More than 150 Oscar hopefuls including Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock and Matthew Mcconaughey celebrated their nominations at the annual pre-Academy Awards party on Monday (10Feb14). Hollywood's biggest names came together for the Oscar Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California to toast their nods ahead of the glitzy prizegiving in Los Angeles on 2 March (14).
Other famous faces at the Beverly Hilton Hotel bash included Best Actress competitors Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, who are nominated for their roles in Gravity and August: Osage County respectively, as well as The Wolf of Wall Street stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill and their director Martin Scorsese.
During the event, Best Supporting Actor nominee Hill told reporters he hasn't written an acceptance speech, and if he wins, he plans to re-use the notes he put together when he landed a nod for 2011 drama Moneyball: "My Moneyball speech is in my safe. I figured I could just change a few of the names. No, the possibility of winning is so insane to me that it seems almost indulgent to write a speech."
American Hustle co-stars Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper were also at the event, and The Hangover actor, who is going up against Hill in the Supporting Actor category, admitted he was surprised that Tom Hanks didn't land a Best Actor nod for either of his two films - Captain Phillips or Saving Mr. Banks.
Cooper said of Hanks' snub, "There's a lot of great people in this room. (But) I wish Tom Hanks was in there."
A representative for actress Amy Adams has slammed bosses of designer brand Valentino for using a photograph of the star at Philip Seymour Hoffman's wake, branding the stunt "truly appalling". The fashion company came under fire after releasing a picture of Adams carrying a red Valentino handbag at a memorial for the tragic actor, with the caption, "We are pleased to announce Amy Adams carrying the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Duble bag from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection on Feb. 6 in New York."
A representative for the American Hustle star has now issued a response to the storm, telling E! Online the actress "is not a paid spokesperson for Valentino, and the suggestion she would use this moment to participate in a promotion is truly appalling".
Valentino bosses issued an apology for the mistake soon after releasing the photo and expressed regret over the incident.
Executives at fashion house Valentino have issued a public apology to Amy Adams after they were accused of promoting a new handbag by releasing a picture of the actress carrying the purse at Philip Seymour Hoffman's wake. The Oscar nominee was photographed carrying the red leather bag on Thursday (06Feb14), when she attended a memorial in New York in honour of her Doubt co-star, who was found dead on 2 February (14).
Officials at the luxury fashion firm subsequently sent out a press release with the snap of Adams holding the purse, adding, "We are pleased to announce Amy Adams carrying the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Duble bag from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection on Feb. 6 in New York."
Company bosses were accused of exploiting the actor's wake for publicity purposes, and executives have now issued an apology to Adams in a post on Twitter.com. The message reads, "We regret releasing a photo of Amy Adams with a Valentino bag. Unaware of the circumstances it was a mistake and we apologise to Ms. Adams."
Director Paul Thomas Anderson celebrated the life of his close friend and collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman by delivering a touching eulogy at the actor's funeral in New York on Friday (07Feb14). The filmmaker cast the tragic actor in three of his films - Boogie Nights, Magnolia and The Master - and he helped to pay tribute to his late pal at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola service by sharing his favourite memories, many of which prompted warm laughter from mourners including Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and The Master co-stars Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix.
The Wire star John Doman, who was among the 400 guests at the memorial, tells NBC News, "It was sad, it was celebratory, it was emotional, it was inspirational, it was terrific."
Playwright Jose Rivera, who worked with Hoffman at the Off Broadway Labyrinth Theater Company, tells the Wall Street Journal, "It was quite beautiful. He (Anderson) just had a lot of very personal and lovely memories of Phil. And he made us all laugh; he quoted Phil extensively and we could kind of hear his voice in the room."
After the 90-minute service, Hoffman's coffin was carried out by six pallbearers as his longtime girlfriend, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three young children looked on from the top of the church's steps.
Other stars in attendance at the funeral included Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Ellen Burstyn, John Slattery, Mary Louise Parker, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei and Spike Lee.
A larger, public memorial for Hoffman, who died from a suspected drug overdose on Sunday (02Feb14), is expected to be held later this month (Feb14).
