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Notes On The Season: AFI Fest Opens And Ruth Bader Ginsburg Steals Spotlight; Crazy Rich Actors Hit Early Awards Circuit

A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit.

Welcome to a new Oscar season ..

A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit.

Welcome to a new Oscar season of Notes on the Season, my weekly column and roundup of various events and interviews from the endless awards circuit. For the next few months, right up to Oscar night February 24, look to this space for all kinds of fun stuff — that is if you are an awards junkie like me.

AFI FEST LAUNCHES IN SUPREME STYLE

The fall film festival season that started with Venice, Telluride and Toronto in early September winds down this week with the AFI Fest, the American Film Institutes annual November, gala-heavy movie showcase that grabs the films breaking late in the game this month and over the holidays. It opened last night with the anticipated world premiere of Focus Features Ruth Bader Ginsburg “origin” story On the Basis Of Sex.

Veteran helmer Mimi Leder directs the film which was warmly received, especially in light of the real Ginsburgs fall in her office Wednesday resulting in some broken ribs and hospitalization. Note was made of this by Leder as she introduced the filmmakers and cast on hand including Felicity Jones, who is terrific as the young Ginsburg, and Armie Hammer equally fine as her husband Martin and co-counsel on a landmark case involving an attempt to overturn a century of sexual discrimination.

On The Basis Of Sex

Leder said she had been up into the early hours Thursday working on the pilot for her new Apple series about a morning TV show starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell and when she finally woke up after 10 AM startled to hear the news about the key subject of her new film. The movie was written by Ginsburgs nephew Daniel Stiepleman, who said he asked her permission once he discovered the facts about that early gender-based case and thought it would make a good movie. “Well if thats how you want to spend you time,” is the response Stiepleman told me he got from her, along with access to all her files and research.

At the Focus Features and Participant Media after-party at the Dream Hotel in Hollywood, I asked Stiepleman how his 85-year-old aunt was doing and he said very well and expected her to be released to go home very soon, which I can tell you is a relief to everyone. (She was released from the hospital today.) One partygoer, fearing another Supreme Court vacancy if this fall were to sideline her, said, “Where do I go to donate a rib?”

Jones also was concerned but happy to hear the woman she plays so valiantly on screen was doing better. She was receiving lots of love herself for her performance, which gives way to a brief cameo by Ginsburg herself at the end of the movie. Also, there was the films talented production designer Nelson Coates who not only did this film but also the wildly different Crazy Rich Asians this year. He explained how, with Ginsburgs help, he re-created the actual home Ruth and Marty lived in, and even put the same pictures on the tables in their bedroom. “I can actually say I was in Ruth Bader Ginsburgs bedroom with her,” he laughed.

On The Basis Of Sex

There were actually dueling after-parties, with AFIs traditional celebration across the street from the TCL Chinese theatre at the Hollywood Roosevelt in addition to the one I hit at The Dream; filmmakers made their way to both in some cases. AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale got the festival off to nice start with this opening, thanked past fest director Jacquelin Lyanga for her years of service and welcomed new director Michael Lumpkin who also has run AFI Docs out of D.C. since 2015. He offered a brief overview of what the next eight days will offer, right up to next Thursdays closing-night film, also from Focus, Mary Queen of Scots. Focus chief Peter Kujawski and Participants David Linde were among those at the opening, with Kujawski explaining to me he just learned how one is supposed to breathe when you get have broken ribs, a reference to the hot topic of Ginsburgs predicament. Everyone wished their favorite Supreme Court justice well.

Focus is releasing On the Basis of Sex on Christmas Day in honor of the 25th anniversary of Ginsburgs 1993 appointment to the high court. It is a nice holiday gift for all, especially as an antidote to all the other crap coming out of Washington D.C. these days. The Oscar voters I spoke to afterwards were uniformly impressed.

NEVER TOO EARLY TO GET AN AWARD

Nicole Kidman

Even though we just got through the midterms, and it is only early November with a number of contenders that havent opened yet, dont tell that to the eager recipients of some of the seasons earliest statuettes. Sunday saw the annual Hollywood Film Awards, a non-television kudos show that bills itself as the true start of awards season. Although lots of critics and pundits deride it (all the awards are negotiated with consultants looking to get photos of their contenders holding statuettes, and if you dont agree to show up in person, you dont win one), it still draws a starry lineup that is impressive, especially when you consider it is not televised. CBS tried it a few years ago but it lasted one airing on the network after low ratings and the antics of Johnny Depp deep-sixed it.

The show an the Beverly Hilton — two months before the Golden Globes take over there — is actually a breezy entertaining affair no one takes too seriously. Dress is cocktail attire, dinner is pretty good (but off the tables by the 5 PM start time), and the speeches were nice tryouts for the next kudos opp. Say what you will, but this HFA edition started out with Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling only presenting, and ended with a Career Achievement Award for Nicole Kidman, and there was lots of star wattage in between.

