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Posts Tagged ‘Helen Mirren’

The Master of Suspense Crashes 2012 Oscar Party

Gigantic news today for those of us who professionally handicap 2012 Oscar nominees and winners. An 800-pound gorilla just entered the room.

Its name is Hitchcock. Not long ago, we interviewed UCLA film prof Howard Suber about his visit to the downtown LA set of that movie, on the last day of filming. Per THR awards watcher Scott Feinberg, here is just one of the many ways Fox Searchlight’s decision to move up release to Thanksgiving could impact this fall’s film awards season:

While the best actor race is already extremely crowded, which may make Anthony Hopkins’ path bumpy, the road to a best actress nom for 2006 winner Helen Mirren, who I’m told goes toe-to-toe with Hopkins in this film, looks a lot clearer. Indeed, that category is so thin this year… that studios at recent fests were clamoring with each other over any film featuring even a so-so leading performance from a female.

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UCLA Prof, Students Visit Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock Set

At 2:30 p.m. last Thursday, writer-director Sacha Gervasi called up Howard Suber to invite his former UCLA professor and current students to visit the set of Hitchcock that same night. For the production’s final day of shooting, the setting was a downtown LA theater gussied up to look like the 1960 location of Psycho’s New York City premiere.

“In the UCLA Film and Television Producers Program, which I chaired, we have 300-400 hotshots from the industry in to speak every year, so there’s enormous interchange about what’s going on today in the business,” Suber (pictured) tells FishbowlLA. “But, curiously, this is the first set visit of a class that I recall in 30 or 40 years. Seeing the students’ excitement, I wrote the chair afterwards that we should try to arrange set visits much more regularly.”

Gervasi, who scripted Steven Spielberg’s 2004 drama The Terminal and directed the great 2008 documentary about heavy metal band Anvil, took Suber’s class a decade ago. Students came and went from the set all night through to 2:00 a.m. wrap, getting to meet Anthony Hopkins as well as watch him interact on set with co-stars Helen Mirren and Toni Collette.

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The Two Petes Pan Arthur

Just how bad is this weekend’s remake of Arthur starring Russell Brand in the 1981 Dudley Moore role? We haven’t seen it, so we can’t entirely be sure; but it’s not a good sign when both Peter Travers of Rolling Stone and Pete Hammond of Box Office Magazine crank out “rotten” reviews that cannot be poached for a sometimes misleading rave blurb.

You read that right. While the Hollywood studios love to mine this pair’s pronouncements for those infamous movie poster “pull quotes,” they do so sometimes even when the overall review is neutral or even negative. What’s more, Travers and Hammond both tend to side with the RottenTomatoes.com consensus in a majority of cases (Hammond 64% of the time, Travers a surprising 79%).

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‘Oscar Nominated for Best Picture’ Means Just a Little Less This Morning Than Before

We know Hollywood is the place for dreamers and the high aspirational. But ten nominations for best picture seems greedy and self-congratulatory. “There’s just so much WONDERFUL, QUALITY work we just couldn’t chose.”

As we’ve seen with politics, twice the candidates doesn’t make them better choices. Just more.

The complete list of the noms:

Best picture

“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9″
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

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Trade Round-Up: Oct. 1, 2007

rock.jpegGame Plan Picks Off Kingdom
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rocked the box-office over the weekend with his family laffer The Game Plan from Disney. The kid pic opened at $22.7 million, exceeding weekend expecations, THR reports. The showing bested the No. 2 movie in theaters, the Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner-starrer The Kingdom, which grossed $17.7 million.

Desperate Housewives Win Night for ABC
The women of Wisteria Lane saw their season premiere last night on ABC and the Desperate Housewives showing was good enough for a first place finish in the primetime race, THR reports, but the ratings were still off 23% from last year’s season opener. However, THR also writes that it was the show’s best ratings since Nov. 26, 2006.

Morgan Readies Queen Sequel
Oscar-nominated scribe Peter Morgan is penning a sequel to the Helen Mirren-starrer The Queen, reports Variety. The pic – Morgan’s third in a ‘Blair trilogy’ – will center on former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair’s relationships with presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Michael Sheen, who played Blair in The Queen, is expected to reprise his role. But the bigger question is – who will play Clinton and Bush?!

