Tom Arnold has slammed his Sin City Saints co-star Malin Akerman's ex-husband, insisting the actress is an inspiration for how she dealt with her 2013 divorce. The actor admits he is in awe of the way Akerman conducts herself as a parent and ex-wife - and he has taken to the airwaves to blast rocker Roberto Zincone for allegedly abandoning her four months after she became a mum.
He tells U.S. shock jock Howard Stern, "I probably shouldn't talk about her but... I have so much respect for her. She is such an amazing woman.
"You know, her husband, they're together 10 years, they have a baby, (and) four months in, he's like, 'I'm done'. So, she not only pays him alimony to take care of this guy, but I watched her as a mother, and I was like, 'This is the most inspiring woman. I'm not gonna (sic) complain about anything in my life'. She is incredible. She is an inspiration."
The Watchmen star confessed life had been difficult since her marriage split and divorce in an upbeat pre-New Year's social media post to fans in December (14), writing, "As I reflect upon this past year, I can't help but think about all the ups and downs... everything that helps us grow as human beings. No matter how painful, no matter how joyful, life is a miracle! It is beautiful.
"And the fact that I have this little life to enjoy it all with brings me the biggest joy ever!! I am beyond #thankful for everything that I have been given."
Downton Abbey star Allen Leech has praised George Clooney for his comedy turn during the drama's special charity episode. The Ocean's Eleven star will reportedly play an American wedding guest in a one-off sketch to raise money for upcoming British charity fundraiser Text Santa.
Leech, who stars as widowed chauffeur Tom Branson, promises fans an hilarious TV moment, telling E! News, "It was great... And I don't want to spoil it but it's very, very funny, I've seen it and the interactions that George has with everyone in the cast are hilarious, so I think everyone will enjoy it and it will be a real treat and it was great of him to come in and do something like that for us."
Clooney also proved a hit with the ladies on set - Leech adds, "I'll put it this way: I've never seen so many female crew members arrive and be on set when they weren't actually supposed to be. It was very interesting."
Leech's co-star Laura Carmichael also let slip that Clooney's character kisses Dame Maggie Smith's stern Dowager Countess of Grantham during the sketch, which will air during the Text Santa U.K. telethon on 19 December (14).
Bill Murray missed out on the lead in beloved 1994 movie Forrest Gump. In an interview with satellite radio presenter Howard Stern, the Lost in Translation star opened up about some of the acclaimed roles he passed on and admitted he came close to stealing the Gump role from Tom Hanks, who went on to win his first Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the simple American hero.
Murray said, "I did have conversations (about the role). I think I had the original book and all that sort of stuff."
The funnyman also revealed he was briefly in talks for another Hanks film - Philadelphia.
He revealed, "It was on the back burner. I would have liked to have done that one."
Murray was reportedly up for the role of lawyer Joe Miller, a part which eventually went to Denzel Washington.
British actor Tom Hardy is convinced he is lucky to be alive after battling drug addiction. The Dark Knight Rises star fell into a downward spiral of alcohol, illegal substance abuse and criminal behaviour in his youth before kicking his addictions in 2003.
Hardy now refers to his battle with drugs as a "near-death experience" and insists a stern warning from a friend brought him back from the brink of self-destruction.
He tells U.S. Esquire magazine, "I was a shameful suburban statistic. I was told very clearly, 'You go down that road, Tom, you won't come back. That's it. All you need to know.' And that message stayed with me very clearly for the rest of my days. The beginning, really, of a new life. I couldn't value life until I risk losing something worth more to me than my behaviour (sic). I am f**king lucky to be here, to be honest.
"Any near-death experience - if you're lucky enough to f**king realise that it is one - is going to leave an indelible mark on you. And then you add shame and guilt and fear into that, it's a recipe for awareness if you have the ability to become aware from it. And good things can come back into your life."
Downton is abuzz with an impending party .. but when are they not having one?
Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) is surprised by the appearance of the newly named Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen). They begin to bond and Mary begins to resemble her former self. Is it too much to hope for the slight-delivering, passive aggressive Lady Mary from Series 1? Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) invites Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards) in the hopes that he will win the respect of her parents. Good luck, Lady Edith ... you’re the 1920’s answer to the Cathy comics. Ack! Terence Sampson (Patrick Kennedy) arrives on the scene and convinces everyone to play cards including Earl Grantham (Hugh Bonneville). Luckily, Mr. Gregson wins back all the money and exposes the dirty dealings of Sampson.
