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5 items from 2002

'Hours' strikes NBR as '02 best

5 December 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures on Wednesday voted The Hours, the screen adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, as its best film of the year. Produced by Paramount Pictures and Miramax Films, Hours was directed by Stephen Daldry and stars Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore in a tale of three women who spin variations on the work of Virginia Woolf. Meanwhile, Moore secured a best actress win for her role in another film, Focus Features' Far From Heaven. Best actor honors went to Campbell Scott for his role as a womanizing New York ad whiz in Artisan Entertainment's Roger Dodger. »

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'French Lieutenant's Woman' Director Dies

29 November 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Czech-born The French Lieutenant's Woman director Karel Reisz has died in London at the age of 76. The acclaimed film-maker died on Monday, but the cause of his death has not yet been revealed. Reisz played a key role in championing the populist Free Cinema movement, along with Tony Richardson and Lindsay Anderson, starting with his 1960 debut working-class drama Saturday Night And Sunday Morning, which introduced audiences to Albert Finney. That was followed by a remake of thriller Night Must Fall, the dark comedy Morgan, which showcased David Warner and gave Vanessa Redgrave her first starring role, and the biopic Isadora, also with Redgrave. His first US film was 1974's The Gambler, starring James Caan, followed by others including The French Lieutenant's Woman, which brought Meryl Streep her first Best Actress Oscar nomination in 1981. Screenwriter James Toback says, "His films always had a look of both propriety and elegance. But it was as a superb director of actors - and a creator of stars - on which Karel's esteem rested." For the past decade, Reisz concentrated on directing plays in London, Dublin and Paris. He is survived by his wife, actress Betsy Blair, and three sons, Toby, Matthew and Barney. »

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Kidman's Oscar Gamble

6 November 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Nicole Kidman may miss out on the chance to win her first Academy Award at next year's bash, because film executives are pushing her to go for the wrong award. The actress is an early favorite in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role as novelist Virginia Woolf in The Hours, alongside Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. But awards experts fear Nicole will miss out on her first Oscar - she was nominated for Moulin Rouge in 2001 - because movie bosses at Miramax and Paramount want her to go for the main award, feeling if she were to pick up the Best Actress award it would provide the studios with an excellent marketing tool. Hollywood Awards expert Tom O'Neil says, "She's being bamboozled by Paramount and Miramax into running for the best lead actress, not supporting, where I think she'd be a slam-dunk." Although the final decision of which categories in which to place actors is made by Academy members, they can be swayed by the adverts film companies take out in Tinseltown trade mags Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. O'Neill adds, "I have it on the best authority that Paramount and Miramax plan to push Nicole for lead actress. Nicole has admitted publicly in the past that her role is really supporting, but she's graciously deferring to their judgment. That's dumb." Confirming Kidman plans to run in the Best Actress category, a spokesperson for the actress, insisted, "She's not being pressured by anyone. We have all been debating it because it's a very fine line between the categories." »

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Highlight, Constantin in new distribution deal

9 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MUNICH -- Constantin Film AG said Tuesday that it has reached a distribution agreement for Germany with Switzerland's Highlight Communications AG, which has upped its stake in Constantin from 23% to 25%. The Swiss company bought Constantin shares on the open market after having taken over the bankrupt Kirch media empire's stake in the independent German distribution and production company in May. The new distribution agreement, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will start with The Hours, starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep, and Harv, the Barbarian, with Rob Schneider. On Monday, Constantin's U.S. subsidiary Constantin Film International said it had signed a three-year production, finance and distribution contract with U.S. producer Adam Platnick's new production company, Freestyle Pictures (HR 10/8). Platnick, the former Mandalay Pictures president responsible for such hits as Sleepy Hollow and The Score, will produce films for Constantin and will participate in their international distribution. In a statement, Constantin Film International said the move represents "our continued commitment to expand our production capabilities in the United States." »

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Willis And Parker Mix Genders To Pick Up Puddings

30 January 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker have been awarded American Harvard University's coveted Hasty Pudding award. Bruce and Jess will have to take part in bizarre rituals to accept the awards - given to actors who have made "a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment." Harvard's theatrical society - the nation's oldest undergraduate organization - will present the traditional brass Pudding Pot statues to Parker next month after she has led parade of a male society members dressed as women through Harvard Square. Willis however, will have to dress in drag himself when he receives his award before the Harvard troupe's opening night performance of Snow Place Like Home, on Valentine's Day. Previous Hasty Pudding recipients include Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Robert De Niro, Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford. Last year's winners were Drew Barrymore and Anthony Hopkins. »

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