Reese Witherspoon

3.3730769230665 (780)
Posted by bender 03/24/2009 @ 17:11

Tags : reese witherspoon, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Reese Witherspoon Gets Back to Baseball Duties - The Gossip Girls
She's always been known for her relentless honing of her craft, and earlier today (May 13) Reese Witherspoon was spotted prepping for yet another film role. The “Legally Blonde” hottie donned a black athletic top and matching black stretch shorts as...
Reese Witherspoon Walks For Breast Cancer - Just Jared
Reese Witherspoon kicks off the Avon Walk For Breast Cancer wearing a red Temperley London “Glisten” dress on Monday (May 11) in San Francisco, Calif. The 33-year-old actress spent time with five local breast cancer survivors who shared their stories...
Reese Witherspoon & Jake Gyllenhaal - Paris People! - Just Jared
Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal arrive from Paris and head to their awaiting car at LAX Airport in Los Angeles on Monday (May 4). Jake, 28, and Reese, 33, were in Europe over the weekend, celebrating the wedding of Jake's sister,...
Reese Witherspoon & Jake Gyllenhaal: Biking in Brindisi! - Just Jared
Reese Witherspoon and longtime love Jake Gyllenhaal go bicycling around the exclusive Hotel Masseria in Brindisi near Rome, Italy on Sunday (May 3). The couple, along with Jake's mother Naomi Foner, cycled around for about 5 miles to visit the famous...
Ben Stiller, Reese Witherspoon could revive 'Used Guys' - Entertainment Weekly
Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon could help Fox reboot plans for sci-fi comedy 'Used Guys,' according to The Hollywood Reporter. The earlier version would have starred Stiller and Jim Carrey as men in a future dominated by women, who clone and trade...
Reese Witherspoon & Jake Gyllenhaal Research Restaurants - Just Jared
Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are spotted leaving the restaurant R & D Kitchen on Thursday (May 8) in Los Angeles, Calif. This past weekend, the couple was in Europe, celebrating the wedding of Jake's sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal....
ShePop: Reese Witherspoon, our hero again - Entertainment Weekly
But Reese Witherspoon takes the you-go-girl effect to a new level by (possibly) stepping in for Jim Carrey on the once-killed project Used Guys. She's not simply making a male role on the page female on the screen. In the sci-fi comedy, she'll play a...
Ashley Olsen Gets The Townsend Treatment - Just Jared
The 22-year-old Olsen twin took these shots with her cell phone and text messaged them to Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire (while Joanna was watching American Idol). Famed hairdresser Mark Townsend, who gave Reese Witherspoon her bangs,...
Reese Witherspoon playing softball. - Fashion.ie
Reese Witherspoon was out doing her best Ricky Henderson this weekend as she was playing softball. If you look closely down at the pictures, she already has a bruise on her inner thy, although we can't confirm whether the bruise came from her running...
Jake Gyllenhaal & Stephen Gaghan: Caffe Luxxe Lunch - Just Jared
A Reese Witherspoon-less Jake Gyllenhaal grabs lunch at Caffe Luxxe on Friday afternoon (April 24) in Santa Monica, Calif. The 28-year-old actor was accompanied by fellow Nike-sneakers-wearing Stephen Gaghan, an Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning...

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon 2005.jpg

Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon (born March 22, 1976), better known as Reese Witherspoon, is an American actress and film producer, who has established herself as a one of Hollywood's top actresses in recent years. In 1998 she appeared in three major movies: Overnight Delivery, Pleasantville, and Twilight. The following year, Witherspoon appeared in the critically acclaimed Election, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. 2001 marked her career's turning point with the breakout role as Elle Woods in the box office hit Legally Blonde, and in 2002 she starred in Sweet Home Alabama, which became her biggest commercial film success to date. 2003 saw her return as lead actress and executive producer of Legally Blonde 2. In 2005, Witherspoon received worldwide attention and praise for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line, which earned her an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress.

Witherspoon married actor and Cruel Intentions co-star Ryan Phillippe in 1999; they have two children, Ava and Deacon. The couple separated at the end of 2006 and divorced in October 2007. Witherspoon owns a production company named Type A Films. She is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations. She serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), and was named Global Ambassador of Avon Products in 2007, serving as honorary chair of the charitable Avon Foundation.

Witherspoon was born at the former Southern Baptist Hospital (now the Ochsner Baptist Medical Center) in New Orleans, Louisiana, where her parents were living while her father was a student at Tulane University medical school. Her father, John Witherspoon, is a Georgia-born otolaryngologist who previously served as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army reserves. Her mother, Betty (née Reese), is from Harriman, Tennessee, has a Ph.D. in pediatric nursing and works as a professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University. Witherspoon has claimed to be a descendant of Scottish-born John Witherspoon, the sixth president of Princeton University and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. This genealogical claim, however, has never been verified. Because Witherspoon's father worked for the U.S. military in Wiesbaden, Germany, she lived there for four years as a small child. After returning to the U.S., she settled and spent her childhood in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was raised as an Episcopalian.

Witherspoon was selected as a model for a florist's television advertisements at age seven, which motivated her to take acting lessons. At age eleven she took first place in the Ten-State Talent Fair. Witherspoon received good grades in school; she loved reading and considered herself "a big dork who read loads of books." On mentioning her love for books, she said, "I get crazy in a bookstore. It makes my heart beat hard because I want to buy everything." Witherspoon attended middle school at Harding Academy and graduated from the prestigious all-girls' Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee, during which time she was a cheerleader. She attended Stanford University as an English literature major. After completing one year of studies, she left Stanford to pursue an acting career.

