British actor Timothy Spall's expected march to a Best Actor Oscar has begun after the Harry Potter star picked up a top award at the Cannes International Film Festival on Saturday (24May14). Spall was feted with the Best Actor prize for his acclaimed performance as artist J.M.W Turner in director Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner.
Accepting his prize, the overcome star told the Cannes audience, "I've always been the bridesmaid, it's nice to be the bride."
Meanwhile, the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or for best film was awarded to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Winter's Sleep.
The Turkish director has become a regular winner at Cannes; he has also picked up honours in past years for Uzak, Three Monkeys and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, but he becomes only the second Turk to pick up the Palme d'Or.
Julianne Moore was also a big winner on Saturday evening (24May14) - she claimed the festival's Best Actress award for her role in David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars; and Moneyball director Bennett Miller picked up the Best Director prize for his new film Foxcatcher, which is based on a real-life U.S. wrestling drama. The film is an early favourite for a Best Picture Oscar.
The full list of Cannes Film Festival main prize winners is:
Palme d'Or - Nuri Bilge Ceylan for (Winter's Sleep)
The Grand Prix - The Wonders
Best Director - Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
The Jury prize - Xavier Dolan's Mommy and Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language
Best Screenplay - Andrei Zvyagintsev (Leviathan)
Best Actress - Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars)
Best Actor - Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)
Camera d'Or - Party Girl
When did reality television make its biggest disconnect from actual reality? Was it when people willingly ate live insects for money/the voyeuristic Schadenfreude nature of our society? Or when they reconfigured their faces to look like people who would appreciate their own anonymity back? Or did six strangers living in a house documenting their every moment mold our old reality into one in which our every thought is put online and fame can be achieved through nothing more than being the worst possible version of yourself?
Or was it when a significant portion of our society stopped being properly represented on reality television? At least two men would argue the latter — on Wednesday, a Nashville-based group led by football players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson filed a lawsuit against ABC, claiming Claybrooks and Johnson were turned away from a fair chance at trying out for the network's immensely popular reality dating show The Bachelor. For the duration of its 23 seasons on the air, neither The Bachelor, nor its spin-off The Bachelorette have featured a headlining contestant of race. Only morally corrupt, self-esteem vacant Caucasians have had their fair shot at finding televised, US Weekly cover-baiting "love" as the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Soul-crushing as the show might often be, this is a glaring omission in the warped world of reality television. As the lawsuit states, "The deliberate exclusion of people of color from the roles of The Bachelor and Bacheloretteunderscores the significant barriers that people of color continue to face in media and the broader marketplace." (For its part, Warner Horizon Television, which produces the franchise, released a statement calling the lawsuit "baseless and without merit." Says their statement, "The producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs." ABC itself has not yet responded to Hollywood.com's request to comment on the suit.) Granted, the argument about white-washed television is hardly a new controversy. Even in the non-reality realm, the hotly debated topic still regularly comes up. Just in this past week, one of the biggest criticisms surrounding the new HBO series Girls was that none of its characters seemed to know anyone of color, despite living in the melting pot that is New York City. And the argument that both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have excluded minorities certainly isn't new either — when met with detractors in the past, the series simply claimed no minorities have tried out. During a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss said that when it came to casting contestants of race, "We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would." Unless Claybrooks and Johnson truly are one of the few minorities to try out for the show, producers could see more people come forward, but perhaps not in the way they would hope. (Lamar Herd, who has been championing to be the "first black Bachelor", is on the producers' side: The Portland-based sportscaster responded to a fan's question on Twitter regarding whether he would sue if he was not chosen for The Bachelor, to which he responded, "never - it's their decision.") And it certainly didn't help that when initially asked about the lack of diversity on the show during the same interview, Fleiss could only respond, "I think Ashley [Hebert] is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm. But that is my suspicion!" Still, despite The Bachelor scandal, ABC has remained a diverse and groundbreaking