At age 6, Brie Larson told her mother she wanted to be an actress. Twenty years later, Larson gleams in the Hollywood spotlight for her critically acclaimed performance in the gripping drama Room, which has earned her an Oscar Best Actress nomination. Early in her career – long before this award-buzzy role in which Larson plays a resilient mother held prisoner in a tiny shed with her son – the actress learned to say no to roles that did not personally speak to her. Through her discerning “yeses,” she’s built up a dynamic body of work.
Passionate, mercurial, prodigiously talented. They’re adjectives that could characterize any number of entertainers, but maybe none more than the utterly compelling, endlessly perplexing Nina Simone. In January at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, director Liz Garbus—a first-class artist in her own right—premiered her sweeping portrait of the complicated singer and pianist whose classically trained skills were paired with an undeniable fervor for activism.