Saturday, 27 October 2007

Heading on down to the "Love Ranch"

Hollywood marriages never seem to last. I actually have milk with a longer expiration date than most marriages that Hollywood, in fact the world, spews out.
It's always nice to see a showbiz marriage not my the time said milk sours. And what is nicer is when the couple seem to really be in love and choose to work together. And no I am not talking about Sarah Michelle Geller and Freddy Prinze Jr.. I am talking about Helen Mirren and her director hubby Taylor Hackford, who have been married for ten years this December
So far they have yet to work together, but have recently decided to on the movie “Love Ranch”. Taylor will direct his wife opposite Joe Pesci.
The story is a drama inspired by the real lives of Sally and Joe Conforte, who opened the first legalised brothel in Nevada, called The Mustang Ranch, only to find scandal when boxer Oscar Bonavena was shot at the ranch in 1976, apparently because he was having an affair with Sally.
Mirren would, of course, play Sally, with Pesci as Joe in his first major role since 1998's Lethal Weapon 4 (The Good Shepherd earlier this year was just a glorified cameo).

The film does sound like something that could be extremely exciting to watch. Helen Mirren can really do not wrong right now, even when she does wrong (ahem..”National Treasure 2” but then again mama needs a pay check).
She seems like the type of woman who would only work with her husband on a film if the script/story was fantastic. The New York magazine writer who first penned the story that became “American Gangster”, a man by the name of Mark Jacobson, wrote the “Love Ranch” screenplay. We will have to wait and see how good he is at screenplay writing, but would Helen stir us in the wrong direction? I do not think so.
Hackford told Variety. "I had to beg; she's a very busy girl. She wouldn't agree unless it was a great role, and this is a great role."
As for Pesci, he said, ""Joe didn't have any desire to work, but he was the first person I had in mind to play the husband, this former cab driver who dreamed of making prostitution legal and carved out a tiny county and convinced the local politicians. He's playing the godfather of legalized prostitution, and it convinced Joe to jump back into the fire."

Variety and HR review "American Gangster"

So "American Gangster has been reviewed by two of the majors, and the news in good, but not great. It seems comparisons to "The Departed" and other such films is inevitable, but in this case it is not a good thing. Denxel Washington comes out the best though, and still could see his name called, but it will be an uphill battle.
Ridley Scott and the film may have to ride on a wave of sentimentality to win over Oscar voters.

Variety on Scott:

"Similarly miscast is director Scott, whose greatest strengths lie in bringing to life grandly conceived portraits of distant worlds past and future, rather than in contemporary realism. Maximizing a gritty big-city story requires a credibility composed of thousands of small details, and this is one area where a citizen-of-the-world director like Scott can't excel. It's akin to asking Lumet or Scorsese to make a definitive film about crime in '70s Newcastle -- they could do a respectable, even exciting job of it, but it probably wouldn't ring deeply true.

Variety on Crowe:

"Still, there's an irony in that, good as he is, Crowe is essentially miscast as the tenacious working-class Jewish kid who brings Frank down. Having an actor of Crowe's stature play Frank's adversary helps balance the film, but this is one of the few roles he's played for which he brings nothing special to the table, and which does not allow his considerable charisma to flourish."

Variety on Washington"

"Still, Washington's steely grip on his impersonation of Frank Lucas holds the film together. Even if he doesn't entirely give the impression of a street hustler who never attended school in his life, Washington presents a man of striking, thoroughly credible contradictions: cool businessman/explosive killer, loner/family man, engaging guy/scourge of society."

Variety on the film:

""American Gangster" wants to be a great epic crime saga so badly you can feel it. The true story at its core -- of the rise, fall and redemption of a '70s-era Harlem drug lord -- is so terrific, it's amazing it wasn't put onscreen long ago, and it would be difficult today to find two better actors to pit against one another, as hoodlum and cop, respectively, than Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. With so many elements going for it, this big, fat Universal release is absorbing, exciting at times and undeniably entertaining, and is poised to be a major commercial hit. But great it's not."

Hollywood Reporter on the actors:

"You do sense in this movie that its principals are returning to safe harbor. After a discouraging foray into feeble comedy by Scott and Crowe ("A Good Year") and Gothic Southern melodrama for Zaillian ("All the King's Men"), these artists scramble back to an emotional naturalism more aligned to their sensibilities. Even for Washington, who seldom makes a false step careerwise, the film represents a welcome return to the larger-than-life villainy he performed so well in 2001's "Training Day.""

