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P

AL PACINO

BORN
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 4/25/40

FILM DEBUT
ME, NATALIE (1969)

CAREER HIGHS
THE GODFATHER; THE GODFATHER: PART II; SERPICO; DOG DAY AFTERNOON; THE INSIDER; HEAT; SCARFACE; PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK; SCENT OF A WOMAN; GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS; SCARECROW; CARLITOS’S WAY; FRANKIE AND JOHNNY; DONNIE BRASCO; SEA OF LOVE; OCEAN’S THIRTEEN; THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

CAREER LOWS
REVOLUTION; CRUISING; RIGHTEOUS KILL; BOBBY DEERFIELD; AUTHOR! AUTHOR!; GIGLI; THE GODFATHER: PART III; INSOMNIA; PEOPLE I KNOW; THE MERCHANT OF VENICE; SIMONE; CHINESE COFFEE; TWO BITS

IN HIS OWN WORDS
"I was very shy, and when I was about 3 years old my mother began taking me to the movies, night after night,” Pacino told Guy Flatley in a 1973 interview. “The next day, all by myself, I would enact all the parts of the movie before a mirror. My grandmother would be there, but always off in another room. ‘Al likes to talk to himself,’ she used to say. ‘He’s doing OK.’ I was really all alone those first seven years of my life. In fact, I used to go steady with a broom, or maybe it was a mop." Click here to read the entire Los Angeles Times article.

NEXT UP FOR PACINO

RIGHTEOUS KIL

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Carla Gugino, John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, 50 Cent, Brian Dennehy, Dan Futterman (Directed by Jon Avnet: Written by Russell Gewirtz; Overture Films) As anyone who saw “The Godfather Part II” knows, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were terrific in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 masterwork. But they weren’t terrific together. That’s because De Niro appeared as the young Vito Corleone only in flashbacks and Pacino’s Michael remained very much in the present. They were terrific together, however, in Michael Mann’s “Heat” (1995), but only in the two brief scenes they shared. Well, that was then, and this is now. So you’ll see them together--and presumably terrific--throughout the entirety of this hardboiled thriller. What’s more, they’re even getting trendy, playing a pair of cops determined to capture a popular staple of the current movie scene--you guesed it, a serial killer! To read Guy Flatley’s 1973 interview with Robert De Niro, click here; for more new murderpix, click here. Now Playing

ELLEN PAGE

BORN
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA, 2/21/87

FILM DEBUT
MARION BRIDGE (2002)

CAREER HIGHS
JUNO; SMART PEOPLE; X-MEN: THE LAST STAND; HARD CANDY

 

 

 


NEXT UP FOR PAGE

PEACOCK:Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon, Josh Lucas, Bill Pullman, Jaimi Paige, Virginia Newcomb, Paul Cram (Directed by Michael Lander; Written by Michael Lander and Ryan Roy; Mandate Pictures) Nothing much ever happened in the tiny town of Peacock, Nebraska--unless you count the day a train ran into the back yard of a humble bank clerk mamed John Skillpa (Cillian Murphy). That was the same day folks became aware that John had a housemate, a woman they took to be his wife. Peacockians being Peacockians, no one made much of the fact that John and his spouse never appeared in the same place at the same time. Finally, somebody took notice--a perky single mom (played by Ellen Page) began to suspect that something strange, maybe even sick, was going on in John's house. How could this well-intentioned snoop bring John's story to a happy ending? Persuade John to put his wife up for adoption? Or, discovering that the guy had been getting off on slipping into something silky and masquerading as his own wife, she might try convincing him that she herself would make the best of all possible Mrs. Skillpas. Or maybe she should get the hell out of Peacock. Opening date to be announced

