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9 items from 2005


Delpy, Davis in on 'Hoax' for Hallstrom

4 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Julie Delpy and Hope Davis are joining the ensemble cast of director Lasse Hallstrom's upcoming drama Hoax. Richard Gere will star in the biopic about Clifford Irving, the man who wrote and sold a bogus biography of Howard Hughes to McGraw-Hill. Alfred Molina and Marcia Gay Harden also will co-star. Delpy will play Irving's mistress. Davis will play Andrea Tate, an employee at McGraw-Hill. The film, which is being penned by Bill Wheeler, will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios. Mark Gordon and Leslie Holleran are producing along with Joshua Maurer, Betsy Beers and Bob Yari. Gary Levinsohn is the executive producer. »

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Risky Business: The Cannes disconnect

19 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Watching Bill Murray speed-shift expressions for the Palais red carpet paparazzi was a Cannes high point. But at the Lumiere's heavily orchestrated nighttime screenings, the most important person in the room isn't any of the stars, but the auteur. At Broken Flowers' premiere, white-mopped director Jim Jarmusch soaked up the center spotlight, surrounded by his cast: Murray, Tilda Swinton and Julie Delpy, all video simulcast on the enormous screen. After Broken Flowers, the applause was sincere. On other nights, though, the clapping often had a hollow, obligatory ring. There's a sense these days that this high-octane global festival works overtime to prop up the careers of a number of name directors around the world. »

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Broken Flowers

17 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

In "Broken Flowers", writer-director Jim Jarmusch sends the hero, played with his usual deadpan aplomb by Bill Murray, on a road trip through his life -- a four-city package tour in which he must encounter his former lovers. The journey is quite comical, in turns outrageous, unsettling and even a little surreal.

Jarmusch has, in fact, made one of his more commercial films that capitalizes on Murray's droll presence and offers juicy cameos by an all-star team of actresses in Julie Delpy, Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange and Tilda Swinton.

"Broken Flowers" could break Jarmusch out of the art house, but admirers may question the film's overly conventional approach. It skips merrily along the surface with its over-the-top vignettes but never seems to arrive at a destination. Nevertheless, the journey is more than half the fun as every actor attacks his role with relish. And sometimes a little mustard.

What sends Murray's Don Johnston on a scramble back through his life is a mysterious letter in a pink envelop that arrives at Don's suburban home one morning just as his latest lover, Sherry (Delpy), is delivering her farewell address. In fact, the opening credits treat us to a mini-documentary about how a letter works its way through the U.S. Postal Service. But where did it come from and who sent it?

In the letter, an anonymous ex-lover informs Don he has a 19-year-old son, who may soon come looking for his father. Five possible women could have penned the letter.

Don's love life has everyone refer to him as Don Juan. (Indeed he is watching "The Private Life of Don Juan" on TV while Sherry packs.) This is puzzling though for instead of a hedonist with frequent erotic urges, Don bears striking resemblance to Murray's study in lethargy in "Lost in Translation". Don seldom leaves his living room couch.

His next-door neighbor, Winston (Jeffrey Wright), an Ethiopian with a large family and the natural instincts of a detective, urges him to track down the letter writer. When Don fails to do so, Winston hops on the Internet and does it for him: He locates every woman. One has died but Winston has booked Don on a trip to confront the other four.

Don protests but acquiesces, flying off into his past with grave reservations. And the movie itself takes a holiday from any kind of realistic travelogue.

Consider this premise: Perhaps one man might have had relations with five different women all at approximately the same time 20 years before. But what are the odds they all live in separate cities? What was he, a traveling salesman?

Then there are the built-for-extreme-comedy vignettes: Stone's Laura is a widow who has never abandoned her sensuality or unconventional lifestyle. And she has a daughter (Alexis Dziena) who more than lives up to the name of Lolita. Laura has a hot meal and a warm bed ready for Don even before he can ask her whether Lolita has any siblings.

Conroy's Dora, on the other hand, has abandoned her hippie-dippy life to establish a strained and artificial bourgeois existence as a member of a husband-and-wife team of realtors who live in a virtual model home.

Lange's Dr. Carmen is an animal communicator who sees patients with problem-afflicted pets. Judging from the body language exchanged with her assistant (Chloe Sevigny), she now bats for the other side.

As for Swinton's Penny, let's just say the encounter is brief and violent, suggesting that more than a residue of anger lingers after 20 years.

So add to this quirky tale of four cities the fact that the women could not be more different other than their preference for suburbs or rural areas. Perhaps "Broken Flowers" is about a man who can't figure out what woman is his type.

The film, shot in New York and New Jersey, uses locations that, like Jarmusch's "Stranger than Paradise", could be anywhere. So we don't know where we are and never figure out who Don Johnston is. The journey into his past illuminates virtually nothing about him; it only raises unanswered questions about the women.

Each episode lets an actress develop a full-on performance in contrast to Murray's somnolent deadpan. Not that Murray doesn't earn boisterous laughs. The look on his face when Winston congratulates Don on being a father is priceless.

But the movie leaves this Don Juan of the Suburbs where he began -- a lonely guy who yearns for something he cannot quite grasp. Will he ever?

For a film in which props, set design and costumes must instantly reveal character, Jarmusch's production team has done a bang-up job. Music plays a role too as Winston gives Don a CD for his journey that contains what can be described as jazzy detective music.

