top shelf either.

When Peter is training young recruit David Mason (Luke Bracey, “Point Break”) for an assignment and David’s lack of focus causes a fatal accident, Peter decides that it’s time for him to get out of the game.

Fast forward five years and we see Peter living the life, enjoying his years of retirement in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, it all comes crashing down when he’s asked by an old boss and friend, Hanley (Bill Smitrovich, TV’s “The Last Ship”) to go to Moscow and get an important woman who has specifically asked for him.

In the process Peter has to protect a Belgrade social worker named Fournier (Olga Kurylenko, “Quantum of Solace”) who shelters sex traffickers. She’s become the worlds most wanted because she’s going to testify about the despicable acts committed in Chechnya by Arkady Federov (Lazar Ristovski); Russia’s slime-ball President-elect.

But Arkady is on to her and has sent his baddest assassin (Amila Terzimehic) to take her out. And wouldn’t you know, David, now a CIA hit man, pops up here too with ulterior motives.

There’s a lot going on in “The November Man.” It’s fun keeping up with it all especially as Peter and Alice desperately try to stay steps ahead of all their killers.

As this twisty and deliriously violent espionage thriller unfolds, new faces crop up around every corner it seems, including a New York Times reporter. He gets thisclose to busting the Russian corruption story wide open, but doesn’t quite make it long enough to get the scoop.

“The November Man” is based on Bill Granger’s best-selling book, “There are No Spies” and is directed by Roger Donaldson (“No Way Out”).

Brosnan, is rumored to be in Sylvester Stallone’s next “Expendables” movie. That could be good since Brosnan proves with “The November Man” that he has a very dark side and a license to thrill.

Into The Storm <b>(Nov.18)</b> Title: Into The Storm (Nov.18)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 89
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Steven Quale
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Warner Bros. Pictures missed a golden opportunity by not making “Into the Storm” in 3-D. The movie’s tornado sequences could have been even more thrilling by having gigantic 747 airplanes and buses whirling right at you.

Even so, “Into the Storm” is still pretty exciting. It's the type of movie best seen with that bunch of crazy friends who like to laugh during some of the more dramatic part of movies.

The action takes place in a sleepy, mid-western American town called Silverton. It’s a close-knit community.

Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”) plays Gary, the vice-principal of the local high school. Ever since his wife died in a car accident, he’s had his hands full raising his two, teen sons Donnie (Max Deacon, TV’s “The Hatfields & McCoys”), who is the stubborn one and Trey (Nathan Kress, TV’s “Growing up Fisher”) who for the most part is the good one.

Gary is obsessed with having the boys shoot a time-capsule video as well as record the school’s graduation ceremony. Although the forecast calls for a slight chance of rain, Gary decides to have the graduation outdoors.

Midway through Principal Thomas Walker’s (Scott Lawrence, TV’s “Gang Related”) speech, it starts raining like crazy. All the students have to run inside the school. Once indoors, Gary notices that Donnie isn’t around.

He left to be with a girl (Alycia Debnam Carey) he likes and soon they get trapped inside this old, rickety industrial site. You can tell it’s not going to be good for these lovebirds.
Meanwhile, there is a massive Category 5 storm on the horizon. Consequently, they are urging everyone to stay inside. That news sends fear into most everyone living in this area except for Pete (Matt Walsh from “Ted” and TV’s “Veep”) who makes his living as a storm chaser.

Lately, he’s been striking out trying to capture tornadoes for a documentary he’s filming. Pete has a state of the art Titus tank vehicle that has every bell and whistle imaginable to withstand the strongest storm around.

He’s so desperate for that perfect footage that he’s willing to put his life on the line, along with his driver Daryl (Arlen Escarpeta, TV’s “Grimm” and “Extant”) and Allison, (Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”) who is a highly educated weather scientist. It’s no wonder Allison doesn’t think too highly of Pete.

