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15 items from 2009


Caron To Be Honoured With A Star

1 December 2009 12:01 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Gigi star Leslie Caron is to be honoured with the 2,394th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The French movie legend will unveil the tribute next week. Her piece of pavement sits between the stars of her mentor Gene Kelly and Gigi co-star Louis Jordan.

Caron was championed for the honour by Neal Baer, the executive producer of TV show Law and Order: Svu, for which the actress won a guest star Emmy in 2007. »

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Quiz: Who wrote the most best-picture winners at the Oscars?

15 November 2009 7:20 AM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Two people penned the screenplays to the most best-picture champs at the Academy Awards: three. One of them was Francis Ford Coppola: "Patton" (1970), "The Godfather" (1972), "The Godfather, Part II" (1974). Who was the other? To see the answer, click here! Answer: C.) Alan Jay Lerner wrote the screenplays to three Oscar best-picture winners: "An American in Paris" (1952), "Gigi" (1958) and "My Fair Lady" (1964). He only won Oscars for two of those scripts: "An American in Paris" and "Gigi." "My Fair Lady" lost the race for best adapted screenplay to "Becket" by Edward Anhalt. More Gold Derby Oscars Quizzes! What movie nabbed the most Oscars without winning best picture? Can you spot »

- tomoneil

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DVD Review: Lackluster Edition of ‘My Fair Lady’ Disappoints

22 October 2009 10:28 PM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Can anyone explain to me why there are lavish, bonus-laden, beautifully transferred versions of so-so musicals like “Gigi” and “South Pacific” on Blu-Ray but the beloved “My Fair Lady” languishes in standard definition? It’s completely illogical, a decision made even more frustrating by a grainy, flat picture and mediocre audio track. Eliza deserves an upgrade.

DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0

To be “fair” (slight pun intended), this multiple Oscar winner hasn’t exactly stood the test of time like I remembered. Many of the musical numbers still resonate like they did when I was a child (“On the Street Where You Live” is still one of my favorite movie musical songs of the era) but the film is undeniably bloated, running almost three hours long and dragging as often as it zips.

My Fair Lady was released on DVD on October 6th, 2009.

Photo credit: Paramount Home Video

But that’s not the point. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Caron: 'Lover Beatty Told Me I Was Too Old To Play His Bonnie'

1 October 2009 1:11 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

French movie icon Leslie Caron missed out on the lead in Bonnie & Clyde because her real-life lover, Warren Beatty, thought she was too old.

The GiGi star was five years older than Beatty when she left her husband to romance the Hollywood Lothario and when he started working on the classic heist movie, she felt sure she'd play his leading lady.

In her new memoir, Thank Heaven, Caron recalls, "He told me bluntly, 'Let's face it, you're too old for me.' That hurt.

"But now that 40-plus years have passed and the pain of Warren's rejection has worn off, I can smile at his raw ambition and ruthlessness." »

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Review: Cheri

26 June 2009 5:02 PM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

The French writer Colette, born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873 - 1954), lived one of those witty, charming lives you've read about, doing things like performing at the Moulin Rouge and having affairs with Josephine Baker, while marrying several rich husbands. She wrote, among many other things, what would become the famous musical Gigi, which Director Vincente Minnelli turned into a dull, immobile Oscar-winning hit in 1958. The English film director Stephen Frears would have been 13 when Colette died, though at that age, he had most likely never heard of her. But now, 55 years later, the two have teamed up for the new movie Cheri, based on Collete's 1920 novel about a passionate affair between an aging courtesan and a spoiled younger man.

