What do Eddie Murphy, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, and Angie Dickinson have in common? No, they all haven't been at the same party at Brett Ratner's house. They are all winners of a Golden Globe. No, Murphy didn't get one for Pluto Nash he got one in 1982 as the New Star of the Year. The what now?
The Hollywood Foreign Press Agency started giving out the Most Promising Newcomer award in 1948, four years after their inception, to the person they thought was going to be hottest new thing to take Hollywood. The first winners were Richard Widmark and Lois Maxwell, people your grandparents might not even remember. From 1954 to 1965 the award was given out to three to four men and women who the European journalists thought were going to take the world by storm. In 1966 the award switched again and went to an actor and actress for a specific movie and, possibly because so many newcomers didn't show any promise, was renamed. The first winners were Robert Redford for Inside Daisy Clover (I'm sure he was!) and Elizabeth Hartman for A Patch of Blue.
Those first winners highlight exactly the problem with this specific category: more often than not the winners wound up being duds. Sure Robert Redford is one of the biggest stars in the world but Elizabeth Hartman? Let's look at 1969 Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were given a pair of trophies for their portrayal of Romeo & Juliet. Whiting retired from films by the mid-'70s and Hussey went on to star in some crappy horror films and then become a crazy agorophobic who had a hard time leaving the house. These are your New Stars of the Year, ladies in gentleman.
By 1983 the Globes were sick of giving this award to turkeys and gave out the final salutes in the category to Ben Kinglsey and Sandahl Bergman. All in all, the awards have a pretty lousy track record. Of the 59 actors and 58 actresses given the honor, I count only 17 actors (Richard Burton, Anthony Perkins, Paul Newman, James Garner, George Hamilton, Warren Beatty, Terence Stamp, Peter O'Tool, Omar Sharif, Albert Finney, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, James Earl Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, and Ben Kingsley) and 14 actresses (Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Jayne Mansfield, Sandra Dee, Angie Dickinson, Jane Fonda, Ann-Margret, Patty Duke, Mia Farrow, Tatum O'Neal, Jessica Walter, Diana Ross, Jessica Lange, and Bette Midler) who achieved any sort of lasting modicum of celebrity (gauged by, well, whether or not I know who the heck they are). That's a 28% and 24% success rate predicting the promisenessness of newcomers. You have better odds playing Scratch-a-Millions from your local lottery system.
I reached out to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for a comment on why the category was struck from the record and if they ever hope to bring it back. They didn't return my request for comment. They're probably still embarrassed about just how lousy their crystal ball is.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images]
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Does size matter? Significant others of the world may have varying answers, but in Hollywood, it doesn't hurt to have a long… list of credits. A rising star sparks with an audience in a handful of films, then quickly becomes the talk of the town. If they're lucky, they "attach" themselves to projects out the wazoo, hoarding potential vehicles that could be their next big hit if the stars eventually align.
That's the game Michael Fassbender is currently playing and thus far, it's serving him extremely well. Fassbender (who, as we learned in Shame, knows that size goes a long way) skillfully spun his success from breakout roles in indies like Hunger, Fish Tank, and Centurion into a hefty helping of starring roles both big and small. In the last two years, Fassbender rode the prestige wave to blockbuster parts in X-Men: First Class and Prometheus, with Shame earning him praise on the awards circuit. And the love for Fassbender hasn't cooled — along with the movies that have actually made it to screen, the actor has paired himself with a lengthy list of in-the-works projects.
This week, Variety recently announced his latest, Frank, an Irish comedy that sees the actor playing an eccentric rock star. The film is at the other end of the spectrum than something like X-Men, but that's Fassbender's style. He loves to work, and directors, producers, and everyone Hollywood loves to work with him. Even The Counselor and Twelve Years a Slave co-star — and one of the undeniable kings of Hollywood — Mr. Brad Pitt, who has leveraged his success into producing his own projects and is is highly selective of the material he tackles. Of course, he's still currently attached to 11 films in various stages of development.
And it seems Fassbender is taking a page from Pitt and his A-list contemporaries: Leonardo DiCaprio has eight acting projects in development, with two in the can (Django Unchained and 2013's The Great Gatsby) and one shooting (Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street); Pitt's wife, Angelina Jolie, is shooting Maleficent and has four could-be films on deck; Tom Cruise has four films, including the questionable Top Gun II (which he developed with the late Tony Scott); after Thor 2, Natalie Portman has five; and while Will Smith reportedly has 12 movies in development, admittedly, some seem implausible (a Flowers for Algernon remake?).
So where does Fassbender stand? With 11 projects in production, the actor's future is looking more and more like his Counselor and Twelve Years a Slave co-star's. Consider the projects he currently has in the works:
X-Men: Days of Future Past: A no-brainer sequel to the comic book movie success that's set for a July 18, 2014 release date.
