Michelle Williams is a name on everyone's lips right now. Not only does she turn in an impressive performance as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, but she now holds a Best Actress award for the film and many of us are still giddy with joy over her adorable acceptance speech in which she thanked her daughter, Matilda, for everything. In the February issue of GQ, Williams poses for a few racy, Marilyn-themed photos and bares all in an interview that ranged from her views on her own sexiness to living without Heath Ledger, to wanting a sibling for her six-year-old daughter.
Williams exudes class and poise throughout the interview, and apropos to her latest film, she touches on the subject of being sexy: I wouldn't say that that would be one of my first qualities as a human being—being sexy...And I think because my character on Dawson's Creek was sexy...sexualized...sexual...I saw all the negative attention and connotations that can come along with that. And that those things can keep people from seeing you clearly."
She goes on to say that she thinks "being sexy" is for men's benefit. But what about her decision to portray Monroe, a woman whose sexuality still consumes men to this day? It was a photo Williams found at age 12 that convinced her the role was right. The picture in question showed Monroe barefoot in a field, wearing a white dress and smiling. She saw this as sign of something more than the Marilyn who stood over exhaust grates and let her skirt fly up. "Maybe this felt like the real her or something. Because those ones where she is backed into a corner with a dress falling off, those ones feel like they're for men."
And from the looks of the Golden Globe nominated film, she's accomplished that delicate balance between Marilyn's classic irrepressible sexuality and the girl-like quality Williams grew so attached to. But as for the not seeing herself as sexy part, it's cute that's so humble about it because from the looks of these photos, she's way off base. Check out the photos from the sexy spread below and for the full interview, jump over to GQ.
An eerie video featuring Heath Ledger "drowning" himself is offering a few clues into the actor's mental state.
The black-and-white film, which Ledger shot and screened at the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle last year, featured the troubled actor committing suicide to the soundtrack of tragic singer-songwriter Nick Drake's "Black Eyed Dog."
Drake's estate now owns the footage, titled A Place to Be, which Ledger also screened at a celebration of the late singer in Los Angeles in October.
The short film concludes with Ledger drowning himself in a bathtub.
"Black Eyed Dog" is believed to be the last song Drake wrote before overdosing on antidepressant amitriptyline.
Ledger had often spoken about his dreams of playing Drake on the big screen.
Further clues about Ledger's mental state can be found in one of the star's final interviews, which the actor gave to Cleveland TV network WJW-Fox in November.
Asked what fatherhood to his 2-year-old daughter Matilda had brought him, Ledger said, "You look at death differently... I feel good about dying now because I feel like I'm alive in her, but at the same hand (sic), you don't wanna die because you want to be around for the rest of her life."
Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday. An autopsy carried out on Wednesday failed to reveal how the actor died, although police believe his death is drug-related as sleeping pills were found strewn around his apartment.
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January 31, 2003 6:11am EST
Some 150 years ago a woman Matilda Nixon was blamed for the kidnapping of two local children and hanged by an angry lynch mob her body burned and scarred by the ray of a nearby lighthouse. After Matilda was buried however the kids turned up unharmed. She now haunts the town of Darkness Falls in the form of the Tooth Fairy and seeks vengeance on the community that lynched her. The film's protagonist is the troubled Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) who as a child woke up and saw the Tooth Fairy trying to kill him. He has since left Darkness Falls but returns to help his childhood friend Caitlin (Emma Caulfield) after she informs him that her five-year-old brother suffers inexplicable "night terrors." The Tooth Fairy's Achilles heel is light so when a citywide blackout hits the town no one is safe. The story is completely hokey and sparse on details but it is guaranteed to scare the crap out of anyone--even the most faithful horror aficionados.
Staying true to B-movie horrors Darkness Falls doesn't splurge in the star department. Kley who appeared on the small screen in the series Touched by an Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes his feature film debut as Kyle. His performance is a little flat here and his reaction to the Tooth Fairy is a little too blasé--even if this is not his first encounter with her. Another TV alum Caulfield (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Beverly Hills 90210) is slightly more convincing as she goes from skeptic to worrier to believer in the sinister Tooth Fairy. As her five-year-old brother Michael Lee Cormie is a thoroughly irritating child actor whose soul purpose in the film is to be cute and act vewy afwaid of the dawk. When he is not busy batting his eyelashes Cormie's character spends most of the film in a hospital bed because we are told he suffers from sleep deprivation. Yet Michael is asleep in almost every hospital scene.
