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Taraji P. Henson celebrates her Oscar nod at Maestro's Steakhouse

Taraji P. Henson Celebrates Oscar Nomination at Maestro’s Steakhouse

From could be to reality, last Thursday, Taraji P Henson was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; look for her in the Best Supporting Actress category. The next morning Taraji was interviewed on The Early Show on CBS. She was ‘knocked out’ when the Oscar nominations were announced..  “I was comatose. ... I have a great group of friends, and they knew that I was gonna be angst. And they took me out the night before for a fabulous dinner. And then we went out for music and dancing just so I could have a light night and not think about it. And the tactic worked, because I got home. I was wiped out. And I was knocked out.”

Her manager called her at 5:30 (in the morning?).. “I knew it had to be good news. Cause what idiot would call me at 5:30 with bad news?!” Taraji said she hadn’t even thought about winning. “I couldn’t go there yet. I was still dealing with, ‘Wow! A dream has come true!’ Because that’s every actor’s dream. When you say, ‘I want to be an actor,’ everybody thinks about Old Oscar.”

A little half-truth there? If she didn’t think she had a chance to be nominated, why the pre-nomination announcement party time? I guess that’s the humble thing to say on national TV. And the party don’t stop. Last night in Beverly Hills, Taraji and friends celebrated her now confirmed nomination with a little food and drink at Maestro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills.

Taraji P. Henson, John Singleton and Tyrese celebrate her Oscar nod at Maestro's Steakhouse

It’s all kinds of right that John Singleton and Tyrese were in the place. In my mind, Baby Boy was the first time Taraji blipped on the radar.

Taraji P. Henson, John Singleton, Tyrese, Sanna Lathan, and Nia Long pop champagne at Maestro's Steakhouse

Sanaa Lathan and Nia Long were on hand to pop champagne.

Taraji P. Henson and Chaka Zulu at Maestro's Steakhouse

Taraji and Manny Haley → Keyshia Cole’s Manny Haley?! ← I can’t call it

*Got it ~ That’s Chaka Zulu, Luda’s manager/partner. See comments.*

Taraji P. Henson and Tyrese at Maestro's Steakhouse

Baby Boy 2: It’s a Girl .. I love some Taraji. Let’s hope these roses turn golden on Feb. 22 - that’s Academy Awards night.

Lee Daniels and Gabourey Sidibe at Sundance 2009

Lee Daniels’ PUSH Takes Sundance By Surprise. Trailer? Video..?

Lee Daniels’ “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire” was a surprise winner at this year’s Sundance Film festival, winning both Grand Jury and Audience awards. I posted about this film when it went into production, Lee Daniels Bringing “Push” to the Big Screen. That was late 2007, since that time, you may have seen a few trailers for movies with the same title. Dakota Fanning’s new movie is a Push thing. So you’ll understand the new distinction Lee Daniels had to make. This is the Push based on the book..  in which an overweight, illiterate, 16-year-old Harlem girl is impregnated by her father, abused by her mother, is HIV positive, and is just trying to figure out what it all means.

Sherri Sheppard as Cornrolls in Push

First time actress Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe plays 16-year-old,  Precious Jones. She auditioned for the role with some encouragement by friends. They told her she fit the part. I’m not sure if that was a compliment or a backslap. Here is Gabourey’s audition tape..

Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe’s Audition Tape

Looking for some familiar faces? Mariah Carey plays a social worker; apparently she’s stepped up her Glitter game. Lenny Kravitz is the dirtbag father (Don’t quote me on that. I read the book way back when. Is John the name of Precious’s father?)

Sherri Sheppard as Cornrolls in Push

Sherri Shepherd took some time off from the View to cornroll her hair..

Paula Patton as Ms. Rain in Push

Paula Patton is a teacher, Ms. Rain..

Monique in Push

Monique is Precious’s abusive mother. She also won a Sundance audience award.

There are nothing but good things being said about this film, yet there is no word on when, where, or how you and I (ie. Joe Public) will be able to see it. After making such a showing at Sundance someone will step in to fund the big screen distribution - even if it only ends up in ‘urban’ markets and indie theaters.

That said, there is no trailer yet, but here is Lee Daniels with the final push ← intentional punage.

Lee Daniels Talks Push

“This is so important to me because this is speaking for every minority that’s in Harlem, that’s in Detroit, that’s in Watts, that’s being abused, that can’t read, that’s obese and that we turn our back on.”

