In other words Prada--based on the bestselling novel by Lauren Weisberger--unfortunately plays upon the sitcom-y boss-from-hell scenario in which the young flunky manages to one up her superior in some valiant way. There are no surprises save for the fact that its set in the world of high fashion invoking all the fabulousness that entails and incorporates the amazing Streep as Miranda Priestly editor-in-chief of THE fashion magazine Runway. Oozing contempt and demanding perfection Miranda at first terrorizes her new assistant Andy (Anne Hathaway) an impressionable lass who wants to be a serious journalist and has no desire to be a “Clacker.” But that lasts for all of about 10 seconds. Andy is soon wearing those Jimmy Choo stilettos and clacking across the floor with the best of them--and the better she gets at her job the more her personal life falls apart. Naturally Andy wises up and realizes life isn’t about Dolce Gabbana and the rest of the gang. Still maybe she could keep one Prada handbag. You know just to remember the experience. Streep is having a nice little resurgence this year with two spectacular performances. In Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion she plays the sunny yet heartbroken half of a singing sister act--and in Prada she’s Satan incarnate. Quite a switch but in the ever-so-capable hands of the Oscar winner it’s a flawless transition. The best part of Streep’s Miranda is all the things she doesn’t say. It’s the searing looks the languid move of the hand--and the hushed tones. This isn’t Kevin Spacey’s screaming lunatic producer in Swimming with Sharks; this is about the threatening quiet and the sacrifices Miranda makes to be lonely at the top. Hathaway as a lovely Audrey Hepburn look-a-like manages to keep her head above water but still hasn’t quite gotten rid of her Princess Diaries gee whizzed-ness. But there’s potential. In supporting roles Stanley Tucci makes a memorable appearance as Miranda’s right-hand man at the magazine doling out snarky but sage advice to our heroine while Adrian Grenier (HBO’s Entourage) plays nice as Andy’s patient boyfriend. The only other real standout star of Prada is the clothes. And the shoes. Oh and the handbags hats belts scarves and other accessories. Director David Frankel--a HBO flunky himself having directed several episodes of Entourage Sex and the City and even HBO’s hit mini-series Band of Brothers--captures this high-powered world of trend and style succinctly giving all fashionista wannabes everywhere a brief but meaningful inside peek. But the real kudos go out to costume designer Patricia Field (an Emmy winner for her work on Sex and the City) who must have had a lot of fun with Prada. She magically produces designs from Valentino (who also makes a small cameo) Donna Karan Bill Blass Galliano and of course Prada. It must be like a painter being given permission to recreate a Picasso or a Monet. Prada is predictable it’s true--but with Streep’s streaked white Cruella De Vil and all the great fashion it’s worth its weight in Versace.
The Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato Jr. Thursday requested a separate trial because he intends to call his co-defendant as a witness.
Brancato, who made his name in Robert De Niro's directorial debut A Bronx Tale aged 16, faces murder charges after an off-duty policeman was shot dead during a bungled burglary in New York City on December 10. Brancato was shot twice by Daniel Enchautegui during their fatal encounter.
Brancato's lawyer Mel Sachs told the New York court co-accused Steven Armento could testify that his client did not know his accomplice was carrying a firearm, The Associated Press reports.
However, Armento, 48, indicated he would not testify on Brancato's behalf by shaking his head when Sachs proposed the motion to Justice Steven Barrett.
Barrett delayed his ruling until the next hearing, scheduled for July 11.
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The Sundance Film Festival newest indie crown was handed to the drama Forty Shades of Blue, winning the festival's Grand Jury prize on Saturday.
The family drama, directed by Ira Sachs, stars Rip Torn as the aging husband, Dina Korzun as his Russian bride and Darren Burrows as the estranged son whose visit hurls their lives into turmoil.
Director Eugene Jarecki 's Why We Fight claimed the festival's grand-jury prize for documentaries. Ironically, his brother Andrew's acclaimed Capturing the Friedmans won the same award in 2003.
