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Posts Tagged ‘Ewan McGregor’

Todd McCarthy Uncorks the Mother of All Rhetorical Questions

We agree with Variety film editor Josh Dickey. The opening sentence of THR critic Todd McCarthy’s review of the Warner Bros. fantasy film Jack the Giant Slayer is one for the ages:

When will all the dead-serious $200 million battle-centered giant-infested similarly cast rousingly scored fabulously rendered 3D fairy-tale reimaginings all finally merge together into one enormous Anglophilic fantasmagoria of monarchical order and virtue so we can all be done with this for the time being?

We’re talking: 44 glorious words, four of them hyphenated; a French-leaning spelling of phantasmagoria (for le extra oomph?); and an audacious disregard of the comma. In this brief moment, McCarthy has recast himself as Todd the Run-On Sentence Slayer. Bravo.

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Mediabistro Course

Children's Picture Book Writing

Children's Picture Book WritingStarting September 15, this part lecture, part workshop course will take you through the process of outlining, writing, editing, and submitting a children's picture book. Taught by a published children's book author, Dashka Slater will teach you how to write in pictures, hook readers and editors with your story, apply the nuts and bolts of marketing, and more. Register now! 

A Party for Emily Blunt & Ewan McGregor; Katie Couric Holds Court

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It’s been a pretty wild winter at Michael’s. Far from suffering from the seasonal doldrums, the place has been operating on full tilt every Wednesday with a fresh array of A-listers that always make for some pretty good people watching. Today was no exception.

Besides the jam packed dining room filled with boldface names, Peggy Siegal was hosting a party for Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt to celebrate the release of their latest picture, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I caught up with Emily (I loved her scene-stealing turn with Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada) when we both stopped by Katie Couric‘s table to say hello. “It is a bit unusual,” Emily said when I asked her about the movie’s quirky title. “I’m hoping that it will make people want to check it out and see what it’s really all about. It’s really a lovely love story.” I saw the trailer, I told her, and it does look pretty romantic. “It is! I hope people will like it.” Emily has been making the rounds to promote the film and has a funny Q&A in this week’s New York magazine where she talks about she and her husband, John Krasinski (the cute guy on The Office) being neighbors with Jimmy Kimmel. Everyone, it seems, loves her hubby including Katie. “He’s just so adorable,” Katie told Emily, who could hardly disagree.

Katie Couric with Ewan McGregor and a host of well-wishers.

I was joined today by Bravo’s newest reality star, matchmaker Lori Zaslow, whose show Love Broker premiered this week, Bravo’s SVP of Communications Jennifer Geisser, and communications manager Ryan McCormick. I caught Lori’s first show and her Monday night appearance on Watch What Happens Live! A new Bravolebrity is born!

The White Plains native and former executive recruiter started her matchmaking business, Project Soulmate, in 2009 with childhood friend Jennifer Zucher and wasn’t looking for TV fame when Bravo came calling. Andy Cohen loved her “big personality” and was determined to get her on-air. ”Bravo loves the love space,” Lori told me. After an eight-month courtship, she finally relented and agreed to do the show. The series was shot in eight weeks last summer. Lori admitted being a little nervous about seeing the finished product. Based on  the first episode, it seems she had nothing to worry about. In the days since the premiere, she’s been deluged with calls from folks looking to make a love connection, including plenty of mothers looking to find mates for their sons. Says Lori, “I realize just how good this could be for our business.” Yup.

The married Manhattan mother of two told me that she’s always been a “natural connector” matching friends, family and strangers with potential mates, ‘Mommy’ friends, nannies and even housekeepers. But she’s clearly most passionate about helping people find love. “No one can’t live without love. It’s scientifically proven that married men live 10 years longer than single men,” she says. “Why isn’t love put first in people’s lives? Today people are working so hard on their lives and careers, but they don’t make time for love. It’s all about striking the right balance.” Lori works exclusively with New York clients, so I asked her why it’s so hard to find the right person in Manhattan. “It’s so easy to meet people here, but it’s really hard to connect,” she explained. “There are too many distractions.” That’s where she comes in. Most of her clients (“98 percent”) are men, and she needs “20 times the amount of women” in order to find the right mate for those looking for love. How does she do it? ”I’m fearless when it comes to love,” she says.  ”I will always go up to anyone who looks interesting and ask, ‘Are you single?’ Most people are flattered. Who wouldn’t want to meet someone great if they’re looking?”