Meanwhile, everyone seems to be really inconsiderate of poor Tom (Allen Leech). A guest asks him about Lady Sybil. Isobel (Penelope Wilton) arrives to the party despite mourning. Then in true shady fashion she complains about her sadness to Tom despite the fact that he’s a widower. Sure, she lost a child but is it anyone’s place to give someone survivor’s guilt? Tom confesses that he doesn’t feel like he belongs with the family. Scheming Miss Braithwaite (MyAnna Buring) brings him a huge glass of whiskey and then shows up at his room late in the night.
The drama: Lady Rose MacClare (Lily James) surprises everyone, including Lady Mary, by bringing down Matthew’s old phonograph. Lord Grantham has Australian opera singer Nellie Melba (Kiri Te Kanawa) dine in her room until Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern) corrects his error. Also, what the hell is going to happen if anyone founds out that Tom slummed it with Braithwaite?
Carson (Jim Carter) is his usually stern self as everyone is working double duty in entertaining mode. Lord Gillingham’s valet (Nigel Harman), known only as Mr. Gillingham, arrives on the scene and befriends Anna (Joanne Froggatt) much to Mr. Bates’ dismay (Brendan Coyle). Trying to impress Ivy (Cara Theobold) Jimmy (Ed Speleers) falls and hurts his hand. A broke Mr. Molesley (Kevin Doyle), has been complaining all over town how broke he is and taking odd jobs. And yet, when asked to be a footman in place of Jimmy, he complains a lot.
Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) has a panic attack. Alfred (Matt Milne) makes the sauce and discovers a love for cooking. Anna has a headache so she excuses herself during the opera performance. In a disturbing turn of events, Anna gets violently raped by Mr. Gillingham. Too scared to tell her husband, she enlists Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) for help in covering it up. This is a huge departure from Downton's normal drama. Is having lovable and sweet Anna attacked too far or is it the right level of drama for the show? After all, times are changing as we approach the 1920s.
The drama: Anna can’t tell Mr. Bates because she’s worried he will go nuts and kill her attacker. Clearly, he’s a little unhinged. If memory serves he didn’t even kill his wife despite being arrested for her murder.
What does one say to a singer? - Lord Grantham
Screaming in the servant’s hall, singers chatting to his lordship and a footman cooking the dinner what a topsy-turvy world we’ve come to. - Carson
I’m afraid Tom’s small talk is very small. - Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith)
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Actress Katie Holmes joined rocker Lenny Kravitz, funnywoman Ellen Degeneres and politician Colin Powell onstage for a bizarre finale at a party thrown by businessman Ron Perelman at the weekend (24-25Aug13). Tom Cruise's ex-wife was among guests at the event at Perelman's home in the Hamptons, New York on Saturday (24Aug13), which was also attended by Billy Joel, Anjelica Huston, Howard Stern, and John McEnroe.
Stars including Jon Bon Jovi, Darlene Love, and Mary J. Blige performed for the evening, which was dubbed Apollo in the Hamptons, but it was during Kravitz's headline set that the night took an odd turn.
Several guests including Holmes, DeGeneres, Jamie Foxx, Ciara, Pharrell Williams, and the Roots joined the Fly Away hitmaker for a unique performance, which included a snippet of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.
According to New York Post gossip column Page Six, Holmes later told pals, "I haven't had such a good time in so long."
The event reportedly raised more than $3 million (£2 million) for education and culture programs at New York's Apollo Theater.
Disconnect is the Crash of the Internet age. Like the Best Picture-winner the stories are somewhat interconnected. It also takes itself very, very seriously. Although it has some salient points about how the Internet has affected our relationships, Disconnect comes off more like a sort of 21st century Reefer Madness about technology.
The phrase "concern-trolling" comes to mind. One of its many definitions is when someone appears to empathize with a troubling situation, but that concern is really condescending or, worse yet, barely masked schadenfreude and derision. Although I don't actually think that writer Andrew Stern and director Henry-Alex Rubin (Murderball) are enjoying the paces they put these characters through, the overall effect is one of insincerity.