Meanwhile, the festival's Audience Award went to hip-hop film Hustle & Flow, a tale about a two-bit pimp and drug dealer (Terrence Dashon Howard) who enlists an odd assortment of allies in a bid to break into the hip-hop music scene. Written and directed by Craig Brewer, the film also became the most successful film in Sundance history when it was sold to bosses at Paramount Pictures and MTV for $9 million earlier in the week.
Noah Baumbach won awards for writing and directing drama The Squid and the Whale, about kids dealing with their parent's divorce.
Here is a partial list of winners:
Grand Jury Prize Dramatic
Forty Shades of Blue -- director: Ira Sachs
Audience Award American Dramatic
Hustle & Flow -- director/screenwirter: Craig Brewer
Grand Jury Prize Documentary
Why We Fight -- director/screenwriter: Eugene Jarecki
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
The Squid and the Whale -- director/screenwriter: Noah Baumbach
Directing Award Dramatic
The Squid and the Whale -- Director/screenwriter: Noah Baumbach
Directing Award Documentary
The Devil and Daniel Johnston -- director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Audience Award World Cinema: Documentary
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallair -- director: Peter Raymont
Audience Award World Cinema: Dramatic
Brothers -- director: Susanne Bier
Audience Award American Documentary
Murderball -- directors: Henry-Alex Rubin & Dana Adam Shapiro
Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary
Shape of the Moon -- director: Leonard Retel Helmrich
Jury Prize for World Cinema Dramatic
The Hero -- director: Zeze Gamboa
Loosely based on the (rather lame) 1960 Rat Pack film dashing understated-but-cool thief Danny Ocean (George Clooney) orchestrates the most sophisticated elaborate casino heist in history less than 24 hours after being released from jail. In one night Danny's handpicked 11-man crew of specialists--including an ace card sharp (Brad Pitt) a young-but-masterful pickpocket (Matt Damon) and a demolition genius (Don Cheadle)--will attempt to steal over $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) the elegant ruthless entrepreneur who just happens to be dating Danny's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts). To score the cash Danny will have to risk his life and risk his chance of ever reconciling with Tess. But if all goes according to his intricate nearly impossible plan Danny won't have to choose between his stake in the heist and his high-stakes reunion with Tess. Or will he?
The star wattage in this movie could solve all of California's electricity problems in one fell swoop. George Clooney easily passes himself off as suave mastermind Danny Ocean playing the role with understated class and elegance. Brad Pitt takes a similar arc as Rusty though he's slightly more dispassionate and professional than Clooney's visionary Ocean. Matt Damon is convincing as the inexperienced-but-talented pickpocket who's essential to getting in the vault. And Julia is simply Julia--glamorous and charming a smart cookie who is being wooed by the evil ruthless (and anal-retentive) casino mogul so elegantly portrayed by Andy Garcia. Affecting a Cockney accent and attitude Don Cheadle's portrayal of the demolition expert is a tour de force. Carl Reiner is absolutely hilarious as Saul Bloom an aging old-timer who comes out of retirement to infiltrate the casino as a debonair arms dealer. Elliott Gould Bernie Mac Scott Caan and Casey Affleck round out the cast nicely with inspired performances especially Gould's and Mac's.
Soderbergh cemented his reputation last year as a director of serious weight when both Traffic and Erin Brockovich were nominated for the Best Film Academy Award and garnered him two Best Director nominations---an unprecedented feat. Ocean's Eleven marks Soderbergh's departure from the serious to the seriously fun. This is one of the most stylish most elegantly filmed movies I have ever seen. Not only are all the actors beautiful but so are the locations clothes and shot selections. The speed and pacing of the flick belie the movie's length; Soderbergh clearly had fun making this movie. He shot this film very intimately often allowing the camera to stay close on the actors a tad longer than expected which lets their personas shine through--thus their personalities draw you into the movie as much as the caper itself. It's not often you see a movie where the direction has as much wit and cleverness as the plot itself. Ocean's Eleven makes no pretense to be something other than a jaunty cheeky exhilarating heist movie. So while the plot's not too deep all is forgiven considering the level of acting and direction.