Willie Nelson's annual Farm Aid benefit concert will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina in September (14) and feature stars including Jack White, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. The event takes place on 13 September (14).
Open Road Films via Everett Collection
Actress Rooney Mara has replaced Jessica Chastain in an upcoming film adaptation of award-winning book The Secret Scripture.
The Zero Dark Thirty star had been attached to star as a younger version of Vanessa Redgrave's lead character Roseanne in the project earlier this year (14), but she has since bowed out and now Mara will take over the role.
The film is based on Irish author Sebastian Barry's 2008 book of the same name, about a 100-year-old woman in a mental hospital who recounts her traumatic childhood in a secret memoir.
My Left Foot's Jim Sheridan will direct the movie, which will also star Jeremy Irons and Jack Reynor.
Production is due to begin in Ireland in September (14), according to Deadline.com.
Woody Allen was thrilled when Oscar winner Colin Firth signed on to star as a cynical illusionist in his new film Magic In The Moonlight - because he wrote the part of Stanley with the British actor in mind.
The filmmaker admits Firth's casting was especially sweet because he has failed to land so many of the world's top actors for his film projects. He explains, "The guys are great but they are hard to get, they are always busy. I have called (Robert) De Niro, I've spoken on the phone to Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson."
"Nicholson was going to do Hannah And Her Sisters. I wasn't thinking of Michael Caine at the time as I wasn't thinking of an English guy. It would never have occurred to me."
But when he started writing his latest project, he couldn't get past the thought of casting another Englishman, adding, "I was thinking of him as I was writing the movie and we were determined to have him, but he was scheduled to do another project."
"Fortunately for us, at the last minute his other project was postponed. Colin was the perfect person to play this because it requires a certain savoir faire (social grace). You want an elegant, good-looking person who can do the wit and can have that attitude without him getting on your nerves; someone you would like to watch for the whole movie."
Allen reveals the idea of casting Emma Stone opposite Firth came to him as he was working out: "I'm on my treadmill in the morning and I'm surfing through (TV channels) to kill the time and suddenly I would see these post-adolescent movies and think, 'Who's that girl? She's beautiful and she's very good'."
"I mentioned her name to Juliet Taylor, who casts for me, and she said, 'Yes, she's not just a pretty face. She's a very good actress'. She's very intelligent to chat with. She did such a good job she's in the (next) movie I'm doing now."
And it seems Allen is slowly getting his way when it comes to working with the world's top actors: "Now I am working with Joaquin Phoenix, a great actor, and Sean Penn... I would love to work with Kevin Spacey."
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
When Hollywood movies were very much "a certain thing," Woody Allen's weren't. An innovator from the get-go, Allen celebrated the possibilities of cinema by contorting and creating, giving us in everything from What's Up, Tiger Lily? straight through his '80s string a filmic style that America hadn't yet seen. Now that he's done his due diligence, Allen seems content to make the sort of pictures that snagged his heart in the first place: the romantic comedies of the '40s and '50s — appropriately, Magic in the Moonlight borrows the Jazz Age setting of classics like Some Like It Hot — that operated in a certain straightforward, delightful fashion. Allen's latest follows the swath of Billy Wilder, Blake Edwards, and Howard Hawks, but aims for the Woody brand with muted doses of his signature nihilism and cantankerous banter. But seven decades after this cinematic golden age and four past Allen's heyday, Magic in the Moonlight's charms wear thin and familiar rather quickly.
Magic in the Moonlight doesn't carry too many surprises; kind of a shame for a flick about magicians and mediums. But it's not the premise that is in principal need of reconstruction, it's the Allen chatter. The movie opens immersed in the fun inherent in the rantings of a misanthropic blowhard illusionist (Colin Firth, whose comic delivery in the early scenes of this movie is markedly impressive) who knows the margins of reality and can barely stomach the thought of some charming charlatan passing as a psychic (Emma Stone) pulling the wool over the eyes of a gaggle of unsuspecting millionaires... whom he also detests for their stupidity, but it's the thrill of the "A-ha!" that drives him to prove the clairvoyant a fake.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Firth's comical butting of heads — both with the enamored aristocrats (Hamish Linklater plays the hysterically doe-eyed son who is smitten with Stone's Sophie; Jacki Weaver is a giddy matriarch longing to connect with her dead husband) and with the alleged swindler — ensues, opening up an unmistakably Allenian world of privilege-induced idiocy and shirt-stuffing. But what kicks off as great comedy grows tired by the fifth or sixth time we have to hear the curmudgeonly Stanley (Firth) pronounce his skepticism or watch the entrancing Sophie declare her devotion to possibility. After a while, what started out as a classic-era throwback reveals itself to be something with very little to show off, new or otherwise.
