MSNBC announced this morning Ronan Farrow will sit down with Angelina Jolie in London on Friday to discuss her efforts to help end sexual violence in conflict zones. Jolie is the co-host of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, the largest global meeting ever held on the subject of sexual violence in war. The interview, which will air on Friday’s Ronan Farrow Daily at 1 PM ET, makes perfect sense — Farrow being the son of Mia Farrow, and Mia Farrow being Angelina Jolie before Jolie was Angelina Jolie — an actress well-known for using her celebrity to promote various humanitarian causes. Today’s announcement led to some speculation that Farrow – the son of Woody Allen (or maybe Frank Sinatra, according to mom Mia in an interview last fall with Vanity Fair) – may have a future on MSNBC snagging celebrity interviews.
Farrow needs something new to do at MSNBC, where, in June to date, he’s clocked just 201,000 viewers — 42,000 in the news demo. That’s 27% and 42% lower than his first-month stats which, in turn, were nothing to write home about. Compared to one year ago, Farrow’s launch-to-now ratings are down 28% in overall audience, and 30% in the news demo, versus MSNBC’s … Read More »
Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in Woody Allen‘s new romantic comedy Magic In The Moonlight. Stone plays a fake medium/psychic (or is she the real deal?), Firth plays an Englishman brought in to unmask a possible swindle and personal and professional complications ensue. Pic is set in the south of France in the 1920s against a backdrop of wealthy mansions, the Côte d’Azur, jazz joints and fashionable spots for the wealthy of the Jazz Age. Eileen Atkins, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, and Jacki Weaver also star. Sony Pictures Classics opens the pic July 25. Check it out the trailer:
UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION: Arthur Gelb, a visionary critic, reporter and editor at The New York Times for more than four decades, died Tuesday evening at his home in Manhattan. He was 90. His death was confirmed by his son, Peter Gelb, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. The elder Gelb’s passion for the culture and vibrancy of New York City defined him, and he requited that passion by endowing the Times with a proprietary interest in vigorously covering the artistic life of the city and making the culture report as important to the paper as its storied foreign coverage.
Related: New Yorker Backs Off Pay-Gap Charge In Firing of NYT Editor Jill Abramson
Beginning in 1944 as a reporter and later as assistant drama critic, head of the Metropolitan desk and through his final assignment as Managing Editor under his colleague and mentor A.M. Rosenthal, Gelb was chiefly responsible for shaping and directing the Times‘ cultural coverage. Early on, as assistant to the Times‘ legendary drama critic Brooks Atkinson, Gelb set his keen eye and ear to the discovery of fresh talent. Among those who caught his eye and received early and ongoing encouragement from the paper’s reporters and critics were an intellectual stand-up comic named Woody Allen; a Broadway ingenue named Barbra Streisand; an acerbic, potty-mouthed comic named Lenny Bruce; and a street-fighting, Shakespeare-quoting young producer named Joseph Papp. Read More »
Influential The Godfather and Annie Hall cinematographer Gordon Willis died Sunday at the age of 82, leaving behind a legacy that includes many of the most celebrated American films of the 1970s. He contributed some of his most iconic work in collaboration with two of the greats – Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen – who remembered their frequent DP today:
Related: R.I.P. ‘The Godfather’ DP Gordon Willis
Said Francis Ford Coppola, for whom Willis crafted a landmark cinematographic aesthetic for The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and The Godfather Part III that influenced generations to follow: “He was a brilliant, irascible man, a one of a kind. A cinematic genius with a precise aesthetic. My favorite description was that ‘He ice-skated on the film emulsion’. I learned a lot from him.”
