Entertainment

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

When it comes to grooming a daughter’s hair, Black fathers haven’t been shy about expressing the difficulties that come along with the morning ritual. And Afro-Latino fathers are no exception. In Latinx communities with large Afro-Latino populations, having “good hair” is a label we all have to contend with. Young girls have a lot of pressure put on them to look put-together so, by extension, our families look put together. 

We all have memories of our mothers making sure our baby-bangs were smoothed down and our outfits were washed and pressed to perfection. 

Being well-groomed is so important to Afro-Latinos who face societal pressure to look perfect in order to combat bias.

Kickstarter

So, when fathers occasionally have to groom their children when their mother is unavailable, the pressure, needless to say, is on. We’ve all seen the genre of viral videos where fathers struggle to part, brush, braid and secure their daughters’ hair–obviously not previously aware of all the labor that goes into daily hair upkeep. Even celebrities have gotten in on the trend with men like Alexis Ohanian, husband to Serena Williams, joining “Natural Hair” groups on Facebook to learn more about their children’s rizos

Writer/director Matthew Cherry wanted to explore the topic of Black fathers doing their daughters hair, so he decided to make an animated short about it.

Kickstarter

According to Cherry, the short, titled “Hair Love” is about a Black father (who has locs himself) who does his daughter’s hair for the first time. “You know how guys are, a lot of times we’re hard-headed and we think we can figure everything out by ourselves without asking for help,” said Cherry during an interview. “[The father in the short] thinks it’s going to be an easy task but he soon finds out her hair has a mind of its own”. 

The father isn’t the only one who learns a lesson in self-confidence in the course of the film, though. In the end, the young girl also “comes into a level of self-confidence in the process” of her father learning how to do her hair. So, in other words, the entire film is an ode to self-love, family, and the priceless experience of bonding.

To finance “Hair Love”, Cherry created a Kickstarter campaign with the initial goal of raising $75,000. The campaign quickly caught the internet’s attention and became a viral phenomenon thanks to celebrity champions like Issa Rae and Jordan Peele. The $75,000 goal was quickly surpassed. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

Cherry recruited Black animators like “Proud Family”‘s Bruce W. Smith and “WALL-E”‘s Everett Downing Jr. to help him make his dreams a reality.

As for Cherry, he’s candid about the reason he decided to explore the topic of Black hair and Black fathers: because mainstream media’s representation has left much to be desired. According to Cherry, not only did he want to shine a light on the labor of love that doing Black hair requires, but he wanted to highlight the relationships between Black fathers and their daughters. 

“For me, I just think it was really important to shine a light on Black fathers doing domestic things with their kids because mainstream media would lead you to believe that Black fathers aren’t a part of their kids’ lives”, Cherry said. “And there have been a lot of recent surveys that actually show otherwise–that show that Black fathers are just as involved in their kids’ lives as any other racial group”.

Now, “Hair Love” will be played ahead of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters nationwide

Kickstarter

The nationwide release will provide a massive platform for an under-told story. Not to mention, it will provide Black children with their own images reflected back to them–something many of them haven’t seen before. Not to mention, the security of a theatrical release has made “Hair Love” officially eligible for an Academy Award nomination. 

As for Cherry, he’s over-the-moon about the opportunity for his project to be seen by millions of people. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” he said in a press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for “Hair Love” to be playing with “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”

We’ll admit: we didn’t have plans to see “Angry Birds 2” in theaters before we knew about this. But now, you might just see us on opening night, standing in line for the movie right next to our fathers! Catch “Hair Love” before  “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters on August 14th.