- CHRIS GARDNER

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 26, 2007

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CASTING ROUND-UP
Universal Pictures is back in business with Jennifer Aniston, signing the actress to star opposite Aaron Eckhart in Traveling, Variety reports. Pic will be the directing debut of Brandon Camp who wrote the script with Mike Thompson. You guessed it – it’s a romantic dramedy that stars Aniston as a floral designer who factors heavily into a self-help guru’s realization that he practices none of the principles he teaches.

Kevin James has signed on to write, produce and star in Mall Cop for Columbia Pictures. We don’t really need to tell you the story, which he’ll write with Nick Bakay, Variety reports.

Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn will star opposite Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Jason Bateman in State of Play for Universal Pictures/Working Title, writes Variety. Project is an adaptation of the British miniseries.

Will & Grace alum Eric McCormack is headed to cable TV, signing on to star in the TNT drama pilot Truth in Advertising, THR reports. The project is set at multimillion-dollar advertising agency Rothman, Greene & Mohr, where executives must continually prove themselves as their jobs are on the line every day. Sounds a bit like FBLA.

- CHRIS GARDNER

In The Trades: Writers, Talkers, Cross Words

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The Writers Co-Op, a sort of joint venture for screenwriters, has gotten 19 top scripters to sign up. John Wells has offered office space and staff support for the production entity, and Warners has offered a first look deal to the Co-Op. Writers will take cuts in their high upfront salaries for the reward of receiving first-dollar gross, the right to participate as producers and a guarantee they will not be rewritten without their consultation and approval, and will get imput all the way from development to post-production. Since the parties involved are all A-listers, many of whom also direct, they’ll want to write commercial projects that will net the Co-Op producers’ fees as well as their own shares of the gross, so the reasoning goes.

Bunim-Murray, the reality (Real World, Road Rules) titans, are moving into theatrical documentary, under Sasha Alpert’s guidance. First film out is Autism: The Musical.

Margaret Thatcher is the subject of a BBC Films feature, to be produced by Damian Jones. Helen Mirren, get ready!

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Steven Bochco enters the online community with Cafe Confidential, a sort of tell-all show with real people telling all about various subjects. Metacafe hosts the series.

Dolemite returns to the big screen. Rudy Ray Moore, created the characrter and will EP the film with Bill Fishman directing. No casting announcements yet.

Merv Griffin Entertainment’s newest game show, Let’s Play Crosswords, has cleared enough TV markets for a 2007-08 debut. It’s a return to quality, according to execs.

LAT in 90 Seconds

hudsonaward.jpgBlow-By-Blows Kinda Blow: We are puzzled by the pervasiveness of online minute-by-minute accounts of awards shows. Is it really important to note that at “5:35 p.m. — The nominees stand up in the auditorium, a record 177 artists and craftsman, applauding themselves and one another”? We don’t think so. But, if you’re into that kind of thing (you sick little fetishist, you), then you’ll love this.

marty.jpgYou Always Remember Your First Time: A surprising number of Oscar virgins were deflowered: Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Alan Arkin … and, of course, Al Gore.

emmys.jpgOn A Related Note: American Idol producers are being given the reigns of next September’s Emmys show to make sure it doesn’t, you know, suck.

Media Events 02.22.2007

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THURSDAY 02.22.07
WHAT: SCIENCE OF SLEEP DVD signing
WHO: Michel Gondry.
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Virgin Megastore.
WHY: You have something better to do?

FRIDAY 02.23.07
WHAT: A Bunch of Oscars Parties that You’re Not Invited To.
WHO: Lots of Pretty People
WHEN: All Day and Night
WHERE: We’re not telling.
WHY: … you’re not invited? We have no idea. Maybe you should floss more.

SUNDAY 02.24.07
WHAT: The Oscars
WHO: We’re betting it’s Marty’s year.
WHEN: 5 pm
WHERE: ABC.
WHY: Because Helen Mirren is a funny, funny lady.

SAG Inspires Snark: Blog Roundup

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SAG awards: best of the blogs:

Styles & Scenes by Elizabeth Snead

For some unknown reason, Snead links to a very nasty feature from Maxim. Obviously, she didn’t get the memo.

Gold Derby by Tom O’Neil:

Forest Whitaker needs someone to write him an acceptance speech, and then rehearse it.

The Carpetbagger by David Carr

Helen Mirren rehearsed and recycled her speech.

Second City Style by Lauren Dimet

Rachel McAdams mistook the red carpet for Chuck E. Cheese.

Desperate Housewives by Leora Israel Zellman

Judging by the posts, these fans are loyal!

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