Woody Allen's new comedy Hollywood Ending will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, and the veteran American director will be attending the festivities for the first time. Other Allen films, such as Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters, have been shown at the festival but the usually press-shy Allen has never made an appearance.
"Over the last few years, they have invited me so many times that I now want to offer them something in return: I will therefore come personally to present my film Hollywood Ending, which I think will be perfect for the event," Allen said in a statement, Reuters reported. The film stars Allen, Tea Leoni, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, George Hamilton and Treat Williams.
The employees of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno got a nice surprise before Monday's taping: $1,000 for each year he/she worked on the show, Variety reported. Leno just wanted them all to know how much he appreciated them. That's mighty nice of him. The show will celebrate its 10th anniversary May 23 and NBC is airing a special one-hour special April 30 at 10 p.m.
Want to know even more about "Ginger" Spice, aka Geri Halliwell? Yeah, well, neither do we, but apparently someone does. Britain's Mirror reported she has signed a deal to write a second autobiography for $719,000, detailing her life after leaving the Spice Girls. Her first book If Only, talked about her childhood and her years with the girl pop band.
Robin Wright Penn has joined Robert Downey Jr. in the film The Singing Detective, with producer Mel Gibson also taking a small role. The film, a remake of the popular BBC television mini-series, centers on a invalid (Downey) whose sickly hallucinations have him creating an alternative reality where he is fighting Nazis in the 1940s.
Matt Damon going on stage. The handsome actor be performing in the London West End production of This Is Our Youth, along with fellow actors Casey Affleck (what? No Ben?) and Summer Phoenix. This threesome will be taking over from Anna Paquin, Hayden Christensen and Jake Gyllenhaal on April 22.
The CBS Survivor team want to use Thailand's Tartutao Islands for the next series, despite some resistance from environmentalists, who claim TV production may further disrupt the region's ecological system. Several environmental groups blame the 1999 film The Beach, which filmed on a Thai island, for causing extensive damage there. The Thai government, however, has told Reuters they are in the final stages of approving CBS' request.
Michael Nader, who played the suave Count Dimitri on ABC's All My Children for nearly 10 years, is suing ABC for breach of contract. The actor has been off the show since February 2001, when he claims in his suit he became ill and needed medical treatment. His suit alleges that ABC refused to allow him to come back to work and would not let him out of his contract. Nader was also sentenced to three years probation for possession of a controlled substance in May 2001.
Heavy mental rocker Ozzy Osbourne and President George Bush will dine together. Apparently, the president has become a big fan of the MTV reality show The Osbournes, which follows the lives of Osbourne and his family, and wants to meet the singer. Ah, to be a fly on the wall at that meeting.
In the latest on the air rage trial of R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, prosecutor David Bate is claiming Buck is lying about what happened to save face. Hmmm. Is there any other reason to lie? Buck has maintained his innocence, blaming a bad reaction from a sleeping pill and several glasses of red wine. He does not recall his alleged actions.
French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion has still got it. Her newest album New Day Has Come sold more than half a million copies its first week in the stores, shooting it to No. 1 on the charts. Well done, Celine.
Country singer Garth Brooks and R&B king Stevie Wonder will be honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame at their induction and awards ceremony June 13. Wonder will be receiving a lifetime achievement award, while Brooks will pick up the Hitmaker Award.
Remember Bob Newhart? The Kennedy Center hasn't forgotten the TV and film comedian; they've awarded him their fifth annual Mark Twain prize for American humor. Newhart told the Associated Press, "Mark Twain once said, 'It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed when the informed and the experienced fail,' which is certainly true in this case."
The irreverant Laugh-In hosts Dick Martin and the late Dan Rowan finally get their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 80-year-old Martin accepted the honor Tuesday (Rowan died in 1987), and on hand were Laugh-In castmates Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Gary Owens and Jo Anne Worley.
"Meet the Parents" and "Remember the Titans" took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, last week. And guess what, the smart bets are that they’ll remain in those positions again this week.
"’Meet the Parents’ and 'Remember the Titans' are going to be the top two films again," Brandon Gray of boxofficemojo.com told Hollywood.com. "’Meet’ had a stunning opening. Even if it takes a hit, it is still going to make a sizable amount. The film has the momentum right now, and it’s clearly the top movie."
As for "Remember the Titans," Gray predicts that it’ll stick to the runner-up slot again this week for the simple fact that it is a crowd-pleasing film, meaning that it makes people feel all warm and fuzzy.
But if you’ve already seen the above two films, there are other choices out there.
Here’s a glimpse at the films opening this weekend.