In 1990, Witherspoon attended an open casting call for The Man in the Moon with some friends, intending to audition as a bit player. She was instead cast in the lead role of Dani Trant, a 14-year-old country girl who falls in love for the first time with her 17-year-old neighbor. Her performance was regarded as "memorably touching" by Variety magazine, and critic Roger Ebert commented, "Her first kiss is one of the most perfect little scenes I've ever seen in a movie." For this role, Witherspoon was nominated for the Young Artist Award Best Young Actress. Later that year, she made her TV acting debut in the cable movie Wildflower, directed by Diane Keaton and starring Patricia Arquette. In 1992, Witherspoon appeared in the TV movie Desperate Choices: To Save My Child, portraying a critically ill young girl. In 1993, she played a young wife in the CBS mini series Return to Lonesome Dove, and got a starring role as the leading character Nonnie Parker, a South African girl who must cross 1,250 miles (2,000 km) of the Kalahari, in the teen-aimed Disney film A Far Off Place. In the same year, Witherspoon had a minor role in Jack the Bear, which garnered her the Young Artist Award for Best Youth Actress Co-star. The following year, Witherspoon acted in another leading role as Wendy Pfister in the 1994 film S.F.W., directed by Jefery Levy.

In 1996, Witherspoon was offered parts in two major movies. She appeared in the thriller Fear alongside Mark Wahlberg and Alyssa Milano, playing the role of Nicole Walker, a teenage girl with a handsome boyfriend who turns out to be a violent psychopath. She was also the leading actress in the thriller and black comedy Freeway, starring alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields. Her character, Vanessa Lutz, is a poor girl living in Los Angeles, who, on the way to her grandmother's home in Stockton, encounters a freeway serial killer. The film received positive reviews from the press. Among them was the San Francisco Chronicle, with Mick LaSalle commenting, "Witherspoon, who does a shrill Texas accent, is dazzling, utterly believable in one extreme situation after the other." Witherspoon's performance won her the Best Actress Award at the Cognac Police Film Festival, and firmly established her as a rising star. The making of the movie also gave Witherspoon significant acting experience; as she said, "Once I overcame the hurdle of that movie – which scared me to death – I felt like I could try anything." Following completion of Freeway in 1997, Witherspoon took a break from acting in major movies for a year, and began dating actor Ryan Phillippe. She returned to the screen in 1998 with major roles in three movies, Overnight Delivery, Pleasantville and Twilight. . Witherspoon gained further worldwide recognition for her amazing topless scene in Twilight In Pleasantville, Witherspoon starred alongside Tobey Maguire in a tale about a pair of 1990s teenage siblings who are magically transported into the setting of a 1950s television series. She portrayed the sister Jennifer, who is mainly concerned about appearances, relationships, and popularity. Witherspoon's performance received good reviews and garnered her the Young Hollywood Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance. Director Gary Ross said he firmly believed Witherspoon was going to be an outstanding movie star.

In 2000, Witherspoon received a supporting role in American Psycho and made a cameo appearance in Little Nicky. She also appeared as a guest star in season six of Friends, playing the role of Jill Green, Rachel Green's sister. The next year, Witherspoon provided the voice of Serena in the animated film The Trumpet of the Swan, produced by Crest Animation Productions.

2001 marked a significant turning point in Witherspoon's career, when she starred in the feature film Legally Blonde. She portrayed Elle Woods, a fashion merchandising major who decides to become a law student in order to follow her ex-boyfriend to Harvard University. Speaking about Woods' character, Witherspoon said "When I read Legally Blonde, I was like, 'She's from Beverly Hills, she's rich, she's in a sorority. She has a great boyfriend. Oh yeah, she gets dumped. Who cares? I still hate her.' So we had to make sure she was the kind of person you just can't hate." Legally Blonde was a box office hit, grossing US$96 million worldwide. Witherspoon's performance earned her praise from critics, as the press began referring to her as "the new Meg Ryan". Roger Ebert commented, "Witherspoon effortlessly animated this material with sunshine and quick wit", and Salon.com noted that "she delineates Elle's character beautifully". Meanwhile, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer concluded, "Witherspoon is a talented comedian who can perk up a scene just by marching in full of pep and drive and she powers this modest little comedy almost single-handedly." For her work, Witherspoon garnered her second Golden Globe Best Actress nomination and an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.

In 2003, Witherspoon followed up the success of Legally Blonde by starring in the sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. Her character, Elle Woods, has become a Harvard-educated lawyer who is determined to protect animals from cosmetics-industry science tests. The sequel was not as financially successful as the first movie, and it generated mostly critical reviews. USA Today considered the movie "plodding, unfunny and almost cringe-worthy", but also noted that "Reese Witherspoon still does a fine job portraying the fair-haired lovable brainiac, but her top-notch comic timing is wasted on the humorless dialogue." Meanwhile, Salon.com concluded that the sequel "calcifies everything that was enjoyable about the first movie". Despite being panned by critics, the sequel took over $39 million in its first five days in the U.S. box office charts and went on to gross $90 million internationally. Witherspoon received a $15 million paycheck for the role - a starting point to make her consistently one of Hollywood's highest paid actresses from 2002 onwards.

In 2004, Witherspoon starred in Vanity Fair, adapted from the 19th-century classic novel Vanity Fair and directed by Mira Nair. Witherspoon's character – Becky Sharp – is a woman whose impoverished childhood turns her into an ambitious person with a ruthless determination to find fortune and establish herself a position in society. Witherspoon was pregnant during the filmmaking of this movie and was therefore carefully costumed to conceal her pregnancy. This pregnancy was not a hindrance to her work, as Witherspoon believed the gestation had in fact helped her portrayal of Sharp's character: "I love the luminosity that pregnancy brings, I love the fleshiness, I love the ample bosom—it gave me much more to play with", she said. The film and Witherspoon's portrayal of Sharp received good reviews, as The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Nair's cast is splendid. Witherspoon does justice to the juicy role by giving the part more buoyancy than naughtiness." At the same time, The Charlotte Observer called her work "an excellent performance that's soft around the edges" and the Los Angeles Times concluded that Becky is "a part Reese Witherspoon was born to play".

