Sarah Ball

Zakaria and Boyle Talk "Slumdog"

NEWSWEEK International Editor Fareed Zakaria and "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle chat about the Indian protests surrounding the Oscar-nominated film -- here's an excerpt: ZAKARIA: Do you think part of the resonance and appeal of the movie stems from people's fascination with India, and Mumbai in particular?BOYLE: I think so.

Morning Mix: The Comeback Edition

The Osmonds Are Going (Back) to Hollywood!  Two members of the Osmond family separately announced yesterday their intentions to appear on the two most popular reality shows in America.  Yesterday Donnie Osmond let slip on a daytime talkshow that he will head to "Dancing With The Stars."  And down at the Salt Lake City auditions for "American Idol," 29-year-old David Osmond -- son of original Osmond Alan -- wowed judges and got a ticket to Hollywood.  The younger member of the famous...

Panties Are Wadded Over the Banker-Bait Girls

At least five female friends have sent me today either this story from yesterday's New York Times, this direct blog link, or this spitting Gawker post about Dating A Banker Anonymous, a support group of distressed girlfriends-of-bankers who are finding their social calendars more Netflix-and-takeout-based than, say, tasting-menu-inclusive.  Here's how the recession affected one member:"[A]ll of a sudden, [my boyfriend] couldn't focus.

Four of a Kind: The Academy, "The Reader," and "Rare, Extraordinary Circumstances"

Read the below-reproduced statement from the AMPAS, announcing that the full four producers of "The Reader" -- rather than the customary three -- will be listed as the nominees in the Best Picture category.  Two of those producers -- Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack -- died during the post-production.  This is the second time in a week that "The Reader" is associated with upending Academy precedent; when Kate Winslet nabbed a surprise Best Actress nomination for her role in the film,...

Morning Mix: Cast Set For 'Tintin!'

Mickey Rourke: Life Imitates Art.  The star of "The Wrestler" may join the 25th anniversary of "Wrestlemania," or so he told Access hollywood on the red carpet at the SAG awards.  Reportedly, Rourke said, "The boys at WWF asked me to do it." [The Boston Herald]Daniel Craig Goes Dark.  The Bond actor will try his hand at a villain come 2011, when he'll play the evil seamen Red Rackham in "Tintin," the Spielberg-helmed Belgian comicbook adaptation (Peter Jackson will head up the sequel, and...

Andrew Stanton: "John Carter Will Make Or Break Me."

Another nugget from our chat with the Oscar-winning (and -nominated!) writer/director of "Wall-E," "Finding Nemo" and "A Bug's Life." He's been toiling away on his first live-action project -- "John Carter of Mars," about the Edgar Rice Borroughs character from his 20th-century novel series -- and he's given Pop Vox the scoop on how it's faring.  As of last week, he'd chatted with a half-dozen actors during pre-production; he'll finish up some visuals, solidify Draft No.

Grading the Graders: Movie Ratings Sites and the Oscar Contenders

I love movie reviews -- which is why a key perk of my day is plopping down in any given Newsweek critic's office and getting the scoop on what's out. "Revolutionary Road: riff."  Their opinions almost never overlap ("Road" was, varyingly, "uggghhh-two-hours-of-fighting" and "mesmerizing"), but the lack of consensus only makes me want to see a film more.

Morning Mix: Winners Edition

SAG Awards!  The Screen Actors Guild rewarded the predictable (Tina Fey for "30 Rock," the first couple in "John Adams") but there were a few surprises: Sean Penn for "Milk" over Globe-winner Mickey Rourke, for example, or Meryl Streep for "Doubt" -- though, it is Meryl Streep.  She was shocked to win, and while showing off her black pants, said, "I didn't even buy a dress!"  The cast of "Slumdog Millionaire" took home the top cast prize.  Full list of winners here: [Associated Press]There...

Mr. Oscar, Tear Down This Wall! Andrew Stanton on How Animated Films are Pigeonholed -- and How Wall-E is Every Man

We talked to 'Wall-E' director Andrew Stanton last week about his film and the increasing blurring of the line between animation and live-action movies -- plus, what makes the gun-wielding probe EVE a sleek, feminine mynx in WALL-E's eyes.  Excerpts: You talked about 'breaking the glass ceiling' in your speech after winning Best Picture from the L.A.

