The honeymoon in Vegas is over. (And apparently has been for a long, long time.)
Oscar-winning star Nicolas Cage and actress/wife Patricia Arquette are divorcing after nearly five years of marriage, Arquette's publicist confirmed today.
Arquette, Cage Cage, 36, filed the petition Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing the dreaded "irreconcilable differences." The split was described as "amicable" and "a mutual decision" by Arquette's rep, Simon Halls.
The real shocker is Cage's divorce petition: It says the couple separated just nine months after they wed -- roughly four years ago.
Rumors had been circulating about the couple's happiness for the past few years. While the two often were arm in arm at premieres and award shows, onlookers commented that they looked about as thrilled as siblings forced to share the backseat on a road trip. The two have subsequently been tight-lipped about their marriage, although Cage recently told Movieline "you don't just throw in the towel when there's any kind of a problem."
The couple, who recently co-starred in Martin Scorsese's "Bringing Out the Dead" met in 1987. Cage was so besotted that he was said to have immediately declared, "I love you, and I'm going to marry you."
She didn't believe him, so he asked her to put him on a "mission" to prove his love to her. Legend has it, Arquette, now 31, complied by giving him the most Herculean of scavenger hunts, demanding items such as a black orchid and reclusive author J. D. Salinger's autograph.
Cage succeeded in obtaining the autograph (for the record, there are no black orchids), which impressed -- and probably frightened -- Arquette, who told him to forget about the rest of the list. She agreed to go on a getaway to Cuba with him, but when the trip fell through and Cage's decidedly unattractive temper flared, Arquette split.
During their time apart, Cage squired actress Sarah Jessica Parker and model Kirsten Zang, to whom he was engaged until 1994. Arquette kept company with Christian Slater and Matthew McConaughey. They both also became parents, he to son Weston Coppola Cage, now 9, with his then-girlfriend Kristina Fulton; she to son Enzo, now 11, with Paul Rossi. The two remained close friends until they crossed paths again in 1995.
This time, after a Pamela Anderson-Tommy Lee-length courtship, it was love, and the two wed April 8, 1995. But it was Arquette who proposed, showing up at Cage's house dressed head to toe in black vinyl, carrying a big purple wedding cake.
"I knew I was with the right woman," Cage said in a TV interview.
One would think the match was one made in heaven (or at least Hollywood), since both Cage and Arquette have famous bloodlines. Arquette is the younger sister of Rosanna ("Desperately Seeking Susan") and older sister of David, the "Scream" actor married to Courteney Cox. Cage's lineage includes uncle Francis Ford Coppola. As a young actor, Cage dropped the family name and adopted the moniker of comic-book strongman Luke Cage.
Cage, whose scored his first leading role in 1983's "Valley Girl" and began garnering notice in "Peggy Sue Got Married," directed by his uncle, shot to the A-list when he won the 1995 Best Actor Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas." Of late, he has gone onto fashion himself as a action star in flicks such as "The Rock," "Con Air" and "Face/Off."
Arquette is perhaps best known for heating up the screen with Slater in "True Romance" (1993).
In a surprising move, the members of the New York Film Critics Circle, an association of film reviewers from major Manhattan-based newspapers and magazines, selected "Topsy-Turvy" as the Best Picture of 1999.
Part biopic, part backstage drama, "Topsy-Turvy" is an opulent motion picture that focuses on the prickly relationship between librettist William Schwenk Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. Mike Leigh was selected as Best Director for the same film, which now becomes poised with "American Beauty" (selected by the National Board of Review), "Three Kings" (the Boston Critics' choice) and "The Insider" (the L.A. Film Critics Association winner) as frontrunners in the upcoming Oscar race.
