April 20, 2014

Tag Archives: Nora Ephron

Tom Hanks gets standing ovation for Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy”

Tom Hanks got a wildly enthusiastic standing ovation last night as he made his Broadway debut with Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy.” The response was not just from friends and fans because they like Hanks, but because his portrayal of Mike McAlary is such a moving, funny, and lovely experience. This was my second time seeing “Lucky Guy” and I do admit to having a soft spot for it. Ephron captured life in a New York newsroom between 1985 and 1998 perfectly. A lot of the specifics of McAlary’s life have been telescoped to fit a normal running time. But even taking dramatic license, Ephron worked in enough to capture the triumphs and the hubris.

And Hanks broke down in tears at the end of the show, when a curtain pulled back on stage to reveal a large portrait of Ephron, who died last July. “Nothing like sharing a personal moment with 11,000 strangers,” Tom said to me later at the afterparty at Gotham Hall. But those were real tears. “Nora and I were always showing each other what we were writing. I ran into her in London last year, and she said, ‘You know I finished that thing.’ I read it and said, What can we do with this now?”
Hanks is not alone on the stage. And under George C. Wolfe’s heartfelt direction, the supporting cast each gets a chance to shine, from Peter Gerety to Courtney B. Vance to Peter Scolari and Christopher MacDonald.
So was there? Who wasn’t there? Loads of folks from the New York tabloids, starting with eminence, Pete Hamill. The Times was represented by current editor in chief Jill Abramson and past legend Gay Talese. The News was there in the person of Mort Zuckerman, who is referred to in “Lucky Guy” as “the owner.” He may have winced at some of the references.
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Hollywood lost a significant voice – Nora Ephron

Hollywoodnews.com: Hollywood lost a significant voice. Screenwriter/director Nora Ephron, a three-time Oscar nominee, lost her battle with leukemia. She was 71.
A prolific writer, Ephron’s first credits stretched back to the 1973 television series “Adam’s Rib.” Ten years after, she struck it big on the silver screen when she collaborated with screenwriter Alice Arlen on Mike Nichols’ “Silkwood,” earning Ephron the first of three Oscar noms.

Though she continued to write, penning such scripts as “Heartburn,” “Julie & Julia” and “When Harry Met Sally.” Ephron transitioned to the director’s chair in 1992 with the Julie Kavner vehicle “This Is My Life.” She’d have arguably her biggest hit the following year with 1993′s “Sleepless in Seattle,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
“Nora was an era,” Ryan said of her director, in a statement. “We pictured ourselves inside her dreams and they became ours. All wisdom, wit and sparkle lights, what a treat she was, what a blessing. I marvel again and again, what a life… To have created simple happiness in people, to have added to the sum of delight in the world.”
Ephron is survived by her two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein, and her third husband Nicholas Pileggio.
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Nora Ephron passed away at 71 years old

HollywoodNews.com: Hollywood screenwriting legend Nora Ephron passed away yesterday at the age of 71 years old.
It is reported that at the time she was suffering from acute myeloid leukemia which got worse when she got pneumonia, states TMZ. Ephron famously penned ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ along with other major films.
During her career, she earned three Academy Award nominations and the respect of being considered one of the most powerful women in the entertainment industry.
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James Bond 23 starts soon

HollywoodNews.com: George Clooney might have really been called The Manchurian Candidate last night. He was in China, while New York A-listers got an advance screening of his new– and very well done– film, “The Ides of March.” NBC News’ Brian Williams brought a gang including Rome Hartman, producer of his new show. Regis and Joy Philbin broke bread with Bryant Gumbel, who said he was a little skeptical if he’d like “Moneyball” since he was not a fan of Bill James‘s ‘sabremetrics’ way of calculating baseball. I reminded Bryant that back in (ahem) 1983, he and his old producer covered James a lot on the “Today” show. (He’s going to have to see the movie.)
Elsewhere around Sirio Maccione‘s renowned Osteria del Circo (“Le Cirque Jr.”) were actress Patricia Clarkson, Bob Balaban and wife Lynn, director Barry Levinson and wife Diana, Nora Ephron and Nick Pileggi, doc maker Charles Ferguson, as well as Time magazine big guys John Huey and Rick Stengel. But the big deal was Daniel Craig, who nipped into the dinner briefly, then stood outside and chatted with “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels in the damp sorta rain.
Craig told me he starts the next James Bond movie next week, which means “a lot of working out.” “Bond 23″–still no name–is what we need now more than ever, frankly. PS Daniel did not know whether the deal was done for Adele to sing the main theme. And I did not ask him about the troubled film, “Dream House,” which opens September 30th.
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David O. Russell, Whoopi Goldberg among Tribeca Film Fest jurors

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: David O. Russell, Nora Ephron, Rainn Wilson, Paul Dano, Anna Kendrick, Michael Cera, Whoopi Goldberg and Dianne Wiest are some of the celebrity names added to the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Jury, announced today.
The jurors have been divided among the six competitive Festival categories and will announce the winning films, filmmakers and actors in those categories at the TFF Awards Night ceremony on April 28.
The 2011 Festival runs from April 20 – May 1.
“This year’s jury is made up of a range of accomplished individuals in their respective fields, bringing a fresh and well-rounded perspective,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. “It’s an honor to have a jury of such caliber watching and discussing the films in competition this year.”
Following is a list of all 2011 Festival jurors and their respective categories.
World Competition Categories:

