Thursday, December 31, 2009

In the Making of NINE [7/10]

Rounding out the family of women who came together for NINE isGrammy winning artist Stacy Ferguson—known universally as Fergie—who embraced the haunting role of Saraghina, the Roman prostitute whose romantic advice had a lasting impact on a very young and impressionable Guido, as recalled in the powerful number “Be Italian.”

Once Ferguson won the role in a hard-fought audition, she set out to make it totally her own, diving into cinematic research. She says, “I watched lots of different films from that era, to get the raw physicality of Saraghina. I wanted this character to take over from me. It really came together when we started to do the routine with the girls and I got to work with the boys on the beach. That really gave me a sense of who she was, and what she meant to Guido in his life.”

Ferguson found herself greatly admiring her character. “Saraghina is a very earthy, raw woman, in the way she walks and moves. She’s full of life and fire,” she explains. “But there’s subtlety to it. She loves Guido and the boys, and enjoys teaching them, but she’s kind of having a joke with herself as well at the same time.”

The way that Ferguson embodied all of those qualities took Maury Yeston aback. He says: “I think the world will be stunned by Fergie’s performance. Of course, she is a first-rate recording artist but the revelatory aspect of her performance is that she is also a fantastic film presence.”

Each of the women involved in NINE agree that the film was an unusually fun and rich experience. Summarizes Penélope Cruz: “When things go well on a set it is contagious. There are many different elements to NINE but Rob Marshall brought them all together like a magician. What he did with this movie is going to blow people away and I think we all felt lucky to be part of it.”

Yeston says he was blown away by the non-theatrical cast’s ability to so fully embody his lyrics and songs. “I was very much impressed with the quality of the vocal performances. They are poetic, lyrical and truly moving,” he comments.

Adds Marc Platt: “The skill of Rob Marshall, John De Luca and their terrific team of associate choreographers and vocal coaches allowed each of our cast members to realize their full potential. In each of these extraordinary actors was always the ability to sing and dance, but the key was to allow them to feel safe and to have the confidence to give bravura performances that I think will be revelatory for audiences.”

Adds Harvey Weinstein, “Outside our key crew of Dion, Colleen and John (who started with Rob on CHICAGO) I was the only one in this group that has worked with Rob before. On CHICAGO I had the opportunity to observe Rob’s process which is nothing less than exhausting to behold and it was the same on NINE, actually maybe even harder. If he’s not on the floor working on the numbers with the dancers he’s meeting with the music team listening to the musical numbers and making tweaks or meeting with his designers or working with his cast. On CHICAGO he directed 3 big movie stars on this movie he’s directing 8! Rob has that rare talent; if he’s working with 5 or 500 people; each of those people will feel they have his full attention, respect and those people will go out and give their all to delivery for Rob.”

04. CINEMA ITALIANO: Designing NINE

To allow movie audiences to experience NINE in a distinctly cinematic way, Rob Marshall wanted to invite them to inhabit an Italian movie, moving back and forth between the sleek, Mod streets of 60s Rome through which Guido zooms in his pale blue Fiat Alfa Spyder; and the dreamlike fantasies that erupt from Guido’s imagination, evoking his lust and love, his imagination and frustration, his nostalgia and his yearning to find a path to his future.

To do this, Marshall and his long-time partner, choreographer and producer John DeLuca,gathered around them many of the exceptional artists who helped them to create the kinetic beauty of CHICAGO and MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. They put together a team that includes two-time Academy Award® winning production designer John Myhre, two-time Academy Award® winning costume designer Colleen Atwood and Oscar® winning director of photography Dion Beebe.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

INTERVIEW - Daniel Day Lewis

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Marion Cotillard added to Palm Springs film festival gala as honoree

The 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award.
The Awards Gala will kick off the film festival Tuesday, Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart, the gala will honor previously announced honorees Jeff Bridges, T Bone Burnett, Mariah Carey, Morgan Freeman, Anna Kendrick, Helen Mirren, Jason Reitman and Jeremy Renner. The festival runs through Jan. 18.
“Following a distinguished career in French cinema, Marion Cotillard has firmly established herself as a major actress in American films,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner.
“Her performance in Rob Marshall’s ‘Nine’ is nothing short of breathtaking"

Cotillard will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award. For her Oscar winning role as Edith Piaf, the festival presented her with the Breakthrough Performance Award in 2008.
Cotillard co-stars in Rob Marshall’s “Nine,” currently in theaters. Originally created for the stage, the Tony® award winning Nine is a musical adaptation of Federico Fellini’s ‘.’ Cotillard portrays the wife, Luisa,' to Daniel Day-Lewis' Guido,' a film director, who must find harmony in his relationships with the many women in his life, including his wife, mistress, muse, agent and mother.