In late 2004, Witherspoon began working alongside Mark Ruffalo on the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven. Her character, Elizabeth Masterson, is an ambitious young doctor left in a coma by a serious car accident; her spirit returns to her old apartment where she later finds true love.

Witherspoon's first post-Oscar role came in the modern-day fairy tale Penelope, co-starring Christina Ricci. Witherspoon played the supporting role of Annie, the best friend of Penelope, a girl who has a curse in her family. The film was produced by Witherspoon's company Type A Films and premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. The final release date of Penelope was delayed twice, and the movie was then set for a February 2008 release.

Witherspoon was back in front of the camera again in November 2006, as shooting began for the political thriller Rendition. She starred alongside Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin, Peter Sarsgaard, and Jake Gyllenhaal, playing Isabella El-Ibrahim, the pregnant wife of a bombing suspect. Rendition was released in October 2007 and marked Witherspoon's first appearance in theaters in two years, since the 2005 release of Walk the Line. The movie received mostly negative reviews, and was generally considered a disappointment at the Toronto Film Festival. Witherspoon's performance was also criticized: "Reese Witherspoon is surprisingly lifeless", USA Today wrote, "She customarily injects energy and spirit into her parts, but here, her performance feels tamped down." In December 2007, Witherspoon began filming the holiday comedy Four Christmases, a story about a couple who have to spend their Christmas Day trying to visit all four of their divorced parents, and in which she stars alongside Vince Vaughn. The film was released in November 2008. Despite only receiving average reviews by critics, the movie became a box office success, earning more than 100 million US dollars worldwide.

Later in 2008, Witherspoon is set to star in a Universal Pictures remake of the 1939 comedy Midnight, scripted by Michael Arndt. In 2009, Witherspoon will take on the horror genre for the first time as a star of Our Family Troubles, which she will produce under the Type A banner, partnering with Jennifer Simpson, co-producer of Legally Blonde 2. She will also provide the voice for Susan Murphy, the main character of the computer-animated 3-D feature film Monsters vs. Aliens, which is scheduled for a March 27, 2009 release from DreamWorks Animation. Her future projects also include voicing in The Bear and the Bow, a computer-animated 3-D film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures; the film is scheduled for a release in Christmas 2011.

Witherspoon is a long-time supporter of Save the Children, an organization that helps children around the world through education, health care, and emergency aid. She also serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund, a child advocacy and research group. In 2006, Witherspoon was among a group of actresses who went to New Orleans, Louisiana in a CDF project to bring to light the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims. In this trip, she helped open the city's first Freedom School, as she met and talked with the children. Witherspoon later called this an experience that she would never forget.

Following the successful release of Legally Blonde, Witherspoon hosted Saturday Night Live on September 29, 2001. In 2005, she was ranked No. 5 in Teen People magazine's list of most powerful young Hollywood actors. In 2006, Witherspoon was listed among the Time 100, a compilation of the 100 most influential people in the world, as selected annually by Time magazine. Her featured article was written by friend and fellow co-star in the two Legally Blonde films, Luke Wilson. In the same year, she was also selected as one of the "100 Sexiest Women In The World" by the readers of For Him Magazine. Witherspoon has appeared on the annual Celebrity 100 list by Forbes magazine in 2006 and 2007, at No. 75 and No. 80, respectively. Forbes also put her on the top ten Trustworthy Celebrities list, according to the characters she had played on the screen.

In 2006, Star fabricated a story saying Witherspoon was pregnant with her third child, which led to Witherspoon suing the magazine's parent company American Media Inc in Los Angeles Superior Court for privacy violation. She sought unspecified general and punitive damages in the lawsuit, asserting that the claim harmed her reputation because it suggested she was hiding the news from producers of her upcoming films.

Witherspoon has been featured four times in the annual "100 Most Beautiful" issues of People magazine. In 2007, she was selected by People and the entertainment news program Access Hollywood as one of the best dressed female stars of the year. A study conducted by E-Poll Market Research showed that Witherspoon was the most likable female celebrity of 2007. That same year, Witherspoon established herself as the highest-paid actress in the American film industry, earning $15 to $20 million per film. In April 2008, Witherspoon appeared as a guest star at the 2008 charitable campaign Idol Gives Back.

Witherspoon met American actor Ryan Phillippe at her 21st birthday party in March 1997, where she introduced herself to him saying "I think you're my birthday present." The couple became engaged in December 1998, and got married in Charleston, South Carolina on June 5, 1999 at Wide Awake Plantation, following the release of the box office hit Cruel Intentions. They have two children: a daughter named Ava Elizabeth, born September 9, 1999, and a son Deacon Reese, born October 23, 2003. To be able to look after the children, the couple alternated shooting schedules for their films.

In October 2006, Witherspoon and Phillippe announced that they decided to formally separate after seven years of marriage. The following month, Witherspoon filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. In her petition she sought joint legal custody of their two children and sole physical custody, with full visitation rights for Phillippe. The couple had no prenuptial agreement and the couple would be entitled to half of all assets gained during the marriage under California law, with Witherspoon's being the more significant. Witherspoon requested that the court grant no spousal support for Phillippe, which he did not contest. On May 15, 2007, Phillippe filed for joint physical custody of the couple's children, and made no motion to block Witherspoon from seeking support from him. In September 2007, Witherspoon spoke openly about the separation for the first time when she told Elle magazine that it was "a difficult and frightening experience" for her. Witherspoon and Phillippe's final divorce documents were granted by the Los Angeles Superior Court on October 5, 2007, ending their marriage.

