AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Participants on the 12th annual Floating Film Festival
voted the hugely-overlooked Ryan Gosling-Kirsten Dunst
thriller All Good Things
the Dusty Cohl
Best Feature Award at
a ceremony at sea last night on the sleek sophisticated Seabourn Sojourn
cruise ship. Coming in a strong second was Winnie,
a sweeping biopic of South African iron lady Winnie Mandela
, with stellar support from Elias Koteas
and Wendy Crewson
, a finely honed portrayal of Nelson Mandela
by Terrence Howard
, and a remarkably disciplined, outstanding performance of Jennifer Hudson
as Winnie. Winner of the Brian Linehan
Award for Best Documentary was An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill And The Jews
, an unexpected coup for producer and Floating filmfest commander Barry Avrich,
who had confided earlier in the week that he was sure another FFF contender, Jealous Of The Birds,
which ended up in second place, would take the prize. Other major
favourites with FFF 12 viewers included the Oscar-nominated father vs. son drama Footnote,
from Israel. which gave us a new and somewhat squirmy inside look at academia;
and Where Do We Go Now
, from France, which won the TIFF
Audience Award last September. Unexpected highlights of the week-long filmfest included Rex Reed’s
master claass tribute to actor-director Richard Benjamin
and his wife Paula Prentiss
, which included screenings of Benjamin’s 1969 screen debut with Ali MacGraw
in Goodbye, Columbus
, as well as a closing night showing of My Favourite Year, t
he 1982 Peter O’Toole
classic that Benjamin directed with such style and panache.
Most controversial entry at the festival was Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz
, which left the cinephile audience arguing about its merits for several hours after the lights came on again. But more on Ms Polley’s film and other Floating Film Festival events in future columns.
BENJAMIN & MACGRAW: in Goodbye, Columbus (1969)
SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Rocker Jeff Beck will not be attending this year’s Slacker Canadian Music Week after all. Originally scheduled to perform at The Phoenix on March 22, followed by a one-on-one interview on March 23 at the Fairmont Royal York, Beck had to cancel his appearances due to delays in his recording schedule … supersongstress Norah Jones is getting her Irish on. She’s set to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by serenading fans at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Jones’ new album Little Broken Hearts drops May 1, and Jones will tour extensively this year, with other North American dates to be revealed shortly. Hard to believe that it was 10 years ago this month (February 2002) when she released her first album, Come Away With Me, now the #10 best-selling album of the Soundscan era after selling 25 million copies worldwide … good news for Alice Cooper fans – your hero will open for Iron Maiden when the vet rockers bring their splashy new Maiden England World Tour to Montreal, Toronto, Sarnia and Quebec City in July … and you can add Tony Bennett to the growing legions of fans for Grammy sweeper Adele, who he compares with U.S. music legend Kate Smith. “Adele is magnificent,” he told Rolling Stone. “She’s the best British singer I ever heard.”
AKERMAN: piloting with Portia
CASTING ABOUT: Michael Stahl-David and Zoe Kazan are the leads in Joss Whedon‘s upcoming supernatural indie romance, In Your Eyes … Michael Marc Friedman has been cast in the Fox comedy pilot Living Loaded from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia castmember and producer Rob McElhenney … Shawn Ashmore and Valorie Curry are joining Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy on Fox’s new Kevin Williamson drama about a serial killer who creates a cult of serial killers … Malin Akerman is set to star opposite Portia de Rossi in the ABC comedy pilot The Smart One … British actor Jamie Blackley has been cast as the lead in the upcoming 300 sequel … and Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are set as the stars of Michael Bay’s black comedy action thriller Pain and Gain.
BRYAN: Spring breker
GOLDSINGER: Country warbler Luke Bryan’s album Tailgates and Tanlines is now officially certified gold in Canada. Plus, his first single from the album, Country Girl (Shake it for Mes, is now platinum here, and his second single I Don’t Want This Night To End is already gold. All this after his I Don’t Want This Night To End spent four weeks at #1 on country music radio charts. So expect some hootin’ and hollerin’ when Luke’s fourth Spring Break EP — Spring Break 4: Suntan City — drops tomorrow.