WHIP IT

Ellen Page (Directed by Drew Barrymore; Written by Shauna Cross; Mandate Pictures) Who could have imagined that the precious little angel in “E.T.” would morph into a sexy, down-to-earth babe in “Charlie’s Angels” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”? And who would have thought the same little angel would one day take flight and set down not in front of the camera but behind it? That is precisely what Drew Barrymore, sole famous survivor of a bigger-than-life theatrical clan, is about to do. In “Whip It!,” Drew’s directorial debut, Ellen Page, the “Juno” wonder, will play Bliss, a tenacious Texan teen determined to race her way to roller derby glory. The screenplay is by Shauna Cross, a.k.a. to skater buffs as Maggie Mayhem. Here’s what Page told Variety’s Tatiana Siegel: "I really admire how Drew constantly challenges herself as an artist. She's proven herself as an actress and a producer, and I have no doubt she'll bring great vision and creativity to the director's chair. I can't wait to kick ass on wheels!" Opening date to be announced


GWYNETH PALTROW

BORN
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, 9/27/72

FILM DEBUT
SHOUT (1991)

CAREER HIGHS
THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY; EMMA; SEVEN; HARD EIGHT; IRON MAN; SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE; FLESH AND BONE; SYLVIA; PROOF; INFAMOUS; THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS

CAREER LOWS
VIEW FROM THE TOP; DUETS; POSSESSSION; SHALLOW HAL; SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

NEXT UP FOR PALTROW

DIRTY TRICKS

Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Annette Bening, Jill Clayburgh, Sharon Stone, Jim Broadbent, Brad Pitt (Written and directed by Ryan Murphy; Paramount) They called her Martha the Mouth, Mouth of the South or simply Moutha. Her real name was Martha Mitchell, and she was the full-throttle wife of John Mitchell, Attorney General to President Richard M. Nixon. Never one to hold back, Martha, who died in 1976, had this to say about her hubby’s boss: “Nixon bleeds people. He draws every drop of blood and then drops them from a cliff. He’ll blame any person he can put his foot on.” Nor did Martha go all that easy on Mitchell himself, referring to him at one point as “that gutless, despicable crook.” Is it any wonder that in an effort to shut her up, her enemies eventually drugged her and held her captive in a California hotel room? Ryan Murphy, director of “Running With Scissors,” is helming this adaptation of John Jeter’s play about the woman who spilled the beans that hastened Tricky Dick's departure from the White House. And, best news of all, Murphy had the good sense to cast Meryl Streep as the biggest Moutha ever. Also on prominent display: Jill Clayburgh as Pat Nixon, Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean and Annette Bening as Helen Thomas, the White House correspondent who received many a late-night phone call from the whistle-blowing Martha. To read about many more new biopics, click here. Opening date to be announced

ANNA PAQUIN

BORN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA, 7/24/82

FILM DEBUT
THE PIANO (1993)

CAREER HIGHS
THE PIANO; THE SQUID AND THE WHALE; FLY AWAY HOME; HURLYBURLY; A WALK ON THE MOON; X-MEN; X2; X-MEN:THE LAST STAND; THE 25TH HOUR; ALMOST FAMOUS; BUFFALO SOLDIERS; ALL THE RAGE

 

CAREER LOWS
FINDING FORRESTER; AMISTAD; SHE’S ALL THAT

IN HER OWN WORDS
"Before I got nominated for 'The Piano,' I didn’t really know what an Oscar was," the 16-year-old Academy Award winner told Guy Flatley in a 1998 interview. "So it wasn’t some huge thing I was aiming for. It just sort of happened. And if it happens again, that will be really good. Who wouldn’t want it to happen again? But it’s not like I’m dying for it to happen. I think I was very lucky that it happened even once. I mean, I was so young." Click here to read the entire Indie magazine article.

