Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky in Noho pushing their son Henry in a stroller ... Karolina Kurkova shopping in SoHo ... Hamish Bowles walking uptown ... Shia LaBeouf walking to the set of Wall Street 2 ... Terrence Howard leaving the Gramercy Park Hotel ... Naomi Watts carrying her son in SoHo ... Times photographer Bill Cunningham taking pictures on the UES ... socialite Genevieve Jones walking her dog in SoHo ... Taylor Momsen shooting scenes for Gossip Girl in Queens ... Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony posing for photos outside the Pierre Hotel ... and David Blaine riding a motorcycle in SoHo.
• Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer made their first awards show appearance together at last night's Oscars, sitting just 12 seats away from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, although they managed to avoid a run-in by skipping the red carpet and showing up at different pre-show parties over the weekend. [People, NYDN]
• Uma Thurman, Darren Aronofsky, Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman, and Daniel Craig all skipped out of the show early to head over to the Vanity Fair bash, where Graydon Carter invited Chesley Sullenberger and his wife Lori as surprise guests. [LAT, P6]
• Penelope Cruz and Tom Cruise had an awkward encounter at CAA head Bryan Lourd's house party on Friday night, while Oprah and Gayle King held court at Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg's pre-Oscars bash, and everyone "partied like it was 1999" at Harvey Weinstein's gathering. [P6, P6, Fox 411]
• At the Spirit Awards on Saturday, Mickey Rourke "playfully mauled" Rachel Weisz and "made a grab" at Jessica Alba's chest. [People, NYDN]
• A full list of Oscar winners, in case you missed the action last night. [People]
Pat Field turns 67 today. Director Darren Aronofsky is turning 40. Christina Ricci is 29. Josh Brolin is 41. Senator Arlen Specter is 79. Chef Andrew Carmellini is turning 38. Nutritionist Oz Garcia is 58. Ed Lover turns 46. Literary agent Nicole Aragi is 47. Writer Judy Blume is turning 71. Fonzworth Bentley is 35. Chynna Phillips is 41. And Arsenio Hall is celebrating his 54th birthday today.
Much of the country did manage to witness the offending digit-extension (above), however. That in turn elicited 18 separate complaints to the FCC from outraged Americans—citizens not all that different from you or us, save for their distaste for Aronosfky's obscene (but artistically assured) hand gesture. From the LAT:
• Nobody makes Harvey Weinstein wait and that apparently includes Penelope Cruz, who faced his wrath in London last week when she showed up late to a screening of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, then went up to her suite to change outfits, causing Harvey to scream, "Tell her to get her f***ing ass here right now!" [Mirror]
• So much for A-Rod. Madonna has reportedly turned her attention to a male model named Jesus, who she met in Brazil and who's now on tour with her. Less importantly, Guy Ritchie may be dating Brit heiress Jemima Khan. [P6, The Sun, People]
• Courtney Love says she's stopped taking her antidepressant medication so she can "feel the rage" when she records her new album. That sounds healthy! [Daily Express]
A crowd of nearly 400 made their annual trip to the Bronx last Friday night for the New York Botanical Garden's 10th annual Winter Wonderland Ball. The black-and-white dinner, sponsored by Chanel, featured appearances by the likes of Cristina and Chris Cuomo, Nina Garcia, Marjorie Gubelmann, Byrdie Bell, Poppy Delevingne, Minnie Mortimer Gaghan, Steve and Christine Schwarzman, Dalia Oberlander, Gillian Hearst Simonds, Alex Kramer, Alexandra Lebenthal, Molly Sims, Holly Dunlap, Erin Fetherston, Margherita Missoni, Zani Gugelmann, Coco Rocha, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Bronson Van Wyck, Patrick McDonald, Stephen Knoll, Jessica Joffe, Jill Kargman, Lauren Remington Platt, Coralie Charriol Paul, Joe and Nazee Moinian, Kate Schelter, James and Whitney Fairchild, Lydia Fenet, Maggie Betts, Meredith Melling Burke, and Pamela Fiori. [PMc, Style.com, NYSD, The Daily]
The New York iteration of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame celebrated its opening last night with a party in the new SoHo space. Attendees like Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and Theodora Richards (left) mingled with Taylor Momsen, Molly Sims, Matthew Modine, Ciara, David Foote, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Liz Lange, and Ryan Locke, listened to performances by Debbie Harry and Dave Mason, and inked their names on a plywood wall. [Paper, Wireimage, PMc, GoaG]
We've now seen and heard enough of The Wrestler—the Darren Aronofsky-helmed, Mickey Rourke comeback vehicle—to predict with some confidence that come the big night, the hard-knocked star with the lived-in face will have Oscar in a full nelson and begging for mercy. But for those who just can't wait until the Golden Lion-winner's December 19th release date to live for a precious few hours in aging wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson lace-up boots, we offer now a preview scene from the film: In it, The Ram attempts to apologize to his estranged daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood, in a one-sided, seaside soul-baring that reminded us of Jack Nicholson's Five Easy Pieces peace-making monologue with his mute father.
