December 29, 2005

Keira to Star In Silk

Digital Spy reports that British actress Keira Knightley will star as the wife of a French silkworm merchant who falls in love with a Japanese concubine in an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco's Silk, which takes place in the 1860s. --Kim

Hawke's Hottest State

Uma's ex, Gen Xer Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Before Sunset), will direct Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) in an adaptation of his coming-of-age novel The Hottest State, which was originally published in 1996. No word on who will play the male lead but shooting begins in January. Hawke previously directed the ensemble drama Chelsea Walls. More info here. --Kim

Brokeback Mountain, Etc.

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas/Hanukkah! Along with It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas, I managed to watch several of my favorite adaptations over the holiday weekend including A Christmas Carol, A Room with a View, and Enchanted April. Just as with E.M. Forster's novel, I try to watch the film every so often because it never fails to inspire. I also saw Brokeback Mountain last night and it was incredible. Everything you've heard about this adaptation is true. The performances are remarkable. While Ang Lee’s film, based on an achingly wonderful short story by Annie Proulx, is breaking new ground by portraying a long-term affair between two men, the true appeal in the story is the agonizing pain of lovers who are forced apart by social and family pressure just as the most famous fictional star-crossed lovers in history, Romeo and Juliet. The film retains the intimacy of the short story while also managing to make it larger than life. It's one of the best and most moving films I've seen in ages. (Oh and Casanova is cute--a bit like Shakespeare in Love only without the clever dialogue--but Sienna Miller puts me to sleep.) --Kim

December 21, 2005

Homer Does History

Just caught the episode of the "The Simpsons" that spoofs off PBS's "1900 House." The family gets recruited by a reality network to live in a Victorian house where the only modern amenity is the video closet to record their daily thoughts. Homer accidentally wears a chamber pot on his head thinking it's an army helmet. Marge insists on having tampons despite the rules against having anything post "1890s" in the house. Later, the producers drop Squiggy from "Laverne & Shirley" in the house to liven things up. (He had a tazer gun.)

My favorite line is when Homer and Marge were lying in bed...
HOMER: "The kids are in bed...Maybe I could 'Wuther' your "Heights?'"

Gotta love it. -- Amy

December 20, 2005

Bynes to Remake Twelfth Night

In the grand tradition of Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in10 Things I Hate about You (inspired by Taming the Shrew), Amanda Bynes will star as Viola in Dreamworks' upcoming She's the Man. For starters, couldn't they have come up with a better title? --Kim

December 14, 2005

Word To The G-Squared

Yes, I'm a day late and a dollar short with this post, but the Golden Globe nominations are out. I'd write more, but award shows bore me. Nevertheless, congrats to Keira Knightley who was nominated for best actress in a musical or comedy film. Here's what she had to say about being recognized.

Now on to more interesting things, like this clever imagining of Pride & Prejudice and King Kong by Joyce Wadler. --Amy

December 13, 2005

Aslan Is on the Move

I saw Narnia on Friday night and I must say, it was nothing less than thrilling. That moment when Lucy stumbles out of the wardrobe and into Narnia brought me back to the first time I read the book as a very young child who still believed something like that could actually happen. Mr. Tumnus the faun was absolutely perfect and the centaurs and Aslan looked fantastic. But be warned: this movie is, after all, a Disney film and made essentially for children. If you didn't read the book as a child, you might not find the film quite so entertaining. It's no secret that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan and there is still a part of me that would've liked to see what Peter Jackson would've done with Narnia. That said, Narnia lives up to the hype and I'm looking forward to the sequels. --Kim

Whereabouts: Ralph Fiennes

The latest Ralph Fiennes film sees the English Patient star portraying a sexy ex-diplomat who falls for The White Countess, Natasha Richardson, in 1930s Shanghai. Watch the trailer for the film, directed by James Ivory, here. --Kim

Is Cate In Or Out?

I'm still very confused as to whether or not Cate Blanchett will be reprising her Oscar-nominated role as "The Virgin Queen" in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," which is a sequel to the 1998 film, "Elizabeth." Variety reported it as fact earlier this year, stating that the movie would begin shooting in April 2006 with Geoffrey Rush again playing Sir Francis Walsingham and Clive Owen cast as explorer Sir Walter Raleigh.

However, in September, Blanchett suggested to the Australian Herald Sun that there was no project in the works, saying, "I'm really good friends with Shekhar Kapur (director) and he's forever saying he's going to do this movie or that movie and I think there was talk about it. There's so much there if it were to happen, but my initial instinct is, why (make it)?"

A quick check on links the movie to both Rush and Owen, but NOT to Blanchett herself. Hmmm. If anyone out there has the real scoop, let us know. -- Amy

December 12, 2005

"Brokeback" in Brief

Ang Lee was Charlie Rose's guest recently to talk about directing his latest film "Brokeback Mountain."

• In the interview, Lee says he didn't discuss the film's controversial subject matter with actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. "My job was to downplay it," said Lee, who explained that the initial sex scene between the two men took 13 takes. (He chose take No. 7 for the film.)

• Lee said he chose the project as an antidote to his not-so-successful previous project, "Hulk." (He added that he'd prefer not to do any big-budget blockbuster-type flicks like that one ever again.)

• Before shooting this "post-Western" as he calls it, Lee accompanied author Annie Proulx (who wrote the short story this film is based on) on a tour of Wyoming. "She wanted to make sure that spirit was captured," explained the director. "I just wanted to do justice to this brilliant piece of writing. It's a great American love story."

• Lee told Rose that casting Ledger was an "educated guess."

• The Taiwanese-born director described the anticipation for this movie as a burden. "When people gear up to see a movie, that makes me nervous," he said. "In the end, I just hope this movie gets a fair shot."

Incidentally, Rose also recently interviewed Stephen Gaghan, the screenwriter for Syriana. The stories behind his research into this movie were utterly fascinating. If you happen to see him on any other programs, he's definitely worth listening to. -- Amy

December 9, 2005

First Glimpse: Marie Antoinette Trailer

Click here for an exclusive first look at Sofia Coppola's next movie Marie Antoinette. The trailer's soundtrack features New Order's "Age of Consent." --Kim

December 8, 2005

Maugham, Unveiled

Liev Schrieber, Naomi Watts and Ed Norton star in a new adaptation of the Somerset Maugham novel, "The Painted Veil" set for release next November. Set in the 1920s, the plot centers around a doctor and his adulterous wife who travel to a remote Chinese village to fight a cholera outbreak, all the while trying save their moribund marriage. Greta Garbo starred in the original 1934 film. -- Amy

December 5, 2005

Which is Better?

Time magazine compares some current and coming attractions with the books they're based on. See if you agree with their assessment. -- Amy

Julianne Moore in Alice Munroe Adaptation

Moore will star in a film version of Munroe's short story, "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage," about a nanny who falls in love with her charge's father. ( --Kim

December 1, 2005

The Nose Knows

Alan Rickman and Dustin Hoffman are among the cast of a German English-language production of "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" based on the book by Patrick Suskind. The novel tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a man with an extraordinary sense of smell and a dark obsession, set in 18th century France. Tom Twyker (of "Run Lola Run" fame) directs the film, which will be released in 2006. -- Amy