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W

MARK WAHLBERG

BORN
DORCHESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, 6/5/71

FILM DEBUT
RENAISSANCE MAN (1994)

CAREER HIGHS
DEPARTED; BOOGIE NIGHTS; THREE KINGS; THE ITALIAN JOB; THE YARDS; THE BIG STORM; WE OWN THE NIGHT; THE BASKETBALL DIARIES; SHOOTER; FEAR

CAREER LOWS
THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE; THE CORRUPTOR; PLANET OF THE APES; INVINCIBLE; ROCK STAR

 

NEXT UP FOR WAHLBERG

THE LOVELY BONES: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli, Saoirse Ronan (Directed by Peter Jackson; Written by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh; DreamWorks)

In a welcome change of pace, Peter Jackson is taking a vacation from the tricky, sometimes tedious special-effects world of the “Rings” trilogy and “King Kong.” His new film will be an audacious attempt to mix reality and fantasy. As readers of Alice Sebold's imaginative, deeply disturbing 2002 novel know, the heroine of “The Lovely Bones” (played here by newcomer Saoirse Ronan) is raped, murdered and dismembered by a neighbor at the age of 14. But that is not the end of the story; in her afterlife, the girl focuses intently on the torment of her grieving family, including her parents, played by Mark Wahlberg (who replaced Ryan Gosling the day before shooting began) and Rachel Weisz, and her grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon. And, on occasion, the murdered girl pays very close attention to the fiendish scheming of her unrepentant killer (Stanley Tucci). Jackson, whose finest achievement is “Heavenly Creatures”--the haunting 1994 film in which two emotionally entwined adolescents (Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) commit an especially horrific murder--seems the perfect person to bring “The Lovely Bones” to flesh-and-blood life. To read about more new movies based on books, click here. Opens 12/11/09

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

THE BRAZILIAN JOB: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def (Directed by F. Gary Gray; Written by David Twohy; Paramount)

Wahlberg, Theron, Statham, Green and Def--the slick, stylish quintet of thieves who thrilled us with their bravado in 2003’s “The Italian Job”--are set to thrill us again, this time by pulling a red-hot heist in Rio de Janeiro. All they need is a director who can whip up the smart combination of humor, action and sexiness that made crime pay the last time around. And presumably that’s what they’ve got, since this sequel is being masterminded by F. Gary Gray, the man in charge of the original caper. Actually, the “original” was a remake of 1969’s “Italian Job,” directed by Peter Collinson and starring Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Raf Vallone, Rossano Brazzi and Margaret Blye. And that was good criminal fun, too. Opening date to be announced

DONNIE WAHLBERG

BORN
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, 8/17/69

FILM DEBUT
BULLET (1996)

CAREER HIGHS
THE SIXTH SENSE

CAREER LOWS
SAW II; SAW III; SAW 1V

 


NOW PLAYING

RIGHTEOUS KILL: 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! Now Playing

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN

BORN
QUEENS, NEW YORK, 3/31/43

FILM DEBUT
ME AND MY BROTHER (1969)

CAREER HIGHS
THE DEER HUNTER; AT CLOSE RANGE; THE KING OF NEW YORK; CATCH ME IF YOU CAN; PULP FICTION; PENNIES FROM HEAVEN; THE DEAD ZONE; ROMANCE & CIGARETTES; HAIRSPRAY; THE FUNERAL; LAST EMBRACE; WEDDING CRASHERS; ANNIE HALL; DOGS OF WAR; TRUE ROMANCE; MAN ON FIRE; NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILLAGE; THE ANDERSON TAPES; ROSELAND; BILOXI BLUES; THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR

CAREER LOWS
GIGLI; THE STEPFORD WIVES; BRAINSTORM; THE SENTINEL; THE HAPPINESS CAGE; THE AFFAIR OF THE NECKLACE; DOMINO

IN HIS OWN WORDS
"If I can tell someone to drop dead and go to hell, then it’s a good day," Walken told Guy Flatley in a 1980 interview for Cosmopolitan magazine. "I've always been a nervy, abrasive bum, quite obnoxious and arrogant. I say a lot of things without thinking, but I’m the first to admit I’m stupid. I definitely believe there are people put on this earth to be a torment, to serve as an irritant, to keep the action going and stir up the soup. A lot of people I know think I’m a pain in the ass, but they stick around because they figure it’s better to know me than not to know me.” Click here to read the entire Cosmo article.