NEXT UP FOR PAQUIN

MARGARET: Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, J. Smith-Cameron, Jeannie Berlin, Matthew Broderick (Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan; Fox Searchlight) One of the funniest and most moving films of 2000 was “You Can Count on Me,” written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, whose biggest prior claim to movie fame was his screenwriting contribution to “Analyze This,” the Robert De Niro-Billy Crystal comedy released the year before. If you saw “You Can Count on Me,” you know that the tyro director drew astonishing performances from Laura Linney as a single mother, Mark Ruffalo as her screwed-up brother, and Matthew Broderick as the petty, despotic boss who unexpectedly becomes her red-hot lover, even though he is already married to a conspicuously pregnant bore. Now Lonergan is about to go behind the camera again, this time as the director of his own screenplay about a Manhattan teenager with plenty of problems, not the least of which is her mom, a neurotic actress. Plus she is a bit unhinged about a bus accident she recently witnessed--an accident that may not have been an accident. The troubled teen is being played by Anna Paquin, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “The Piano” when she was a mere tot. Maybe this time it will simply be a Best Actress Oscar. To read Guy Flatley's 1998 interview with Anna Paquin, click here. Opening date to be announced

SARAH JESSICA PARKER

BORN
NELSONVILLE, OHIO, 3/25/65

FILM DEBUT
SOMEWHERE, TOMORROW (1983)

CAREER HIGHS
STATE AND MAIN; ED WOOD; L.A. STORY; FOOTLOOSE; HONEYMOON IN VEGAS

CAREER LOWS
IF LUCY FELL; MARS ATTACKS!; THE FAMILY STONE; FAILURE TO LAUNCH

CURRENTLY IN THEATERS

SEX AND THE CITY: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth, Jason Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Evan Handler, Willie Garson, David Eigenberg, Mario Cantone, Lynn Cohen, Julie Halston, Michael Bloomberg (Written and directed by Michael Patrick King; New Line Cinema) Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte--played, naturally, by Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis--will soon be sashaying onto the big screen and you can be sure they’ll still be residing in Manhattan and still fixating on the opposite sex. Among the borough’s hottest dudes: David Eigenberg, Evan Handler and Jason Lewis--all fixtures from the TV series--and, of course, Chris Noth as the macho Mr. Big. New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg plays his macho self in the film. Now Playing


GUY PEARCE

BORN
ELY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, ENGLAND, 10/5/67

FILM DEBUT
FRIDAY ON MY MIND (1990)

CAREER HIGHS
L.A. CONFIDENTIAL; MEMENTO; A SLIPPING-DOWN LIFE

CAREER LOWS
THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT; RAVENOUS

 

CURRENTLY PLAYING

DEATH DEFYING ACTS: Guy Pearce, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Saoirse Ronan, Timothy Spall (Directed by Gillian Armstrong; Written by Tony Grisoni and Brian Ward; The Weinstein Co.) According to this mischievous thriller, there was nothing magical about Harry Houdini’s guilt complex. It was very real and very huge, and it stemmed from the fact that the extraordinary escapologist, played by Guy Pearce, was off performing tricks instead of being at his mother’s bedside when she passed on in 1913. If only poor Harry could have had the opportunity to at least apologize to his neglected mom’s ghost. Actually, that’s precisely the chance he thought he was being given 13 years later by a conniving Scottish psychic and her deceitful daughter (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Saoirse Ronan). And this little miracle would only cost the gullible magician $10,000. Could it be that somebody was about to follow Mother Houdini into the great hereafter?

AMANDA PEET

BORN
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 1/11/72

FILM DEBUT
ANIMAL ROOM (1995)

CAREER HIGHS
THE WHOLE NINE YARDS; SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE; SYRIANA; SHE’S THE ONE

 


CAREER LOWS

WHIPPED; IGBY GOES DOWN; ISN’T SHE GREAT; SAVING SILVERMAN; MELINDA AND MELINDA

IN HER OWN WORDS
"You're always hearing stories about people who do an indie that goes to Sundance, gets everyone their money back and you become famous overnight,” Peet told Guy Flatley in a 2000 interview for the New York Daily News. “But somehow, I managed to do 12 indies that never made it to the video store, to the Quad, or even to the Buffalo Film Festival." Click here to read the entire article.