After slogging through The Fountain, a strenuous mindfuck dirge about death and time travel and Ponce de León (sort of?), and watching its resounding failure at the box office, it was easy to think that the film's writer/director/envisioner Darren Aronofsky might never be trusted with a film again. And certainly the exciting director of Pi and Requiem for a Dream's next effort, The Wrestler, is significantly scaled back from the tens-of-millions of dollars fountain of youth blunderbuss, but it's proving to be bigger than the previous film could have hoped for. An early-career Aronofsky comeback! The Wrestler, which stars Mickey Rourke in what is said to be a career-reviving performance (though, didn't they say that about Sin City too?), was a huge hit at the Toronto and Venice film festivals, and has found both domestic and foreign distributors. This all lines up nicely with Aronofsky's next film, a high profile picture for Paramount called The Fighter, starring little-known actors named Brad Pitt and Mark Wahlberg. So maybe he's been forced to genre himself up a bit (I mean, was Requiem for a Dream genre? Arm-Sever Cinema?), but he's back in the ring (har) after one terrifically nasty KO. Plus he's married to Rachel Weisz, one of the most beguiling and enchanting actresses working today, so he's got that going for him too.
After picking up its hardware in Venice and a distribution deal in Toronto, Mickey Rourke's comeback The Wrestler screened for the first time in the United States this morning in New York. We crashed the joint, and we can confirm that everything you've heard about Rourke's Oscar future is essentially on the nose: He'll nab a Best Actor nomination for his performance as Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a 40-something pro wrestler on the downswing with pretty everything in his life including his relationship with his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), his hang-ups with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) and his own tormented perspective on aging. That said, it's sort of a marvel of accessibility and not nearly the downer we expected from feel-bad master Darren Aronofsky; after the nihilist pageantry of last year's There Will Be Blood, the Academy will eat this up come February. Moreover, the voters he hasn't alienated over the years will crawl over each other to be a part of Rourke's comeback story. Fox Searchlight is packaging it as we speak, and Rourke himself was candidly — maybe too candidly — selling its prototype at a press conference following today's screening."I mean, if I knew it would take me 15 years to get back in the saddle and work again because of the way I handled things, I really would have handled things differently," he told the crowd. "I just didn't have the tools. I'm doing things differently this time around — understanding what it is to be a professional, be responsible and to be consistent. Those are things that weren't in my vocabulary back then. Change for me didn't come easy; I didn't wanna change until I lost everything until I realized that you better change, or, you know, blow your fucking brains out. Either you change and go on with life, or you're just a piece of shit. "Everything I felt was that I would be weak — that it was a weakness to change, for the armor that I put on my whole life. I was too proud to change, because my strength at the time was a weakness. I'm all right with it now, and yeah, it took me 15, 16, 17 years out of the game. But it's really nice, because I get to come back and work with these people here." He gestured to his left, where Aronofsky, Tomei and co-producer Scott Franklin were seated alongside him at the dais. They're probably short-listers, too, along with screenwriter Robert Siegel, likely the first Onion alumnus to be considered for an Academy Award. Really, that's the story we can't wait to write, but we'll take this in the meantime.
♦ You probably heard the news yesterday that Clay Aiken is coming out of the closet. We thought we'd remind you again since you're undoubtedly still in a state of shock and disbelief. [P6, People]
♦ Anna Wintour took the trash out of her West Village townhouse wearing sweatpants, a t-shirt, and slippers. [R&M]
♦ Olivia Palermo's role in Whitney Port's new Hills spinoff will earn her $12,000 an episode. [P6]
♦ In response to her father's recent rants, Lindsay Lohan says her dad is out of line and "obviously needs to be on medication to control his moods." [P6]
♦ Jude Law was spotted with protestors outside the UN this week, although he was acting like "more of an observer than a protestor." [MSNBC]
Christy Turlington carrying her daughter in SoHo ... Beyonce dressed up as a police officer on the set of her new music video ... John Mayer walking to the gym by himself ... Blake Lively carrying her dog in one hand and her coffee in the other ... Julianne Moore crossing a street in the West Village ... Taylor Momsen holding a can of soda on the Gossip Girl set ... Sienna Miller grabbing a drink downtown with an unidentified man ... Tom Cruise carrying Suri and glaring at photogs ... Julia Roberts pushing a doublewide stroller ... and Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky holding hands on a walk.