The top acting honors were awarded to two performers who portrayed real-life figures. Veteran Richard Farnsworth was named Best Actor for his turn as Alvin Straight, a man who rode a tractor several hundred miles across the Midwest in order to reunite with his estranged brother, in "The Straight Story," directed by David Lynch. Hilary Swank was cited as Best Actress for her superlative portrayal of Teena Brandon, a Nebraska woman who lived her short adult life as a man, in "Boy's Don't Cry."
The quirky, highly original comedy "Being John Malkovich" earned three awards: Best Supporting Actor for John Malkovich (for playing a character based on himself), Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Keener and Best First Film for director Spike Jonze.
For the first time in its 65-year history, the Circle voted to present a prize for Best Animated Film, bestowing the honors to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the uproarious and irreverent "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut." As Circle Chairman Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly explained, "You could almost say that this award category created itself. There has been such an increase in animated features targeted at adults as well as children, that as critics we felt we had to recognize superior achievement in the field."
"All About My Mother," directed by Pedro Almodovar, was selected as the Best Foreign Language Film, marking a clean sweep in all the critics' prizes presented to date.
Other award presented by the New York Film Critics Circle include Best Cinematography to Freddie Francis' lensing of "The Straight Story," Best Non-Fiction Film to "Buena Vista Social Club" and Best Screenplay to Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for the little-seen "Election." A special award for distinguished achievement in film criticism was bestowed on Manny Farber.
Gleiberman and Vice-Chairman David Sterrit of The Christian Science Monitor made the announcement of the awards. The annual presentation of the awards will be held at a dinner at New York City's Windows on the World at the World Trade Center on Jan. 9.
Let's hear it for the old guy who in this movie comes off sexier than his buff young accomplice (Dermot Mulroney). OK the old guy happens to be the gracefully aging icon Paul Newman -- as a feisty heistmeister who dodges a long prison sentence and then teams up with his equally conniving rest-home nurse (Linda Fiorentino) on a bank job gone wrong. "Where the Money Is" is breezy suspenseful and as much a love story as anything else -- if you call mentoring a new life in crime a kind of love. The mission-improbable caper is no more or less entertaining than a "Rockford Files" rerun but the film's swerving joyride takes its real thrills from the great escape that Fiorentino's Bonnie Parker makes from a dead-end life in the married lane.
Newman still hasn't lost it and as Henry Manning he doesn't miss any nuances in the edgy balance between streetwise wariness and amiable rapport with his sultry new colleague. The steam-powered Fiorentino has forged her career by making danger look casual and this is her most alluring work since "The Last Seduction" added another zero to her salary. Her chemistry with Newman a flirty twist on the idea of honor among thieves is really what makes this movie worth seeing. Mulroney is serviceable as the dim but lovable hubby a supporting role that's more foil than fully etched character.
We can all thank director Marek Kanievska for deciding not to have the May-December duo end up in the sack and leaving them simply professional cohorts. The director's admirable sense of comic timing works all the better by not letting the laughs get in the way of his leads' exploration of their characters -- although there's no denying the limits of this frothy genre. Perhaps Kanievska's greatest feat here is allowing Newman to retain his dignity in close-up.
Lavished with rich period detail (it's set in 1971 Salford England) and hilarious anecdotes the film revolves around the plans by George (the father) to marry off his sons to good Pakistani girls. The movie opens with his handsome eldest son bolting from the altar to live a secular (and decidedly fashionable) life even though it means being severed from his kin. It all unfolds with great energy that never lets up even at the cathartic hour of reckoning between tribe and elder.
George's irascibility is brilliantly telegraphed in Om Puri's remarkable craggy face (last seen in Hanif Kureishi's "My Son the Fanatic"). Linda Bassett as his
common-sense wife Ella captures the inner struggle between a loving dutiful (and abused) spouse and a mother protective of her children's happiness. The ensemble playing their fractious brood -- six sons and one sassy daughter -- is a joy to watch.
Much of the tale's brisk charm lies in its frenetic intergenerational conflict which Damien O'Donnell brilliantly navigates. O'Donnell milks each scene for every possible grain of comedic friction.