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
There is a certain level of enjoyment you are guaranteed when signing on for a movie that boasts a cast of George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, and Bill Murray. And that's the precise level of enjoyment you'll get from The Monuments Men — that bare minimum smirk factor inherent the idea that your favorite stars are getting to play together. In FDR-era army helmets, no less. But what we also get from the film is an aura of smug self-confidence from project captain Clooney, who seems all too ready to take for granted that we're perfectly satisfied peering into his backyard clubhouse.
So assured is the director/co-writer that we're happy to be in on the game that there doesn't seem to be any effort taken to refine the product for the benefit of a viewing audience. An introductory speech from art historian Frank Stokes (Clooney) sets up the premise straight away: the Nazis are stealing and destroying all of Europe's paintings and sculptures, and by gum we need to stop them! The concept doesn't complicate from there, save for a batting back and forth of the throughline question about whether the preservation of these pieces is "really worth it." Stokes rallies his own Ocean's Seven on a fine arts rescue mission, instigating an old fashioned go-get-'em-boys montage where we learn everything we need to know about the band mates in question: Damon has a wife, Goodman has gumption, Murray doesn't smile, Bob Balaban is uppity, and Jean Dujardin is French.
The closest thing to a character in The Monuments Men comes in the form of Hugh Bonneville, a recovering alcoholic whose motivation to take on the dangerous mission is planted in a festering desire to absolve himself of a lifetime of f**king up. When we're away from Bonneville, the weight disspears, as does most of the joy. Without identifiable characters, even master funnymen like Goodman, Murray, and Balaban don't have much to offer... especially since the movie's jokes feel like first draft placeholders born on a tired night.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
But wait a minute, is this even supposed to be a comedy? After all, it's about World War II. And no matter what Alexandre Desplat's impossibly merry score would have you believe (coupled with The Lego Movie, this opening weekend might be responsible for more musical jubilance than any other since the days of "Make 'Em Laugh!"), warfare, genocide, and desecration of international culture all make for some pretty heavy material. But The Monuments Men's drama is just as fatigued as its humor, clumsily piecing together a collection of mini missions wherein the stakes, somehow, never seem to jump. We're dragged through military bases, battered towns, and salt mines by Clooney and the gang — occasionally jumping over to France to watch Damon work his least effective magic in years on an uptight Cate Blanchett, who holds the key to the scruffy American's mission but doesn't quite trust him... until, for no apparent reason, she suddenly does. We never feel like any of these people matter, not even to each other, so we never really feel like their adventures do.
The Monuments Men doesn't have much of a challenge ahead of it. Its heroes are movie stars, its bad guys are Nazis, and its message is one that nobody's going to refute: art is important — a maxim it pounds home with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, through countless scenes of men staring in awe at the works of Michelangelo and Rembrandt. And in this easy endeavor, Clooney decides to coast. How could it possibly go wrong? Just grab hold of the fellas, toss 'em in the trenches, and let the laughs and danger write themselves. "This is what they came to see," Monuments Men insists. "Just us guys havin' a ball." But we never feel in on the game, and it isn't one that looks like that much fun anyhow.
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Actors Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Joaquin Phoenix are among the mourners who gathered in New York on Friday (07Feb14) to attend the private funeral of tragic actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Other celebrity friends and admirers, including Michelle Williams, Ethan Hawke, Ellen Burstyn, John Slattery, Mary Louise Parker, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei and Spike Lee, were also spotted arriving at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan's Upper East Side to pay their respects and say farewell to the Oscar winner, who died from a suspected heroin overdose on Sunday (02Feb14).
An estimated 400 guests joined Hoffman's longtime girlfriend, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three young children for the service, which took place a day after friends, family and former co-stars remembered the 46 year old at a wake at the nearby Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home.
The church where the funeral is currently taking place is the same venue where R&B star Aaliyah and former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis' memorial services were held.
The actor's family has asked for charity donations in lieu of flowers for The DreamYard Project and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation - Hoffman's favourite causes.