* * *
Posted in Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Adele, Ali MacGraw, Alice Cooper, All Good Things, An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill And The Jews, Barry Avrich, Brian Linehan, Come Away With Me, documentary, Dusty Cohl, Elias Koteras, Floating Film Festival, Footnote, France, Goodbye Columbus, IRON MAIDEN, Israel, Jealous Of The Birds, Jeff Beck, Jennifer Hudson, Kirsten Dunst, Little Broken Hearts, My Favourite Year, Nelson Mandela, Norah Jones, Paula Prentiss, Peter O'Toole, Rex Reed, Richard Benjamin, Rolling Stone, Ryan Gosling, SARAH POLLEY, Seabourn Sojourn, Slacker Canasdian Music Week, Soundscan, St. Patrick's Day, Take This Waltz, Terrence Howard, TIFF, TONY BENNETT, Wendy Crewson, Where Do We Go Now, Winnie, Winnie Mandela
STARS IN OUR EYES: Grammy showstopper Jennifer Hudson continues to prove herself as an actress as well as a singer. She and Terence Howard shine as Winnie & Nelson Mandela in the fascinating biopic Winnie, one of
HUDSON & HOWARD: As Winnie and Nelson Mandela in new biopic "Winnie"
the celluloid treats selected for the 12th annual Floating Film Festival. The FFF, launched by TIFF co-founder Dusty Cohl two decades ago and now captained by filmmaker Barry Avrich, embarks on a 10-day Caribbean odyssey on Monday Feb. 27 – the day after the Oscars – on the Seabourn Sojourn. More on FFF 12 as it happens … Rachel McAdams and her main squeeze Michael Sheen are having a lovely Valentine’s Day, thanks for asking. McAdams’ film with Channing Tatum, The Vow, is number one at the box office, and Sheen is now set to star in the Showtime pilot Masters of Sex … triumphant trio Russell Braun, Krisztina Szabo and Erin Wall, the three great voices who spark the current,
McADAMS: Happy February
theatrically dazzling Canadian Opera Company production of Love From Afar, won’t be sitting around after the controversial extravaganza closes on Feb. 22. Ms. Szabo is already set to perform with conductor Alex Pauk at the Esprit Orchestra event Gripped By Passion at Koerner Hall on Feb. 26 .And her co-stars Braun and Wall are set to team up again in Ottawa in a new production of Carmina Burana March 8-9 at the National Arts Centre … and dynamic duo Jay Leno & Madonna teamed up to promote his Tonight Show with a delightfully snappy SuperBowl commercial I finally caught up with yesterday. Did you miss it too? Here it is. Enjoy!
PRESENT LAUGHTER: Montreal’s phenomenal Just For Laughs comedy festival celebrates its 30th anniversary (!!!) this year July 12-29, after warming up with a six-night stand in Chicago June 12-17 … a new cartoon-for-the-mind
JOHNSTON & MERCER: Rideau Hall playdate
podcast from those wacky Illustrated Men is set in the mythical town of Monogami, Ontario. In the first episode Sam and Ella Toad move to Monogami to make a new start; some kids out camping spot a UFO; and alien bounty hunters land. Will Sam’s car get towed by zombies? You’ll have to tune in to find out … stand-up guy Harry Doupe hosts Everyone’s A Winner, the March 9 all-star comedy fundraiser at Second City in support of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League with smile-makers Sean Cullen, Tim Steeves, Laurie Elliott, Pete Zedlacher and many more … Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are set to play two middle-aged guys starting over as interns at an internet company in the Shawn Levy comedy Interns … and Rick Mercer finally gets a taste of the high life he’s been missing when he hobnobs with new Governor-General David Johnston at Rideau Hall tonight on CBC’s Rick Mercer Report.
