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1-20 of 34 items from 2004   « Prev | Next »

The Aviator

30 December 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

After years of being relegated to small-screen renderings ("The Amazing Howard Hughes") or quirky supporting roles ("Melvin and Howard"), the inimitable billionaire industrialist finally has been provided with a canvas expansive enough to contain his numerous larger-than-life personae courtesy of Martin Scorsese and "The Aviator".

Working with many of his previous collaborators, Scorsese has crafted a rip-roaringly gorgeous-looking, beautifully acted biographical epic that is certain to garner Oscar nominations across the board.

But while firing on all cylinders, there's something oddly distancing about the picture that ultimately prevents the viewer from being taken along on its emotionally turbulent journey.

Still, if we have to be content to wave admiringly from the sidelines, there's an embarrassment of cinematic riches to appreciate, and Miramax should have little problem translating the inevitable awards season goodwill (Warner Bros. is handling the film internationally) into highflying numbers.

Long before Donald Trump, Richard Branson and reality TV, there was the man who wrote the book on driven, compelling billionaire businessmen, and Leonardo DiCaprio nails his subject with an assured bravado and focused energy. It's the actor's most accomplished turn to date and easily quells skeptics' worries that he wasn't the right man for the part.

Following a brief but character-defining childhood prologue, the script by John Logan ("Gladiator") dives right into the filming of "Hell's Angels" in the late 1920s, the costly aerial epic the naively ambitious heir financed with earnings from the family company, Hughes Tool.

The picture would make Hughes, barely in his mid-20s, a celebrity who would often be spotted courting glamour girls at the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub. But despite counting Katharine Hepburn (a perfectly pitched Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (a similarly adept Kate Beckinsale) among his steady supply of amorous interests, none would be able to compete with Hughes' one true love -- aviation.

Given that Scorsese is known for a lifelong fear of flying, the director (who took on the project after Michael Mann stepped down) throws irony to the wind, and, introducing some impressive digital effects work late in his career, delivers a series of spectacular sequences, from recreations of that "Hell's Angels" footage to Hughes' devastating plane crash into a Beverly Hills neighborhood.

Despite all those lofty events, which are propelled along with the help of newsreel audio, Scorsese and Logan manage to keep the storytelling grounded, moving some events around when necessary to incorporate Hughes' disturbing behavior as it progressed above and beyond mere eccentricity.

With the exception of some of those later scenes in which he physically fails to appear convincing as a man in his 40s, DiCaprio turns in a robust, fully realized performance.

Aside from Blanchett and Beckinsale, there also are colorful turns by Alec Baldwin as Hughes' rival, Pan Am visionary Juan Trippe; Alan Alda as Hughes' adversary, Sen. Owen Brewster; and the always reliable John C. Reilly as his loyal if beleaguered right-hand man, Noah Dietrich.

Technical attributes abound, from Robert Richardson's dazzling, Technicolor-approximated cinematography to Dante Ferretti's lavish production design to Sandy Powell's stellar costumes and Howard Shore's rich but never intrusive score, all impeccably strung together by Scorsese's longtime collaborator, editor Thelma Schoonmaker.

The Aviator


Warner Bros. Pictures and Miramax Films present

a Forward Pass Inc./Initial Entertainment Group production

A Martin Scorsese picture


Director: Martin Scorsese

Producers: Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King, Charles Evans Jr.

Executive producer: Chris Brigham

Screenwriter: John Logan

Director of photography: Robert Richardson

Production designer: Dante Ferretti

Costume designer: Sandy Powell

Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker

Music: Howard Shore


Howard Hughes: Leonardo DiCaprio

Katharine Hepburn: Cate Blanchett

Noah Dietrich: John C. Reilly

Juan Trippe: Alec Baldwin

Ava Gardner: Kate Beckinsale

Errol Flynn: Jude Law

Glenn Odekirk: Matt Ross

Johnny Meyer: Adam Scott

Jean Harlow: Gwen Stefani

Professor Fitz: Ian Holm

Jack Frye: Danny Huston

Sen. Owen Brewster: Alan Alda

Faith Domergue: Kelli Gardner

MPAA rating: PG-13

Running time -- 169 minutes »

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DiCaprio Unfazed by Onscreen Nudity

28 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Leonardo DiCaprio remains unfazed by onscreen nudity, despite spending days being filmed naked for his latest movie. DiCaprio's role as Howard Hughes in The Aviator required him to strip off for a series of love scenes, most of which ended up on the cutting room floor. But being naked didn't bother Catch Me If You Can star DiCaprio: "I didn't think about the nudity that much. There was a lot more naked stuff in the movie that they didn't show. I was nude for a good couple of days being filmed." »

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Del Toro Set To Marry?

