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The Newsdesk 12.15.08 – Madoff’s Hollywood Victims and the Latest Awards News

• You would think after Church of Scientology minister Reed Slatkin was busted
in 2002 for running a 15-year Ponzi scheme, or excuse me, “investment
,” Hollywood investors would have learned their lesson. Alas,
Bernard Madoff was able to sucker some new victims with his “hedge fund.”

• The
Screen Actors Guild is pondering a walkout but these writers are having their Best Week Ever. That’s because the VH1 comedy series is now covered by the WGA, a union that that won’t be going on
strike because it already did, before the economy tanked.

Vladimir Putin wants more Russian movies to make it into the marketplace. The
prime minister is taking personal charge of the country’s film industry
and recently noted the, “potential of cinema to be a major educational
tool and valuable point of reference for society.

• AFI announced its 2008 top ten picks. Making their list of best TV
programs was AMC’s Breaking Bad and
Mad Men . Missing from their
list of top movie picks was Slumdog Millionaire

• Iranian
media has condemned Darren
Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, claiming it
shows the West’s ignorance and prejudice towards Iran
, which it does.
The wrestling craze of the 1980’s (which is what the movie is about) was
filled with offensive characters, like The Ayatollah, to which they take
offense. Here’s more.

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claims Hollywood victims

Business News: Steven Spielberg charity among those affected — Although it could take months to unravel the
full list of people and companies affected by the collapse of money
manager Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion hedge-fund and alleged Ponzi scheme,
published reports include a Steven Spielberg charity as well as familiar
names in the Hollywood production and financing communities.

Needs its own Car Czar

from Peter

While there may be a delay in the appointment
of a “car czar” to help rescue the auto industry, show biz
should nonetheless take heed: Hollywood could surely use a czar of its
own to get things back on track. 

feel heat from meltdown, SAG threat

from AP
Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The sleek shine of
a designer gown, the gleam of a trophy, piles of gourmet food, a tipsy
laugh. Award-show after-parties have always measured the glitz and glam
of Hollywood, from the Golden Globes to the Grammys to the Oscars….

gets first deal with VH1

from Hollywood
by By Jay A. Fernandez
The writers of “Best Week Ever”
are having their best week ever.

takes charge of local film industry

International News: Politician to chair
Russian cinema council — Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin is taking
personal charge of progress in the development of the country’s film
industry, after a new government advisory body was set up Monday.


on strike? SAG moves closer

By Lynette Rice
SAG President Alan Rosenberg urges a
Yes vote; ballots will go out on Jan. 2 and are due back Jan. 23

strike talk has actors nervous

from L.A.
Times – TV News

As the economy reels, many top performers
show little appetite for another clash with the studios.  

Backing Down?

from Google
Alerts – “screen actors guild” or sag, strike

by Radar Online – New York,NY,USA
Screen Actors Guild president
Alan Rosenberg has arranged for an emergency national board meeting
to talk about the proposal for calling off SAG’s strike … 

Sign Onto SAG ‘Solidarity Campaign’

from Nikki
Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily

by Nikki Finke
Screen Actors Guild Announces “Solidarity
Campaign” First 31 “Solidarity Signers” add names to
list of  members in support of a “yes” vote on the strike authorization
referendum. Among the names are several prominent Academy Award nominees
and recipients. 

N.Y. actors branch put heat on SAG

from Hollywood
by By Jay A. Fernandez
and Andrew Salomon
The AMPTP and SAG’s New York board are
applying added pressure on guild members to vote against a strike authorization.  

Answers AMPTP’s Trade Ad Monday

from Nikki
Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily

by Nikki Finke
The Screen Actors Guild released the
following statement in response to AMPTP’s trades ad Monday: LOS ANGELES
(December 14, 2008) –“There they go again. The AMPTP’s ad is great
fiction, with convoluted bullet points and confused messages — and,
it’s completely wrong.

unveils short film lineup

Film News: 86 films to run in four competition
categories — The Slamdance Film Festival has selected 86 short films
in four competition categories — documentary, narrative/experimental,
animation and the new music video classification.  

Springs honors Clint Eastwood

– Film Festivals

Film Festivals: Filmmaker given Career
Achievement award — Clint Eastwood will be honored with the Career
Achievement award at the 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film
Festival on Jan. 6. 

Barbara honors Kate Winslet

– Film Festivals

Film Festivals: Actress to receive Montecito
award — Kate Winslet will be feted with the Montecito award at the
Santa Barbara Film Festival Jan. 23 at the Arlington Theater.

announces 2008 top 10 picks

from Entertainment
News –

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 (UPI) — The American Film Institute Sunday announced
its AFI Awards 2008, recognizing “the year’s most outstanding achievements”
in film and TV.

