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Tales From The Hollywood Trenches: Seducing Taylor Kitsch

July 31, 2012

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It’s no secret that I remain stubbornly in love with Taylor Kitsch despite his consistent efforts to break my heart with dreck like John Carter and Oliver Stone’s Savages and now it seems like he’s finally trying to reward my loyalty. Kitsch is teaming up with the estimable Brendan Gleeson for an indie flick called The Grand Seduction. Or at least, that’s what the original French flick was called in translation – hopefully Hollywood will come up with something catchier. It’s all about a small fishing village which can only get a much-needed factory built there if it has a full-time doctor in residence, so Gleeson rallies the villagers to pretend to like the same foods, sports, and music that a visiting young doctor does in an effort to convince him to stay. Taylor, of course, is the young doctor. The original French film won the Audience Award at Sundance in 2004 so hopefully this will work the same magic for Taylor as that other Brendan Gleeson charmer In Bruges did for Colin Farrell.

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Fashion: Fall TV Starlets

July 31, 2012

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Over in America the TV networks are all showing off their offerings for the new Fall TV season that kicks off in September so we’ve been spotting many TV starlets strutting their stuff on various red carpets this past week. Rachel Bilson dressed to the nines last night to try and sell us on her dud, Heart of Dixie, which has inexplicably been renewed, in a Chanel-esque cream-and-black sleeveless blouse from Maline Berger, which she teamed with Alexander McQueen tailored peplum trousers. I’m sorry, but we wore those tapered pants back in the late Eighties already and they didn’t work then, either. Especially not with white shoes.

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Lucy Liu looked ladylike in a black J. Mendel dress promoting her new series Elementary, in which she plays “Joan Watson” to Jonny Lee Miller’s modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Loved that cutout bodice detail on the dress but she might have brightened things up for mid-summer with more fun shoes, dontcha think?

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Hayden Panettiere returns to TV this year in Nashville, about young Country singers trying to make it in, well, Nashville, duh, and she kept it all fun and summery in Alice+Olivia’s delicate strapless watercolour-print silk-chiffon “Eva” dress, which she teamed with a white blazer and a fedora. Love the Louboutins, though, even if they’re not very summery…

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And Shameless’s Emmy Rossum was anything but shameless in her elegant black-and-white lace ensemble from Zuhair Murad’s Fall 2012 collection.

Fashion: Olympic Edition

July 31, 2012

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Since no-one seems to be able to tear themselves away from the Olympics this week, let’s do a quick little roundup of Olympic fashion… Royal fashionplate Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was her usual elegant, understated self last Friday at a pre-Olympic Opening reception hosted by H.M. The Queen at Buckingham Palace for visiting heads of state, in a dove-grey coat-dress by Scottish designer Christopher Kane which she also wore to the official opening ceremony immediately afterwards.

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First Lady Michelle Obama stole the show at the same reception in a white tailored jacket with silver embroidery and an ivory pleated skirt from J. Mendel, which she wore with gold Manolo Blahnik pumps, joy!

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On Monday the Duchess wore a natty navy Smythe blazer over a Team CG polo shirt, with her favourite Stuart Weizman wedgies, to watch her cousin-in-law Zara Tindall compete in the Eventing Cross Country equestrian event – although she seemed to spend more time gazing adoringly at her balding husband! Aw…

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Meanwhile Nicole Kidman brought some Hollywood glamour to proceedings as a guest of the official Olympic timekeepers, Omega, for whom she is a celebrity spokesperson. Nicole was pretty at the Omega reception Friday evening in a simple Azzedine Alia navy dress and her legs look amazing in those black suede Manolo Blahnik booties, at steal at only $1,125!

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Tales From The Hollywood Trenches: Sir Ridley brings Britain to a standstill

July 30, 2012

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Sir Ridley Scott is utterly unperturbed that I didn’t like his Prometheus and he’s already scheming his next epic. He’s working with acclaimed screenwriter Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Gangs of New York, Moneyball, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo…) on a flick they’re calling The Day Britain Stopped. Basically what happens is one day all of the U.K.’s transportation stops – taxis, cars, trains, boats, planes… and chaos ensues.

Hey, at least this time he’s investing in a good screenplay first…

Tales From The Hollywood Trenches: What The Butler Saw…

July 30, 2012

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Precious director Lee Daniels is working on something interesting right now… He’s filming the true-life story of Eugene Allen [pictured above with President Gerald Ford], who worked as a butler in the White House for 34 years, under eight Presidents who each struggled in their way with America’s Civil Rights issues, from Harry Truman in the Fifties to Ronald Reagan in the Eighties. Forest Whitaker stars as Allen and Oprah is his wife. Here she is on set in period costume…

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The movie will feature an all-star cast as the various First Families, including Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack, of all people, as Nixon, Alan Rickman as Reagan and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, James Marsden as Kennedy and Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy. Cuba Gooding Jr, Alex Pettyfer, Zac Efron, Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, Nicole Kidman and Mariah Carey are also all reportedly attached, in as yet unnamed roles.

Reviews In A Hurry: The Dark Knight Rises

July 26, 2012

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We Don’t Need Another Hero

Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard

Co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan

After eight years as a recluse Bruce Wayne finally comes out of hiding because Selena Kyle is just so damn cute. But then Bane takes Gotham hostage with a big atomic bomb and he has to get the old Batsuit out of mothballs as well. Sigh. He’s getting too old for this shit.

And so the trilogy concludes in three hours of bombast and kettle drums (Hans Zimmer, would you lay off, for the love of God!) and the audience is left with more questions than answers. Burning questions like… Why is Joseph Gordon-Levitt in everything? Why does Batman fight like a girl? Why does Bane sound like Sean Connery reciting Shakespeare into a coffee can? Was Michael Caine having a laugh with that crying scene? And possibly most perplexing of all: who said Matthew Modine could play?

Tales From The Hollywood Trenches: Mila & Ashton: Are they or aren’t they… messin’ with us?

July 24, 2012

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Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher still insist they’re just good friends even though the paparazzi evidence to the contrary keeps piling up. The  That 70’s Show co-stars just worked together again on the Steve Jobs biopic, in which Ashton is a dead ringer for the late Apple visionary, and this weekend the paparazzi scored a bonanza when they caught them kissing at the Jobs wrap party. Unless these two savvy celebs were just putting on a show to mess with the world’s gossip columnists… You can see Ashton smiling sheepishly in one shot and in another Mila grins right into the camera.

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In the August issue of Elle UK Mila insists she’s totally single. “Listen, we hang out. We’ve known each other for 15 years,” she scolds. “We have mutual friends. We’re comfortable with one another. That’s it!”

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