The upcoming film caused uproar earlier this month (Oct10) when a promotional trailer was released. The clip featured Vince Vaughn's character telling a room of people, "Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars... are gay".
Bosses at Universal Pictures agreed to pull the line from the advert, but officials at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called on studio chiefs to axe the scene from the movie, in light of a recent spate of gay teen suicides across America.
Howard refused to bow to pressure and in a letter to the Los Angles Times on Friday (29Oct10), the director explained his reasoning to keep the line in the film.
In the note, he writes, "The Dilemma is a comedy for grown-ups, not kids. It's true that the moment took on extra significance in light of some events that surrounded the release of the trailer and the studio made the decision to remove it from advertising, which I think was appropriate. I believe in sensitivity but not censorship.
"I don't strip my films of everything that I might personally find inappropriate. Comedy or drama, I'm always trying to make choices that stir the audience in all kinds of ways. If storytellers, comedians, actors and artists are strong armed into making creative changes, it will endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought."
GLAAD chiefs are unhappy with the inclusion of the line in the final cut of the film - and President Jarrett Barrios has urged Howard and movie chiefs to "bring people together" with the content of future releases.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "Unfortunately, by leaving it in the movie, they are now contributing to the problem. The conversations started as a result of the community's response to this slur will help schools, media and parents understand the impact of the word 'gay' being used as a pejorative.
"Hopefully in the future, Universal and Ron Howard will recognise the power of their words and use their films to bring people together rather than drive us apart."
The film executives agreed to replace the trailer for The Dilemma following a storm of controversy over the use of the word "gay" in it.
But they insist the scene, in which Vaughn tells a room of people, "Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars... are gay", will stay in the film.
Officials at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), state, "Since late September we have received verbal promises from Universal Pictures to remove an offensive scene from the trailer for the Ron Howard feature comedy, The Dilemma... Unfortunately the company has refused to agree to remove the scene in the movie before its January release date.
"Moreover, after promising to remove the anti-gay trailer, Universal has reportedly still not removed the trailer from theaters.
"When 'gay' is used as a pejorative in such a public way for millions to see and laugh with, it legitimises and propels the many taunts that gay people endure... We need to tell Universal and America that our community is tired of being used as a punchline."
GLAAD bosses have created an online petition, which sends e-mails directly to Universal executives.
A spokesman adds, "If Universal insists on keeping the homophobic material in the final movie they are helping to fuel a climate that endorses and promotes anti-gay attitudes."
The comedy tells the story of a married man, played by Carrey, who discovers he's gay and embarks on a crime spree which lands him in jail where he falls in love with a fellow inmate, played by McGregor.
The film has been hit with a series of delays as movie bosses became embroiled in legal wrangling over the film's finances, but a lawsuit between executives at French film studio EuropaCorp, which produced the picture, and bosses at distribution firm Consolidated has now been resolved.
The American release rights have been sold to a distribution company and the movie has been given a release date of 3 December (10).
Howard Cohen, co-president of Roadside Attractions, the company which acquired the rights, tells Deadline.com, "This is a film that everyone has been talking about and we're thrilled it became available again."
Medics Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich and Smith's companion and lawyer Howard K. Stern are accused of conspiring to illegally provide the late star with prescription drugs. All three have pleaded not guilty.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry has banned candid images of Smith, obtained by prosecutors, from being shown in court, fearing it would "sensationalise" the hearing.
The nature of the photos were not revealed, but one shot reportedly shows Eroshevich sharing a bath with Smith, supporting the District Attorney's case that the doctors acted unprofessionally and inappropriately.
However, entries from Kapoor's diary were allowed to be heard in court, and were read out by Judge Perry during a preliminary hearing on Wednesday (28Oct09).
In one entry, dated 13 June, 2005, Kapoor - who his lawyer had claimed was gay - writes, "I was making out with Anna, my patient, blurring the lines. I gave her methadone, Valium. Can she ruin me?"
Another earlier excerpt detailed Kapoor's own struggle with drugs.
In an entry from 17 November, 2002, he writes, "I also need to get off the drugs. The Buspar (anti-anxiety drug), Wellbutrin (used for depression) have to go. But first the Ambien (sedative) has got to go. Oh God, it's so addicting. I have to get off that s**t."
Smith died from an overdose of prescription pills in February, 2007.
The A League of Their Own star, who recently split from her wife Kelli Carpenter, insists she'd never date another celebrity - but she could have hooked up with the Czech beauty.
O'Donnell tells U.S. radio host Howard Stern her staff members made it clear that Nemcova, who has never confessed to being gay, was hitting on her - but the host was too focused on interviewing her to notice.
She says, "You would have to have a neon sign that said 'Rosie, I'm hitting on you' for me to get it... She did give me her phone number and we did talk on the phone a couple of times."
In the same interview, O'Donnell claimed she once almost romanced Angelina Jolie, but was too afraid of the actress to take up her offer of a dinner date.