Past recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award include Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet.

INTERVIEW - Penelope Cruz on TODAY SHOW (12/29)

♫ Lyrics ♪ - Guido's Song [8/10]


I WOULD LIKE TO BE HERE.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE THERE
I WOULD LIKE TO BE EVERYWHERE AT ONCE-
I KNOW THAT'S A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS.
AND IT'S A PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY WHEN
MY BODY'S NEARING FIFTY AS MY MIND IS
NEARING TEN.
I CAN HARDLY STAY UP
AND I CAN'T GET TO SLEEP,
AND I DON'T WANT TO WAKE TOMORROW MORNING
AT THE BOTTOM OF SOME HEAP
BUT WHY TAKE IT SO SERIOUSLY?
AFTER ALL, THERE'S NOTHING AT STAKE HERE -
ONLY ME
I WANT TO BE YOUNG.
AND I WANT TO BE OLD.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE WISE BEFORE MY TIME
AND YET BE FOOLISH AND BRASH AND BOLD.
I WOULD LIKE THE UNIVERSE TO GET DOWN ON
ITS KNEES AND SAY, "GUIDO,
WHATEVER YOU PLEASE,
IT'S OKAY EVEN IF IT'S IMPOSSIBLE,
WE'LL ARRANGE IT."
THAT'S ALL THAT I WANT.
I AM LUSTING FOR MORE,
SHOULD I SETTLE FOR LESS?
I ASK YOU, WHAT'S A GOOD THING FOR
IF NOT FOR TAKING IT TO EXCESS?
ONE LIMITATION I DEARLY REGRET:
THERE'S ONLY ONE OF ME I'VE EVER MET.

I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ANOTHER ME TO TRAVEL
ALONG WITH MYSELF.
I WOULD EVEN LIKE TO BE ABLE TO SING A
DUET WITH MYSELF.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE HERE
(SING ALONG WITH MYSELF IN A SONG)
TO BE THERE (WALKING DOWN A LANE NOW),
EVERYWHERE
(EVERYWHERE)
EVERYWHERE, THAT'S A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS
I WANT TO BE HERE
(WITH A COUNTER-)
HERE (MELODY IN THE)
HERE (TOP OF THE MORNING TO YOU GUIDO)
GUIDO (GUIDO)
GUIDO (GUIDO)
GUIDO. ME (ME) ME!
I WANT TO BE PROUST
OR THE MARQUIS DE SADE.
I WOULD LIKE TO BE CHRIST, MOHAMMED,
BUDDHA
BUT NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE IN GOD.
AND YOU KNOW I MEAN IT WITH ALL OF MY HEART -
IT'S THE END IF SOMETHING IMPORTANT DOESN'T START...
...I WANT TO BE YOUNG,
BUT I HAVE TO BE OLD.
WHAT I WANT IS A TALE OF SOUND AND FURY
THAT SOME IDIOT WENT AND TOLD.
I WOULD LIKE THE UNIVERSE TO GET DOWN ON
ITS KNEES
AND SAY, "GUIDO, WHATEVER YOU PLEASE,
IT'S OKAY EVEN IF IT'S RIDICULOUS,
WE'LL ARRANGE IT..."
SO ARRANGE IT!

INTERVIEW - Sophia Loren

Monday, December 28, 2009

Nicole Kidman dishes on star-fuelled musical Nine

As Nicole Kidman lounges in a fancy suite at a midtown-Manhattan hotel, she's asked why she decided to play the world's first post-op transsexual in an upcoming movie.

Called The Danish Girl, the film is in the development phase, but the Australian actress confirms she's agreed to play the controversial role ofEinar Wegener. Scrunching up her face a little, Kidman seems positively puzzled by the implication that the picture is inappropriate for her.
"I don't know why people are finding that so odd," she says. "I am an actress, and I do like to challenge myself."

Occasionally, that's worked for her. She received anOscar for her portrayal of the suicidal writer Virginia Woolf in the dramaThe Hours, and an Academy Award nomination for the doomed singer Satine in the inventive musical Moulin Rouge!.

Indeed, Kidman's latest test is co-starring in Rob Marshall's rousing film version of the Broadway stage show Nine, which opened yesterday. Based on Federico Fellini's film about moviemaking, 8 1⁄2, the cinematic musical has lots of show-stopping numbers to go along with the light drama.

