News Reel & Blog

Written by Flora Kimberley on 28th January 2019

After 2018 screaming out for diversity, 2019 seems to be strongly delivering. The cast of Black Panther received the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture. Chadwick Bosemen delivered the memorable acceptance speech describing himself as “young, gifted and black”. This is particularly poignant after last year’s Oscar success for Jordan Peele, who was the first African American man to win an Oscar in original screenplay for “Get Out”: which depicted anxiety surrounding racism. It seems that the tide is starting to change in the awards system.

However, despite this revolution in the some aspects, the Oscars still has some progress to make in the name of diversity. The last and only black women to win an Oscar for best actress was Halle Berry in 2001 for her role in “Monster’s ball”. The same year Denzel Washington won best actor for his role as Alonzo Harris in “Training day”. This is the only time in Oscar history to ever have two people of colour win the leading awards in one year and the last time a person of colour won a best actor was Forest Whittaker in 2006 for his role in “The last king of Scotland”.

For people of Asian descent Ang Lee is the stand out for two best director awards for “Brokeback mountain” and “Life of Pi”. When looking at the statistics for actors of Asian descent the nominations and awards get even slimmer with Ben Kinglsey being the only winner/nomination for his role in “Ghandi”.

Television awards are also getting more varied despite being behind in terms of diversity. It was a recent as 2015 when Voila Davis became the first black woman to ever win an Emmy for her role in “How to get away with Murder”, famously stating "the only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity.”

With this years Oscars being hugely diverse, it will be fascinating to see if “Black Panther” can repeat its success. As Berry stated in her acceptance speech there is “a chance because this door tonight has been opened."


Written by Jack Hopkins on 22nd January 2019

The new biographical film about two of the biggest names in show business is an epic bittersweet tale of ups and down, fits and starts, and laughter and crying. Written by Jeff Pope (the writer behind Philomena) the story follows the two greats through their turbulent twilight years as they embark on a tour through Britain.

The duo were a comedy duo act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema, and they became renown during the 20s, 30s and 40s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing fool and Hardy playing the bully.

Stan (played by Steve Coogan) and Ollie (played by John C Reilly) really encapsulate the duo’s relationship. A relationship that was filled with love and admiration but also peppered with distance and discomfort – their iconic way-out-west dance routine was delivered with absolute precision and their accents were eerily on point. But it was the performances by Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda as the duo’s wives that really steal the show. Their wit, ingenuity and love for their husbands really comes to the forefront it times of real adversity.

At the 76th Golden Globe Awards, Reilly was nominated for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards the film earned three nominations, including Best British Film and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Coogan.

We’re convinced that there will be many more nominations and accolades along the way, as well as a mass rediscovery of the duo’s back catalogue.


Written by Jack Hopkins on 11th January 2019

It’s the greatest domestic cup competition in the world, but does it get the recognition it deserves?

Every club that plays on a Saturday in the country enters the competition. When Liverpool were knocked out by Wolverhampton Wanderers live on the BBC last week, they were the 700th team to exit the competition.  Those that manage to break into the ‘proper’ rounds start to feel  the economic benefits from prize money and TV rights.

TV rights have been a huge talking point in this year’s competition, with kick-off times taking a hit due to BT Sport and the BBC cramming in as many televised games as they can. Another explanation for the unorthodox kick-off times is also down to the overseas television deal the FA signed in October 2016, allowing more TV games for viewers outside of the UK. In fact, all 32 ties last weekend were shown on ESPN+ in the United States. This not only brings more money into the competition but is also brings much needed international exposure – but, do these new regulations ruin the traditions of the cup?

The FA Cup has been labelled a distraction for big clubs competing in more economically viable competitions, but it still remains a big pay day for smaller clubs and traditionalists alike. BT Sport unveiled a new advert to promote their FA Cup action. The advert sees a human-sized FA Cup trophy punish people who choose to do something else instead of watching the busy schedule of games or dismiss the value of the tournament.

Some have argued that the romance of the cup could be reignited if the action returned to terrestrial TV, opening up the competition to everyone again and re-establishing the all-inclusive nature that has fuelled the excitement of the FA Cup for decades. But, this may impact the amount of money that can be won by successful teams. It’s a tricky one, but from some of the upsets in this cup already, it’s clear to see that it’s still important to the majority of clubs and fans alike. 


Written by Jack Hopkins on 2nd January 2019

Happy New Year from everyone at Searchlight!

And with the unveiling of a new year, avid fans of True Detective will be delighted that the new season will be released in the US on HBO on January 13, 2019, with the show likely to air on Sky Atlantic and Now TV shortly after.

The first season of the multi-award winning television show, starring Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Michelle Monaghan, followed the 17-year chase of a monstrous serial killer by two conflicting detectives. The lesser acclaimed second season starring Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Vince Vaughn is set in California, and focuses on three detectives investigating a series of crimes related to a corrupt politician.

It marks a return for the incredibly talented writer Nic Pizzolatto, who was the mastermind behind the complexed and compelling narrative of the first season. This will hopefully mean that the new season will be a big step-up from an underwhelming second season. Pizzolatto’s writing will also be accompanied by the outstanding Academy Award winner, Mahershala Ali.

Ali will be a change of direction for the series, taking the reigns as leading African-American character marking a shift in the overall feel of the series as well as the narrative itself, with the character on the search for two missing white children in the suburbs of the racist deep South.  

The beauty of True Detective is that you don’t have to watch previous seasons to make sense of the story, but we would highly recommend you do to get a feel for it!