Hollywood Reporter on the film:

"If there are no false steps here, there are few highlights either. Such films as "The Godfather" and "Serpico" contain iconic scenes and sequences. "American Gangster" contributes little. It's workmanlike and engrossing, but what sticks in the mind are Frank and Richie, not what anybody does."

I had a gut feeling about this from the begining. Just didn't ring true as a film.

Cramming them in before the Actors strike.

Nicole Kidman aka the woman who works so much she should look at getting herself cloned, has signed on to star in “Monte Carlo”, a rom-com about some dull and bored teachers who ‘hysterically’ pose as wealthy women while holidaying in the glittery and star studded tourist resort/tax haven of Monaco (hence the title).

I know, I know….Nicole trying out a rom-com again. When will she ever learn? Thoughts like these are flying through your head faster than you can say “Bewitched”, but wait…..there is more!

In an interview with Fox 411 Kidman said that Julia ‘flash those gums and make a million’ Roberts may be joining her as on of those teachers. And if Roberts signs on, we’d expect to see another A-lister take the third role.
The director for the project Tom Bezucha has already shown, with The Family Stone, that he can handle a starry ensemble casts. Sure that film was schmaltzy, but I really enjoyed it, and thought SJP did a wonderful job.

The film is based on the Jules Bass novel ‘Headhunters’ which goes by this premise:

” Four middle-aged friends from New Jersey decide to spice up their lackluster lives by vacationing in Monte Carlo and posing as four of the wealthiest women in the world in this slight but stylish romantic caper. Darlene, Eleanor, Irene and Carla are hunting for wealthy bachelors and a little excitement. Decked out in rented designer costumes and borrowed jewels, they enter the stomping grounds of the rich and famous and are immediately accosted by a quartet of handsome, suave men bearing white caviar and expensive champagne. The setup is perfect, too perfect; the men, who claim to be filthy rich, are really imposters themselves. Love is inevitable between the duly-matched couples, but less predictable is what will happen when the truth is finally laid bare.”

The film has been criticized for having thread bare characterization. Lets hope the screenwriter, who ever they may be, adds some depth. Perhaps seek out Aline Brosh McKenna who was able to get blood out of stone in 2006.

If Roberts signs on, we should see another top female added to the mix. This will give the chance to these actresses who are knocking on 40’s door to show the young starlets how to really shake things about.
Kidman needs a hit and Julie needs her rom-com crown re-attached to her head. Who should get the other roles? Catherine Zeta Jones needs a big hit, and Halle Berry could do with having some fun on screen and staying away from the thriller sect.
But I have someone in mind. Someone who would be perfect, is of the age and could really benefit from being in a huge hit.


Thank you, and put me in the credits if you do! How could you not...LOOK AT 'EM!

Friday, 26 October 2007

I love you Michel!!

Sometimes, when you hear a Director is planning to work on a project with one of their spawn, you first instinct is to put your fingers in your ears and bash you head against the wall repeatedly while droning the words “please no” over and over.

However this is no ordinary Director. This is Michel Gondry.

The director of the perfect “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and ‘I cannot wait to see this' “Be Kind Rewind” revealed to MTV that he is planning an animation project with his son, 16-year-old Paul Gondry.

Gondry has said: “It’s going to be quite amazing, we’re translating our relationship into a futuristic story with a dictator and a rebel. He’s the dictator in the story and it will be based on his art.”

As of right now I am not sure what type of animation this will be, but it will no doubt be utterly stunning. Me and my BF are considering starting a petition to get the visually stunning director to helm the movie version of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”. It needs someone like him!

For more on Gondry here are some of his works… amazed!

The most awarded commercial ever. Levi’s Drugstore

Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be

Kylie Minogue – Come Into My World

Should have been HUGE!!

Juliet - Avalon

This is just still one of my favourite dance songs, and further proof of the genious of Stuart Price (Juliet had him before Madonna!! - Trail blazer)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Jennifer Eckhart

Jennifer Aniston has not had the illustrious film career many of us had hoped for. Although she showed fantastic depth in “The Good Girl” she has not yet since cashed in on that promise.
She continues to be utterly charming and lovely, and keeps being in films that under-perform as she so often does. It is hard to see why she keeps getting cast. Perhaps casting agents are hoping to unleash the wonderful actress only hinted at before. Or they are still under the assumption that Rachel Greene is a box-office draw.

