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Powerhouse performances by the Weston women of August: Osage County, Julia Roberts as Barbara, Julianne Nicholson as Ivy and Juliette Lewis as Karen circle around Meryl Streep as the matriarch, Violet Weston who has woven a large and dangerous web. The first time we see Violet, she comes down the stairs, cigarette in hand, as memorably as Gloria Swanson in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, though in an entirely different state of mind, dress, and posture. "My wife takes pills. I drink," is how Sam Shepard, who plays Violet's husband Beverly, sums up the main occupations of their lives. Nicholson's Ivy is the only one of their three daughters who still lives nearby.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Last week I cheated a bit by offering up Emma Thompson as a potential gay icon. She’s so damn legendary, not to mention outspoken and off the cuff, that she’s basically entitled to any name, rank, and throne she pleases. She made out with Meryl Streep in Angels in America, people. She is gayer than most things.
I’m bringing it back to the newer-school candidates this week with the charming, preternaturally lovable Kristen Bell, who voices the lead princess Anna in the charming (and gay-tinged, if you ask me) new Disney animated feature Frozen. Bell has wooed us for more than a decade on the big screen, and we’re coming up on the ten-year anniversary of her much-mourned WB series (and upcoming film!) Veronica Mars. She just gets it. That’s why she’s today’s Gay Icon Nominee, and here are the five most »
- Louis Virtel
Where aren’t you Hugh? TNT has announced that its annual Christmas in Washington special will be hosted by Hugh Jackman. The holiday concert special will air on December 20th at 8:00 p.m. (Et/Pt), and will feature some very special performers, including: Anna Kendrick, Sheryl Crow, Backstreet Boys, and more.
This has long been one of my favorite holiday traditions, and has offered up some of the most entertaining performers, and all-around enjoyable evenings for years.
That tradition continues (well, quite frankly, I’m not a fan of Backstreet Boys) this year with not only some great performances, but you can’t go wrong with Hugh Jackman running your show, whatever it is. Right? I can’t wait for Sheryl Crow, Anna Kendrick is a surprisingly awesome singer, and you don’t want to miss Pat Monahan.
Catch all the info below, and let me know if you’ll be tuning in. »
- Marc Eastman
Stars and scribes are in bed together. And as current award contenders illustrate, nobody’s sleeping with the enemy.
Writing categories, normally heavily tilted toward such ensemble pics as “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine” with stars-to-be in the main roles, this year promise to include numerous projects that successfully attracted big-name onscreen talent. Screenplays are giving stars what they want, and it’s a lot more than bitter Joe Gillis brought to crazy Norma Desmond in “Sunset Blvd.”
Which is: What? Ethan Hawke, acting and scripting with Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater on “Before Midnight,” claims “any actor worth his salt is looking for a challenge. He’s dying to go out on a limb.” To Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips”), “what they’re looking for in a character is dilemma. Those are the playable moments.”
- Bob Verini
Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg ‘Maps to the Stars’ gets German distribution, Toronto screening Starring Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Mia Wasikowska, Maps to the Stars has found a German distributor. Screen Daily reports that Christian Meinke’s Mfa+ has acquired the rights to the David Cronenberg-directed Hollywood satire at the American Film Market, recently held in Santa Monica. Mfa+ also picked up Vincent Grashaw’s feature debut Coldwater and Tobias Lindholm’s Danish thriller A Hijacking / Kapringen, which has a similar premise to that of the Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks hit Captain Phillips. (Photo: Robert Pattinson on the set of Maps to the Stars.) In Map to the Stars, John Cusack (replacing Viggo Mortensen) plays a Los Angeles analyst and self-help guru whose wife (Olivia Williams) is immersed in the career of their teen star son (Evan Bird), fresh off of rehab. Their daughter (Mia Wasikowska »
- Andre Soares
Up until 2005, Charles Roven was a fairly successful Hollywood producer with “Three Kings,” “12 Monkeys,” “City of Angels,” “Cadillac Man” and a pair of “Scooby-Doo” movies. Then “Batman Begins” provided a high-octane boost to his Hollywood trajectory.
He’s one of the few producers with 10 films that have grossed at least $100 million worldwide, and yet he doesn’t have the name identification of a Jerry Bruckheimer or a Scott Rudin. In a way, he represents the best of both worlds: His commercial success doesn’t come at the expense of critical acclaim.
In a career dating back to 1983’s “Heart Like a Wheel,” he has worked with a wide spectrum of filmmakers, including perfectionists with behemoth budgets like Christopher Nolan (the “Batman” trilogy); scrappy filmmakers who work on the fly like David O. Russell (“Three Kings,” the upcoming “American Hustle”); fanboy idols like Zack Snyder (“Man of Steel” and the upcoming »
- Dave McNary
David Thomson's book of his favourite film moments is highly subjective and full of wit and insight
Born in London in 1941, resident in America since the early 1970s, David Thomson has been one of the liveliest, most literate, productive, provocative and daring movie critics for more than 40 years, his books ranging from a definitive biography of David O Selznick to an intrusively speculative monograph on Nicole Kidman. He has studied whole careers, single films and now he's down to choosing single key moments.
