After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has contributed a foreword to an ex-girlfriend's book, despite it revealing lurid details of his love-life and cannabis smoking.
The Terminator actor-turned-politician dated Barbara Outland Baker, 58, between 1969 and 1975.
Her new memoirs Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak detail how Schwarzenegger, 59, allegedly persuaded Outland Baker to surrender her virginity to him, and that she later discovered the star had affairs during their relationship.
The book also claims Schwarzenegger enjoyed "Maui-wowie" marijuana and details the time the couple watched porn film Deep Throat together, as well as his use of anabolic steroids, which he has since admitted.
The muscle-bound star was also reportedly upset when footage of him weight-lifting was used without his permission in a homosexual porn movie.
But, despite campaigning for re-election in November, the California governor granted Outland Baker a three hour interview for the book and even writes in the foreword that "sometimes Barbara's recollection of events differs from my own."
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Top Story: Hawaiians Keep Local on Idol
If there is one thing TV viewers have learned from the third installment of Fox's American Idol it's that the best singers don't always necessarily win, and judge Simon Cowell was right when he said Hawaiian native Jasmine Trias owed her home state a lot of thank you letters. Instead of getting the boot for her mediocre performance this week, Trias got a boost from the Aloha State. A Verizon spokesman told The Associated Press Thursday of the 29 states in the phone company's local territory, only New York and California logged more calls on its network than Hawaii after the show aired. The AP noted Hawaiian viewers also benefit from a less-crowded calling period to cast votes since the state is six hours behind the East Coast. To sweeten the pot, many in Hawaii are campaigning for Trias, including, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a local newspaper, a radio hosts and a TV news anchor at KHON, who signed off with a reminder to vote for Trias. In the show's finale, which airs May 25-26, Trias, Fantasia Barrino or Diana DeGarmo will be the crowned American Idol and win a coveted record contract.
Rupert Gets $1 Million Survivor Consolation Prize
Rupert Boneham, the bearded giant from Indianapolis, won the $1 million consolation prize during CBS' special edition of Survivor All-Stars Thursday night, which host Jeff Probst jokingly referred to as America's Tribal Council. During the Sunday night finale, CBS had called on fans to vote one of the losing 17 contestants of Survivor All-Stars a second million-dollar prize. Following winner Boneham in the votes were Tom Buchanan, Colby Donaldson and "Boston Rob" Mariano-who lost the show's initial $1 million prize to his fiancée, Amber Brkich. And get ready for more Survivor love-fest: Mariano and Brkich, who became engaged during Sunday's live finale, said a network had approached them about televising their wedding.
Frasier Crane Has Left the Building
The multiple Emmy-winning NBC comedy Frasier ended it 11-year run Thursday night with its trademark antics: Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and wife Daphne (Jane Leeves) welcomed their first child, while Martin (John Mahoney) got hitched to Ronee (Wendie Malick). Series star Frasier, Kelsey Grammer, made the decision to leave Seattle and accept a new job hosting a TV show in San Francisco. But the surprise came during final scene, which showed Frasier in a plane touching down with the pilot announcing, "Welcome to Chicago"--the city where his potential soul mate Charlotte (Laura Linney) had just moved. The touching farewell will surely fuel rumors of a possible spin-off in the Windy City.
Jackson Prosecutors Want Gag Order Upheld
Santa Barbara County prosecutors submitted a letter to the state Supreme Court Thursday asking that a gag in the Michael Jackson child molestation case be upheld in order in order to maintain an untainted jury pool. The letter comes in response to a request from news organizations to lift the gag order, which bars anyone connected to the case from talking about it. Attorney Theodore Boutrous, who represents the news organizations, said in an interview the prosecution's attack on the news media access was unusual. "The notion that public information should be limited in cases where public interest is the highest offends First Amendment values," Boutrous said. The Supreme Court has asked both sides to submit arguments by Friday.
Kelly Rowlands Engaged to Dallas Cowboy
Columbia Records announced Friday that Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland is engaged to Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams. Williams proposed in New York on Monday in a room filled with friends--including fellow Destiny's Child singer Beyoncé Knowles, AP reports. Rowland and Williams, both 23, haven't set a date for the wedding. They have been dating for about six months. Rowland, who won a Grammy last year for collaborating with Nelly on the hit single "Dilemma" from her solo albumSimply Deep, is due back in the studio with Destiny's Child next month to record a new album.