Throughout 2007, there was persistent speculation in the mass media about a romantic relationship between Witherspoon and her Rendition co-star Jake Gyllenhaal. The pair denied the rumors while promoting Rendition in the fall of 2007. However, after the finalization of Witherspoon's divorce in October 2007, Gyllenhaal and Witherspoon became more open with their relationship, particularly due to the release of paparazzi pictures that showed the couple vacationing together in Rome. The couple has since been regularly photographed together by paparazzi. In March 2008, Phillippe was the first to confirm the relationship in interviews conducted during the promotion of his latest film. Witherspoon personally confirmed her relationship with Gyllenhaal in an interview for the November 2008 issue of Vogue, calling her boyfriend "very supportive".

To the top



Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar by David Shankbone.jpg

Sarah Michelle Prinze, (born April 14, 1977) better known by her birth name of Sarah Michelle Gellar, is an American actress. She is best known for her role as the character Buffy Summers in the acclaimed television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for which she won in total six Teen Choice Awards, and the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actress and received a Golden Globe Award nomination. The show set up Gellar as an icon and star in the industry from the first season of the show. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for her role in All My Children as character Kendall Hart.

She has since become known as a film actress, starring in the family film Scooby-Doo (2002) as Daphne Blake, and the American remake of Japanese horror film The Grudge (2004) and its sequel The Grudge 2 (2006). Earlier establishing roles include the teen drama Cruel Intentions (1999); the slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997); the other slasher film Scream 2 (1997); and the independent film Harvard Man (2001). Most recently she played an ex-porn star in Richard Kelly's Southland Tales (2007) and as part of an ensemble cast in The Air I Breathe (2008).

Gellar was born in New York City, the only child of Rosellen (née Greenfield), a nursery school teacher, and Arthur Gellar, a garment worker. Both of her parents were Jewish, though Gellar's family had a Christmas tree during the holidays while she was growing up. In 1984, her parents divorced and she was brought up by her mother on the Upper East Side.

Gellar was estranged from her father from this time until his death from liver cancer on October 9, 2001. She attended New York's Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School on a scholarship, and the Professional Children's School. Gellar held a straight-A average and became a competent figure skater. Her best friend was Melissa Joan Hart, who later was the star of the series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. She also became close friends with Lindsay Sloane, who (in September 2002) would be her bridesmaid at her wedding.

At the age of four, Gellar was spotted by an agent in a restaurant in Uptown Manhattan. Two weeks later, she auditioned for a part in An Invasion Of Privacy, a made-for-television film starring Valerie Harper, Carol Kane and Jeff Daniels. At the audition, Gellar read both her own lines and those of Harper, impressing the directors enough to cast her in the role. A short while later, she got a part in a controversial television commercial for Burger King, in which she criticized McDonald's and claimed to eat only at Burger King.

This led to a lawsuit by McDonalds against Burger King, ad agency J. Walter Thompson, and child-actress Gellar herself, who appeared in court as a witness for the defense. The dispute was eventually settled out of court. Gellar continued to make commercials while appearing in acting roles, including playing Emily in an episode of the TV series Spenser: For Hire, appearing in a minor role in the Chevy Chase starring comedy Funny Farm and in the movie High Stakes, and filming in Europe for the TV series Crossbow. In 1991, she played a young Jacqueline Bouvier in A Woman Named Jackie.

Gellar got her first major break in 1992, when she starred in the serial Swans Crossing and was subsequently cast in the soap opera All My Children, playing Kendall Hart, the long-lost daughter of character Erica Kane (Susan Lucci). In 1995, at the age of eighteen, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress in a Drama Series for the role. It was on the set of this soap opera that she met Michelle Trachtenberg who would later join the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast.

In 2000, Gellar guest starred as Debbie in the HBO series Sex and the City episode Escape from New York. Sarah Michelle Gellar has also hosted Saturday Night Live a total of three times (1998, 1999, and 2002). Gellar has lent her voice to animated TV series, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and several episodes of Robot Chicken.

Gellar left All My Children in 1995 amid rumors of a strained working relationship with Lucci. Gellar stated that she was screen tested eleven times (originally auditioning for the role of Cordelia), before she landed the lead in the 1997 TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, playing a teenager burdened with the responsibility of fighting a number of mystical foes, mostly vampires. The show was well received by critics and audiences alike, spawning a spin-off series (Angel), which featured two episodes in which she notably guest starred. Throughout its seven seasons and a total of 144 episodes, Buffy, and by extension Gellar, became cult icons in the United States, the UK and Australia, particularly as archetypes of "empowered" women. Gellar sang several of the songs during the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode "Once More, with Feeling", which spawned an original cast album.

During the show's later years, Gellar expressed dissatisfaction about certain aspects of the show. Shortly after the show's end, Gellar stated that she had no interest in appearing in a Buffy feature film, although since then she has said she will consider it if the script is good enough. She did not appear in the final season of Angel, causing the intended episode ("You're Welcome") to be rewritten for the character of Cordelia Chase. Gellar has said that she was willing to appear in the episode, but scheduling conflicts and family problems prevented it. Gellar has declined to lend her voice to the various Buffy video games, and another actress voiced Buffy for an animated series based on the show, which never aired.

Gellar's likeness is used in the comic continuation of the series.

