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Previous to Star Wars: Episode I, Natalie Portman only had a handful of screen credits, the most notable being in Léon: The Professional as Mathilda. But the terrible dialog and direction by George Lucas tainted the young actress' career. Her most visible work was also her most awful. From 1999 until 2003 Portman was in two middling films and had a single cameo. No director wanted to work with her.
Star Wars had come out around the time of [The Seagull], and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, “Put her in Cold Mountain, »
- Free Reyes
As Disney and J.J. Abrams looks to restore some pride in the Star Wars saga following George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy, Natalie Portman has told New York Mag that “everyone thought I was a horrible actress” after her role as Padme Amidala in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and that “no director wanted to work with me”. Fortunately, the late Mike Nichols – who directed Portman in Closer – managed to help her get her career back on track…
“Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike Nichols wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. »
- Gary Collinson
Portman first worked with Nichols in an all-star production of Chekhov's The Seagull in 2001, while she was in between Star Wars movies.
"Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress," she told NY Magazine.
"I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me.
Portman also credited Nichols »
Following her superb debut in Luc Besson's Leon, back when she was just 13 years old, Natalie Portman attracted the attention of the Star Wars casting team. Thus, she was cast as Padme Amidala in George Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy, kicking off with The Phantom Menace, and ending with 2005's Revenge Of The Sith.
However, whilst the movies made an awful lot of money, there was a consequence for Portman, who was stuck in what ultimately seemed quite an unforgiving role. Talking to New Yorker magazine, she revealed that once Star Wars had come out, "everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me".
The man who came to her rescue was the late, great Mike Nichols, »
Being a part of a major franchise is not always a good thing, in fact it can almost become a career killer for some.
In a new feature piece for New York Magazine, actress Natalie Portman spoke about the late film director Mike Nichols whom she worked with on "Closer" and received rave reviews for her performance. However, she claims that at the time no-one wanted to hire her because of a certain franchise she was involved with:
"Star Wars had come out … and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis."
After the prequel trilogy ended, Portman ended up »
- Garth Franklin
Vulture has an article featuring Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Eric Idle and Natalie Portman remembering the late Mike Nichols and the effect he had on their lives and careers and an interesting passage comes via Portman who remembers how Nichols helped her find work after starring in George Lucas' Star Wars prequels. Star Wars had come out around the time of 'Seagull', and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, "Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her." And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. Portman, of course, would later star in Closer for Nichols, for which she won a Golden Globe and would be nominated for an Oscar, but to the point »
- Brad Brevet
In 1997, Natalie Portman landed the coveted role of Padme Amidala in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels. The films cleaned up at the box office, however, they left her acting career in the toilet as many people in Hollywood weren't impressed with her performances. Luckily, the late, great director Mike Nichols ("The Birdcage") went to bat for her. "Star Wars had come out … and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis." I always thought Portman appeared to be worse than she was because of the wooden dialogue, lazy direction and having zero chemistry with Hayden Christensen ("Shattered Glass"). Guess it »
Before I met my wife, my longest relationship lasted a span of only three months. I wasn’t afraid of commitment; I was too committed too early. I fell fast and hard. Every time. But that doesn’t mean I never went through the typical relationship bumps in the road. I fought with plenty of exes about normal things – jealousy, dishonesty, etc. And now my wife and I fight about plenty of the same things, but we handle it, just like every other successful couple. In the spirit of tumultuous relationships, this list looks at the definitive relationship dramas. These are films that focus on one or more romantic relationships. These aren’t just “falling in love” movies. These are movies that dissect some side of a relationship that helps to drive the plot. So, without further ado, let’s join hands on this journey together.