Scribes Joseph Harris and John Fasano churn out a screenplay that is highly derivative of Wes Craven Presents: They released last November which revolved around night terrors and things that go boo! in the dark. But while They's villains--little papier-mâché figurines slathered in K-Y jelly--evoked more laughs than scares Darkness Falls' Tooth Fairy has a more sinister appearance: a wretched winged creature draped in black rags that appears wherever light is obscured while making these gnarly breathing sounds. First-time helmer Jonathan Liebesman manages to evoke fear without heavy special effects or blood and gore but by preying on every child's primal fear--the dark--using tried-and-true scare tactics that for some forsaken reason still work. "Why don't we just keep driving? We're safe in the car " a passenger in a car suggests seconds before old Matilda comes crashing through the windshield. It's a typical horror formula that will (I am ashamed to say) get you every time.
Easter is upon us, but it feels like the Fourth of July.
With Blade 2: Bloodhunt and Ice Age already doing summer-like business, Good Friday offers something for everyone in the way of four divergent new releases: the tense thriller Panic Room, the dark comedy Death to Smoochy, the uplifting sports drama The Rookie and the teen-targeted sci-fi adventure Clockstoppers.
In an ironic twist, Jodie Foster and Robin Williams both released their last offerings on the same day, Dec. 17, 1999. Foster's Anna and the King ($39.2 million) and Williams' Bicentennial Man ($58.2 million) were hardly great Christmas gifts.
Foster looks set to redeem herself with David Fincher's claustrophobic Panic Room, but Williams' psychotic turn in Death to Smoochy isn't likely to reverse his recent bad luck at the box office.
In Panic Room, Foster stars a recently divorced mother forced to fend off an attack from three burglars (Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam). Foster and daughter Kristen Stewart take refuge in a room designed to keep out unwanted visitors. The problem: the burglars want what is hidden in the room.
A gripping battle of wills set almost entirely in Foster's character's New York home, Panic Room almost seems stunningly conventional after Fincher's inventive but ultimately disappointing The Game ($48.2 million) and Fight Club ($37 million). But Fincher tightens the screws to such alarming effect that Panic Room should become his first major hit since 1995's Seven ($100.1 million).
Foster--who replaced an injured Nicole Kidman--once again proves she can kick butt just as good as Maverick co-star Mel Gibson. She should beat Contact's $20.5 million opening--her best thus far--by at least $25 million to grab the No. 1 spot from Blade 2: Bloodhunt.
It's no more Mr. Nice Guy for Robin Williams as he tries to rebound from 1999's disastrous Jakob the Liar ($4.9 million) and Bicentennial Man. In director Danny DeVito's black-as-coal Death to Smoochy, Williams' disgraced kids TV star plots the extinction of his replacement, the rhino-suited Edward Norton. He also stars as a murder suspect in the upcoming Insomnia and as a creepy photo lab technician in One Hour Photo.
A hit-and-miss affair with several genuinely hysterical moments, Death to Smoochy is very much in the vein of DeVito's scabrous hit comedies Throw Momma From the Train ($57.9 million) and The War of the Roses ($83.6 million). Yet Death to Smoochy's release at a modest 1,800-plus theater indicates that Warner Bros. does not expect a foul-mouthed and nasty Williams' to amuse fans of Patch Adams and Flubber.
Accordingly, Death to Smoochy should mirror the results of DeVito's last directorial effort, 1996's kids yarn Matilda ($8.2 million opening; $33 million total).
Death to Smoochy could siphon audiences away from Showtime, pairing Robert De Niro with Eddie Murphy. The cop comedy dropped 46 percent in its second weekend, from $15 million to $8.1 million, and has $28.8 million through Wednesday. Showtime looks set to duplicate the lousy $42.5 million that Murphy's Beverly Hills Cop III earned in 1994.
Dennis Quaid's The Rookie should capitalize significantly from the start of the 2002 baseball season.
Disney's G-rated biography of high school baseball coach Jim Morris--who, at 35, joined the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a pitcher--should attract the same audiences who found inspiration in the studio's 2000 football smash, Remember the Titans ($115.6 million).