But Pete gets more than he bargains for when three humongous tornadoes strike, hurling planes and buses throughout the air and just wreaking havoc on the town. Pete’s so called indestructible Titus storm chaser is put fully to the test. “Into the Storm” is quite a rush.

Editor’s Note: “Into The Storm” Blu-ray Combo Pack Contains The Following Special Features: Into the Storm: Tornado Files. Titus: The Ultimate Chasing Vehicle. Fake Storms: Real Conditions.
“Into the Storm” Standard Definition DVD Contains The Following Special Features: Fake Storms: Real Conditions.

And So It Goes <b>(Nov. 18)</b> Title: And So It Goes (Nov. 18)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 94
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Director: Rob Reiner
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


Although director Rob Reiner’s new rom-com, “And So It Goes”may feel like familiar territory since it was written by Mark Andrus (“As Good as It Gets”), Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton is what really sells this movie.

Douglas plays a wealthy real estate agent named Oren Little who has been in the business for more than 30 years. His wife’s death has made him a bit boorish and he often rubs people the wrong way. But Oren could care less.

Now that his estranged son Kyle (Austin Lysy, “Arbitrage”) who is a recovering drug addict has moved away, Oren is trying to sell his spacious Connecticut home but hasn’t had much luck.

In the meantime Oren lives in one of the many apartments he owns and often gets on the nerves of most of his neighbors. They include a young African-American couple, (Maurice Jones, “Romeo & Juliet” and Yaya Alafia, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) and an older woman named Leah, (Diane Keaton) who sings jazz standards at the local club in town. Leah’s a pretty decent singer, but she can’t make it through a song without crying because she’s thinking about her deceased husband.

While we know how Oren and Leah will get together, the fun of “And So it Goes” is watching them sort through all the drama leading up to their blossoming romance.

It’s not just Leah who chips away at Oren’s old, crusty heart. His son Kyle drops a bomb on him and tells him he has a granddaughter named Sarah (Sterling Jerins, “World War Z” and “The Conjuring”) and that he needs him to take care of her while he serves time in jail. Sarah’s mom is a drug addict too.

Although Oren is totally against taking Sarah in, he does. Over time they become inseparable. And when Leah adds her womanly charm and advice to the mix, these three become like family.
Much to the dismay of Leah’s pianist and promoter Artie (Rob Reiner who is sporting one of the most horrendous toupees in cinematic history), Oren is interested in helping Leah branch out with her singing career. He calls on his good friend (Frankie “Jersey Boy” Valli) who just happens to be the club owner and they work out a nice contract for Leah. Before long Oren and Leah are opening up about their pasts and love is in the air.

Douglas and Keaton dazzle when they are at odds with each other, but they are equally convincing simply as an older couple reluctant to trust and start over again.

I like that “And so It Goes” is a good, old fashioned, mature comedy. Hollywood doesn’t make enough of these satisfying charmers.


Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood lit up the big screen with her debut, feature movie, “Love & Basketball” (2000). The romantic drama starred Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps and was a critical and commercial success.

Bythewood followed that with “Disappearing Acts” which was based on Terry McMillan’s best-selling novel. It was a box office hit too thanks to Bythewood’s deft directing and the film’s stars Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan.

Now, Bythewood has returned with “Beyond the Lights.” The movie made quite a splash at the Toronto Film Festival and New York’s Urbanworld Film Festival.

“Beyond the Lights” features Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who starred in this year’s critically acclaimed period drama, “Belle” and Nate Parker whose work includes “Non-Stop” with Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington’s “The Great Debaters.”

In “Beyond the Lights,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays a famous, yet troubled pop star. Her demanding mother/manager (Minnie Driver) and the pressures of show business soon overwhelm her until she meets and falls in love with an L.A. cop (Nate Parker). spoke with Gina Prince-Bythewood during a recent telephone interview. The accomplished filmmaker talked about overcoming the numerous obstacles to get “Beyond the Lights” made, working with the film’s dynamic, leading stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, and Minnie Driver and why as a filmmaker she believes it’s important to make movies that enlighten as well as entertain audiences.