NEXT UP FOR PEET

THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit, Mitch Pileggi (Directed by Chris Carter; Written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz; Fox) Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, the (very) special agents and occasional lovers who attained cult status on TV and then, in 1998, on film, are back in a long-overdue new big-screen installment of “The X-Files.” Happily, Mulder and Scully are again being played by the magnetic combo of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and they will undoubtedly rekindle that old spark, either here on earth or on some other thrill-packed planet. Joining them will be Billy Connolly as an irreverent man of the cloth, plus Amanda Peet and Xzibit as a flashy pair of FBI agents. Now Playing


SEAN PENN

BORN
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, 8/17/60

FILM DEBUT
TAPS (1981)

CAREER HIGHS
DEAD MAN WALKING; MYSTIC RIVER; 21 GRAMS; AT CLOSE RANGE; FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH; CASUALTIES OF WAR; THE THIN RED LINE; BAD BOYS; COLORS; RACING WITH THE MOON; THE FALCON AND THE SNOW MAN; HURLYBURLY; TAPS; STATE OF GRACE; BEFORE NIGHT FALLS; CARLITO’S WAY; I AM SAM; SHE’S SO LOVELY

 

 


CAREER LOWS

SHANGHAI SURPRISE; WEIGHT OF WATER; ALL THE KING’S MEN; U TURN; UP AT THE VILLA; WE’RE NO ANGELS; CRACKERS; THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON; SWEET AND LOWDOWN

N0W PLAYING

MILK: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco, Diego Luna, Alison Pill, Lucas Grabeel, Howard Rosenman, Stephen Spinella, Victor Garber (Directed by Gus Van Sant; Written by Dustin Lance Black; Focus Features) On November 27, 1978, Harvey Milk, a militant gay activist and enormously charismatic San Francisco supervisor, was shot dead, along with his boss, Mayor George Moscone, by Dan White, a vengeful ex-supervisor. The light sentence given to the assassin led to San Francisco’s historic White Night Riots. Under the masterful direction of openly gay Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk and Josh Brolin is Dan White.

NEXT UP FOR PENN

IN SEARCH OF CAPTAIN ZERO: Sean Penn (Directed by Stacy Peralta; Written by Michael Bacall; Radar) There may not be a real Captain Zero, but there is a real Allan Weisbecker. A former surfer and drug-smuggler, Weisbecker packed up his memories of rowdy adventures and misdeeds and put them into a book, and this quirky-sounding movie is based upon that memoir. The biopic, starring Sean Penn as the restless, reckless Weisbecker, deals with more than just dope and waterplay. Much of it is devoted to the author’s determination to hook up again with a close surfing pal who vanished a while back, probably somewhere in the wilds of Central America. But was their relationship really as joyful as it seemed, and can it possibly be resurrected? Opening date to be announced


MICHELLE PFEIFFER

BORN
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA, 4/29/58

FILM DEBUT
THE HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS (1980)

CAREER HIGHS
MARRIED TO THE MOB; THE AGE OF INNOCENCE; DANGEROUS LIAISONS; THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS; SCARFACE; FRANKIE AND JOHNNY; THE RUSSIA HOUSE; LOVE FIELD; ONE FINE DAY; HAIRSPRAY; INTO THE NIGHT; BATMAN RETURNS

 

CAREER LOWS
THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK; UP CLOSE & PERSONAL; TEQUILA SUNRISE; WOLF; THE STORY OF US; DANGEROUS MINDS; LADYHAWKE; GREASE 2

NEXT UP FOR PFEIFFER

CHERI: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates, Felicity Jones, Frances Tomelty, Anita Pallenberg, Harriet Walter, Iben Hjejle (Directd by Stephen Frears; Written by Christopher Hampton; Miramax) Cheri (Rupert Friend), a young, handsome, and deeply romantic Parisian, is tutored in the ways of love by Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer), an aging, equally romantic courtesan. What she is actually teaching this son of an old friend, who is now a wealthy prostitute, is how to be not just a gigolo, but a perfect gigolo. Naturally, the affair turns tres torrid. Collette’s classic short novel has been adapted by Christopher Hampton, who collaborated brilliantly with director Frears and star Pfeiffer in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons.” Click here for the Variety review of "Cheri." Opening date to be announced