A larger, public memorial is expected to be held later this month (Feb14).
It's the bitterest of winters and spring seems near and yet so far. Fear not, though, there's news that will brighten your day. Suits is coming back to TV in March. The sassy, snarky people of the constantly re-named law firm that employs Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) and Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) will be heating up your living room. Of course, the madness will all be overseen by Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), a good, strong woman boss who more than holds her own against the supposed boys club that is Law.
With all due respect to Almost Human's Kennex and Dorian, Specter and Ross have the best bromance on TV. Macht and Adams have great banter between each other despite events that strained their professional and personal friendships in the past. This must continue this season - it's part of the glue that really holds the show together. Of course, they can get mad at each other every now and then — the show needs drama, after all. But if it drags on too long, then the show loses some of its luster.
The character whose personal change works best is Litt. At the show's beginning, he was supposed to be the firm's resident jerk and foil for Specter and Ross. As the seasons have passed, he has slowly fleshed out into a really loyal person with his own code of honor. The events in last season's finale had him learning of Ross' duplicity regarding the fact that he had never attended Harvard Law School — or any law school for any matter. This is a fact that Pearson and Specter both know, but have kept under wraps. If the old, first season Litt re-emerges, all hell could break loose. I'd actually be very sad if that happened, since Hoffman has been turning in a consistently nuanced performance straddling the line of a comedic device and real person.
The fourth season is kind of a tricky one. By all accounts, it should really be hitting its stride and firing on all cylinders, since the cast is largely comfortable with each other. Then again, it has to also push some envelopes, so as not to become stale. The problem is, if they push in the wrong direction, then things can fall apart very, very quickly and it's hard to get viewers back after missteps. But if the cast keeps its cohesiveness, then that would go a long, long way.
That said, get ready for March 6. Spring and sunshine won't be too far behind. Time to get the suits out of storage.
Cate Blanchett, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Michelle Williams were among the stars who turned out to remember Philip Seymour Hoffman at a wake in New York City on Thursday evening (06Feb14). The actor was found dead at his home in the Big Apple on Sunday (02Feb14) following a suspected drug overdose, and his famous friends gathered to honour him on the night before his funeral.
Blanchett, who appeared with the actor in 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley, attended the gathering at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan along with Hoffman's The Master co-stars Phoenix and Adams.
Williams, who worked with the star on 2008's Synecdoche, New York, was also in attendance, along with actor Josh Hamilton and Hoffman's former partner Mimi O'Donnell and three young children, Cooper, Willa and Tallulah.
A private funeral service for Hoffman will take place in New York City on Friday (07Feb14), and a memorial service will be held later this month (Feb14). The actor's family has asked for charity donations in lieu of flowers for The DreamYard Project and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
American Hustle star Amy Adams broke down in tears during a taped appearance on U.S. interview show Inside the Actors Studio when she remembered working with tragic Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt and The Master. The Oscar winner was chatting to host James Lipton on Wednesday (05Feb14) when she was suddenly overcome with emotion, according to audience members.
One eyewitness tells UsMagazine.com, "She was sobbing and couldn't finish most of her sentences.
"Amy talked about how he was the greatest actor she had worked with, and couldn't even tell stories about him without crying. She said to the audience of acting students, 'I wish you all could have had the chance to work with him'."
Hollywood's heavyweights have all paid tribute to Hoffman, who died of a suspected drug overdose on Sunday (02Feb14), and his closest celebrity friends Joaquin Phoenix, Justin Theroux, Cate Blanchett and Ethan Hawke have visited the actor's longtime partner Mimi O'Donnell and their kids to pay their respects.
Blanchett also pulled out of planned TV interviews on Thursday (06Feb14), so she wouldn't have to talk about her late friend.
"It was written by Adam Duritz and Ryan Adams. I know them, I love the song. It doesn't get a lot of airplay though. Adam told me he started writing it the night after I won a Tony, and then Ryan came over. They're two of my favourite singers and good friends, both of them." Actress Mary Louise Parker confirms Counting Crows' Butterfly in Reverse was written about her.