We knew that HBO FILMS: CONFIRMATION and HBO FILMS: ALL THE WAY had to be in the can and ready to air, but we couldn’t lock down dates. Unfortunately, we still can’t but we are a bit closer; they debut in April and May respectively. With HBO’s presence at the Television Critics Association event recently they have confirmed the works are about to air and we around here we are anticipating their arrival. You can be assured HBOWatch will watch and review each in turn.
From the official Press Release –
KERRY WASHINGTON, WENDELL PIERCE AND GREG KINNEAR
STAR IN HBO FILMS’ CONFIRMATION,
THE STORY OF THE EXPLOSIVE CLARENCE THOMAS
SUPREME COURT NOMINATION HEARINGS, DEBUTING IN APRIL;
WRITTEN BY SUSANNAH GRANT AND DIRECTED BY RICK FAMUYIWA;
JEFFREY WRIGHT, ERIC STONESTREET AND JENNIFER HUDSON ALSO STAR
HBO Films Presents A Groundswell Production
In Association With ABC Signature Studios;
From Executive Producers Michael London, Janice Williams,
Kerry Washington And Susannah Grant; Produced By Darren Demetre
HBO Films’ CONFIRMATION stars Kerry Washington (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for Scandal), Wendell Pierce (HBO’s TREME and THE WIRE), Greg Kinnear (Oscar and Golden Globe nominee for As Good as It Gets; Little Miss Sunshine), Jeffrey Wright (Emmy and Golden Globe winner for HBO’s ANGELS IN AMERICA; HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE), Eric Stonestreet (Emmy winner for Modern Family) and Jennifer Hudson (Oscar winner for Dreamgirls). Written by Susannah Grant (Oscar nominee for Erin Brockovich) and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, The Wood), the film details the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims’ rights and modern-day race relations.
CONFIRMATION looks behind the curtain of Washington politics, depicting a pivotal moment in American culture that became a turning point in workplace equality and gender politics. Kerry Washington portrays law professor Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, with Wendell Pierce as Judge Thomas and Greg Kinnear as Democratic Senator Joe Biden, who presided over the hearings as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Jeffrey Wright plays Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, Professor Hill’s lead attorney during the hearings, and Eric Stonestreet portrays Ken Duberstein, a Washington lobbyist hired by President George H. W. Bush to promote Judge Thomas’ confirmation. Jennifer Hudson portrays Angela Wright, another Thomas accuser, who was subpoenaed but was never called to testify before the Judiciary Committee.
Dylan Baker plays Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. Erika Christensen plays Shirley Wiegand, Hill’s close friend. Kimberly Elise plays Sonia Jarvis, a civil rights attorney on Anita Hill’s legal team. Malcolm Gets plays Republican Senator Arlen Specter. Grace Gummer plays Ricki Seidman, aide to Senator Edward Kennedy. Zoe Lister-Jones portrays Carolyn Hart, an aide to Senator Biden. Peter McRobbie portrays Republican Senator Alan Simpson. Treat Williams plays Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy. Alison Wright portrays Ginni Thomas, Thomas’ wife.
Then coming one month later in May is Bryan Cranston’s turn as LBJ.
HBO FILMS’ ALL THE WAY, WITH TONY WINNER
BRYAN CRANSTON REPRISING HIS ROLE AS
PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON, DEBUTS THIS MAY ON HBO;
JAY ROACH DIRECTS;
ROBERT SCHENKKAN ADAPTS HIS TONY-WINNING PLAY;
STEVEN SPIELBERG, ROBERT SCHENKKAN, BRYAN CRANSTON,
JAY ROACH, DARRYL FRANK AND JUSTIN FALVEY EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo, Bradley Whitford And Frank Langella Co-Star;
Ensemble Cast Includes Joe Morton, Stephen Root, Marque Richardson,
Aisha Hinds, Todd Weeks, Mo McRae And Spencer Garrett
“Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race,
until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins,
emancipation will be a proclamation, but not a fact.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson
Following its critically acclaimed, award-winning Broadway run, ALL THE WAY, a riveting behind-the-scenes look at President Lyndon B. Johnson’s tumultuous first year in office in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination, comes to HBO this May. Bryan Cranston (four-time Emmy winner for Breaking Bad) reprises his Tony Award-winning role for the HBO Films presentation, which is directed by Jay Roach (Trumbo; Emmy winner for HBO’s GAME CHANGE and RECOUNT) from a screenplay by Robert Schenkkan (Pulitzer Prize winner for The Kentucky Cycle; two-time Emmy nominee and Writers Guild Award winner for HBO’s THE PACIFIC), who has adapted his Tony Award-winning play of the same name.
The HBO Films presentation follows Johnson during his early administration, as he sacrifices his past, his ties with the South and all that brought him to power in order to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act, and focuses on his efforts to secure his legacy, control his demons of insecurity and win the presidency on his own terms. “All the Way” was not just LBJ’s campaign slogan, but also captured the do-or-die mentality of all the players on the political battlefield. To what lengths would they go? What lines – political, legal and moral – were they prepared to cross? And at what cost? Each character in the film wrestles with these questions, and many are surprised by the personal discoveries they make.
Co-starring with Cranston are Anthony Mackie (Martin Luther King), Melissa Leo (Lady Bird Johnson), Bradley Whitford (Hubert Humphrey) and Frank Langella (Sen. Richard Russell). Additional cast members include Joe Morton (Roy Wilkins), Stephen Root (J. Edgar Hoover), Marque Richardson (Bob Moses), Aisha Hinds (Fanny Lou Hamer), Todd Weeks (Walter Jenkins), Mo McRae (Stokely Carmichael) and Spencer Garrett (Walter Reuther).
Two great presentations back to back and we can add one more. The HBO Special LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL debuts in March. Here are details:
TONY, GRAMMY AND EMMY WINNER
AUDRA MCDONALD BRINGS HER ACCLAIMED PERFORMANCE IN
LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL TO HBO;
SPECIAL DEBUTS MARCH 12
Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald brings her acclaimed portrayal of Billie Holiday in the Broadway smash LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL to HBO, with the exclusive presentation scheduled to debut SATURDAY, MARCH 12. Filmed before a live audience at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans, the special features McDonald in her history-making, tour de force performance as the jazz icon.
Originally written for off-Broadway by Lanie Roberston in 1987, LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL tells Billy Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous, including “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness. The HBO Special is directed by Lonny Price, who also directed the Broadway production.
It will be our ‘biz-ness’ to review each of these events when they debut in March, April and May 2016.