Lori says that there is no bad place to meet “your soul mate” —  it’s just a matter of being open to the experience. The gym, Whole Foods on Sunday nights when most men do their shopping, and even jury duty are fertile ground. Just don’t go looking in places where you wouldn’t ordinarily go. ”Don’t join a runners’ club if you hate running,” she advises. “Like goes to like. Be who you are. Enjoy yourself and enjoy your life.”

Here’s a rundown on today’s crowd:

1. HollywoodLife.com editor in chief Bonnie Fuller and PMC vice chairman Gerry Byrne. In attendance: BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti, Ann Lawlor, The Weinstein Company’s Meryl Poster, fashionista Fern Mallis, Mesa Global’s Mark Patricof, style expert Jill Martin, AdWeek‘s Lisa Granatstein and HollywoodLife.com publisher Carlos Lamadrid.

2. Terry McDonnell and CBS News This Morning‘s Gayle King

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, who was brandishing a cane. A little birdie told me the mayor was hobbled by too much bronco busting. Be careful out there!

4. Wowowow.com’s Joni Evans and Liz Smith. Great to see you!

Katie Couric and Cindi Berger
Katie Couric and Cindi Berger

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Terry Gilliam Still Chasing After Windmills

During a recent visit to Los Angeles, director Terry Gilliam took the time to chat with LA Times “Hero Complex” main man Geoff Boucher. The beleaguered filmmaker (who turned 71 last week)  was in town for an American Cinematheque sponsored screening of Brazil and his latest project, the Italian-made short The Wholly Family.

Much like Orson Welles, Gilliam has spent a large portion of his career battling Hollywood execs and chasing after film financing. That remains the case today, with his decade-old project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote still languishing and likely never to be finished. But it is all by choice, thanks to a decision made decades ago in the San Fernando Valley:

“Look, the last proper job I had was [in the 1960s] at the Chevrolet assembly plant in Van Nuys. It was the night shift, and when I quit I said I would never work for money again. I believe in the things I make. The fact that God doesn’t want me to make them is beside the point.”

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A Few Sundance Titles Might Include…

sundancepic2.jpgSundance Film Festival is still almost two months away, but already the blogging universe is making its predictions about the line-up.

Who knows where they got their info, but regardless, a few possibilities include:

“Paper Hearts” – First up is a film that almost no one has heard about until now. The feature filmmaking debut of Nicholas Jasenovec, the film is an unconventional comedy which is being described as “part-documentary, part-scripted comedy” about Michael Cera’s real-life relationship with Charlyne Yi (“Knocked Up”). Not much else is known about the film, but indie insiders are already predicting that it will be this year’s Sundance break out hit ala “Napoleon Dynamite.”

An Education – “Italian For Beginners” director Lone Scherfig‘ helms the first screenplay by About a Boy/High Fidelity novelist Nick Hornby. Adapted from a memoir by Lynn Barber, published in literary magazine Granta, the film tells a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, who has her life turned inside out after she meets a 35-year-old sportscar-driving Brit. The film stars Emma Thompson, Rosamund Pike, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper, Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams and Sally Hawkins.

“Brooklyn’s Finest” – Training Day director Antoine Fuqua‘s cop tale about three unconnected Brooklyn cops who wind up at the same deadly location after enduring vastly different career paths. The film stars Don Cheadle, Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/Wesley-Snipes-profile.html”>Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin, Jesse Williams and Lili Taylor.

“I Love You Phillip Morris” – Adapted from Steve McVicker’s 2003 novel, and based on a true story. Steve Carrey plays Russell, a criminal who falls in love with his cell mate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). After Morris’ release from prison, Russell attempts a variety of bizarre prison escapes in hopes of reuniting with the love of his life. The movie was apparently pitched as “Catch Me if You Can meets Brokeback Mountain”. The screenplay was written by the team who did “Bad Santa.”