The jurors for the 2011 World Narrative Competition are:
• Souleymane Cissé: Noted Malian director; films include the 1995 Cannes Palme d’Or nominee Waati, 1987 Cannes Jury Prize Winner Brightness and Tell Me Who You Are.
• Scott Glenn: Actor; films include The Right Stuff, The Silence of the Lambs, The Virgin Suicides, Freedom Writers, The Bourne Ultimatum, W., Secretariat, Sucker Punch and TFF 2011 selection Magic Valley.
• David Gordon Green: Independent Spirit Award nominated director/producer; films include George Washington, All the Real Girls, Great World of Sound, Pineapple Express, the recently released Your Highness and the upcoming film The Sitter.
• Rula Jebreal: Journalist, author, screenwriter and actress: books include The Bride From Assuan, Rejected and Miral, which was adapted into a film of the same name.
• Art Linson: Gotham award winning producer; films include Singles, Fight Club, Lords of Dogtown, Into the Wild, What Just Happened and The Runaways.
• Jason Sudeikis: Actor. Best known for roles in Going the Distance, Hall Pass and 2011 TFF selection A Good Old Fashioned Orgy. Also a cast member on television’s Saturday Night Live.
• Dianne Wiest: Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG award winning actress; films include Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands, Bullets Over Broadway, Synecdoche, New York and the upcoming The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
The jurors for the 2011 World Documentary Competition are:
• Amir Bar-Lev: Documentary filmmaker and producer; films include Fighter, My Kid Could Paint That, The Tillman Story and the upcoming Garcia.
• Michael Cera: BAFTA and SAG Award nominated actor; films include Superbad, Juno, Youth In Revolt, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Currently filming The Untitled Mark [...]

Reese Witherspoon will croon as Peggy Lee

HollywoodNews.com: After catching the music icon bug on “Walk the Line,” Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon is in talks to headline a Peggy Lee biopic to be written and directed by Nora Ephron.
Witherspoon scooped up the rights to Lee’s story from her estate. Variety says that Witherspoon met with Lee’s granddaughter Holly Foster-Wells.
Witherspoon plans to produce with Marc Platt.
The actress sought out Ephron, who happened to be a fan of Lee.
Lee’s career lasted seven decades. Variety writes:
She rose to prominence during the big band era and had her first hit, “Somebody Else is Taking My Place,” in 1941. She recorded a series of hit albums and songs, including “Fever” and “Is That All There Is?” during the next 30 years. She’s regarded as one of the most influential jazz vocalists of all time.
Lee also was a prolific songwriter. She penned a number of songs and voiced several characters in Disney’s 1955 animated hit “Lady in the Tramp.” In the early 1990s, Lee won a landmark case against the Mouse House for royalties from homevid sales of the pic.
Her career extended to television and the bigscreen, where her credits included the 1952 redo of “The Jazz Singer” and “Pete Kelly’s Blues.”

Witherspoon’s next film is the James L. Brooks drama-edy “How Do You Know?” opposite Paul Rudd which will bow in December. She will star alongside Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz in “Water for Elephants” slated for April.
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Jane Lynch recalls how she got cast for ‘Julie & Julia’

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: When director Nora Ephron was looking for an actress to play the sister of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) in her film “Julie & Julia,” she immediately thought of Jane Lynch.
Was it her great comic timing? Her stunning acting resume?
Not really.
Jane recalled how it all went down during a conversation about her career over the weekend at the Outfest Film Festival: “I met Nora Ephron right out here in the lobby (of the DGA Theatre] at the premiere of “A Mighty Wind” and she said, ‘Maybe we’ll get to work together sometime.” Then we were at the same brunch together and she called me about four months later and said, ‘Look, I don’t know many tall actresses and I need one. You’re the tallest one I know. It’s a very small part, would you be willing to do it? You’ll get a free trip to France and I said, ‘I’d love to.’
The trip to Paris didn’t quite pan out: “By the time I got there it went from being in Paris to being in Hoboken because the train station [the setting for her memorable opening scene] in Hoboken was more authentic than any train station in Paris.”
So what was it like for acting goddess Jane Lynch to work with acting legend Meryl Streep?
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10 Best Comedy Lines from Classic Movies