CURRENT RELEASE

ROMANCE & CIGARETTES: James Gandolfini,Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, Bobby Cannavale, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Barbara Sukowa, Elaine Stritch, Eddie Izzard, Amy Sedaris (Written and directed by John Turturro; MGM/UA)

Nick Murder (James Gandolfini) is a shrewd, cocky, blue-collar kind of guy from Queens who knows his way around all the boroughs of his hometown. He also knows his way around a brazen British redhead named Tula (Kate Winslet), a secret his wife Kitty (Susan Sarandon) discovers when she reads a poem he has written in praise of the lusty lady. That’s when the fireworks--and a whole lot of racy singing and dancing that would have shocked the socks off Sinatra, Garland and Kelly--begin in this strictly 21st-century musical comedy. (In truth, the music is not actually from this century; it's from the second half of the 20th century--which is a good thing, since it includes songs by Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck.) To read Guy Flatley's 1978 interview with Susan Sarandon, click here. Now Playing


DENZEL WASHINGTON

BORN
MOUNT VERNON, NEW YORK, 12/28/54

FILM DEBUT
CORIOLANUS (1979)

CAREER HIGHS
TRAINING DAY; AMERICAN GANGSTER; PHILADELPHIA; DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS; THE HURRICANE; MO’ BETTER BLUES; MISSISSIPPI MASALA; A SOLDIER’S STORY; ANTWONE FISHER; THE GREAT DEBATERS; HE GOT GAME; THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE; INSIDE MAN; MAN ON FIRE; THE PELICAN BRIEF; GLORY; POWER; COURAGE UNDER FIRE; CRIMSON TIDE

 

CAREER LOWS
THE PREACHER’S WIFE; CARBON COPY; VIRTUOSITY; RICOCHET; THE MIGHTY QUINN

NEXT UP FOR WASHINGTON

THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Alex Kaluzhsky (Directed by Tony Scott; Written by David Koepp; Columbia)

One of the most entertaining and terrifying thrillers of 1974 was Joseph Sargent’s “The Taking of Pelham 123,” which was adapted by Peter Stone from John Godey’s novel. Here’s how New York Times critic Nora Sayre described the story line in her rave review: “Four highly efficient hoods hijack an IRT subway car and hold eighteen people hostage for a million dollars; if the city doesn't pay within an hour, one hostage will be shot a minute. The Transit Authority, the Police Department, the Mayor and his colleagues all go into frenzied but coordinated action, while the film cuts most expertly between the stalled car and its passengers, the T.A. Command Center, Gracie Mansion, and the city streets.” With director Tony Scott and screenwriter David Koepp in charge, we will once again be hurried along on a harrowing trip through the jangly streets and dark tunnels of the Big Apple. Denzel Washington will try on the role of the cool transit cop played by Walter Matthau in the original, John Travolta inherits Robert Shaw’s role of a sadistic hijacker, and James Gandolfini--on leave from Jersey--is the panicky Mayor of New York. To read Guy Flatley's 1976 New York Times interview with John Travolta, click here. Opens 6/12/09


EMILY WATSON

BORN
ISLINGTON, LONDON, ENGLAND, 1/14/67

FILM DEBUT
BREAKING THE WAVES (1996)

CAREER HIGHS
BREAKING THE WAVES; THE BOXER; ANGELA’S ASHES; PUNCH- DRUNK LOVE; GOSFORD PARK; HILARY AND JACKIE; THE LUZHIN DEFENCE

 

CAREER LOWS
MISS POTTER; METROLAND; TRIXIEUP

NEXT UP FOR WATSON

SHANTARAM: Johnny Depp, Emily Watson, Abhishek Bachchan, Franka Potente (Written by Eric Roth and Gregory David Roberts; Warner Bros.)