Read on to find out what else Prince-Bythewood had to share with us.

Q. First off congratulations on “Beyond the Lights.” It’s a fantastic movie. Your last romantic drama “Love & Basketball” was released 14 years ago and now we have “Beyond the Lights.” What took so long to make this film?

A. Thanks very much. It has been a minute for me to get “Beyond the Lights” off the ground. I had actually started writing it in 2007 around the same time as I was doing “The Secret Life of Bees.” Then I put it down. In terms of writing, I take a long time. I write and rewrite. So that was part of it too. But the biggest obstacle was shopping the film around to studios and convincing them that a black love story and music drama would be marketable.

Q. Did you get a lot of rejections from studios?

A. Did I ever. I never heard the word no used in so many ways and as often as I did while shopping “Beyond the Lights” around. I was really shocked that everybody turned us down. We fought and fought to get this movie made.

Q. What were the objections and reservations that some of the studios had about the movie?

A. Well, there were two major issues. They were uncomfortable with the suicide issue that’s in the movie. They felt it made the movie feel too dark.

Q. And was the other issue that the actors were maybe too dark as well?

A. Lots of laughter. That’s funny. There was concern that Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker weren’t big enough stars to carry the movie. Relativity Media was the only studio who embraced where I was going with the movie. They also said that having Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the lead in the movie was a great choice on my part and they felt she was a star and absolutely loved her. Plus, to hear them tell me that they respected my work and trusted what I was doing was music to my ears especially after getting all those rejections from everyone else. From that moment on, it was full steam ahead.

Q.Speaking of Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker, they have a palpable chemistry on screen. I mean these two exude sensuality throughout the movie. When did Nate become so sexy and how did you decide on them and what was it that they brought that clicked for you?

A. Gugu and Nate are just dynamic together. They even exceeded my expectations. Nate is a phenomenal person and actor. I had worked with him before in my movie “The Secret Life of Bees.” He was pretty sexy then too. (Lots of laughter). I think for this role he got all buffed and everything. But he’s electric on set and in rehearsal. I knew early on when I was writing “Beyond the Lights” that Nate was going to be on my short list. I needed a man for this role and he’s not soft at all. And because there’s a lack of leading male roles, I wanted his character to be multi-layered and be something special. And Nate loved his character Kaz. He completely embraced it and I think he nails it. I met Gugu Mbatha-Raw two years before “Belle.” Audiences have yet to see what she’s capable of doing as an actress. She’s just scratching the surface and getting warmed up. Gugu and Nate auditioned for me together. It was an immediate magnetism. I couldn’t stop watching them. You mentioned sensuality and you’re right. I saw it and I wanted to build on that crackle and make it explode on screen.

Q. Was making a romantic drama set against the backdrop of the hip-hop music industry something you wanted to do?

A. It definitely was. “Beyond the Lights” was a passion project. Writing is therapeutic for me and I also love music. I knew that I wanted to make another romantic drama, but I wanted it to stand apart from others. I felt that combining this rags-to-riches story about a young girl trying to become a big singer and her mother who is also a former musician was just a perfect base to build from.

Q. Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s mother in the movie is played by Minnie Driver. There are so many terrific performances in “Beyond the Lights” and you definitely can’t overlook Driver in the film. Can you talk about what she brought to the movie?

A. Minnie (Driver) is phenomenal. She is a true gift to this film. She is actually a former singer and so this movie has meaning for her too. Plus, she grew up in Barbados and has a connection to black culture. I wanted to bring a complexity to her role as a woman trying to find herself through her daughter.

Q. The beauty of your romantic dramas goes beyond the predictable boy-meets-girl-loses-girl storyline. There are also poignant messages for women about self-respect and empowerment. Is that intentional?