BROKEN FLOWERS

Focus Features

A Five Roses production

Credits: Writer/director: Jim Jarmusch; Producers: Jon Kilik, Stacey Smith; Director of photography: Frederick Elmes; Production designer: Mark Friedberg; Music: Mulatu Astatke; Costumes: John Dunn; Editor: Jay Rabinowitz.

Cast: Don Johnston: Bill Murray; Winston: Jeffrey Wright; Laura: Sharon Stone; Dora: Frances Conroy; Carmen: Jessica Lange; Penny: Tilda Swinton; Sherry: Julie Delpy.

No MPAA rating, running time 105 minutes

»

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Delpy bites into 'Bathory' pic

17 May 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are in final negotiations to star in Bathory, which Bauer Martinez will finance, produce and distribute. Delpy will make her directorial debut on the picture, working from her own script about the legendary Elizabeth Bathory, who inspired many a vampire myth with sadistic rituals that included bathing in the blood of virgins. Additionally, Bauer Martinez Distribution, the company's newly formed U.S. distribution arm, has finalized a multipicture production deal with Hayden and Tove Christensen's Forest Park Pictures. The deal initially runs for an 18-month period and will involve three to four productions in the $10 million-$40 million range. The two developments cap a week of major announcements for the company, including the launch of the distribution arm and the production of a number of high-profile films set to fuel the new division. »

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Rigberg going solo after split

25 April 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Glenn Rigberg and Gina Rugolo-Judd, partners in Rigberg-Rugolo Management, have parted ways. Rigberg has launched his own company, Rigberg Entertainment Group, which will continue to be based in the Rigberg-Rugolo office in Beverly Hills. Clients joining Rigberg include Wilmer Valderrama, Neal McDonough, Delroy Lindo, Julie Delpy, Christopher Gorham, Jill Ritchie, David Oyelowo, Laura Breckenridge, Joan Chen, Barbara Kopple, Amy Talkington and Guinevere Turner. Additionally, former agent Karen Goldberg has joined the new company as a manager. Rigberg also is forming Rigberg Production Group, with Rigberg-Rugolo's Rashad Raisani as its development executive. »

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Top 10 Indie Queens & Foreign Femme Fatales of 04

1 March 2005 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Though not everyone can be a Bridget Bardot, Sophia Lauren and/or a Raquel Welch - that said, won’t prevent many cinephiles of appreciating the mädchen that make it on today’s silver screen. Not exclusively based on their talents as an actress (which certainly does help), but a star quality that is not easily definable - without being too macho, Ioncinema has compiled a top 10 list (actually 11 this year) of the top screen vixens to appear on film in 2004 and where we will see them in 2005. These leading ladies have a certain “je ne sais quoi” quality about them, bravura, a female machismo that magnetizes the viewer. While we don’t have Monica Bellucci on the list, or Natalie Portman’s new look thanks to Closer, all the same this is what we came up with. 11. Margot Stilley 2004:Cute as a pie, her instant fame »

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Bloom and Bosworth Reunite for Charity Party

1 March 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Orlando Bloom and Kate Bosworth attended Global Green's Rock The Earth party last week - but they maintained a distance from each other to avoid any conflict following their split earlier this year. The Lord Of The Rings heart-throb and the Beyond The Sea beauty were together for two years, but busy work schedules and jet-set lifestyles eventually made their relationship untenable. But the former-couple reunited in support of the American charity promoting anti- global warming measures - other stars in attendance included Tim Robbins, Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz and Julie Delpy. »

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WGA nominees surrender some secrets

21 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A yellow bathrobe just might be the secret to becoming a successful screenwriter, according to one of the participants in Beyond Words, a panel session featuring this year's WGA Award nominees in the film categories. The Thursday night event, presented by the WGA and The Hollywood Reporter at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills, offered insights and hilarious examples of how the writing process really works. The nominees involved included Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Zach Braff (Garden State), Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda), Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby), Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries), Alexander Payne (Sideways), John Logan (The Aviator) and Julie Delpy (Before Sunset). In a discussion of rituals and process moderated by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) most of the panelists admitted that they procrastinate -- a lot -- when it comes to getting down to work. Rivera said writer's block was nature's way of preventing mistakes, and Kaufman said he spun his wheels a lot, not doing much. Payne said that not doing much was the process, and that you need eight hours to write two hours. »

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WGA nominees surrender some secrets

18 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A yellow bathrobe just might be the secret to becoming a successful screenwriter, according to one of the participants in Beyond Words, a panel session featuring this year's WGA Award nominees in the film categories. The Thursday night event, presented by the WGA and The Hollywood Reporter at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills, offered insights and hilarious examples of how the writing process really works. The nominees involved included Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Zach Braff (Garden State), Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda), Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby), Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries), Alexander Payne (Sideways), John Logan (The Aviator) and Julie Delpy (Before Sunset). In a discussion of rituals and process moderated by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) most of the panelists admitted that they procrastinate -- a lot -- when it comes to getting down to work. Rivera said writer's block was nature's way of preventing mistakes, and Kaufman said he spun his wheels a lot, not doing much. Payne said that not doing much was the process, and that you need eight hours to write two hours. »

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9 items from 2005


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