Named Best Film By NY Critics

from Access
Hollywood – Movies
“Milk,” Gus Van Sant’s movie
about gay rights leader Harvey Milk starring Sean Penn, has been named
best film by the New York Film Critics Circle.  Penn was also chosen
as best actor by the critics, who announced their picks Wednesday.  “Happy-Go-Lucky”

also fared well, winning best director for Mike Leigh and best actress
for Sally Hawkins. 

Critics choose ‘Wall-E’

from Entertainment
Weekly’s Oscar Watch
by Dave
The often-contrarian Los Angeles Film
Critics Association went blockbuster, naming Wall-E their Best Picture
of the year with The Dark Knight as runner-up. Last year the LAFCA gave
There Will Be Blood a big boost when they named it Best…Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Millionaire wins at British Independent Film Awards

from Film
News from Times Online

Slumdog Millionaire, an urban fairytale
from the director of Trainspotting set in Mumbai, was the big winner
at the British Independent Film Awards. It won three awards: Best Film,
Best Director (for Danny Boyle) and Most Promising Newcomer for Dev
Patel, the lead actor.

‘Happy’ top Satellite nods

from Hollywood
by By Gregg Kilday
“Slumdog Millionaire” was named
best motion picture drama and “Happy-Go-Lucky” was named best
motion picture comedy or musical at the 13th annual Satellite Awards.

critics hand out honors

– Award Central News

Award Central News: ‘Wall-E,’ ‘Slumdog’
share top prize — It was too close to call in many races as the Boston
Society of Film Critics voting resulted in several ties. At the org’s
annual meeting Sunday , the voting for best picture resulted in Pixar’s
“Wall-E” and Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire”
sharing top honors. 


Condemns The Wrestler?

from /Film
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Iranian media has condemned Darren
‘s The Wrestler, claiming that it shows the
West’s ignorance and prejudice towards Iran. The scene in question is
where Mickey Rourke, who plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson,
has to fight Earnest “The Cat” Miller, who plays a
character named The Ayatollah, who dresses in Middle Eastern garb and
waves the Iranian flag before attacking Robinson with the pole. What
the Iran press don’t seem to understand is that The Ram and The Ayatollah
are wrestlers from the 1980’s wrestling boom.

The Story Behind Springsteen’s ‘Wrestler’ Song

from Access
Hollywood – Movies

Rocker Bruce Springsteen earned a Golden
Globe nomination on Thursday for Best Original Song for “The Wrestler,”
his song from the film of the same name – the latest step on what
director Darren Aronofsky told Access Hollywood has been “a
very surreal journey.”

Evan Rachel Wood Talks ‘The Wrestler’

from Access
Hollywood – Movies

Evan Rachel Wood talks about working
with director Darren Aronofsky in her latest movie, “The Wrestler.”

Marisa Tomei Talks ‘The Wrestler’

from Access
Hollywood – Movies

Marisa Tomei talks about preparing for
her Golden Globe-nominated role as a stripper in her latest movie, “The

Mickey Rourke Talks ‘The Wrestler’

from Access
Hollywood – Movies

Mickey Rourke talks about the rigorous
physical training involved while preparing for his latest Golden Globe-nominated
role in “The Wrestler.”

Darren Aronofsky Talks ‘The Wrestler’

from Access
Hollywood – Movies

Director Darren Aronofsky talks about
the older audience that is connecting with his latest movie, “The

Eastwood nominated for Globe music award

from AP
Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Clint Eastwood
could be taking home a Golden Globe not for acting or directing, but
for best original motion picture score in his film “Changeling.”…

star wonders about his hair

– Entertainment

Jon Hamm has a confession to make: He
hates his hair.

Tom Cruise’s Role Too Small for Big Awards?

from E!
Online – Movie News

How did Tom Cruise get nominated for
that small part in Tropic Thunder? Wasn’t he only in it for a few scenes?
–Annys, Croyden Remember, Judi Dench’s almost…

Langella on the big ‘Frost/Nixon’ controversy

from Entertainment
Weekly’s Oscar Watch
by Dave
With five Golden Globe nominations, largely
enthusiastic reviews, and strong early box office, Frost/Nixon has certainly
emerged as a top Best Picture contender.

Hoffman: Globes spotlight


Dave Karger chats with the nominee about
”Last Chance Harvey,” Emma Thompson, and dirty jokes

spotlight: Anne Hathaway


”Rachel Getting Married” star on how
her nominated role helped her ”take a break” from herself

Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Brad Pitt at 84

from Film
News from Times Online

Tis the season when Hollywood starts
to argue about the Oscars. But one thing just about everybody is agreed
upon: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the most highly anticipated
film of the year.