An Australian named Lindsay (Johnny Depp) has a major heroin habit which sends him to what promises to be a long, harsh term of imprisonment. As in the Gregory David Roberts novel from which this drama stems, however, Lindsay escapes and lands in a crime-crammed Bombay slum, where he manages to pass himself off as a crackerjack physician--one who engages in gunrunning and smuggling in order to give his poor patients the kind of care they so richly deserve. The next stage of Lindsay’s physical and spiritual journey is Afghanistan, where he joins the insurgents in their struggle to oust the Russians. Tomorrow Iraq? Peter Weir, who was set to direct "Shantaram," dropped out when the folks at Warner Bros. informed him that his take on the material was all wrong. He was replaced by Mira Nair, director of "Monsoon Wedding" and "The Namesake." Opening date to be announced

NAOMI WATTS

BORN
SHOREHAM, KENT, ENGLAND, 9/28/68

FILM DEBUT
FOR LOVE ALONE (1986)

CAREER HIGHS
21 GRAMS; MULHOLLAND DRIVE; EASTERN PROMISES, THE PAINTED VEIL; KING KONG; WE DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE; THE RING; NED KELLY

 

 

 

CAREER LOWS
THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON; LE DIVORCE; TANK GIRL; STAY

CURRENT RELEASE

EASTERN PROMISES: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinead Cusack, Donald Sumpter, Jerzy Skolimowski, Michael Sarne (Directed by David Cronenberg; Written by Steven Knight; Focus Features)

London is the workplace of some of the world’s meanest members of organized crime, perhaps none meaner than a certain Russian-born thug named Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen). This exceedingly illegal immigrant specializes in the business of sex and shows little mercy on his victims, though there is a chance he will treat Ana--a British midwife who knows more than it is healthy to know about a young woman who died giving birth--with a smidgeon of tenderness. Enraptured fans of 2005’s “A History of Violence” will be pleased to see Viggo Mortensen working once again under the shrewd, mischievous direction of David Cronenberg. Now Playing

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

BORN
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10/8/49

FILM DEBUT
ANNIE HALL (1977)

CAREER HIGHS
ALIEN; THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY; THE ICE STORM; GORILLAS IN THE MIST; ALIENS; ALIEN 3; ALIEN: RESURRECTION; DAVE; WORKING GIRL; INFAMOUS; HOLES; DEATH AND THE MAIDEN; GHOST BUSTERS; GHOSTBUSTERS II; EYEWITNESS

 

CAREER LOWS
HALF MOON STREET; TADPOLE; GALAXY QUEST; DEAL OF THE CENTURY

CURRENT FILM

BABY MAMA: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Martin, Romany Malco, Maura Tierney, Holland Taylor, James Rebhorn (Written and directed by Michael McCullers; Universal)

At the clock-ticking age of 37, over-achieving career woman Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) suddenly realizes that in her rush to succeed in the cut-throat world of the health-food industry, she has robbed herself of something important--the joy of motherhood. Enter Angie Ostrowiski, a coarse, pushy member of the masses willing to play surrogate mother for Kate’s offspring-on-demand. Nifty. But not so nifty is the sudden of the unexpectedly homeless Angie on Kate’s doorstep. She seeks shelter from Kate and gets it. And, after nine months of sitcomedic cohabitation, guess who’s bringing up baby. Those of us who’ve followed the Saturday Night Live progress of performers Fey and Poehler, writer Michael McCullers and co-producer Lorne Michaels, look forward to celebrating the birth of their big-screen “Baby.” And, as a strictly-for-fun bonus, we get Sigourney Weaver as the awesomely fertile director of a surrogancy center and Steve Martin as a pony-tailed, new-age guru with super sales savvy. Mama Mia! Now Playing

RACHEL WEISZ

BORN
LONDON, ENGLAND, 3/7/71

FILM DEBUT
DEATH MACHINE (1995)

CAREER HIGHS
THE CONSTANT GARDENER; RUNAWAY JURY; SUNSHINE; DEFINITELY, MAYBE; ABOUT A BOY

CAREER LOWS
THE SHAPE OF THINGS; THE MUMMY; THE MUMMY RETURNS; FRED CLAUS; THE FOUNTAIN; CONSTANTINE



NEXT UP FOR WEISZ

THE LOVELY BONES: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli, Saoirse Ronan (Directed by Peter Jackson; Written by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh; DreamWorks)

