We don't want to be reductive here — we think the Hannah/Adam rise and fall is interesting, the Jessa relapse is emotional, and the desperation exhibited by both parties in the Marnie/Ray relationship is exemplary. But the greatest takeaway from this week's episode of Girls, and perhaps the season overall?
Adam's British accent.
True, this was not the first time this year that we heard Adam try his hand at a Londian affect in preparation for his role in a Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara. But it was the first time we were treated to Adam's go at an energetic h-dropping salutation: "'ello!" he exclaimed midway through the episode, upon hearing a rapping at the chamber door of his mate Ray's flat. Or something.
Up until now, we thought we had Adam's vocal range pegged: vaguely Midwestern and '60s-era outer space cowboy musician. But his Shaw storyline has thrown us for a loop. Now all we want from Adam Driver (as opposed to Adam Sackler) is a series of British roles.
A Shakespeare AdaptationPreferably a comedy, since Driver's knack for the accent is wholly hilarious.
A Guy Ritchie Crime ThrillerBefore he was tarnishing Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie was making passable action-filled, comedic crime movies, like Snatch. Driver as a British street tough would be enchanting.
A Ricky Gervais SitcomAlthough Driver's accent is a bit more heightened and hyperbolic than Gervais' naturalistic style, the earnest twentysomething could play well against the oft smarmy Gervais.
A Mary Poppins RemakeSaving Mr. Banks proves that Disney is, to this day, infinitely proud of its bastardization of P.L. Travers' children's book. So why not give it another go, this time with Driver taking on Dick Van Dyke's all-smiles bastardization of the Cockney speak?
A Wallace & Gromit ShortThere's the winner.
But of course we shouldn't distract from Hannah, Jessa, Marnie, or Ray — each worked with particularly interesting material this week. Hannah quit her job in a, once again, Patti LuPone-inspired huff. Jessa got a job as the assistant to photography maven Mary Hartman2, one that could have been Marnie's were she not too vain and self-doubting to dare present herself in the confrontational light that the gifted artist wanted in her second-in-command. Marnie continued to exhibit her insecurities when she vied for the romantic affections of Desi, continuing to understand herself to be of value only when boys want to sleep with her. So she slept with Ray, who, like her, is just fragile and desperate enough to fall into the arms of the sort of person he considers "beneath" him. It's a wonderful relationship these two have brewing... especially now that Hannah knows about it (yes, she walked in on them, without regard, in the final moments of the episode).
All that is well and good. But Adam's accent is weller and better. Pip pip.
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Madonna's movies are back in the spotlight as the part-time actress celebrates her 50th birthday.
Top movie news Web site MovieHole.net has created a top 10 poll of the pop star's top film appearances to mark her half century.
Cheeky site editor Clint Morris suggests husband Guy Ritchie might like to buy his wife acting lessons as a gift, but adds, "It's your birthday, so let's be kind shall we... and after all, there's much worse actresses out there than Madonna."
Morris admits to owning many of Madonna's films on DVD and claims Desperately Seeking Susan is her finest acting work, adding, "This is such a fun film...I'd even go so far as to say Madonna was great in this."
Coming in second is Madonna's turn as a baseball star in sports movie A League of Their Own.
Morris states, "Madonna isn't trying to stretch herself here she's merely playing herself, a sassy chick from Brooklyn who's all about boys and bonking."
Evita round out the top three, with MovieHole.net's editor stating, "Madonna is actually quite good in the film, though it's a flick that requires a bit of patience."
The full top 10 is:
1. Desperately Seeking Susan
2. A League of Their Own
4. Dick Tracy
5. Die Another Day
6. The Next Best Thing
7. Shanghai Surprise
8. Body of Evidence
9. Bloodhounds of Broadway
10. Swept Away
Being married to filmmaker Guy Ritchie has apparently influenced pop queen Madonna. The singer/actress now wants to direct.
Britain’s Channel 4 plans to broadcast a documentary about Madonna’s life called I'm Going to Tell You a Secret on Dec. 1. In an interview that broadcast Sunday on Channel 4, she admitted, "I would love to direct a film. I felt very inspired by making this movie, and I learned a lot about filmmaking and storytelling. I would like to do it on my own next time."
Madonna also told Channel 4 her 9-year-old daughter, Lourdes, is a good singer and dancer, and would one day follow in her footsteps, The Associated Press reports.
While Madonna has laid down music tracks to many films over the years, she has also made some worthy efforts in front of the camera. Some of her more recognizable performances include 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan, 1990's Dick Tracy, 1992's A League of Their Own and 1996's Evita, for which she won rave reviews and a Golden Globe award. Her 1991 concert film Truth or Dare, which chronicled her “Blonde Ambition” tour, was also well received.