RYAN PHILLIPPE

BORN
NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, 9/10/74

FILM DEBUT
CRIMSON TIDE (1995)

CAREER HIGHS
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS; STOP-LOSS; CRASH; GOSFORD PARK; BREACH; NOWHERE; THE WAY OF THE GUN; CRUEL INTENTIONS

CAREER LOWS
IGBY GOES DOWN; I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

NEXT UP FOR PHILLIPPE

THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT: Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Paul Dano, Giovanni Ribisi, Charlie Hunnam, Kieran Culkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ben McKenzie (Directed by Christopher McQuarrie; Written by Christopher McQuarrie and Tim Talbott; Icon Entertainmet Intl.) Is it conceivable that a highly respected doctor/sociologist could set up a faux prison at a prestigious college--using some student volunteers as prisoners and others as guards--for the purpose of conducting a serious exploration of human behavior? Well, you’d better believe it, because it’s true. Doctor Philip Zimbardo conducted his controversial study at Stanford University in 1971, and the student role-players slipped so deeply into character--some of them becoming outrageously cruel and sexually abusive--that the good doctor had to call a halt to his campus charade at the halfway mark. Christopher McQuarrie, the screenwriter who won an Oscar for “The Usual Suspects” (1995) and reaped positive reviews for his writing and direction of “The Way of the Gun” (2000), is directing the “The Stanford Prison Experiment” screenplay that he co-authored with Tim Talbott. Opening date to be announced

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

BORN
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, 10/28/74

FILM DEBUT
SPACECAMP (1986)

CAREER HIGHS
WALK THE LINE; TO DIE FOR; WE OWN THE NIGHT; RETURN TO PARADISE; THE YARDS; GLADIATOR; BUFFALO SOLDIER; QUILLS; CLAY PIGEONS; HOTEL RWANDA; RESERVATION ROAD; PARENTHOOD; INVENTING THE ABBOTTS

CAREER LOWS
THE VILLAGE; SIGNS; 8MM; LADDER 49; U TURN

CURRENT FILM

RESERVATION ROAD: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly, Mira Sorvino, Elle Fanning, John Slattery, Antoni Corone (Directed by Terry George; Written by John Burnham Schwartz; Focus Features) Dwight Arno, speeding through the night to return his 10-year-old son to his ex-wife on time, turns a bend, hits a boy who’d been walking on the side of the road, and drives on. Nearby, Ethan Learner, the father of the fatally injured boy, sits behind the wheel of his own car. Before long, Ethan will be consumed by grief, guilt and a deep thirst for revenge. If you’ve read John Burnham Schwarz’s 1998 novel, “Reservation Road,” you already know how this story ends, but you’ll probably rush to see the movie version all the same. Adapted by the novelist, the film is being directed by Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”) and stars Mark Ruffalo as the fleeing father and Joaquin Phoenix as his potential avenger. Jennifer Connelly, who co-starred with Phoenix in 1997’s “Inventing the Abbotts,” plays his distraught wife on this occasion.

BRAD PITT

BORN
SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA, 12/18/63

FILM DEBUT
HAPPY TOGETHER (1989)

CAREER HIGHS
BABEL; SEVEN; FIGHT CLUB; THE ASSASSINATIOIN OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD; THELMA & LOUISE; A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT; SLEEPERS; SNATCH; THE DEVIL’S OWN; THE MEXICAN; TRUE ROMANCE; OCEAN’S 11; OCEANS 13; TWELVE MONKEYS; INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE; MR. & MRS. SMITH; TROY; CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND; JOHNNY SUEDE; KALIFORNIA

CAREER LOWS
MEET JOE BLACK; SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET; LEGENDS OF THE FALL; FULL FRONTAL; SPY GAMENEXT UP FOR PITT

NOW PLAYING

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Elle Fanning, Elias Koteas, Jason Flemyng, Julia Ormond (Directed by David Fincher; Written by Eric Roth; Paramount/Warner Bros.) Brad Pitt will soon turn 50. But don’t feel depressed; just a bit later, the golden boy will be 49, and on the next birthday, he’ll be 48. You get the idea: in the Eric Roth screenplay, based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the hero ages backward, and when he arrives at the ripe young age of 30, he meets the love of his life, a pip played by Cate Blanchett, who memorably played opposite Pitt in “Babel.” David Fincher, who had Brad working on all cylinders in “Fight Club,” was at the helm.

