Friday, March 26, 2010

My Fair Carey

So remember last year when we told you that Keira Knightley was in talks to star in a remake of the Audrey Hepburn classic, My Fair Lady? Well, it seems Keira’s out and the newest British It Girl is in! Carey Mulligan – incidentally Keira’s co-star in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice – is now the lead choice to play Eliza Doolittle. We’re hoping this is true, because the info came straight from the mouth of the film’s writer, Emma Thompson. (Thompson didn’t tell us, of course, but she told the BBC and that’s as close as “straight from her mouth” as we’re gonna get.) However, Mulligan is still playing coy on the subject, saying at this point she just “doesn’t know.”

As Mulligan mulls her options, let us count the reasons we think she just might be the perfect choice.
  1. After her brilliant turn as 16-year-old girl taken in by an older man in An Education, Mulligan proved she can carry a movie all by herself.
  2. We love Keira, but let’s face it, she’s kind of a glamour-puss. Mulligan will be able to play both pre-and post-makeover Eliza with great believability. She’s more of an “every-girl,” if you will.
  3. She’s one of the hottest commodities in town right now (and not just ‘cause she’s dating her Wall Street 2 co-star Shia LaBeouf). She’s that rare instance of a pretty young actress who’s also smart, talented and a little bit quirky (she wore a dress with tiny forks and scissors hanging off it to the Oscars). Plus, this year’s Oscar nomination certainly didn’t hurt.
As for the role of Henry Higgins, played by Rex Harrison in the 1964 film, Hugh Grant has reportedly been linked to the role. But that, says Thompson, has also yet to be confirmed. If the potential addition of Mulligan is any indication, My Fair Lady may be poised to follow its predecessor in a trip to the Oscars.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hollywood's Cheating Hearts

Cheaters. They’re saturating the news so much right now, it’s just plain unavoidable. The most recent example being Jesse James, the Monster Garage scumbag who dared cheat on America’s sweetheart and recent Best Actress Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock. Granted, she married a tattooed, motorcycle riding bad boy with a porn star ex, so she basically got what she paid for – but that doesn’t make the situation suck any less. Who cheats on Miss Congeniality?! Jesse better watch his back – we hear Sandy’s got Betty White on her side.

Jesse James isn’t first (and he certainly won’t be the last) celeb to give in to his roving eye and amped up libido. In Old Hollywood, illicit affairs were rampant. Let’s look at some of the most infamous philanderers from back then, shall we?

Spencer Tracy

The number one spot has to go to Spencer Tracy. He was one-half of one of Hollywood’s most famous couples – the other half of course being Katharine Hepburn. But there was actually one other fraction to that equation that a lot of people might forget – Tracy’s wife. He stayed married all throughout his 25-year relationship with Hepburn. His Catholic faith prevented him from seeking a divorce, but not from breaking the commandment about adultery, obviously.

Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor

Well I guess if you’re gonna cheat, you do it with one of the most gorgeous women in Hollywood - Elizabeth Taylor. It’d be like someone having an affair with Angelina Jolie - you just don’t pass that up (methinks Brad Pitt knows what I mean). Burton was married with kids when he and Taylor first hooked up on the set of Cleopatra. But let’s not forget about Taylor, who wasn't exactly a saint. She was married at the time too, to Eddie Fischer (who had left his wife, Debbie Reynolds, for Taylor!) Oh what a tangled web…

Clark Gable

Ooh this is a juicy one. Good ole Clarkie was married to a woman named Maria Franklin Printiss while he had an on-set affair with Loretta Young in 1935. Their affair produced a love child, but Young hid this fact from the world, pretending her daughter Judy was adopted. Judy herself believed this lie throughout most of her life and she met Gable only once, as a teenager, with no idea that he was her real father. She didn’t find out this fact until 20 years later. Pretty messed up, huh?

Ingrid Bergman & Roberto Rossellini

Talk about a scandal! Bergman and Rossellini were both married when they began their affair in 1949. In 1950, Bergman gave birth to Rossellini’s son – sparking outrage. (You have to admit, it was pretty brazen for such a huge star.) The affair almost ruined the actress’ image completely, and she was exiled for the U.S. for a time because of it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On the Marquee & Whiskey

So check this out. On the Marquee is branching out to different mediums! Yours truly crashed Sean and Bob’s WhiskeyHour podcast today and chatted about this very blog. I talk about my latest post on I Confess, so go to to check it out! My bit is towards the end, but make sure you listen to Sean and Bob’s musings too! And follow them on Twitter. Because they’re awesome. (And I’m not just saying that because I work with them.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Full Monty!