Assassin's Creed: An adaptation of the popular video game would put Fassbender in the shoes of a legendary killer. The project was long-gestating but the recent announcement of Fassbender's involvement put the movie into high gear. Yes, he's making projects happen now.
At Swim-Two-Birds: Actor Brendan Gleeson's directorial debut that mixes Fassbender in with the likes of Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, and Gleeson himself.
Genius: From writer John Logan (Hugo, I Am Legend, Rango), the movie would star Colin Firth as editor Maxwell Perkins and chronicle his budding friendship with author Thomas Wolfe (played by Fassbender). Oscar-potential written all over it.
Jane Got a Gun: The producers of the movie couldn't confirm Fassbender's involvement when they sealed the deal for Natalie Portman to star in the Western, to be directed by Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin), but insiders say he's a near lock.
Londongrad: The real-life story of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, whose poisoning in 2006 spawned an international investigation. Fassbender would play Litvinenko, and it's the kind of dramatic material that, if it gets the go ahead from the studio, shows confidence in the actor's ability to draw audiences into less-than-marketable fare.
Mountains Between Us: Fassbender would team with Miss Bala director Gerardo Naranjo on a drama that follows man and woman attempting to survive in the wilderness after a plane crash.
Right as Rain: Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff adapted the George Pelecanos novel about a detective who investigates the murder of a black cop by a white cop only to discover an underbelly to the entire situation.
The Sycamores: Although stagnant for a few years, Fassbender remains attached to the project described as "a King Lear-esque murder mystery about an ill-fated family reunion set under the swirling skies of 1970s Northumberland."
An Unititled Celtic Warrior project: Fassbender will also act as a producer for the film, which will see the actor play a superhuman warrior who helps his tribe fight against a rival group.
Prometheus Sequel: Rumors peg a sequel to this summer's sci-fi movie for 2014/2015. Fassbender could theoretically return. Whether he'll have time….
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
Jiminy Glick is a local TV news personality in Butte Montana. You know the type--an entertainment reporter who mostly interviews homegrown talent but occasionally jets to Hollywood to hobnob with the big wigs. Glick doesn't quite make it that far. His assignment is the Toronto Film Festival and he makes the trip with his wife Dixie (played with ferocious white trash bravery by an unrecognizable Jan Hooks) and his oddly silent twin boys Matthew and Modine (named after their father's favorite actor). Although Glick is a no-name a fact he's completely oblivious to his fortunes change when after falling asleep during a screening he unwittingly gives the atrocious movie a glowing review. Through a chain of events he becomes the hottest thing as stars line up to grant him interviews. Through an even more bizarre chain of events Glick gets caught up in a murder mystery as well after waking up in bed with an interview subject who has been stabbed. Before he knows it he is embroiled with the starlet Miranda Coolidge (Elizabeth Perkins) her daughter Natalie (Linda Cardellini) and her boorish Eurotrash husband Andre (John Michael Higgins).
Glick despite being a glutton is an acquired taste. He almost defies description--one part clueless star struck Hollywood wanna-be one part jaded interviewer. Short introduced Glick on his short-lived daily talk show before he was spun off in into his own series on Comedy Central. But the movie deftly shifts Glick's origins to the Midwest to make him more of a fish out of water. Stuck in the insular dated Hollywood of Rona Barrett and Tom Snyder Glick will often interrupt his guests if not correcting them on the details of their own lives if they don't gibe with his notes. Case in point he confidently asserts that Steve Martin is Jewish as a lead-in to a line of questions. And thankfully Short has called upon his friends in the improv and sketch comedy world to fill out Jiminy Glick's cast of characters who serve him well. John Michael Higgins most notable for his contributions to Christopher Guests' improv epics Best in Show and A Mighty Wind is a standout. Perkins and Cardellini (Velma of Scooby-Doo fame) are an appropriately brittle Hollywood mother and daughter. And not enough can be said of Hooks' turn as the repulsive Dixie a spot-on embodiment of confused Midwest entitlement. Rounding out the cast is DeRay Davis as Mario "Fa Real" Green a rapper turned movie actor and Corey Pearson as a stuck-up rising star who grants Jiminy that first interview.
Short and his writers must have feared that Glick would run out of things to do if he wasn't embroiled in a good old-fashioned murder mystery. It's the kind of noir that seems to lend itself to Hollywood perhaps loosely inspired by the likes of Sunset Boulevard but here the creaky storyline only grinds things to a halt. Maybe it just doesn't feel right since the story takes place in Canada and besides Glick is no sleuth. The plot seems like all boring business and you can't wait to get back to Glick doing what he does best. As far at the direction goes it can either be part of the fun with quick cuts hilarious non-sequitors and great timing--or it can get out of the way to let the comedian work his magic. For the most part the director Vadim Jean uses the latter technique. He keeps it all low-key and lets Short do his thing. That said--and maybe it's the drab overcast Toronto setting--the movie looks made for television.