NEXT UP FOR PITT


THE INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
: Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, David Krumholtz, Mike Myers, Diane Kruger, Rod Taylor, B.J. Novak, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Paul Rust, Samm Levine, Cloris Leachman, Maggie Cheung, Daniel Bruhl (Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino; The Weinstein Company) Is there more than one way to scalp a Nazi? Maybe. We’ll find out for sure when we see Quentin Tarantino’s take on the German occupation of France during World War II. The story dreamed up by the feverish writer-director revolves around a band of brave, highly skilled U.S. soldiers who, under the leadership of Lieutenant Brad Pitt, roam the dark streets of Paris exterminating Hitler’s finest. But before they butcher them, they barber them. Why? Don’t ask. Only the creator of “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction” knows the answer to that question, as well as the reason for spelling “Inglorious Bastards” the way he does. Opens 8/21/09

DIRTY TRICKS: Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Annette Bening, Jill Clayburgh, Sharon Stone, Jim Broadbent, Brad Pitt (Written and directed by Ryan Murphy; Paramount) They called her Martha the Mouth, Mouth of the South or simply Moutha. Her real name was Martha Mitchell, and she was the full-throttle wife of John Mitchell, Attorney General to President Richard M. Nixon. Never one to hold back, Martha, who died in 1976, had this to say about her hubby’s boss: “Nixon bleeds people. He draws every drop of blood and then drops them from a cliff. He’ll blame any person he can put his foot on.” Nor did Martha go all that easy on Mitchell himself, referring to him at one point as “that gutless, despicable crook.” Is it any wonder that in an effort to shut her up, her enemies eventually drugged her and held her captive in a California hotel room? Ryan Murphy, director of “Running With Scissors,” is helming this adaptation of John Jeter’s play about the woman who spilled the beans that hastened Tricky Dick's departure from the White House. And, best news of all, Murphy had the good sense to cast Meryl Streep as the biggest Moutha ever. Also on prominent display: Jill Clayburgh as Pat Nixon, Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean and Annette Bening as Helen Thomas, the White House correspondent who received many a late-night phone call from the whistle-blowing Martha. To read about many more new biopics, click here. Opening date to be announced

THE FIGHTER: Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg (Directed by Darren Aronofsky; Written by Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colick, Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy; Paramount) Here come Micky and Dickie. And we do mean Micky Ward and Dickie Eklund. As an avid sports fan, you undoubtedly know that hard-punching “Irish” Micky Ward from Lowell, Massachusetts, played here by Mark Wahlberg, was a wow in the ring during the 1990s, thanks largely to the wise coaching of his half-brother Dickie, a former boxer who lost a battle with drugs, did time in the pen, and became an exemplary inmate before his release. Brad Pitt signed up for the role of Dickie when it became clear to Matt Damon that he himself had signed up for so many flicks that he had to drop out of this one. To read about more new biopics, click here. Opening date to be announced

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

BORN
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, 12/13/29

FILM DEBUT
STAGE STRUCK (1958)

CAREER HIGHS
THE INSIDER; THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE; THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING; A BEAUTIFUL MIND; SYRIANA; THE SOUND OF MUSIC; THE SILENT PARTNER; ARARAT; INSIDE MAN; STAGE STRUCK; TRIPLE CROSS; TWELVE MONKEYS; BATTLE OF BRITAIN; INSIDE DAISY CLOVER; MURDER BY DECREE; THE NEW WORLD; THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER

CAREER LOWS
WOLF; WHERE THE HEART IS; INTERNATIONAL VELVET; THE ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN

NEXT UP FOR PLUMMER

THE LAST STATION: Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy, Anne-Marie Duff (Directed by Michael Hoffman; Written by Jay Parini; Notro Films) Anthony Hopkins was set to play Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of "War and Peace" who was strugglig to live out his final days with dignity and grace. But somewhere along the line Hopkins dropped out and Christopher Plummer dropped in. Getting back to Leo--who on earth was making it difficult for him to travel a peaceful path into the hereafter? It was none other than Sofya Andreyevna, his luxury-loving, more warring than peaceful, wife. And--like Anthony Hopkins--Meryl Streep, cast as Sofya, made an exit, leaving her role to Helen Mirren. Paul Giamatti plays a loyal friend of Tolstoy's who does his best to rein in Sofya, James McAvoy plays Tolstoy's secretary, and Anne-Marie Duff--McAvoy's real-life wife--plays the tormented literary lion's daughter. Jay Parini's screenplay for "The Last Station" is based on his 1990 novel, which in turn was based on the actual diaries of the contentious Tolstoys and their piles of relatives and friends. The director here is Michael Hoffman, whose eclectic oeuvre includes “Soapdish” (Robert Downey Jr. & Sally Field), “Restoration” (Hugh Grant & Meg Ryan), and “One Fine Day" (George Clooney & Michelle Pfeiffer). Opening date to be announced

CLOSING THE RING: Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Mischa Barton, Gregory Smith, Brenda Blethyn, Pete Postlethwaite, Neve Campbell (Directed by Richard Attenborough; Written by Peter Woodward; Odyssey Entertainment) A military plane crashes on the outskirts of Belfast toward the end of World War II, and just before the rear gunner dies, he asks a local lad to see that his ring is returned to his girlfriend. Fifty years later, the girlfriend has still not received that ring, but she has managed to marry the gunner’s best buddy. Still, it’s never too late, for a young native of Belfast who knows the history of the ring is on his way to North Carolina to deliver it in person. This sounds like a natural for Richard Attenborough, the director/warrior who gave us “Oh! What a Lovely War,” “A Bridge Too Far” and “In Love and War.” Opening date to be announced

NATALIE PORTMAN

BORN
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, 6/9/81
FILM DEBUT
THE PROFESSIONAL (1994)

CAREER HIGHS
CLOSER; BEAUTIFUL GIRLS; GARDEN STATE; THE PROFESSIONAL; STAR WARS: EPISODE 1--THE PHANTOM MENACE; STAR WEPISODE 2--ATTACK OF THE CLONES; STAR WARS 3--REVENGE OF THE SITH; COLD MOUNTAIN; ANYWHERE BUT HERE; HEAT

CAREER LOWS
MARS ATTACKS!; GOYA’S GHOSTS; V FOR VENDETTA; EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU

 

NEXT UP FOR PORTMAN

BROTHERS: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman (Directed by Jim Sheridan; Written by David Benioff; Relativity Media) There was a time when some moviegoers had difficulty telling the difference between Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal. Finally, we got the picture: Tobey was a climber of skyscrapers; Jake was a herder of sheep. More than ever, it will be important to tell the stars of “Spider-Man” and “Brokeback Mountain” apart in “Brothers,” a drama in which a dutiful young man goes off to combat in Afghanistan, leaving his wife and child in the care of a younger brother not known for his dependability. The four-square sibling is played by Maguire, and Gyllenhaal plays the rebel without a conspicuous cause. The role of the woman responsible for expanding their fraternal relationship into a love triangle has gone to Natalie Portman. “Brothers” is a remake, so if you’re eager for more details, check out Susanne Bier’s 2004 Danish-language film starring Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Connie Nielsen. Opening date to be announced


FOR A COMPLETE ALPHABETICAL LISTING OF STAR TURNS, CLICK HERE.