Frears seems like the right man for the job. After all, his similarly sexy costume drama Dangerous Liaisons (1988) was another Oscar-winning hit. And in his Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005) he dealt with issues of »

- Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Movie Review: Cheri (2009)

26 June 2009 4:03 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend in Cheri

Photo: Miramax Films Stephen Frears reteams with his Dangerous Liaisons (1988) screenwriter Christopher Hampton and supporting actress Michelle Pfeiffer for Cheri, an adaptation of two novels from Colette, the famed French author whose novel also spawned the 1959 Best Picture winner Gigi. To say expectations for this film were high would be an understatement considering the source material, the three Oscars Liaisons won back in 1989 and the anticipated hope we may see Pfeiffer step back into Oscar-worthy form. Liaisons was the first of three Oscar nominations for Pfeiffer and while her turn here as an aging courtesan of the belle epoque is tasty, it is Rupert Friend as the title character that steals the show in a film that doesn't live up to expectation, but is entirely enjoyable. In describing my feelings for this film to a friend that missed the press screening I found »

- Brad Brevet

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Cougar Courtesan Stalks Prey

25 June 2009 8:57 PM, PDT | NYPost.com | See recent New York Post news »

A radiant Michelle Pfeif fer plays an early 20th-century French cougar -- yes, the concept's been around a while, kids -- in Stephen Frears' slight but highly decorative "Chéri."

The 51-year-old actress -- who hasn't had a lead role in a theatrically released movie in eight years -- is affecting and charming in this reunion with not only the director but also the writer (Christopher Hampton) of "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988).

Based on two early 1920s novels by Colette ("Gigi") -- reportedly inspired by a scandalous »

- By LOU LUMENICK

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Cheri: Michelle Pfeiffer

24 June 2009 4:00 AM, PDT | TribecaFilm.com | See recent Tribeca Film news »

Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful in any era, but give her a slim-silhouetted petticoat and pre-Raphaelite curls, and she's even more elegant than usual. Throw in a sexy young paramour (in this case, Rupert Friend), a reunion with the director (Stephen Frears) and writer (Christopher Hampton) of Dangerous Liaisons, and you've got a movie! Cheri, to be exact, based on two seminal books by the fascinating French author Colette (Gigi). The film, which opens this Friday (June 26) marks a triumphant return for Pfeiffer-as-leading-lady. Read more about Cheri here, but in the meantime, here's the roundtable interview with Pfeiffer, presented in its entirety. What drew you to this film, apart from working with Stephen Frears again? Well that was a big draw. I was thrilled - thrilled - when I got the call from Stephen. Honestly, I would do the phone book with him. And I was of course thrilled and delighted when I read it, »

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Gigi Blu-ray Review -- Dellamorte enjoys the velvet touch of Master Vincente Minnelli

20 April 2009 | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Written by Andre Dellamorte You don’t start with Vincente Minnelli. Sure, you might be moved by Meet Me in St. Louis, or The Clock. May be swayed by The Band Wagon. But he doesn’t jump out at you as a master like some other filmmakers do. In that sense he belongs to the class of filmmakers like Budd Boeticher – to a certain extent, to Preston Sturges and master of them all, Howard Hawks. Gigi was one of Minnelli’s biggest in the sense that it won him a best director Oscar and the fil won best picture (among the nine it took home, though none for acting), and yet of his greats, and this is one, I would suggest it is better to start elsewhere. The pleasures become apparent to the modern viewer removed from the musical era. Maurice Chevalier plays host as Honoré Lachaille, who sings “Thank »

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Gigi - Blu-ray Review

17 April 2009 6:44 AM, PDT | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

One of the last musicals from the Freed unit is lovingly restored for high definition. The subject of the film is sugarcoated, but it comes to high definition with a nice transfer as well as some bells and whistles. An American in Paris seems more lovingly restored, but Gigi makes a fine companion to set on your shelf beside it. Gigi (Leslie Caron) is a teenager who has come of age. She now is under the tutelage of her Aunt Alicia (Isabel Jeans) to become a courtesan. Her grandmother Alvarez (Hermione Gingold) doesn.t know if Gigi is mature enough to take these lessons seriously. Bachelor Gaston Lachaille (Louis Jordan) doesn.t seem to be enjoying the finer things of »

- Jeff Swindoll

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Blu-Ray Review: Pair of Oscar-Winning Musicals Tap to HD Beat

6 April 2009 9:49 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0 Chicago – Two of the most beloved musicals of all time recently made their debut on Blu-Ray with extravagant collections of special features, beautiful HD, and crystal clear audio. All musical fans will want to add the Best Picture-winning “An American in Paris” and “Gigi” to their Blu-Ray collection.

