1. Actress Roundtable: Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Taraji P. Henson and 4 More on Stage Fright, Onscreen Rape and How to Research Playing a Crack Addict Hollywood Reporter
Taraji P. Henson, who first appeared on the Rountable in 2008, explaining that she became an actor after failing pre-calculus -- is in the news as a math wiz in 'Hidden Figures', where she plays one of the three black women who helped NASA launch a man into space during the 1960s.
Henson, 46, was joined for the Nov. 13 roundtable taping at a Hollywood production studio by Amy Adams, 42, with two films in the awards conversation, 'Arrivaland' and Tom Ford's 'Nocturnal Animals'; Annette Bening, 58, who stars in '20th Century Women'; and British actress Naomie Harris, 40, who plays a crack-addicted mother in 'Moonlight'.
Rounding out the group were French legend Isabelle Huppert, 63, who depicts an unusual and provocative rape victim in the Cannes breakout 'Elle'; Natalie Portman, 35 (an Oscar winner for 'Black Swan'), who nails the voice and emotion of Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following her husband's assassination in 'Jackie'; and Emma Stone, 28, who sings, dances and romances Ryan Gosling in 'La La Land'.
Admitting that 2016 has been a strong year for women actors, the women weren't keen on discussing topics like pay equality, suggesting that questions about equal pay should be directed toward producers: "We are always put on the chopping block to put our opinion out there. ... I don't want to be a headline anymore about pay equality."
Asked to put one gerat movie performance in a time capsule both Naomie Harris and Annette Bening chose 'The Sound of Music'. Amy Adams chimed in, asking if she can use that answer. "You and I will go do a sing-along afterwards."
Angela & Barack
2. The movie 'The Sound of Music', followed the Broadway musicalcentered on The Trapp Family just before World War II and the rise of Nazi Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama have always enjoyed a uniquely close relationship. This photo of Chancellor Merkel and President Obama at a G7 Conference outside Elmau castle in the Bavarin village Kruen in June 2015 conjured up comparisons of Merkel and Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'.
With the election of America's Donald Trump, and not Hillary Clinton, as our next president, the New York Times wrote that Merkel is "the liberal West's last defender". In classic Merkel style, she said today that her preoccupations go far beyond security and refugees: "What will happen to our automobile industry in 10 years? What will happen to our chemical industry? "
The BBC writes that Merkel will probably re-elected. Currently about 55% of Germans want to see her remain in office as Germany faces what some call a migrant crisis that Merkel helped to create with her welcoming of Syrian refugees. Note that Germany has a falling birth rate and growing labor shortage in spite of technology advancements.
The Chancellor agrees this will be her toughest election, as she deals with her own growing tide of populism, similar to America's discontent. Germany's anti-migrant party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) has made gains in recent elections. Read on for a made-in-Germany commentary on Merkel's future.
The poignancy of last week's Merkel-Obama meeting was not lost on people like myself, still reeling from a Hillary Clinton loss at the ballot box. In all my years in America, fear of fascism was not on my political radar. But with the rise of Trump, millions of Americans could not be more concerned about our next chapter of national history.
Word has it tonight that a Trump spokesman has issued a statement about this weekend's Washington, DC celebration of Trump's victory by a group of a few hundred angry white men, who are neo-Nazis. AOC follows contemporary politics daily on our landing page and also in our Politics channel.
These pages are rich in information about America's alt-right movement -- and also the efforts of the Donald Trump administration to support Nationalist candidate for the French presidency Marine Le Pen. Read on: AOC Front Pages: Nov. 22; Nov. 21; Nov. 20; Nov. 17.