Looking at her IMDB page you see that she is surprisingly working with many exciting actors in upcoming projects. These include: Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Scar Jo, Owen Wilson and Colin Firth. However these are all of the comedy/romance genre which we know she can do in her sleep (and most of the time that is exactly what it appears she is doing)

Most interesting is the upcoming project in which she will star alongside Aaron Eckhart for the Universal Pictures drama “Traveling”.
The story is about a widower (Eckhart) whose book about grieving turns him into an overnight phenomenon. Reinvented as a charismatic self-help guru, he falls for a floral designer (Aniston) working at a Seattle hotel where he is holding a seminar, and is forced to confront the fact that he hasn't come to grips with his own loss and practices none of the principles he teaches.

This is interesting, not because it looks to offer Anniston anything new or juicy, but because it looks to be the type of role that could send Eckhart into major popularity.
He could start being the naughty hand-down-the-panties fantasy of every housewife (an a few husbands) in the world. And that would be a wonderful thing for this charismatic and talented actor.
Lets hope first time Director, Brandon Camp is able to keep it away from schmaltz.

You Never, Ever Know

This whole new trend of older actors getting wonderful juicy roles is one I hope continues. The Best Supporting Actor category is looking to be more and more filled up by the older actor. Recent trends seem to point this way (last year for example was populated by many over 50’s)
For Supporting Actor we have Hal Holbrook, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Albery Finney, Philip Bosco, Tom Wilkinson and Max Von Sydow all vying for a spot in the top five (aside from Javier Bardem messing things up, I can see four of these men making it).

Now Best Actor is being shaken up again (well for what it is worth) with Frank Langella gaining praise for “Starting Out in the Evening”. (Trailer here)

”A towering work from Langella….a performance bound for awards”Lisa Schwarzbaum – Entertainment Weekly

”Andrew Wagner's portrait of an aging writer and his adrift daughter cuts across generational lines, capped by an astounding performance by Frank Langella…..Andrew Wagner's portrait of an aging writer and his adrift daughter cuts across generational lines, capped by an astounding performance by Frank Langella.”James Greenberg, Hollywood Reporter

”It's Langella who truly impresses, and I don't think it's hyperbole to suggest that he'll get an Oscar nomination for his work here…. It's not just any actor who can make you watch transfixed as his character
picks up a pen, sighs and begins doing a line-edit of a thesis paper”
James Rocchi - Cinematical

”it's impossible to overstate the effectiveness of Langella's work here - as the actor delivers what may just be the most compelling performance of his career.”David Nusair - ReelFilms

Even Ebert Loves it!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

I'm Just Saying

They are gonna have to reward him soon enough.....hint, hint

"Steve Carell performs comic wonders.....Outside the safety zone of farce provided by The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Office, Carell shows a whole new side to his talents." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


The New York Observer reported some time back that Universal has decided not to go ahead with Robert Rodriguez's remake of Barbarella.

The article reports that the decision was made due to Rodriguez's insistence that his girlfriend Rose McGowan play the lead role in the remake of Roger Vadim's 1968 cult favourite about a woman who travels through space wearing scant and impractical get ups.
With the film set to cost close to $100 million, Universal were reportedly not happy to bank that much money on a relatively small name.

"Universal had initially signed on for $60 million,” Rodriguez told the site “but then when we were done with the script it wound up at closer to $82 million, and they had just financed a Will Ferrell movie (Land of the Lost) that was a $130 million and they even cut that down to $100million.”

Rodriguez is apparently now shopping the project around other studios, to see if anyone might bite at the higher price. Given studios' desperation to get as many projects underway before the strike, he may have a chance.

There is of course the question of does this really need to be remade? The original film, for all its iconic kitsch, and (according to reviews) was utter rubbish, aside from the visuals. Is it really hard to blame Universal for being apprehensive about chucking all that dosh at a sexy fantasy romp in outer space.

Rodriguez is a very inventive and entertaining director, but this would need to make heaps of money to make back its cost. Why not bring the price down, simplify and make another cult film. That is what he is good at.

Sure “Sin City” was a success, but it only pulled in (U.S. Domestic) $74 mil. His biggest successes were the “Spy Kids” franchise, which collectively grossed over $300 mil, but only cost around $37 mil for each pic to get made, plus it was a kids adventure so a sex romp in space.

