Movie Quote of the Day: “You ain’t ever gonna make it as a Negro.”
Reader Jon tips us off to the news that Viggo Mortensen has replaced Christoph Waltz in Cronenberg’s new film, The Talking Cure, based on the Christopher Hampton play. The Dark Horizons, via DHD, says that Mortensen will play Sigmund Freud, while Michael Fassbender will play his conflicted pupil, Carl Jung.
DHD’s Tim Adler poses the question, “If the movie‚Äôs going to be as hot as the producers hope, I can‚Äôt help but think that as a title The Talking Cure is a little flaccid. Surely the filmmakers can come up with something better?”
One of the commenters chirped, “How about calling it ‚ÄúPenis Envy‚Äù?
The ways Freud and Jung diverge are interesting, and each is responsible for varying approaches to psychoanalysis. I know, for instance, that Woody Allen has always been under the care of a strict Freudian, which probably explains a lot when you think about it. I myself did time with a Jungian many years back. Big on dreams, not so much into the blaming of the mother for everything.
Watching Witness the other day I was reminded again of Viggo Mortensen’s immediate star power. He probably had one line in that movie and yet you can’t take your eyes off of him. Mortensen, I feel, gave the best performance of the year last year, but unfortunately there just wasn’t room in the Best Actor race to accommodate him.
Formerly The Baster. Several weeks ago, Vulture reported the title was changed to placate the squeamish:
…as a result of focus-group testing, Disney is changing the title of The Baster, the upcoming Jennifer Aniston‚ÄìJason Bateman artificial-insemination comedy. The film (based on Jeffrey Eugenides’s 1996 short story) is about a woman who gets pregnant via a sperm bank and a turkey baster, and seven years later finds out that her best pal secretly swapped in his own sperm.
Lots of alternative titles were suggested, most too naughty for the main page.
Early reviews for The Runaways are generally favorable. Roger Ebert says Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning “bring more to their characters than the script provides” and he likes Michael Shannon’s performance as their manager, Kim Fowley:
Fowley, known in the music clubs of Sunset Strip as a manager on the prowl for young, cheap talent, told [Joan Jett] to give it a shot, and paired her with Currie, whose essential quality is apparently that she was 15. That fit Fowley’s concept of a jailbait band who would appeal because they seemed so young and so tough. He rehearses them in a derelict trailer in the Valley, writing their early hit “Cherry Bomb” on the spot.
Shannon is an actor of uncanny power… Here he’s an evil Svengali, who teaches rock ‘n’ roll as an assault on the audience; the girls must batter their fans into submission or admit they’re losers. He’s like a Marine drill sergeant… He converts Cherie, who begins by singing passively, into a snarling tigress.
As a postscript, Ebert weighs in on casting for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo:
Another new movie this week, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” from Sweden, has a role for a young, hostile computer hacker. Stewart has been mentioned for the inevitable Hollywood remake. Reviewing that movie, I doubted she could handle such a tough-as-nails character. Having seen her as Joan Jett, I think she possibly could.
A few more reviews after the cut:
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir wrote about the jihadist comedy Four Lions from Sundance:
Sticking with inscrutable British phenomena, something like Chris Morris’ “Four Lions” is utterly unimaginable in America. Morris studied the cases of homegrown British Muslim terrorists with real or imagined links to al-Qaida, and turned the results into a very dark slapstick farce about a group of lovable but incompetent morons devoted to the task of launching jihad in the industrial north of England. Yes, it’s “In the Loop” meets “Paradise Now,” and Morris dishes out the ruthless satire in all directions: The hardass white Muslim convert, the wholesome Pakistani immigrants, the devout mosque-goers, the inept police, the studiously liberal British politicians — they’re all criminal-grade idiots.
You’ll laugh uproariously at what seems like a nihilistic but good-humored film, until you realize that Morris isn’t actually kidding about any of it, and that where “Four Lions” is going isn’t funny at all. I don’t think this is the near-masterpiece some Sundance critics have proclaimed it, and it’s pretty hard to imagine an American audience of any size tolerating this film. But it’s a first-rate example of the self-lacerating, take-no-prisoners current in British comedy.
Poster after the cut.
It seemed like it was only a matter of time before the successful blog of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, was turned into a movie. And it’s telling that a few weeks back Drummond said that the person she’d most want to play her would be Reese Witherspoon. Now Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that Columbia has bought the rights to Ree’s love story, Black Heels and Tractor Wheels, and will develop it as a star vehicle for Witherspoon. Seems like a good fit, one supposes, although Ree is famously a redhead. Will they dress up Ree —- se to look like Ree?
Tom O’Neil talked to Robert Osborne about this year’s Academy Awards telecast — and he brought up a few great points:
The Oscar show looked good in the theater, but I hear many negatives about the way it played on television. I have several quibbles — the salute to horror films and thrillers: uninteresting time-waster. Stars coming on en masse to talk about nominees: great idea, but shouldn’t they be talking about the actor’s nominated performance instead of how cute they are, what a swell fellow, etc.?