Ritchie, meanwhile, is one of Britain's most revered directors to emerge from the past decade, churning out hits like 1998's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and 2000's Snatch. The couple, however, endured scathing reviews for their only collaboration, Swept Away.
Top Story: Disney Blocks Moore Documentary
The Walt Disney Co. has moved to stop its Miramax Films subsidiary from distributing Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore's upcoming documentary Fahrenheit 911. The documentary touches on the personal relationship between President George H. W. Bush and Osama bin Laden's family as well as the events that led Bush and bin Laden to become enemies. According to a report Wednesday in the New York Times, Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said Disney CEO Michael Eisner expressed concern the release of the film would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park and hotels in Florida, where President Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, is governor. But one Disney executive denied that allegation, telling the Times the company did not want to be seen taking sides in the election and risk alienating customers of different political views. In a statement, Moore said: "I would have hoped by now that I would be able to put my work out to the public without having to experience the profound censorship obstacles I often seem to encounter. The whole story behind this (and other attempts) to kill our movie will be told in more detail as the days and weeks go on. All I can say is, thank God for [Miramax Chairman] Harvey Weinstein and Miramax, who have stood by me during the entire production of this movie." Fahrenheit 911, which was slated for release in July, will still premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this month.
Idol Finalists Hit the Road
In what has become a sort of tradition, the top 10 finalists from Fox's third American Idol season have made plans for a summer North American tour. The finalists include Fantasia Barrino, Diana DeGarmo, George Huff, Jasmine Trias and La Toya London as well as the already voted out Amy Adams, Camile Velasco, Jennifer Hudson, John Stevens and Jon Peter Lewis. Reuters reports the 48-city tour will kick off July 14 in Salt Lake City and end Sept. 26 in San Jose, Calif. The two-hour American Idol season finale is scheduled for May 26.
Anna Nicole Launches Clothing Line
Former Guess? model and Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith is planning to create a clothing line with the trendy outfitter Von Dutch, Extra reports. Smith, whose real name is Vickie Lynn Hogan, is currently on a world tour promoting the weight loss company Trim Spa, to which she credits having lost 69 pounds. The 36-year-old entertainer's reality TV series The Anna Nicole Show, which followed her daily misadventures, was canceled after ratings slipped from their all-time high in August 2002 when the series debuted.
Madonna Kicks Up Privacy Efforts
Madonna, meanwhile, is kicking the fight to keep hikers off her $16 million English country estate up a notch. Reuters reports a public inquiry opened Wednesday to look into whether English walkers, known across the pond as "ramblers," can saunter through Madonna and Guy Ritchie's 1,200 acre Ashcombe House estate in Dorset, southwest England--of which 100 acres has been defined as open country and therefore open to the public. The couple argues the land should be reclassified as "semi-improved" grassland because it is used for shooting game, which would define it as agricultural land and exclude it from public access. The inquiry is expected to last five days, with a verdict due this summer.
Usher Misses Chilli
R&B singer Usher recently told Rolling Stone magazine that every once in a while he thinks about calling his ex, TLC's Chilli. The two ended their highly publicized relationship earlier this year. "Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I did call [Chilli]," he said. "Would it become a good thing or would it become a bad thing? I think it's best that I don't call." The couple and Chilli's son lived in Usher's Atlanta home before the split. Chilli is now reportedly dating Baltimore Ravens football star Ray Lewis.
Emmys Test Online Voting
The Emmys will become the first major award show to offering online voting, Variety reports. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has sanctioned online voting for its interactive television Emmy and is pegging it as a test run for a system that may be expanded to the rest of its awards. "The technology is here, and it is only fitting that the Interactive Media Peer Group sets the precedent for online voting with this particular Emmy Award," ATAS chairman Dick Askin told Variety. "We hope it is a process that will be extended in the future to other Emmy Award categories."
Frasier May Live On
Could another incarnation of Frasier be in the works? As the long-running series comes to an end this year, Variety reports that according to industry insiders, Paramount topper Garry Hart met with NBC execs to discuss possibly extending the Frasier franchise, chronicling the next phase in Dr. Frasier Crane's life. All parties involved are declining comment, but industry insiders told Variety NBC opted against continuing the franchise, giving Paramount free reign to shop a new Frasier show to another network. It's unclear if star Kelsey Grammer would continue his Frasier character in a third series, but Grammer, who has played Frasier Crane for 20 years, has made it clear that he wouldn't have minded if Frasier continued on.