network, particularly when it comes to showing minorities and interracial relationships. In 2010, the Pew Research Center reported that since 1980, the rate of interracial marriage in the United States had doubled. (By 2008, interracial marriages had reached a record high of 14.6 percent of all new marriages.) It was an evolving state of our nation that ABC was fully addressing in their scripted programming. What would Grey's Anatomy have been without Cristina and Preston (aside from all the off-camera that drama that unfolded, of course); Lost without Rose and Bernard; Ugly Betty without Wilhelmina and Connor; Scrubs without Turk and Carla; Modern Family without Jay and Gloria; and, more recently, Happy Endings without Jane and Brad? What would The Bachelor have been without Jake and Vienna? Pretty great, actually. And what do all these series have in common? Central non-white or interracial couples that audiences want to follow. Not only were these shows critical darlings at the top of their games (Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, Lost, Modern Family, and Ugly Betty have a combined 30 Emmy wins between them), but the series were fan favorites. Lost had a feverishly devoted, cult-like following; Grey's Anatomy, during its second season, averaged 19.84 million viewers and remains the most Tivo'ed show on television; Modern Family is a continual ratings behemoth (it is the top scripted show with adults 18-49 in its time slot); and Happy Endings has cultivated a larger and much more enthusiastic audience in its second season. It's not a coincidence that series featuring non-white or interracial couples have become tremendous hits. The network (which also showed interracial relationships on some of their more short-lived series like Mr. Sunshine and FlashForward) has given non-white and interracial couples smart, funny, and perhaps most importantly, relatable plotlines that represent them and have made an indelible mark on the landscape of television. Now it's in ABC's hands to lead the charge and do the same for reality television. While the medium has had its fair share of triumphs when documenting non-white or interracial couples (MTV's True Life had a particularly effective episode on interracial dating), the VH1 reality factory that turned out the likes of Flavor of Love has done no favors for ethnic reality programming. Or anyone, for that matter. One could argue that ABC has already gone above and beyond with their mammoth reality smash Dancing with the Stars, which has featured a variety of diverse casts in its 14 seasons. In fact, six of DWTS' winning contestants were minorities whose dance partners were a different race. But there's a discernible difference between a dance competition and a dating show where race most certainly becomes an issue. With programming like Lost and Grey's Anatomy and Happy Endings, ABC has made it abundantly clear they know and appreciate that love sees no color. They just have make it known it isn't just fiction. It is, for so many, reality. More: The Bachelor Lawsuit: Series Sued for Racial Discrimination Warner Bros. Responds to Bachelor Lawsuit: It's 'Baseless' The Bachelor Final Rose Recap
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.
Top Story: Givens Hits Pedestrian
While at a busy intersection in Miami, Fla. Wednesday, actress Robin Givens struck an 89-year-old woman trying to cross the street, critically injuring her, The Associated Press reports. Givens, star of the '80s TV comedy Head of the Class, hit Maria Antonia Alcover as she was about to step onto the sidewalk, Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss told AP. The actress, who was stopped, turned the corner when the light turned green and swiped Alcover with her SUV, knocking her backward. The back wheel of the vehicle drove over Alcover's right leg, Moss said. Her leg and foot were damaged, and she suffered internal injuries. Doctors, however, were able to save Alcover's foot and she is improving, according to AP. Givens received a ticket for failing to use due care when a pedestrian was in the crosswalk, which carries a fine of less than $70, Moss said. He also added it was unlikely there would be any further charges against the 39-year-old former wife of Mike Tyson.
Get Ready for Dwarf Dating
Perhaps pushing the boundaries of reality television a little too far, Fox is planning to air a dwarf-dating contest called The Littlest Groom, in which average-sized females will vie for the affections of a 4-foot-5-inch bachelor, Reuters reports. Yet, the advocacy group Little People of America is supporting the show. President Matt Roloff said the Fox show might even benefit people of short stature by depicting them as regular folks "just being themselves." "Yes, the radio jocks will have a field day," Roloff told Reuters in a telephone interview. "(But) hiding us behind closed doors or in funny costumes will never give us the exposure needed to desensitize society to us."
Randall Down With Pneumonia
Tony Randall is recovering from a bout of pneumonia following bypass surgery in December, AP reports. Randall, 83, underwent the "extremely successful" surgery at an undisclosed hospital but then developed pneumonia. Randall's doctors felt it would be better if the actor recuperated at a hospital rather than at home, where he has two small children, ages 4 and 6.
