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Encyclopedia > Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball
Directed by Marc Forster
Produced by Lee Daniels Entertainment,
Lions Gate Films
Written by Milo Addica,
Will Rokos
Starring Billy Bob Thornton
Halle Berry
Heath Ledger
Peter Boyle
Music by Asche & Spencer,
The Jayhawks
Distributed by Lions Gate Films
Released November 11, 2001
Running time 112 min. (Unrated Director's Cut)
Language English
Budget US$4,000,000
IMDb profile

Monster's Ball is a 2001 American drama/romance film. It was directed by Marc Forster and written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos. Produced by Lions Gate Films and Lee Daniels Entertainment. +A lifetime of change can happen in a single moment. http://romanticmovies. ... Marc Forster (born 1969 in Ulm, Germany) is a Swiss film director and screenwriter. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Lions Gate Films. ... Billy Bob Thornton (born William Robert Thornton on August 4, 1955) is an Academy Award-winning American actor, and also an occasional director, playwright, screenwriter and singer. ... Halle Maria Berry (born August 14, 1966) is an Academy Award-winning American actress and model. ... Heath Ledger Heathcliff Andrew Ledger (born April 4, 1979) is an Academy Award-nominated Australian film actor. ... Peter Boyle Peter Boyle (born October 18, 1935, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American actor. ... Hailing from Minneapolis, the Jayhawks are a band playing a style of alt-country and roots rock with elements of folk. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Lions Gate Films. ... November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 50 days remaining. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This is a list of film-related events in 2001. ... A drama is a film that depends mostly on in-depth character development, interaction, and highly emotional themes. ... The romance film has as its central plot the beginning, obstruction and eventual, though often tragic, fruition of a romance. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ... Marc Forster (born 1969 in Ulm, Germany) is a Swiss film director and screenwriter. ... Screenwriters, scenarists or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies and television programs are made. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Lions Gate Films. ...

Contents


Plot summary

Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), a widower, is employed as a prison guard. Sonny (Heath Ledger), Hank's son, works alongside his father in the family occupation. Both are unable to relate to women. Hank resides with his racist father, Buck (Peter Boyle) who is retired, sick and home-bound (and has driven his own wife to suicide). Together Hank and Sonny must assist in the execution of convicted murderer Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs), an event which has repercussions for both men. Later, Hank meets Leticia Musgrove (Halle Berry), Lawrence's widow, who has been struggling for several years to raise her son Tyrell, and to make ends meet. Eventually, with each longing for human connection in their grief, Hank and Leticia reach out for each other and unexpectedly fall in love. Alternate uses: see widow (typesetting). ... A cell and galleries at Londons Newgate Prison in 1896. ... Image of a woman on the Pioneer plaque sent to outer space. ... 1. ... A father is traditionally the male parent of a child. ... A widow is a woman whose spouse has died. ...


Main cast

Billy Bob Thornton (born William Robert Thornton on August 4, 1955) is an Academy Award-winning American actor, and also an occasional director, playwright, screenwriter and singer. ... Halle Maria Berry (born August 14, 1966) is an Academy Award-winning American actress and model. ... Heath Ledger Heathcliff Andrew Ledger (born April 4, 1979) is an Academy Award-nominated Australian film actor. ... Peter Boyle Peter Boyle (born October 18, 1935, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American actor. ... Sean John Combs (born November 4, 1969 aka P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Puffy Combs) is an American record producer and CEO and founder of Bad Boy Entertainment, one of the driving forces in hip hop in the mid to late 1990s. ...

The controversy within the acclaim

The film won Halle Berry the Academy Award for Best Actress despite its graphic depiction of sexual intercourse. This was a rare instance in which the Academy awarded a film with sexually explicit content. The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... Coition of a Hemisected Man and Woman (c. ...

Leticia (Berry) comes to terms with Hank (Thornton) over chocolate ice cream at the close of Monster's Ball [1].
Leticia (Berry) comes to terms with Hank (Thornton) over chocolate ice cream at the close of Monster's Ball [1].

