The traveling pants are coming off and we’re saying goodbye small town sweetheart, hello skilled girl-assassin. Alexis Bledel is making a serious break from her cutesy Gilmore Girls and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants past as she signs on to co-star in Violet and Daisy – a tale of two teenage girls who are more interested in contracting a kill than painting their toenails and gossiping about Zac Efron. But am I the only one who finds it strange that Bledel, who turns 30 next year, is playing a teenager…again? The role is quite different, so I’ll quiet down for now. Baby steps, baby steps.
The story follows the teen duo as they embark on what should be an easy hit, but they find out that their target is about to complicate things. (Of course, it does.)
Bledel will team up with sixteen-year-old Saoirse Ronan (you may remember her as that annoying, creepy little girl from Atonement) to start taking out dudes in New York City. I guess the Gilmore Girl didn’t get enough action in Sin City, so now she’s back for more. Plus, her role there was pretty mild – she just flashed her pretty blue eyes and gave her fellow prostitutes an in to start wreaking havoc. I’d be itching to do something with a little more teeth, too.
We’re also looking at some pretty grizzly dudes to join the girls onscreen. James Gandolfini has already signed on and Danny Trejo is rumored to be attached to the project as well. (Now they’ve got my attention. Danny Trejo is basically a recipe for instant ass-kickery.) Geoffrey Fletcher comes fresh off his success with the screenplay for Precious to make his directorial debut, so we’ll see what he’s got, but with Tony Soprano and Machete hanging around, this movie looks like it may actually have a chance at being awesome.
January 21, 2009 9:25am EST
Even as the world stood still on Tuesday to watch the swearing-in of President Barack Obama -- and the festivities that surrounded it -- Sundance has been heating up with a bevy of deals concluded and more on the way.
Among them: Sony Pictures Classics picked up North American rights to Lone Scherfig's An Education while IFC Films took U.S. rights to Tommy Wirkola's Nazi zombie horror film Dead Snow, Lionsgate bought rights in North America and the U.K. to James Strouse's The Winning Season.
On Monday night, Fox Searchlight bought worldwide rights to Max Mayer's Adam, which it hopes to turn into the next Once.
In other Sundance doings, interest is also swirling around the well-reviewed Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor film, I Love You Phillip Morris. Summit is said to be circling that film while other pics driving interest include The Cove, World's Greatest Dad, Spread, Amreeka and Push.
Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter opines that romantic comedies are the new subgenre at Sundance. Films like Adam, Phillip Morris, Jay DiPietro's Peter & Vandy, Greg Mottola's Adventureland, the Michael Cera-film Paper Heart and 500 Days of Summer with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel have been generating a lot of feel-good buzz.
"There's been such innovation in really simple love stories this year," fest director Geoffrey Gilmore said. "For 20 years, everything stayed the same, and then suddenly we have a half-dozen films dealing with different approaches to being in a relationship."
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Two Latin American films have scooped the top prizes at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
The Mexican illegal immigrant story Padre Nuestro was given the Grand Jury Prize, while Manda Balla--which explores the violence in modern Brazilian society--won the documentary jury's top honor.
Over 120 films were screened at the 10-day Sundance festival. Director Geoffrey Gilmore said it has been a "landmark year" for the festival.
He added, "For so many different reasons, this work is exceptional in terms of how much of it will get into the marketplace, and the range of issues and maturity of the filmmakers."
Other winners included Israeli film Sweet Mud, which won the World Cinema prize, while Grace Is Gone, which stars Hollywood actor John Cusack, won the Audience Award for best drama.
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Two movies opened nationwide and battled for box office booty this weekend, but in the end, as the pirates sharpened their swords, the gentlemen walked the plank.
The swashbuckling tale Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl sailed away with a $46.4 million* booty over the weekend. Since its release July 9, Pirates has tallied $70.4 million.
But not even Allan Quartemain and his legion of historic superheroes could help Fox's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen muster up a defense against Disney's gang of mutinous pirates. The literary action thriller traipsed away with a rather ordinary $23.2 million.
Pirates, which is based on a popular Disneyland attraction, took in an estimated $23.8 million in its first two days in theaters and didn't lose momentum through the weekend.
"It amazes us," Disney Film distribution chief Chuck Viane told Reuters Friday. "Johnny (Depp) is so fabulous. This movie plays great, and that is why you jump out on a Wednesday and go see it."
Last week's box office topper, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, dropped to third place with $19.6 million, followed by Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, which settled in fourth position with $12 million. The summer season's mainstay movie, the animated fish tale Finding Nemo, rounded out the Top Five with $8.2 million.