Quaid certainly isn't a draw on the scale of Denzel Washington, who coached the race-themed Remember the Titans to a $20.9 million opening. Yet the genial Quaid seems destined for an unqualified hit after his supporting turns in Traffic ($124.1 million) and Any Given Sunday ($75.5 million). The critically acclaimed Frequency went silent at $44.9 million, but The Rookie could be Quaid's best shot at glory. Glowing reviews could help The Rookie pitch a $15 million first inning, en route to a game-winning $50 million.
Clockstoppers hopes to go where Spy Kids trod last Easter. But the espionage spoof sleuthed its way to a $26.5 million opening--and a $112.6 million total--on its ability to entertain members of the whole family.
The Clearasil-oriented Clockstoppers--featuring three high schoolers with the ability to make time almost stand still--seemingly lacks the same appeal. Teens looking for something a little hipper probably will try to sneak into Blade 2: Bloodhunt or Resident Evil. Adults intrigued by man's manipulation of time might instead make their way to The Time Machine (a so-so $49.7 million through Wednesday).
The biggest name involved is Jonathan Frakes, who leapt from the bridge of Enterprise to directing Star Trek: First Contact ($91.9 million) and Star Trek: Insurrection ($70.1 million). Time won't be so kind to Frakes, with Clockstoppers likely to debut with an OK $10 million and come to a halt with a total of $30 million.
The blood flowed freely last weekend as the sequel to 1998's Blade tore its way to a surprising $32.5 million opening. That's almost double Blade's $17 million debut, Wesley Snipes' previous best. Blade 2: Bloodhunt also made more in its first three days than Snipes' last action thriller, The Art of War ($30.1 million), did in its entire run. The same applies to director Guillermo Del Toro's Mimic, which made a less-than-scary $25.5 million.
Blade 2: Bloodhunt should tumble by at least 50 percent this weekend--typical for a horror film--but still enjoy a second lap almost equal to Blade's debut. With $40 million through Wednesday, Blade 2: Bloodhunt will likely surpass its predecessor's $70.1 million by its third weekend.
A $32.5 million opening is no longer a guarantee that a film--especially one rated R--will make more than $100 million. Fellow vampire yarn Bram Stoker's Dracula opened in 1992 with $30.5 million, but could only drain $82.4 million from audiences.
Regardless, Blade 2: Bloodhunt should easily surpass White Men Can't Jump's $76.2 million to become Snipes' biggest hit.
The vampire slayer also single-handedly thwarted an army of zombies. Resident Evil fell a horrifying 62 percent in its second weekend, from $17.7 million to $6.7 million. Its total through Wednesday is $30.7 million, with $42 million a likely resting place.
So, it wasn't just the possibility of seeing the Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones trailer in the theaters that drove Ice Age to a $46.3 million opening. The Three Godfathers-inspired CGI-animated prehistoric adventure dropped by an acceptable 35 percent in its second weekend, generating a stellar $30 million.
The strong performances of Blade 2: Bloodhunt and Ice Age led the way for a staggering 65.84 percent jump in business from the same weekend last year.
With $95.2 million through Wednesday, Ice Age should on Friday become the first new 2002 release to make $100 million. Shrek ($117.3 million) and Monsters, Inc. $132 million) earned more during their first 13 days, but both had the benefit of opening before or during busier holiday periods. Still, the Ice Age won't melt until at least reaching $150 million.
Ice Age clearly chilled any prospect of the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial reissue from equaling the 1997's return of Star Wars ($35.9 million opening; $138.2 million). With its less-than-expected $14.2 million, E.T. failed to beat the $16.2 million opening earned by the 1997 Return of the Jedi reissue. Return of the Jedi made a total $45.4 million during its 1997 run, which now serves as the benchmark for E.T.. The reissue has $17 million through Wednesday.
Steven Spielberg's stranded alien made history, though, on the weekend by becoming only the fourth film to make $400 million domestically. Its grand total stands at $416.8 million, but there's no chance that it will regain its crown as the high-grossing film in U.S. history. Titanic, with $600.8 million, has nothing to fear. E.T. will likely waddle past No. 3 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace ($431.1 million), but fail to secure the No. 2 slot from Star Wars ($461 million).
So what if The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring only won four technical Oscars? Director Peter Jackson's admirable adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary classic will soon join E.T. on the U.S. top 10 list of high-grossing films. With $298.6 million through Wednesday, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring will earn $300 million possibly by Friday. It will likely pass Independence Day, No. 10 on the list with $306.2 million, with the aid of footage from the upcoming sequel The Two Towers that will appear at the end of the film beginning Friday.