Mendes on his ‘Revolutionary Road’

from L.A.
Times – Movie News

“Revolutionary Road” marks
Sam Mendes’ first collaboration with his actress wife, Kate Winslet.

‘Doubt’ cast interview


A conversation with Meryl Streep, the
writer-director and Viola Davis 


Roundup: Dec. 12

from Entertainment
Weekly’s Oscar Watch
by Dave
No fewer than six films with some kind
of Oscar chances (ranging from the tightest of locks to darkest of dark
horses) hit theaters this week. Here’s how Doubt, Gran Torino, The Reader,
What Doesn’t Kill You, Che, and Wendy…Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.


Box Office: December 12-14, 2008

from Box
Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
tops the box office with an estimated $31.0 million

Preview: ‘Terminator Salvation’

from Access
Hollywood – Movies

After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity
in a nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors led by John Connor (Christian
Bale) struggles to keep the machines from finishing the job. 

Trailer for ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’

from Box
Office Boffo

For those of you who didn’t see Fox’s
“The Day the Earth Stood Still” over the weekend, check out
the trailer

for the studio’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Weitz plants a flag on ‘New Moon’

from Hollywood
by By Steven Zeitchik
Chris Weitz has been tapped to helm “New
Moon,” the sequel to Summit Entertainment’s vampire breakout “Twilight.”


Men’s Christina Hendricks Gets Engaged

Latest News

The actress plans to wed actor Geoffrey
Arend, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusivelyRight-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Idol’ Changing Its Tune

from Billboard
News – All
by James Hibberd,
The Hollywood Reporter
Fox is readying to announce some “American
Idol” format changes. The tweaks have been rumored online thanks
to a memo leaked to a fan site. With the show’s premiere set for Jan.
13, the network will reveal the plans at a news conference on Monday
(Dec. 15).

Laurence Fishburne pushes ‘CSI’ over 20 million

from Entertainment
Weekly’s Hollywood Insider

by Aubry D’Arminio
Hello, Larry. Hello, even higher ratings.
Preliminary data says 20.6 million checked out Laurence Fishburne on
last night’s CSI, giving the show an 18 percent bump in viewers from
last week and marking the first time since its September debut…Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

‘Melrose Place’ lands writer

from Hollywood
by By Nellie Andreeva
Mark Schwahn is in negotiations to pen
the script for the CW’s new “Melrose Place” incarnation.

shuffles on-air news staff

from Hollywood
by By Paul J. Gough
CNN is saying goodbye to several longtime
correspondents and promoting others in a reorganization of the Washington,
D.C., bureau of the news network.

Wins Big With Gregory’s Debut


TVNewser has obtained the overnight ratings
from the metered markets for the Sunday morning public affairs shows.
NBC’s Meet the Press averaged a 4.1/11, well ahead of ABC’s This Week
(2.9/7), CBS’ Face the Nation (2.7/7) and FOX News Sunday (1.5/4).

governor not laughing at ‘SNL’ skit


A “Saturday Night Live” skit
portraying New York’s blind governor as a bumbling leader didn’t get
a laugh from Gov. David Paterson.


Brown named artist of the year by Billboard

from AP
Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — The accolades keep coming
for Chris Brown – this time, he’s been named Billboard’s top artist
of 2008….

Girls Team With Vanguard For New Album

from Billboard
News – All
by Jonathan Cohen,
As tipped here in October, the Indigo
Girls have started their own label to release their next album.

Unveils New Album In London

from Billboard
News – All
by Jonathan Cohen,
Morrissey was on hand tonight (Dec. 11)
in London to introduce a playback of his new Polydor/Decca album, “Years
of Refusal,” but he made no comment on recent reports of a Smiths

of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Chinese Democracy’ drop sharply

from L.A.
Times – Music News

They fall off by 78% during the album’s
second week in stores.

Spears’ No. 1 debut breaks record

from The
Hollywood Reporter – Music

by By Katie Hasty, Billboard
As expected, Britney Spears’ “Circus”
makes a big bow at the top of the Billboard 200, becoming her fifth
No. 1.


music stars hosting inaugural ball

from AP
Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roll out the red carpet!
Paparazzi, ready your cameras! Hollywood and rock stars are bringing
their own razzle-dazzle to President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration….

Jackson to sell gates, glove

from Entertainment
News –

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 13 (UPI) — Michael Jackson plans to sell
the gates to his Neverland Ranch, one of his white gloves and 2,000
other items at auction in California. 

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