Still, even in its most redundant hours, Magic in the Moonlight never dips to levels of unpleasant. Firth and Stone are always a joy to watch, especially when playing rounds of combat. Allen's diatribes about mortality and meaning tire, but never fall dead asleep. And there is something consistently funny about Linklater playing a dead-from-the-neck-up Pittsburgh WASP serenading Emma Stone with a ukulele.
Ultimately, Magic in the Moonlight won't be a memorable trip back to the age of Wilder or Hawks, or a reminder of why you started watching Woody Allen movies in the first place. Instead, it's just a pleasant enough romp with a few hearty laughs and ample opportunities to let your mind wander back to your favorite scene in Sleeper. Ha, yeah, Sleeper. That was a good movie.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter | Follow @Hollywood_com
Rocker Jack White is getting literary - he and his partners at record label Third Man Records have launched a publishing offshoot. Third Man Books will launch with the release of Language Lessons: Volume I, which features a book of poetry and prose and two vinyl albums of "jazz, psychedelic-punk, poetry, blues and pop".
The set, which will feature pieces by Dale Ray Phillips, CD Wright and Adrian Matejka, will be available from 5 August (14).
White and his associates have released a statement to coincide with the announcement of the new venture. It reads: "Third Man Books, like Language Lessons, will be fearless, imaginative, and eclectic. We hope to be a welcome addition to what is already a very compelling and thrilling independent American literary landscape."
Singer Nate Ruess has reportedly struck up a romance with fashion designer Charlotte Ronson. The fun. frontman met the Brit through her twin sister, DJ Samantha Ronson, and the new couple has been secretly dating for months, according to Us Weekly.
Ruess and Ronson made their first public appearance together on Saturday (19Jul14) at an event in Montauk, New York, and an insider tells the magazine the Some Nights singer was "very incognito and didn't want to pose for photos but stood close and held Charlotte's dog Oliver... it's been super hush!"
Another source adds, "They were introduced a while ago and have met a few times but it recently turned romantic. They have quite a few mutual friends actually. It's cute."
Ruess previously dated his bandmate Jack Antonoff's sister, Rachel Antonoff, who is also a fashion designer.
Newlywed Jessica Simpson has no plans to give her daughter Maxwell and son Ace another sibling. She revealed the news on Sunday (20Jul14) as she posted an Instagram shot of herself posing with pal Kathryn Sykora's son Jack. In the accompanying caption, she wrote, "I love you Jack, but I do not want another!!." The singer wed former American footballer Eric Johnson earlier this month (Jul14).
Dan Aykroyd has added his tribute to late friend and co-star James Garner, branding him a "first class actor and man". The old pals teamed up with another movie great, the late Jack Lemmon, for 1996 adventure comedy My Fellow Americans and Aykroyd admits he will cherish the time he spent with The Rockford Files star, who died on Saturday (19Jul14).
Remembering Garner during an appearance on U.S. breakfast show Today on Monday (21Jul14), the Ghostbusters star said, "What a classy guy. He was just the old school Hollywood. Gracious and generous...
"(He had) no pretensions at all. (I) got to work with him and Jack Lemmon in that picture My Fellow Americans, and James was just first class; (a) first class actor and man... He will be missed."
Moviemaker Ron Howard, singer/songwriter Carole King, actress Marlee Matlin and Garner's TV granddaughter Kaley Cuoco from 8 Simple Rules were among the first celebrities to offer up their tributes after news of the 86 year old's death broke on Sunday (20Jul14).
Bombay Bicycle Club rocker Jack Steadman has branded the Arctic Monkeys' alleged involvement in a tax avoidance scheme "disgusting". The Cornerstone hitmakers were recently named in a list of celebrities, including George Michael and Sir Michael Caine, who allegedly invested in a variety of business schemes that exploit loopholes in the system to help their backers avoid paying hefty tax bills.
Steadman calls the practice "quite disgusting" and adds to BBC Radio 5 Live, "I'm also aware of how quickly you can change as a person, not that it forgives you. I'd be lying if I said I'd be like this my whole life, because I'm sure the Arctic Monkeys when they were young boys in Sheffield and you asked them this question (about tax avoidance) they would say, 'Absolutely not, this is horrific'. But the things that have happened to them and what they'd been thrown into has definitely had a huge effect on them."
He also vows to never participate in such a scheme, adding, "I live in this country and I use services like the NHS (National Health Service) and these services need money from people to use them so I'll always pay my taxes."
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Moviemaker Rob Reiner is hoping Jack Nicholson's retirement won't stick because he wants to see him back on the big screen.
Reiner, who directed the movie veteran in A Few Good Men and The Bucket List, was stunned to learn of Nicholson's plans to walk away from the limelight, and he is hoping the actor reconsiders.
The filmmaker says, "I don't know why Jack has done that. I feel bad because obviously he's one of the great film actors of all time, so I would hope at some point he comes back. "Jack is a real artist. He paints and he's really good, so maybe he felt the films were not being as artistic as he would like them to be."