McCARTHY & NICHOLSON: on stage in Halifax
FOOTLIGHTS: Stage and screen lioness Sheila McCarthy is back on the boards at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, garnering glowing notices in Norm Foster’s new comedy Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out with J. D. Nicholson. McCarthy is also set to co-star in Lost In Yonkers with Linda Kash, David Eisner and Happy Days legend Marion Ross when the Neil Simon classic opens here in May … Graham Abbey of The Border TV fame
BALABAN: Back at Theatre Passe Muraille
is also collecting kudos for his stage turn with Barry Flatman in the Canadian premiere of Enron, directed by Antoni Cimolino at Theatre Calgary … Divisadero: a performance, adapted by Michael Ondaatje from his Governor General Award-winning novel and directed by Daniel Brooks, is back at Theatre Passe Muraille for a limited run through Sunday Feb. 26. The production reunites the original cast of Liane Balaban, Maggie Huculak, Tom McCamus, Amy Rutherford and Justin Rutledge, who created music specifically for the piece … and Allan Hawco and Philip Riccio’s ambitious Company Theatre has announced its next production. Speaking In Tongues, by Andrew Bovell, will be directed by Riccio and play the Berkeley Street Theatre Oct. 29-Nov. 24. Will Riccio load the dice with lotsa star power? Stay tuned.
TENNANT: On a MIssion
DEEP FREEZE: Some of our faviourite stars are urging us to come into the cold. And their message is definitely on point. “Come freeze your butt off on February 25, 2012 with Yonge Street Mission on the coldest night of the year! It is a 5k and 10k non-competitive walk in the frigid cold for the hurting, homeless and hungry. Sign up as an individual or a team today. If you can’t join us that night, consider donating!” Sparklies askng us to participate via a very engaging vimeo include Maria Del Mar, Peter Keleghan, Debra McGrath, Patrick McKenna, Mark McKinney, Colin Mochrie, Leah Pinsent, Veronica Tennant and, still wearing his Stephen Leacock moustache, Gordon Pinsent. To see it, just click here.
* * *
Posted in Actors, Authors, BOOKS, Comedy, Gossip, Movies, Music, Opera, SHOW BUSINESS, Showbuzz, Stars, Television, Theatre
Tagged Alex Pauk, Allan Hawco, Amy Rutherford, Andrew Bovell, ANTONI CIMOLINO, Barry Avrich, BARRY FLATMAN, Berkeley Street Theatre, Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Women's Hockey League, Caribbean, Carmina Burana, Channing Tatum, COLIN MOCHRIE, Daniel Brooks, David Eisner, DEBRA McGRATH, Divisadero: a performance, Dusty Cohl, Enron, Erin Wall, Everyone's A Winner, Floating Film Festival, GORDON PINSENT, Governor-General David Johnston, GRAHAM ABBEY, Happy Days, Harry Doupe, Illustrated Men, Interns, J. D. Nicholson, Jane Mallett Theatre, Jennifer Hudson, Just For Laughs, Justin Rutledge, Krisztina Szabo, Laurie Elliott, LEAH PINSENT, Liane Balaban, LINDA KASH, Lost In Yonkers, Love From Afar, Maggie Huculak, Maria Del Mar, Marion Ross, MARK McKINNEY, Masters Of Sex, Michael Ondaatje, Michael Sheen, Monogami, Mrs. Parliament's Night Out, National Arts Centre, NEIL SIMON, Nelson Mandela, Neptune Theatre, Norm Foster, OWEN WILSON, Patrick McKenna, Pete Zedlacher, Peter Keleghan, Philip Riccio, podcast, RACHEL McADAMS, RICK MERCER, Rideau Hall, Russell Braun, Seabourn Sojourn, SEAN CULLEN, Shawn Levy, SHEILA McCARTHY, Speaking In Tongues, Terence Howard, The Border, The Company Theatre, the Esprit Orchestra, The Vow, Theatre Calgary, THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE, TIFF, Tim Steeves, Tom McCamus, VERONICA TENNANT, Vince Vaughn, Winnie, Winnie Mandela, Yonge Street Mission