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September 19, 2003 - Image 104

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-19

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At The Movies

From SARS To Stars

A behind-the-scenes look at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Special to the Jewish News


dolph Zukor, Louis B.
Mayer, Sam Goldwyn and
filmdom's other founders
would not be at all sur-
prised that Jews in Hollywood are not
only here to stay, but appeared stronger
than ever, both behind the scenes and
on the screen, at this year's Sept. 4-13
Toronto International Film Festival.
My fantasy film time began with the
30th anniversary showing of
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,
starring a very young Richard Dreyfuss
in the title role.
Director Ted Kotcheff giggled his
way through stories about his then-
roommate, author Mordecai Richter,
who wrote the book. If you haven't
seen this film, there is a bar mitzvah
scene to top them all!
Actresses Nicole Kidman and
Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile)
were staying at my hotel, both appear-
ing in the three-hour Lass von Trier
film, Dogville.
I also saw Nicole's other new film,
The Human Stain, based on the Philip
Roth novel. It co-stars Sir Anthony
Hopkins in the part of a Jewish profes-
sor and Gary Sinise as Jewish author
and Roth alter ego Nathan

Actor Adam Goldberg made his directo-
rial debut with "I Love Your Work."




Zuckerman. Phyllis Newman, wife of
the late Broadway and Hollywood
librettist Adolph Green, plays the piv-
otal role of the professor's wife. The
film is scheduled to open in Detroit on
Oct. 3.
Nicole met me for a bite just after
the screening, and it was a bit jarring
to see her as a blond, when she plays a
brunette custodial worker (believe it or
not) in The Human Stain. She was
dressed very girly, girly, with flowers in
her very curly, curly hair and wearing
bright yellow Manolos ... I've never felt
so short!
I kept bumping into Patty Clarkson
in the elevator. She's appearing in three
new films this year. The one I saw was
Pieces ofApril, opening Oct. 17 in
Detroit, about a dysfunctional family
(unlike Patty's real family, in which she
is the youngest of five daughters). Patty
plays the part of the mother, who is
dying of cancer and, at the same time,
trying to tie up lose ends with her
estranged daughter.
At the film opening, Patty, who's a
Yale grad, articulately explained the
movie, while the other actors, like
Oliver Platt, seemed uncomfortable
with such a large live audience.
Actor Adam Goldberg (Saving
Private Ryan) wrote the screenplay and
makes his directorial debut with I Love
Your Work.
His acting company appeared at the
screening in jeans and shorts. The
ensemble includes Giovanni Ribisi
(who was shooting me with his video-
cam as we spoke); Christina Ricci, who
is so young and so short; German-born
actress Franka Potente (Run Lola Run);
and supermodel Shalom Harlow, who
is more gorgeous in person and on the
runway than she is onscreen. Loved
this film!
Another Jewish director making his
debut was Allan Mindel, who called in
a multitude of favors over a period of
six years to make Milwaukee,
Minnesota, starring his good buddy
Troy Garity, Jane Fonda and Tom
Hayden's son.
Troy plays a mentally handicapped

Sandy Schreier, a metro Detroit freelance
writer; is the author of "Hollywood:
Dressed and Undressed" and "Hollywood
Gets Married"

Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation"

champion ice fisherman, who, when
his mom suddenly dies, is surrounded
by schemers and con artists — includ-
ing Bruce Dern and Josh Brolin
(Barbra Streisand's stepson), good
friends of the director. Even designer
Carolina Herrera was one of "Allan's
Angels," all listed in the film's credits.
Batman director Joel Schumacher
will definitely have a career jolt after
his new film, Veronica Guerin, opens
(it's scheduled for its Detroit premiere
on Oct. 17). The movie stars the tal-
ented and ever fashionable Cate
Blanchette in the tide role as the Irish
journalist whose revelations turned her
country upside down.
Both Joel and I worked on window
display for Henri Bendel's in New York
City in the '70s, and I met Cate at the
Oscars a few years ago. I actually
swooned when I saw the gorgeous
John Galliano gown she was wearing
up close and personal, but she was
kind enough to tell me that it was I
who looked fantastic (the room was
very dimly lit)!
But the festival's director of the
moment was definitely Sofia Coppola.
Her film Lost in Translation, opening
today in Detroit, stars Bill Murray and
new girl on the block" Scarlett
Johansson, who wore a décolleté
"goddess" gown to the opening.
Scarlett is also the star of the much-
anticipated film The Girl With the Pearl
Earring, which opened a few nights
later. Sofia's dad, Francis Ford


Coppola, was the film's executive pro-
Cousin Nicolas Cage appeared in
Matchstick Men (now showing in
Detroit area theaters) at the festival
the evening before. Nic's co-star, 24-
year-old Alison Lohman, plays a 14-
year-old, and very believably because
of the youthful costuming by Blade
Runner's Michael Kaplan. (Michael's
currently working on a new film,
Mr. And Mrs. Smith, starring Brad
Pitt and Anjeliria Jolie — major "lip
lock" — about a husband and wife
who are both hired as assassins to
kill each other.)
Rounding out lots of family angst
was The Event, a film about the
Shapiro family, who are losing their
only son to AIDS. Mama Shapiro is
played convincingly by Olympia
Dukakis in a very difficult, heart-
wrenching role.
But all was not business. I espe-
cially loved watching the crowds part
as tank-top clad Patrick Swayze
cruised down Bloor Street and Sex
and the City's Kim Cattrall blew kiss-
es and signed autographs while eat-
ing lunch.
And, best of all, 18-year-old super-
star Scarlett Johansson screamed and
nearly fainted as singer Neil Young
cruised through the lobby of our
The stars were definitely out in
Toronto. E

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