My Golden Globe weekend began Saturday morning with an Independent Spirits brunch at Boa Steakhouse on Sunset celebrating the nominees. At the beginning, Laura Dern, Mike White and Derek Luke recounted tales of attending their first Indie Spirit awards; Luke actually bused tables at a Spirit show several years before he found himself nominated for Antoine Fisher. Film Independent's Dawn Hudson called all the nominees up to the stage to identify themselves, including Precious writer Geoffrey Fletcher, Humpday director Lynn Shelton, A Single Man's Tom Ford and 500 Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
I told screenwriter Michael Tolkin that I had requested a Nine interview with him from Weinstein Co., who told me he wasn't in their publicity plans. Of course I should have pursued it myself; the LAT reported on how TWC ignored Tolkin in favor of the late Anthony Minghella.
An Education director Lone Scherfig was on her way to the Palm Springs Film Festival. I learned that New York entertainment writer Mark Harris (Pictures at a Revolution), who is in town covering the awards circuit for an in-depth magazine story, will next delve into a book for Penguin on World War II movies. While movie books aren't generally big sellers, the World War II niche is an old reliable.
I roamed around with my Nikon Coolpix, and actually caught tall-drink-of-water music man T-Bone Burnett, who Jeff Bridges calls the "soul of Crazy Heart," without his shades and director Oliver Stone with his daughter and The Last Station writer-director Michael Hoffman, who thanked the Telluride Film Festival for launching his movie into awards contention.
I talked Sundance shop with UTA's Rena Ronson, who's taking seven pics to find buyers at Sundance, including Douchebag, and ttorney Linda Lichter (who helped the filmmakers behind The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sell the English-language remake rights to Sony). Ex-Weinstein Co. exec Tom Ortenberg is starting up a new indie distrib. New LA Weekly film editor Karina Longworth had moved from New York into her new L.A. apartment the night before, and will now cover Sundance. Landmark chief Ted Mundorff is amazed at how well 3-D theaters are doing with Avatar.
At the BAFTA tea party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, after I interviewed Emily Blunt with my flip cam, I went in for tea and cucumber sandwiches. Avatar producer Jon Landau's is taking a well-deserved African safari this summer; I introduced him to Paul McCartney. I admired the lovely eyes of Soairse Ronan. Me and Orson Welles star Christian McKay did not want me to shoot his profile, while Up in the Air's Anna Kendrick was unaware that I was shooting hers.
Writer-director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) told me that Universal's upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (based on Canadian Brian Leo O’Malley’s comic), starts out semi-normal and then goes to some very strange places. There are plenty of VFX, and we have not see Michael Cera this way before; Wright sends up the guy's sweet, bland image. Brandon Routh had told me a bit about the film in Comic-Con; he went blond as an evil vegan bass-player ex-boyfriend of Cera's love interest. Cera has to vanquish him in order to get the girl. Now that I've read this AICN review my curiosity is even more piqued.
Precious director Lee Daniels often seems on the verge of deep emotion, whereas The Messenger's Ben Foster tends to play it cool.
Austrian director Michael Haneke speaks better German and French than English. He won the Cannes Palme d'Or in May and the Golden Globe for The White Ribbon on Sunday. I thought the award would go to A Prophet's Jacques Audiard, who doesn't like to speak English at all, so we spoke in French. I got the gist, which is that he isn't interested in working in Hollywood; he likes to develop his own material.