She revealed, "We talked on the phone two or three times, but that was that. There was a tentative plan to have dinner that never came through. I was a little afraid of her. She's scary in a sexual kind of way."
The gay actress and TV personality has revealed Jolie once gave her her telephone number and the odd couple chatted, but the relationship never went any further.
In a radio chat with DJ Howard Stern on Monday (26Oct09), O'Donnell recalled, "We talked on the phone two or three times, but that was that. There was a tentative plan to have dinner that never came through.
"I was a little afraid of her. She’s scary in a sexual kind of way."
But she has never been able to get Jolie out of her mind: "I have dreams about her a lot still."
The Changeling star reportedly experimented with her sexuality before she wed Thornton - actress/model Jenny Shimizu has often claimed she was involved in a romance with the star a decade ago.
In the ever-changing west of 1882 city marshal Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) are two tough dudes out to clean up lawless towns a mission that takes them to Appaloosa. This small mining town has been taken over by a ruthless power-hungry land baron Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) who along with his band of thugs has run the place into the ground. Although their initial efforts are met with some success Cole and Hitch run into personal and professional conflict when a pretty mystery lady Allison French (Renee Zellweger) blows into town. She complicates the picture walking on the gray line between good and evil and generally making the Marshal and his No. 2 overcome unwelcome obstacles in their fight to bring Bragg and his boys to justice. The film based on the novel by Robert B. Parker smartly details the unique problems inherent in bringing law and order to an unruly West. Guiding his co-star Marcia Gay Harden in 2000’s Pollock to an Oscar Harris the director once again shows he has a natural affinity for steering his fellow actors at least most of them into superlative performances which includes himself. In fact the actor doesn’t seem to be the least intimidated in playing the leading role in a movie he also co-wrote directed and produced. Harris comes off as the embodiment of a dedicated lawman who quietly goes about his business determined to clean up the wild wild West his way with the help of a loyal deputy. Mortensen is wonderfully authentic as Harris’ partner in stopping sagebrush crime looking like he’s lived in those boots his entire life. Mortensen’s demeanor and style in the role of Everett Hitch evokes a true feel for a place and time long gone. Together these two do not seem fake or awkwardly contemporary but instead come off as the real deal. Irons is slippery and fun to watch as the devious outlaw Bragg proving as he did in his Oscar-winning Reversal of Fortune there’s nobody as good at playing subtle shades of bad. Zellweger on the other hand lets her acting show at every turn. To be fair her character rarely adds up but she does nothing to give any dimension beyond the obvious to a woman courting both sides of the law. In only his second outing behind the camera in a decade Harris shows Pollock was no fluke. Clearly enamored with the era he nobly honors the great American western tradition crafting a film that fits in with some of the best examples Hollywood has turned out. Some may complain that Appaloosa is long on talk and short on action but the time director Harris devotes to letting his characters develop is far more satisfying than a lot of pointless violence that many Westerns wallow in. Like Howard Hawks’ 1959 classic Rio Bravo this is an honest tale of the camaraderie between a pair of lawmen simply trying to do a job. This is a director whose emphasis is focused on his cast and he’s picked them very carefully right down to the smallest roles surrounding himself with a lot of terrific character actors. Just as impressive are the top notch production values including cinematographer Dean Semler’s stunning New Mexico landscapes.
First published just as World War II was ending Evelyn Waugh’s weighty literary masterpiece was turned into a wildly successful British mini-series in 1981. For some strange reason however Brideshead Revisited has never been given a motion picture adaptation--until now. Although the story basically remains the same much of plot threads have been dropped or truncated and some liberty has been taken with at least one major character. Set in the pre-World War II era this romantic tale spans a couple of decades telling the saga of atheist Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode) and his fascination even obsession with the very regal and very catholic Marchmain family--now led by ultra-stiff matriarch Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson) whose husband (Michael Gambon) is AWOL with his Italian mistress (Greta Scacchi). Centering around his “friendship” with the charming and adventurous son Sebastian (Ben Whishaw) Charles’ affections and apparent sexual confusion find new fodder with Sebastian’s beautiful sister Julia (Hayley Atwell). When the threesome take off for Venice to visit patriarch Lord Marchmain the romance between Charles and Julia takes off causing numerous complications for everyone involved. Rising star Goode so fine in Woody Allen’s Match Point meets his promise here making the ideal Charles a young man flirting with his own sexual and religious identity in the fallow period between World Wars. His charm quotient is so heavy it’s easy to see how he could attract both Sebastian and Julia equally well-played by Whishaw and Atwell. Whishaw (I'm Not There) nails the wild side of his character taking Sebastian much further into gay territory than suggested in either the book or the mini-series. Atwell’s Julia also takes a departure from previous versions particularly when she joins the guys in Venice--a plot turn solely invented for this film adaptation. It has the effect of increasing the tension sexual and otherwise between the three main characters and allows the film to fully focus on this aspect of Waugh’s original story. Atwell is a real find who fully explores the confused but captivated journey Julia must take. Sprightly two-time Oscar winner Thompson is at first glance an odd choice to play the unbending Lady Marchmain but she proves her worth giving the woman an extra dimension of humanity she doesn’t appear to have when we first meet her. Gambon is superb as the family’s dying patriarch with fine support from the still-beautiful Scacchi as his mistress. Young British director Julian Jarrold followed his feature debut the refreshing offbeat comedy Kinky Boots with last summer’s bland and boring Jane Austen period piece Becoming Jane. With the hot-blooded Brideshead adaptation he is on his game again clearly demonstrating complete control over the sprawling story and intertwined relationships that are key to Waugh’s novel. Choosing to focus on the central triangle of Sebastian Charles and Julia more fully than ever before is a wise decision and brings the audience right in to the thick of things rather than taking the many side trips of the mini-series. Of course with only two hours instead of 12 painful decisions had to be made and Jarrold with screenwriters Andrew Davies and Jeremy Brock have delivered a version that meets our expectations without dashing them. Unless of course you are a Waugh purist in which case it’s probably best to revisit the mini-series. There can be no argument about the visual splendors provided here though particularly the location filming at Castle Howard one of England’s oldest and most striking estates. Waugh’s extensive descriptions of the splendors of Brideshead Manor are perfectly realized through the spot-on choice of locales and the film’s superb cinematography and production design.