Although the Internet can be a hazardous place for people of all ages, these characters' stories come across as Lifetime movie fodder. The kid who's humiliated via Facebook by two male peers isn't just withdrawn, he pouts at the world from beneath the most impressive bangs this side of Thrasher Magazine. One of his bullies is, of course, bullied himself by his resentful dad, a former cop who had to become a PI to support them after his wife died. In another subplot, a hot teen makes money getting his kit off for strangers with webcams and lives in a sort of flophouse owned by the sleazy pseudo-pimp who runs the cam site. When a journalist sniffs out this webcam ring as a great story, the line between professional and personal get blurry. For a grieving mother and wife, the succor of an online support group inadvertently gets her sucked into a phishing scam that almost ruins her and her husband's lives.
Maybe if Disconnect focused on just one of these stories, or even two interconnected ones, it wouldn't come off so overwhelmingly maudlin. Some of the concerns are terribly dated or simply ludicrous; I can't get over the fact that the term "sexcam" is used, as well as the weirdly hysterical idea of a sweatshop of possibly underage teens lured into the world of web-camming with a hot meal and a place to crash. The movie can be effective in parts, though. The Facebook bullying plotline is painfully relevant, even though it's played for high melodrama. It gives us all a disturbing look at how easy social media has made bullying, and how hard it is to escape it.
Disconnect gives some underused actors a chance to gnaw some scenery. Jason Bateman's role of the grieving and angry dad allows him to explore his darker, more sensitive side — some of his scenes are the most affecting. Andrea Riseborough is a wonderful chameleon who dons sensible suits and French-tipped manicures for her performance as a news anchor hoping to bring her career to the next level. Alexander Skarsgard is oddly effective as an emotionally stunted husband, even though it's hard to take him really seriously as an office drone. The rest of the cast — Max Thieriot, Paula Patton, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Michael Nyqvist, and Colin Ford — are decent enough, given what they have to work with. Fashion designer Mark Jacobs, who plays Harvey the webcam pimp, is an amazing bit of stunt casting, though he shouldn't quit his day job.
Disconnect is oddly dark and murky, but luckily cinematographer Ken Seng left his Project X shaky handheld style at home. Max Richter is an incredible composer, but in conjunction with the overripe dramatics onscreen, it all becomes a bit much. We get it, people are disconnected from each other, their feelings, and their sexuality, but isn't there some room for happiness and joy that isn't tinged with pain amid all this tragedy?
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Sunday night marked the 2013 Academy Awards, when the best and the brightest in Hollywood gathered to celebrate the best and the brightest filmmaking of the year. And the ceremony came complete with a few surprises. Not only did Life of Pi walk away with the most wins of the evening — four Oscars — but the film's Ang Lee eked out David O. Russell and Steven Spielberg for Best Director. But there were some expected finishes as well: Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress, Daniel Day-Lewis took Best Actor, and Adele even scored Best Original Song for "Skyfall."
But who else picked up awards? Check out the full list of winners below!
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The 2013 Academy Award Winners:
Best Picture:Beasts Of The Southern WildSilver Lingings PlaybookZero Dark ThirtyLincolnLes MiserablesLife Of PiDjango UnchainedWinner: ArgoAmour
Best Actor:Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis, LincolnDenzel Washington, FlightHugh Jackman, Les MiserablesBradley Cooper, Silver Linings PlaybookJoaquin Phoenix, The Master
Best Actress:Naomi Watts, The ImpossibleJessica Chastain, Zero Dark ThirtyWinner: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings PlaybookEmmanuelle Riva, AmourQuvenzhane Wallis, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
The 2013 Academy Award Winners:Best Director:David O. Russell, Silver Linings PlaybookWinner: Ang Lee, Life Of PiSteven Spielberg, LincolnMichael Haneke, AmourBenh Zeitlin,Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Best Writing, Original Screenplay:Flight, Written by John GatinsZero Dark Thirty, Written by Mark BoalWinner: Django Unchained, Written by Quentin TarantinoAmour, Written by Michael HanekeMoonrise Kingdom, Written by West Anderson and Roman Coppola
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay:Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Screenplay by Lucy Alibar and Benh ZeitlinWinner: Argo, Written by Chris TerrioLincoln, Written by Tony KushnerSilver Linings Playbook, Written by David O. RussellLife Of Pi, Written by David Magee
Best Original Song:"Before My Time," Chasing Ice, Music and Lyric from J. Ralph"Pi Lullaby," Life Of Pi, Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri"Suddenly," Les Miserables, Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boubill"Everybody Needs a Best Friend," Ted, Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlaneWinner: "Skyfall," Skyfall, Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
