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Studio Film

Whatever Happened to Jaye Davidson, Star of 1992′s The Crying Game?

Remember Jaye Davidson? Twenty years ago, the Riverside, CA native was front and center in the 1992 Oscar race, nominated as Best Supporting Actor for the role of Dil in Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game. He wound up losing to Gene Hackman’s evil Unforgiven sheriff.

The bulk of Awards Line managing editor Anthony D’Alessandro’s 20th anniversary look-back is about how producer Stephen Woolley and Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein miraculously managed to get the press to keep the film’s gender-bending plot twist a secret. But there’s also this tidbit:

Davidson never plotted an acting career in the first place. A prolific role as the sun god Ra in MGM’s scifi film Stargate followed. At one point during Cannes 1998, it was announced Davidson was attached to a Steven Seagal action title Cousin Joey opposite Mickey Rourke (which was never made).

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Twilight Finale Generates Usual Array of Critic Objections

Here’s one of our favorite ways to use Rotten Tomatoes:

1) Click into the main page for a new movie;
2) Sort the amalgamated reviews by “Rotten” first;
3) Scroll and read what the “Top Critic”-rated journalists on the stink-side are saying.

Just about all of the Team Rotten reviewers admit that Breaking Dawn – Part 2 will greatly please the franchise’s hardcore fans. Still, critics in this group can’t help but also highlight some of the inherent problems:

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:
“With so many scenes of well-dressed vampires sitting or standing, stiffly, while Taylor Lautner or Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart passes another micro-slab of dialogue like a kidney stone, Michael Sheen’s overacting’s greatly appreciated, thanks.”

Roger Ebert:
“The depiction of little Renesmee is rather curious… Her grandfather Charlie Swan (Billy Burke) observes, “My, how you’ve grown! You must be six inches taller!” And so she seems, although by my reckoning, it happened between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A human child like that, you take to see a specialist.”

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Aaron Sorkin: Steve Jobs Biopic Will Consist of ‘Three Scenes’

During today’s portion of the Newsweek/Daily Beast Hero Summit in Washington D.C., Aaron Sorkin provided a tantalizing preview of the script structure he is relying on to adapt Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography.

Per a report by the publication’s TV critic Jace Lacob, here’s what Sorkin told Tina Brown:

“I hope I don’t get killed by the studio for giving too much away,” Sorkin said, “but this entire movie is going to be three scenes, and three scenes only, that all take place in real time.”

Each of the three scenes will run 30 minutes in length and Sorkin said they will be “all set right before three major product launches.”

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This Bud’s for All Those Who Hate Hollywood Product Placement

At one end of the Budweiser advertising spectrum are the millions spent each winter on fancy Super Bowl ads. At the other, evidently, is Denzel Washington’s new drama Flight.

Per a report by AP entertainment reporter Anthony McCartney, Anheuser-Busch never explicitly authorized the inclusion of the brand in the Paramount Pictures release. What’s more, the studio is likely well within its anti-product placement rights via a scene showing Captain Whip Whitaker enjoying one in the cockpit:

Trademark laws “don’t exist to give companies the right to control and censor movies and TV shows that might happen to include real-world items,” said Daniel Nazer, a resident fellow at Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project. “It is the case that often filmmakers get paid by companies to include their products. I think that’s sort of led to a culture where they expect they’ll have control. That’s not a right the trademark law gives them.”

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Ben Affleck’s Nod to Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee

A different kind of conversation flow is possible when a fellow filmmaker rather than a journalist interviews a Hollywood director. Witness the Interview magazine Q&A between Ben Affleck, whose critically hailed Argo opens tomorrow, and Gus Van Sant, the man who guided him through 1997′s Good Will Hunting.

Affleck admits he watched a number of classic American movies for stylistic research purposes. Cassavetes was instrumental for the California scenes, while 1982′s Missing greatly helped inform the Iran sequences. As far as the cloak and dagger stuff, he told Van Sant he reached back to arguably the best film ever made about American print journalism:

“I wanted the CIA stuff to feel like All the President’s Men (1976) – not the sexy CIA, but the CIA where papers are piled up on desks and there’s cigarette smoke everywhere. Bryan Cranston’s character in Argo is also a bit like the Ben Bradlee role played by Jason Robards in All the President’s Men. I thought that if what we did reminded people of movies from that era that were in the collective consciousness, then the subconscious would believe that our movie was actually taking place in the 1970s.”

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Tom Hanks About to Begin Wonderful Role of Disney

Although it’s admittedly way early to start sizing up next year’s Oscar prospects, one thing seems pretty certain. The artistic journey that Tom Hanks is about to embark on will lead him straight to the Dolby Theatre in February of 2014.