He needs to bring it back down to earth. I for one do not think McGowan is a bad choice at all. She has a dangerous sexiness and calls to mind the 1960’s starlets (pouty, flirty, slightly scary). She would be a great choice…just as good as my original choice.

Perhaps he needs to take a look at what can be accomplished on a budget. There are many, many, many films that managed to look expensive on very very little. Food for thought Robert.

Stop my heart, and loss of sanity

The "Stop Loss" trailer. Yes this looks thought provoking. Yes this is a welcome return to Kimberley Price. Yes this is a much needed look at the U.S. militaries policies and proceedures. But bloody hell if I cannot get past the shirtless, sweaty sexy cast.
This will be the newest gay must see movie! Channing Tatum, Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gorgon-Levitt and Timothy Olyphant (giddy!)

Catfish and Dragon flies..oh my!

This is really just so I can put up sexy pics of Adrian…he does make my thighs quiver, so he does.
Fresh from her directing success Sarah Polley and everybody’s favourite crooked nosed hunk of love, Adrien Brody are to star together in “Splice”, a sci-fi thriller being prepped by Vincenzo Natali (he of no particular fame).

The screenplay has been written by Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor. Who are these people you may ask? Well I dug deep into the wonderful Internet Movie Database and came up with ziltch, nada, nothing….which makes me think this is not going to be something that will knock “Alien” and “Aliens” off the sci-fi thriller throne.

The plot is basically about a pair of young scientists who become "superstars" as a result of their experiments into DNA splicing, which creates a number of new fantastical creatures (kind of like the “Wuzzles” but better animation and hopefully better thought out that George Lucas’s “Star Wars” creatures. I mean come on man. They were so cut-n-paste-animals-out-of-a-nature-encyclopedia there was no thought. Who on earth came up with this or even THIS).
Unmindful of the ethics of their work, the pair start to introduce human DNA into their experiments.

Get me in line now!!! This sounds like a cult crapster piece in the making. I men can you imagine the endless horrors. Combining man with animal? We would have such things as Snail Boy and his trail of evil, or Ms. Goldfish who forgets you after the first date.

Who knows….this could be interesting. God knows Adrian Brody needs a big hit in a bad way. Sarah Polley I am just guessing needs a pay check in order to fund her next beautiful and intelligent film, but Adrian…what happened??? Sure he had “King Kong”, but that was all about the Kong…he could have been anyone. Here is hoping “Manolete” and “The Brothers Bloom” help him out…if not he may need to get himself gene spliced. (Note to Adrian should you read this…if you fall on hard times, I have a bed with your name on it! Look me up!)

Hmmm, have not found anything on IMDB about this film…has it been canned already? Was actually kind of looking forward to seeing these creatures

He'll be coming 'round the mountain

Picture it…Antartica, land of snow and ice. An expedition group stumbles upon a mountain range taller than the Himalayas. This is no ordinary mountain range though. Inside it there is an ancient and indescribable evil.
Does this sound like “The Thing” to you?
Well for shame and slap your wrist as this is author H.P. Lovecraft’s book ‘At The Mountains of Madness’ which was written all the way back in 1931.

And why am I talking about this nightmarish vision of a novel? Simple because it is being adapted for the big screen.

Is that a collective groan I hear??

Not to fear dear reader (love you honey!) because as soon as Guillermo del Toro finishes his current pet project, the currently-shooting “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army”, he’ll move onto another pet project: his long-awaited adaptation of this novel.
This has apparently been on del Toro’s to-do list for ages. In fact, location scouting for “Madness” had already taken place in Romania before “Hellboy 2” was greenlit; if that hadn’t happened, it’s highly likely that del Toro would have been shooting it right now.

Hellboy 2 finishes shooting next year, and with the script finishes, we could see this in production next years as long has he doesn’t use any of those pesky SAG members in the shoot.

Gotham Awards chime in.

These means not a lot in terms of Oscar. But it does help for any film to be singled out by any voting body.
This is wonderful news for Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” and it’s star “Emile Hersh. Suprisingly “Margot at the Wedding” did well as did “Great World of Sound” which looks fun.
Ellen Page gets a nice shout out, as does Mira Nair’s “The Namesake” which I thought had been all but forgotten.