The Oscar wins saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring enjoy its best weekday gross on Tuesday--$387,000--since Feb. 20. With momentum on its side, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring could topple Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ($316 million through Sunday) as 2001's top film.
A Beautiful Mind is already reaping the benefits of winning four major Oscars, including Best Picture. On Tuesday, the John Forbes Nash Jr. biography earned $575,000, its best weekday gross since Feb. 19. A Beautiful Mind has $156.3 million through Wednesday, and will likely exceed last weekend's $4 million take this weekend. Russell Crowe may have lost the Best Actor Oscar to Denzel Washington, but may enjoy his biggest hit with A Beautiful Mind if it can beat Gladiator's $187.7 million.
Washington's John Q is coming to the end of its successful anti-HMO campaign. The hostage thriller has $67.4 million through Sunday, with $72 million a likely total.
Mel Gibson's We Were Soldiers eased by 33 percent in its fourth weekend--from $8.4 million to $5.7 million--and has $63.2 million through Wednesday. The Vietnam War drama remains on track to end its military campaign with $75 million.
Seems the cross-dressing Sorority Boys fooled no one. The college comedy--featuring 7th Heaven's Barry Watson, Harland Williams and Michael Rosenbaum in drag--made a less-than-glamorous $4.1 million. That's worse than the $6.4 million that Tomcats earned in its first weekend this time last year. With $5.4 million through Wednesday, Sorority Boys will barely crack $10 million.
George Clooney's hot streak continues. Ocean's Eleven became Clooney's biggest hit last weekend when it reached $183.6 million. That's $45,000 more than 2000's The Perfect Storm. See, some good does come out of rounding up the boys and heading to Las Vegas to cause some trouble.
February 13, 2002 10:10am EST
This film is based on Elegy for Iris literary critic John Bayley's biography of his late wife the brilliant writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch. Iris is unconventional in the sense that it does not adhere to a structured plot or story line but instead focuses on their relationship by flashing back and forth between the present and 40 years ago when the two first met. In the sequences taking place in the past Kate Winslet plays a young confident Murdoch in her formative years a woman revered by men and openly bisexual. Hugh Bonneville plays the young and apprehensive Bayley hopelessly pursuing her. The present however reveals a drastic role reversal for the couple: We see Murdoch in her 70s as played by Judi Dench and witness her descent into Alzheimer's disease and the toll it takes on her husband played by Jim Broadbent. The once-subservient husband has been thrust into a caretaker position and painfully tries to cope with his beloved wife's illness and loss of sanity.
Dench deservedly received a best actress Oscar nomination for the fabulous job she does as the older Murdoch. She is convincing as a brilliant thinker and even more believable as her condition worsens--check out the heartbreaking scene when Bayley locks himself in the study to get away from her irrational behavior and she scratches the windowpane on the glass door like a cat while looking at her husband with utter helplessness. Dench conveys her character's vulnerability in a single glance. As an older Bayley Broadbent is as impressive as Dench especially as he struggles to be assertive yet avoid being too harsh. Bonneville as a young Bayley could almost be Broadbent's clone. At first glance he looks like the same actor made to look older through some sort of makeup or special effects wizardry. Bonneville skillfully hatches the young Bayley's traits and tics later perfected by Broadbent. Winslet also Oscar-nominated for Iris (in the supporting actress category) well plays Murdoch's early audacity and boldness.
Director Richard Eyre does a beautiful and seamless job flowing from the past to the present throughout the film. Although the film barely delves into Murdoch's work the importance of her writing is established with scenes from a BBC interview or a luncheon given in her honor. Eyre also does an exceptional job conveying Bayley's hopeless predicament: he fusses over Murdoch like an overprotective parent intermittently lashing out at her only to apologize sobbing afterward for having done so. It's sweet and pitiful especially since Bayley believes that the Iris he fell in love with is still in there somewhere. But while the film is visually exquisite and convincing the subject matter is not necessarily entertaining. We know Murdoch will eventually succumb to her illness but it's even more dreadful to have to watch every agonizing step. By the time Murdoch was reduced to playing in the dirt and watching Teletubbies I found myself wondering When is she going to die already?