Morning Mix: Non-Oscars News!

Movie About Gritty Boston Followed Up By Movie About Gritty London.  When "The Departed" scribe William Monahan makes his directorial debut, Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley will be on hand as the leads.  Monahan is helming a film adaptation of the Ken Bruen novel "London Boulevard," about a reformed Brit gangster and a young English actress.  Are they playing themselves? [Variety]Clooney, Scrub In!  Will he or won't he?  At this point, we're sick of guessing whether George Clooney is, in...

Morning Mix: AND THE NOMINEES ARE...

Best PictureThe ReaderThe Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonFrost/NixonSlumdog MillionaireMilk Best ActorSean Penn (Milk)Richard Jenkins (The Visitor)Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button)  Best ActressKate Winslet (The Reader)Melissa Leo (Frozen River)Angelina Jolie (The Changeling)Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)Meryl Streep (Doubt)  Best Supporting Actor Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)Josh Brolin (Milk)Michael Shannon (Revolutionary...

Morning Mix: The Day We Sort Of Missed Kevin Federline

The New York Times Is Shocked That People Actually Saw Kevin James' New Movie.  "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" was the runaway box-office winner over the four-day weekend, earning $39 million and stunning other recent comedic releases like "Yes Man" ($18.2 mil).  Or, as the Times put it: "Prolonging the biggest inaugural weekend surprise since William Henry Harrison declined to wear an overcoat, the underdog comedy "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" (Sony Pictures) continued to dominate the box office on the...

Morning Mix: 'Idol' Worship Down 15 Percent in the Demo

The Eighties Get Some Love from the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame.  Run DMC and Metallica are up for induction in April, the Hall of Fame announced Wednesday, along with a handful of others.  And for the first time ever, you can watch them accept honors live: a limited number of tickets will be sold to watch the induction.  Through the Cleveland-based foundation's box office, Jan. 24, and via Ticketmaster on Jan. 26. [New York Times]Josh Schwartz Has Plumbed the Depths of...

Nicole Kidman's Flack Flap: She IS Proud of "Australia." Sort of.

Last week in our Newsmakers section of the magazine, we ran an item about buzz surrounding Nicole Kidman's down-under press tour for "Australia" -- specifically, about quotes of hers from an Australian radio interview that subsequently ran in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which she claims she was "not proud" of her performance.But New York Times blogger Michael Cieply came to Nicole's defense with a post on Carpetbagger about how Kidman meant that she squirms while watching all her performances...

Morning Mix: Sundance Edition

Sundance to Be Sleepy This Year.  The first film festival to hit since the recession started will be low-key, with fewer splashy parties and a more subdued theme in its 25th anniversary year when it opens tomorrow.  The festival's famous "gifting suites," with the free, high-end swag that usually includes designer clothing, jewelry and electronics, will be filled with less expensive wares; as was the case with awards' show swag, there will be an opportunity to re-gift the haul to charity....

Three Theories on Why Bowties Are Unraveling

  If you watched the red carpet show last night, you know that every man dressed exactly like the Jonas Brothers—slim suit, skinny black tie—with the exception a few traditional, bowtied gents (...and an actual Jonas.  Trying to be clever, are you?!)  At the expense of the bow, the slim four-in-hand has made a huge comeback in men's formal wear, says neckwear expert Jerry Andersen—though, he adds, it's "sometimes not even fully drawn up to the collar."  The horror!  Three reasons...

In the Beginning...

Introductory blog posts kind of make my skin crawl.  "Join me as I peel back a batik peace-sign curtain to reveal my moody thoughts, which I 'll be transcribing and creatively punctuating three times a day."  Eesh.  I'd rather get your bile gurgling with too much cheese than too much whine (badabing!

Post-Election Oscar Buzz Focuses on Milk

Harvey Milk wouldn't be too proud of California voters right about now—but he might be glad to know that their doings have blessed his biopic with Oscar buzz aplenty.Since the passage of California's Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, protesting crowds in the tens of thousands have flooded the streets—and the producers of "Milk" aren't shy about calling the film about the assassinated gay activist a celluloid rallying cry."At this moment in time, in 2008, [Harvey Milk's] kind of...

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