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04/19/2007


The Trailer for the 'Wikileaks' Movie 'The Fifth Estate' is Here: VIDEO

Fifthestate

The trailer for The Fifth Estate, the movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, directed by Bill Condon. Assange has called the film "a propaganda attack on Wikileaks".

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Vulture talks to Condon about the film:

We're trying very hard to make a movie that raises all the questions without providing all the answers. Even recently, when you saw what happened with the Snowden case, I think it's hard to come down cleanly on one side because this is all just unbelievably complicated; only by getting involved and understanding the issues can people come to an informed decision of their own. I don't want to make it sound like a history lesson, but I think the movie does show, in an exciting way, just how complicated these issues are. And the tagline, it has to do with the idea of citizen journalism, the great wild west of the Internet. It's a true revolution that we're just coming to terms with.

Condon also responds to Assange's 'attack' assertion:

He had a tremendous falling-out with Daniel, and they have a real disagreement about events as they occur. Our movie is also based on a book by a Guardian reporter, and Assange took exception to that, too. But you know, he took exception to his own autobiography, which was ghostwritten by a wonderful author — he wouldn't allow the release of it because it had things that were mildly critical of him. So he's somebody who doesn't really take well to presenting any other side.

2_fifthestate

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Movies: All Divas All The Time — Piggy, Tink, Natalie, Tilda, Cleopatra

Descendants-cast
Clooney and his onscreen girls in THE DESCENDANTS

GuestbloggerNATHANIEL ROGERS
...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

 
NOW IN THEATERS
Writer/director Alexander Payne (Sideways) is back after a long hiatus with THE DESCENDANTS. The dramedy finds a wealthy Hawaiian landowner (George Clooney) totally at sea with the women in his life (his wife is in a coma, and his daughters are hard to handle) while attempting to find his footing on land as the family prepares to sell their unspoiled prime real estate. It's a certain player in this year's Oscar race

Muppets-twilightLess certain is whether Academy voters will go for a second round with those dancing penguins in HAPPY FEET TWO

Meanwhile, mopey terrible-role-model Bella "I'm nothing without a man!" Swan is back to marry her vampire in THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 but don't make me talk about it. Let's illustrated Bella's return with a photo of Miss Piggy as "Bella Swine" because the world would be a better place with more Muppets (next week!) and less Twilight. Breaking Dawn supposedly has a 35 minute wedding sequence and I swear to god the next person who tells me they thought the brilliant Rachel Getting Married was boring or that the hilarious bridal shower toasts in Bridesmaids went on too long is getting karate chopped. "Hiiii-yaaaaa."

May Oscar winning out filmmaker Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Kinsey, Gods and Monsters) survive his years with Bella & Edward and return to making good movies with more progressive sexual politics soon.

BONUS SCENES

 roadOn the topic of Bridesmaids, have you watched the "line-o-rama" feature on the DVD/Blu Ray? It's crazy to to soak in all that discarded improv comedy. Even Rose Byrne can do it! Who knew she had that performance in her? 

NATALIE, CLEOPATRA, TILDA, TINK & GLINDA, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Bill Condon to Direct Final Two Installments of 'Twilight' Saga?

Twilight

Dreamgirls director Bill Condon is negotiating to direct the final two installments of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, Deadline NY reports:

Condon  "Summit Entertainment hasn’t signed him, but I’m told that after several strong meetings, they are negotiating. Condon was among a list of A-list directors approved by Summit and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. That list included Gus Van Sant, Sofia Coppola and Fernando Meirelles. Shooting will begin in the fall, and I heard the plan is to shoot two films back to back. That was just what my colleague Nikki Finke reported. She also wrote that Summit was looking for a big director and Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters director Condon certainly fits that bill. Presumably, Condon would do this as his next project, and push back the picture he had planned to direct."


Jennifer Holliday Still Feeling Dreamgirls Snub

Dreamgirls had its Hollywood premiere Monday night at the Wilshire Theater. Check out a few glam shots from the red carpet here, including an appearance from McSteamy himself, Eric Dane.

Dreamgirls_3Notably absent was the original 'Effie' Jennifer Holliday, who tells the L.A. Times what she told Wendy Williams last week— that she's still feeling "swept aside" by Paramount and Dreamworks. She claims the studios "disinvited" her to the premiere and have not approached her to do any publicity:

"Why is it necessary for them to wipe out my existence in order for them to have their success? It's scary that they can be so cruel. I know it's business, but why do they have to go to this extreme? I'm a human being. I need to work too. Why do I have to die to make them a winner?"

According to the article, the studio has taken a "no comment" policy on Holliday.

Sheryl Lee Ralph apparently also feels "shut out of the Dreamgirls blitz" according to the LAT, although she did make an appearance at the Hollywood premiere.

Loretta Devine, another member of the original Dreamgirls makes a cameo in the new film, and at the screening I saw, received an ovation from the audience. So far, no protests from her camp.

Out of the picture [la times]


News: Anderson Cooper, Dreamgirls Feud, a Killers Christmas

road.jpg "New York, New York, it's a helluva town": Broadway songwriter and actress Betty Comden dies at 89. "Comden and [Adolph] Green wrote for nine films including the musicals 'Singin' in the Rain' (1952), 'The Band Wagon' (1953), 'It's Always Fair Weather' (1955) and 'Bells are Ringing' (1960)...Among the songs written by the Comden and Green team were 'Just in Time,' 'The Party's Over' and 'Make Someone Happy.'"