It was reported on September 25, 2008 that Gellar would return to television in the HBO series The Wonderful Maladys. The show is about three dysfunctional adult siblings living in New York and struggling to deal with the loss of their parents years ago. Creator Charles Randolph told Variety that he wrote the part with Gellar in mind, and described Gellar's character as having "a kind of zealous immaturity – like a drug addict with a to-do list." HBO plans to shoot the pilot (using a single camera) in early 2009. Gellar and Randolph will serve as executive producers.

Gellar has appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, FHM, Rolling Stone, and other magazines. She was featured in the annual Maxim "Hot 100" list in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008 and in FHM 's "100 Sexiest Women" of 2005. She was voted number 1 in the magazine's 1999 edition. In 1998, she was named one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People (in the World)". Gellar has appeared in "Got Milk?" ads as well as in the Stone Temple Pilots music video "Sour Girl" and Marcy Playground music video "Comin' Up From Behind". In 2007, she was ranked #54 on FHM Hot 100 List and was a celebrity spokesperson for Maybelline. Wearing a black lace brassiere, she was on the cover of the December 2007 issue of Maxim magazine and was named Maxim magazine's 2008 Woman of the Year. In 2008 she ranked in the top 5 of the Maxim "Hot 100" list.

Along with actresses like Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gellar became one of the "it" girls of the '90s. She has appeared on the cover of Seventeen a total of six times. She graced the covers of Animal Fair and Dreamwatch.

She was also featured in Google's Top 10 Women Searches of 2002 and 2003, coming in at #8, and featured in UK Channel 4's 100 Greatest Sex Symbols in 2007, ranked at #16. Roles like Buffy and Cruel Intentions made her a sex symbol across the globe. Gellar featured in FHM's German, Dutch, South African, Danish and Romanian editions 100 Sexiest Women lists every year from 1998 onwards. Topsocialite.com listed her as the 8th Sexiest woman of the 90s along with Alicia Silverstone, Gillian Anderson and Shannen Doherty. Other appearances and listings include: Entertainment Weekly`s Top 100 TV Icons in 2007, Entertainment Weekly's Top 12 Entertainers of the Year in 1998 (ranked #3) and Glamour`s 50 Best Dressed Women in the World and (ranked at #17 and #24).

Gellar attempted to capitalize on her television fame with a motion picture career, and had intermittent commercial success. After roles in the popular thrillers I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2 (both 1997), she starred in the 1999 films Simply Irresistible, a romantic comedy, and Cruel Intentions, a modern-day retelling of Les Liaisons dangereuses. Cruel Intentions - with a kiss between Gellar and co-star Selma Blair that won the two the "Best Kiss" award at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards - was a modest hit at the box office, grossing over $38 million in the United States. Critic Roger Ebert stated that Gellar and co-star Ryan Phillippe "develop a convincing emotional charge" and that Gellar is "effective as a bright girl who knows exactly how to use her act as a tramp". Gellar’s role showed her versatility as an actress, and many were surprised to see her playing a brunette cocaine addict with an appetite for manipulating and using people. Her performance was praised by a number of critics, including Rob Blackwelder for SPLICEDwire, who wrote about the “dazzling performance by Sarah Michelle Gellar who plunges headlong into the lascivious malevolence that makes Kathryn so delightfully wicked. (Plus she looks great in a corset.)”.

Gellar next played a lead role in James Toback's critically unsuccessful independent Harvard Man (2001), where she played the daughter of a mobster. The movie included two strong sex scenes with Gellar, helping her shed her good girl image even more after Cruel Intentions in 1999. Rolling Stone said, "Yes, that's our Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing a cheerleader who is not above sneaking off to the woods with her boyfriend, hiking up her skirt, sitting on his dick and bumping and grinding without missing a beat in the conversation. Gellar is a long way here from Scooby-Doo – thank the gods – and James Toback's Harvard Man is an even longer way from the Hollywood drool that pretends to take on issues – sexual, ethical, criminal – that often come with a college education". Sarah also starred as Daphne Blake in Scooby-Doo (2002), a live-action adaptation of the cartoon series. Gellar also appeared in the sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). She starred alongside her husband, Freddie Prinze, Jr. in both Scooby-Doo movies. Gellar's next film was the 2004 horror film The Grudge, which was a success at the box office. David Wirtschafter, the president of the William Morris Agency (which represented Gellar), subsequently told The New Yorker that the success of The Grudge "takes our client Sarah Michelle Gellar, who now is nothing at all, and...makes her a star, potentially. Suddenly, the Sarah Michelle Gellar space is meaningful". The remark led Gellar to terminate her association with the agency; Gellar is now represented by the United Talent Agency.

She was offered a role in Stardust but turned it down to spend more time with her husband. Other roles she turned down include the role of Juliet in Romeo + Juliet (having had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with All My Children) and an undisclosed role in The Faculty. She was also offered the role of Brittany Foster in The In Crowd, but turned it down. The part later went to Susan Ward.

The film Possession, starring Gellar, has had a range of release dates - starting with February 2008. The film was finally set to be released in theatres in January of 2009, but due to financial problems at YARI Film Group, the release was yet again pushed forward. In March 2009 it was announced that the film would skip theatrical release altogether, and go straight to DVD/Blu-Ray. It is now set to be thus released on May 12, 2009 .

Gellar will also star in Veronika Decides to Die (2009). The film tells the story of a young woman suffering from severe depression who rediscovers the joy in life when she finds out that she only has days to live following a suicide attempt. Filming of the movie began on May 12, 2008, in New York City. and finished in late June. It was reported that Kate Bosworth was previously attached to the project.

On June 25, 2008, it was announced she is no longer attached to the film version of the video game American McGee's Alice.