Best Original Score:Anna Karenina, Dario MarianelliArgo, Alexandre DesplatWinner: Life Of Pi, Mychael DannaLincoln, John WilliamsSkyfall, Thomas Newman
Best Production Design:Anna Karenina, Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)Les Miserables, Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Design)Life Of Pi, David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)Winner: Lincoln, Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)
Best Achievement in Film Editing:Winner: Argo, William GoldenbergLife Of Pi, Tim SquyresLincoln, Michael KahnSilver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy and Crispin StruthersZero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg
Best Supporting Actress:Sally Field, LincolnWinner: Anne Hathaway, Les MiserablesJacki Weaver, Silver Linings PlaybookHelen Hunt, The SessionsAmy Adams, The Master
Best Achievement in Sound Editing:Argo, Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der RynDjango Unchained, Wylie StatemanLife Of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip StocktonWinner: Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker LandersWinner: Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing:Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, and Jose Antonio GarciaWinner: Les Miserables, Andy Nelson, Mark Peterson, and Simon HayesLife Of Pi, Rob Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew KuninLincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Ronald JudkinsSkyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, and Stuart Wilson
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Best Foreign Language Film of the Year:Winner: Amour, AustriaNo, ChileWar Witch, CanadaA Royal Affair, DenmarkKon-Tiki, Norway
Best Documentary Feature:5 Broken CamerasThe GatekeepersHow To Survive A PlagueThe Invisible WarWinner: Searching For Sugar Man
Best Documentary Short:Winner: Inocente, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix FineKings Point, Sari Gilman and Jedd WiderMondays At Racine, Cynthia Wade and Robin HonanOpen Heart, Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd SternRedemption, Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill
Best Live Action Short Film:Asad, Bryan Buckley and Mino JarjouraBuzkashi Boys, Sam French and Ariel NasrWinner: Curfew, Shawn ChristensenDeath Of A Shadow (Dood Van Een Schadow), Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De WaeleHenry, Yan England
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling:Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, and Martin SamuelThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater, and Tami LaneWinner: Les Miserables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
Best Achievement in Costume Design:Winner: Anna Karenina, Jacqueline DurranLes Miserables, Paco DelgadoLincoln, Joanna JohnstonMirror Mirror, Eiko IshiokaSnow White And The Huntsman, Colleen Atwood
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Best Achievement in Visual Effects:The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, and R. Christopher WhiteWinner: Life Of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. ElliottMarvel's The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan SudickPrometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin HillSnow White And The Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson
Best Achievement in Cinematography:Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarveyDjango Unchained, Robert RichardsonWinner: Life Of Pi, Claudio MirandaLincoln, Janusz KaminskiSkyfall, Roger Deakins
Best Animated Feature:FrankenweenieThe Pirates! Band Of MisfitsWreck It RalphParaNormanWinner: Brave
Best Animated Short Film:Adam And Dog, Minkyu LeeFresh Guacamole, PESHead Over Heels, Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'ReillyMaggie Simpson In "The Longest Daycare," David SilvermanWinner: Paperman, John Kahrs
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Best Supporting Actor:Winner: Christoph Waltz, Django UnchainedPhilip Seymour Hoffman, The MasterRobert De Niro, Silver Linings PlaybookAlan Arkin, ArgoTommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: Joe Klamar/Getty Images]
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Oscars 2013 Red Carpet Arrivals: PICS!
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Shaken to life by a loving sunbeam this morning, I awoke with the inclination that today would be different. Today, I would stumble upon that intangible thing I have so desperately been looking all these years. A tall order, of course — perhaps one I was far too ready to accept. One that I should have known would prove to be, just like each and every one of my dreams, an impossibility. Early on in the workday, I grabbed hold of what just might have been the key to this new wave — a piece of monumental, stirring, transcendental poetry penned by the unlikeliest of sources: Shia LaBeouf. A dark, albeit life-affirming adage written by the 26-year-old actor in an effort to illustrate to Alec Baldwin, and the world, the true definition of manhood.