Weinstein To Publish Memoirs
Publisher HarperCollins announced Thursday that Miramax film studio co-founder Harvey Weinstein is writing a memoir. Weinstein, known for his feisty temper and producing critically acclaimed films, will tell the history of how he and his brother Bob grew up in a "lower-middle class" household in Queens, New York, and founded the studio named after their parents, Miriam and Max, Reuters reports. "This book offers a great opportunity to share many of the lessons I've learned about the business world and the entertainment industry over the past 25 years," Weinstein said in a news release. The book is due out in 2006.
Osmonds Beef Up Security at Mother's Funeral
The Osmond family has upped security for Olive Osmond's funeral after being informed of rumors of a $30,000 bounty for a photograph of the family matriarch in her coffin. According to the AP, fans contacted the Osmond Brothers to let them know them a Web site had posted a rumor offering money for "a photograph of Mrs. Osmond with the children around the coffin mourning, but they want her in the coffin." Osmond family spokesman Ron Clark didn't corroborate the rumor, but said extra security had been added for the Saturday funeral at Provo's Oak Hills Stake Center, a meetinghouse for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Olive Osmond, mother of Donny and Marie Osmond and other members of the Utah entertainment family, died Sunday of complications from a stroke at the age of 79.
Role Call: Bruce Almighty Sequel in Works
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Spyglass are in talks to mount a Bruce Almighty sequel based on the freestanding script The Passion of the Ark from Bobby Florsheim and Josh Stolberg. According to Variety, but the plan is to court Jim Carrey to reprise and to have Tom Shadyac return as director.
Just call Jennifer Lopez a renaissance woman. She dances, sings, acts, owns her own film production company and now she's the proud owner of a new restaurant called Madre's.
Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Cuban-themed, family-style eatery opened Friday night and Lopez's husband Chris Judd and actress Nicole Kidman were among those who joined Lopez in celebration.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts--Los Angeles presented their Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film to Star Wars director George Lucas on Friday night. The award was part of the 11th annual Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills.
Remember Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr's ex? These days he's been busy giving away words of wisdom to high school students on behalf of the Creative Coalition, lobbyists for arts in public schools and campaign finance reform, The Associated Press reports. Arnold's most recent pearls of knowledge include staying away from drugs and alcohol, following your dreams and avoiding becoming famous by marrying someone who was famous first. Don't you think Nicole Kidman would agree?
Actress/activist Jane Fonda has been instrumental in securing a new home for several unwed mothers recently. Oak Haven--a refuge for up to six teen mothers and their children--is located in Dalton, Ga. Fonda, who founded the Georgia Council for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, has worked with the state's legislature to secure $2.4 million for seven group homes throughout Georgia, the AP reports.
In the Biz
Japanese animation has fared well in U.S. box offices before (take Pokeman, for example), but Walt Disney Studios is hoping Spirited Away will be really big. They've just acquired all domestic theatrical, video and television rights to Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature--Japan's highest-grossing film of all time--Variety reports. The movie is slated for a U.S. release this fall.
David Letterman's up to his old antics again--the ridiculous. According to The Miami Herald, he has booked the entire senior class of Harrold, South Dakota's Harrold High School to appear on his Late Show. What's the big deal? Harrold High is so small it only has one person graduating! Nice to know our tax dollars are going to good use up there in the Black Hills.
Rocker Lenny Kravitz is hitting the road again starting July 12, Rolling Stone magazine reports. After a three-year hiatus, the four-time Grammy winner will promote his sixth studio album, Lenny, on a 33 city tour. Pink and Abandoned Pools will open for Kravitz.
One of the biggest hip-hop tours in history has been cancelled, SonicNet Music reports. The Triple Threat Tour, featuring Ja Rule, Jay-Z and P. Diddy was supposed to go live June 12, but according to Ja Rule's Murder, Inc. CEO, Irv Giotti, "Jay pulled out. It's as simple as that." OK, so the tour's cancelled; at least we have CDs.
An image of John Lennon's blood-stained glasses--from the night he was shot dead--is being auctioned at Bonhams in London on April 17. The photograph was taken by the former Beatle's wife, Yoko Ono, and is one of six prints. The owner of the print is selling it to raise funds for Artist Residencies of Tokyo (ART). In which room of your house would you hang a photo like that?