In Contention


Gray and Elise the pick of ‘For Colored Girls?’

Posted by Guy Lodge · 5:30 pm · October 15th, 2010

Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” has been a question mark on our Oscar lists for some time, but even those pessimistic about the film itself can see potential in the film’s vast, and formidable, female ensemble — if there is to be any kind of awards play for the film, it’ll be the actors who spearhead it.

A couple of weeks ago, word spread that Kimberly Elise looks to be the standout performer in the group, and a feasible contender in a still wide-open Best Supporting Actress race — 12 years after the actress was the subject of similar (if ultimately fruitless) talk for her work in “Beloved.” Recently, we heard that Thandie Newton could be the film’s second possibility. However, Jeff Wells quotes an inside source who has seen (and loved) the film, and names a far less expected standout: singer Macy Gray. Here’s his enthusiastic endorsement:

[I]t’s the real deal — maybe too conceptually out there for safe, old, mainstream white Academy tastes, but the performances range from good (Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine) to great (Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton) to pretty much masterful (Kimberly Elise, Macy Gray).

Of course, this is just one guy — and one anonymous guy, at that. (For the sake of balance, Wells’s second source admires some of the actors but is far less keen on the film.)

But if you know me even a little bit, you might also know that Macy Gray lies somewhere between my family and brandy pecan pie on my list of Most Loved Things. If this one person is saying she’s “pretty much masterful,” then, you won’t hear me querying his authority. (Plus, if you’ve ever seen her performance in Lee Daniels’s bizarre debut feature “Shadowboxer,” you’ll surely agree that the Academy owes Gray one.)

Seriously, though, it’s exciting to hear just how deep this ensemble could prove. Meanwhile, “For Colored Girls” is also reportedly benefitting from the singer’s day job, as Gray has recorded at least one original track for the film. Could she be an awards contender in two categories? Hey, it’s Friday… allow me my daydream.

[Image: Lionsgate]




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→ 17 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

17 responses so far

  • 1 10-15-2010 at 5:38 pm

    Danny said...

    The way you express your fan love for Macy is endearingly fun to read.

  • 2 10-15-2010 at 5:39 pm

    Andrew Rech said...

    You are too funny Guy but it’s nice to see someone get extremely excited over a personal favorite. Yet how big IS Macy Gray’s role? She’s not listed on the poster which isn’t afraid of listing many of the actresses and it’s blink and you miss her in the trailer.

  • 3 10-15-2010 at 5:48 pm

    Zack said...

    If I may quote “Undercover Brother” (and this might be the first comment on this site to ever start that way), “even Cher got an Oscar. CHER!” So put me in the anything’s-possible camp.

  • 4 10-15-2010 at 5:55 pm

    Gustavo said...

    Who is Macy Gray?

  • 5 10-15-2010 at 6:51 pm

    kevin said...

    I truly hope this film does wonders for the careers of Thandie Newton & Kimberly Elise . If this movie can’t help their movie career , I just don’t know what else will ? After they shared incredible performances in “Beloved” , and also Newton’s very moving turn in “Crash”, Hollywood’s top power brokers should have been at their beck and call. I guess actresses’ of color are not supported or nutured for stardom- like their white counterparts. It is d**n shame ! !

  • 6 10-15-2010 at 7:28 pm

    Glenn said...

    Her performance in “Shadowboxer” sure is unique!

  • 7 10-15-2010 at 7:36 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I agree with kevin. Newton & Elise are GREAT actresses, and I would have thought that by now we’d see/hear more of them, and see more awards recognition. :(

  • 8 10-15-2010 at 8:05 pm

    jen said...

    But Newton has Flirting, Crash, Beloved, The Pursuit of Happiness under her belt, which makes her “due” when it comes to awards pedigree.

  • 9 10-15-2010 at 11:37 pm

    Olivia said...

    Actually a few people that have seen the movie are saying the stand out performances are Janet, Kimberly, and Anika rose. They mention that all the women in the film are remarkable but Janet,Kimberly and Anika are the Oscar bait.

  • 10 10-16-2010 at 8:06 am

    JTag said...

    Macy Gray was fabulous in Training Day. She completely held her own with Denzel in her one scene.

  • 11 10-16-2010 at 4:14 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    I echo the sentiments of others who appreciate your childlike devotion to Macy Gray.

  • 12 10-16-2010 at 8:06 pm

    W.J. said...

    While I lack your enthusiasm, I agree that Gray is a better actor than anyone would’ve expected. In the right role–which could be said of almost all of the ladies in this film–she could really shine. Although I’m no fan of Perry and his presence here gives definite pause, the cast is too good to ignore. These actresses have shown promise before and by all rights should be more well-known and well-regarded than they are.

  • 13 10-18-2010 at 1:42 pm

    Chance said...

    Macy is right there with Erykah Badu and Jill Scott for me as singing queens who one day will do THE film for their career and will simply “shock” the right people, win their Oscars, and then return to being awesome and underappreciated.

  • 14 10-18-2010 at 2:59 pm

    Nikki said...

    It still seems hard for african-aerican actresses/actors to get the recognition/awards that they deserve. What does that say about society and hollywood?

  • 15 10-18-2010 at 5:56 pm

    Victoria said...

    Having seen the film I’d be very very surprised if Kimberly Elise didn’t get a nod. I just hope she isn’t campaigned as a lead (she could still make it but her chances would be much greater in supporting as the field is still pretty much wide open) in order for better chances to get another actress in supporting. In terms of performances, Thandie Newton would be a close second. Her performance was uncharacteristically strong and she surprised me. Being the most commercially visible actress of the cast will help her chances. I think those two are the only ones who stand a legitimate shot at a nomination. Macy Gray is so underrated and her performance deserves some recogntion, but I worry about the size of her role, she’s only has a minute or two of screen time. She does make quite an impact with her small role, but I can’t see her getting a nod over either of the women I mentioned. I’d consider her an outside shot.

    Janet Jackson, Loretta Divine, Whoopi Golberg, Kerry Washington and the rest range from good to serviceable to forgettable.

  • 16 11-04-2010 at 1:29 am

    Jennifer said...

    Everything – EVERYTHING – that I have read says that Macy steals the show. That’s extremely high praise, seeing that the cast includes an Oscar winner and two Tony Award winners. And I, too, loves me some Macy Gray. In fact, as much as I love Janet, I’m more excited to see Macy do her thing.

  • 17 11-04-2010 at 1:30 am

    Jennifer said...

    *edit* Three Tony Award winners; IIRC, Whoopi also has a Tony, along w/an Emmy, Grammy and Oscar. One of the very few to earn the Big Four.