November 30, 2007

November 30, 2007

Hollywood Actresses Paychecks
The Hollywood Reporter holds its annual Women in Entertainment breakfast next Tuesday. In anticipation of that event, they released an annual survey/accounting of how well (or not well) the top women in film are doing. While the money these women make is way more than any of us will ever see, they still don't rank in the same universe with the guys, and women will never get over the hump until they prove they can open movies in Hollywood's ass-backwards economic formula.

Interesting quote:
"But even though actress salaries seem to be bigger than ever, the news this year is not how large the paychecks of Hollywood's hottest female stars have become, it is how low they are prepared to go to fill in their schedules." (Do guys have to lower their salaries as much?)

Top 10 highest paid actresses:
1. Reese Witherspoon -- $15 million-$20 million
2. Angelina Jolie -- $15 million-$20 million
3. Cameron Diaz -- $15+ million
4. Nicole Kidman -- $10 million-$15 million
5. Renee Zellweger -- $10 million-$15 million
6. Sandra Bullock -- $10 million-$15 million
7. Julia Roberts -- $10 million-$15 million
8. Drew Barrymore -- $10 million-$12 million
9. Jodie Foster -- $10 million-$12 million
10. Halle Berry -- $10 million

Also note that the all the actresses are in their 30s to early 40s.

Sliding Scale: Salaries of Hollywood's Leading Ladies (Hollywood Reporter)

Movies This Weekend
It's the week after Thanksgiving and there are few wide releases opening. Those people in NY and LA should check out The Savages and Nina's Heavenly Delights. I liked the Savages, but loved Nina's Heavenly Delights. Very fun and light.

Also opening of interest is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Julian Schnabel's meditation on Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a catastrophic stroke at the age of 43 and suffered from lock-in syndrome where his brain was fully functional and nothing in his body worked except for one eye. This man was able to dictate a book by blinking out letters for months. An extraordinary film of courage and the power of imagination.

50 Smartest People in Hollywood
EW has thrown out the model of the power list and this year picks the 50 Smartest People in Hollywood. At number 1 is Judd Apatow, the man who makes it acceptable for young men to be schlubs and smoke pot all day, just as long as they get the girl who works to support their pathetic lives. I did find Knocked Up funny at times, but I think this trend of men acting like arrested teenagers in movies is sad and regressive and potentially dangerous.
Here is the criteria for getting on the list: 50 Smartest People in Movies (EW)

Women on the List
6. Meryl Streep, actor
15. Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment
26. Stacey Snider, CEO of DreamWorks SKG
30. Jodie Foster, actor/director
31. Kathleen Kennedy, producer
32. Thelma Schoonmaker, editor
33. Angelina Jolie, actor
38. Diablo Cody, screenwriter
39. Mary Zophres, costume designer
43. Beth Swofford, agent at CAA
45. Cate Blanchett, actor
47. Amy Powell, senior vice president of interactive marketing at Paramount
49. Sarah Polley, actor/writer/director

13 out of 50 - better than most lists from Hollywood. Interesting that Meryl Streep is higher than the most powerful woman in Hollywood, Amy Pascal.

Sundance unveiled the rest of its lineup - films to be screened out of competition.
Movies by and about women include:

"The Guitar" / USA, Director: Amy Redford; Screenwriter: Amos Poe
The life of a woman is transformed after she is diagnosed with a terminal disease, fired from her job and abandoned by her boyfriend. Given two months to live, she throws caution to the wind to pursue her dreams. Cast: Saffron Burrows, Isaach De Bankole, Paz De La Huerta. World Premiere

"Incendiary" / UK, Director and Screenwriter: Sharon Maguire
A spirited young mother juggles grief and love in the aftermath of a dramatic terrorist attack in London. Cast: Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Matthew MacFadyen. World Premiere

"Merry Gentleman / USA, Director: Michael Keaton; Screenwriter: Ron Lazzeretti
After fleeing an abusive marriage, a young woman sets off to start a new life. When she finds herself an unwitting witness to a murder she stumbles into a curious friendship with a depressed hit man. Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Michael Keaton. World Premiere