50. Wild at Heart (1990)
- Joshua Gaul
Matt Damon is adding yet another esteemed filmmaker to his incredible resume. After having worked with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Paul Greengrass, Anthony Minghella, Steven Soderbergh, Terry Gilliam, The Coen Brothers, etc., Damon is now poised to team up with Alexander Payne on the Nebraska filmmaker’s next project. Deadline reports that Damon will lead Downsizing, which is described as a social satire and revolves around a guy who “realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.” Payne co-wrote the film with his Sideways co-writer Jim Taylor, and the 20th Century Fox picture will be Payne’s next movie. More after the jump, including what other project this knocks off Damon’s schedule. Further plot details are unknown for Downsizing at this time, but I’m very curious to find out if the aforementioned “shrinking” is literal or figurative—could Payne be making his own Innerspace reboot? »
- Adam Chitwood
Rickman will present his latest film as a director and actor, “Little Chaos,” at the fest. The pic, which is set within the court of Louis Xiv, looks at the struggle of women in a patriarchal society. Its main protagonist is landscape architect Sabine de Barra, played by Kate Winslet. After the screening, Rickman will meet the audience for a Q&A session.
In a statement, the festival said: “Alan Rickman has always been a wonderful partner for all sorts of filmmakers, using his greatest actor’s attributes — voice, physicality, movement — to help them in creating brave new cinematic worlds.”
His thesping career has embraced the gamut of filmmaking.
- Leo Barraclough
Cameras are now rolling on the big screen adaptation of Liz Jensen’s bestselling 2004 novel, The 9th Life Of Louis Drax. Marking the screenwriting debut of Max Minghella – an actor, whose credits include The Social Network, The Ides Of March and Horns – the supernatural thriller is being helmed by Alexandre Aja (2006’s The Hills Have Eyes), and stars Jamie Dornan (The Fall, Fifty Shades Of Grey), Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis, Maps To The Stars), and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad). Aiden Longworth (Hector And The Search For Happiness) features as the title character – Louis Drax.
Focusing on the titular young boy as he turns 9 years old, his birthday sees the latest in a long line of strange mishaps constitute a near-fatal fall. Louis’ primary psychologist, Dr. Allan Pascal (Dornan), tries to uncover the bizarre circumstances surrounding the accident and, as a result, delves deeper into the sinister occurrences that have marred Louis’ entire life. »
- Sarah Myles
Nightcrawler review: A black-hearted thriller
Jake Gyllenhaal returns to the big screen this week in the brilliant Nightcrawler, an La-set thriller about a cameraman who films grisly crime scenes and traffic accidents to make a fast buck from sensationalist TV news stations.
Nightcrawler's Lou Bloom is the latest in a long line of movie characters you love to hate, antiheroes infused with a near-sociopathic drive to succeed and make their mark. Here are 5 movies you need to see to get yourself ready for Nightcrawler's plummet into the moral abyss.
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro's jet-black comedy is one of the pair's overlooked collaborations, but in our humble opinion it's one of their best. Exploring similar territory to the duo's masterpiece Taxi Driver, this film casts De Niro as Rupert Pupkin, a terrible stand-up comic with an intense desire to become famous. »
I've had my eye on Benoît Delhomme's work since he brought an effortless grace to Anthony Minghella's "Breaking and Enterting" in 2006. He's made his way along a unique track in the industry and 2014 is a real coming out between Anton Corbijn's John le Carré adaptation "A Most Wanted Man" and James Marsh's Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything." Both films will be quite visible next week as the former hits DVD/Blu-ray and the latter arrives in theaters after debuting at the Toronto Film Festival in September. Both are incredibly rich displays that have very distinctive visual identities and prove Delhomme to be an exciting talent in the cinematography realm. Read through our back and forth below as we talk about shooting Hamburg as a character, achieving bold effects with light and color symbolism and shooting both projects on digital. "A Most Wanted Man" hits home video Nov. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Piranha 3D director Alexandre Aja is now kicking off shooting on his latest, supernatural drama The 9th Life Of Louis Drax. Even as the cameras start to roll, he’s locked in three new cast members, with Oliver Platt, Barbara Hershey and Molly Parker all aboard.The 9th Life Of Louis Drax begins on Louis Drax (Aiden Longworth)'s 9th birthday, when he miraculously survives a near fatal fall. His doctor Allan Pascal (Jamie Dornan) finds himself tangled between his professional responsibility and his growing affections for the boy’s mother (Sarah Gadon). When Louis’ father (Aaron Paul) comes under suspicion, Pascal realizes other mysterious forces may be at work…Yes, you can expect plenty of other twists and turns from this one, with Platt playing Louis’ psychologist, Dr. Perez, Parker as Detective Dalton, investigating the case and Hershey on as Violet, Louis’ grandmother. It’s all part of the »
With movies like the revenge-via-circular-saw High Tension and the skin-shredding Piranha remake, director Alexandre Aja has memorably dunked his characters in the blood bucket. But Aja’s next project, an adaptation of The 9th Life of Louis Drax, is more a supernatural thriller than a blood-and-bones picture, and principal photography on the film has now begun.
