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8 items from 2004


Grant Mocks Roberts' "Big Mouth"

26 October 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

British actor Hugh Grant prompted Oprah Winfrey to jump to her pal Julia Roberts' defense on Friday, after he mocked the Oscar-winning actress' "big mouth". Grant appeared on Winfrey's chat show to promote his upcoming movie Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason alongside Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth, when he was asked to share his thoughts on his Notting Hill co-star, Roberts. He quipped, "Very big-mouthed! Literally, physically, she has a very big mouth. It is a very big mouth. When I was kissing her I was aware of a faint echo." As Winfrey stifled her laughter, she said, "She's one of the nicest people I ever met." Grant jokingly hit back, "I wouldn't go that far..." He also poked fun at his other leading ladies, branding Emma Thompson a real-life man and declaring that Julianne Moore hates him. »

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'Angels,' 'Arrested' earn top prizes at TCA Awards

18 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Angels in America and Arrested Development were the critical darlings Saturday at the 20th annual Television Critics Assn. Awards, hosted by Bill Maher. The 200-plus members of the TV scribes organization named Angels, HBO's epic miniseries about the AIDS crisis, program of the year as well as best movie or miniseries Saturday at the ceremony held in conjunction with the summer press tour that has unfolded in the past two weeks at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Angels director Mike Nichols gave credit to the mini's A-list cast, which included Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson, for bringing Angels to life on the small screen. "They dug deep. They flew high," Nichols said of the actors' performances. Fox's dysfunctional-family comedy Arrested was voted best new program and best comedy, two days after the freshman series scored a berth in the Emmy race for best comedy. »

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'Angels' showered with Emmy noms

16 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Embracing everything from the supernatural fantasies of Angels in America and Joan of Arcadia to the down-and-dirty politics of The Reagans and The Apprentice, voters at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences delivered an eclectic batch of nominees for the 56th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The nominees parade was notable for the many fresh faces and programs that broke through in a big way this year as well as for those that didn't make the cut despite strong buzz going into Thursday's predawn nominations announcement at ATAS' headquarters in North Hollywood. HBO's adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America led the pack with 21, including bids for director Mike Nichols and stars Al Pacino (in his first Emmy nom), Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Wright. HBO's drama series The Sopranos was a close second with 20 noms, including reigning drama actor champs James Gandolfini and Edie Falco and first-time recognition in the supporting drama actress category for Drea de Matteo. »

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Fresh faces added to Emmy mix as HBO, 'Angels' rule

15 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Embracing everything from the supernatural fantasies of Angels in America and Joan of Arcadia to the down-and-dirty politics of The Reagans and The Apprentice, voters at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences delivered an eclectic batch of nominees for the 56th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The nominees parade was notable for the many fresh faces and programs that broke through in a big way this year as well as for those that didn't make the cut despite strong buzz going into Thursday's predawn nominations announcement at ATAS' headquarters in North Hollywood. HBO's adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America led the pack with 21, including bids for director Mike Nichols and stars Al Pacino (in his first Emmy nom), Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Wright. HBO's drama series The Sopranos was a close second with 20 noms, including reigning drama actor champs James Gandolfini and Edie Falco and first-time recognition in the supporting drama actress category for Drea de Matteo. »

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HBO, 'Angels' take flight in Emmy Noms

15 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Embracing everything from the supernatural fantasies of Angels in America and Joan of Arcadia to the down-and-dirty politics of The Reagans and The Apprentice, voters at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences delivered an eclectic batch of nominees for the 56th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The nominees parade was notable for the many fresh faces and programs that broke through in a big way this year as well as for those that didn't make the cut despite strong buzz going into Thursday's predawn nominations announcement at ATAS' headquarters in North Hollywood. HBO's adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America led the pack with 21, including bids for director Mike Nichols and stars Al Pacino (in his first Emmy nom), Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Wright. HBO's drama series The Sopranos was a close second with 20 noms, including reigning drama actor champs James Gandolfini and Edie Falco and first-time recognition in the supporting drama actress category for Drea de Matteo. »

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Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban

12 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The third time's definitely the charm for the highly successful Harry Potter film franchise.

Thanks to the revitalizing imprint of Y Tu Mama Tambien director Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a deeper, darker, visually arresting and more emotionally satisfying adaptation of the J.K. Rowling literary phenomenon, achieving the neat trick of remaining faithful to the spirit of the book while at the same time being true to its cinematic self.

Where the first two Potters were efficiently if uninspiredly directed by an eager-to-please Chris Columbus, Cuaron has crafted a rich, atmospheric stand-alone motion picture rather than simply a filmed adaptation.

Rising to the occasion is series screenwriter Steven Kloves, who hasn't yielded to the book's murkier impulses, and its resident ensemble, which has been joined this time around by Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall and, smoothly assuming the role originated by the late Richard Harris, Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore.

You don't need to be a wizard to predict huge numbers for the Warner Bros. picture, which will be given an added boost with a simultaneous release in Imax theaters.

While Cuaron may at first seem an odd choice, the third Potter actually shares a few things in common with the racy Y Tu Mama, most notably -- given its rapidly maturing young cast -- a prevailing rites of passage theme, not to mention personal identity issues.

