Seven and a half years ago I wrote that “anyone who takes long showers is a soft sister — a person looking to hide inside the warm amniotic fluid of his mother’s womb, which is what a nice hot shower feels like. Long-shower takers are babies, whiners, cowards — they’re the same people who hide away inside an alcoholic or nicotine or drug cave. Your average enterprising, disciplined, hard-working types take four- or five-minute showers, at the longest. If you’re really hard-core you’ve finished in less than three. No exceptions, no excuses — either you get it or you don’t.”
Aaron Sorkin is not my idea of a whiner or a coward, and his taking eight showers a day to invigorate his writing process does not run afoul of endorsed Hollywood Elsewhere behaviors. Sorkin isn’t hiding in his mother’s amniotic sac — he just using steamy water to get his creative juices going. Taking eight showers is a process, and is no different than bobbing and jabbing in a boxing ring once an hour to sharpen your game.
The full Sundance 2018 slate (110 films, 99 world premieres) was announced earlier today, including premieres. I think I’ll tackle it in stages — premieres and doc premieres today, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow and the next day.
The bottom line is that if a movie sounds too Sundance-y, I’m going to say “naaah” for now. Which doesn’t mean I won’t eventually warm to it. I just think that Sundance-y movies are too sensitive, too deferring to the p.c. norm, too touchy-feely. They’ve become a self-defined genre or brand unto themselves.
The premieres that Hollywood Elsewhere is most looking forward to:
Beirut (Director: Brad Anderson, Screenwriter: Tony Gilroy) — A U.S. diplomat flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragic incident at his home. Ten years later, he is called back to war-torn Beirut by CIA operatives to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind. Cast: Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham, Dean Norris.
Colette (U.K. – director: Wash Westmoreland) — A young country woman marries a famous literary entrepreneur in turn-of-the-century Paris: At her husband’s request, Colette pens a series of bestselling novels published under his name. But as her confidence grows, she transforms not only herself and her marriage, but the world around her. Cast: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Elinor Tomlinson, Aiysha Hart.
The Catcher Was a Spy…naaah….Come Sunday…naaah….Damsel…naaah.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Director: Gus Van Sant) — John Callahan has a talent for off-color jokes…and a drinking problem. When a bender ends in a car accident, Callahan wakes permanently confined to a wheelchair. In his journey back from rock bottom, Callahan finds beauty and comedy in the absurdity of human experience. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black.
Futile and Stupid Gesture (Director: David Wain) — The story of comedy wunderkind DougKenney, who co-created the NationalLampoon, Caddyshack and AnimalHouse. Kenney was at the center of the 70‘s comedy counter- culture which gave birth to SaturdayNightLive and a whole generation’s way of looking at the world. Cast: Will Forte, Martin Mull, Domhnall Gleeson, Matt Walsh, Joel McHale, Emmy Rossum.
The Happy Prince (Director and screenwriter: Rupert Everett) — The last days of Oscar Wilde are brought to vivid life. His body ailing, Wilde lives in exile, surviving on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him as the transience of lust is laid bare and the true riches of love are revealed. Cast: Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Rupert Everett.
Millions of us are sick to death of watching Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark / Iron Man for the umpteenth time. Sick of it, sick of it, sick of it. But the flying billionaire, debonair quipster, dashing adventurer and hotdog philanthropist is returning all the same, and you know what? You’re all going to have to sit there and take it. Four years after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, the Avengers join forces with the Guardians to battle Josh Brolin‘s Thanos, who wants…who gives a shit what he wants?
Costarring Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Johansson, Benicio del Toro, Tom Holland, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Letitia Wright, etc. Every last one of these guys collecting a big, fat Marvel paycheck. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Avengers: Infinity Wars opens on May 4th.
All The Money In The World director Ridley Scott flew to Rome and re-shot Kevin Spacey‘s scenes with Christopher Plummer between 11.20 and…are they still shooting? If they are the task will surely be completed by today or Thursday, 11.30 or Friday, 11.1. And then they’ll have two weeks to edit in the new footage before screening the film for press by Friday, 12.15. Astonishing yeoman work by Scott and his team, and an extra round of applause for Plummer.
Update: Variety is reporting that a “rough” version of All The Money in the World will screen in New York next Monday, 12.4, for members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. in order to qualify for Golden Globes consideration. Sony/TriStar Pictures still plans to screen the finished film for domestic press by 12.15, as previously expected, or perhaps even earlier than that.
HE to Scott: Said this before, saying it again. Please, please don’t toss the Spacey footage. He turned out to be a creepy predator, okay, but he’s also a brilliant actor. Don’t throw history into the trash bin. Include the Spacey performance as a Bluray extra.
In an 11.28 W profile by Lynn Hirscherg, Phantom Thread star Daniel Day Lewis took a stab at explaining why he’s decided to retire from acting. Well, he didn’t actually explain it but he said that a certain soul-draining ennui had seeped into his system as a result of making Phanthom Thread. It had dropped him into a mysterious and enveloping mood pocket that he didn’t want to settle into. Or something like that.