In the Oscar-honoured ensemble, Kidman plays an actress who's the inspiration for Italian director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he prepares to launch his comeback, just as a creative block stands in his way.
It doesn't help that he's haunt ed by the women in his life, and distracted by his self-doubts. There is his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), his mother (Sophia Loren), his disapproving costume designer (Judi Dench) and an American magazine writer trying to seduce him (Kate Hudson). It's quite a cast, with the acclaimed Day-Lewis at the centre of it all.

So how could Kidman resist? She had good reason to pass on the assignment: She was still wobbly from bringing daughter Sunday Rose into the world. But, weeks later, she said, "on with the show," arriving at the London rehearsal hall for Marshall's Nine.
"Everybody was so supportive and kind, and they always made me and Sunday Rose feel welcome," says Kidman, who's married to country singer and fellow Aussie, Keith Urban. The couple's daughter is now 19 months old .
That made the cast special to Kidman in many ways, and the resulting "family feeling" may have helped, she says.

It's about time. Since the actress's Moulin Rouge! nomination, and Oscar for The Hours, things haven't been going Kidman's way.
Last year, the epic Australia with Hugh Jackman was met with mixed results and weak box-office returns. And in 2007, she was a great villain in the special-effects fantasy The Golden Compass, but that movie didn't live up to expectations in the U.S. and Canada.
In 2004 and 2005, she had a string of disappointments. The Stepford Wives was greeted with indifference. The remake of the series Bewitched, with Kidman playing Samantha, didn't seem to work, either. And neither The Interpreter, Fur nor The Invasion found audiences.

Nine, however, is on track to change the 42-year-old's luck.
Recently, the film picked up nine Broadcast Film Critics Association nods and five Golden Globe nominations, and it's on course to earn Academy Award recognition.

Skeptics, at first, wondered if Nine might be too star heavy. Not so, says the actress.
"It was interesting being around this cast." Kidman says. "We always have people ask us about the egos, but if you love what you do, you're just so glad to be around other people who love what they do, too, so you sacrifice. And that was the case with us."

She recognized that attitude her first day on the London set. She arrived jet-lagged and unsure of what was in store for her.
"I came into the rehearsal room and I saw Kate [Hudson] dancing up a storm, and I went, ‘Wow that's amazing,' And now I can't wait for people to see that part of her."
Marshall, who had previously directed the Oscar-honoured musical Chicago, was another pleasant surprise for Kidman.
"He was in the trenches, working every day with us," re ports the actress, "And that's what you need to be around to do good work, because it's contagious, and it's also inspiring."

Day-Lewis gets lots of praise, as well. "He's a true actors' actor," she says.
And his method style of staying in character while filming didn't faze her at all. In fact, she could relate.
"I have a little of the same thing with my character stuff," Kidman admits, "so we didn't talk that much as Daniel and Nicole."
They saved most of their dialogue for the camera, which counts among the most intimate sequences in the movie.
"I remember, before we shot our scenes, we barely spoke," Kidman says. "We would sit in the middle of the room together and think."

INTERVIEW - Penelope Cruz on WEEK-END SHOW (12/26)

INTERVIEW - Kate Hudson

BOX OFFICE : December 21-27, 2009

In LIMITED RELEASE until 12/25 then in 1 412 theaters
MONDAY 12/21$33,024
TUESDAY 12/22$28,286
WEDNESDAY 12/23$24,866
THURSDAY 12/24$35,000
FRIDAY 12/25$2,047,000
SATURDAY 12/26$1,890,000
SUNDAY 12/27$1,607,000
TOTAL LIFETIME GROSSES$5,922,000

Sunday, December 27, 2009

PREVIEW : 'You're a world class liar darling ...' - Guido and Lilli



INTERVIEW - Judi Dench

TRACKLIST - Guarda la Luna by Sophia Loren


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kidman basks in other stars’ glow

You could call it typecasting: In “Nine,” which opened Friday, Nicole Kidman plays Claudia, a glamorous movie star and the muse of celebrated Italian director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis).
As Guido beseeches Claudia to star in his next movie, he describes the role and she replies, “I would rather play the man.”

Kidman likes the line’s bald truth.
“Most of the time the roles are better for men,” she said at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, adding that Claudia’s relationship with Guido allows her leeway.
“Even though she’s his actress, she knows him in a way where she can speak the truth to him as well. And she’s not frightened to do that.”

Though “Nine” takes place in the 1960s, do men still have better roles in Hollywood?
“Yeah, a lot of the times. But I think it was ‘Wanted’ where that was originally a man’s role and they rewrote it and made it for Angelina (Jolie). So I think that sometimes that can be great. I wish they’d do that more often.”

The 42-year-old actress says there were no divas on the set of “Nine.”
“It’s interesting being around this cast,” she said of the A-list ensemble, “because people ask us about the egos. I think when you’re working, the egos are not a part of it. If you love what you do, you’re just so glad to be around other people that love what they do.”