Kidmans in the running for Oscar noms for both Destroyer and Boy Erased this year and purposely kept the emphasis on them in her spirited acceptance. A rep for the Oscar and Emmy winner told me beforehand she wanted to call this honor The Diversity Award, since Kidman has been playing all kinds of diverse mothers lately — and that includes the upcoming Aquaman. Kidmans husband Keith Urban was there with her and suggested the name “Aquamom” when I caught up with the pair in the Hilton lobby as they arrived. Every one of these awards starts with the name “Hollywood” even as it actually takes place in Beverly Hills.

Hollywood Actress of the Year went to Glenn Close, who told me she flew in from New York that morning from her new off-Broadway show Mother of the Maid, where she had tacked on an extra Thursday matinee to get Sunday off to fly in to take this honor. Her team is making sure her electric performance in The Wife isnt lost in the buzz since it opened in August. They have lined up the Modern Master award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival in February, and yesterday announced she is getting the Icon Award from the Palm Springs Film Festival on January 3, two must-stops for exposure of Oscar hopefuls these days. (Check out my interview with Close on this weeks edition of my Deadline video series The Actors Side.)

I was sitting right near Close, who was surrounded by Sony Pictures Classics Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, who flew out for the weekend events (including Deadlines all-day The Contenders Los Angeles show at the DGA on Saturday). However, I was actually at the Netflix Roma table which was celebrating non-pro Yalitza Aparicios New Hollywood Award. She delivered her heartfelt speech in Spanish; she doesnt speak Eenglish — yet. Sitting at that table I was confused since not everyone was well known and the HFAs have a serious empty seat complex (even though they arent televised), so seat fillers kept showing up. With the Roma gang, the seat fillers, and a phalanx of Netflix publicists showing up at different moments, it was hard to keep everyone straight, but I have a feeling the much-acclaimed Roma is going to be in this room a lot this season.

CRAZY RICH CELEBRATION

Crazy Rich Asians

Hugh Jackman (Hollywood Actor), Timothée Chalamet (Hollywood Supporting Actor, moving up from Hollywood Breakout Actor last year), Damien Chazelle (Director) the Black Panther group (Hollywood Film) and a bunch of Crazy Rich Asians were among other HFA selectees. The latter took over two tables in the front and seemed to be having the best time of anyone celebrating their Hollywood Breakout Ensemble award.

“Have you ever seen this many Asians on a Hollywood stage before? star Constance Wu asked. That whole group didnt want to stop partying, so they carried it on the next night down the street at Crustacean at a bash Warner Bros threw to “celebrate their Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award.” That event was so packed there was hardly any room for the noodles they were passing around.

Henry Golding, who got his big break in the film, told me he was going to be gone for most of awards season as hes shooting Guy Ritchies new film Toff Guys and Paul Feigs Last Christmas back to back. He also had a key role in Feigs recent hit A Simple Favor. Last year at this time the only people who had heard of him were those who watched him hosting a British travel series(!) Now hes the Asian Brad Pitt. I am guessing Henry and those two tables full of about-to-be crazy rich actors (I hear they are plotting to shoot sequels of the last two books of the trilogy at the same time since everyone is in such demand now) will all be back in force at the Golden Globes, where it has a real shot in the comedy or musical categories.

Hamilton Behind The Camera

As if one show wasnt enough Sunday, the Hamilton Watch people threw their 10th annual Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards almost simultaneously in which Gosling was again a presenter, this time to First Man costume designer Mary Zophres. Jake Gyllenhaal, Rami Malek, Angela Bassett and Felicity Jones also were among presenters to various behind-the-scenes artisans who worked on their films.

Get ready everyone. This is just the beginning.

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Cocktails With Deadline Disruptors On The Croisette At The Cannes Film Festival 2019

Cocktails with Deadline Disruptors at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 Cannes Film Festival kicked off ..

Cocktails with Deadline Disruptors at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 Cannes Film Festival kicked off at The Members Club at LaPlage 45.

Click on the photo above to launch the gallery.

Stay tuned for more galleries and video interviews from the Deadline Studio at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

The festival continues through May 21.

Cocktails with Deadline Disruptors on the Croisette at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 was presented by title sponsor Polish FilmRead More – Source

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Home and Away spoilers: Shock for Marilyn and John as Jetts condition worsens

Jett is facing a new life as a paraplegic (Picture: Channel 5)
Tensions have been running high at ho..

Jett is facing a new life as a paraplegic (Picture: Channel 5)

Tensions have been running high at home for Marilyn (Emily Symons) and John (Shane Withington) as they adjust to caring for Jett (Will McDonald). Home from the hospital and struggling with his new life in a wheelchair, it soon becomes apparent theres more to his condition than physical injuries.

With the knowledge several of his men died as a result of the explosion in Afghanistan, Jett has been insistent he needs to travel to the funeral for one of them, having already missed the first one. When they return, Marilyn frets to Irene (Lynne McGranger) that she feels the trip might have been a bad idea. However, Irene makes the point that she cant shield him from that and it may turn out to be a good thing for him.