One of my favorite musicals, 1951’s “An American in Paris,” an Oscar-winner for Best Picture, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Score, and Screenplay, is such an essential film to the history of the musical genre that it seems like a no-brainer for HD Blu-Ray. It’s an undeniable classic featuring one of the great stars of the musical, Gene Kelly, at his athletic peak and includes the debut of the magical Leslie Caron.

An American in Paris was released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.

Photo credit: Warner Brothers

As if Kelly and Caron weren’t enough to entice musical fans, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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This Week On DVD and Blu-ray: March 31, 2009

31 March 2009 2:14 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

DVD Links: DVD News | Release Dates | New Dvds | Reviews | RSS Feed As I am typing this up I am completing my tour of the five most recent James Bond Blu-rays released last week. I have already watched Goldfinger, Moonraker, The World is Not Enough and Quantum of Solace and I am watching Never Say Never Again for the first time with plans of watching Thunderball immediately afterward. I am sure many of you know the story and why I will be watching Thunderball, but for those that don't, stay tuned as it will certainly be part of my Bond Blu-ray Round-Up Part Two. If you missed the first one you can read it here. As for what else is on my plate I just received the new Blu-ray copy of No Country for Old Men as well as Doubt. I am also interested in taking a peek at Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra, »

- Brad Brevet

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First Words on 'Cheri' Out of Berlin are Positive

10 February 2009 3:27 PM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Thanks to Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere we get our first report from the Berlin Film Fest as Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter brings positive word on Stephen Frears's Cheri, the film I featured only a week ago as a potential Oscar contender for Michelle Pfeiffer among many other in the cast and on the crew. Cheri is an adaptation of the 1920s novel by French author Colette (Gigi) about the lingering effects of a romance between a middle-aged woman (Pfeiffer) and a wealthy young man (Rupert Friend). Set in 1920s Paris, where the young son of a wealthy courtesan (Kathy Bates) is educated in the ways of love by a middle-aged friend of the man's mother. When he is forced to give up the six-year relationship after marrying someone else, the young man can't forget her and retreats into a fantasy world. Honeycutt calls the film the »

- Brad Brevet

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Colette and Audrey. Michelle and Kathy

8 February 2009 10:45 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

I'm well into the novel Chéri, the movie version of which will premiere in just two days at Berlinale. It's a great read. There's exquisite descriptions of complicated emotions and intriguing relationships. There's also an unembarrassed sensuality to the material. If they can capture the nuances and the texture on film, it'll be quite a good sit.

I didn't know much about French novelist Colette (seated spectacularly, left) prior to the news about this movie and I blame that on Gigi the movie which is based on her most famous novel. I'd never read it because I didn't like the movie. I figured she wasn't for me. How wrong I was! The more I learn about Colette, the more I love. Not only am I instantly on board with her writing but then to learn that she was once a performer at the Moulin Rouge?!? Add in lesbian love affairs, »

- NATHANIEL R

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DVD Review: All-Time Greats Packaged in Four-Movie Sets

3 February 2009 7:47 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0 Chicago –Some of the best movies ever made are being released this week in a wave of four-movie sets distributed by Warner Brothers Home Video and under the label of “Turner Classic Movies: Greatest Classic Films Collection”.

These great titles are just the start of a partnership that will release a collection of 60 top films in 15 themed groups. It is the largest-ever partnership between TCM and Warner Home Video and combines the strengths of both companies to serve both serious film buffs and a new generation of movie lovers. These incredibly priced sets (four films for an Srp under $28) offer the perfect way for film fans to build a library of classic films.

The first three installments in the “TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection” hit stores on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 and they have all been timed for the season. Two feature a quartet of romantic classics and the »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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15 items from 2009


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