As of September 2008, Gellar's films have grossed $627.3 million, putting her on par with other actresses such as Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Lopez.

Gellar's most successful starring role is in The Grudge, which opened with $39.1 million opening weekend and grossed over $110 million in the US alone.

Gellar met future husband Freddie Prinze, Jr., during filming of the 1997 teen horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer but the two did not begin dating until 2000. They were engaged in April 2001 and married in Mexico on September 1, 2002 in a ceremony officiated by Adam Shankman, a film director and choreographer with whom Gellar had worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Gellar's bridesmaid was her closest friend of many years, Lindsay Sloane. In 2007, Gellar legally changed her name to Sarah Michelle Prinze in honor of the couple's fifth year of marriage.

In 2004, while filming The Grudge in Japan, Gellar visited the famous Japanese swordsmith Shoji Yoshihara (Kuniie III) and bought a Katana from him as a birthday present for her husband. Gellar realized that she needed clearance from the government to remove the sword from the country, and after eventually succeeding, stated that it was "incredibly difficult" to do.

Gellar has said in interviews that she believes in God but does not belong to an organized religion. Gellar has said in interviews that she collects rare editions of classic children's literature.

Gellar has four tattoos. She has a symbol for integrity on her lower back, a heart and dagger and a cherry blossom on her ankle, and two dragonflies on her back.

In 2007, Gellar was featured in Vaseline's "Skin Is Amazing" campaign, with other actors such as Hilary Duff, Amanda Bynes, and John Leguizamo.

Gellar has hosted Saturday Night Live three times.1997-1998, 1998-1999 and 2002-2003 seasons and had an uncredited appearance. Together with Jack Black, she appeared in a spoof of the Council of Elrond scene in the Lord of the Rings. The spoof, informally known as the Lord of the Piercing was aired at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards and is available as an Easter egg in the Extended Edition DVD except for the British R2 extended edition.

To the top



Election (1999 film)

Election 1999film.jpg

Election is a 1999 film adapted from a critically acclaimed 1998 novel of the same title by Tom Perrotta. The plot revolves around a three-way election race in high school, and satirizes both suburban high school life and politics. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Golden Globe nomination for Witherspoon in the Best Actress category, and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Film in 1999.

It stars Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, and Chris Klein, and is set in suburban Omaha, Nebraska. It tells the story of Jim McAllister (Broderick), a popular history and civics teacher at a local high school, and one of his students, Tracy Flick (Witherspoon), around the time of the school's student body elections. McAllister's enthusiastic involvement with various school-related functions masks his frustration with other aspects of his life; Tracy is an overachiever whose obsession with getting into a good college masks a vindictive and manipulative personality. When Tracy obtains a nomination for class president in the school election, McAllister believes she does not deserve the title, and tries his best to stop her from winning.

The film gained much attention commercially and critically in 1999, mainly because of word of mouth and high critical praise. While it failed to become a major box office success, home video and DVD releases were extensively popular, and the film achieved a cult classic status. Following its release, the movie has received various rankings; Election is ranked #61 on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies and #9 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies, while Witherspoon's performance as Flick was ranked at #45 on the list of the 100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time by Premiere Magazine. Since its release, it has been credited with inspiring several other high school set films dealing with the student overthrowing the teacher. The film was rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for strong sexuality, sex-related dialogue and language, and a scene of drug use.

Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) is a high-school teacher in the suburbs of Omaha, Nebraska whose enthusiastic involvement at school masks his frustration with other aspects of his life. Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is an overachieving senior with a secret vindictive and sexual side. Earlier in the year, Tracy had an affair with McAllister's best friend, another teacher. As a result, her lover was fired from his job, divorced by his wife, and ended up a ruined man; Tracy, however, walked away with no one knowing of her involvement aside from the Principal, McAlllister, and her Mother.

Tracy announces that she is running for student body president, horrifying McAllister, who is in charge of organizing the school's student government and doesn't want to have to work with Tracy (he also seems afraid that, like his friend, he will be tempted into an affair with her). Other students assume she will win the election, and she is set to run unopposed, but McAllister decides to teach Tracy a lesson in humility by introducing some competition into the election, and convinces the popular, but rather dim jock, Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) to run against Tracy. Paul agrees, not because he wants to humiliate Tracy, but because he wants to find a purpose in his life besides sports after a leg injury ends his football career.

Meanwhile, Paul's younger sister Tammy (Jessica Campbell) - who is sexually involved with another girl at the school - is dumped by her lover, Lisa (Frankie Ingrassia), who says that she is straight and was just "experimenting". Lisa quickly becomes Paul's new girlfriend and campaign manager, in part to anger Tammy. Tammy decides to run for president to spite her brother and Lisa with a platform that student government is a sham.

At the speeches, Flick's speech gets only polite applause, while Paul's overwhelming support is dwindled by his terrible rhetorical skills. Tammy's speech is obviously the most successful; her inadvertent slogan "Don't vote for me!" rallies the student body. However, Tammy is suspended for three days because her speech denounced the student government. She and her brother make up.

The competitive, ambitious Tracy is willing to employ any means to win the election. The night before the election, she tries to fix one of her posters that had become detached from a wall, but accidentally destroys the poster completely. In a fit of uncharacteristic rage, she destroys all of Paul's campaign posters. Claiming innocence, she threatens legal action against the school when McAllister attempts to use her affair with his best friend to impeach Tracy's credibility. Tammy then "confesses" she destroyed the posters after witnessing Tracy disposing of the refuse by the town factory, and is transferred to a private parochial school for girls.

