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September 05, 2008

'The Women' get empowered


It could be the next "Sex and the City," unless it's the next "First Wives Club."

"The Women," which has been bumping around in development for more than a decade through myriad director and A-list actress shifts, premiered last night in L.A. en route to its launch a week from now. The remake (you can call it a re-imagining if you really want) in our minds takes on a formidable foe -- the original pitch-perfect comedy from director George Cukor with Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Joan Fontaine.

But let's just concede that most people in the prime multiplex-going demo don't know or care about the classic version, and let's figure that at least some of those chicks looking for "Sex and the City"-style age-appropriate content will turn out. (You know, the ones Hollywood just discovered).

No cosmo and Manolo parties around the flick, but hey, it could still make some decent cash on the popularity of an awards-heavy cast, including Oscar winner Annette Bening, Emmy winner Debra Messing, Emmy and Oscar winner Cloris Leachman, who's way hip again. "Dancing with the Stars?" Bob Saget's roast? Come on -- she's on fire right now! And there's triple Emmy winning creator Diane English (pictured).

If it does make bank, that'll be another poke in the eye for Big Warner, which shut down New Line Cinema just before "Sex and the City" broke records and also put the kibosh on Picturehouse, home of "The Women."

And we hope it does, if only to prove that "Sex" wasn't a fluke and that "chick flick" doesn't have be a death knell. Now, just don't make us see "Nights in Rodanthe." Please!


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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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