When The Birth of a Nation premiered at Sundance, it was greeted with rapturous praise and a bidding war that ultimately resulted in a $17.5 million sale to Fox Searchlight. In the midst of #OscarsSoWhite, a film written, directed and starring a promising black filmmaker, about the Nat Turner slave rebellion, seemed to have arrived at the perfect time and felt like a sure Oscar contender. But over the summer, a dark chapter of director Nate Parker's past came back under a spotlight. Parker was accused of raping a fellow student while attending Penn State, and while he was acquitted of all charges, that personal history makes some people uneasy about seeing the film. In recent interviews, Parker appears remorseless, blames the media, and doesn't seem to be doing himself any favors. The film opens at 2,100 theaters this weekend, and because it comes out in so many places at once, as opposed to a slow rollout, the overall success of the film and its Oscar chances are heavily riding on opening weekend.
FROM THIS EPISODE
More From Hollywood Breakdown
Can inclusion riders improve pay parity? This week we learned Prince Philip was paid more than the Queen herself, at least in the Netflix series 'The Crown.' Matt Smith, who portrays the Prince, came in with a high quote from his years as Dr. Who, while actress Claire Foy was a relative unknown at the time.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Will Orange County go from Red to Blue? On a recent evening, about two dozen friends and neighbors gathered at a house party in Irvine. They had come to meet Katie Porter, a Democrat who’s running for Congress… Read More
To flip the House, Democrats eye Orange County The Democratic Party sees the 2018 midterms as the first national referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency and an opportunity to regain control of the House of Representatives. And California is… Read More