"A Raisin in the Sun" / USA, Director: Kenny Leon; Screenwriter: Paris Qualles
After moving to Chicago's South Side in the 1950s, a black family struggles to deal with poverty, racism, and inner conflict as they strive for a better life. Adapted for the screen from Lorraine Hansberry's play, this is a moving portrait of dreams deferred. Cast: Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sean Patrick Thomas. World Premiere

"Savage Grace" / USA, Director: Tom Kalin, Screenwriter: Howard A. Rodman
The true story of the beautiful and charismatic Barbara Daly, who married above her class to Brooks Baekeland, heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. Their only child is a failure in his father's eyes, and as he matures and becomes increasingly close to his lonely mother, the seeds for tragedy are sown. Cast: Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, Eddie Redmayne. U.S. Premiere

"Towelhead" (FKA "Nothing is Private") / USA, Director and Screenwriter: Alan Ball
The life of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl is illuminated as she navigates her way through the confusing and frightening path of adolescence and sexual awakening. Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Toni Collette, Summer Bishil. U.S. Premiere

"U2 3D" / USA, Directors: Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington
A 3-D presentation of U2's global "Vertigo" tour. Shot at seven different shows, this production employs the greatest number of 3-D cameras ever used for a single project. World Premiere (Editor's Note: A shorter version of "U2 3D" screened as a work-in-progress at the Cannes Film Festival in May.)

"Kicking It" / USA, Director and Screenwriter: Susan Koch
The lives of homeless people are changed forever through an international soccer competition. This film follows six players as they set off for Cape Town, South Africa to play in the Homeless World Cup. World Premiere

"Birds of America" / USA, Director: Craig Lucas; Screenwriter: Elyse Friedman
Three siblings couldn't be more different, or more neurotic. But when they find themselves converging at the family manse, they become surprisingly indispensable to one another. Cast: Matthew Perry, Ginnifer Goodwin, Ben Foster. World Premiere

"Half-Life" / USA, Director and Screenwriter: Jennifer Phang
As troubling signs of global cataclysms accelerate, a brother and sister react to their father's desertion and the powerful presence of their mother's new boyfriend. World Premiere

"Reversion" / USA, Director and Screenwriter: Mia Trachinger
In a world in which the past, present and future simultaneously unfold, a woman whose genetic mutation leaves her devoid of morality struggles to preserve her romance with the man she loves. World Premiere

"The Broken" / USA, Director and Screenwriter: Sean Ellis
On a busy London street a woman sees herself driving by in her own car. Stunned, she trails the mystery woman as events take an eerie turn into a living nightmare. Cast: Lena Heady, Richard Jenkins, Asier Newman. World Premiere

The case against using the Jane Austen paradigm for all female characters.
Jane Austen Must Die! (Sirens Magazine via Alternet)

The catfight bitchslap of Cashmere Mafia versus Lipstick Jungle will begin in earnest next year. (If they don't get this writers strike settled it will get way too much press cause there will be no new episodes of other shows around) Brooke Shields in doing press for the show says that women should not apologize for being successful and wanted it all. Do we really need Brooke Shields to remind us?
Shields says new show will remind women they need not apologize for their success (AP via Macleans)

Keira Knightley opens next week in Atonement
Keira Knightley shines in Atonement (AP via Yahoo)

A lot of pressure is on Dakota Blue Richards who toplines the $180 million The Golden Compass opening next week.
Dakota Blue Richards: The 13-year-old poised to conquer the world (The Telegraph)

Desperately Seeking Susan to shut (BBC)

Tube Tonight
Hidden Plague - Ashley Judd is very smart about using her celebrity for good. In this special she examine HIV/AIDS epidemic in India. (10pm, National Geographic)

Tin Man- a six hour mini series spins a new take on the Wizard of Oz starring Zooey Deschanel