23 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Benicio Del Toro is finally ready to settle down with new girlfriend, model and actress Sara Foster, according to pals. The Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas star has been linked to a string of Hollywood beauties, including Alicia Silverstone and Scarlett Johansson, yet never came close to marrying - until now. Friends say the 37-year-old is smitten with his new belle, the 23-year-old daughter of Hollywood composer David Foster. A pal says, "He's head over heels in love with her. They will probably get married." A friend adds of Foster, who has previously been romantically linked to Leonardo DiCaprio, "She's sweet and definitely a party girl. But she's calmed down a lot recently." »

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DiCaprio and Maguire Strike Back

23 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire are being sued for $38 million, after allegedly trying to block a short film they made in 1995. According to reports, the pair filed a lawsuit in August in a bid to stop independent film Don's Plum from being released. They claim they agreed to make the short film to help out some friends, who would get screen credit when the picture was shown at film festivals. But court documents claim movie-makers John Schindler and RD Robb attempted to capitalize on DiCaprio and Maguire's success by releasing the film. All three parties reportedly reached an agreement, whereby the film was only played in Europe - but Schindler has now filed a suit of his own, alleging the two actors warned distributors they would never work with them again, if they released Don's Plum. »

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Sideways Dominates Golden Globe Nominations

13 December 2004 | IMDb News

On the heels of critics awards from both New York and Los Angeles, the indie comedy Sideways dominated this year's Golden Globe nominations with a field-best seven nominations. The Alexander Payne wine-country flick nabbed Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and Score nominations along with nods for actors Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, and Virginia Madsen, making it the movie to beat at this year's Globes, though it's competing mainly in comedy categories. The heavyweight over on the dramatic side was Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, which was awarded with six nominations, including Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio (as Howard Hughes) and Best Supporting Actress for Cate Blanchett (as Katharine Hepburn). Million Dollar Baby, Finding Neverland, and Closer were right behind with five nominations apiece.

The man of the hour, however, was neither Payne nor Scorsese but Jamie Foxx, who received an unprecedented three nominations, for Ray, Collateral, and the TV movie Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story. Receiving little or no love from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were Spanglish (only a Best Score nomination) and The Passion of the Christ, which while ineligible for the Best Film . Drama award but allowed to compete in all other categories, was passed over entirely.

On the television side, the gals of Sex and the City, who were longtime Globe favorites, had to make room for some Desperate Housewives, as the ABC breakout hit scored five nominations (the best for any TV show), including four acting nods for its titular housewives (only Eva Longoria was left out in the cold). HBO scored big with TV movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and its perennial awards favorite The Sopranos, though Sex and the City only received two nods for its final season. The Golden Globes will be handed out on Sunday, January 16th, where Robin Williams is set to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

See the entire list of this year's Golden Globe nominees »

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DiCaprio Felt 'Estranged' from World after 'Titanic'

6 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Leonardo DiCaprio found it easy to relate to the reclusive billionaire he plays in upcoming movie The Aviator - because Titanic taught him what it feels like to be "estranged from the world". DiCaprio, 30, developed an affinity with real-life perfectionist film-maker and airplane enthusiast Howard Hughes as he understands how fame can separate normality from reality. The 30-year-old actor feels he had a similar experience following the release of the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, but Hughes' descent into self-imposed exile still interests him. DiCaprio says, "Well, what fascinated me...is how someone with everything cannot necessarily lose it all, but lose the will and the ability to lead a normal life, which is a very scary concept. "I mean, after Titanic I had a couple of years of feeling very estranged from the world. But not nearly to the extent of Mr. Hughes - he locked himself in a hotel room for the last 15 years of his life. "I don't want to say I identified with him. Certainly I identified with his unwavering need for perfection, as far as his aviation was concerned, and his movie-making was concerned. "It's something I strive toward, in acting. »

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'Mad Dog' team: German, Rogers

2 December 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Kevin Misher Prods. has tapped into its discretionary fund to hire Glenn German and Adam Rogers for writing duties on Mad Dog and Englishmen. Based on an original idea by Misher, Mad Dog is a fish-out-of-water action comedy about a rogue Chicago cop forced to travel the globe to solve a crime committed in his own back yard. Misher, whose banner is based at Universal, is in postproduction on The Interpreter, which was produced in association with Working Title Films. He also is developing Public Enemies, to be directed by Michael Mann and star Leonardo DiCaprio, and Submariner, an adaptation of the Marvel Comic underwater anti-hero. Misher also produced The Rundown. German and Rogers sold Moving Elliot to Universal, with Brett Ratner and Michael Taylor set to produce, and have set up Before I Wake at Thunderpoint Studios. They are repped by the Bohrman Agency. »

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Baldwin Fixated with DiCaprio's Forehead