The Real-Life ‘Hustler’ Isn’t Thrilled Over J.Lo’s Depiction Of Her and Said Cardi B Should Have Played Her

Entertainment

The Real-Life ‘Hustler’ Isn’t Thrilled Over J.Lo’s Depiction Of Her and Said Cardi B Should Have Played Her

Jennifer Lopez cannot believe the incredibly positive reviews she’s getting over her lead role in the film “Hustlers.” She was so moved that she cried on national TV. Last week while being interviewed by Hoda Kotb, Lopez expressed her emotional reaction over the surprising reviews for her role, which some critics say could get her an Acadamy Award nomination. Here’s just a snippet of what film critics are saying about the film that made a big debut this weekend. “Hustlers asks what a movie like Goodfellas looks like with women at the center of the story,” one film critic said. “If nothing else, we get to see Jennifer Lopez command the screen as easily as Ramona does the stage, offering up a seductive awards-worthy performance that makes us remember why she became a movie star in the first place,” another said

There is at least one person who isn’t raving about Lopez’s role, and that’s the one who inspired the film. 

Samantha Barbash, the woman who inspired “Hustlers,” said she would have liked to have seen Cardi B in the lead role instead of Jennifer Lopez. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

The 45-year-old said in an interview with Hollywood Life that rapper Cardi B should have portrayed her instead of the veteran actress, even though this is Cardi’s first film. “I said it from day one, even to the producer. Cardi doesn’t have the acting skills that Jennifer does, but Cardi could relate more to who I was because even though she wasn’t in the same club, we were in the same industry,” she told the lifestyle website. “If Cardi took some acting lessons and shadowed me, I’m sure that she would have played a better role for my character.”

Barbash goes on to say that she is flattered that Lopez wanted to play her in a movie but stresses that the film got several things wrong about her. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

For starters, Barbash wasn’t a stripper at all. The film, based on a 2015 New York magazine article, shows Lopez as a stripper who ends up drugging wealthy bankers and robs them of their money. However, Barbash said she was never a stripper. Barbash actually worked at a strip club in New York City as a hostess. Yes, the other stuff about the drugs and taking their money is correct, but seeing Lopez play her a stripper didn’t sit well with her. Barbash also said that Lopez never reached out to her in order to learn about her mannerisms, which is what actors do when they’re portraying real-life characters. Even when the real-life character is deceased, actors still study old footage to learn more about the role they are playing. You may recall the extensive research Lopez said she did to portray Selena Quintanilla. She even slept in her bed to get into deep character.  

Earlier this year, Barbash said she would release her own memoir about the ordeal (which she did) that got her 5 years probation and said she planned to sue the filmmakers. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

“This is a living nightmare,” Barbash said in April in the New York Post after videos leaked of Lopez on a stripper pole. “So now I’m going to have to do a lawsuit. I’m getting a gag order.” Bruno Gioffre, also said back then, that Barbash was “considering all legal avenues with the possibility injunctive relief, including a lawsuit.” The movie was made despite her legal threats. Today, Barbash is an entrepreneur and owns her own spa business. 

We can see why she would have preferred to see Cardi B in the title role. 

Credit: Instagram/@iamcardib

The Bronx rapper did admit to drugging men and robbing them, just like the characters did in the movie “Hustlers.” In 2017, Barbash was charged for conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny in exchange for five years probation

In March, Card admitted on social media that during her stint as a stripper in New York she too did what the “Hustlers” did in the movie. “I had to go strip, I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you want to f*ck me? Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go to this hotel,’ and I drugged n*****s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do.” 

Soon after that post, Cardi said she it was wrong of her to do that and has since tried to make a better life for herself. 

READ: Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar-Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

 
 
 

Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

Entertainment

Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

YOUTUBE / Hustlers BTS Part 1

Jennifer Lopez is getting a ton of Oscar buzz for her performance as Ramona in “Hustlers.” Many people are shocked that Lopez’s film about a group of strippers is a contender for the Academy Award, but maybe they should start raising their expectations for Latinx-lead films. 

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) marks the beginning of awards season. Typically films that premiere at TIFF tend to go onto to win Academy Awards. These films tend to be dark, historical, and often white-centered with few exceptions (like Moonlight). However this year, critics are whispering about an unlikely victor Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers” which stars Jennifer Lopez, along with Constance Wu, Sarah Paulson, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, and Usher.