Willis also shot a number of films for frequent collaborator Woody Allen, including Manhattan, Annie Hall, Stardust Memories, Broadway Danny Rose, and The Purple Rose Of Cairo. He earned the first of his two Oscar nods for his work on Allen’s Zelig. “Gordy was a huge talent and one of the few people who truly lived up to all the hype about him,” Woody Allen said of his late DP. Read More »
The Tony-nominated revival of A Raisin In The Sun, coming a decade after a production in which Sean Combs made his Broadway debut as Walter Lee Younger, had some people wondering whether it was too soon. But as it turns out, that’s a discussion for pedants. Great plays deserve to be mounted as often as the talent is there to breathe life into them, and with Denzel Washington as Walter for a new generation, A Raisin In The Sun breathes life aplenty. Washington proved he was as comfortable on the stage as on screen four years ago, in a revival of August Wilson’s Fences – when James Earl Jones’ titanic performance as sanitation man and ex-baseball player Troy Maxon still cast a long shadow. Washington had no trouble making the role of Troy his own, and that’s the case today, as well: This elegant actor balances the ebullience of a man who dreams, with the world-weariness of someone tired of seeing those dreams deferred, as Langston Hughes alluded to in the poem that gives the play its name.
Walter is as angry at the world as the Jimmy Porter of Look Back In Anger, as angry as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire: young men infuriated by a world in which the cards are eternally stacked against them and the house always wins. Washington makes you feel, deeply, that terrifying, sad, inspired, hopeless, crushing yet ultimately liberating admix of emotions through which Walter careers from one hour to the next, one day to the next. Read More »
Joaquin Phoenix has finalized a deal to star in the next film directed by Woody Allen, which I’m hearing is going to begin shooting in July. As per usual there’s not much known Allen’s projects before they really get going, but his past few have included gangbusters Midnight In Paris and Blue Jasmine, the latter landing its star Cate Blanchett the Best Actress Oscar this year. The writer-director’s next pic in his seemingly endless pipeline is romantic comedy Magic In The Moonlight, about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle in the south of France in the 1920s against a backdrop of wealthy mansions, the Côte d’Azur, jazz joints and fashionable spots for the wealthy of the Jazz Age.
Phoenix is coming off Spike Jonze’s Oscar-nommed Her, which earned the actor a Golden Globe nom, and he just finished Inherent Vice for Paul Thomas Anderson. He his repped by WME and attorney David Weber.
UPDATED WITH ANALYSIS AND FULL LIST OF NOMINEES: The Tony nominations announced this morning made one thing quite clear: On Broadway, it’s been the season of the actor. Especially the year of the actor in drag.
Jefferson Mays was nominated for playing more roles than I can count in the amusing musical murder thriller A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder. British actor Mark Rylance came away with two nominations, one for his performance as a twisted king, in Richard III, a second for his performance as a lovestruck countess, in Twelfth Night.
Broadway and TV favorite Neil Patrick Harris is in the running for his title foray in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, playing a sort-of transgender sort-of rock star. Audra McDonald is looking for her sixth Tony, for her astonishing performances as Billie Holiday in Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill. If she wins, she will have landed in the very exclusive club whose members have won Tony Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress and Featured Actress in both plays and musicals, starting with her first win, for Carousel, in 1994.
Gentleman’s Guide led the pack with 10 nominations, including Best Musical, score, book and direction. James Lapine’s heartfelt dramatization of Act One, Broadway legend Moss Hart’s celebrated autobiography, took the most nominations for Best Play, though Lapine was overlooked for his staging of the show at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont.
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In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom look at highlights from that other big French film festival, City of Lights – City of Angels, which opened this week in Los Angeles. They also discuss the potential business impact of sexual-abuse allegations against Woody Allen and Bryan Singer on Fading Gigolo and the new X-Men sequel and catch up on next year’s Oscar producers and this year’s possible Emmy host(s). Pete also gives his take on the weekend’s notable movie debuts, which include the three-woman comedy The Other Woman, the one-man suspense film Locke with Tom Hardy and the WWII drama Walking With The Enemy, starring Ben Kingsley in another fine supporting role.
Listen to the podcast in your choice of formats here:
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 71 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 71 (.M4A version)
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Hey Woody Allen haters: if you were hoping his rare sojourn as strictly a hired actor in writer/director/star John Turturro‘s new comedy, Fading Gigolo, would flop due to his latest scandal and controversy you have to be sorely disappointed today. Not only did Gigolo NOT fail, it drew the second highest opening weekend gross for a 2014 indie release and reviews, though mixed for the movie are particularly good for Allen’s turn as a “pimp” for the aging lothario played by Turturro. With nearly $200,000 at just five theaters and a sterling $39,680 per screen average it came in only behind Wes Anderson’s hit, The Grand Budapest Hotel in terms of limited debuts this year. Millennium’s Bill Lee told Deadline Sunday the film was performing even better than they had hoped. It starts expanding next weekend. Now why is this significant?
Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘Fading Gigolo’ Seduces In Limited Opening
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First Ronan Farrow slammed the Golden Globes on January 12 for their tribute to Woody Allen, and now the MSNBC host has given a slap to the Oscars. “Tomorrow on Ronan Farrow Daily: exclusive interview with Ellen DeGeneres’s cravat,” said Farrow on Twitter tonight. “Jared Leto continues his steady ascent into being Jesus,” he added about the Best Actor in a Supporting Role winner. “Next year’s Oscars will be three solid hours of pizza delivery,” Farrow said about Ellen’s network time-filler gag.
OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog
OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
Backstage At The Oscars
Truth be told, the snide lame comments might actually help Farrow’s ratings, which haven’t exactly been stellar since his weak February 24 debut. Seems like Farrow’s watching a delayed broadcast of tonight’s Oscars because he also tweeted that “You know what the Oscars needed more of? Montages” and “Pharrell is married to that hat” nearly 45 long minutes after the latter’s performance of his Oscar nominated “Happy” tune happened. Wonder what Farrow or his mother Mia will be saying if Cate Blanchett wins Best Actress for her role in Allen’s Blue Jasmine or if the man himself wins Best Original Screenplay?
Ronan Farrow‘s debut as host of Ronan Farrow Daily on MSNBC scored 216,000 viewers Monday — the cable network’s smallest audience of the day, tied with 10 AM’s Jansing & Co. Farrow — who was recruited, in part, to attract the next generation of news viewers to the network — averaged just 21,000 viewers in the younger 18-49 demo. Among 25- to 54-year-olds, he logged an average of 46,000 viewers. His biggest audience by far was among viewers ages 50 and older — 195,000 of them. That older skew is typical of news programming but might be somewhat surprising given how assiduously he catered to younger viewers during his maiden broadcast.
Related: February Cable News Numbers: CNN Tumbles As Fox News Channel Logs 146th Consecutive Win; MSNBC Hangs On
Farrow recruited fewer viewers — and fewer young ones — than did Andrea Mitchell Reports in its new timeslot. Mitchell’s show logged 223,000 overall viewers, including 48,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo, and 71,000 in the news demo — 25-54. Mitchell’s show, ironically, did not do as well with the 50+ crowd as did Farrow, scoring an average of 174,000 of them. The only program that scored a smaller crowd of 18- to 49-year-olds on MSNBC that day was the show that followed Farrow’s, The Reid Report — the other new program making its debut that day, hosted by Joy Reid. It clocked 262,000 overall viewers, just 14,000 in that younger demo, 38,000 in the news demo, and 245,000 viewers ages 50+.
Related: MSNBC Apologizing Now Officially A Trend
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TV pioneer Sid Caesar has died at the age of 91 in Los Angeles. The Yonkers, NY-born comedian made his first appearance on TV in 1949 on Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater. On February 25, 1950, Caesar was among the ensemble cast on the premiere of Your Show Of Shows. With Caesar, Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner in front of the camera and Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin and Danny Simon among the writers, the 90-minute weekly NBC show became one of early TV’s biggest hits, running until June 1954, and served as a launching pad for future TV comedy talent — with proteges spawning protoges through the years. Ceasar moved on to topline several shows: the one-hour satirical Caesar’s Hour debuted just a few months later and ran until 1957, followed by 1958’s The Sid Caesar Show, which had Woody Allen as a writer. He starred in a series of appearances and specials well into the 1960s and beyond.
Related: WGA/TV Guide List: 101 Best Written TV Series Of All Time
While TV was where he was best known, Caesar was also busy on the big screen. He was one of the leads in the 1963 hit comedy It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with Spencer Tracey, Berle, Peter Falk and Mickey Rooney among the who’s who of comedy greats. … Read More »
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with host David Bloom about which films and performers got an Oscar bump out of the WGA, Annie and Cinematographers awards shows this past Saturday; check in on the Santa Barbara film festival’s celebration of Cate Blanchett and whether the controversy over her Blue Jasmine director in will spill over into the Oscar race; dissect the Academy’s defense of its de-nomination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” in the face of complaints by, particularly, religious and conservative critics; and discuss the highlights of Pete’s sit-down with Julia Roberts this week to discuss her supporting actress Oscar nomination for “August: Osage County.”
