October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Russell Crowe: Cate Blanchett is A Good Kisser

By Roger Friedman

Hollywoodnews.com: Cate Blanchett is the perfect woman.

Forget the fact that she spoke perfect, fluent French last night from the stage of the Palais des Festivals for the Cannes Film Festival premiere of “Robin Hood.”

Or that she walked, in high heels, in the rain, on a soaked red carpet from the Palais, down the huge outdoor staircase, up a long sidewalk and across the street to the Majestic Hotel after the “Robin Hood” premiere covered just by a large umbrella and holding–bunched up in one arm–the train of her specially designed Alexander McQueen gown.

The black and white dress, emblazoned with an eagle, was designed for Blanchett for the March 7th Academy Awards by McQueen. It was the last dress he personally cut, her agent told me, before tragically committed sucide on February 11th.

Mon dieu!

I was walking behind her, in a group of Blanchettes, and her publicist Lisa Kasteller said, “I wish someone took this picture.” For once, there was no paparazzi. It looked like a picture out of the old Life magazine!

Forget all that. Russell Crowe told me last night, at the very late night after party for “Robin Hood.” something more important: “She’s a great kisser.”

Blanchett was also a sport. The wild, climactic war scene from “Robin Hood” took 11 days to film, with 1500 extras, on a beach in Wales last summer. Crowe says he was there the whole time, despite British press reports.

“We also stayed in trailers. I did a lot of cooking,” he told me. “Mostly steaks and chicken. Did you know my mum was a movie caterer when I was growing up?” he asked.
I did not. Neither did Benicio del Toro, who was sitting with Crowe and hanging on his every word.

“Cate would change and come hang out with us boys,” Crowe said, and smiled admiringly. He loved that about her, too. “And you can see we do have great chemistry on screen.”
They do. And a sequel to “Robin Hood” seems likely to us viewers, Crowe says it would be “incredibly expensive.”

“We have to hit a number,” he told me, “on this one and see how we do.”

“Robin Hood” is a big old fashioned movie, and one not to miss when it’s released Friday. The human scope of it is grand and all real. There’s very little CGI. The big scenes were all shot — especially one with gigantic landing barges carrying the extras to battle on that Welsh beach.

About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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