Top Story: Judge Orders Diaz Pics Sealed
On Monday, Judge Alan Haber ordered sealed photos and a videotape of Cameron Diaz taken at a private modeling session about a decade ago, saying the actress has a right to privacy of her own body. He set a Sept. 12 hearing in Superior Court on her request for an injunction against photographer John Rutter, The Associated Press reports. Rutter told the syndicated news show Inside Edition in mid-July that he'd contacted Diaz's lawyers to offer them the photos before he sold them to any media outlets. Rutter said it was a negotiation for a right of first refusal with Diaz's lawyers, but added that his place was raided a few hours after her lawyers offered to buy the pics. Diaz's publicist said the Charlie's Angels actress never signed a photo release and a signed release produced by Rutter was a forgery.
Leno Gets "Queer" Makeover
NBC thinks the host of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is in need of a makeover--a Queer makeover, that is. The network said Monday it will bring the Fab Five makeover team from Bravo's new hit reality sensation Queer Eye For the Straight Guy for a pair of special appearances on Tonight Show next week. Reuters reports the quintet will make their Tonight Show debut as guests Aug. 14 and return the following night for the makeover. Queer Eye features five gay men with expertise in good grooming, food, fashion, culture and interior design coming to the aid of a unfashionable heterosexual. The hour-long show has become a major ratings winner for NBC-owned Bravo. NBC, which aired the first half-hour repeat of the show last month, plans to telecast a second 30-minute primetime installment on Aug. 14, the same evening as the Fab Five's debut on the Tonight Show.
Carly Simon To Reveal Who's "So Vain"
But we still may never know. Singer Carly Simon is about to reveal who she was talking about in her 1972 hit song "You're So Vain," but not to the public. Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC sports and NBC Olympics, won the prized information with a $50,000 bid in a charity auction and has vowed never to divulge the name Simon will tell to him after a private performance in about two weeks. Ebersol told NBC's Today show Tuesday that Simon gave him one clue about the man's identity that she said he could reveal: He has the letter "e" in his name. The usual suspects include: actor Warren Beatty, whom Simon dated; Mick Jagger, who sang backup on the song; and her ex-husband, James Taylor.
Flynt: "A Smut Peddler Who Cares"
Porn king Larry Flynt formally announced his bid for California governor Monday, Reuters reports, but Flynt, who made millions publishing raunchy sex magazines such as Hustler, recognized that voters might not be able to get past his background. "If the support is there, I am willing to go the distance. If not, I will fade into the sunset," he said. Flynt, who referred to himself a "smut peddler who cares," said that as governor he would launch a study into the legalization of prostitution, grant amnesty to all illegal immigrants currently in California before securing the state's borders, and expand the state's gaming industry and tax casino revenue to help wipe out the state budget deficit. The 61-year-old Flynt is one of some 200 people who have taken out initial paperwork to challenge Democratic Gov. Gray Davis in an election some analysts say is making California a laughingstock.
U.S. Authorities Investigating Modeling Agencies
U.S. authorities are looking into charges that several modeling agencies, including Elite Model Management and Ford Models Inc., conspired to cheat their clients by charging inflated commissions and expenses, Reuters reports. The civil class action lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, NYC, federal court, alleges the agencies fixed models' commission rates at 20 percent, twice the 10 percent allowed by state law for employment agencies. Elite models include actress Lara Flynn Boyle and Lauren Bush, niece of President Bush, while Ford represents supermodels like Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall and Rachel Hunter.
Study: TV Media Hiring Less Minorities
Results from the latest Radio-Television News Directors Assn./Ball State University Annual Survey of TV and radio newsrooms were released last week, and many television executives are alarmed by its findings, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The annual study, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2002, shows the number of minorities in TV news dropped to 18.1 percent compared with 20.6 percent the previous year. In management, minority representation fell by 39 percent at non-Hispanic stations while blacks make up just 0.9 percent of news directors--a whopping 55 percent decline from last year's study. Smaller recruitment budgets, the recession and a lack of internal development and training programs could all be factors in stifling minority hiring, as well as the "old boy network," with people going with what they feel comfortable with.
Crowe's 30 Odd Foot of Grunts To Play Chicago
Australian actor Russell Crowe's band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, will headline Chicago's House of Blues for a five-night stand Aug. 17-19, 21 and 23, Billboard.com reports. According to the band's official Web site, "the band will be joined by some special guests for these shows." The 30 Odd Foot of Grunts' tour is to support their latest album, Other Ways of Speaking, which made its U.S. debut in April at No. 16 on Billboard's Top Internet Albums Sales chart and No. 34 on the Top Independent Albums tally. While in the windy city, the group also plans to tape an episode of PBS' Soundstage with Kris Kristofferson.
Role Call: Basinger and Zwick Team Up for Elvis Comedy
Kim Basinger is set to star as a cosmetic saleswoman whose life is strangely entangled with Elvis Presley in the romantic comedy Elvis Has Left the Building for director Joel Zwick. The film is Zwick's first feature since he hit the jackpot with My Big Fat Greek Wedding. According to Variety, Basinger's character accidentally kills a couple of Elvis impersonators
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?