Divorce in Works for Marc Anthony
Singer Marc Anthony's estranged wife, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, has filed for divorce, according to AP. Torres filed a petition for dissolution of marriage with children on Jan. 20. The couple, who was married in Las Vegas in 2000, briefly separated in 2002, then renewed their vows in Puerto Rico in December of that year. They have two children, Christian, 2, and Ryan, who was born in August.
Rapper Turk Charged in Shooting
New Orleans-based rapper Turk was charged with shooting two deputies while they were searching an apartment for heroin Monday afternoon in New Orleans, AP reports. The rapper, whose real name is Tab Virgil Jr., was one of three people inside the apartment who opened fire on the authorities when they came in. One of the deputies is in critical condition; the other suffered a flesh wound. Virgil, who has been wanted in New Orleans on a probation violation since March, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Garner To Handle Hosting Duties
Alias spy chick Jennifer Garner will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Technical Awards Feb. 14 in Pasadena, Calif., AP reports. The ceremony hands out awards for devices, methods, formulas, discoveries or inventions of special and outstanding value to the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Previous hosts have included actresses Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron, who this year is nominated for Best Actress for Monster.
Vegas, Dreams Get Picked Up
NBC has ordered full 22-episode seasons of their dramas Las Vegas and American Dreams for next fall, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Las Vegas has averaged 12.3 million viewers, ranking as the highest-rated new drama this season in the key demographic, while American Dreams has averaged 8.6 million viewers.
Role Call: Cast Assemble for Sender
Connie Nielsen (One Hour Photo), Tim Daly (TV's Storm of the Century) and Aidan Quinn (Songcatcher) are set to star in the indie drama Return to Sender. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project centers on a woman on death row (Nielsen), with Quinn starring as a down-on-his-luck lawyer who befriends the incarcerated woman by mail. Kelly Preston also stars as a lawyer fighting to exonerate Nielsen's character.
NEW YANKED MAGAZINE? New York Magazine is a very popular read in Los Angeles, especially because so many homesick ex-New Yorkers have relocated to the Left Coast.
So it came as quite a blow when the native sons and daughters couldn't find their weekly Gotham fix — the Nov. 29 issue of New York Magazine -- on L.A. newsstands.
What makes it doubly annoying is the fact that the issue carried a highly unusual L.A.-centric article, a scathing profile by Nikki Finke of ex-CAA superagent, drug addict and Mike Ovitz protege Jay Moloney, whose recent suicide shocked the entertainment community.
Finke's allegations were stinging: Dubbing Moloney a "gangsta" agent, she also suggested that the former CAA "Young Turk" was a racketeer whose death may have been more karma than tragic. She recounted his rise in the Biz, thanks to mentor Ovitz, who had him do double duty as nanny and driver on the Ovitz homestead before moving Moloney into the CAA mailroom.
In no particular order, Moloney, alleged Finke, snitched on fellow workers as Ovitz's spy, spread vicious and harmful rumors about competitors, probably stole at least one screenplay idea from friends, lied to at least one major client (Sean Connery), used Ovitz's name to get perks (a lounge chair at the posh Hotel du Cap in Antibes, France) and flaunted his drug usage in hip clubs, etc.
Not completely certain that there was no hanky-panky involved in the curious absence of the Nov. 29 issue of New York Magazine in L.A., we made some calls. Alex, who manages the popular Santa Monica World News newsstand in West Hollywood, said that this was the first time that New York Magazine didn't show up. At Anderson News, New York Magazine's L.A. distributor Robin Dorn said that the issues arrived on time. But Nat Dortch, Anderson's assistant operations manager, said that the magazine went out late, that "something got messed up with the ground carrier" also known as the "break-up agent.'
Mike Gural, director of newsstand sales for the magazine, is investigating the matter. He said that, according to New York's production director, "everything went out fine and on schedule" from the printing plant in Illinois to Anderson News in L.A.