“Vancouver and London, October 27, 2014 – Miramax, the global film and television producer and distributor, along with the film’s producers AntColony Films and Brightlight Pictures announced today the start of principal photography on the supernatural thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax starring Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey, The Fall), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Need for Speed, Triple Nine) and Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold, The Amazing Spider-man 2).
- Derek Anderson
Longworth is portraying the title character. Platt will play Louis Drax’s psychologist, Parker will appear as a detective and Hershey will play Louis’ grandmother.
Aja is directing from Max Minghella’s screenplay, based on Liz Jensen’s novel of the same title. Producers are Tim Bricknell and Minghella of AntColony Films, Shawn Williamson of Brightlight Pictures and Aja. Rosanne Korenberg is executive producer.
Minghella’s father Anthony Minghella had been developing a “Louis Drax” movie prior to his death in 2008. He had picked up rights in 2004 with an eye to direct from his own adaptation.
The story is »
- Dave McNary
Continuing in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith’s set of globetrotters and vacationing daytrippers who dip their toes not only in foreign backdrops, but in tend to find themselves in the most inconvenient of situations, it is the American novelist’s 1964 novel that finds a suitor in British-Iranian writer (and now turned director in his own right) Hossein Amini.
Working with players such as Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst, Amini, whose long list of creds include Michael Winterbottom’s Jude, Iain Softley’s The Wings of the Dove, Shekar Kapur’s The Four Feathers, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and the upcoming Our Kind of Traitor, takes a stab at the thriller-genre with the sun-drenched Greece and Turkey as the conniving backdrop with The Two Faces of January, which opened August 28th and is still running in its limited engagement. Here is my interview with Amini which took »
- Yama Rahimi
Ever since they wrote Good Will Hunting 18 years ago, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been one of Hollywood's most well-known bromances. But no bromance is complete without some healthy competition, which is why we've gone back through the years since their first Oscar win and looked at their careers. With Samantha Highfill representing Matt Damon in one corner, and Joshua Rivera representing Ben Affleck in the other, here's how the fight breaks down: 1997 Damon: Good Will Hunting Sure, both Damon and Affleck won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, but only one of them was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor, »
- EW staff
A bit of a Breaking Bad themed casting roundup for you guys: Bryan Cranston is in talks to co-star in Legendary Pictures' The Great Wall for director Zhang Yimou. Aaron Paul has signed on to Miramax's The 9th Life of Louis Drax for famed horror director Alexandre Aja. Hit the jump for more on these two established and talented actors continuing to get work. Starting off with Bryan Cranston, Deadline is reporting that he is in talks to co-star in The Great Wall for Zwick. This project really seems to be picking up steam since it was only yesterday that we were reporting on the possibility of Matt Damon tackling a different role. The story was developed by Legendary Pictures' Thomas Tull and Max Brooks (author of World War Z). It appears to be a sci-fi take on how the wall was built, which begs the question, "are »
- Evan Dickson
Aaron Paul hasn’t exactly enjoyed the greatest cinematic year, what with the double disappointment of Need For Speed and A Long Way Down. But he has plenty of interesting projects coming up and has just signed on for supernatural thriller The 9th Life Of Louis Drax.Adapted by Max Minghella from Liz Jensen’s novel, the story starts on the titular lad’s ninth birthday when, following a lifetime of strange accidents, he suffers a fall that nearly kills him. Jamie Dornan is set to play a doctor who starts treating the boy, and discovers a mystery that snaps the boundaries between reality and fantasy. Paul will play the boy’s father, who comes under investigation following the incident. Alexandre Aja is directing, bringing to life a project originally developed by Anthony Minghella before his death and kept moving by his son. Cameras are scheduled to start rolling next month in Vancouver. »
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