Based on an award winning book by Natalie Robins and Steven M.L. Aronson Savage Grace is a true story of a societal poseur Barbara Daly (Julianne Moore) who climbs her way into a different class by marrying Brookes Baekeland (Stephen Dillane) heir to a plastics fortune. Soon the birth of their only child Tony turns their union upside down as the boy becomes uncommonly close with his mother and remains a failure in his father’s eyes. As the story spans years ranging from 1946 to 1972 dad disappears into his own world of work and affairs while Barbara becomes increasingly lonely desperate and clingy--entering into an incestuous tryst with her now grown son (Eddie Redmayne) a homosexual. The film details her pathetic attempts at presenting herself as something she’s not as she carries on the unnatural relationship-- which eventually leads to tragic consequences. There is no question Julianne Moore is perhaps the most courageous certainly most daring actress of her generation. Again in Savage Grace she proves herself willing to do anything and go further than most. Unfortunately the stilted dialogue and tone of the piece don’t do her any favors. We never get the feeling we’re watching real life unfold as most of these characters speak like they are in a stage production. Nevertheless Moore--with her flaming red hair and open sexuality--is still a treat to watch. Her Barbara is sensual dangerous and unpredictable. British thesp Dillane (HBO’s John Adams) proves again he can do just about anything and rises above the melodramatic script--mostly in the film’s first half. Redmayne’s Tony--a twisted mama’s boy trying to carve out his own identity--is rather hopeless and the actor struggles to make us empathize with him. Hugh Dancy turns up as Simon a gay friend of the family who winds up in a threesome with mother and son. Director Tom Kalin does no favors for his actors by creating a fake atmosphere around them. Even though Savage Grace is shot on a number of glamorous worldwide locations it feels small and claustrophobic. Kalin--like his talented cast--seems a little defeated by screenwriter Howard A. Rodman’s dreary and soapy script heavy with bloated dialogue and far-fetched situations. Writer and director seem to have taken a number of liberties with the real life story and the book the film is based on instead “interpreting” the characters actions from photographs taken at the time. Unfortunately their technique leaves the audience out of the loop. Rarely has a movie particularly one with the gifted Moore seemed so distant and uninvolving. Graphic sexual scenes in the unrated film seem only there to shock not enlighten and by the end we know little more about the Baekeland saga than we did going in.
Anna Nicole Smith's longtime companion Howard K. Stern has blasted reports of a sex tape documenting his alleged gay affair with Larry Birkhead as "absolutely absurd."
The rumors emerged after journalist Rita Cosby made the allegations in her book Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death, claiming the late model's two former lovers had been caught having sex on camera.
But Stern insists the reports are all based on "false information."
He tells Entertainment Tonight, "Most of these... sources to Rita Cosby's book, they were doing media after media interview after Anna passed away and they took every shot at me that their imaginations could possibly dream up.
"And all of a sudden, the same people are coming back and they're saying, 'Oh, by the way, I forgot… Howard and Larry are gay and there's a video of them together.' It's ridiculous. I mean it's absolutely absurd.
"That woman Rita Cosby is either the dumbest person on earth or she knows that she's printing false information. And I don't think she's the dumbest person on earth."
And Stern is worried about the impact the rumors will have on Smith and Birkhead's 1-year-old daughter Dannielynn when she is old enough to understand the allegations.
He adds, "Dannielynn is gonna read this garbage and it's almost like she's going have to get counseling from the age of three."
Photographer Birkhead is already preparing to sue Cosby and the book's publisher over the accusations.
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