Another HIV Case Hits CA Porn Industry
A fourth adult film performer, a transsexual actress who goes by the stage name Jennifer, has tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS but the case is unrelated to an outbreak that virtually shut down pornography production last month, an industry health care official told Reuters on Tuesday. The performer had last performed a sex scene on Feb. 27 with two male actors who have since tested negative, according to Sharon Mitchell of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation. "This is an open-and-shut case of genealogy," she told Reuters. "We think it's contained."
Role Call: Amityville Horror Revisited
British commercial director Andrew Douglas will make his feature film debut with an update of the 1979 thriller The Amityville Horror. The original, starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Rod Steiger, centered on a newlywed couple who move into a mysterious house where all sorts of strange things happen.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.
Top Story: Sean Connery Tops Worst Film Accent Poll
According to a poll by UK movie magazine Empire, Oscar winner Sean Connery has been named the actor with the worst film accent of all time. Edinburgh-born Connery may have won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe in 1988 for his performance as Irish cop Jim Malone in the 1987 film The Untouchables, but movie experts agreed his accent was the pits. "Whether he's a Russian sub captain (The Hunt for Red October) or even an English king (First Knight and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), always that baritone Highland burr remains," one critic said in the magazine's August edition. Others who made the list include Dick Van Dyke for his attempt at an East London cockney accent in Mary Poppins; Brad Pitt for his Austrian-accented mountaineer in Seven Years in Tibet; Heather Graham for her British-accented prostitute in From Hell; Julia Roberts for her attempts at a Brit accent in Mary Reilly and Meryl Streep for her try at Danish accent in Out of Africa.
Company Sues Greek Wedding Team
MPH Entertainment, the company that first optioned Nia Vardalos' screenplay for My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 1997, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles against the writer/actress and the film's producers, claiming they are owed 3 percent of the actual profits from the picture. Jim Milio, Melissa Jo Peltier and Mark Hufnail say they have received nothing to date save for an accounting statement from producers HBO and Gold Circle Films, who are being sued along with Tom Hanks' Playtone Prods, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The statement claimed the $5 million film lost $20.6 million as of March 31 despite selling more than $600 million worth of tickets worldwide.
TCM To Air Hepburn Marathon
Turner Classic Movies will honor the late Katharine Hepburn on Thursday with a 24-hour film tribute, hitting many of the high points from 1933 to 1968. The films slated to air include Mary of Scotland (1936), Holiday (1938), Woman of the Year (1942), Adam's Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), The Lion in Winter (1968), Katharine Hepburn: All About Me, a documentary by David Heeley (1993), Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), Little Women (1933) and Undercurrent (1946).
Madonna Gets Her Privacy
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie, who wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair expressing concern that the planned walkway just 100 yards from their country mansion in Wiltshire, southern England, would encourage curious sightseers and paparazzi, have won their battle. The Countryside Agency said the singer was among hundreds of residents who filled out a comment sheet about proposed changes under a redrawing of maps for the area. Madonna previously complained about low-flying aircraft above her $14.5 million Ashcombe House and was ordered to dismantle 12-foot-high security gates after failing to apply for planning permission.
Brandy and Hubby Split
Former teen pop princess Brandy has confirmed reports that she and Robert Smith, her husband and father of her 1-year-old daughter, have split, the AP reports. A statement released Tuesday by Atlantic Records said: "Brandy and her husband are splitting. They will remain friends and raise their daughter jointly." Brandy, 24, announced in February 2002 that she had been secretly married to Smith, a music producer, for several months. In June, she gave birth to her first child, with MTV documenting the preparations for the birth with the reality series Brandy--Special Delivery.
P. Diddy Sued for Racketeering
Kirk Burrowes, the former president and general manager of Sean "P.Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment, has filed a $25 million suit Monday in Manhattan federal court against the rap mogul, Reuters reports. Burrowes claims that in 1996, Combs threatened him with a baseball bat and forced him to surrender his 25 percent interest in the company, which he had formed with the rapper in 1992. Borrowes, who earned $125,000 a year as president of Bad Boy, was fired in 1997. The suit also alleges Combs interfered with a contract Burrowes had to manage Mary J. Blige, causing the singer to end the contract. Combs called the allegations "pure fantasy."
Brits Need New Celeb Couple
What will the British do now that celebrity couple David Beckham and his wife Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham are moving to Spain? According to Reuters, Britain's celebrity watchers are searching their gossip magazines for a new couple to take over as the nation's unofficial king and queen. Contenders include Chris Martin, lead singer of pop giants Coldplay, and girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow; or Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue and her actor boyfriend Olivier Martinez. But celebrity watchers say neither couples have the charisma nor the desire for fame that has driven the Beckhams to the top of the showbiz heap.