The 17th Annual Gotham Award nominees are:

Best Feature

"Great World of Sound" - Craig Zobel, director; Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright, Craig Zobel, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
"I'm Not There" - Todd Haynes, director; Christine Vachon, James D. Stern, John Sloss, John Goldwyn, producers (The Weinstein Company)
"Into the Wild" - Sean Penn, director; Sean Penn, Art Linson, Bill Pohlad, producers (Paramount Vantage & River Road Entertainment)
"Margot at the Wedding" - Noah Baumbach, director; Scott Rudin, producer (Paramount Vantage)
"The Namesake" - Mira Nair, director; Lydia Dean Pilcher, Mira Nair, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)


"The Devil Came on Horseback" - Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, directors; Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, Gretchen Wallace, Jane Wells, producers (International Film Circuit)
"Jimmy Carter Man from Plains" - Jonathan Demme, director; Jonathan Demme, Neda Armian, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
"My Kid Could Paint That" - Amir Bar-Lev, producer/director (Sony Pictures Classics)
"Sicko" - Michael Moore, director; Michael Moore, Meghan O'Hara, producers (The Weinstein Company)
"Taxi to the Dark Side" - Alex Gibney, director; Alex Gibney, Eva Orner, Susannah Shipman, producers (THINKFilm)

Ensemble Cast

"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" - Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian F. O'Byrne, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Marisa Tomei (THINKFilm)
"The Last Winter" - Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Zach Gilford, James LeGros, Ron Perlman (IFC First Take)
"Margot at the Wedding" - Jack Black, Flora Cross, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Zane Pais, John Turturro (Paramount Vantage)
"The Savages" - Philip Bosco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
"Talk to Me" - Cedric the Entertainer, Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Vondie Curtis Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Martin Sheen (Focus Features)

Breakthrough Actor

Emile Hirsch in "Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage)
Kene Holliday in "Great World of Sound" (Magnolia Pictures)
Ellen Page in "Juno" (Fox Searchlight Pictures) Jess Weixler in Teeth (Roadside Attractions)
Luisa Williams in "Day Night Day Night" (IFC First Take)

Monday, 22 October 2007

Don't piss off Kong

So Ryan Gosling has stepped out of/been sacked from/parted ways with the Dreamworks/Peter Jackson vehicle “The Lovely Bones”.
Insiders are say nothing official although ‘creative differences’ have been sited. Remember the last time an actor stepped out of/been sacked from/parted ways with a Peter Jackson project? We are all thankfully saved from having to watch Stuart Townsend prance about as Aragorn (in hindsight I cannot even imagine that scenario…yet one more reason to love Viggo).

If it is a mutual friendly parting of ways then Gosling will be fine. This surely isn’t. The film is just days away from shooting so someone must be pissed off.
Pissing off two of the most powerful men in Hollywood right now (Jackson and Dreamworks head Steven Spielberg) is not the most intelligent career move, but Gosling has the talent to overcome this.

The good and interesting news is that he has already been replaced. Mark Wahlberg has bravely stepped into the role of Jack Salmon at the very last minute (sounds much more exciting if you add suspense don’t you think).

This is much better casting (in my opinion). Mark is old enough to be the father of the twelve year old girl ( he and his on screen wife Rachel Weiss are both thirty six as opposed to Goslings twenty seven years) plus this will be the chance for him to stretch. Gosling can play sad and forlorn with his eyes closed, this will give Wahlberg the chance to shelve his tough guy image and put on his grieving father suit.
I am sure he will wear it well, and the Academy love it when you play against type.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

I am a Bender fan!!! (I also like "Futurama")

I am very excited…but wary…my tear ducts can not take any more.

At Comic-Con 2007 it was announced that Futurama will return on November 27th as a full-length DVD release called Futurama: Bender's Big Score, which will be followed by three additional films: The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender's Game, and The Wild Green Yonder. After their release, each film will be divided into four episodes and air on Comedy Central.

Benders Big Score is set at Xmas (as Christmas has officially been abbreviated to in the future) 3007 and Professor Farnsworth and the rest of the Planet Express crew must battle nudist alien internet scammers who wish to take over Earth. Having discovered the secret to time traveller tattooed on Fry's arse, they reprogram Bender and sent him back in time to steal Earth's treasures.