We’ll also get Pete’s take on the week’s notable movie debuts, including the true and likable WWII story The Monuments Men, directed by and starring George Clooney with a big-name cast, and The Lego Movie, a fast-moving and smart animated film that Pete suggests could be in the Oscar hunt a year from now.
You can listen to the podcast in your choice of formats here:
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 62 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 62 (.M4A version)
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If you think Hollywood’s awards season will come to a complete stop just because of a little thing called Super Bowl Weekend, think again! As already covered extensively on Deadline yesterday, the pre-Oscar madness was running full tilt Saturday with the WGA, ASC and Annie awards, the Santa Barbara Film Festival and lots of lingering controversies about nominees and “rescinded” nominees. Whew! You’d think they’d give it a rest to let football take over but NOTHING gets in the way of Hollywood’s own Super Bowl!
28th Annual ASC Awards: ‘Gravity’s Emmanuel Lubezki Wins Feature Film Honor
WGA Awards: ‘Captain Phillips’ & ‘Her’ Win Top Film Awards
Annie Awards: ‘Frozen’ Wins Big Including Best Feature
I am up at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this weekend where I moderated the two-hour sold-out Performance Of The Year tribute to Oscar frontrunner Cate Blanchett at the 2000-seat dream palace known as the Arlington Theatre. At the end of it, Cate received a standing ovation when future co-star Rooney Mara (they start shooting Todd Haynes’ Carol in March) presented her with the latest trinket in a season in which she has so far run the table in terms of awards. She was a willing and warm subject onstage as we showed clips and I dissected her career, informing her at one point that, with The Aviator in which she played Katharine Hepburn, she became the only person to win an Oscar playing an Oscar winner. Always glad to pass on useless trivia to movie stars.
Over the years I have hosted several of these tributes, which are obviously well-timed as part of the Academy season. Festival executive director Roger Durling picks the honorees months in advance but always seems to have a good hunch who is going to be in the Oscar game. Among those SBIFF plays to are numerous Academy members who live in the area, so it’s always smart exposure on the part of awards consultants — just as is the early-January Palm Springs fest in the pre-nomination period. Durling himself moderated a rollicking free-form session with American Hustle writer-director and Oscar nominee David O. Russell at the same venue Friday night. And earlier Saturday at the Lobero, there was a producers panel mostly populated with Oscar nominees followed by the annual Women’s Panel (moderated in style as usual by Madelyn Hammond — yes, we’re related) which also sported several current contenders. Among those coming up in the next week are Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio and several others. Some landed nominations, some didn’t, but they are all showing up regardless. It’s that time of year. Read More »
UPDATE, 1:47 PM: Last night Ronan Farrow chastised the Golden Globes on NBC for their tribute to Woody Allen and what he says they left out. Today, the soon-to-be MSNBC host was on the cable news network but didn’t say a word about Woody. Today the son of Allen’s former longtime companion Mia Farrow was on with anchor Craig Melvin talking about former Defense Secretary Robert Gate’s controversial new memoir — with not a murmur of the controversy he started with his own tweets on Sunday. Farrow did tweet afterwards today that “Robert Gates’ neck brace is stylin’.” NBC and MSNBC had no comment on Farrow’s tweet about the Golden Globes and Allen or his future at the cable newser.
Related: Golden Globes: Live Blog
PREVIOUS, JAN 12, 8:47 PM: First Mia Farrow tweeted she was turning off the Golden Globes on NBC when they went to the Woody Allen tribute. Now her son and upcoming MSNBC host Ronan Farrow lashed out against his mother’s former longtime companion, also on Twitter.
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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler once again made it look easy to rain down snark on the entertainment industry and get them to like it. “Welcome to the annual Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Lee Daniels The Butler’s Golden Globe Awards,” Fey opened — a nod to Warner Bros mockable battle with The Weinstein Company over the right to name a movie The Butler, in which WB insisted it had the right to the title dating back to its 1916 silent comedy short of same name.