That was the rumor yesterday, and today the story inevitably evolves to casting speculation:
Spielberg is selling “Jackie,” a hot script about the late First Lady that’s making the rounds in Hollywood. Noah Oppenheim, the head of development at Reveille who’s also a journalist, author and former producer at the “Today” show has written the script, which examines the days immediately following the assassination of John F. Kennedy from Jackie Kennedy’s point-of-view. Spielberg is on board the project in a producerial capacity.
HBO is a lead contender to buy the script and would likely develop it as a film it could air on its network. Spielberg has a long relationship with HBO; the premium cable channel is currently airing the WWII epic “The Pacific,” which Spielberg executive-produced.
The life and death of JFK have been frequently visited on television with projects such as the 1983 NBC miniseries “Kennedy,” starring Martin Sheen. And three years ago, Emilio Estevez took on the aftermath of the events surrounding the RFK assassination at the Ambassador Hotel. A film from Jackie’s point of view, however, would be more rare. More as it develops.
Jeanne Tripplehorn admirably embodied Jackie O for Grey Gardens last year, but at age 46 she’s more than a decade too old to be playing 1963 Jackie. That’s why the suggestions at EW’s PopWatch of Diane Lane (45) and Joan Allen (53) are rather baffling. Sure they both look years younger than their actual age, but Jackie Kennedy’s regal demeanor in the ’60′s seems to me a polished facade masking a much more demur and fragile girlishness. Surely there are plenty of 30-something actresses who’d be a better match than the choices EW floats. I’m confident you readers can name the actress who’ll eventually land the role.
Looking at the photo above of Jackie Kennedy, age 30, I wonder if a certain elegant actress who’s now 24 (and convincingly played an ing√©nue ’60′s teenager last year) could stretch in the other direction and play a woman 7 years older? Should I duck before I name that actress, or dodge afterwards?
Actually ‘Master’ might not be the finalized title for their next project, but that headline was already long enough without referring to PTA’s next dissection of America’s spiritual grasping as “The Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project.” Deadline.com has the details:
EXCLUSIVE: After the disappointing box office returns on Paul Greengrass‚Äôs thoughtful but vastly expensive action polemic Green Zone, what‚Äôs gonna happen with a new Paul Thomas Anderson drama that won‚Äôt get made by Universal because of its $35 million budget?
I‚Äôm hearing talks are serious for Bill Pohlad‚Äôs River Road to fully finance a film that will star Philip Seymour Hoffman as a charismatic intellectual who becomes the leader of a start-up religion in the 1950s that takes off like wildfire. The Hurt Locker‚Äôs Jeremy Renner is circling the role of a young drifter who becomes his right hand man but begins to question his mentor and the whole belief thing. The presence of Oscar winner Hoffman and Oscar nominee Renner gives PTA another Oscar-bait movie, and a topical one, as the storyline questions long established religions as well as comparative upstarts like Scientology and Mormonism. But the $35 million price tag was blasphemy to some indie distributors who considered the package.
I‚Äôm also hearing that PTA‚Äôs longtime agent and former Paramount honcho John Lesher is likely to join as producer alongside Anderson‚Äôs longtime collaborator, Jo Anne Sellar. River Road seems a strong fit, given Pohlad’s affection for auteur fare. He made possible the Terrence Malick-directed The Tree of Life with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, as well as the Warner Bros castoff Fair Game, the Doug Liman-directed drama about outed CIA op Valerie Plame which stars Penn and Noami Watts. Pohlad is principal investor and partner with Bob Berney in the distribution shingle Apparition. It’s unclear if Berney will get the PTA film, though it seems right in the distributor’s wheelhouse. Apparition next distributes The Runaways for Pohlad.
Let’s not write off the era of Indie influence until a few more major studios decide to start financing movies again.
Premiering March 23 on HBO Signature, another intriguing surprise in what’s shaping up to be a banner year for the cable network. With high-profile roles emerging in The Pacific; Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian (in You Don’t Know Jack, April 24); New Orleans jazz drama Treme from David Simon (The Wire); and Boardwalk Empire this Fall — will there be room for any Best Actor nominees at the Emmys this year who aren’t on HBO?
Einstein and Eddington is a British single drama produced by Company Pictures and the BBC, in association with HBO. It featured David Tennant as British scientist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, and Andy Serkis as Albert Einstein. This is the story of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, his relationship with Eddington and the introduction of this theory to the world, against the backdrop of the Great War. (wiki)
A new trailer for Boardwalk Empire aired Sunday night before Episode One of The Pacific. Thanks to jennybee for reminding us that it might not have been widely seen, so you can take a look after the cut.
Foreign Language Film
Live Action Short