#GimmeShelter: @VanessaHudgens Shows Us Her Acting Chops. #VanessaHudgens #Surprises #Gigi #GigionBroadway

Yesterday, I watched a movie called Gimme Shelter on Netflix. I didn’t realize that Vanessa Hudgens was actually in the movie until I started it, and even then, I questioned whether or not it was her. Now, my only references to her work other than the High School Musical franchise, was Sucker Punch. That being said, I didn’t really have any high expectations. I’d heard of the movie briefly before, but didn’t get a chance to catch it when it was in theaters. That being said, Netflix is a wonderful invention. Based on a true story, Hudgens plays Agnes “Apple” Bailey, a pregnant runaway teen. The film co-stars Rosario Dawson as her drug-addled mother, Brendan Fraser as her well-to-do biological father, James Earl Jones as a compassionate priest, and character-actress, Ann Dowd as Kathy, the woman who runs a shelter for homeless, young mothers.

The role of Apple is a far cry from Hudgens’ current project as the title character in Gigi on Broadway. Her portrayal is riveting, raw and honest. She gave the role everything her talents could provide, had the dialect down, and was vanity-free.  She really shines and seems to leave the Disney star behind with this role. In a key scene in the hospital, Hudgens spars with James Earl Jones and holds her own against the industry veteran. That scene itself pretty much sealed the deal for me, giving me a new found respect for an actress who has often been simply labeled a teen star. Although the film could sometimes have the feeling of a Lifetime movie or even reminiscent of Precious, it is well executed and performances elevate it to a level that makes it worth a watch. It’s currently on Netflix and I am glad I stumbled upon a gripping tale with amazing performances.

Top 5 #ShirleyTemple Films to Watch; R.I.P. Shirley Temple (1928-2014)

Today the world lost the original child star. A legend. Shirley Temple Black passed away at the age of 85. Her films have become a part of American history and she will forever be heralded as one of the greatest film stars. Here are my top five picks of her films to watch. You can find most of them on Netflix or YouTube.

5. Little Miss Marker (1934): During the Golden Age of Hollywood when the studio system was still in place, and essentially stars were under contracts to specific studios, Shirley Temple appeared in this 1934 film on loan-out to Paramount.

4. Now and Forever ( 1934): At this point, Shirley Temple had become such a star that Gary Cooper actually asked for her autograph when they worked together on this film.

3. Curly Top (1935): Everyone wanted animal crackers in their soup after her 1935 hit from 20th Century Fox:

2. The Little Colonel (1935):  This movie was revolutionary and helped bring two dancing greats together. Here she is in the iconic staircase dance with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson:

1. Bright Eyes (1934): Her signature song, “The Good Ship Lollipop” from one of her best films.

Rest in Peace, Shirley Temple. You were one of the greatest; The ultimate, iconic, legendary child star. Hope you’re on the Good Ship Lollipop in Heaven. Your work will always stand the test of time.