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June 06, 2008

Cash poor, remake rich

 

Myfairladydvdcover

Not only did the writer's strike thoroughly disrupt Hollywood's back-slapping season and nearly (fully?) derail the Oscars, it cost $2.1 billion (with a b) and caused the recession!

That's according to a report issued yesterday from the not-normally-hysterical Milken Institute, whose researchers say that the fallout from the 100-day strike will continue through the year as people watch their nickels and struggle to get back on their feet post-work stoppage.

There's some dispute from other numbers crunchers about the total dollars-and-cents damage, and whether the WGA is really responsible for throwing California's economy into the toilet. Mortgage meltdown anyone?

But everyone seems to agree that if SAG doesn't work things out, we're all in a heap o' trouble. And that's way worse than a cancelled Vanity Fair party.

Audrey Hepburn was loverly too and she couldn't sing either. Word's circulating today that Keira Knightley is in talks for the lead role in the classic Lerner and Loewe musical "My Fair Lady."

Columbia Pictures is set to remake (re-imagine, re-envision, whatever they're calling it these days) the story with generous helpings of the original George Bernard Shaw play "Pygmalion" and Alan Jay Lerner's book from the 1956 Broadway play.

Perhaps better known than either of those is the gorgeously filmed musical from 1963 that was nominated for a dozen Oscars (it won eight, including best director -- George Cukor -- best film and best actor -- Rex Harrison).

The best news: the updated version won't really be updated. It'll be set in the original 1912 and filmed in the original London settings, where Knightley (if the deal's sealed) will be heard to holler the immortal phrase, "Move your blooming arse" at Ascot instead of the Warner Bros. backlot where the other feature was filmed.

Can't wait.

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Comments

Alan C. Baird

Wow. The WGA strike caused the recession? How about the better part of a trillion (with a t) dollars spent by Porgie (with a w) on an unnecessary war? This incompetent moron has actually driven UP the price of oil by sending thousands of innocent American soldiers to their deaths.

Alan C. Baird

Wow. The WGA strike caused the recession? How about the better part of a trillion (with a t) dollars spent by Porgie (with a w) on an unnecessary war? This incompetent moron has actually driven UP the price of oil by sending thousands of innocent American soldiers to their deaths.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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