This would have pleased the gloriously named John Bickerson "Binx" Bolling, narrator of The Moviegoer, Walker Percy's philosophical novel that won the 1962 Us National Book award. Binx is a laid-back Louisiana stockbroker from old New Orleans money, and is, he says, "quite happy in a movie, even a bad movie". In fact, movies are more memorable to him than so-called real life. "Other people," he observes, »
- Philip French
It’s hard to say what’s more disturbing about Shaul Schwarz’s excellent “Narco Cultura.” Is it the dead children, wailing mothers and bloody water running through the gutters of Juarez? Or the roomful of clueless idiots at Hollywood’s House of Blues, singing along to a Movimento Alterado chestbeater (“we’re bloodthirsty, crazy and we like to kill…”) about cutting people’s heads off? Those would be Mexican heads, by the way, not the ones partying along Sunset Boulevard. A documentary about the U.S.-Mexican drug war – which has resulted in 60,000 people being murdered south of the border since 2006 – would be horrifying in any case. What Schwarz does in his film, which opens Friday, is take it all a step further, into a cultural swamp: He not only follows the near-hopeless battle against the meth-coke-and-pot cartels, but the musical culture that they’ve spawned, a genre that »
- John Anderson
Mitchell, who was thought to be the last living adult cast member from Lucille Ball's iconic CBS sitcom, died on Monday (Nov. 11) of heart failure in her Westwood condo, her sister-in-law, "Sunset Blvd." actress Nancy Olson, tells THR.
"Marion, stop cackling," Lucy tells her. "I've been waiting 10 years for you to lay that egg!"
The character, which was originally played by Margie Liszt in the show's second season, set Lucy and Ricky up on their first date.
Born in 1919, Mitchell began her career as a radio star, becoming good friends with »
Back in July we learned about "True Blood" companion book Steve Newlin’s Field Guide to Vampires (And Other Creatures of Satan), and now that it's been released, we have a few copies to give away along with news of a signing!
The signing begins at 6:00 Pm on Monday, November 18th, at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA; (310) 659‐3684. In attendance will be co-authors Michael McMilllian, who plays Steve Newlin on "True Blood" and is a writer for the numerous "True Blood" comics, and Gianna Sobol, an associate producer for "True Blood" who edits the "True Blood" comic series.
Now, what if you live nowhere near La? Don't worry - we've got you covered with three copies of Steve Newlin’s Field »
- Debi Moore
Shirley Mitchell, who had a recurring role on “I Love Lucy” as Lucy Ricardo’s friend Marion Strong as part of a seven-decade career that ended just last year, died Nov. 11 of heart failure in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. She was 94.
In 2012 Mitchell impersonated Betty White for the animated series “Mad,” and in 2006 she voiced a role in a “Desperate Housewives” videogame. She made her screen debut in the 1944 film “Jamboree” and appeared steadily on television for decades starting in 1951 with a guest appearance on “Hollywood Theatre Time” and guesting on everything from “Dragnet” to “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” She recurred on the series “Bachelor Father” in 1958-59 and as Mae Belle Jennings »
- Carmel Dagan
Shirley Mitchell, the comic actress who played Marion Strong, Lucy Ricardo's friend with the cackling laugh on the TV classic I Love Lucy, has died. She was 94. Mitchell, who was believed to be the last surviving adult castmember from the legendary CBS sitcom, died Nov. 11 of heart failure at her condominium in Westwood, her sister-in-law, the Oscar-nominated Sunset Blvd. actress Nancy Olson, told The Hollywood Reporter. Mitchell was the widow of Jay Livingston, the pop composer and lyricist who collaborated with Ray Evans on the Academy Award-winning songs “Mona Lisa” (performed by Nat King
- Mike Barnes
Access to the slain publicist's case pits a documentary filmmaker against Beverly Hills police as alternate theories continue to surround her 2010 murder.This story first appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Exactly three years after Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was gunned down as she drove home from a movie premiere, the saga is taking a new legal turn. Documentary filmmaker Ryan Katzenbach has sued the Beverly Hills Police Department in a battle over access to its case files pertaining to the Nov. 16, 2010, murder of Chasen. Police later tracked down suspect Harold Martin Smith, a 43-year-old ex-convict, who committed suicide when confronted at a flophouse in Hollywood. But Katzenbach believes there remain unanswered questions pertaining to the homicide. He is seeking to review the full investigation file for his Ed Asner-narrated project, 6:38, titled in reference to the time that elapsed between Chasen's final cell phone call and the arrival of police. »
- Gary Baum
From neighborhood nail spots to L.A.'s most masterful masseuse, Hollywood's biggest beauty names tell us where they go to get gorgeous.This story first appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
While hairstylists such as Danilo (Natalie Portman) and Enzo Angileri prefer to cut their own hair, Katy Perry's hairdresser Jen Atkin sees Gregory Russell at Andy Lecompte (616 N. Almont Drive) and Robert Vetica prefers Johnny Larusso at his eponymous salon Robert Vetica Salon (465 S. La Cienega Blvd.). Beyonce's makeup artist Francesca Tolot also is a fan. "That's what's so great about having my salon," says Vetica. "You can get it all done in one stop."
