The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has chosen Todd Field's In the Bedroom as its best film of 2001, while the film's lead actress Sissy Spacek took best actress honors. David Lynch won the best director nod for his compelling Mulholland Drive and Denzel Washington was named best actor for his work as a rogue cop in Training Day. The supporting actor picks went to Jim Broadbent for his performances in Moulin Rouge and Iris, while Kate Winslet was chosen for her turn as the young Iris Murdoch in Iris. Other honors went to screenwriter Christopher Nolan for his screenplay Memento No Man's Land for best foreign film and Shrek for best animated film. The awards were announced Saturday and will be presented Jan. 22.
To avoid the same strike panic that occurred earlier this year, the Directors Guild of America met with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Nov. 26, six months before the contract expires, and voted unanimously to recommend ratification of a three-year contract with the movie studios. The new contract will go into effect July 1, 2002, and will last through 2005.
Siena Heights University in Michigan will be adding the popular animated TV series The Simpsons to its curriculum. A two-credit class will explore how religion and philosophy are part of popular culture, including The Simpsons. Some of the class reading requirements will be The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer by William Irwin and The Gospel According to the Simpsons: The Spiritual Life of the Most Animated Family by Mark I. Pinsky.
Country singer Tanya Tucker gave a very disappointing performance Nov. 30 at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, Wis. and the arena is having to give discount certificates to the attendees as an apology. During the hour-long concert, entitled Tanya Tucker Christmas, Tucker sang only five Christmas songs and used lyric sheets.
British actor Ian Holm, currently starring in The Lord of the Rings, was reportedly flown to the United States for urgent prostate cancer treatment, according to the The Mail. The actor apparently had an operation during the summer for the condition and his agent told the paper, "He is currently in America receiving treatment. It is a personal matter."
Opera great Placido Domingo's spokeswoman reports that the famed tenor is doing fine since his blood pressure soared during a performance at La Scala Opera House in Milan Tuesday, forcing him to walk off the stage. He was able to return, however, and finish his performance of Verdi's Othello.
Musician Rufus Thomas, best known for his songs "Walking the Dog" and "Do the Funky Chicken," died in St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday of unknown causes. He was 84.
David Lynch's Mulholland Drive was voted the best picture of 2001 by the New York Film Critics Circle. Robert Altman was named best director for his 1930s period piece Gosford Park, while Helen Mirren took the best supporting actress nod for her performance in the film. Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson were voted best actress and actor for their stunning work in Todd Field's In the Bedroom and Steve Buscemi won best supporting actor kudos for Ghost World. Rounding out the picks, the Chinese In the Mood for Love was chosen as best foreign-language film and Richard Linklater's Waking Life took top honors in the animation category.
Tom Hanks is DreamWorks' flavor of the month. Having already signed on to star in two new films for the studio, Terminal and The Road to Perdition, he is now in negotiations to star in DreamWorks' Comrade Rockstar based on the life of the late rocker Dean Reed.
"You talkin' to me?" Robert De Niro heads the list of the 100 greatest film actors of all time, at least according to a poll of 13,500 British movie channel FilmFour viewers. Al Pacino came in second, while Kevin Spacey and Jack Nicholson followed in the third and fourth spots. Jodie Foster was the highest ranking female star in 23rd place.
Supermodel Cindy Crawford is going to try her hand at acting once again. She'll be starring in the romantic drama The Simian Line with William Hurt, Lynn Redgrave, Eric Stoltz and Harry Connick Jr. Crawford's last movie, 1995's Fair Game, bombed at the box office.
The Wall Street Journal reports that NBC will be the first network to run advertisements for hard liquor in 50 years. In a deal with UK's Diageo, whose brands include Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin and Johnnie Walker whiskies, NBC will run the ads during primetime hours (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.), as well as during late-night television. The first commercial for Smirnoff will run this weekend during Saturday Night Live.
The six-million dollar man, Steve Austin, is coming back--to the big screen. The 1972 Martin Caidin novel Cyborg, on which the hit '70s TV series The Six Million Dollar Man was based, is being developed as a feature by Dimension Films and Universal Pictures. Kevin Smith is being rumored to direct.
Fox's hit show Malcolm in the Middle will air a special one-hour post-Super Bowl episode Feb. 3, with guest stars Susan Sarandon, Bradley Whitford, Christina Ricci, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Root, Tom Green and Fox Sports personalities Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.