2 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin was fascinated by Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in The Aviator - and could not keep his eyes off DiCaprio's forehead. DiCaprio plays legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes in the biopic, while Baldwin takes on the role of Juan Trippe. During filming, Baldwin noticed DiCaprio's forehead was a strange shape. He says, "Leo DiCaprio has this thing where when he really is concerned about something... he screws up his forehead and it looks like some kind of Chinese or Japanese character on his forehead. You feel like they're gonna put ink on it and stamp it on a piece of paper (make it) the symbol for anger or something." »

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Farrell and Hilton's Intimate Encounter

30 November 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Irish lothario Colin Farrell reportedly enjoyed a romantic liaison with American socialite Paris Hilton last week. The Phone Booth hunk was promoting his new film Alexander when he bumped into the blonde heiress, who was being filmed for Barbara Walters' TV show The Ten Most Fascinating People Of 2004. A source tell Scotland's Daily Record newspaper, "Colin is a lot hotter in person and Paris was unbelievably sweet. But it was not clear, though, whether the couple had previously arranged a meeting or it was just coincidence. Still, what happens when the two most oversexed people on the planet get together - they continued the party, alone, after the cameras shut off." Hilton has been romantically linked to a host of famous men, including Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, former porn star Simon Rex, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Kennedy, Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley and Australian Idol contestant Rob Mills. Meanwhile, Farrell has a baby son James with ex-love Kim Bordenave. »

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DiCaprio Warns of Paparazzi Accident Waiting To Happen

23 November 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio has blasted the tactics of the paparazzi, claiming it will not be long before a fatal accident is triggered by intrusive photographers. DiCaprio, whose long-term girlfriend is supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is regularly hounded by snappers and is campaigning for a law to limit where pictures can be taken. He says, "Paparazzi are horrible people. I hate a lot of them to death and I wish they wouldn't follow me around and make my life miserable, but I have to find a way to deal with it until there's a law. I hope there is for my sake and the sake of many others because there may be an accident someday and we may lose somebody." »

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Kidman: "Luhrmann Not Doing Alexander Film"

1 November 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Australian director Baz Luhrmann has officially dumped his delayed Alexander The Great biopic, according the film's would-be star Nicole Kidman. The Oscar-winner was set to play Olympias - the mother of Leonardo DiCaprio's Macedonian warrior Alexander - in the eagerly anticipated movie. Luhrmann announced in 2003 he was delaying the film until a 2006 release to concentrate on other projects and devote a lot more time to the film. Rival Alexander film, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie, is released this month. When asked by Canadian newspaper Toronto Sun if the Moulin Rouge director was still going ahead with Alexander, Kidman replied, "No." When told many film fans were looking forward to comparing the two films and were intrigued by Luhrmann's vastly different creative approach to the story, Kidman says, "I was too (intrigued)." »

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DiCaprio Joins Kerry Campaign

28 October 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Leonardo DiCaprio has joined P. Diddy, Brad Pitt and Ashton Kutcher to urge young Americans to vote for Democrat John Kerry in the presidential elections next week. The Titanic star thrilled Kerry fans in Detroit, Michigan, earlier today when he was introduced as a speaker at a campaign stop. The actor said, "I'm coming here today not as a politician, not as an actor, but a concerned citizen like all of you out there. You cannot afford to be uninterested. You cannot afford to be detached from this election. You cannot afford to turn your back on the future of our country. " DiCaprio also joined P Diddy and Mary J Blige at another campaign stop at Wayne State University in Detroit. »

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DiCaprio Thanked in Newspaper Advertisement

12 October 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has been publicly thanked by the con man he played in Catch Me If You Can - in a full page newspaper advertisement. Former serial con artist Frank Abagnale Jr was left so impressed with DiCaprio's portrayal of him in the 2002 movie, when he heard the actor was recently named Actor Of The Year at the Hollywood Film Festival he decided to show his appreciation. The advertisement, placed in a prominent Hollywood trade paper, described DiCaprio as: "A fantastic actor, an extremely talented and compassionate individual and friend." »

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Equity outfits buy stake in Firm

1 October 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital have made a minority investment in the Los Angeles management company the Firm. Details of the arrangement were not disclosed. The Firm was founded in 1997 by manager Jeff Kwatinetz and is run by Kwatinetz, Rich Frank and Rick Yorn. Its clients include Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Samuel L. Jackson, Benicio Del Toro, Korn, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, the Dixie Chicks, Clay Aiken and Ice Cube. Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital were key investors in the purchase this year of Warner Music Group from Time Warner by a group headed by Edgar Bronfman Jr. As part of the new deal, Thomas H. Lee managing director Scott Sperling will join the Firm's board. »

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DiCaprio Case Thrown Out of Court