Starting last Thursday and all through this month, BAMcinĂ©matek is running a Montgomery Clift retrospective. I like to think of Clift as the actor who showed the world how brooding was done. (Wannabe brooders like Robert Pattinson take note.) In his films, Monty perfected the silent sulk, the inner turmoil, the just-below-the-surface panic and despair of a brooding hero, in a way that sets you on edge. “When is he finally going to explode?” you keep thinking.

No better evidence of this is found than in Alfred Hitchcock’s supremely underrated I Confess – the film I moseyed on down to Brooklyn this weekend to watch, with my mom (the biggest Clift-fan I know) and sister in tow. Just how under the radar is this film, you ask? I had no idea Hitchcock even directed it until the credits started to role. You’ll never hear it spoken about in the same breath as Psycho, Rear Window and Vertigo, but all the makings of a Hitchcock classic are there. From his camerawork (a lot of back-of-the-head shots and foreboding cathedral angles) to the interesting location (Quebec) to the story of murder, religion and scandalous intrigue.

Clift plays conflicted priest Fr. Michael Logan, who receives a confession of murder, yet cannot break his vows to speak of it. Things get complicated when Fr. Logan himself gets implicated in the murder. Turns out, he may have had quite the motive – one that involves a married woman (Anne Baxter). Does he go against his religion and talk? Or will he go to the grave for a crime he didn’t commit?

Chock-full of great stuff, I tell ya. Including a sly performance by Karl Malden as the investigator determined to bring Fr. Logan to justice.

Clift – like many of the characters he played – led a conflicted life. The actor battled alcoholism, drug abuse, his closeted homosexuality, and later in life, a nasty car accident that permanently altered his good looks. Marilyn Monroe once described him as "the only person I know who is in worse shape than I am." But thanks to films like I Confess, and showcases like the one at BAM, we’re able to see Monty immortalized in peak cinematic condition.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pierce Gets Pearce! (And Evan Rachel Wood!)

HBO’s Mildred Pierce five-part mini-series is shaping up quite nicely! As I previously reported, the great Kate Winslet is going all Joan Crawford in the title role. And in the latest bit of casting news, Evan Rachel Wood has signed on to play Mildred’s scheming, ungrateful bitch of a daughter, Veda. I’m all set to hate her already! Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) is set to play Monte Beragon, the role originated by Zachary Scott in the 1945 film. Melissa Leo, James Le Gros, Brian F. O’Byrne, and Morgan Turner round out the cast.

Sounds top notch. Primed for an Emmy-sweep, if you ask me.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Natalie Wood Mystery Resurfaces

Sudden celeb deaths are always a point of fascination. But once the police (and the media) decide case closed, it’s on to the next scandal. Case in point: Heath Ledger. We never did find out the exact Mary-Kate Olsen connection. Will we ever? And Brittany Murphy. The coroner ruled there were no illegal drugs in her system. But was there more to the story? What’s with that shady husband? Questions, questions. Maybe years down the line someone will decide to re-open the cases.

Which brings me to this latest bit of news.

Friends and family of Natalie Wood (A Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass) have asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office to re-open the case surrounding her mysterious death, CNN reported yesterday. Wood died tragically at the age of 43 after falling off a yacht and drowning in November 1981, following an argument with her husband Robert Wagner. Wood's sister, Lana Wood, and Dennis Davern, former captain of the yacht called The Splendour, are now hoping police will investigate and find out the truth – and to be honest, we’re pretty curious ourselves.

According to Wagner’s autobiography, he admits he got into a fight with Christopher Walken, who was also aboard the boat and may have had a less-than-appropriate relationship with Wood. He said during the fight Wood went back to her room and that was the last he saw of her. But the captain says he heard Wood and Wagner fighting inside their stateroom, then arguing on the boat's deck. He thinks her death was a direct result of their fighting. Cue the conspiracy theorists.

This is one case that begs to be revisited. Circumstances are just too strange – and ironic – considering Wood’s biggest fear was dark water. Maybe now we’ll get some answers. Or maybe, like most things in Hollywood, the truth will remain just below the surface.