John says that Jett was talking to all the guests at the funeral, telling them stories about their time away and providing support, so he feels that it may have been just what their son needed. He also says that the funeral was wonderful, and how hes grateful it isnt Jett theyre forced to bury.

Jett is visited by Marilyn and John in hospital
Jett learns to use his wheelchair, supported by Marilyn and John (Picture: Channel 5)

Meanwhile, Jett is sullen and goes for a shower, ignoring Marilyns offer of afternoon tea and her apology for the hotel mix-up, where she booked a location which didnt have wheelchair access. Later on, he says hes going to stay up watching TV, but instead pulls out the funeral service of order and sits in the dark.

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In the morning, Marilyn and John find that Jett hasnt gone to bed at all. When Marilyn offers him breakfast and he asks for pancakes, they feel more positive, but then he refuses to go to physio. Marilyn and John try to support him, saying a break may do him good, but Jett says he doesnt want to go because he should be the one whos dead…

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Coronation Street spoilers: Rana Habeebs killer finally revealed as clues fit together?

(Picture: ITV)
Its been a long time coming – since the death of Rana Habeeb in the ruins of a collap..

(Picture: ITV)

Its been a long time coming – since the death of Rana Habeeb in the ruins of a collapsed Underworld, Coronation Street fans have been wondering what has led her to that fate. Someone with a grudge to bear sabotaged the roof and when it caved in, Rana was tragically caught in the crossfire.

By the end of the month, we will know who the killer is as Carla Connors (Alison King) mental health deteriorates even further and the identity of the brand new cobbles villain comes to light. If, like us, you have been conducting your own investigations (what do you mean, get a life?) then what have you come up with?

We have been looking deeply at each suspect.

Carla

The Underworld boss who has been driven to despair by the entire tragedy.

What would she gain? Short of cash, an insurance job might have saved the business.

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Why she may have done it: The motive is there and it would be a mighty curveball for once for soap to have the original suspect as the actual culprit all along.

Why she didnt do it: It would ruin Carlas character a bit too much and would undermine the mental health arc she is going through right now. Additionally, Carla is too beloved by fans to take this route with and after all she has been through, this would be an unlikely crime for her to commit. Destroying her own factory on the day she was chasing after Peter seems unlikely.

Our verdict: Ruled out. She didnt do it.

Seb

The young teenager with an axe to bear against his former boss Gary.

What would he gain? Revenge. Gary humiliated him and he could easily pin this on him if he sabotaged the roof.

Why he may have done it: Seb certainly hates Gary enough to have gone through this and he has been impulsive and aggressive before without thinking of the consequences.

Why he didnt do it: Seb is currently head over heels in love with nail bar worker Alina and we think hed be showing a little more guilt and distraction if hed killed Rana as he is a good young man at heart. Also, Corrie are planning to make him a hero figure in the upcoming slavery storyline so it would be somewhat jarring.

Our verdict: Highly unlikely due to the slavery storyline angle alone.

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Gary

Gary and Seb's rage in Coronation Street
(Picture: ITV/Metro.co.uk)

The desperate builder with the most access.

What would he gain? If the factory collapse, he would not only prove it right to Carla that the roof was unstable but could have brought him a loooooot of repair work that would solve his money worries.

Why he may have done it: Gary certainly had the opportunity and knows the structure better than anyone, being in the trade. He has been acting strangely of late and if he can be desperate enough to get involved with a loan shark, it proves the lengths hed go to. He also fits the bill of the character with a good heart who does bad things and lets not forget, Gary was a wrong un when he started in the show so does have that side to him.

Why he didnt do it: Gary is focused on his troubles with Rick at the moment and out of everyone, particularly after his dealings with Phelan, he would seem most likely to come clean after realising he killed someone.

Our verdict: A clear contender for sure. Gary can go to desperate lengths.

Peter

The troubled alcoholic who dotes on Carla

What would he gain? Nothing personal but if it could help Carla out of a tight spot he would do it.

Why he may have done it: Peters all time love is Carla and upon hearing of her troubles, he would certainly be reckless enough to try a scam like this. And lets not forget, he was pretty keen that day to disappear.

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Why he didnt do it: Sorry, but Peter would not let Carla endure all of this without telling her that he is guilty and she is innocent. Also, destroying baes business isnt the most romantic of gestures.

Our verdict: Peter is Carlas protector. It would be a shocker for sure, the biggest twist of the lot, but would it be worth it to chuck away the Carla and Peter relationship. We doubt it.

Nick

Toyah is suspicious of Nick's business meeting
(Picture: ITV)

The business partner who recently stole from his gran.

What would he gain: Cash. The business was in trouble, Carla was going behind his back and he had his own financial problems to worry about.

Why he may have done it: With either Carla or Gary being the perfect fall person, Nick might have wanted the insurance as a means of paying back his gran Audrey. He has shown a rutless side by threatening David and robbing Audrey so hed be capable of this too – and would keep a cool enough head in the aftermath. And the investigation report (which he hid) doesnRead More – Source

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