The never-shy Elton John will promote lipstick for cosmetic company MAC, in an effort to raise money for AIDS. He'll be joining Mary J. Blige and Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage, in the ad campaign.
Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels will be developing a new NBC series targeted for the 2002 fall season. A twist on the popular 1960s series My Three Sons, Chase will play a modern-day Fred MacMurray who is a single dad to three teenage daughters.
The Walt Disney Co. has paid $902,778 to settle claims that a subcontractor of Disney, who made beaded tiaras and wands for Disney, were paying their workers less than a quarter of the mandated minimum wage. A spokeswoman for the studio said they were unaware that labor laws were being violated.
Eagles guitarist and solo artist Joe Walsh will receive an honorary doctorate in music from Kent State University during a commencement ceremony on Saturday. Walsh has stated that he regrets having not graduated.
The New York Film Critics Circle has selected David Lynch's
Mulholland Drive as the best picture of 2001. The group also
selected Robert Altman as best director for Gosford Park, Tom
Wilkinson as best actor for In the Bedroom, and Sissy Spacek as
best actress for the same film. Julian Fellowes won the best screenplay
honor for Gosford Park.
Actor Richard Farnsworth, an Oscar nominee this year for Best Actor for “The Straight Story,” died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound Friday night in Lincoln, N.M. The oldest actor to be nominated for a Best Actor statuette, Farnsworth was 80.
Farnsworth, who was nominated twice for an Academy Award and was a former stuntman, had been involved in filmmaking for more than 60 years.
Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan released a statement Friday night saying the actor died at his home in Lincoln, 250 miles southeast of Albuquerque. Police did not release any further details, but Jewely Van Valin, Farnsworth’s fiancée, was at home when he died.
“I was just in the other room and I heard the shot,” she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Farnsworth's home. “He was in incredible pain today. He was going downhill.”
Van Valin said Farnsworth was diagnosed several years ago with terminal cancer, which had left him partially paralyzed, and he struggled with the pain while working on David Lynch’s “The Straight Story.”
“He was very ill in that movie, but phenomenally he made it through. He didn't want the world to know he was sick,” Van Valin said. “He couldn't fight it, and cancer got him.”
At age 79, Farnsworth was the oldest leading actor to receive an Oscar nomination. This year’s nomination was the second for Farnsworth, who was also nominated for the 1978 film “Comes A Horseman.” Actress Gloria Stuart was 87 when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for 1997’s “Titanic,” making her the oldest performer ever nominated.
Farnsworth, a Los Angeles native, was a stuntman for more than 30 years and moved into acting at age 57. He appeared in films such as “The Natural,” “Tom Horn” and “Anne of Green Gables.”
The Manhattan detective depicted in the magazine article, "A Cold Case," took three decades to solve a crime. The time was considerably less for mega-star Tom Hanks to acquire the rights to it.
The story by New Yorker staff writer Philip Gourevitch appears in the magazine's Feb. 14 issue, which hit newsstands on Monday. Before the ink was even dry, Hanks and his Universal-based production shingle, the Playtone Co., put up a six-figure advance to pounce on the rights.
What's the big deal? "Case" details the real-life story of a detective's journey to solve the 1970 murder of a Manhattan restaurateur. Playtone confirmed that the actor is interested in playing the lead character.
HAIL TO THE CHIEF: And the president of the United States is ... Richard Dreyfuss. Well, at least on television.
Daily Variety reports that the Academy Award-winner will accept the chief executive position in CBS' George Clooney-produced "Fail-Safe," to be broadcast live on April 9.
Dreyfuss takes on a role originally played by Henry Fonda in the 1964 feature film. Stephen Fears will direct the latest version, which tells the story of a U.S. president working through tense negotiations with a Soviet translator Noah Wyle of "E.R."). Together, they try to agree on an acceptable retaliation after a U.S. bomber receives a faulty transmission to drop its nukes on Moscow.
Clooney has told the press that "Fail-Safe" is one of his favorite movies. Besides producing the live project, the ex-television icon will star as the pilot who mistakenly thinks he's supposed to deliver the bomb.
THE NEXT 'ANGEL': The latest buxom beauty to be added to the cast list of Columbia's "Charlie's Angels" is Kelly Lynch. For those who don't recall, she was the sexy belle opposite Patrick Swayze in "Road House," and Matt Dillon in "Drugstore Cowboy."