In a welcome change of pace, Peter Jackson is taking a vacation from the tricky, sometimes tedious special-effects world of the “Rings” trilogy and “King Kong.” His new film will be an audacious attempt to mix reality and fantasy. As readers of Alice Sebold's imaginative, deeply disturbing 2002 novel know, the heroine of “The Lovely Bones” (played here by newcomer Saoirse Ronan) is raped, murdered and dismembered by a neighbor at the age of 14. But that is not the end of the story; in her afterlife, the girl focuses intently on the torment of her grieving family, including her parents, played by Mark Wahlberg (who replaced Ryan Gosling the day before shooting began) and Rachel Weisz, and her grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon. And, on occasion, the murdered girl pays very close attention to the fiendish scheming of her unrepentant killer (Stanley Tucci). Peter Jackson, whose finest achievement is “Heavenly Creatures”--the haunting 1994 film in which two emotionally entwined adolescents (Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) commit an especially horrific murder--seems the perfect person to bring “The Lovely Bones” to flesh-and-blood life. To read about more new movies based on books, click here. Opens 12/11/09

FOREST WHITAKER

BORN
LONGVIEW, TEXAS, 7/15/61

FILM DEBUT
TAG: THE ASSASSINATION GAME (1982)

CAREER HIGHS
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND; BIRD; THE CRYING GAME; PANIC ROOM; THE GREAT DEBATERS; A RAGE IN HARLEM; GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI; SMOKE; FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH; THE COLOR OF MONEY; PLATOON; STAKEOUT; PHONE BOOTH

 


CAREER LOWS

BATTLEFIELD EARTH: A SAGA OF THE YEAR 3000; PHENOMENON; BODY COUNT; VISION QUEST

NEXT UP FOR WHITAKER

REPOSSESSION MAMBO: Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga (Directed by Miguel Sapochnik; Written by Eric Garcia and Garret Lerner; Universal)

Would you buy an artificial organ on an installment plan from a company that reserved the right to terminate you if you default on payment? That’s the decision facing somebody--perhaps Jude Law and/or Forest Whitaker--in this sci-fi thriller set in the near future. If things go as planned, “Repossession Mambo” will take possession of your local theater before “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” a similarly themed musical directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, whose previous assaults on our sanity include "Saw II," "Saw III" and "Saw IV." Opening date to be announced

BRUCE WILLIS

BORN
IDAR-OBERSTEIN, GERMANY, 3/19/55

FILM DEBUT
BLIND DATE (1987)

CAREER HIGHS
PULP FICTION; DIE HARD; DIE HARD 2; DIE HARD: WITH A VENGEANCE; LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD; BILLY BATHGATE; GRINDHOUSE; SIN CITY; NOBODY’S FOOL; THE SIXTH SENSE; FAST FOOD NATION; TWELVE MONKEYS; IN COUNTRY; BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS; THE WHOLE NINE YARDS

CAREER LOWS
HUDSON HAWK; THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES; DEATH BECOMES HER; THE STORY OF US; COLOR OF NIGHT; LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN; THE FIFTH ELEMENT

CURRENT FILM

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Justin Long, Jeffrey Wright, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cyril Raffaelli (Directed by Len Wiseman; Written by Mark Bomback; Fox)

For the fourth--but probably not last--time, Bruce Willis plays rugged, profanity-spewing New York detective John McClane. It all began, of course, with “Die Hard” in 1988, when Willis was a 33-year-old rising star. But he--or, at least, the McClane character--is certainly not living in the past. He is in fact right up to the minute, taking on a perilous assignment with the Department of Homeland Security. His mission? To prevent rabid but clever terrorists from destroying the intricate technology that makes the United States the most powerful nation in the world. Or something like that.

OWEN WILSON

BORN
DALLAS, TEXAS, 11/18/68

FILM DEBUT
BOTTLE ROCKET (1996)

CAREER HIGHS
RUSHMORE; THE DARJEELING LIMITED; BOTTLE ROCKET; WEDDING CRASHERS; THE CABLE GUY; THE MINUS MAN; THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS; BEHIND ENEMY LINES; MEET THE PARENTS; MEET THE FOCKERS, MARLEY & ME

CAREER LOWS
STARSKY & HUTCH; THE BIG BOUNCE; I SPY; ARMAGEDDON; SHANGHAI KNIGHTS; AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

NEXT UP FOR WILSON

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Hank Azaria, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais (Directed by Shawn Levy; Written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon; Fox)