Although I never loved it as much as I did “The Simpsons” it has been the only animated series that has bought me to tears (well Garfield’s 9 Lives had a segment “Diana’s Piano” that made me weep – see below).
The two episodes in question are “The Luck of the Fryrish” and “Jurassic Bark” (the latter is a weep-a-thon…..I am tearing up thinking about it. MUST STOP THINKING ABOUT IT).
I have to say that if you do not cry when you hear the song "I Will Wait For You" from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg as sung by Connie Francis, you HAVE NO HEART!!!!

"Get off my Oscar!"

The results are here from my poll.

I asked who you felt deserved the Best Actress Oscar back in 1988.

The results were this time around were VERY surprising. I knew we all were happy little Jodie Foster won an Oscar back at the time, but I had no idea how much you all LOVED another.

Perhaps it is because Oscar history has not been to kind and welcoming, or perhaps in hindsight it is the best. (my personal vote went to Meryl Streep for A Cry in the Dark…it will always be my favourite)

Here come the results

5) With 0% of the votes we have Melanie Griffith – “Working Girl”
4) With 7% of the votes we have Jodie Foster (our eventual winner) – “The Accused”
3) With 9% of the votes we have Glenn Close – “Dangerous Liasons” (I thought she would win this with no problems)
2) With 11% of the votes we have the lovely Meryl Streep – “A Cry in the Dark”
1) With a whopping 74% we have Sigourney Weaver – “Gorillas in the Mist”.

I am surprised, but very pleasantly so. I always thought Sissy would win for this, and I was shocked she didn’t. Her performance of Dian Fossey was passionate, emotional and urgent. The role fit her like a glove. She has an exquisite tenderness and tact in her delicate scenes with wild animals. It is impossible to imagine a more appropriate choice for this.

Oscar did not think so.

For my next poll we will be looking ahead in the Best Supporting Actress category, 1988.
The women you have to choose from are:

Geena Davis - The Accidental Tourist
Joan Cusack - Working Girl
Frances McDormand - Mississippi Burning
Michelle Pfeiffer - Dangerous Liaisons
Sigourney Weaver - Working Girl

Vote now!!

Poll is in the side bar to the right, near the top.

Hoping it soars.

I just finally finished reading “The Kite Runner” and what a wonderful book abut family, redemption and forgiveness. I do however fear that the film could fall into major third act hurdles, something the trailer has indeed hinted at.
The running for you life bit as guns fire toward the end of the trailer make it seem like the film will take a little bit of an action film route, this is just not something that happened in the story or what it is about. You kind of get the feeling that the studio got involved asking Forster to beef up the action (thinking an audience would not go and sit through a movie about Afghans with no gun fire) which could cause major narrative problems.
This is something I thought when I finished the book, and something that I have just read in advance reviews. The third act of the film stumbles.

Lets hope there is still a little bit of editing going on and fine tuning, as this is a story that deserves to be told. We do not get to hear a lot how the Taliban treat their own people, and how things actually are for people in Afghanistan. We usually just get this one portrait of its people painted for us, some newscaster saying “This is the face of evil” while a bearded man wearing a turban stares out from the picture in the right hand corner.

I do still hold high hopes for the film though. It would be very upsetting for those involved to mess up a film that is so important for westerners to see.
I have hope that Khalid Abdalla will be as wonderful as I know he can in the very complex and emotionally rich role of Amir.
I have no doubts about how good Homayon Ershadi (pictured below) will be as Baba, a generous man of courage and wealth who was held in the highest esteem in his homeland but who now lives in America and is tormented by his past. Shaun Toub should also be impressive as Baba’s best friend and holder of secrets Rahim Kahn.

Whether or not these actors will be embraced by the Academy is another story. AMPAS have just recently started embracing black actors. I think it may be some time before they start to embrace actors from the Middle East (or China, or Japan, or India……yadda yadda yadda) especially since we are still at war.
Then again they embraced the wonderful Shohreh Aghdashloo for “House of Sand and Fog” so things could be beginning to change there as well (then again they made her sit there and loose to Reene Zellweger…..the humilty!) The Academy is getting slowly younger and more racially and culturally mixed and that is a good thing especially for more inventive films and non white actors….it is not mixed up enough to grant a gay cowboy love story it’s Oscar, but maybe in another 20 years.

I will try and have hope that the film is a critical and box-office success and, if deserving, gets rewarded. After all these years and countless Oscar disappointments, I am amazed I still have hope!
Lets just hope I am not let down when I see “The Kite Runner” in the cinema as it will make all this time writing about it and championing it seem like such a waste.