Shooting started today (without Hanks) on location in LA for Saving Mr. Banks, the story of how it took 20 years for Walt Disney to land the film rights to P.L. TraversMary Poppins. Essaying the first-ever portrayal of Walt in a dramatic film is the two-time Oscar winner, opposite Emma Thompson as the cagey author. From today’s announcement:

When Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Disney’s desire to bring her beloved character to the screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario’s concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past. During her stay in California, Travers’ reflects back on her childhood in 1906 Australia, a trying time for her family which not only molded her aspirations to write, but one that also inspired the characters in her 1934 book.

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Tom Cruise Publicist: He Never Forced His Religion on Katie Holmes

As part of their evaluation of how fallout from the scandalous Vanity Fair October cover story might affect the way Tom Cruise promotes his next movie (Jack Reacher), THR reporters Daniel Miller and Kim Masters share a couple of interesting official denials of the magazine’s Nazanin Boniadi claims.

The first comes from attorney Bert Fields, who says that if someone were foolish enough to believe Maureen Orth’s article, “even she [the reporter] doesn’t claim that Tom knew what she claims the church was doing.” The other is delivered by Cruise’s 42West publicist Amanda Lundberg (pictured). She says the VF piece was nothing but “lies designed to sell magazines” and then adds this bucket of cold water:

Lundberg denies that Cruise ever forced his religion on Holmes. “He has a right to believe what he wants to believe,” says Lundberg. “Do I think fans care about it? No. Do I think he owes anybody an explanation? No. He has a job to do, and he does it better than anybody. He has nothing to apologize for.”

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Joaquin Phoenix’s Monumental Montgomery Clift Mash-Up

When Quentin Tarantino was doing press for Inglorious Basterds, he was asked by a reporter what films or filmmaker would inspire him today if he was just starting out in the business. He answered Paul Thomas Anderson, writer-director of The Master, opening Friday in LA and New York:

“We’re really good friends and we have a very kind of artist romantic relationship. I feel I’m Marlon Brando to his Montgomery Clift. But there is a reality. Brando was better because Clift was out there. Same thing, Clift was better because he knew f*ckin’ Brando was already there, all right?”

In Anderson’s The Master, Joaquin Phoenix is one part Brando and four parts Clift. The actor’s colossal portrayal of Freddie Quell, a man who quite literally is fighting at every moment to quell his personal demons, ranks as the first performance in a very long time to recall the on-screen syncopated beats and off-screen tortured genius of an actor who had his own fair share of “The” titled films (The Search, The Heiress, The Defector).

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Missing Hollywood Producer Believed To Have Committed Suicide

A body believed to be missing film producer Brian Gerber has been found. The body was found this morning near the wreckage of a car that had plunged off an embankment of Angeles Crest Highway. Police have not confirmed the identity of the body, but their description matches that of the missing man. On Gerber’s Facebook page, a statement from the family says that Gerber is deceased, and are asking for privacy. They say they will be in touch as soon as arrangements have been made for services.

Gerber was a successful film producer and a co-founder of the Digital Hollywood summits. He co-produced The 11th Hour, a 2007 documentary film about environmental crises, with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Police have been searching for Gerber since he went missing Monday. The LA Weekly spoke to Battalion Chief Ron Larriva of the L.A. County Fire Department, who said they found “a suicide note up on the rock” close to where the car went over the embankment.

Photo via Brian Gerber’s Facebook page.

Jodie Foster’s Next-Best Advice to Kristen Stewart: Pirouettes

Actress Jodie Foster is the first to admit that the media culture has changed a whole lot since she landed her first acting gig in the mid-1960s, at age three. So much so that she likes to remind people that if she were a youngster today, she would be steering clear of the acting profession.

That’s just one of the declarations made by Foster in a thought-provoking Daily Beast op ed about the current coverage of Kristen Stewart’s personal troubles. She says that even though she hit her apex before the advent of TMZ, Twitter and anonymous character assassination, she had to learn how “to submerge beneath the foul air and breathe through a straw.” Foster also recalls a prescient conversation during the making of Panic Room, a thriller in which Stewart co-starred:

Her mother and I watched Kristen jump around after the basketball, hooting with every [production] team basket. “She doesn’t want to be an actor when she grows up, does she?” I asked. Her mom sighed. “Yes … unfortunately.” We both smiled and shrugged with an ambivalence born from experience. “Can’t you talk her out of it?” I offered. “Oh, I’ve tried. She loves it. She just loves it.” More sighs.

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