African Americans were deeply split over Berry's winning the Award as well as actor Denzel Washington, who while consistently playing in acceptable and heroic roles, won his Oscar for playing a venal Los Angeles cop in Training Day. Some of these differences are generational, while others are based on African American cultural, political and religious mores. Leticia (Berry) and Hank (Thornton) eat ice cream at the close of Monsters Ball This is a screenshot of a copyrighted website, video game graphic, computer program graphic, television broadcast, or film. ... Leticia (Berry) and Hank (Thornton) eat ice cream at the close of Monsters Ball This is a screenshot of a copyrighted website, video game graphic, computer program graphic, television broadcast, or film. ... African Americans, also known as Afro-Americans or black Americans, are an ethnic group in the United States of America whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Sub-Saharan and West Africa. ... Washington in John Q (2002) Denzel Jermaine Washington, Jr. ... This article is about the largest city in California. ... The word cop can be:- A slang word for policeman, perhaps from Old French caper, to catch. ... Training Day is a 2001 film starring Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris, a highly decorated but corrupt LAPD police officer, and Ethan Hawke as Jake Hoyt, his new green recruit looking to become a part of Harris Narcotics unit. ... Generation, also known as procreation, is the act of producing offspring. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black), is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... The word culture comes from the Latin root colere (to inhabit, to cultivate, or to honor). ... Politics is the process and method of decision-making for groups of human beings. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... The term mores (IPA ) as used in sociology is a plural noun. ...


On websites and blogs such as SeeingBlack.com, BET.com, and EURWEB.com — new centers for discussion on black political and cultural issues — many poured out what they felt about what was really being said in the film. Some did not even view the film, but claimed "to know" enough about what was in it to urge others to boycott it, as with Miles Willis of KPFT's (Pacifica Radio's) 'Milestones' Jazz Program, who was upset with the film's premise. His statement, which was championed by syndicated film columnist Esther Iverem, went round the Black Internet, and included observations like this: "Imagine the seething indignation that a Jewish man might feel while watching a story in which the widow of a Nazi concentration camp victim has an intimate relationship with the SS officer that shoved her husband into one of those ovens at Auschwitz!" Willis was also angered at having to "watch fine black women gettin' down with mangy, white redneck 'billybobs'." Iverem, on Salon.com, chimed later, "You have to wonder if this is what it takes for a black woman to be named best actress […] Who was the last 'best actress' who did a nude sex scene?" (Actually, it was Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love.) Iverem went on to say, "Ultimately, Monster's Ball uses the legacy of racism in an unconvincing manner to belittle its impact, and its historical and present-day consequences." Iverem maintained that scores of black men were boycotting the film, which they believed insulted, and even cuckolded them by coupling Berry with Billy Bob Thornton. Black Entertainment Television (BET for short) is the first television network geared towards African-Americans. ... Pacifica Radio is a network of five independent owned and operated, non-commercial, listener-supported radio stations, one associated station, and 90 affiliated radio stations in the United States that is known for its leftist and pacifist political views. ... Screenshot of Salon. ... Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (born September 28, 1972) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 motion picture. ...


In the same Salon.com March 29, 2002 article, writer Uju Asika found on Seeing Black.com that many viewers did not believe, for example, that Berry was actually performing. Others believed that Berry had actually made love to Thornton, causing them to label her as a "whore" and a "traitor" to African Americans . Some thought that the standard for black love was going to be interracial love. Screenshot of Salon. ... Slut is a pejorative term for a sexually promiscuous person (usually females), more than is deemed socially acceptable. ...


A few ambiguous stills were linked around the Internet to "prove" that the actors were having sexual intercourse.


Other African Americans, using biological determinism, suggested that a real black woman — that is, someone who was not biracial like Berry — would not authentically represent black people in this manner. Still others felt that Berry's efforts were mercenary, and did not advance the stature or the cause of African American actors in Hollywood. Actress Angela Bassett, who has long been considered a future Oscar pick, reflected black displeasure (and possibly the competitiveness among minority actresses in an already limited field) in a highly publicized Newsweek magazine interview in 2002. However, both the producer and one of the screenwriters, Milo Addica, maintained in interviews that Bassett had not been considered for the role. Still others believed that Berry had been handed the award in a political move by the Academy to deflect previous charges of racism; proponents of this belief cite that Berry won the award the same night as Denzel Washington, during a ceremony hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, and which also contained numerous references and tributes to African American stars of past and present. Categories: Biology stubs ... Reality in everyday usage means everything that exists. ... Image of a nude woman on the Pioneer plaque sent to outer space. ... The terms multiracial, biracial and mixed-race describe people whose ancestors are not of a single race. ... A mercenary is a soldier who fights, or engages in warfare primarily for private gain, usually with little regard for ideological, national or political considerations. ... ... Angela Bassett Angela Bassett (born August 16, 1958 in New York City) is an African-American film actress. ... Academy Awards The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent film awards in the United States. ... The Newsweek logo Newsweek is a weekly news magazine published in New York City and distributed throughout the United States and internationally. ... A collection of magazines A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by advertising and/or purchase by readers. ... interview An interview is a conversation between two or more people where questions are asked to obtain information from the interviewee. ... Sarafina movie poster featuring Whoopi Goldberg Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson, November 13, 1955), is an Academy Award-winning American film actress, comedian, and singer. ...