Amy Adams, who ascended to major stardom in “Enchanted,” continues her climb in this sequel to the enormously commercial 2006 comic adventure. She plays famed aviator Amelia Earhart, who crash lands in the wee small hours of the evening at Washington’s Smithsonian Museum. And security guard Ben Stiller, transferred from New York’s Museum of Natural History, where he won his stripes in the original, will be around for the anticipated chills and spills. To read Diane Baroni's 2002 interview with Amy Adams, click here. Opens 5/22/09

HOW DO YOU KNOW?  Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd (Written and directed by James L. Brooks; Columbia Pictures) 

Owen Wilson’s a star of the baseball diamond who tries to tag out corporate lothario Paul Rudd before he can get to first base with picky Reese Witherspoon. This could be a homer for director-writer James L. Brooks, who scored big with “Terms of Endearment,” “Broadcast News” and “As Good as It Gets.” Opening date to be announced

 

DEBRA WINGER

BORN
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO, 5/16/55

FILM DEBUT
SLUMBER PARTY ’57 (1976)

CAREER HIGHS
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT; AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN; URBAN COWBOY; RACHEL GETTING MARRIED; SHADOWLAND; MIKE’S MURDER; BLACK WIDOW; THE SHELTERING SKY

 

 

CAREER LOWS
FORGET PARIS; CANNERY ROW; LEGAL EAGLES; SHADOWLANDS; BETRAYED


CURRENT FILM

RACHEL GETTING MARRIED: Anne Hathaway, Debra Winger, Bill Irwin, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tunde Adebimpe, Anna Deavere Smith, Dorian Missick, Tamyra Gray, Daphne Rubin-Vega (Directed by Jonathan Demme; Written by Jenny Lumet; Sony Pictures Classics)

In 1983, director James Brooks skillfully explored the complicated relationship between an impetuous, disorderly rebel and her sweet, impeccably behaved daughter. Both Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress of 1983, and mama MacLaine took home the Oscar. Now, 25 years later, esteemed director Jonathan Demme is focusing on another intriguing mother-daughter combo in “Rachel Getting Married.” This time, it’s Debra Winger who plays mom, a divorcee on the verge of reconnecting with her estranged daughter, a neurotic ex-model recently released from rehab and on her way home to her sister’s wedding. Perhaps Winger, whose career could stand a little rehabilitation, will finally nab her Oscar--though it’s possible the big winner could be Anne Hathaway, who no doubt welcomed the chance to soil her squeaky clean image in the role of Winger’s wayward sprout. Now Playing

KATE WINSLET

BORN
READING, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND, 10/5/75

FILM DEBUT
HEAVENLY CREATURES (1994)

CAREER HIGHS
LITTLE CHILDREN; HEAVENLY CREATURES; JUDE; IRIS; TITANIC; SENSE AND SENSIBILITY; ROMANCE & CIGARETTES; ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND; HOLY SMOKE; HAMLET; QUILLS

CAREER LOWS
ALL THE KING’S MEN; FINDING NEVERLAND; THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE; PLUNGE: THE MOVIE

NEXT UP FOR WINSLET

THE READER: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, (Directed by Stephen Daldry; Written by David Hare; The Weinstein Company)

Shortly after the end of World War II, Michael Berg, a German teenager played by David Kross, suffers a bout of scarlet fever in a public place and is taken home and tended by an older stranger. Her name is Hanna Schmitz and though she is older than Michael, she certainly does not qualify as a senior citizen. In fact, the 36-year-old Hanna is played by Kate Winslet--and before long, she and 15-year-old Michael are passionate lovers. Not only is Hanna passionate about Michael’s prowess in bed, but she is equally impressed with his skill as a fiery reader of tales by Homer, Twain and Chekhov. But, faster than you can say Hemingway, Hanna vanishes in the night, never to return to the devastated Michael. At least, not until years later, when Michael, now a law student obsessed with the Nazi war crime trials, spots his own special Florence Nightingale and learns that she may end up behind bars as punishment for her gig as a guard in a concentration camp. Can the mature Michael, acted by Ralph Fiennes, recover from his shock and perhaps save--or at least comfort--the aging Hanna (still played by Kate Winslet). We don’t know the answer, but we do feel confident that Hanna has not heard the last of Michael’s masterful reading. Stephen Daldry, director of “The Hours” and “Billy Elliot,” was the man in charge of bringing David Hare’s adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s hugely popular 1995 novel about the meaning of the holocaust to cinematic life. Now Playing