Jim is secretly attracted to his best friend's ex-wife, Linda. The day before the school elections, they spontaneously begin to kiss passionately. Linda asks Jim to rent a motel room for a later rendezvous, but when he arrives at her house to pick her up, she isn't there (and he gets a bee sting in the eye which swells humorously throughout the rest of the film). He returns home to find Linda and his wife talking together. Knowing he's been caught, he spends the night in his car. The next morning he oversees the counting of the election ballots at school. During this, he calls Linda several times, professing his love for her. Linda blames the whole affair on him, and his wife kicks him out of the house when he tries to apologize. Jim is forced to move into a low-budget motel.

After all the ballots are counted, Tracy has won by one vote (Paul, who has no ill will towards Tracy and did not want to egotistically vote for himself, had voted for her). McAllister is so angry that he secretly disposes of two of the pro-Tracy ballots, demands a recount, and names Paul as the winner. When a janitor, who McAllister had angered earlier in the film, discovers the two discarded ballots and presents them to the principal in what can be assumed to be an act of revenge, McAllister resigns from his job and becomes a pariah. Divorced and humiliated, he leaves town, becoming a tour guide at a museum in New York City, and winds up meeting a new woman that seems to make him happy. He claims that even if Tracy becomes rich and successful, she'll be miserable because she ruthlessly climbs the ladder of success without any time to truly enjoy it. (several scenes earlier in the film suggest that Tracy has few if any friends at school).

Tracy gets accepted into her first choice college, Georgetown University, though she realizes she has few friends. Paul also gets into his first choice of a state college and continues to live with an optimistic "que sera sera" attitude, even when Lisa breaks up with him. Tammy loves the all-girl Catholic school, where she has met her new girlfriend. Years later, on a visit to Washington, D.C., Jim sees Tracy entering a limo with a congressman from her home state in Nebraska, obviously successful in life. He throws a a soda cup at the car in anger and runs away. The film ends with Jim back in New York, enjoying teaching at the museum but resenting a Type-A elementary student who reminds him of Tracy.

The novel's rights were sold to director Alexander Payne in January 1997. Payne had initially aimed to use Millard North High School in Omaha, but the School Board of Millard found the script too obscene and inappropriate. The setting was then moved to a school in the suburb of Omaha, Papillion-La Vista High School – this is why Papillion-La Vista High School background noise can be heard during much of the film, by actual teachers and students, because filming took place during school terms. According to commentary by Alexander Payne, in the scene where Jim watches pornography in the basement, the basement was left unaltered.

Scenes in the film were shot in and around the Omaha area, including Dundee, West Omaha, Bellevue (American Family Inn, where the sign reads "Welcome Seed Dealers"), Carter Lake, and Papillion (the school scenes). Other scenes were filmed in New York (including the college scene, which was actually filmed at Adelphi University in Long Island) and Washington D.C. Production shut down for about a month when a freak fall snowstorm hit Omaha in October 1997, knocking down trees and power lines.

Payne had become a fan of the bestselling novel by Tom Perrotta on which the film is based. The novel was inspired by two key events. The first was the 1992 Bush vs. Clinton election campaign, in which Ross Perot entered as a third party candidate (a move echoed by Tammy Metzler). The second was an incident at Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in which a pregnant student was elected prom queen, but staff announced a different winner and burned the ballots to cover it up.

For the school assembly scenes, Payne had to use special effects to make the gym look full. As Payne said on the commentary, some students learned that being an extra wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and that left the assembly scene lacking in students. Payne filmed a select group of students sitting in different spots for multiple takes, and then (using digital editing) filled in the blanks to make it look like a packed gym.

Several actors were cast in place of Broderick, Witherspoon, Klein, and Campbell and turned it down because of the high-risk content and creative differences. Most notably, Thora Birch was cast as Tammy Metzler, but left due to creative differences with Alexander Payne. Many of the remaining cast members were scouted on location, including the janitor that appears at the beginning and end of the movie. He is an actual janitor that works for the director's offices in Omaha, Nebraska. He was formerly a janitor at Duchesne Academy. He has since retired.

Also, the casting director of the movie is the football player that appears in the adult movie that McAllister watches. Many local Omaha students and teachers were used in the film for the roles of students and teachers. One in particular was Chris Klein, who would end up becoming a mainstay in Hollywood and star in other movies. Payne found him when he was scouting schools for locations to shoot and a teacher at one of the schools introduced him to Klein. Witherspoon had been acting in moderately well-received films in the early 1990s. Nicholas D'Agosto, who appeared towards the end of the film as committee chairman Larry Fouch, was just a student at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, the same high school Payne attended, when he did this movie. He would go on to college at Marquette University in Milwaukee before moving out to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He now plays the role of West, Claire Bennet's boyfriend, on NBC's Heroes.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand earned the nickname Tracy Flick within the New York Congressional delegation before her January, 2009, appointment, by NY Gov. David Paterson, to the U.S. Senate to fill Hillary Clinton's seat, according to The New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

To the top



Walk the Line

Walk the line poster.jpg

Walk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film, directed by James Mangold and based on the life of country singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Robert Patrick.

The film focuses on Cash's younger life, his romance with June Carter, and his ascent to the country music scene, with material taken from his autobiographies. Walk the Line's production budget is estimated to have been US$28,000,000.

The film previewed at the Telluride Film Festival on September 4, 2005, and went into wide release on November 18. This film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon) and Best Costume Design (Arianne Phillips). Witherspoon won the Oscar for Best Actress, the film's sole Oscar winner.

As of August 22, 2006, the film had grossed a total of $186,438,883 worldwide. On February 28, 2006, a single-disc DVD and a two-disc collector edition DVD were released; these editions sold three million copies on their first day of release. On March 25, 2008 a two-disc 'extended cut' DVD was released for region one. The feature on disc one is 17 minutes longer than the theatrical release, and disc two features eight extended musical sequences with introductions and documentaries about the making of the film.

