Friday, 13 December 2013

ON THE A LIST: Four noted things that came out this week

12 Years A Slave and American Hustle continued their swaggering awards-season dominance this week, racking up the lion's share of nods for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards, slated for January 12 in Beverly Hills. The Hollywood Foreign Press also showered kudos on such critically acclaimed hits as Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, the Tom Hanks-led Captain Phillips, Philomena (with Judi Dench) and the motor-racing drama Rush. Woody Allen, whose Blue Jasmine was cited for Best Actress (Cate Blanchett) and Original Screenplay, will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for distinguished achievement in filmmaking during the live ceremony to be co-hosted for the second year in a row by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

World beaters again! The sharp team of Dania Fuller and Ralston Dickson, representing UWI Mona's Norman Manley Law School, recently emerged overall champions of the Fifth Annual Human Rights World Elocution/Debate competition, which was held in observance of Human Rights Day in Pretoria, South Africa. "We are very proud of our team," says an elated principal Carol Aria. "It is very expensive to send a team all over the world, but it is all part of branding Norman Manley Law School and Jamaica. We hope that we can garner sponsorship from the private sector and alums as we continue to dominate the world stage." 

What is Madea up to this holiday season? Oh, nothing. Just her usually ribald yet good-natured brand of mischief-making that's sure to have fans rolling in the aisles when they go to view this month's big-screen family dramedy A Madea Christmas, written, directed, produced and co-starring (etc.) Tyler Perry, alongside a pretty sturdy supporting cast comprised of Chad Michael Murray (The CW's One Tree Hill), Kathy Najimy (Sister Act) and Tika Sumpter (The Haves and Have Nots). 

Due out January 7 via Viking Adult, The Invention of Wings is the hugely anticipated new work by Sue Monk Kidd, the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees. Winfrey has an impressive track record of choosing titles that speak to the African-American experience but still resonate across the board. And Wings is no exception, described as a moving portrait of two women inextricably linked by the horrors of slavery, and signalling a departure for Kidd as a storyteller. It's been hailed in early reviews, by Library Journal in particular, as "a compelling work of historical fiction."

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