Knowles_hudsonroad.jpg All About Effie: Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls feud. (My review)

road.jpg The Killers set to release Christmas tune "A Great Big Sleigh" on December 5. Flowers: "There are some great Christmas tunes that have been recorded over the years from the likes of George Michael and John Lennon. Sometime you forget. You get so caught up in business and being an adult that you forget to have fun and enjoy things and be nice to people."

road.jpg Time offers up their list of the top 100 most influential albums of all time.

road.jpg Princes William and Harry to hold Diana concert at new Wembley stadium next year to mark tenth anniversary of their mother's death: "It is understood that the Princes hope that by celebrating their mother's life on what would have been her 46th birthday, the sting will be taken out of August 31 - the date on which she died in Paris. Because next year is the tenth anniversary of her death, they are aware that the date is bound to resonate publicly more than ever."

Zarfroad.jpg All My Children to introduce transgender character who will make the transition from man to woman: "The character, a flamboyant rock star known as Zarf, kisses the lesbian character Bianca and much drama ensues. The storyline begins with Thursday's episode of the daytime drama."

road.jpg Big week for gay rights in Brazil: Discrimination law passed, gay adoption allowed, a campaign against homophobia funded, and a big step toward civil unions in Sao Paolo.

road.jpg Page Six reports on the CNN anchor and the boy from Ipanema: "Anderson Cooper was friendly at a Brazilian airport on Friday. 'Hi, I'm Anderson,' he said to the 'attractive' man standing next to him at the flight connection monitors in the Salvador terminal, a spy told The Post's Braden Keil. The 25ish fellow was wearing a tight T-shirt, cut-off shorts and an earring. According to our witness, the unshaven, solo-traveling CNN star chatted for 20 minutes with the stranger before the fellow had to say goodbye and board his flight to Rio."


Dreamgirls: A Review
In a Dazzling Adaptation, Jennifer Hudson Rockets to Fame

**WARNING SPOILERS**

Last night I had the opportunity to see one of the first screenings of Dreamgirls, the Bill Condon film adaptation of the Broadway musical, and Condon has pulled off an inspiring and transcendent new classic. The musical production comes alive in its cinematic form so fluidly that at times you almost forget you're not watching a live production. I can't remember the last time I saw an audience provide such physical and vocal responses to onscreen performances. It's a great feeling to come to a film with high expectations and have them exceeded as that's so often not the case.

Dreamgirls1_1You might think that with star power like Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Danny Glover that the jockeying for the spotlight would be intense, but there is really no competition here. This is Jennifer Hudson's movie and she is astonishing.

Dreamgirls will make Jennifer Hudson a superstar. Her vocal performances are epic. No less than four times did the audience erupt into spontaneous ovations as she finished her numbers.

The pivotal scene on which the plot of the movie spins, when Effie is told that she's been forced out of the Dreamettes, is delivered in a dazzling musical one-two punch. As the number "It's All Over," a tour-de-force in its deft boxing match-like staging between Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Foxx), Deena Jones (Beyoncé Knowles), Lorrell Robinson (Anika Noni Rose), and Effie (Hudson) winds up we are left with Effie realizing, defiantly, that she's having her dream snatched from her. The movie takes a beautifully-choreographed deep breath before Hudson slides into her solitary and powerful rendition of "And I'm Telling You". This is the moment in the film everyone will be talking about. Hudson's chill-inducing performance made every hair on my scalp stand on end.

Dg2As an audience member there's no way to avoid looking at Hudson's performance against Beyoncé's, or to avoid noticing the way in which the show's plot mirrors the offscreen trajectory of these singers. At one point, Taylor points out to Deena Jones that she's being put up as lead singer because her voice is bland and has no character. Effie is the one with the voice, but she's being relegated to the back row because she is the 'ugly duckling'.

And you root for Hudson because of this. She does not have Beyoncé's model looks (which undergo their own stunning metamorphosis during the film) or her figure, and the filmmakers make no attempt to hide Hudson's heft in the film. But the differences only make you root for Effie even more. Hudson owns this film. It is all hers, and it is beautiful to watch, at the same time realizing that Hudson's real-life story (from American Idol contestant to what should and will be an Oscar-nominated star vehicle) bears an uncanny resemblance to the one unfolding before you.

Jenniferhudson_2Make no mistake. Beyoncé turns in a rock-solid performance which in a world without Hudson would garner acclaim. "Listen," one of the new and welcome additions to the show's set of stand-out tracks, wakes you up to the fact that there is another great singer in this movie, but in the end it's like holding a candle to Hudson, who has shot into Hollywood like a brilliant comet.

Fortunately for Sharon Leal and Anika Noni Rose (the other two members of the Dreams), the strength of the other singers offers them some deserved coattails to ride into the public's awareness, but they're essentially bit players here. Jamie Foxx gives a polished performance as the show's villain, but the return of Eddie Murphy makes it difficult for him to get in the spotlight. Murphy is as entertaining as ever as James 'Thunder' Early, the womanizing soul singer who offers the Dreamettes their first opportunity. Keith Robinson, as Effie's brother CC White, delivers a standout performance as well.

The wardrobe and sets in Dreamgirls bring back the slick, glistening environments of the late 60's and early 70's, and in the production is an obvious love for the glitz and excitement of live performance. This is not Evita whose characters were given little or no chance to breathe between numbers. And it is more three-dimensional and ebullient than Chicago. Dreamgirls is on its way to the Oscars.

Related
Dreamgirls Underway [tr]
Dreamgirls: A Featurette [tr]


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