Kidman remembered her first day on set. I saw Kate (Hudson) dancing up a storm. And I went, ‘Wow that’s amazing! I can’t wait for people to see that part of her.’ That’s what you need to be around to do good work - because it’s contagious. It’s also inspiring.”

INTERVIEW - Daniel Day Lewis on TODAY SHOW (12/25)

INTERVIEW - Nicole Kidman

In the Making of NINE [6/10]

She was equally enticed by the filmmakers at the helm. NINE was the film everyone wanted to do,” she says. “Rob Marshall had his pick. He came to me and said, ‘Would you play Claudia?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I was sitting with him in the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, in the middle of a press junket, so it was a very movie star moment!”

She continues: “At that stage, they didn’t have a male lead, so we all kept our fingers crossed . . . and as fate would have it, Daniel Day-Lewis stepped into the role. He’s so true to his art and it’s so beautiful to be in the orbit of someone like Daniel, to be one of his many women.”

Another of those women is Guido’s nurturing confidante and costume designer, Lilli, who is played by Judi Dench, the venerable British star of stage and screen who won the Oscar® for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and has been nominated six times. Dench took pleasure in the very different kind of relationship Lilli has with Guido; and in Lilli’s flamboyant personality, evidenced by her spectacle-admiring number “Follies Bergere.” “Lilli is obviously older than Guido, and knows him very, very well, has worked with him many, many times and, yet, like the other women in his life, she is utterly bewitched by him,” says Dench. “Who wouldn’t be?”

Lilli, Dench notes, sees herself as Guido’s self-appointed protector. “She wants to remind him that he doesn’t have to be so full of apprehension. She’s trying to catch his imagination again, and remind him of the fun they’ve had making beautiful movies. She sees that he’s bogged down and her goal is to break through that so that he can become the person she knows he can be.”

Life also imitated art for Dench in the role. “Strangely enough, I started out training to be a costume designer in the theatre!” she explains. “So that was nice, to kind of understand the world my character inhabits. I couldn’t put it into practice now—and I never had to worry about the costumes on this film because Colleen Atwood is a miracle worker—but I know that world very well.”

Dench previously worked with Day-Lewis under different circumstances, playing his mother inHAMLET at the Royal National Theatre, and knew the degree to which he penetrates his roles. “It was just lovely to get another opportunity to work with him,” she says. “He became completely Italian; and that’s Dan. That’s the way he does it and it was wonderful for the rest of us, because when you’re doing a scene with him, he makes the work completely seamless.”

A mischievous flirtation for Guido comes in the form of the impeccably fashionable Vogue journalist Stephanie, a new role created for the film.Kate Hudson, an Oscar® nominee for her vibrant performance inALMOST FAMOUS, takes on the flashy role. “Stephanie,” she notes, “is an obsessive fan of Guido Contini. She adores his films and Italian culture in general. She is one of many women who all want a piece of Guido!”

For Hudson, the very notion of doing a musical was completely new and refreshing, and she was particularly excited to perform one of Maury Yeston’s new songs: the buoyant pop ode to style, “Cinema Italiano.” “I’ve never had an opportunity to do something like NINEbefore,” comments Hudson.

“I’ve taken dance classes and worked with different choreographers, but I had never done a big number with hair and make-up and lights before this. Luckily, Rob and John prepared us with six weeks of rehearsal which was like a training camp. We sang and danced every day on a mock up stage.”

Then came her big moment in front of the camera. “It was an entirely different and terrifying experience,” she admits, “but also absolutely incredible and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

Also joining the cast is a veritable Italian screen legend in real life:Oscar® winner Sophia Loren, who says she was bowled over when Rob Marshalloffered her the role of one of the most important women in Guido’s life: his always influential mother. Marshall told the internationally beloved actress that he could not contemplate makingNINE without her. “He explained it was a small role, but said he would only make the film if I would play Mama,” Loren explains. “So I joked to him that I would do it to save his career because I liked CHICAGO so much. But it was really something I wanted to do. I mean for an Italian girl to be in an American musical is something.”

Loren loved having the chance to perform the third new song from Yeston: the lullaby“Guarda La Luna.” She also was thrilled to work with a cadre of today’s most illustrious female stars. “To work with Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench, I wondered if we would all kill each other!” Loren laughs. “But no. It was like family. It was wonderful because none of us had ever done a real Hollywood musical, so we were rooting for each other and we really became lasting friends.”

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Choreography of 'CINEMA ITALIANO'

Rehearsing 'BE ITALIAN' - Fergie

NINE Playing everywhere today !!


