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A salute to 2017’s wonder women of entertainment

While accepting a lifetime achievement award, Streep, in a six-minute speech, issued a blistering cr..

While accepting a lifetime achievement award, Streep, in a six-minute speech, issued a blistering criticism of then President-elect Donald Trump — without evening mentioning his name — that would dominate the news cycle in the following days and prompt a response from Trump himself. "When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose," she said. More than she or anyone else could have known at the time, those words would seem eerily prescient by the end of the year.Led by the bravery of the so-called "Silence Breakers," the entertainment industry stands in a new era — one where women feel empowered to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault, some after many years of believing they were alone with their experiences. RELATED: 'As Told By Her': Highlighting iconic work by women in televisionIt could be called fitting that this reckoning is taking place when storytelling about and by women is not only of higher quality than ever, but is also being consumed and valued more than before. From a bulletproof warrior, to a cunning handmaid, to a group of women who brought friendship and laughs to the big screen, 2017 has been a historic year for female characters and creators — a year that many hope is the start of more to come.

'Niche' no more

Since coming out of film school in 2010, Tracy Oliver knew the kind of stories she wanted to tell. She had been long inspired by the storytelling of Nora Ephron and the characters brought to life in movies starring Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock. But "I never saw women of color in them," she told CNN. Oliver set out to change that. "Girls Trip" debuted in July. The comedy is about a group of women who rekindle their friendship during a wild and emotionally loaded trip to New Orleans. It stars Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and breakout star Tiffany Haddish. Oliver, who co-wrote the script with "Black-ish" creator Kenya Barris, hoped "Girls Trip" would prove that a film starring women of color could capture the same spirit as the movies she grew up loving, and appeal to a mass audience despite being labeled by some as "niche." The film has made over $115 million at the U.S. box office to date, domestically out-grossing comedies like "Baywatch," "Daddy's Home 2," "Bad Mom's Christmas" and "Rough Night." "People were able to look beyond color and whatever cultural differences that separate us and distill it down to its core, which is a love story between women," she said. "Girls Trip" was not the only female-led film to get audiences to theaters in droves this year. RELATED: Why 'Coco' is so much more than your average box office hit"Beauty and the Beast," starring Emma Watson, was the highest grossing film of 2017, earning nearly $1.3 billion worldwide.The second-highest grossing film was "Wonder Woman," from director Patty Jenkins. With a gross of $821.8 million worldwide, the film also made a record-setting $103.1 million during its opening weekend. It is the biggest opening ever for a female director. For Jenkins, the main shock about any of her achievements is that it they are achievements at all. 'Wonder Woman' director Patty Jenkins."I thought I was in the middle of a story," she told CNN recently, referring to the "incredible" female filmmakers who've come before her. "I didn't think I was in any early place in line."For Elizabeth Hannah, co-writer of the award season frontrunner "The Post," the underlying message in all these successes is how betting on female storytellers and stories is simply good business. "What I've seen this year, what we've all seen this year, is these movies make money," Hannah told CNN. "A lot of people I know went to go see 'Lady Bird.' A lot of people I know went to go see 'I, Tonya.' People are going to see these films, and I think it's about busting through this preconceived notion."

A year of firsts

All told, it was a big year for firsts across television and film. Joi McMillon was the first black woman to earn an Oscar nomination in film editing for her work in "Moonlight."With her best supporting actress win at the Academy Awards, Viola Davis became first black actress to win an Emmy, Oscar and Tony. Lena Waithe became first black woman to win a comedy writing Emmy for her much-hailed episode of "Master of None." Julia Louis-Dreyfus earned her sixth straight win for "Veep," and in the process became the record holder for the most Emmys won for the same role in the same series. Also in television: The top honors in all three overall categories at the Emmys — limited series, drama and comedy — went to the female-led series "Big Little Lies," "Handmaid's Tale" and, for the third time in a row, "Veep." Even the titular Doctor on "Doctor Who" will soon lose a "Y" chromosome during the character's next regeneration. Jodie Whittaker will become the first female to lead the iconic series in 2018.In a year that has seen great successes for women in entertainment, Hannah, the co-writer of "The Post," said she's feeling positive about what will come next. "I think it all starts with the people behind the scenes and the more women we can have in roles of authority and roles of ownership, the more you will see female voices out in the world," she said. Oliver hopes those voices come from all walks of life. If her movie "Girls Trip" doesn't in some way make it easier for female writers or young writers of color to be seen, heard and hired, she said, "then we haven't done enough." That may seem like a lot of pressure to put on a single project, or even a big responsibility for a single person to take on. But like Wonder Woman showed when she single-handedly took on roundsgunfire in No Man's Land — and as any of the women who stood up and out in 2017 proved, for that matter — when something seems impossible, it's probably because it's a job for a woman.

CNN

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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.

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"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
Image: Dr No featured the famous scene with Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in a white bikini

Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

More from Phoebe Waller-bridge

She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

"As an actrRead More – Source (more…)

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Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.

The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.

But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.

Taron Egerton on Sir Elton: 'I adore him'

The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.

Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".

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"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.

"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.

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"We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to pushRead More – Source

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Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)

Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.

The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.

Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.

On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck was on parent duties (Picture: Backgrid)

Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.

More: Ben Affleck

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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck has a number of roles in the pipeline (Picture: Backgrid)
Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck with son Samuel and daughter Seraphina (Picture: Backgrid)

We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source

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