GIRLS, ERUPTED: How to explain the amazing number of strong female characters and even stronger female performances hitting screens this fall and winter. Already, even wise old King Solomon wouldn't be able to choose between Hilary Swank, star of Fox Searchlight's "Boys Don't Cry," and Janet McTeer, star of Fine Line Features' "Tumbleweeds," for the upcoming Best Actress Oscar award.
Even their co-stars are being touted for nominations: Chloe Sevigny for her role as Brandon Teena's girlfriend in "Boys Don't Cry" and the debuting Kimberly J. Brown as McTeer's daughter in "Tumbleweeds." And let's not forget the strong performances of Annette Bening and even Thora Birch and Mena Suvari in "American Beauty."
This week will find Julianne Moore, sporting a very acceptable British accent, as the hypotenuse of a love triangle in Columbia's period romance "The End of the Affair." On Dec. 17 and also speaking veddy British, Jodie Foster, as the eponymous Anna in 20th Century Fox's extravagant epic "Anna and the King," portrays an awfully upright English teacher to the royal family in 1860s Siam (now Thailand).
And there are already whispers of Oscar nominations for Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, co-stars in the psychological drama "Girl, Interrupted," which opens Dec. 21.
Two-time Oscar nominee Kate Winslet has won some boosters and Oscar whispers for "Holy Smoke!" and Gwyneth Paltrow, for the upcoming "The Talented Mr. Ripley," might turn out to be the actress to beat. You go, girls!
SUNDAY IN NEW YORK: It was unseasonably balmy Sunday in New York, with spring and more than a little love in the air. So maybe we should forgive writer/director/boulevardier James Toback, appropriately known for films such as "The Pick-Up Artist," for taking to the streets and doing what he does best.
On Sunday, moviedom's second most infamous womanizer (Warren Beatty retains the No. 1 position in an emeritus capacity) did some picking up on New York's tony Upper West Side hub at 72nd Street and Broadway, chatting up at least one surprised young woman and taking her to a nearby coffee shop in an effort to get her to commit to a date.
Of course, it wasn't just the springlike weather that drove Toback into pick-up mode. His conversation, aiming to get the woman to commit to a rendezvous, oftentimes returned to the word "testosterone." But the "girl, interrupted" turned down Toback, who sported casual clothes, topped off by a Yankees cap and enough beard for two St. Nicks (it's that testosterone, he told her).
Because of action and motives so brazen, it occurred to us that Toback, with appropriately titled films under his belt such as "Fingers," "Love and Money," "Two Girls and a Guy" and "The Big Bang" might also have been trolling for ink. On that front, we're happy to accommodate by also reminding that Toback's "Black and White," which Screen Gems will release in March, opens with what one journalist calls a "filthy" Central Park scene involving two high school girls and a hip-hop artist.
Meanwhile, Friday in New York, at a much more formal evening gathering on the much more formal Upper East Side, a group of TV news biggies, including Peter Jennings and Dan Rather, downed caviar and other delicacies with their drinks. The lavish food offerings were no doubt given careful scrutiny by restaurant guide mogul Tim Zagat, also in attendance.
BUZZ CUTS ...
Tragic and Lowdown: Two tremendously disparate events that happened Friday are nonetheless related. Woody Allen's latest film "Sweet and Lowdown," a mockumentary starring Sean Penn as a flawed 1930s jazz guitarist, opened nicely in three New York theaters. This and Allen's other recent films probably would not have been possible without the fortune generated by the Safra banking family. Allen's producing partner, Jean Doumanian, is the longtime companion of Jaqui Safra, nephew of Edmond Safra, the billionaire banker and scion of the financial dynasty. Last Friday, Edmond Safra died in a mysterious fire in his Monte Carlo penthouse, where two hooded men apparently were attempting a burglary ...
Sharon a New Formula: Don't ever say Sharon Stone doesn't know how to promote a movie. Talking to journalists about her upcoming HBO movie "If These Walls Could Talk 2," Stone, who co-stars with Ellen DeGeneres in a segment about a lesbian couple who become moms, says that she's never experienced greater on-screen chemistry with a co-star than she did with DeGeneres.