1 October 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Leonardo DiCaprio has been cleared of long-running charges that he incited a group of friends to attack a love rival outside a Manhattan restaurant. Actor and screenwriter Roger Wilson filed a $45 million lawsuit against the Gangs Of New York star and two of his friends after the alleged incident in 1998. Wilson accused DiCaprio of telling his friend Todd Healy to beat him up after an argument over Wilson's then girlfriend, actress Elizabeth Berkley. Judge Paula Omansky ruled that Healy did not hear the 29-year-old actor's alleged remark, "Go out there and kick his a**!" The judge also ruled that only a restaurant security guard heard DiCaprio's say it, so the actor could not have aided and abetted Healy in his assault on Wilson. The case against Healy, who has admitted to punching Wilson in self-defense, continues. »

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Hollywood fest to fete Bening, DiCaprio

28 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Annette Bening and Leonardo DiCaprio have been tapped for top honors at the upcoming Hollywood Film Festival. They are slated to receive the Hollywood Actress of the Year Award and the Hollywood Actor of the Year trophies at the festival's gala awards ceremony Oct. 18 at the Beverly Hilton. The fest runs Oct. 12-18. "Annette Bening and Leonardo DiCaprio represent excellence in the art of acting, and it gives us great pleasure to honor these talented professionals and their accomplishments at this year's festival," HFF founder Carlos de Abreu said. After being absent from the big screen for a brief time, both will soon be making the rounds in upcoming films. Bening toplines Istvan Szabo's Being Julia, due for release Oct. 15 from Sony Pictures Classics. DiCaprio, who most recently starred in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, toplines Martin Scorsese's upcoming Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator for Miramax Films and Warner Bros. Pictures. Aviator is due for release Dec. 17. »

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DiCaprio Buys Las Vegas Home

28 September 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has developed such a huge affection for American gambling haven Las Vegas, he's now purchased himself a home there. The 29-year-old actor, who stars as Howard Hughes in the upcoming biopic The Aviator, has bought a $1.5 million abode in the city which was once one of Hughes' haunts. The new pad, which is actually two apartments put together, is in a 33-storey glass high-rise called Panorama Towers. »

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Frank on 'Lookout' for DreamWorks

24 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Oscar-nominated writer Scott Frank is set to make his directorial debut on DreamWorks' The Lookout. Frank Will direct from his own script about a former high school hockey star, disabled in a car accident, who outwits a group of criminals who plan to rob the small-town bank where he works as a janitor. The project has had a long and varied development history, with the film attracting a raft of top-name talent including Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and directors Sam Mendez and David Fincher. No cast is currently attached. DreamWorks execs Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing with Larry Mark. Marc Haimes is overseeing for the studio. Frank's writing credits include Minority Report, Get Shorty and Out of Sight, for which he received his Oscar nomination. He also penned the upcoming films The Flight of the Phoenix and The Interpreter. He is repped by CAA. »

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ThinkFilm elects to output 'Nixon'

31 August 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Indie distributor ThinkFilm sealed a deal Monday to acquire the Sean Penn-Naomi Watts starrer The Assassination of Richard Nixon two weeks before the film is slated to make its North American premiere Sept. 13 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Also starring Don Cheadle and Jack Thompson, Nixon is based on the true story of Samuel Bicke (Penn), a bitter man who blames the president for the unraveling of his own American dream and hatches a terrorist plot. Nixon was directed by Niels Mueller, who co-wrote the screenplay with Kevin Kennedy. Alfonso Cuaron and Jorge Vergara produced through their Anhelo Prods. Leonardo DiCaprio, Alexander Payne, Frida Torresblanco and Kennedy executive produced. »

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DiCaprio and Maguire Team Up To Block Movie

30 August 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actors Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio have joined forces in the courtroom to block a 1995 movie they made from hitting American cinema screens. The childhood pals have filed a joint lawsuit against John Schindler, a man who in court documents identifies himself as "a director and line producer" on the set of Don's Plum, an independent film which the stars shot in 1995, which Schindler now wants to make public. In court documents, Maguire and DiCaprio claim they agreed to make the picture as a short film in order to have fun with a group of friends. They were also hoping to help their friends' careers by giving them a chance to get screen credit when it was shown at film festivals. The film remained under the radar until Titanic shot DiCaprio to superstardom. Sources tell American TV show Celebrity Justice that Don's Plum director RD Robb wanted to capitalize on DiCaprio's success and worked with a producer to try and release it as a full-length film. But DiCaprio and Maguire fought that, arguing that was never the deal. A confidential agreement was reached, allowing the film to only play in Europe. But now the two superstars are fighting Schindler over the same issue, alleging he wants to violate the agreement and exploit the film for his own purposes. »

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1-20 of 34 items from 2004   « Prev | Next »

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