However, during a Princeton University conference celebrating the film Imitation of Life in 2000, Berry indicated that she would no longer limit herself in choosing and playing roles, thus breaking a decades-long expectation among African Americans that black actresses refuse to submit to playing nude roles in films. This expectation is rooted from slavery (when black women were sometimes stripped naked and humiliated while being sold, sexually abused or disciplined); from African American socio-religious mores that severely faulted black women for 'loose' or immodest behavior that reflects negatively on blacks; and that a black woman's body (and its exposure) 'belongs' exclusively to a black man (husband, lover and even a father or a brother, and to the community), but not to herself. Princeton University is a coeducational private university located on an extensive campus in and around suburban Princeton, New Jersey. ... Imitation of Life is a 1959 film directed by Douglas Sirk, adapted from Fannie Hursts novel Imitation of Life, produced by Universal as a vehicle for Lana Turner. ... It has been suggested that Chattel slavery be merged into this article or section. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black), is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ...


Coronji Calhoun as Tyrell Musgrove

Halle Berry as Leticia with Coronji Calhoun as Tyrell await Lawrence's last phone call in Monster's Ball [2].
Halle Berry as Leticia with Coronji Calhoun as Tyrell await Lawrence's last phone call in Monster's Ball [2].

"Perhaps one of the most affecting performances of the year was given by a 10-year-old Louisiana fourth-grader who has never acted before or studied the craft," commented Variety reporter Christopher Grove. Indeed, many people were particularly moved by — and concerned with — the plight of Coronji Calhoun, the youth who played Tyrell Musgrove, the ill-fated son of Lawrence and Leticia. Coronji was chosen from an open casting call, and was paid the minimum union scale for his work. He also suffered demonstrably from obesity, a malady currently affecting increasing numbers of American children regardless of economic circumstances. Tyrell's chocolate addiction was based on his hunger for his absent father. In a feature interview by iofilm.co.uk columnist Paul Fischer, Berry discussed working with Coronji, including the scene where she as Leticia struck him for hiding candy. "Marc (the director) and I were talking to him, saying this is just a movie, and I kept saying, everything I do and say, it's not real. I really think you're wonderful. And he said, 'Well, whatever you do to me, Halle Berry, it isn't going to be worse than what the kids at school do to me.'" On the film's website, which has since been taken down, Coronji was described as being a normal child who enjoyed playing basketball and video games and who liked to dance. Still others hoped that something more could have been done for the boy by giving him a scholarship or a commemorative trust fund for his work. As Tyrell, Coronji poignantly brought his own experience about being fat, sensitive and artistic to the screen. Halle Berry as Leticia Musgrove with Coronji Calhoun as Tyrell watching television and waiting for Lawrences last phone call in the film, Monsters Ball [[1]] File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Official language(s) English and French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans at last census; probably Baton Rouge since Hurricane Katrina Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 31st 134,382 km² 210 km 610 km 16 29°N to 33°N 89°W to 94°W Population... Variety is a daily magazine for the entertainment industry. ... Chocolate most commonly comes in dark, milk, and white varieties, with cocoa solids contributing to the brown coloration. ... Addiction is a compulsion to repeat a behaviour regardless of its consequences. ... In geographic information systems, a feature comprises an item of feature data. ... interview An interview is a conversation between two or more people where questions are asked to obtain information from the interviewee. ...


Recently, Coronji Calhoun was listed as missing on a Web site seeking to find and reunite survivors of Hurricane Katrina. He is now about 14 years old.


External links

  • review of Monster's Ball by cosmopolis.ch
  • Monster's Ball at The Internet Movie Database
  • [3] article by Uju Asika in Salon.com, regarding the response to Monster's Ball and Berry's Oscar.
  • [4] Miles Willis' comments about Halle Berry's Oscar nomination that showed up on dozens of black listserves, websites, and in e-mails.
  • [5] Metaphilm editor gives a highly unflattering review of Monster's Ball.
  • [6] Esther Iverem's SeeingBlack.com column after Berry's Oscar win; however, links to reader responses in text may be dead.
  • Article describing the Angela Bassett interview in Newsweek
  • Interview with Halle Berry regarding her performance as Leticia Musgrove
  • Official webpage of Imitating Life: Women, Race and Film conference sponsored by the Program in African American Studies, Princeton University, September 22-23, 2000
  • "Whatever Works Best": article by Christopher Grove, about how actors often go with what they know best
  • [7] Katrina List Network showing Calhoun as currently missing.

 
 

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