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Zoe Kazan, Michael Shannon, Ty Simpkins (Directed by Sam Mendes; Written by Justin Haythe; DreamWorks)

The last time this young and beautiful couple set sail together, they were so blinded by love that they failed to notice they were headed straight for an iceberg. This time, the still beautiful but not-so-young “Titanic” couple knows enough not to go near the water. Which doesn’t necessarily mean they are on course for a happy ending. In Justin Haythe’s adaptation of the haunting 1961 novel by Richard Yates, DiCaprio and Winslet play Frank and April Wheeler, brilliant, sexually-charged newlyweds who believe their arsenal of sophistication, talent and magnetism will transport them to a charmed life among scintillating European intellectuals. Following a couple of unplanned pregnancies and career setbacks, however, they find themselves stranded in the stifling suburbs of 1950s Connecticut. Inevitably, Frank has a demoralizing affair with a colleague in his Manhattan office, and April beds down with the husband of a close friend. And don’t for a minute imagine that their kids are happy troopers. In her rave review of “Revolutionary Road,” The New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani said that Richard Yates’ “portrait of these thwarted, needlessly doomed lives is at once brutal and compassionate.” Another reason to look forward to this re-teaming of Leo and Kate: It’s being directed by Kate’s husband, Sam Mendes--the man responsible for the memorably lacerating “American Beauty.” Now Playing

REESE WITHERSPOON

BORN
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, 3/22/76

FILM DEBUT
THE MAN IN THE MOON (1991)

CAREER HIGHS
WALK THE LINE; ELECTION; LEGALLY BLONDE; PLEASANTVILLE; FEAR; AMERICAN PSYCHO; VANITY FAIR

 

CAREER LOWS
JUST LIKE HEAVEN; JACK THE BEAR; LEGALLY BLONDE 2: RED, WHITE & BLONDE; THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST; HOME SWEET ALABAMA; RENDIDTION

NOW PLAYING

FOUR CHRISTMASES: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Robert Duvall, Dwight Yoakam (Directed by Seth Gordon; Written by Caleb Wilson; Warner Bros. and New Line)

Like it or not, you have a moral obligation to see your mom and dad at Christmas time. At least, that’s what the creators of this family flick seem to feel. And that’s why Brad and Kate (Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon) succumb to panic attacks the closer they get to the big 12/25, a day when they are expected to get warm and cozy at all four homes of their respective divorced-and-remarried parents (Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen and Jon Voight). Can this holiday--and these marriages--be saved? Now Playing


NEXT UP FOR WITHERSPOON

SPORTS WIDOW: Reese Witherspoon (Directed by David Mirkin; Written by Elizabeth Kruger and Craig Shapiro; Universal)

Everyone’s favorite legally blonde cutie might as well be legally dead in this comedy about a woman whose husband remains totally glued to the tube during the seemingly endless football season. How to get the big lug’s attention? Easy! Simply knock his socks off by boning up on all those tricky gridiron stats. That’s what Lucy would have done if Desi had been a wannabe jock. Opening date to be announced

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING: Reese Witherspoon (Type A Films)

Carol Lynley, a distinctive, all-but-forgotten actress who seemed on the verge of major stardom in the sixties, was great to watch as the stressed mother of a missing child in Otto Preminger’s classy 1965 thriller, “Bunny Lake Is Missing.” And who can doubt that Reese Witherspoon will work similar wonders in this remake? Now the question is, who will play the roles performed so persuasively in the original by Laurence Olivier, Keir Dullea, Noel Coward, Martita Hunt, Anna Massey and Clive Revill? Opening date to be announced

OUR FAMILY TROUBLES: Reese Witherspoon (Written by Don Winston; Universal)

As in “Bunny Lake Is Missing,” Reese Witherspoon is a mom who’s in trouble because her kid--this time, a boy--is in trouble. Strange, sickeningly unnatural things are happening down on her Tennessee home and she’s pretty sure that a witch is about to snatch her son. Soon she’s so crazed that she can’t tell which witch is which. Opening date to be announced

 

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