Atonement Wows Venice Fest
A-list celebs and their filmmaker friends are causing a commotion in the canals right now at the Venice Film Festival, which kicked off its 75th anniversary yesterday with the premiere of Joe Wright’s war romancer Atonement. Variety gives complete coverage, calling the fest’s opening “an invigorating shot of youth.” The news story, by Nick Vivarelli and Ali Jaafar, says the pic received a positive reception, a rare occurrence in Venice. Reviewer Derek Elley agreed with the report in his own critical account of “Atonement,” writing “rarely has a book sprung to vividly to life” in a “smart, dazzling” film. He continues that its stars – Keira Knightley and James McAvoy – show “impressive star poise and physical elan.” Speaking of physical, the tabs are likely to have a field day with Knightley’s presence on the red carpet with early chatter criticizing on her gaunt appearance. Those starlets never seem to catch a break do they?
Easton Ellis Novel Headed to Big-Screen
Another Bret Easton Ellis novel is being prepped for the big-screen with the packaging of his The Informers almost fully formed thanks to the addition of cast-members Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger and Brandon Routh, THR reports. Ashley Olsen, Jon Foster, Austin Nichols and Lou Taylor Pucci are also in the mix for the adaptation to be directed by Gregor Jordan. The story centers on seven stories taking course during a week in the life of a movie exec, his wife, his mistress, a rock star, a vampire and a kidnapper. Oh my!
Innovative Agents Show Fortitude
That interesting lawsuit sitch at Innovative Artists – two agents sued the firm’s partner to get out of allegedly unfair employment contracts – continues to play itself out with Michael McConnell and Ben Press announcing in THR today that they’ve launched their own fully-financed agent. The duo has formed a new shingle, fortitude, bringing a client list that includes Chevy Chase, Gina Gershon, Lara Flynn Boyle and Cybill Shepherd, among others. Rosters aside, Innovative honcho Scott Harris says in the story that his former employees’ claims are “disappointing.”
Zellweger Headed to Miami
In casting news, Variety reports that Renee Zellweger will team up with Harry Connick Jr. in the fish-out-water comedy Chilled in Miami for Gold Circle Films. Pic will find the Oscar-winning actress starring as a Miami businesswoman who is transferred to Minnesota. Jonas Elmer is directing and funny enough, his last film was a Danish pic called Nynne which was often referred to as the Danish Bridget Jones.
– CHRIS GARDNER