News from the entertainment capital

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  Jan. 22, 2002 at 3:51 PM
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On the same day that Robert Altman won a Golden Globe for best director Sunday, the Times of London ran a story -- based on an interview with Altman -- featuring some choice, sure-to-be controversial quotes.

The 76-year-old director of "Gosford Park" criticized the war on terrorism and really teed off on President George W. Bush.

"This present government in America I just find disgusting," said Altman. "The idea that George Bush could run a baseball team successfully -- he can't even speak! I just find him an embarrassment."

The director of "M*A*S*H," "Nashville" and "The Player" said the U.S. Supreme Court decision that confirmed Bush's election as president showed the court to be a "totally political animal" and took away "the last shred of naivete" he had left.

"When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke," said Altman.

At the same time, Altman thinks the entertainment industry may bear some of the responsibility for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

"We gave them the ideas -- it was a movie," he said. "We should be ashamed of ourselves."

Altman -- who flew B-24 bombers in the South Pacific during World War II -- finds fault with the bombing campaign against targets in Afghanistan.

"I don't think there was a moral choice then," he argues. "But this thing we're involved in now -- these people don't even have a country, and maybe that's the problem."

Altman has frequently said that filming "Gosford Park" in England was the best experience of his life. He told the Times he would be happy to live the rest of his life in London.

"There's nothing in America that I would miss at all," said Altman.


TV viewers must have been in the mood for Hollywood glamour Sunday night, judging by the Nielsen ratings for NBC's telecast of the 59th annual Golden Globe Awards.

The show had its largest audience in three years -- averaging 23.4 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. During the 10-10:30 p.m. block -- when Harrison Ford was being honored with the Cecil B. DeMille career achievement award -- the audience was estimated at 25.6 million.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that seven movies are being considered for the best makeup Oscar: "A. I. Artificial Intelligence"; "A Beautiful Mind"; "Hannibal"; "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"; "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "Moulin Rouge"; and "Planet of the Apes."

Of those seven, "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" and "The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring" are also in contention for Oscars for visual effects and sound editing, and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is under consideration for the Oscar for visual effects.

Other pictures being considered for the visual effects Oscar are "Black Hawk Down"; "Cats and Dogs"; "The Fast and the Furious"; "Jurassic Park III" and "Pearl Harbor." Other pictures being considered for the sound editing Oscar are "Amélie "; "Black Hawk Down "; "The Fast and the Furious "; "Monsters, Inc." and "Pearl Harbor."

The makeup nominating committee will screen clip reels from each film on Feb. 9. The committee may nominate up to three of the films for Oscar consideration, recommend a single film for a special achievement award or choose to recommend that no award be given for makeup.

Oscar nominations will be announced on Feb. 12. The 74th annual Academy Awards will be presented on March 24 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.


According to a report in Daily Variety, Steven Spielberg has decided not to direct the screen version of Arthur S. Golden's best-selling book, "Memoirs of a Geisha," but will produce the project.

Spielberg has had the project on his to-do list for four years. However, he is knee-deep in one of the busiest periods of his career.

He shot last summer's sci-fi fantasy "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" and this summer's sci-fi thriller "Minority Report" back-to-back and is now at work on "Catch Me If You Can" -- starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a young con artist who impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor, an assistant attorney general and a history professor, cashing millions of dollars worth of bad checks in 26 countries.


France's entry for the foreign-language film Oscar, "Amélie," has become the biggest-grossing French-language movie ever released in North America.

The comedy about a young Paris waitress dedicated to the happiness of others has taken in close to $21 million at the U.S. box office -- about half a million more than the previous record holder, "La cage aux folles."

Worldwide, "Amélie" has grossed more than $100 million. It was the highest-grossing movie in France for 2001.

It was named best foreign-language film by the Broadcast Film Critics Association and was nominated in that category for a Golden Globe Award. The award went to "No Man's Land" from Bosnia.


ABC is reportedly in talks with five-time Emmy-winning actor Hal Holbrook to join Sally Field in the cast of "The Court," a drama series set at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Holbrook would play a conservative chief justice. Field stars as a liberal associate justice.

The 76-year-old Holbrook won his first Emmy in 1971 for lead actor in a drama series, as U.S. Sen. Hayes Snow on "The Senator." In 1974, he won the Emmy for actor of the year, for his performance in the "ABC Theatre" special, "Pueblo."

He won for lead actor in a limited series in 1976 for "Sandburg's Lincoln," and he won back-to-back Emmys for achievement in informational programming for the TBS series "Portrait of America."

Field won the Emmy in 1977 for lead actress in a drama special, for her portrayal of a woman with at least 16 personalities in "Sybil." She won the best actress Oscar twice -- for "Norma Rae" in 1979 and "Places in the Heart" in 1984.


CBS is planning a four-hour miniseries about Adolf Hitler, with plans calling for the project to examine Hitler in his younger days -- when he was forming his political world view and conditions in his homeland were developing in such a way as to make it possible for him to gain power.

One of the main sources for the teleplay will be historian Ian Kershaw's best-seller, "Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris." The miniseries is scheduled to run some time during the 2002-03 season.

Also, Lion's Gate -- a Hollywood studio -- has a feature in development loosely based on Hitler's unsuccessful attempt to make a career as a painter. "Hoffman" -- starring Noah Taylor ("Vanilla Sky," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider") as the young Hitler -- also stars John Cusack as Max Hoffman, Hitler's art teacher.


James Caviezel -- the star of the new remake of "The Count of Monte Cristo" -- isn't against scenes of lovemaking in his movies, but he insists on keeping his clothes on.

Caviezel told the New York Post it's because he is a devout Roman Catholic -- and a married one at that.

When he filmed an intimate scene with Jennifer Lopez for last year's police drama, "Angel Eyes," Caviezel said he put his foot down when it came to nudity.

"I just said, 'Look, put a top on her,'" he told the paper. "'I'm gonna keep my shorts on, she's gonna keep hers on. Get the camera and shoot around it.' And that's out of devotion, love and respect to my wife."

Caviezel's wife teaches high school English in the Los Angeles area.

"You're never gonna see my butt on film unless I'm in the Holocaust, walking around," said Caviezel. "I have a hard time getting naked on film. I don't believe in it. I don't think it's right. In my faith, I'm taught that abstinence is important."

His "Monte Cristo" co-star, Dagmara Dominczyk, told the Post she had to reassure Caviezel about the scene -- even though it was staged to be acceptable for a PG-13 rating.

"Jim took me aside and said, 'You know, I'm married and very faithful,'" she said. "And I said, 'Jim, it's a Disney movie. I'm not gonna grab your crotch!'"

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