Top Story: Law Wants Penn To Win Oscar
Jude Law, nominated for best actor for his portrayal of Confederate soldier Inman in Cold Mountain, wants Sean Penn to win the statuette instead of him, The Associated Press reports. "I've always loved Sean Penn's work. He's someone I've respected and looked up to and admired for years and years and years, and I think it should be his year," Law told reporters at the Berlin International Film Festival Wednesday. Penn earned his fourth Oscar nomination for his role as a bereaved father in Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed tragedy, Mystic River. He has never appeared at an Academy Awards show, but says he plans to this year. Law is in Berlin promoting Cold Mountain which opened the festival, but is not in competition. This is Law's second Oscar nomination, having been nominated in the best supporting actor category in 2000 for his role as the roguish Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley. He is expected to be in attendance at this year's ceremony later this month.
Garfunkel Pleads Guilty in Marijuana Case
In a reversal of his original plea, Art Garfunkel has pleaded guilty to marijuana possession, Reuters reports. Garfunkel, who comprised one half of the popular '60s duo Simon and Garfunkel, was charged with marijuana possession after his limo was pulled over for speeding January 17th in Hurley, New York, and 6 grams of marijuana were found in the singer's jacket pocket. His driver received a ticket and Garfunkel was given the choice of contesting the marijuana charge or paying a $100 fine. Initially Garfunkel wished to plead "not guilty" and a hearing was set for Feb. 11. His lawyer then changed Garfunkel's plea and paid the fine a week early. Garfunkel did not appear in court.
Master Takes Command at British Critics' Awards
Peter Weir's seafaring epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World took top honors at this year's London Film Critics' Circle awards, winning three awards and completely routing favorite The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Reuters reports. The Russell Crowe starrer took best picture, best British actor (Paul Bettany), and best screenwriting (John Collee and Peter Weir) awards at the annual ceremony held by British film critics who write for newspapers throughout England. Best director (Clint Eastwood) and actor (Sean Penn) awards went to Mystic River with the best actress award going to Julianne Moore for Far From Heaven.
German Director Decries "Primitive" Reception of Film at Berlin Fest
Director Romuald Karmakar expressed his displeasure with the less-than-ideal reaction to his film Nightsongs at the Berlin Film Festival yesterday, Reuters reports. The film, a tragedy based on a play by Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse, suffered many audience walkouts during the screening and many in the audience laughed during the conclusion of the gloomy love story about two lovers who are about to run off together when the woman's husband kills himself by jumping out a window. "It's getting too primitive here and I'm sick and tired of it," Karmakar said of the audience's reaction, "How far have we fallen?" He went on to explain, "It's a love story, just without a happy ending. You find that everywhere but it's underrepresented in movies. Reality is full of problems. We have four million unemployed in Germany."
Majority of Americans Believe Jackson Reveal Intentional
Janet Jackson intended to reveal her breast during the Super Bowl halftime show as a publicity stunt, a poll conducted by Billboard.com suggests. Of the 8,307 polled, 65 percent believed right from the get-go that Jackson fully intended Justin Timberlake to rip off her bustier cup and show her naked breast to the world, while 35 percent believe that the full exposure was unintentional. Both Jackson and Timberlake have since apologized for the incident, though they have repeatedly said the breast fallout was due to a "wardrobe malfunction." The Federal Communications Commission is investigating the incident, so as to punish the guilty and protect the nation's fragile eyes.
Aguilera, Elliott To Pitch Viva Glam
Makeup addict Christina Aguilera, along with Missy Elliott, Linda Evangelista, Chloe Sevigny and Boy George, will pitch Viva Glam, a makeup line that funds HIV/AIDS programs. All proceeds from the MAC-owned Viva Glam V Lipgloss and Lipstick will go to care of people afflicted with AIDS as well as awareness and prevention programs. Since the Viva Glam collection debuted in 1994, over $32 million has been raised from sales of the lip products. MAC president John Demsey said the most recent collection of models were chosen because they represent the many faces of AIDS victims, who are "all ages, all races, all sexes". The lipgloss and lipstick will be available starting next month.
Yao Ming Top Chinese Celebrity
According to Forbes magazine's Chinese edition, Houston Rockets star Yao Ming is the top Chinese celebrity of the year, AP reports. The magazine based its list on the celebrity's exposure in the media and their income for the year. Ming earned $14.6 million last year, placing him second to action star Jet Li, who earned $17 million, but ranked 10th overall.