A. Absolutely. I have something to say. While I wanted to be entertaining, I also wanted to shine a spotlight on the dark side of the music industry and how pop music promotes a hypersexual image of young girls to sell records. Through this movie, I wanted to show that maybe there’s another way. Gugu’s character Noni goes through a real transformative period. She learns to love and respect herself on her terms and soon understands her worth and power. I think that’s an important message for all young girls.

Q. Are you a big fan of Nina Simone and was that the reason you had Gugu’s character (Noni) sing “Blackbird” in the film?

A. Yes I am. I came to Nina Simone late though. I really got into her after college. Her work is raw, peaceful and truthful. When I was writing “Beyond the Lights” I knew that Noni was going to sing a Nina Simone song.

Q. What’s next for you and will we have to wait 14 years for it?

A. (Lots of laughter). I’m just starting on another personal drama. I can assure everyone it won’t be 14 years before it’s released.

Editor’s Note: Don’t miss “Beyond the Lights” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver and Danny Glover. “Beyond the Lights” opens nationwide Nov. 14.

ALLEN MALDONADO By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

LOS ANGELES, CALIF-- For Allen Maldonado landing a small role in Denzel Washington’s new movie, “The Equalizer” is a BIG deal.

The 31-year-old actor from Rialto, California says he believes in the old saying that there are no small parts, just small actors.

And although Maldonado has become a familiar face on TV currently starring in Adult Swim’s newest live-action series, “Black Jesus,” FX’s relationship comedy, “You’re The Worst, as well as BET’s “The Start Up,” he hopes to find success on the silver screen as well. caught up with Maldonado from his home in Los Angeles. He talked about working with Denzel Washington in “The Equalizer” and how much he learned from the Oscar winning actor.

Maldonado also discussed how surviving a near death experience turned his life around and why he enjoys giving back to his community.

Read on to find out what else this multi-talented and personable young man had to say.

Q. So how did you land this role opposite the great Denzel Washington and is “The Equalizer” your first major movie?

A. I’ve been in the business for a while and done a lot of auditions for movies and TV. And Antoine Fuqua who directed “The Equalizer” knew about me and called me in for an audition. And two days later, I’m on a plane ready to film. It happened just that fast and just like that.

Q. Were you surprised?

A. Yeah. I was in a daze. Actually I’m still in a daze. (He laughs).

Q. Was it a bit intimidating to work with Denzel?

A. You know honestly, yes it was. What was funny was when we were about to do a scene and Denzel (Washington) was coming around the corner I heard his voice and I just froze up. I freeze up. Then I had to say to myself ‘OK you’ve been here before. Take a deep breath and focus.’ And I did and was able to finally say my lines.

Q. Did Denzel give you any advice or did you learn anything from him while shooting the movie?

A. He really is such a cool guy. I know everyone says that, but it’s true. There’s no arrogance about Denzel Washington. He brings out the best in everyone around him. Just being around him and seeing how he prepares on set was educational for me. He showed me why he’s such a consummate professional and a genuine superstar. More importantly, I’m going to take a page from his playbook and keep it with me.

Q. Can you tell me about the character you play in the movie?

A. I play a guy named Marcus, one of Denzel’s wise-cracking co-workers. I pick on Denzel about being the old guy at work. I’m the slacker and I try to show him up since I’m the younger guy.

Q. “The Equalizer” is based on the 1985-1989 television show that starred Edward Woodward in the lead role. This movie has a different style, but did you watch the old series to check it out?

A. I was familiar with “The Equalizer” TV show, but I didn’t watch any of the old shows.

Q. How did you get started in acting and what was your first real gig?

A. I started taking acting classes during my senior year in high school. I didn’t think I would stick with it or like it, but I fell in love with it. Then I started auditioning for everything around town. I was 21 when I landed my first major role which was on the soap opera, “The Young and the Restless” (2004). I just knew this was going to really be the turning point for me but it wasn’t.

