Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
Charles Dickens has been attached to a great deal of controversy. He's been called a racist. An anti-Semite. An adulterer. At least that last one can be romanticized. And it will, thanks to Ralph Fiennes! In his directorial debut Coriolanus, Fiennes celebrated William Shakespeare. Now, The English Patient star is working on a tribute to another great British writer in Invisible Woman, a story about Dickens' extramarital affair with a much younger woman. It has been announced that Felicity Jones, who recently reminded us all just what it is to be in love in Like Crazy, will star as Dickens' mistress in Fiennes' film.
I'm not too certain what impact this woman had on Dickens' life, or his writing, but my initial reaction to this film isn't one of much eagerness. Sure, a great love story about the married, middle-aged novelist and an eighteen year-old girl could be interesting. But if you're going to explore a writer as brilliant as ol' Charlie D, then why focus on this aspect of his life specifically? Hopefully, the answer to this will be apparent in the film itself. This is just some premature skepticism.
On the bright side, Jones is the tops, and everybody seems to know it: Drake Doremus has cast her in his teacher-student romance film. Warren Beatty has cast her in his Howard Hughes film. And Fiennes has cast her here. Jones is no longer an invisible woman. Her career is heating up. Like crazy.
The actress was hailed as the British Artist of the Year by the Los Angeles branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Yates landed the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing, while Pixar chief and animator John Lasseter was lauded for Worldwide Contributions to Filmed Entertainment.
Scottish actor Alan Cumming hosted the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Ben Stiller was handed the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy.
Warren Beatty received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, and used his speech to thank wife Annette Bening and his sister Shirley MacLaine, both of whom attended the event.
Nigel Lythgoe, chairman of BAFTA Los Angeles, said, "Warren Beatty is an undisputed film icon who, during nearly a half-century, has created a body of work that transcends trends and remains timeless. He is a powerful and original creative force, both in front (of) and behind the camera, and it is our distinct pleasure to honour and celebrate his immense talents."
Praising the winners, Cumming told the audience, "It's all about people who have contributed things over their careers, so it's less faddy (sic) and markety (sic) and less current, and more about celebrating these people for what they've done over their entire lives."
This Friday, America will be graced with Alexander Payne's The Descendants, a movie that is resting with at least some substance on the pull of its cherished leading man: George Clooney. Although Clooney has the star power, it is important not to forget some of the smaller players in The Descendants, like Judy Greer.
Some of you might not recognize Greer by name, but you'd know her if you saw her. Greer is one of those omnipresent supporting actors, with smaller roles in countless movies. Although Greer is quite the formidable example of this type of performer, she is certainly not one the only one. See if you can guess the other supporting actors with impressive resumes from the hints provided below (the answers are below the videos)! Beware: some of the clips below are NSFW.
This Supporting Actor has played a mob boss who was outsmarted by Billy Crystal, a detective who is duped by Kevin Spacey, a gangster who befriends Robert De Niro’s son, and a nightclub owner who makes Chris Kattan very uncomfortable.
It's Chazz Palminteri!
This Supporting Actor has played a preppy WASP who is startled by Christina Ricci, the estranged biological mother of Robin Williams’ son, Warren Beatty’s unfaithful wife, and a mild-mannered reporter investigating a murderous Renée Zellweger,
It's Christine Baranski!
This Supporting Actor has played a businessman who likes to “Pow!” Will Ferrell, a taser-happy Nevada policeman with no patience for Bradley Cooper, a disloyal CIA agent who betrays Ashton Kutcher and a former military man who amps up the strength of Rob Corddry's paintball team.
It's Rob Riggle!
This Supporting Actor has played the flighty mother of an attendant of Johnny Depp’s chocolate factory, a long-named dodgeball champ who falls in love with Joel David Moore, the tentacled crewmember of Tim Allen’s space ship, and as a member of a futuristic society wherein Zach Galifianakis greets people by giving them the finger.
It's Missi Pyle!
This Supporting Actor has played a slimy gangster in a Coen Brothers movie, a bumbling producer’s assistant in a Coen Brothers movie, an inept private eye in a Coen Brothers movie and a mysterious dry cleaning investor in a Coen Brothers movie.
It's Jon Polito!
This Supporting Actor has played a med school interviewer who lost his temper with Kal Penn, the headstrong future father-in-law of Jason Biggs, a catchphrase-happy former actor involved in a folk music production starring Eugene Levy, and the captain of a space ship fostering the entire population of a very overweight humanity.
It's Fred Willard!
This Supporting Actor has played an airheaded secretary at Matthew Broderick’s high school, the neglectful mother of Juliet Lewis, an airport employee who curses out Steve Martin, and the doting assistant to a college-bound Rodney Dangerfield.
It's Edie McClurg!
This Supporting Actor has played an untrusting bureaucrat who teaches Ron Perlman how to smoke a cigar, the mayor of a village that Jim Carrey villainizes, the father of one of Ben Stiller’s camp counselors, and the co-coach of Paul Giamatti’s wrestling team. But of course, he's probably best known for his TV work...
It's Jeffrey Tambor!
This Supporting Actor has played a soldier on Tom Hanks’ rescue mission, one of the only non-imaginary friends of Russell Crowe, a college student who gets attacked by an anti-Semitic Michael Rapaport (suspension of disbelief), and a high schooler who pals around with Anthony Rapp.
It's Adam Goldberg!
This Supporting Actor has played a vindictive prep school dean who was chastised by Al Pacino, an FBI employee who is outsmarted by Joe Pesci, an underhanded politician who is outshined by Chris Rock, and the Secretary of Defense who fends off alien attackers with Will Smith.