Lead by Pirates, this weekend was the first up weekend after four down weekends in a row. The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an estimated $135.9 million, up 3.4 percent from the same weekend last year.
THE TOP TEN
Buena Vista Pictures' PG-13 rated fantasy actioner Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl bowed in first place at the box office this weekend with an ESTIMATED $46.4 million at 3,269 theaters. Its $14,194 per theater average was the highest of any film playing this weekend. Its five-day cume is $70.4 million.
The film, based on a Disney theme park attraction, centers on the roguish yet charming pirate who comes to the rescue of a young woman and teams up with the blacksmith who loves her to exact revenge on his mutinous shipmates.
Directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.
Twentieth Century Fox's PG-13 rated period thriller The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen debuted in second place with an ESTIMATED $23.2 million at 3,002 theaters with a $7,745 per theater average.
Set at the start of the Industrial Age, a league of extraordinary gentlemen, a collection of literary figures with superpowers, must come together to stop an evil force from starting a war between the world's nations.
Directed by Stephen Norrington, it stars Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Peta Wilson, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend, Shane West and Jason Flemyng.
Warner Bros.' R rated Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines dropped two notches to third place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $19.6 million (-55%) at 3,504 theaters (unchanged; $5,598 per theater). Its cume is approximately $110.4 million.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken.
MGM's PG-13 rated Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde fell two rungs to fourth spot in its second week with an ESTIMATED $12 million (-46%) at 3,375 theaters (+25 theaters; $3,556 per theater). Its cume is approximately $62.8 million.
Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, it stars Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Regina King, Bob Newhart and Jennifer Coolidge.
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G rated computer-animated feature Finding Nemo fell only one spot in its seventh week to round out the Top Five with an ESTIMATED $8.2 million (-29%) at 2,643 theaters (-259 theaters; $3,103 per theater). Its cume is approximately $290.8 million and is on the way to surpassing the $300 million mark.
Directed and co-written by Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton, it features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe and Brad Garrett.
Sony Picture's PG-13 rated Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle dropped three places to sixth in its third week with an ESTIMATED $7.3 million (-48%) at 3,202 theaters (-283 theaters; $2,280 per theater). Its cume is approximately $81.6 million.
Directed by McG, it stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Bernie Mac.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
DreamWorks' PG rated animated feature Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas jumped a notch to sixth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $4.6 million at 3,086 theaters (unchanged; $1,491 per theater). Its cume is approximately $19.1 million.
Directed by Patrick Gilmore and Tim Johnson, it features the voices of Brad Pitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Joseph Fiennes.
Fox Searchlight's R rated sci-fi thriller 28 Days Later dropped one place to eighth in its third week with an ESTIMATED $4.2 million (-29%) at 1,396 theaters (+78 theaters; $3,044 per theater). Its cume is approximately $28.4 million.
Directed by Danny Boyle, it stars Cillian Murphy, Naomi Harris, Brendan Gleeson and Megan Burns.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 rated The Hulk plummeted four places to No. 9 in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $3.7 million (-55%) at 2,575 theaters (-716 theaters, $1,437 per theater). Its cume is approximately $124.7million.
Directed by Ang Lee, it stars Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott and Nick Nolte.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated actioner The Italian Job moved two places to tenth in its seventh week with an ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-34%) at 1,364 theaters (-220 theaters; $1,364 per theater). Its cume is approximately $88.8 million.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Edward Norton.
Paramount Classics' PG-13 rated drama Northfork opened in five theaters with an ESTIMATED $61,364 with a strong $12,273 per theater average.
Set in 1955, the film centers on the town of Northfork, which is about to be flooded to make way for a new hydroelectric project. A team of six trenchcoated men has been assigned to remove the last few stragglers before its Heartland houses will be swept away.
Directed by Michael Polish, it stars James Woods, Nick Nolte, Daryl Hannah and Anthony Edwards.
Sony Picture Classics' PG-13 rated romantic drama Cuckoo opened in six theaters with an ESTIMATED $17,209 and a $2,868 per theater average.
The film revolves around a Russian idealist, a Finish college student and a Swedish peasant woman who find themselves confined to a tiny backwoods hut near the end of WWII. Unable to speak each other's language, the two men begin to fall in love with the woman and are forced to let their body language speak for them.
Directed by Alexander Rogozhkin, it stars Anni-Kristina Juuso, Wille Happsalo and Viktor Bychkov.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $135.9 million, up 7.28 percent from last week's take of $126 million. The Top 12 films were also up from the same weekend last year they grossed $131.5 million.