Jamie Foxx and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter at press conference for Law Abiding Citizen

Jamie Foxx Channels his Presidential Qualities - “Law Abiding Citizen”

It always happens, once one person is successful at or with something, a bunch of me-to’s and wannabes come running through the door. That’s Jamie Foxx in Philadelphia yesterday, channeling his inner Obama. Although it looks like he’s running for Senate and then a run for the White House in 2016, Jamie Foxx was actually at a press conference to introduce the cast of Law Abiding Citizen. So I guess I should - and do - take back the characterization. It was one of those obvious comparisons, feel free to ride the wave.

Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler and F. Gary Gray at press conference for Law Abiding Citizen

Directed by Friday lensman, F. Gary Gray, Law Abiding Citizen finds Jamie Foxx’s character turn into a wild-eyed vigilante after the killer of his wife and daughter is set free during the trial through a plea agreement. This sets Jamie on a mission for some self-satisfying justice.

Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler at press conference for Law Abiding Citizen

Think last year’s The Brave One, pull out a dusty copy of Charles Bronson’s Death Wish, or even have Jamie switch seats with Tom Cruise in Collateral and you’ll have the idea. By the way, Jamie Foxx would never run for office. In his own words, talking about former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilaptrick’s scandals, parsed from memory → “I have toooo much baggage to run for public anything.”

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle - their first dance

President Obama and First Lady Michelle: First Dance.. “At Last”

History was made yesterday. You might have heard about it: a guy named Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. There was no way to put the moment into words. I was soaking up the sounds and images since Saturday’s Obama Express, but the inauguration ceremony was something I will always remember. Where were you when? ← I got that. So do you. Anyone sitting on the outside of this living history has a foot in the past or is ignoring the future. Last night it was inaugural ball time.. three quick highlights.

The first stop was the Neighborhood ball. It was there that Beyonce sang “At Last” and the First Couple had their first dance. Unfortunately MSNBC cut into it. I channel flipped to no avail. Not one network was carrying the thing. Maybe it’ll pop up somewhere else.

Barack and Michelle Obama: First Dance

*It’s at the end*

President Obama Looking for a White Sox Fan

The soldiers at the Commander and Chief ball sounded like they were enjoying free cocktails and the teleprompter delay simply added to the fun → (confusion?)

“That is What’s Called.. Old School”

The youth ball was the livest spot. I’m giving you his speech, but stick with it until the end. Barack and Michelle dance again. When they finish Barack grabs the mic and says.. “That is what’s called.. old school!”

Bow Wow on the beach

Bow Wow Reviews Notorious + Palm Trees and Whip Appeal

Is Bow Wow reviewing movies now? When the movie is about one of the top five rappers to grab a mic, he is. I was poking around for reviews of the gotta-be-terrible Mall Cop, when I stumbled on a clip of Bow Wow giving Notorious the Ebert. Bow Wow’s take: it’s a must-see for anyone that calls themselves a rapper or just loves hip-hop.
He also talks about how terrible hip-hop is today as compared to that time in music.

I like how artists make bold statements, criticizing their peers, without naming names or pretend like they don’t have an album not much different from the mess that’s on the radio. But I respect Prince Bow Wow for the honesty and.. for giving respect where due.

Bow Wow Speaking Notoriously

If you’re looking for an opinion your uncle(s) might spit, try these two..

The Palm Tree Guys Dig Deeper

They aren’t really called the Palm Tree Guys, it’s how they rate movies. Notorious got five tall ones.

Not everyone enjoyed Biggie’s two-hour resurrection. There is always one person in the theater not too happy or impressed with what they’re watching - and they let folks know. “Some of the acting was so bad I just started laughing.” ← Those are the words of Meta Smith. She wasn’t feeling Jamal Woolard and thought Lil Kim was disrespected.

Meta Smith, Notorious.. Eh, It Was Alright

Quick reply: the scene where Gravy (Big) makes up with Faith wasn’t bad acting, it was a lack of dialogue ie. crap screenwriting. She’s right about Angela Bassett and Anthony Mackie though. Not so much with Lil Kim. Never heard Big talk about Lil Kim as the love of his life or a girlfriend. The beef between Kim and Faith was as real as it was onscreen. Who is this chick coming out of nowhere to steal the man that apparently, ain’t that into me.

By the way, Meta Smith writes books. The webcam doesn’t do her justice.

Meta Smith

I’m sorry, is that on the level of Naturi’s ‘tiddies’ for no reason? wink