HollywoodNews.com: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today unveiled the network’s list of 10 Best Comedy Lines from Classic Movies, timed to coincide with the buildup to sister network TBS and Just For Laughs’ second annual comedy festival in Chicago, which begins tomorrow. The list includes lines from a number of memorable comedies, spoken by such notables as Groucho Marx, Mel Brooks, Ginger Rogers, Peter Sellers, John Belushi and Rob Reiner’s mother.
With this latest authoritative list, TCM set out to find lines that leave audiences in stitches. Many of the lines are repeated by even the most casual movie fans, demonstrating their strong foothold in pop culture.
“Great movie quotes frequently make their way into everyday conversation, and that is especially true for lines that make us laugh out loud,” said TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne.
Here are the lines included on TCM’s list of 10 Best Comedy Lines from Classic Movies, listed in chronological order:
“It must have been hard on your mother, not having any children.” – Ginger Rogers, 42nd Street (1933)
Warner Bros.’ Busby Berkeley musicals may be best remembered for his kaleidoscopic choreography, but they were also a treasure trove of wise cracks and put downs, delivered by some of the best “dames” on screen, including Joan Blondell, Una Merkel, Glenda Farrell and Rogers. Even though the films’ plot contrivances and grandiose musical stagings may seem dated today, the zingers that kept audiences laughing remain as fresh as ever.
“You can’t fool me! There ain’t no sanity clause!” – Chico Marx, A Night at the Opera (1935)
No nose was spared tweaking when the Marx Bros. hit the screen, whether their targets were dignified matrons, bombastic villains or such institutions as college sports, big business and, in this case, grand opera. Not even the English language was safe as Groucho and Chico subjected audiences to some of the funniest pun-ishment they’d ever heard.
“What do they think I am? Dumb or something? Why, I make more money than – than – than Calvin Coolidge! Put together!” – Jean Hagen, Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
The dumb blonde is one of comedy’s most reliable archetypes, and few were dumber than Lina Lamont, the silent love goddess whose screechy voice and dim wits threaten her career when sound arrives. Conceived for Judy Holliday and considered for Lana Turner, the role ultimately went to Hagen, one of the most [...]

Jack Nicholson Tells Mike Nichols: “Even Oysters Have Enemies”

By Roger Friedman
hollywoodnews.com: Jack Nicholson showed up very late for Mike Nichols’ big AFI tribute last week in Hollywood—he’d been watching the Lakers, of course. Then Nicholson made everyone including Robin Williams—who later riffed on this—scratch their heads with his comments.
Nicholson said: ”This is so wonderful about what every one is saying about you. Remember, though, Mike: even oysters have enemies.” Jack tried to explain himself by adding: “I know you like animals a lot , that’s why I told the oyster joke.”
The rest of the A List stars who came out for director Nichols (pictured here with wife Diane Sawyer) were a little obtuse. You can see it all on June 26 on TV Land, but our pal Leah Sydney was there and sent along some of the bon mots from the show.
Some of the tributes were odd, others poignant or funny. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel made a surprise appearance to kick things off and sang “Mrs. Robinson” from the “The Graduate.” That alone would have been worth the price of the evening. Then an avalanche of stars rolled through Stage 15 at Sony Studios (the same place where Judy Garland once skipped down the Yellow Brick Road.)
Among the speakers were all the greats Nichols has directed on film plus a few famous friends: Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty and sister Shirley MacLaine, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Nora Ephron, Eric Idle, Emma Thompson, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, and Mary Louise Parker.
Nichols, by the way, counts Albert Einstein as a cousin, which of course was much fodder for jokes. Mike’s famous comedy partner Elaine May was the first to bring it up. She said: “Albert Einstein was a very sad man when he died because he hadn’t achieved a Combined Field Theory and that’s gotta be depressing. But if he’s watching tonight- he’s got to be immensely happy that he’s Mike Nichols’ cousin.” She added: “This is a very emotional night for me because 30 years ago I bought this dress for his first lifetime achievement award.”
Cher told the most revealing story of her own career, recalling that when she’d gone to see the trailer for “Silkwood” at a Westwood theater, the crowd clapped for Meryl Streep’s name, Kurt Russell’s name, but laughed when her own name appeaered on the screen. She left the theater crying, and called Nichols. [...]

Can “The Addams Family” overcome the critics?

BY ROGER FRIEDMAN
It was a long time coming, but “The Addams Family” opened last night on Broadway. The reviews are scathing, and the question is: Can a show with millions in pre-sales overcome the critics?
“The Addams Family” took in nearly $1.4 million last week in previews. It was third at the box office behind “Wicked” and “The Lion King.” A new show, not even opened, such a hit? It’s never happened before.
You could see why at last night’s premiere. Stars Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth were met with adulatory applause from an audience that was part celebrity and part real people. Among the stars who showed: Matthew Broderick (with a bodyguard no less) plus Bob and Lynne Balaban, Nora Ephron and Nick Pileggi, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kodb, Tony Roberts, Tova Feldshuh, and “Ray” director Taylor Hackford.
The crowd loved the show, as did the “real” audience I saw it with a couple of weeks ago. But “The Addams Family” is taking a drubbing from theater critics. And they’re right. The show is a mess, from top to bottom. The songs by Andrew Lippa are so awful that one of them includes a comedy line about “Schindler’s List.” Ouch! What was Lippa thinking? The songs do nothing to drive the story along; many of them are just self contained, with terrible lyrics. A couple of them sound like Meat Loaf’s cast offs.
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“THE ADDAMS FAMILY” ON BROADWAY

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