A poem that nearly changed my life.
A poem that took me on a journey through and beyond the very fabrics of the reality we've come to accept as our universe.
A poem that, as I now know, was plagiarized.
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Let's back up a bit. It was announced on Wednesday that LaBeouf would be leaving the cast of the Broadway play Orphan just over a month prior to its April debut, in which he was set to star opposite Baldwin and actor Tom Sturridge (it was announced Thursday that LaBeouf has been replaced by actor Ben Foster). E! reported the standard "creative differences" spiel via LaBeouf's rep, leaving us to surmise that it might have been any one of the usual issues — money, scheduling, the actor's sudden realization that there weren't actually any alien robots in this play — that led to his departure.
But following the revelation, we got wind of a new amendment to the story, rooting LaBeouf's choice to leave in a mysterious feud upheld with costar Baldwin. LaBeouf braved the oceans of Twitter to post the following pair of emails. First LaBeouf tweeted a reasonably coherent message from Baldwin to LaBeouf, but then he revealed the real the coup de grâce: LaBeouf's initial apology to Baldwin, a poetric triumph destined to launch any daring reader upon a mind-boggling adventure to new levels of conscious thought. LaBeouf writes:
My dad was a drug dealer. He was a shit human. What I know of men Alec is-A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job.A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers.A man owns up. That's why Mark McGwire is not a man. A man grasps his mistakes. He lays claim to who he is, and what he is, and whether he likes them or not.Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt.He does not rely on rationalizations or explanations. He doesn't winnow, winnow, winnow until truths can be humbly categorized, or intellectualized, until behavior can be written off without an explanation.A man knows his tools and how to use them — just the ones he needs. Knows which saw is for what, how to find the stud.A man does not know everything. He doesn't try. He likes what other men know.A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to.He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it's just to put an end to the bickering.Alec, I'm sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation.Shia
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Following my initial read-through of the bonkers diatribe, I reflected upon my very state of being. I have experienced a wide variety of emotions in my 24 years as a human (and brief six-month stint as a cutlery vendor). I've known sorrows so deep they'd rival the Mariana Trench, joys so high as to call envy from the Himalayan Vulture. But a new wave of feelings overtook me upon reading LaBeouf's email. I couldn't just sit on this spiritual awakening, but I knew that the world would better deserve thoughts far and beyond that of which I was capable. So, to Gchat I ventured.
I contacted every academic I know — literary analysts, editors, English teachers, college professors, playwrights, novelists, publishers, screenwriters. I promised each a venue to showcase his or her penchant for the written word: an article delving into the poetic merit and psycholoanalytical substance of LaBeouf's writing. I staked my reputation on this post. It was going to be my big break.
But then, midway through my Internet forays, Jezebel broke the news that LaBeouf had not written the poem himself. He plagiarized it from a 2009 Esquire essay by Tom Chiarella.
And to be honest, we should have known. It's not like there weren't clues. For instance, the stolen portion of the email — beginning with the second line, "A man is as good as his job," and ending with "just to put an end to the bickering" — is perfectly sound in terms of grammar and punctuation, and yet it is sandwiched between introductory and conclusive sentences that would earn a third grade student a stern, red-inked "See Me!" The use of words like "avocation" seems far from the reach of the Transformers star. The mention of Mark McGwire feels particularly anachronistic.
'Transformers 4' Replaces Shia LaBeouf with Jack Reynor
So yes, we should have known. We just wanted to believe. I wanted to believe. I just wanted to feel like the universe was not confined to the stagnant observations in which I've been festering for more than two decades. I wanted to create something to make others feel the way LaBeouf had made me feel, channeling the talented cohorts I had acquired over the years to result in something wholly invaluable. I wanted this to mean something.
But instead, we're left with the same murky, dilapidated, old reality — one filled with lying actors and average Esquire poems that seem entirely less inspiring when you know that an actual writer wrote them. Life, once again, is meaningless.
And while we're really no worse off than we were yesterday, we've been teased with the perilous idea of false hope. We're thrown back into the drawer of knives that is our day-to-day. We're in pain, we're restless, we're alone.
And it's all because of Shia LaBeouf. As we all imagined it someday would be.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.
[Photo Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images]
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