71st Golden Globes: Live Blogging From Deadline’s Film Team
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler’s Golden Globes Monologue: Video
Like Ricky Gervais, the guy they replaced, Fey and Poehler seemed to suffer from Second-Year Slump, though sartorially things went much better his year for the First Women of Comedy. They’ll “keep doing it until everybody hates it,” they promised — they’ve already been signed for next year.
Related: Golden Globes TV: Rookie ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Surprises With Two Wins, Departed ‘Breaking Bad’ Gets Its Due
Hollywood males got a special skewering this year:
“Matt Damon is here for being in Behind The Candelabra. Any other night in any other room you’d be a big deal. Tonight you’re basically a garbage person.”
Best film nominee Gravity is about “how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die rather than spend another minute with a woman his own age,” Fey said moments later.
“And now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio,” Fey snarked as the Wolf Of Wall Street star came out to present an award.
“Matthew McConaughey did amazing work this year. He lost 40 pounds for his role in Dallas Buyers Club – or what actresses call Being In A Movie.”
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Maybe Sony Classics‘ Tom Bernard and Michael Barker have something cooking here with Woody Allen huh? The distributor just announced it has landed North American rights to like the bazillionth Allen-directed film in a row, the South of France in the Jazz Age-set Magic In The Moonlight. (OK, it’s SPC’s seventh movie with Allen and fifth in a row). Today’s deal comes after similar output deals for Blue Jasmine, which is getting awards-season buzz this year, and before that Midnight In Paris, which became Allen’s most profitable pic ever and landed a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Here’s the latest release, which the studio can pretty much cut and paste from previous deals adding things like titles and cast members:
NEW YORK (January 9, 2014) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Woody Allen’s upcoming film, MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT from Gravier Productions. Like BLUE JASMINE, the film is produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson. The film was shot by Darius Khondji (MIDNIGHT IN PARIS) with Production Design by Anne Seibel (MIDNIGHT IN PARIS). Once again, Woody Allen has put together a stellar cast including Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, and Jacki Weaver. MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT is a romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional
… Read More »
For almost 20 years, Letty Aronson has been producing the films of her big brother, Woody Allen: She worries about the commercial concerns while Allen focuses on the creative. Their partnership is such a well-oiled machine that Aronson admits, “I’m so used to the way he works, it always bothers me when someone else doesn’t work that way.” Aronson got her start as a producer working with Jean Doumanian, then took over producing Allen’s films after his working relationship with Doumanian ended in a bitter legal battle. Since then, she’s kept up Allen’s pace of making a film a year, and earned her first Oscar nomination for 2011’s Midnight In Paris. Aronson’s most recent production is Blue Jasmine, which has been a hit at the box office and has given Cate Blanchett frontrunner status for a best actress Oscar.
Related: OSCARS: Ballots Are Out And The Race Is On, But Will Voters See The Movies In Time?
AwardsLine: Has it gotten any easier to finance the films you produce, especially considering the strength of Woody Allen as a brand?
Letty Aronson: Not really. (Laughs.) Except for independent financiers in this country, we get no money from any studio, not even a discussion. After all the hullabaloo of Midnight In Paris, I didn’t get one call from any studio. But I can understand that because they don’t work the way we work. In going out and looking for money, I tell people right up front: They can’t read the script; they don’t have input into the cast; they don’t see dailies; they don’t see a rough cut. They’re really investing in Woody and his reputation. They’re not going to make hundreds of millions of dollars, either. We’re low risk, low reward. The studios don’t work that way, but in Europe, there’s never been a studio system. It’s really always been independent financiers. So it’s easier to go there (with) all these different rules and get money. We don’t want to spend a lot on the films because we would like to pay our investors back. For some, we put together a three-picture deal. If we don’t know the people, I don’t love putting together a three-picture deal because who knows if we’ll like working with them after the first picture? But it’s not any easier. A film like Blue Jasmine, which got the most spectacular reviews, is up to almost $34 million in this country. Now another film without Woody’s name on it that got those kind of reviews would earn three times that much. Read More »