Last year, Sony's PG-13 rated Men in Black II was No. 1 at the box office in its second week with $24.4 million at 3,611 theaters (+54 theaters; $6,760 per theater); Dreamwork's R rated Road to Perdition bowed to No. 2 with $22 million at 1,797 theaters ($12,287 per theater), while Buena Vista's PG-13 rated fantasy actioner Reign of Fire debuted in third place with $15.6 million at 2,629 theaters ($5,946 per theater).
The tragedy of Sept. 11 was clearly remembered Saturday as the Sundance Film Festival showcased five documentaries revolving around the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center. The shorts dealt with a wide range of topics, from death to survival to dealing with hate crimes against Muslims to protests against the U.S. war effort.
Made by New Yorkers in the days following the collapse of the Twin Towers, the films left audiences gasping, weeping and even singing at the end of one film, We Are Family, about how celebrities raised money for victims' families.
"It's not a program about what happened that day," Geoffrey Gilmore, artistic director of the famed independent film festival, told Reuters. "That's something that's going to happen over the next couple of years."
Even though Survivor winner Ethan Zohn was pretty excited about winning a million dollars, fewer viewers seemed to be. The ratings for CBS' Survivor: Africa finale were far below the previous two installments, only taking in 27.3 million viewers compared to 51.7 million and 36.4 million, for the first and second Survivor shows, respectively.
Adoring couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston settled their $50 million federal lawsuit against Italian jewelry designer Silvia Damiani, after accusing the jeweler of marketing copies of the wedding ring Pitt designed for his lady love on the Internet and using the stars' names and faces for publicity. Apparently, it was all just a big misunderstanding and now Pitt has agreed to design an exclusive line of jewelry for Damiani while Aniston will peddle it in advertisements. Well, glad that was cleared up.
Yet another twist in the Oscar race...A Beautiful Mind was picked as the year's top movie by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Other accolades for the film went to Russell Crowe for best actor, Jennifer Connelly as best supporting actress and Mind director Ron Howard, who tied with Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) for best director. Sissy Spacek took another nod for best actress for her turn in In the Bedroom and Ben Kingsley won best supporting actor for Sexy Beast.
The late R&B singer Aaliyah, who died tragically in plane crash in August, topped the British singles charts with her song "More Than A Woman." It was the first British No. 1 for the American singer/actress, as she ousted UK newcomer Daniel Bedingfield's debut "Gotta Get Thru This."
Jurassic Park and ER creator/writer Michael Crichton has filed for divorce from his fourth wife, Anne-Marie Martin, after 14 years of marriage. Crichton moved out of the couple's Bedford, N.Y. home and now lives in California with their 12-year-old daughter, Taylor.
NBC late-night talk show host and funny guy Conan O'Brien said "I do" Saturday at the St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Wash. to Liza Powel, a Seattle ad executive. He met her when she appeared on his show in a skit about advertising.
Muhammad Ali got the greatest star of all on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on Friday--but not where people could walk all over him. He insisted his star be installed on the wall of the new Kodak Theater complex instead of joining the other 2,188 famous people on the famed Hollywood Boulevard.
November 27, 2001 1:19pm EST
Dramatic and documentary film competition finalists for the 2002 Sundance Film Festival were announced Monday, with new and more seasoned artists making the list. Next year's festival in Park City, Utah, though, is marked by several changes.
Sundance organizers have decided to split its non-competitive American Spectrum into two categories to differentiate between lower budget films and higher profile films with better-known actors. While American Spectrum will still feature smaller films like Blue Car, a first feature by Karen Moncrief, the new American Showcase category will highlight films from veteran indie filmmakers, like Thirteen Conversations About One Thing starring Matthew McConaughey and John Turturro.
The upcoming festival was also bumped up a week to accommodate the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and will run from Jan. 10-20. Festival artistic director Geoffrey Gilmore told Variety that security matters, a major concern for the Olympics, are being addressed.
"We will definitely have added security in place. There will be bag checks, metal detectors and other measures. We're working very closely with Olympics security officials, the state and federal agencies, and I know we'll have enough security. On the other hand, we've tried not to overreact," Gilmore explained.
There is also a chance that the primary home of the documentary competition--the old Holiday Cinema triplex--will not be ready in time for the festival, which would require a change in venue.
What has remained unchanged at Sundance is the diversity.
The 16 films in the drama grouping include Bark, a dark comedy about a woman who believes she is a dog starring Lisa Kudrow and Hank Azaria; Peter Mattei's first feature The End of Love starring Steve Buscemi, Rosario Dawson, and Jill Hennessy; Pumpkin, an anti-P.C. satire with Christina Ricci, Brenda Blethyn and Dominique Swain; and the digitally shot Personal Velocity starring Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey and Fairuza Balk.