Portman's makeup artist Pati Dubroff loves Carol Vasquez Prince at Chris McMillan (8944 Burton Way). "She just gets brunettes," she says. "My hair never looks brassy, and everyone always asks who does my color."
Photos: Hollywood's »
- Lindsay Flans
Josh Altman – star of "Million Dollar Listing" – crashed his Range Rover into some prime real estate this morning ... the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. ... TMZ has learned. We know ... at least 3 cars were involved in the accident -- and several witnesses are saying it was all caused by a 4th car that made a dangerous turn across busy Sunset Blvd. traffic. TMZ spoke with Josh's brother Matt who tells us ... the dangerous turn caused »
- TMZ Staff
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It was 20 years ago today that River Phoenix died on a dirty sidewalk in Hollywood. If that sentence sounds a bit harsh, well, it’s supposed to. That’s the unfortunate reality of the what happened on October 31, 1993. One of the most promising actors of his generation had just been inside of Johnny Depp‘s notoriously hedonistic rock club, the Viper Room, hoping to join his buddy Flea (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) on-stage, but instead decided to ingest a cocktail—a literal cocktail!—that contained heroin and cocaine. Just a few minutes later, he was convulsing near a parking meter on Sunset Boulevard; he never regained consciousness. He was 23 years old.
Sadly, we’ll never get to know whether or not River Phoenix would’ve been able to successfully traverse that very fine tightrope that popular child actors must cross to carry them into the realm of successful adult actors. »
- Mark Graham
Today’s stars aged 50 and over are more well-preserved than ever, whether through exercise, diet, surgery, or chemicals. And because of it, many of them seem ageless and forever young (at least when in makeup, Photoshopped, or flatteringly lit on the big screen). Want to learn a trick to suddenly make them feel more aged, though? Compare them with past notable actors who at the same age just seemed old. George Clooney (52) is a year older than Wilford Brimley was when Cocoon was released. Daniel Day Lewis (56) is the same age as Walter Matthau was when The Bad News Bears was released. Julianne Moore (53) is two years older than Gloria Swanson was when she appeared in Sunset Boulevard. Harrison Ford (71) is two years older than Burgess Meredith was when Rocky was released. Marisa Tomei (48) is the same age as Jean Stapleton was when All in »
- Guy Cimbalo
Yes, this past Thursday I hit the big 6-0. Yeah, yeah, I know a woman isn’t supposed to reveal her age, but just who the hell would I be fooling? Not my family. Nor any of my friends. Not even those who read my comics back in the 80s and 90s and care to do a little homework and math – Iirc, the New Talent Showcase issues included bios by all the tyros whose work appeared in that book. Mine lists my birthday. And as long as I talking about that bio, for the record I was not particularly inspired by Star Wars or – with absolutely no disrespect intended, and I’m not saying I don’t love their work – to George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Gerry Conway, or Doug Moench. This is how I remember it happened.
Joey Cavalieri (who wrote the bios) asking me who my favorite writers were. »
- Mindy Newell
Though the general public doesn't always share their enthusiasm, Hollywood loves making movies about itself. Whether fictional or based in reality, it's rare for a year to pass without some kind of film about filmmaking, from classics like "Sunset Boulevard" and "Mulholland Drive" to, uh, not-classics like "Hitchcock." In recent years, "The Artist" and "Argo" have both been critical and commercial successes (and not coincidentally, Best Picture Oscar winners), and Disney are clearly hoping that the same kind of success follows for "Saving Mr. Banks," which examines one of the family friendly company's most beloved films, 1964's "Mary Poppins," and their own founder and figurehead, Walt Disney, here played by megastar Tom Hanks. Hanks and Disney aren't the film's center, though. Instead, it's focused on P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of the books on which "Mary Poppins" was based. As the film begins, Disney, whose children loved the books, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Somewhere, Uncle Walt is smiling. The Mouse House impresario’s protracted courtship of novelist P.L. Travers to secure the film rights to her “Mary Poppins” has all the makings of an irresistible backstage tale, and it’s been brought to the screen with a surplus of old-fashioned Disney showmanship in “Saving Mr. Banks.” Thick with affection for Hollywood’s most literal “dream factory” and wry in its depiction of the studio filmmaking process, director John Lee Hancock’s “Sunset Blvd.” lite (which opens Dec. 13 after London and AFI festival berths) should earn far more than tuppence from holiday audiences — and from awards voters who can scarcely resist this sort of mash note to the magic of movies (e.g., “Argo,” “The Artist”).
Given its now-classic status among several generations of moviegoers, it’s easy to forget that “Mary Poppins” seemed far from a sure bet when it first appeared in »
- Scott Foundas
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