It's James Rebhorn!
Soon-to-be 'it' girl Felicity Jones has reportedly been cast as the female lead in Warren Beatty's upcoming film about Howard Hughes.
Jones will play a young woman who ultimately falls in love with Hughes (played by writer/director Beatty), the late, notoriously wealthy and reclusive tycoon.
Jones is becoming one of Hollywood's hottest up-and-coming talents, following her critically acclaimed breakout in the recently released drama Like Crazy.
Beatty's longtime wife, Annette Bening, and friend, Jack Nicholson, are also said to be in consideration roles in the untitled film. Ditto Owen Wilson and Alec Baldwin.
It was announced this morning that decorated actor, renowned narrator and soothing uncle figure to the American public Morgan Freeman will be graced with the Cecil B. DeMille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
The award recognizes Freeman's contribution to the world of film since his early acting roles in the 1970s. Some of Freeman's most memorable big screen roles in recent years include Hoke Colburn in Driving Miss Daisy, Ellis "Red" Redding in The Shawshank Redemption, Det. Somerset in Se7en, and Nelson Mandela in Invictus.
The Cecil B. DeMille Award regularly goes to actors and filmmakers who had demonstrated a long, varied career of impressive artistic merit. Following DeMille himself in 1952, the first individual to receive the award was Walt Disney. Recent recipients include Sir Anthony Hopkins, Warren Beatty, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.
Freeman will receive the award at the 69th Annual Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012.
The G20 Summit is underway in Cannes, France with attendees including British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel, and the talks are set to be dominated by the current financial crisis in the Eurozone.
The Love Actually star has also travelled to France as part of a campaign in favour of a new Robin Hood Tax on the rich, which would see a levy imposed on large financial transactions and distributed among good causes, and he is adamant world leaders need to agree to the proposals.
He tells BBC Breakfast, "This is a 50 pence tax on every thousand pounds generated in cyberspace... It would be at each country's discretion to distribute the money as they see fit... a kind of institutionalised charity. This tax would fall quite squarely on the broad shoulders of the rich... it's also supported by some serious people like Warren Buffett... Bill Gates is about to address leaders at the summit about his support for the tax... It would be a wonderful, beautiful inexpressibly fabulous thing."
Nighy also praised campaigners around the world who have been demonstrating against corporate greed, with the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York and the camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London.
He adds, "The dignity and restraint of the protests have had an enormous effect on people around the world, not only on the Robin Hood Tax (campaign)."
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
I love celebrity gossip as much as the next person, but there are even some things that I don't even need (or want) to know about. Like details about birthing, for instance. Whether you're a celebrity or a "normal person," I still don't want to hear about the intimate details that went down while you were pushing a live human out of you. But Jessica Alba felt that this was something we were dying to know about, so she was kind enough to describe the unusual way her now six-weeks-old baby, Haven, was born. Spoiler alert: it's gross. If you're currently eating breakfast or enjoying any food or beverage, stop reading now.
During an interview with OK! UK magazine, Alba recounts being in the delivery room. She recalls, "When I delivered Haven she was born still inside the amniotic sac, which is rare. The doctor had never seen anything like it before. He grabbed the nurse and said: 'Look at this!' I was in the middle of pushing and he told me to hold on a minute and not to push! He was wearing basketball shorts and a T-shirt and said: 'Oh I have to get my scrubs on for this!' The sac burst on its own after she came out. It was a trip." I'm not sure which idea is more disturbing -- that her child was still in the amniotic sac or the fact that her doctor was wearing basketball shorts and a T-shirt while helping her. I know that these things happen quickly, but I kinda thought it was protocol to have scrubs on before performing any sort of medical service. Let's hope he washed his hands at least!
On a less gross and more interesting note, the actress also explains why she decided to name the baby, Haven. After the hard part was over, she explained, "When I was in recovery we still hadn't chosen her name. Cash picked her up and said she came into the world in her 'safe haven' and it clicked right then for both of us." No, you have not been teleported into a Lifetime movie, this actually happened. Hopefully someday, years from now, Teenage Haven will hear this poetic story and roll her eyes. But when she does, she should be thankful they chose to go with Haven over Sac Burst.
Click on the image below for more photos of Jessica Alba!
Source: OK! UK
Jessica Alba revealed on her Facebook page that she had a baby girl on Saturday. Alba wrote, "Cash and I are so excited to announce the birth of our daughter Haven Garner Warren. She was born on Saturday, weighed 7 lbs, and was 19 inches long. Healthy and happy! Big sister Honor couldn't be more excited about the new addition to our family." - HuffPo
Brooke Burke and David Charvet ended their five year engagement with a wedding in St. Barts on Friday. They are already parents to son Shaya, 3, and daughter Rain, 4 1/2. Burke also has two children from her previous marriage to Garth Fisher. - People
The View's Sherri Shepherd also got married this weekend. She and Lamar Sally tied the knot in her hometown of Chicago. Elisabeth Hasslebeck and Niecy Nash and Community's Yvette Nicole Brown were her bridesmaids. - People
Joy Behar ALSO got married on Thursday night. All we really know is that she and her partner of 29 years, Steve Janowitz, finally succumbed to all our pressure. A spokeswoman for HLN said, "She was married in New York City [on Thursday] in a private ceremony. She will discuss it on Sept. 6th on The View when the show returns for the 15th season." Congratulations to the former "spousal equivalents." - People