After The Wrestler's more-than-well-received premiere last week in Venice, where star Mickey Rourke was forewarned that Oscar would likely forbid his puppy onstage next February, word out of Toronto confirms that Darren Aronofsky's drama was picked up over the weekend by the awards-season whizzes at Fox Searchlight. The sale went down for about $4 million and all but assures Rourke of a Best Actor nomination if not a win, similar to the arc following Searchlight's push on Forest Whitaker's behalf for The Last King of Scotland. So early congrats to him. But there's still work to do, as we've discovered after the jump.The critical accolades to date suggest the campaign will only expand from there, perhaps starting with revisions to the publicity stills currently circulating in the trades. After all, we know Oscar voters love a comeback story, but rarely against the backdrop of slogans invoking the sucking of "a fat dick." Don't take our word for it, though; see above where The Hollywood Reporter got burned, Variety drew the line, and where a better tomorrow begins today with a little bit of Photoshop and a whole lot of love.
While slappies like Viggo Mortensen hedge their Oscar '08 futures with something close to a film per month, we much prefer the bombast of all-or-nothing awards-season power hitters like Daniel Day-Lewis and Mickey Rourke. Yes, we wrote Mickey Rourke — he of the inflated face, reckless scooter piloting, and now of the acclaimed Darren Aronofsky film The Wrestler, a stirring Venice Film Festival success that Variety pumped as featuring "a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances":
Jay-Z chatting on his phone while getting into a car outside his Tribeca building ... Ethan Hawke and Ryan Shawnhughes pushing their newborn, Clementine, through the Village ... Sheryl Crow playing with son Wyatt on a downtown sidewalk ... Mario Lopez hailing a cab in Chelsea ... Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky on the set of a Vogue photo shoot in the East Village ... Jessica Simpson shopping at Bergdorf Goodman ... Blake Lively and Leighton Meester shooting scenes for Gossip Girl in Brooklyn ... Keri Russell taking a stroll through SoHo ... Kirsten Dunst and Agyness Deyn at a concert at McCarren Park Pool ... Sam and Charlotte Ronson leaving the Bowery Hotel with Lindsay, Dina and Ali Lohan.
· The rumors are true! Darren Aronofsky will write and direct a sequel to RoboCop for MGM, with both parties hoping they can score a piece of this guy-in-a-stupid-costume-noir mania currently gripping the planet. [Variety] · A third Harold & Kumar movie is coming. Details are scarce, but word has it they will partake of the herb and refer to their skin colors a lot, and that Neil Patrick Harris will make a cameo. [Variety] · The fate of SAG leadership hangs in the balance, with splintered factions Membership First and Unite for Strength vying not just for control, but also for Most Nerdy Name That Sounds Like A Star Trek RPG Subtitle. [Variety] · Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio's production company are "quietly putting out word" that they'd like to make a feature version of The Twilight Zone. But wait! There's a twist ending to this item: Everyone has a pig snout! Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. [THR] · Comic-Con was overrun by "rabid teenage fangirls" at the Twilight panel, who rushed the stage, tore the panel apart limb from limb, and feasted on their flesh. That's the last time we let girls into Comic-Con! [THR] · MTV is developing a show based on Elizabeth Berkley's teen girl advice site AskElizabeth.com. This strikes us as a terrible idea, but we guess someone has to undo all the damage wrought by The Hills. Might as well be Nomi Malone. [THR]
Call us skeptics, cynics, whatever, but we're far more interested in the rumors circling MGM's RoboCop reboot than anything in the film itself. A few weeks ago we checked out whispers that director Darren Aronofsky was at the top of the short list to helm the film, which has a 2010 release date; his reps denied it ("But Darren's flattered!" we were assured), but alas, the chatter persists, with yet another report circulating this week that the studio is close to signing Aronofsky for the project — which, as if it's any consolation, is reportedly a sequel, not an updating.