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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We Need To Talk About What's Going On With Djimon Hounsou's Career

Remember that one time when Djimon Hounsou was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in In America, or that other time he was nominated for an Oscar for Blood Diamond? Have you seen that actor lately? Because I haven't. And that saddens me because I truly believe that he had such promise, such talent. He could have been a contender. Hell, he was a contender. Twice. He even held his own alongside Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator. Like a boss.

But since his Oscar runs back in 2004 and 2007, Hounsou has kinda...fallen off. Sure, he's been working consistently (including roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and Baggage Claim) since he first burst onto the screen more than twenty years ago. He's even got eight other films on his slate within the next year, which could very well push him back onto the A-list. But I feel he's lost the Hollywood clout he once had. Which brings me to yesterday's announcement that he has joined the cast of Paramount Pictures' SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME. Yes, this is the actual title of the film. It's based off the nonfiction bestselling book by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent. Judging by the synopsis below, it sounds like an inspirational drama and also stars Gregg Kinnear, Jon Voight and Renee Zellweger.

This brings me to my next question: How did Hounsou get wrapped up in an inspirational drama with Zellweger and Kinnear, who also haven't had a great movie in a LONG time? (I purposely left out Voight, who's doing great work on Ray Donovan, but I'm looking at him too). I weep.

Read the film's description:

“SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME” is the story of an international art dealer Ron Hall (Kinnear) who must befriend a dangerous homeless man (Hounsou) in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife (Zellweger), a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the most remarkable journey of their lives. Voight plays Hall's father, with whom he reconciles thanks to the revelations of his new life.

Vincent is also the author of Heaven is For Real, which I think some people liked. So maybe this will attract a similar audience. But for right now, this is a bit of a head scratcher to me. I will likely see it because I do respect the cast, but I just really want Hounsou to get back on top again. You know? Can this really be the project to propel him back into the big leagues again? I don't know. 

Director Michael Carney will make his first full-length feature debut with this film, which he co-wrote with Alexander Foard and Ron Hall. Principal photography began October 27th in Jackson, Mississippi.

Check back here for updates.


Anonymous said...

I had this thought the other night when I was watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 with the kids and noticed that the villain is played by Hounsou, and it all made sense. I feel for Hounsou, because he at one time was a real talent, but he's been reduced to that guy who screams a lot and nothing more. You need someone to look tough and then yell all of his lines in a way that makes him appear authoritative or just really, really angry...get Hounsou. It's a shame, because I know he's deeper than that, but he hasn't really given us 'deeper than that' for years now. Even his last Oscar nomination was for a ridiculous performance.

Now, I'm not advocating his descent into Hallmark movie cinema here (I mean, this string of 'show me God' dramas needs to end), but maybe a small, quiet movie is what he needs to remember that he has depth.

Brittani Burnham said...

An inspirational film with Zellwegger? ouch.

It does suck, because Hounsou is SO talented.

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