Documentaries featured include American Standoff, an examination of the crisis in the American labor movement as seen through the stories of three rank-and-file Teamsters; How to Draw a Bunny, a revelation of the life, career and death of Andy Warhol and Ray Johnson; and Sister Helen about a woman who became a Benedictine nun after the death of her husband and two sons, and opened a center for recovering alcoholics in the South Bronx.
Entries in the Premieres, World Cinema, Frontier, Midnight and other categories will be announced Tuesday, Variety reports.
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Nominations for the 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced today in Los Angeles at L.A.'s Pacific Design Center.
The unique show, honoring performers from 13 movie and TV categories, will air on TNT, Sunday, March 11 from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.
The nominations in the movie categories aren’t surprising, with frontrunners Russell Crowe’s from “Gladiator” and Golden Globe winner Julia Roberts from “Erin Brockovich” easily making the list. Golden Globe winners Tom Hanks for “Cast Away” and Kate Hudson for “Almost Famous” snag nominations as well.
Several nominees in the television categories are returning to try their luck again, namely James Gandolfini and Edie Falco from “The Sopranos,” who both won in their respective categories last year. Also, die-hard dramas, such as “ER” and “Law & Order,” are back for their superior ensemble cast performances. But the newest kid on the block, “The West Wing,” may give them a run for their money. Also, the fresh comedy series “Will & Grace” and “Sex in the City” makes a strong showing against other returning champs, such as “Fraiser” and “Ally McBeal.”
The 37th S.A.G. Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to longtime acting couple Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, for their acclaimed body of work and their philanthropic endeavors with their fellow actors.
Here is the complete list of nominations:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Lead Role
Jamie Bell -- “Billy Elliot”
Russell Crowe -- ”Gladiator”
Benicio Del Toro -- ”Traffic”
Tom Hanks -- ”Cast Away”
Geoffrey Rush -- ”Quills”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Lead Role
Joan Allen -- ”The Contender”
Juliette Binoche -- ”Chocolat”
Ellen Burstyn -- ”Requiem for a Dream”
Laura Linney -- ”You Can Count on Me”
Julia Roberts -- ”Erin Brockovich”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Jeff Bridges -- ”The Contender”
Willem Dafoe -- ”Shadow of the Vampire”
Albert Finney -- ”Erin Brockovich”
Gary Oldman -- ”The Contender”
Joaquin Phoenix -- ”Gladiator”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Judi Dench -- ”Chocolat”
Kate Hudson -- ”Almost Famous”
Frances McDormand -- “Almost Famous”
Julie Walters -- “Billy Elliot”
Kate Winslet -- ”Quills”
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture
For Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Alec Baldwin - “Nuremberg” (TNT)
Brian Cox - “Nuremberg” (TNT)
Brian Dennehy - “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman” (Showtime)
Danny Glover - “Freedom Song” (TNT)
John Lithgow - “Don Quixote” (TNT)
James Woods - “Dirty Pictures” (Showtime)
For Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Stockard Channing - “The Truth About Jane” (Lifetime)
Judi Dench - “The Last of the Blonde Bombshells” (HBO)
Sally Field - “David Copperfield” (TNT)
Elizabeth Franz - “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman” (Showtime)
Vanessa Redgrave - “If These Walls Could Talk 2” (HBO)
For Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Tim Daly - “The Fugitive” (CBS)
Anthony Edwards - “ER” (NBC)
Dennis Franz - “NYPD Blue” (ABC)
James Gandolfini - “The Sopranos” (HBO)
Martin Sheen - “The West Wing” (NBC)
For Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Gillian Anderson - “The X-Files” (Fox)
Edie Falco - “The Sopranos” (HBO)
Sally Field - “ER” (NBC)
Lauren Graham - “The Gilmore Girls” (WB)
Allison Janney - “The West Wing” (NBC)
Sela Ward - “Once and Again” (ABC)
For Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Robert Downey Jr. - “Ally McBeal” (Fox)
Kelsey Grammer - “Fraiser” (NBC)
Sean Hayes - “Will & Grace” (NBC)
Peter MacNicol - “Ally McBeal” (Fox)
David Hyde Pierce - “Frasier” (NBC)
For Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Calista Flockhart - “Ally McBeal” (Fox)
Jane Kaczmarek - “Malcolm in the Middle” (Fox)
Debra Messing - “Will & Grace” (NBC)
Megan Mullally - “Will & Grace” (NBC)
Sarah Jessica Parker - “Sex in the City” (HBO)
For Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Law & Order”
“The West Wing”
For Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Sex in the City”
“Will & Grace”