NINE” is a vibrant and provocative musical that follows the life of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he reaches a creative and personal crisis of epic proportion, while balancing the numerous women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his film star muse (Nicole Kidman), his confidant and costume designer (Judi Dench), an American fashion journalist (Kate Hudson), the whore from his youth (Fergie) and his mother (Sophia Loren).

INTERVIEW - Rob Marshall

3 new pics!

♫ Lyrics ♪ - My Husband Makes Movies [7/10]

MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES
TO MAKE THEM HE LIVES A KIND OF DREAM
IN WHICH HIS ACTIONS AREN'T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM-
HE MAY BE ON TO SOME UNIQUE ROMANTIC THEME.
SOME MEN RUN BANKS,
SOME MEN RULE THE WORLD,
SOME EARN THEIR LIVING BAKING BREAD.
MY HUSBAND... HE GOES A LITTLE CRAZY
MAKING MOVIES INSTEAD.

MY HUSBAND SPINS FANTASIES,
HE LIVES THEM, THEN GIVES THEM TO YOU ALL
LIKE MICHAELANGELO, HE PAINTS HIS PRIVATE DOME
BUT CAN’T DISTINGUISH WHAT’S HIS WORK
AND WHAT’S HIS HOME

SOME MEN SELL STOCKS,
SOME MEN PUNCH CLOCKS,
SOME LEAP WHERE OTHERS FEAR TO TREAD.
MY HUSBAND, AS AUTHOR AND DIRECTOR,
MAKES UP STORIES IN HIS HEAD.

GUIDO CONTINI, LUISA CONTINI:
NUMBER ONE GENIUS AND NUMBER ONE FAN.
GUIDO CONTINI, LUISA CONTINI:
PASSIONATE WOMAN IN LOVE WITH THIS MAN
LONG AGO - MANY YEARS AGO.
ONCE WE TWO WERE-
GUIDO CONTINI, LUISA HIS LOVER:
ACTRESS WITH DREAMS AND A LIFE OF HER OWN,
THEN WE HAD NO END OF WORLDS TO DISCOVER,
SINGING TOGETHER ALL NIGHT ON THE PHONE
LONG AGO - SOMEONE ELSE AGO...
HOW HE NEEDS ME SO,
AND HE’LL BE THE LAST TO KNOW IT.

MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES.
TO MAKE THEM HE MAKES HIMSELF OBSESSED.
HE WORKS FOR WEEKS ON END
WITHOUT A BIT OF REST-
NO OTHER WAY CAN HE ACHIEVE HIS LEVEL BEST.
SOME MEN READ BOOKS,
SOME SHINE THEIR SHOES,
SOME RETIRE EARLY,
SOME STAY UP TO DREAM AND MUSE.
MY HUSBAND ONLY RARELY COMES TO BED -
MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES INSTEAD.
MY HUSBAND MAKES MOVIES...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

INTERVIEW - Nicole Kidman on Live with Regis & Kelly (12/22)


The Music Video of Cinema Italiano

Hudson in vogue as fashion writer in ‘Nine’

For Kate Hudson, working on “Nine” brought back a lot of childhood memories.
She plays Stephanie, an American Vogue fashion writer obsessed with Italian director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis).

The movie is set in Rome in the 1960s, and the clothes were designed by two-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood.
Hudson, 30, flashed back to her childhood watching “Bob Mackie make my mother (Goldie Hawn) these phenomenal costumes. I mean dresses, gowns, couture beads everywhere. As a little girl, your eyes are sparkling like Wow! Amazing! Amazing to look at.”
Her “Nine” costumes were “like a throwback to me being a little girl. With these beads that were the real deal. I remember putting on the Swarovski crystal number and it weighed like 15 pounds. And I thought to myself, ‘This is awesome. This is what costuming is about.’ ”

This fan of musical theater and musicals “was obsessed with them as a kid,” she explained at Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

And Hudson’s also a fan of Rob Marshall, the “Nine” director who made “Chicago” a Best Picture Oscar winner.
“There’s very few people who can put a musical on film and make it seamless. Very few. When you’re seeing a number live you get that energy and then when you put it on screen, you’re missing a dimension and it’s very difficult to bring it to life. Rob has this incredible ability to take that so you can feel it in a movie theater,” said Hudson.

So for Hudson, “Nine“was basically: I just would like to go sing for Rob Marshall. That was the first thing, ‘Please get me in the room so I can just hit one note and see if he bites.’ ”
Marshall did, and Hudson’s number “Cinema Italiano,” a new song written for the film, salutes ’60s dance styles while showing younger moviegoers what made Italian cinema so electric.