Moreover, Cuaron also directed 1995's A Little Princess, a highly regarded adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel (also set in a boarding school), which just happened to be one of Rowling's favorite films.

At 13, Daniel Radcliffe's Harry has become a more assertive, angrier young man whose bouts of unmistakably adolescent indignation are very much in evidence here, Hogwarts and all.

Despite promising not to perform any wizardry while spending another summer with the Dursleys, Harry breaks down and, in a fit of annoyance, turns his obnoxious Aunt Marge (Pam Ferris) into a literal airbag, her grotesquely inflated form sent drifting into the night skies.

Fearing reprimands from his relatives, as well as from Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, Harry runs off but doesn't get too far before he's picked up by the very purple, triple-decker Knight Bus, which takes him on a wild trip that recalls Terry Gilliam's wacky animated sequences from his Monty Python days.

It turns out that Harry isn't punished for the deed, but he faces more dire consequences with news that Sirius Black (Oldman), a particularly dangerous wizard believed to be indirectly responsible for the death of Potter's parents, has escaped from Azkaban prison and is headed Harry's way.

That ominous threat puts a damper on his Hogwarts reunion with Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), but Harry also forms a bond with Professor Lupin (Thewlis), the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who helps him confront his fears.

But, more than ever before, there are shades of gray in both the seemingly good and seemingly bad guys, lending Azkaban a greater, layered complexity than the earlier installments.

Despite the darker tone, Cuaron has found room for a great deal of humor, provided in part by an assortment of fresh characters including Thompson as Professor of Divination Sibyll Trelawney, a frightfully nearsighted seer.

Tech specs are uniformly impressive, from the artful compositions provided by incoming cinematographer and longtime Alan Parker collaborator Michael Seresin to Stuart Craig's always inventive production design to Tim Burke and Roger Guyett's magical visual effects (enter the Hippogriff) to John Williams' far moodier score.

And, speaking of uniform, costume designer Jany Temime, has effectively managed to take a little of the starch out of those proper Hogwarts outfits, sneaking in a casually contemporary flair more suited to the teen characters' budding sense of rebelliousness.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures presents

A Heyday Films/1492 Pictures production

An Alfonso Cuaron film

Credits:

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Producers: David Heyman, Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe

Screenwriter: Steve Kloves

Based on the novel by: J.K. Rowling

Executive producers: Michael Barnathan, Callum McDougall, Tanya Seghatchian

Director of photography: Michael Seresin

Production designer: Stuart Craig

Editor: Steven Weisberg

Costume designer: Jany Temime

Visual effects supervisors: Roger Guyett, Tim Burke

Music: John Williams

Casting: Jina Jay

Cast:

Harry Potter: Daniel Radcliffe

Ron Weasley: Rupert Grint

Hermione Granger: Emma Watson

Draco Malfoy: Tom Felton

Rubeus Hagrid: Robbie Coltrane

Albus Dumbledore: Michael Gambon

Vernon Dursley: Richard Griffiths

Sirius Black: Gary Oldman

Professor Snape: Alan Rickman

Petunia Dursley: Fiona Shaw

Professor McGonagall: Dame Maggie Smith

Peter Pettigrew: Timothy Spall

Professor Lupin: David Thewlis

Professor Trelawney: Emma Thompson

Mrs. Weasley: Julie Walters

Aunt Marge: Pam Ferris

MPAA Rating PG

Running time -- 141 minutes »

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Winslet for Fourth Potter Movie?

24 March 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

English rose Kate Winslet is in talks to star in the fourth Harry Potter movie - as a French wizard. The Titanic star, 29, has been asked to play Fleur Delacour in the film adaptation of JK Rowling's Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, by director Mike Newell. Filming is set to begin next month and Winslet's director husband Sam Mendes has been encouraging his stunning wife to accept, for the sake of their son Joe and her daughter Mia. Mendes says, "Some weeks ago Kate had a meeting with the director and some producers of the Harry Potter movies. She was asked to have an important role as a young French wizard or something like that in the fourth film. She is still thinking about it. I told her to do it just for the kids. Mia and Joe will thank her in the future." Winslet wouldn't be the first actress to star in the boy wizard films for her offspring - Emma Thompson signed to play Professor Sybill Trelawney in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban to impress her four-year-old daughter Gaia. »

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Father's day for Firth on 'Nanny' pic

4 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Colin Firth is in negotiations to star opposite Emma Thompson in the family comedy Nanny McPhee for director Kirk Jones. Shooting starts in April around London, with Working Title toppers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner producing along with Three Strange Angels topper Lindsay Doran. Thompson also wrote the screenplay, adapted from the Nurse Matilda book series by Christianna Brand. The stories follow a magical nanny and the seven worst children in the world. Firth would play the father of the children. Doran has been shepherding the project since 1997, when she was head of MGM specialty unit United Artists. When she stepped down for a production deal at the studio, she took the project with her. Working Title recently signed on to produce with her. Bevan and Fellner have a previous relationship with Firth, having worked with him on Bridget Jones's Diary. He is in front of the cameras opposite Renee Zellweger on the sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Firth is repped by ICM. »

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8 items from 2004


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