Top Story: Roy Horn May Be Out Within Weeks
Famed Las Vegas magician Roy Horn, half of Las Vegas' legendary Siegfried and Roy, may be released from the Los Angeles hospital by the end of the month. The 59-year-old animal trainer and performer, who was savagely mauled by a 600-pound, 7-year-old, male white tiger during an Oct. 3 performance at The Mirage Hotel, has been recovering at UCLA Medical Center where he was transferred after initially being treated at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. The duo's publicist, Dave Kirvin, told CNN Monday that Horn is still undergoing treatment for his injuries, but his doctors are optimistic he will be well enough to continue recovering at home in Las Vegas within a couple of weeks. "He's getting better every day," Kirvin said.
Carmen Electra Weds Guitarist Dave Navarro
TV vixen Carmen Electra and Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro tied the knot on Nov. 22 in at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles before 200 guests. People magazine's Dec. 8 issue reports the platinum-and-red invitations called for "hot and sexy" attire and guests were greeted by men dressed in black and wearing red masks similar to those seen in one of the couple's favorite films, Eyes Wide Shut. "What's really going to touch my heart," Electra said before the ceremony, "is when my dad takes a step back when walking down the aisle and my husband takes his place." The 31-year-old actress was married briefly to Dennis Rodman in 1998.
Zellweger's Weight Gain a Non-Issue
Renee Zellweger, who put on 20-some pounds for her role in Bridget Jones's Diary two years ago, tells Vogue magazine in its December issue that she doesn't see what the big deal is about doing the same for the sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. "The first time I did it, I learned a lot. I realized the influence of living in a society that focuses so much on physicality has affected me," Zellweger, 34, said. "When the film was coming out, the question I was asked the most was regarding my weight. And again it's happening. I was followed around Heathrow (airport) by a guy who wanted to take a picture of my backside. I don't understand the obsession."
RCA Drops Justin Guarini
There is a reason why American Idol season one number two Justin Guarini didn't join Clay Aiken, Christina Christian, Kelly Clarkson, Tamyra Gray, Kimberley Locke and Ruben Studdard on Fox's November 25th special An American Idol Christmas: he's been dumped by RCA. Launch.com reports Guarini was dropped from the record label after his self-titled debut album landed at No.20 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling only 54,000 copies. A third season of American Idol is set to debut on Fox in January, starting with a special two-hour episode Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by a special one-hour episode Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Peter Jackson's Rings Premieres in NZ
In Wellington, New Zealand, yesterday, some 100,000 euphoric fans welcomed native director Peter Jackson for the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at the newly refurbished 852-seat art deco Embassy Theater, Reuters reports. Flanked by armored characters on black horses, Jackson led stars Liv Tyler, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen and Elijah Wood for three miles through the capital city. Filmed in New Zealand, The Return of the King opens worldwide Dec. 17 and in New Zealand Dec. 18 due to the time difference.
Missing Finalist in Berlin Film Fest
Director Ron Howard's Western thriller The Missing is among five films to compete in next year's Berlin Film Festival, which runs Feb. 5-15, The Associated Press reports. German director Romuald Karmakar's Nightsongs, Spanish director Manuel Gutierrez Aragon's Your Next Life, Croatian director Vinko Breoan's Witnesses and Danish director Annette K. Olesen's In Your Hands were also chosen. The films are the first of about 20 that will be chosen to compete in February for the festival's top prize, the Golden Bear.
Luke Perry in West End Production of Sally
Former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Luke Perry is set to star as Harry in London's West End stage show based on the 1989 hit film When Harry Met Sally.... According to the AP, the play is scheduled to open Feb. 20 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited run of 16 weeks. Sally has not yet been cast, but producer James Tod said Monday he expected an American actress to take the part. When Harry Met Sally... is the latest in a string of hit films to have spawned stage musicals and plays, including The Graduate. Billy Elliot is also being developed as a London stage musical to open late next year.
Stephen King Recovering From Pneumonia
A spokesman for Stephen King said Monday that although the author remains hospitalized, his condition was improving in his recovery from a bout with pneumonia, AP reports. King, 56, was diagnosed with pneumonia before a Nov. 19 trip to New York City to receive the National Book Foundation's 2003 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He was hospitalized Nov. 23 and underwent surgery two days later to remove fluid and scar tissue from one of his lungs. But his condition worsened when he returned home to Bangor, Maine, and doctors at Eastern Maine Medical Center later diagnosed him with pleural effusion, an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the membrane surrounding the lung.
TV Director Earl Bellamy Dead at 86
Prolific TV director Earl