“Hustlers” is the talk of the Toronto International Film Festival

When the credits rolled during the Hustlers’ TIFF debut the audience of over 2,500 applauded and gave a standing ovation that held to the very last second of the credits.  

“On Sunday, inside the InterContinental hotel, a sharp-suited male walking with Sarah Paulson was overheard telling the actor, ‘Hustlers is my Citizen Kane.’ By Monday word had spread even outside the festival’s perimeter: Several miles north of the 2019 TIFF activity, a Toronto local working at a pharmacy told her coworker that she had heard Hustlers was ‘amazing. I heard J. Lo could win an Oscar,’” writes Barbara Nitke for Vanity Fair

Critics Love Jennifer Lopez

There’s a scene in the film where Lopez does a striptease to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal,” that has gotten rave reviews. While I haven’t seen the film I imagine there is not anything as compelling as the sheer core strength of a 50-year-old Puerto Rican woman. 

The Daily Beast wrote the article entitled “J. Lo Should Be an Oscar Contender for Hustlers,” writing, “From Lopez, it’s the kind of dynamo movie star performance that gets rarer and rarer, where a character so perfectly fits how we view a performer but still upends every expectation.” 

While Variety said, “If there’s any justice, Jennifer Lopez will receive her first Oscar nomination for channeling the ringleader Ramona as Erin Brockovich by way of Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike.”

Vanity Fair claims this is, “some of the best acting work of her career.” 

“Hustlers” has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

“Hustlers” is a heist movie based on New York Magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores.” The story follows a group of strippers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients by stealing money from stock traders and entrepreneurs who visit their strip club during the late 2000s financial crisis. The film is a commentary on capitalism, money, and is a subversion of female stereotypes.

Audience members are raving about”Hustlers.”

“With all the Oscars buzz for @JLO in #hustlers here’s an unbelievable statistic. No Latina actress has won the Oscar for best actress. Only four have been nominated (Fernanda Montenegro — at the 71st Oscars — followed by Salma Hayek, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yalitza Aparicio),” pointed out Ramin Setoodeh of Variety. 

“OKAY I am fully on the # Hustlers and Jennifer Lopez Oscar nomination train,” wrote one filmgoer. 

“ACADEMY. AWARD. WINNER. JENNIFER. LOPEZ,” said Joe Reid, co-host of This Had Oscar Buzz.

I’m here for HUSTLERS earning Jennifer Lopez Oscar buzz, but let’s not forget @JLo should’ve gotten Oscar noms for SELENA and ENOUGH and THE WEDDING PLANNER and MAID IN MANHATTAN and MONSTER-IN-LAW and THE BOY NEXT DOOR and THE BACK-UP PLAN and SHALL WE DANCE and SECOND ACT too,” wrote a fan. 

The low expectations we have for films with people of color.

“i cannot believe i cant believe it HUSTLERS the stripper movie with JLo and Cardi B has a 95% on rotten tomatoes while THE GOLDFINCH with nicole kidman, ansel elgort and finn wolfhard sits at a 30% this is so humiliating,” one person on Twitter wrote.

“The Goldfinch is getting slammed while Hustlers is receiving Oscar buzz,” pop culture writer Brittny Pierre tweeted. 

You have to laugh! They hate to see it. It’s always so amusing seeing films featuring people of color get underestimated by the public. Everyone feigns shock that a Jennifer Lopez film couldn’t possibly be a well-written, well-performed artistic work. Then they’re shocked again when a film with a predominantly white cast like The Goldfinch isn’t the Oscar-worthy darling they had expected. If we didn’t attach expectations on art based on who is making it before even seeing it, perhaps, critics wouldn’t always be caught so off guard. Nevertheless, people of color are always happy to prove institutions and expectations wrong. We’ve been doing it for so long at this point.