Here's a trailer for Woody Allen's latest European romp, Midnight in Paris, a comedy about Owen Wilson staggering through the streets of the world's prettiest city while feeling jealous about his wife, Rachel McAdams. You see, his wife is, in typical Allenian (Allenic?) fashion, infatuated with a worldly intellectual, played by Michael Sheen (McAdams' real-life beau). What is one to do?
Hollywood PrivacyWatch: 11/23 — Okay, so once again, toiling in post-production hell tonight, I go out to get the poor editor some grub at California Canteen on Cahuenga West, and as I’m leaving I see MICHAEL SHEEN, back in Underworld fighting trim, Lycan facial hair, sitting alone at a table near the door, texting away. And I’m about to just bask in his amazing Welsh actorial glow but I am so high from exhaustion I actually turn around and go up to him and say “Mr. Sheen, I never do this, but I saw you in Frost/Nixon in London and you were brilliant.” And I stick out my hand and, in spite of my Sideshow Bob hair and edit bay pallor, he shakes it and smiles and thanks me, and I wish him luck with the film and split. Very. Soft. Hands. And NOBODY at the lab knows who I’m talking about when I tell them. Heathens. [Hollywood PrivacyWatch is written by and for Defamer readers; send your sightings to email@example.com.]
In our ongoing effort to bring you the very latest critical distaste for every prestige film this fall, we follow up last week's collection of lukewarm W. reviews with hot-off-the-presses ambivalence toward Frost/Nixon. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play reunites Frank Langella and Michael Sheen as, respectively, the 37th president and his pesky TV inquisitor; the early word confirms that the film offers gravitas to spare, but you'll want to bring your own pillow:· "It’s difficult to think of a director less-suited to take on the intricate, minutiae-obsessed writing of Peter Morgan than Howard — a director who, even in his finest films, has always been interested in the big picture first, with characters serving history rather than the other way round. [...] Leading with his impressive, booming approximation of the Nixon voice, Langella is allowed to actively chew scenery and the performance becomes increasingly detached from the overall work." — Guy Lodge, InContention [via Patrick Goldstein] · "Sheen's impersonation of Frost starts with the classic tics: the head waggle, the nasal droning, the tiny soupçon of Brucie - but he soon sounds like ... well ... Tony Blair. [...] Nixon is a juicy part and Langella extracts every tasty drop.But the performance has no room to grow. Frost and Nixon have no 'real-world' encounters: it is like a boxing movie about two combatants who never meet outside the ring." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian · "Although it all pays off in a potent and revelatory final act rife with insights into the psychology and calculations of power players, the initial stretch is rather dry and prosaic. Perhaps needlessly adopting a cinematic equivalent of the play's direct-to-audience address, Howard 'interviews' several of the characters, witness-style, about the events, which only serves to make the film feel somewhat choppy, half like a documentary at first. [...] It might even be that the film could have done without the talking heads altogether." — Todd McCarthy, Variety All right, all right — fine. Let Grazer write this one off to Gigi and let's just move on to '09, already.