The Skinny: Tim Meadows takes his "Saturday Night Live" skit as a clueless talk show host and hapless ladykiller to the big screen. The Upside: Gray predicted that the film, being the strongest candidate opening this weekend, will probably take No. 3 at the box office. It’s not that "SNL" movies don’t do well; it’s that the film has the misfortune of competing for the same audience as "Meet the Parents" this weekend. The Downside: "Ladies Man" was never that funny as a skit.
The Skinny: Just as the title suggests, the film is about gynecologist Dr. T (Richard Gere) and the women (and there’re a lot of them) crowding his life. The Upside: "‘Dr. T’ is a pure chick flick, but it has Richard Gere. And chick flicks plus Richard Gere mean a solid opening. Look at ‘Autumn in New York,’ it made over $11 million (it's opening weekend). It should make about $6 million," Gray said. The Downside: Pity the fool, but the film is not about Mr. T, "The A-Team" guy.
The Skinny: Satan is coming to town. An exorcist, in the form of Winona Ryder, and a reporter, in the form of Ben Chaplin, try to intervene. The Upside: It’s a movie with Winona Ryder and is directed by Steven Spielberg’s longtime cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski (Holly Hunter's husband). Gray thinks that the battle for the No. 4 spot is between "Lost Souls" and "Dr. T," pitting "Autum in New York" stars Gere and Ryder against each other. The Downside: Yeah, the idea of an apocalyptic film is, like, so a year ago.
The Skinny: Joan Allen plays a U.S. senator and vice presidential nominee whose past naughty bedroom plays are leaked into the public realm. Gary Oldman plays a Newt Gingrich-type who relishes at picking open the senator's wounds. The Upside: After hovering in the background in solid flicks such as "Nixon" and "The Ice Storm,"Allen is finally taking center stage. Plus, if quality is what you’re looking for, DreamWorks, aka the studio that can do no wrong, is behind the film. The Downside: It’s a sobering film dealing with the topic of American politics ... as if the country isn’t getting enough of that with George W. Bush and Al Gore.
"’The Contender’ is probably going to be No. 6," Gray said. "It’s got the critical praise, but political movies don’t do very well, especially when it doesn’t have any huge stars to open it."
Meanwhile, expect holdovers such as "The Exorcist" and "Almost Famous" to hang out in the Top 10 when box office results come out Sunday.
The political drama Thirteen Days has become a symbol of peace.
The film will bring together old enemies when it premieres this week in Cuba and Russia, two of the three major players during the tense 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. .
Monday night's screening in Havana will include a discussion panel with executive producers Kevin Costner, Peter Almond and Beacon Pictures chairman Armyan Bernstein.
Organized by the Cuban film society, Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos, the screening will be attended by Cuban government officials who were involved in the Missile Crisis, known as the Crisis of October in Cuba, and members of the public. It is unclear whether President Fidel Castro will attend.
Almond will then travel to Moscow for a screening Wednesday hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A group of about 300 will attend, including some of the key figures who were involved in the crisis: former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Theodore Sorensen, the former special counsel to President Kennedy, and Anatoly Dobrynin, the former Soviet Ambassador to the United States. The discussion panel will explore the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S.-Russian relations, and nuclear risk issues that currently exist.
The film will open wide in Russia in May.
The event marks the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's first film screening in the nonprofit organization's 90-year history, a spokeswoman for the think tank told the Hollywood Reporter.
Released nationwide earlier this year in the United States, Thirteen Days focuses on how the missile crisis pushed the Kennedy administration to the brink of war with Cuba and Russia. It is based on the The Kennedy Tapes - Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis. Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film stars Costner as Kenny O'Donnell, a White House aide and confidant to President Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) and his brother Robert F. Kennedy (Steven Culp). Dylan Baker portrays McNamara; Tim Kelleher portrays Sorensen.
The film has attracted worldwide political attention because of its importance and historical accuracy, said Gary Shapiro, Beacon Pictures' vice president of worldwide marketing.
In the first few days of the President Bush administration, Bush requested a screening of the film and invited several members of the Kennedy family to watch it with him, including Sen. Ted Kennedy.
"If the White House pays attention, then so does the rest of the world." Shapiro said Monday.
Shapiro confirmed that Castro personally requested the Cuba screening.
"We are proud to have made a film that has not only entertained audiences around the world but has also made people think and talk about the issues of power and leadership in the nuclear age," Beacon chairman Bernstein told the Hollywood Reporter.
Bernstein and Almond conceived the idea of a film on the crisis five years ago.
"Both of these screenings culminate a broad public recognition of the film and this remarkable crossover to recognition from the highest levels of political leaders and public policy," Almond said.