Q. Why wasn’t it? What happened?

A. While I was walking to the store, a drunk driver was speeding and hit me and I flew in the air, broke my right leg, had major curvature of my spine and some serious facial damage. I almost had to have my bottom lip removed. The doctors initially said that I might not walk again and would need tons of plastic surgery. But as God and luck would have it, I didn’t need plastic surgery and I came through everything and was able to walk within six months. I still have scars on my face and chin. It surprised everybody including me. That was confirmation that someone was looking out for me and it emboldened me to do something positive with my life.

Q. Is that what prompted you to start some of your community organizations and foundations?

A. It definitely was. I really believe in reaching back and helping those less fortunate particularly in my community. And since I fell in love with the arts through school, I want to encourage as many young kids as I can to consider the arts as well and that’s why I started Demo Nerds. It’s a foundation that provides free acting classes and services for foster children and at risk youth throughout Los Angeles. And part of the proceeds from my T-shirt line Vineyards Phinest also goes towards providing free classes for inner city kids.

Q. And is music another one of your passion projects?

A.Definitely. I have my own record company called Get It Done Records and production company, Only Son Productions. I’ve had pretty good success on the music front since some of my music has been featured on TV shows such as “House of Lies,” “The Mentalist,” “Parenthood,” HBO's Chris Rock Special: Kill The Messenger” and movies like “Hurricane Season” with Forrest Whitaker, “Don Jon” and Russell Crowe’s, “The Next Three Days.”

Q. What will we see you in next?

A. I have a new movie coming out called “Cake” with Jennifer Aniston, William H. Macy and Anna Kendrick. And I’m starring in Ice Cube’s “Straight Outta Compton” and the drama “Dope” from director Rick Famuyiwa. It stars Kimberly Elise, Zoe Kravitz and Rick Fox. It’s crazy busy, but I am having so much fun.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out Allen Maldonado in Denzel Washington’s new movie, “The Equalizer" which opens nationwide Sept. 26.



The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Aug. 26 to present Harry Belafonte with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and Honorary Awards to Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara.

All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards on Nov. 8, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

“The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”

An actor, producer, singer and lifelong activist, Belafonte began performing in theaters and nightclubs in and around Harlem, where he was born. From the beginning of his film career, he chose projects that shed needed light on racism and inequality, including “Carmen Jones,” “Odds against Tomorrow” and “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.”

He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, marching and organizing alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and often funding initiatives with his entertainment income.

Belafonte was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies. His work on behalf of children, education, famine relief, AIDS awareness and civil rights has taken him all over the world.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

CARRIERE-- Began his career as a novelist, was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Étaix, with whom he shared an Oscar for the live action short subject “Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary)” in 1962. He received two more nominations during his nearly two-decade collaboration with director Luis Buñuel, for the screenplays for “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “That Obscure Object of Desire.” Carrière also has collaborated notably with such directors as Volker Schlöndorff (“The Tin Drum”), Jean-Luc Godard (“Every Man for Himself”) and Andrzej Wajda (“Danton”). He earned a fourth Oscar nomination for “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” with director Philip Kaufman.

MIYAZAKI-- Is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category, winning in 2002 for “Spirited Away.” His other nominations were for “Howl’s Moving Castle” in 2005 and “The Wind Rises” last year. Miyazaki gained an enormous following in his native Japan for such features as “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” before breaking out internationally in the late 1990s with “Princess Mononoke.” He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo.

O'HARA-- A native of Dublin, Ireland, came to Hollywood in 1939 to star opposite Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” She went on to appear in a wide range of feature films, including the swashbucklers “The Black Swan” and “Sinbad the Sailor,” the dramas “This Land Is Mine” and “A Woman’s Secret,” the family classics “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Parent Trap,” the spy comedy “Our Man in Havana” and numerous Westerns. She was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast her in five of his films, including “How Green Was My Valley,” “Rio Grande” and “The Quiet Man.”

ABOUT THE ACADEMY: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema.

In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history.

Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

Editor’s Note: Some information used in this report obtained from publicity department press releases.