News from January 22, 2001

The Golden Globe Awards are tomorrow night. By this time the HFPA hands these bad boys out, the eventual Best Picture Oscar is already a foregone conclusion. But without a clear front runner this year, the Globes take on some importance for a change. About the only sure things are Jim Carrey winning for “The Grinch” (boy, do they love him), the HFPA finding some way to honor non-nominee Angelina Jolie (they love her even more) and several people will give some rather bizarre speeches.

The Slamdance Film Festival started today, without its originally planned opening film, “Brooklyn Babylon.” The film, directed by “Slam”‘s Marc Levin, was pulled at the last minute by the film’s producers when their distributor, Artisan, found out the film was to play Slamdance without their prior knowledge. Sundance also lost one of their big films, when the Jodie Foster-produced “The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys” (in which she also stars) was pulled because it would not finish postproduction in time for its Wednesday screening. Lucky for festival filmgoers, they’ll have more chances to see Cameron Diaz in “Invisible Circus”… and we all know how well made indie films with Cameron Diaz are. “Feeling Minnesota,” anyoner “Head Above Water”r “Keys To Tulsa”r Anyoner Anyoner (Okay, I’ll give you “Being John Malkovich,” but the film still would have been better without her. You have to admit that.)

Since so many of the films at Sundance this year already had distribution deals before the festival began, the big talk of the town is on speculation that long time festival programmer Geoff Gilmore will be leaving for the top post at the newly created Warner Brothers Classics arm. But don’t count Harry Weinstein out from making himself the biggest story in town, after missing last year’s screenings due to health problems.

Merchant/Ivory recently announced their plans to shoot their adaptation of V.S. Naipaul’s “The Mystic Masseur” on the tiny Carribean island of Trinadad. The locals are quite pleased, as they hope the film will touch off a filming frenzy and develop their burdgeoning film industry. Shooting of the film, set in 1950s Trinidad and dealing with issues of slavery, class, race and identity, will began later this year.

Billy Connelly, who most of us at consider to be one of the most underrated and underused actors today, gets another chance at adding to his fan base when he and Judy Davis head down to Australia to film the US $5.6M budgeted comedy “The Man Who Sued God” next month. Connelly will play a fisherman who tries to sue God when lightning hits his boat, causing it to overturn, to find out his insurance won’t pay on incidents deemed “acts of God”.

Congratulations to Ed Burns, who has discovered if you aren’t that good of a filmmaker, you can stay in the news by dating the right people. After high profile romances with Lauren Holly and Heather Graham, Burns is getting hitched to supermodel Christy Turlington. The couple plan to live in New York, where Burns recently purchased JFK Jr’s former residence.