In the new based-on-a-true-story film from Precious director Lee Daniels (also of Nicole Kidman/Zac Efron Pee Movie fame), Oprah Winfrey plays Gloria Gaines, wife of Cecil Gaines, a fictional White House butler whose real life counterpart, Eugene Allen, worked through the terms of eight U.S. Presidents from 1952 to 1986. The film is called The Butler. Forrest Whitaker plays the butler.
One of the biggest surprises of last year was Midnight in Paris' ability to breeze in during the summer and emerge as Woody Allen's highest-grossing box office hit (that's if sleepers like Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters aren't adjusted for inflation). The film is charming and Owen Wilson is beloved, but the real shock is that Allen was able to sell the public on subject matter centered on a dying industry: literature. To delight in that movie is to delight in revisiting figures like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as their work. Cinema's relationship to literature is inherent and, in the case of book-to-movie adaptations, dependent, but rarely is it so blatant. The success of Midnight was a little ray of hope that people might still care about the culture of reading.
Here's a trailer for the new action thriller The Raven, which has John Cusack as a crime-fighting Edgar Allan Poe. That's right! This time the the poet gets to be the badass.
Derek Jeter turns 35 today. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson is turning 39. Patty Smyth is 52. Jason Schwartzman is turning 29. Music impresario Irv Gotti is 39. So is former music exec-turned-marketing honcho Steve Stoute. Joanna Molloy of the Daily News is 54. Art director George Lois is turning 78. Actor Sean Hayes is 39. Guitarist Mick Jones is turning 54. Chris Isaak turns 53. Chris O'Donnell is turning 39. Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington is 33. And scandal-plagued quarterback Michael Vick turns 29 today. Weekend birthdays below.
Today should be a busy day for thieves who earn a living robbing the homes of the rich and famous: Hundreds of celebs and corporate titans have been in Washington today for the inauguration and are expected to put in appearances at one of the many official and unofficial balls scheduled for this evening. Barack and Michelle will make their first stop this evening at the Neighborhood Ball, where the lineup includes Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, will.i.am, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Shakira, and Mary J. Blige. The Equality Ball at the Mayflower Hotel will feature entertainment by Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge and Rufus Wainwright. Lou Gossett Jr. will serve as host at the Purple Ball, where performances by Il Divo and Peter Cincotti will entertain the likes of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, John Cusack, Ed Harris, Ashley Judd, Patricia Arquette, Brendan Fraser, and Josh Lucas.
Sony yesterday released the new teaser for the apocalyptic epic 2012, sort of a Groundhog Day meets The Day After Tomorrow in which Earth's inhabitants wake up one morning to find director Roland Emmerich once again destroying everything in sight. There's little on hand to illuminate the plot that star John Cusack so vigorously protected earlier this year in a chat with Defamer, but here's what we can suss from a couple viewings so far:1. Emmerich's campy, well-fortified London townhouse? Saved. 2. Tibet? Gone. 3. Killer-tidal wave CGI technology has not advanced especially far in the five years since Day After Tomorrow. 4. Emmerich is returning to the political satire at which he acquitted himself so expertly before stumbling over historical comedy with 10,000 B.C. 5. If you look really, really close, we think you can spot Cusack boogieboarding into the doomed monastery. BONUS: If you're especially determined to get something out of this, amuse yourself and your coworkers by reading the intertitles in your best Don LaFontaine voice. It's fun!
Click to viewBoomp3.com Malibu quickly turned into Coolsville, as soon as the world’s number one cool guy John Cusack returned from a stint up in the great white north. One Malibu resident was excited about Cusack’s return to the sleepy beach city. The resident said, “It’s not that we lost our cool status. It’s just we weren’t as cool as we usually are. Now with Mr. Coolsack back in town, we’re about cool as a polar bear. Boosh!” [Photo Credit: X17] *A Call To The Bullpen is a work of fiction. Although the pictures we use are most certainly real, Defamer does not purport that any of the incidents or quotations you see in this piece actually happened. Lighten up, people ... it's a joke.
She Even Saw Grace Is Gone. Emily Leatherman, the unhinged admirer of John Cusack who used to toss "long letters of interest over [his] fence in bags with rocks and screwdrivers inside," was moments away from accepting a plea when an outburst led the judge to rescind the offer. She'll now stand trial for her Dobler-tracking crimes. [CNN]
♦ Michael Phelps is telling people he's single even though he's actually dating Miss California runner-up Nicole Johnson. [R&M]
♦ Peter Cook's interview with Barbara Walters airs on Friday, but Christie Brinkley's lawyers now say he violated a confidentiality agreement by speaking with the network. [OK!, ABC News]
♦ Hugh Hefner says his relationship with Holly Madison began to crumble six months ago when they found out his sperm count was too low to father any kids. Also, he's already auditioning new girlfriends. [E!]
♦ Anna Wintour's latest celebrity obsession? Gerard Butler. [P6]