“It’s often hard for actors to accept their own strengths. There’s a tendency toward self-destructive behavior in very talented people. Look at Marlon Brando, Orson Welles or Montgomery Clift. They were brilliant and self-destructive. It’s a mystery why that is. But it is also true for Mickey. Some actors lose their way and they never put it together again. But by playing a guy in The Wrestler who is no longer what he was, Mickey has been reborn.” — Diner director Barry Levinson writing about Mickey Rourke in today’s N.Y. Times.
I don’t trust IMDB commenters, but if I wasn’t suspicious of them I’d be very enthused about seeing John Hillcoat‘s The Road (Weinstein Co.), which, as we all know, was bumped out of an ’08 release last fall and hasn’t yet been given an ’09 release date. The talk from unreliable people who claim they’ve seen a recent cut is more than encouraging.
Harvey Weinstein will do what with it, I wonder? My guess is that he’ll push the opening all the way into the fall for an Oscar run. (Which is what the original plan ostensibly was.) But if it’s as good as the IMDB phantoms say it is, wouldn’t it make sense to show it in Cannes three months from now?
Slumdog Millionaire won seven BAFTA awards in London this evening, including Best Picture, Best Director (Danny Boyle) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Simon Beaufoy). The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, nominated in 11 categories (same as Slumdog), won three tech awards — Best Production Design (Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo), Makeup & Hair (Jean Black, Colleen Callaghan) and Best Visual Effects (Eric Barba, Craig Barron, Nathan Mcguinness, Edson Williams).
Man on Wire won the Outstanding British Film award. The Wrestler’s Mickey Rourke won for Best Leading Actor — the man’s renewed life and career continues. Kate Winslet’s Reader performance won for Best Leading Actress. The all-but-Oscar-locked Heath Ledger and Penelope Cruz won for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
I’m in Holly Springs, Mississippi. I have to haul it back to Memphis airport for my 1:30 pm flight to La Guardia. That’s all she wrote until this evening. I need to say one thing about the people I’ve met in Tennessee and Mississippi. They’re kind, gentle, polite, alpha. It’s been a pleasure to know them and feel their vibe. That includes my very gracious hosts at the Oxford Film Festival.
Yesterday morning Cinematical‘s Elisabeth Rappe wrote an appropriate mockery piece about Mary, Mother of Christ, an actual movie-to-be that will open on 4.2.10, according to a 2.5 story by Variety‘s Michael Fleming and Tatiana Siegel.
Camilla Belle as Mary. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in the dual roles of Gabriel and Lucifer. Peter O’Toole as Symeon. (Who’s that?) And Al Pacino and Jessica Lange “currently in talks” to play King Herod and Anna the Prophetess. The director is Alejandro Agresti (The Lake House, Valentin).
It’s best not to presume anything, of course, but there’s just no controlling the involuntary recoil reaction to a project like this. The thought of a bearded Pacino in royal robes…good God. What an embarassment for he and Lange both. The top gigs aren’t coming their way so they’re more or less forced, if they want to keep flush, to take gigs of this calibre. As Rappe notes, Pacino as King Herod is “in the territory” of John Wayne as a Roman centurion in George Stevens‘ The Greatest Story Ever Told.
“It’s rare to hear journalists and critics vocally turn against a film at the Berlin International Film Festival,” Indiewire‘s Eugene Hernandez wrote a little while ago. “Catcalls and hisses, while more common in Cannes, are actually rather rare on the international festival circuit. So, it came as a bit of a surprise to hear a loud ‘boo,’ then whistles, followed by tepid applause and another ‘boo’ this afternoon at the end of Lukas Moodysson‘s Mammoth.”
Fascinating lead graph, but there’s no payoff. All Hernandez says is that the ending is what offended. Okay, but that’s it? Was it a failure to satisfyingly conclude, or an ending that contained a plot turn that people found deeply offensive? Did costars Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Willams drop trou and moon the camera? Surely there must b a way to convey what ticked people off without divulging the particulars.
“After the showing, the debate began and filmmaker Moodysson admitted that he’s been surprised by audience reactions to his new movie.”
Hernandez describes Mammoth as “an ambitious English-language story shot on three continents. Bernal and Williams portray an upwardy mobile New York City couple with a young daughter who is cared for by a Filipina maid. Desperate to return to the Phillipines, the noble nanny cooks, cleans and raises the American girl in order to make enough money to some day return to her own kids back home.”