Phil Donahue has told Politico‘s Jeffrey Ressner that he’s “feeling his way along the wall of a dark hallway” in terms of finding theatrical distribution for Body of War, the documentary about a wounded Iraq War veteran he co-directed with Ellen Spiro. The movie can’t get arrested because the leave-us-aloners won’t pay to see Iraq War dramas with movie stars in the cast, which makes distributor interest in a doc along these lines next to nil. It will obviously help if Body of War becomes one of the five Best Feature Doc nominees (it’s on the short list), but…be optimistic!
Touched by his performance as a blind former college professor in Curtis Hanson‘s In Her Shoes, I interviewed the 90 year-old Norman Lloyd at his Brentwood home a couple of years ago. The producer-actor is still going strong today (healthy, plays tennis, gets around town in a Jaguar) and currently the subject of career retrospective doc, Who Is Norman Lloyd?, which opened yesterday at Manhattan’s Film Forum.
Norman Lloyd in his Brentwood home — Tuesday, 9.27.05, 5:45 pm.
I haven’t seen Matthew Sussman‘s doc yet, but presumably a Los Angeles screening or booking is in the cards.
Here’s Matt Zoller Seitz‘s N.Y. Times review. Here’s a a Leonard Lopate interview on NYPR, John Anderson‘s 11.20 Village Voice profile, and Stu van Airsdale‘s recent Reeler piece. Here’s my own interview piece from two years ago.
Lloyd will drop by the Film Forum on Monday, 11.26 at 8:15 pm for a q & a session with Bruce Goldstein and John Martello, exec director of The Players. Surprise guests may show.
Enchanted‘s five-day projection keeps falling, falling…it’s now dropped to under $50 million for five days. $49,198,000, to be precise, with $34,398,000 for the three-day weekend. This Christmas is looking at $27,296,000 for 5 days and $18,800,000 for the weekend. Beowulf will end up with a 5-day tally of $23,399,000. This will bring Robert Zemeckis‘ 3-D fantasy up to a $56,445,000 cume — it’ll be a push to hit $100 million. Hitman keeps on dropping..$20,800,000 for the weekend.
Other 5-day totals: Bee Movie — $15,700,000. Fred Claus — $14,600,000. August Rush — $13,800,000. American Gangster — $13 million even.
The Mist is looking at $12,300,000 for 5 days and $8 million for weekend…dead. No Country or Old Men will earn about $10,700,000 for the five-day holiday for a cume of $16.3 million. It’ll probably pull down $35 to $40 million by the end of the run, although a Best Picture nomination will push it along further. Todd Haynes‘ I’m Not There is will make $955,000 over five days, $720,000 for the weekend — a little over $5000 a print.
One, the animated version of Giselle, her fantasy-land heroine, is right out of the Snow White mold, which is to say younger than springtime with a creamy peach-blossom complexion. But within seconds of her arrival in Times Square as a biological presence it’s obvious that Giselle is no spring chicken. Adams is 33, and has the smile wrinkles to prove it. She’s being called a semi-new discovery whose career has been launched by Enchanted, etc., but the hard fact is that things begin to dry out for most actresses when they hit 40 or so. Hooray for Adams and her big score, but she has about six or seven years to make the most of her good fortune. I’m just saying…
Two, Giselle is a quintessential innocent, but she’s so wide-eyed and clueless during Enchanted‘s first act that it’s hard not to think of real-life women who resemble her. Girly-girl bimbos, I mean — pretty, delicate, not especially bright (or looking to hide their intelligence so as not to intimidate insecure suitors), looking for a sugar daddy, in some ways shut down and not very curious about life. It can be argued that such women are not all that attractive in the final analysis because underneath the act they’re serious “pieces of work” with entitlement issues up the wazoo. Surrendering to the conceit of Giselle, therefore, is something of a mixed bag. There are no Snow Whites out there. Everything is “real” and tainted to some degree.
Three, the question of “range” hovers over Adams given the similarities between Giselle and her open-hearted pregnant wife in Junebug. A quote on her IMDB page doesn’t necessarily suggest she’s a one-trick pony, but perhaps an actress who’s especially good at playing a particular type. “I think that I’ve always been attracted to characters who are positive and come from a very innocent place,” she’s quoted as saying. “I think there’s a lot of room for discovery in these characters and that’s something I always have fun playing.” If Adams wants to really make her mark, she’ll need to go wider and braver.
I’ve read David Halbfinger‘s 11.23 N.Y. Times piece about how the studios are enjoying a certain advantage in casting this and that actor twice now, and I still don’t get the gist, and I don’t k now that it’s important that I do. It reviews the backstage shufflings in the wake of Brad Pitt‘s departure from State of Play and more particularly the effects of the WGA strike upon the schedules of Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp.
With WGA strike talks resuming on Monday, 11.26, the key phrase in Halbfinger’s piece is “the chance of a quick settlement.” The expectation in some quarters is that the strike will be over sooner rather than later. It’s said to be understood on both sides that the time has come for serious horse-trading and that terms will be hammered out by the end of next week if not sooner. But a deal won’t be revealed for a couple of weeks so that both sides can look tough and save face.
The expectation in one corner is that an announcement of a settlement will happen sometime around Pearl Harbor day — Friday, December 7th. Just before, on or just after.
George Hickenlooper needs to get that Woody Allen “Speechless” short shot and cut as quickly as possible.
Consider Eduardo Ciannelli‘s electrifying “kill, kill, kill!” speech from Gunga Din. The striking if antiquated element, of course, is how Alfred Newman‘s music emphasizes every other line — it’s almost a musical number of sorts. This sort of thing disappeared from soundtracks long ago — it would be laughable if James Horner or Mark Isham were to try anything like it today — and yet the effect works in this instance. And the visual element — Ciannelli’s eyes shining like beams against his dark facial makeup — augments all the more.
Rod Lurie‘s prison visitation short (#6) with Kate Beckinsale and David Schwimmer, shot on the set of Nothing But The Truth, is easily the best. Schwimmer perfectly conveys just the right amount of futility about being unable to speak to Beckinsale (and vice versa). Spot #4 stars Jeff Garlin (I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With). Spot #5 features the cast of Ugly Betty.
Three new videos are debuting daily throughout Thanksgiving weekend — morning, afternoon and evening — so three newbies will obviously turn up later day. The series was conceived, produced and in many cases shot by George Hickenlooper and Alan Sereboff.