Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  Oct. 2, 2002 at 7:04 PM
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The American Film Institute will honor two-time Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine with a special tribute at AFI Fest 2002 on Nov. 16 in Hollywood.

With film historian Leonard Maltin serving as emcee, the event will feature film clips from Caine's career, as well as conversation with the star of "The Ipcress File," "Alfie" and "Educating Rita." Caine won Oscars for supporting actor for "The Cider House Rules" (1999) and "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986).

The AFI Fest will also screen six of Caine's picture, including his newest project "The Quiet American," co-starring Brendan Fraser. Set in 1952 Saigon, the movie features Caine as a London Times correspondent and Fraser as an idealistic American aid worker.


In addition to getting a generous amount of publicity for her appearance on Sunday at a Democratic Party fundraiser, Barbara Streisand also took some hits for reading a quote she attributed to Shakespeare -- that turned out to be a tract by an anonymous writer that had been floating around in cyberspace.

Critics of Streisand's liberal politics were having a field day, making fun of her for getting it wrong. Streisand talked about the faux pas in the "truth alert" section of her official Web site (barbrastreisand.com).

"The authorship of this is important," said Streisand. "But it doesn't detract from the fact that the words themselves are powerful and true and beautifully written. Whoever wrote this is damn talented and should be writing their own play."


Organizers of the upcoming ShowEast movie industry convention in Orlando, Fla., have named Hugh Grant as ShowEast Star of the Year. The star of "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001) and "Mickey Blue Eyes" (1999) will received the honor Oct. 11. Grant's newest movie, "Two Weeks Notice," is scheduled to open Dec. 20. He co-stars with Sandra Bullock in the story of a woman (Bullock) who serves as chief counsel for a corporation headed by a charming but insufferable CEO (Grant) who regards her more as a babysitter than as a legal professional, and eventually drives her to quit. ShowEast will also honor director Betty Thomas ("I Spy," "Doctor Dolittle") with its Award of Achievement in Filmmaking, and will present its Kodak Award to writer-director M. Night Shyamalan ("Signs," "The Sixth Sense").


CBS and Hallmark Hall of Fame have announced plans to adapt John Grisham's best-selling novel "A Painted House" for a two-hour TV movie, with a likely air date of early 2003.

Alfonse Arau ("Like Water for Chocolate") will direct from a teleplay by Patrick Sheane Duncan ("Courage Under Fire," "Mr. Holland's Opus").

"A Painted House" is described as a coming-of-age story, set in the Arkansas Delta in the 1950s. Although the story is not, strictly speaking, autobiographical, Grisham said in a statement that it reflects his experiences growing up in Jonesboro, Ark.

"One or two of these characters may actually have lived and breathed on this earth," said Grisham, "though I know them only through family lore, which in my family is a most unreliable source."


The American Film Institute has announced that its upcoming movie and TV awards ceremonies will not be televised, but will be announced on Dec. 16 -- and winners of the AFI Awards 2002 will be honored at a luncheon on Jan. 16.

The institute will honor 10 AFI Movies of the Year, 10 AFI Television Programs of the Year and 10 AFI Moments of Significance, in the third installment of what it has come to call an annual "almanac."

Although some observers in Hollywood are calling the new awards format a setback, owing to low ratings for CBS' telecast of the second AFI Awards, AFI director-CEO Jean Picker Firstenberg told Daily Variety that institute officials are "very pleased with the evolution; we think it will continue to change and evolve."

"We are grateful to ... CBS for making the second year of the almanac one where the nation could experience the results live," Firstenberg said. "But ultimately, its presence on television put pressures on the almanac that we felt would be better addressed in future years."

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