Movie News

Liza Minnelli Refuses to See Renee Zellweger's Oscar-Nominated Movie Judy. Renee Zellweger has generated a lot of buzz this award show season for her portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy. The 50-year-old actress has already won a Golden Globe, a SAG Award, a BAFTA and a Critics' Choice Award for the role. She's up for an Oscar, too. However, Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli, has no desire to see the film. "I hope [Zellweger] had a good time making it," she tells Variety in a cover story for its pre-Oscars issue. The movie focuses on the last few months of Garland's life. When asked about her fondest memory of her mother, Minnelli says, "Everything." "We had such fun because she was so funny," she continues. "She was funny, and she loved her kids so much. She was protective and very strict. She wanted you to do the right thing, like any mother. It's that simple." She also says she still feels her mother's presence today. "When I call on her, she's there, and I call on her a lot," Minnelli says. "She'll say, 'Ignore it' a lot. She'll say, 'It's one opinion. Who cares? Just keep going.' Minnelli's father, director Vincente Minnelli, was also famous. However, she didn't always know her parents were celebrities. "My parents were my parents," she explains. "I didn't know that I had to dodge questions about Mama until people started asking me questions. I asked my father what to do, and he said, 'Be as good as you can and as good as you are.' He said something like, 'So what? They ask me the same questions.' Mama got angry. She was one who got angry at people for asking me questions about her." Like her parents, Minnelli went into show business. She won an Academy Award for her performance in the 1972 film Cabaret. She's also an Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony and Grammy winner. To read her full interview, check out Variety's pre-Oscars issue. (Eonline)

The controversial documentary detailing claims against Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has been picked up by HBO -- saving it after it was dropped by Oprah Winfrey and Apple TV+. HBO Max confirmed on Monday that it had bought "On the Record" a week after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to two standing ovations. The film by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering tracks the decision of music executive Drew Dixon to publicly state that her then-boss Simmons raped her at his New York home in 1995. "The fierce determination of Drew Dixon and all the women who bravely chose to share their stories in 'On the Record' moved us profoundly," HBO Max's head of original content Sarah Aubrey said in a statement. The doc sparked controversy last month when Winfrey dropped out as the executive-producer, announcing that it would no longer air on Apple TV+. Winfrey, 66, later admitted that Simmons, 62, had contacted her "multiple times" and "attempted to pressure" her into stopping its production. She later "unequivocally" insisted on CBS "This Morning" that she "did not pull out because of Russell." "This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I've been through," Winfrey declared. Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jam, has denied all accusations of sexual abuse. (Page Six)

Berlin Festival Unveils Competition Jury. 'The Artist' actress Berenice Bejo and 'Manchester by the Sea' writer Kenneth Lonergan are among those joining jury president Jeremy Irons. The Berlin Film Festival has unveiled the six film professionals -- three men and three women -- who will join jury president Jeremy Irons in picking the winners of this year's competition. Oscar-nominated French actress Berenice Bejo (The Artist) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) will judge the 2020 Berlin line-up, alongside Brazilian director Kleber Mendon a Filho (Bacurau, Aquarius) and Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir (Wajib, Salt of This Sea). Italian actor Luca Marinelli (Don't Be Bad, The Great Beauty) and German producer Bettina Brokemper, whose credits include Lars von Trier's Antichrist and The House that Jack Built, as well as period drama Hannah Arendt and the 2010 Golden Bear-winning Honey, complete the 7-person jury. The 70th Berlin International Film Festival unveiled its competition line up last week, with a selection of 18 features focused heavily on European and Asian art-house titles. The 2020 festival, which runs Feb. 20 to March 1, will be the first under the new management of artistic director Carlo Chatrian and executive director Mariette Rissenbeek. My Salinger Year, a literary drama from Canadian filmmaker Philippe Falardeau, starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver, will open this year's Berlin Film Festival, screening out of competition. (Hollywood Reporter)

'McQueen' Director to Helm Marianne Faithfull Biopic With 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Star Lucy Boynton. Altitude has boarded worldwide sales rights for the film, with casting now underway for the role of Mick Jagger. The long-gestating biopic of British music icon Marianne Faithfull is gathering steam. Ian Bonhte, who landed two BAFTA nominations for his acclaimed Alexander McQueen documentary McQueen, has now been lined up to direct Faithfull, with Bohemian Rhapsody and The Politician star Lucy Boynton already tapped for the lead role. Production is set to start this fall. Altitude has also acquired worldwide sales rights to the film, with Julia Taylor-Stanley (Coriolanus) of Artemis Films and Colin Vaines (Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool) of Synchronistic Pictures producing. Andee Ryder, producer of McQueen, will also produce for Misfits Entertainment, with Boynton also serving as an executive producer alongside Julian Bird and Abi Gadsby from Lorton Entertainment, Francois Ravard, Gideon Wittenberg and Will Clarke, Andy Mayson and Mike Runagall for Altitude. Hilary Davis (Belle) is a co-producer. Financing comes from Lorton (Diego Maradona, Horrible Histories: The Movie Rotten Romans, Oasis: Supersonic). "I am delighted that my story is finally being made with my dream team of Lucy, Julia and Ian," said Faithfull. Set in London in the mid-1960s, Faithfull will chronicle the star's roller coaster journey from being discovered as a convent schoolgirl of 17, finding fame as a pop idol, living through hedonistic times and a tumultuous romance with Mick Jagger that inspired some of their greatest songs, to being a homeless drug addict in Soho. Her decline took her to the edge, but through her determination not to be known as just a footnote in rock and roll history, she fought her way back, going on to make 21 albums, including the classic Broken English and more recent Negative Capability. "I fell in love with this project the second I read it so I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of telling Marianne's story both as an actor and, for the first time, as an executive producer, especially alongside this creative team," said Boynton. "I can't wait to really get started." Casting is currently underway for the role of Mick Jagger with casting director Sarah Crowe, BAFTA-nominated for The Personal History of David Copperfield on board. "This has been a cherished project for years and working with Lucy and Ian in bringing Marianne's incredible story to the screen is an exciting collaboration and meeting of minds," said Taylor-Stanley. (Hollywood Reporter)


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