But many of us feel this way at one point or another. Our lives or professional callings are no longer fulfilling us and or have become draining. But very few of us retire or quit our jobs as a result. Why? Because quitting or retiring will require that we live on a smaller income, and most of us don’t want to sacrifice the quality-of-life factor. So we grim up and put up with our frustrations and disappointments and push on.
Why then is Daniel Day Lewis actually retiring? Because he can afford to. He’s got enough put away or enough invested or what-have-you. If he couldn’t afford it he wouldn’t be doing it. Simple as that.
Ostensible reason #1: “Before making the film, I didn’t know I was going to stop acting. I do know that Paul and I laughed a lot before we made the movie. And then we stopped laughing because we were both overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. That took us by surprise: We didn’t realize what we had given birth to. It was hard to live with. And still is.” HE comment: Poor baby.
Ostensible reason #2: Hirschberg reports that Jim Sheridan, the director of My Left Foot and two other Day-Lewis films, once remarked that “Daniel hates acting.” Day-Lewis to Hirschberg: “I’ll think, is there no way to avoid this? In the case of Phantom Thread, when we started I had no curiosity about the fashion world. I didn’t want to be drawn into it. Even now, fashion itself doesn’t really interest me. In the beginning, we didn’t know what profession the protagonist would have. We chose fashion and then realized, What the hell have we let ourselves into? And then the fashion world got its hooks into me.” HE comment: So the fashion world flew down like an eagle and pounced on poor Daniel and dug its sharp talons into his back and carried him away. Poor baby.
Ostensible reason #3: “There are spells in these films that you can’t account for,” DDL tells Hirschberg. “Paul and I spoke a lot about curses — the idea of a curse on a family, what that might be like. A kind of malady. And it’s not that I felt there was a curse attached to this film, other than the responsibility of a creative life, which is both a curse and a blessing. You can never separate them until the day you die. It’s the thing that feeds you and eats away at you…gives you life and is killing you at the same time.”
Adam Sandler: Do you read any of the reviews or any stuff about your performances?
Jennifer Lawrence: Only when they’re good. No, I don’t. Normally, I promote a movie, you put the work in to promoting it, ask people to go see it, and then it’s just kind of out of your hands. I normally just kind of let it go. Dating [Darren Aronofsky] was different, because we’d be on the tour together. I’d come back to the hotel, and the last thing I want to talk about or think about is a movie. He comes back from the tour, and that’s all he wants to talk about. I get it; it’s his baby. He wrote it; he conceived it; he directed it. I was doing double duty trying to be supportive partner while also being like, ‘Can I please, for the love of God, not think about mother! for one second?’ And then he would start reading me reviews, and I finally was like, ‘It’s not healthy…I’m not going to do it, because if I read it, I start getting defensive.’ Especially because it’s my man. I don’t want to sound in an interview that I’m defending what we’re doing in any way. It’s awesome, what we did. The people who hate it really hate it. But it’s nothing that needs to be defended. If I read a negative review, I just feel defensive.”
Posted on 9.15.17: “Is mother! in fact about ‘the madness, the mob, the awfulness, the vulgarity, the end, the abominations, Dr. Phil, the poison, the ego monsters and rampant obscenities and tables of half-drunk 20something girls wailing with laughter in bars…about every unfortunate social horror of the 21st Century?
“It’s a film about dark, malicious things happening to a home and more particularly to a shaky marriage between Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, but it’s not some primal, oozy, goo-gloppy horror flick but — surprise! — a nervy, wild-ass provocation that actually qualifies as ‘thoughtful’. Really. Five or six people can see mother! and come out with five or six different takes, and all of them valid.
“Obviously all horror flicks are signifiers of subterranean cultural undercurrents, but most stand and deliver as visceral experiences. The best ones slip into your bloodstream and before you know it you’re them. Or they’re you. mother! is visceral as hell, but you can’t watch it and not think ‘uhhm, this is about more than what I’m seeing on the screen…this might actually be about everything that’s happening on the planet right now.’ Or not. Up to you.”
No details about what particular behaviors sent Matt Lauer‘s career crashing into the rocks, but former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann tweeted this morning that NBC knew about Lauer’s sexual misconduct prior to getting whacked yesterday and that the network had chosen to “enable” and “bury” the issue rather than take action.
“Matt Lauer was [remorselessly] vindictive and tyrannical to everyone at NBC News and management repeatedly enabled him and buried the issue,” said Olbermann tweeted.
TMZ “sources” have said that “virtually everyone at NBC was in the dark that Lauer was on the chopping block.” And yet, TMZ says, “NBC had [allegedly] been investigating Lauer for weeks and wanted to get ahead of The New York Times and Variety, which were preparing stories on Lauer and alleged sexual misconduct.”
The woman whose complaint triggered Lauer’s firing and her attorney met with NBC Human Resources and legal depts. on Monday, 11.27 at 6 pm, during which time she officially vented. A Variety report says that Lauer was quite the hound within his realm.
At the same time Prairie Home Companion creator-headliner Garrison Keillor, 75, has been cut loose by Minnesota Public Radio, but the term in this instance was “improper conduct,” or allegations of his “inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him,” according to a statement from the radio network. The AP quoted Keillor saying that he’d been canned over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version M.P.R. heard.”