The film details Johnny Cash's life from his growing up as the son of a cotton picker in Dyess, Arkansas, dealing with the death of his brother, his drug addiction, subsequent rescue by future wife June Carter, and his famous concert at Folsom State Prison.

In the next scene, it's 1944 and Cash is a boy. (His legal name was "J. R. Cash", as he did not adopt the name "John" until entering the Air Force.) He and his brother Jack are listening to the radio; the 15-year-old June Carter is singing.

In 1952, J.R. joins the United States Air Force and is posted to Germany. He seems not to enjoy his time there, but finds solace in playing a guitar he buys and writing songs - one of which will become "Folsom Prison Blues," inspired by a B-movie shown to the troops, Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison. Following his discharge, he marries his girlfriend Vivian Liberto.

In 1955, Vivian and John (as he is now generally known) live in Memphis in relative poverty while John works as a door-to-door salesman to support his growing family (Cash's eldest daughter Rosanne is an infant, and Vivian mentions "another one on the way"). One day, he walks past a recording studio and has an inspiration to organize a band (made up of guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant, whom his wife describes as "two mechanics who can't hardly play") to play gospel music.

Cash's band auditions for Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. As they play a pedestrian gospel song ("I Was There When It Happened"), Phillips interrupts and asks Cash to play a song that he really feels. Although his bandmates do not know the tune, he strikes up "Folsom Prison Blues." Cash begins the song hesitantly in the style of a slow, mournful blues tune, the way that he originally wrote it. However, as the song progresses and Cash gains confidence, the song picks up and the familiar "freight train" rhythm begins to assert itself as he picks up the tempo. Everyone in the room brightens as they realize that Cash now has something good and potentially marketable. The performance results in a contract, in fulfilment of which Cash begins touring in 1955 (as Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two) with other young Sun artists. Among those he meets on the tour - along with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins (no relation to Luther Perkins), Waylon Jennings and Elvis Presley - is June Carter, who performs as both a singer (although she claims to have no talent) and a comedienne.

Cash's career goes from strength to strength, and he finds himself spending more time with June, who divorces her husband at this time. After his romantic intentions are rebuffed one night in rural Texas in 1956, Cash is offered drugs and alcohol and soon begins to behave erratically.

In 1964, the still addicted Cash (his father tells him that he would do well to start "sleeping at night...or eating...or both") takes his wife to an awards program which June also attends. Despite his wife's objections to the level of interest he is paying her, Cash persuades June (who is divorcing her second husband, a stock car driver) to come out of semi-retirement and tour with him.

The tour is a great success (June is shown performing "Wildwood Flower" solo, and, with Cash, the hits "Jackson" and "It Ain't Me Babe"), but backstage Cash's wife is critical of June's influence. After one Las Vegas performance in 1965, Cash and June sleep together in her hotel room. The next morning, as June is on the phone with one of her daughters, she notices Cash taking several pills and begins to doubt the wisdom of continuing the previous night's relationship. At that evening's concert, Cash, upset by Carter's apparent rejection, is incoherent during his customary "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash" opening, forgets the lyrics to the song "I Got Stripes," loses control of the microphone stand, kicks out the footlights, and ultimately passes out. The remainder of the tour is cancelled. The distraught June disposes of Cash's drugs and begins to write "Ring of Fire", describing her feelings for Cash and her pain at watching him descend into addiction.

On his way home, Cash travels to Mexico to purchase more drugs and is busted in El Paso, Texas. Vivian is not pleased, however, and between his substance abuse and her awareness of his interest in June, the tensions in Cash's marriage rise when he tries to put up "pictures of my band" (most of which seem to be of June) at home over his wife's objections. After a final violent dispute, the pair separate and Cash moves to Nashville, where he shares living quarters with Waylon Jennings (played by Jennings' son Shooter) in 1966.

Cash tries to reconcile with June, which involves a long walk to her house (his car is in the shop and he has no cash to reclaim it). He is sent on his way, with June informing him that she misses her "old friend John" and doesn't like "this new guy, Cash." On the way back he collapses in the rain. After coming round the next day he sees a large house near a lake in Hendersonville, Tennessee and promptly buys it. His parents, and the extended Carter family (June, her daughters and her parents, Maybelle and Ezra) arrive for Thanksgiving, at which time the ever-critical Cash Sr. dismisses Cash's achievements and behavior, citing as an example of Cash's carelessness an expensive tractor stuck in the mud in view of the house. After a tense meal, Cash decides to prove his father wrong by freeing the tractor. June and her family watch in concern as Cash struggles with the machine; June's mother, apparently aware of her daughter's true feelings toward Cash, encourages her to go help him, because "he's mixed up." June at first refuses, but runs to Cash's aid when the tractor, in reverse, goes into the lake. Under the influence of the Carters (which extends to June's parents, shotguns in hand, chasing away Cash's drug dealer). After a long detox period, June sits with Cash. He wakes up and she gives him some fresh fruit. He then tells her that she's "an angel". June denies it, telling him that she's made mistakes as well. Cash says he's nothing. June says that he's not nothing. That this is his second chance. Cash cries in June's arms. After that revelation Cash cleans himself up.

Stabilized, Cash notices in fan mail that many of his fans are prisoners, dresses in his customary black, visits his recording company (now Columbia Records) and makes a proposal to record an album live inside Folsom Prison. His record company is doubtful, arguing that the musical world has changed in the time Cash was rehabilitating, but he says bluntly that he will perform on a given date and the label can use the tapes if they think the music is any good.

At the Folsom Prison concert Cash tells how he always admired prisoners, explaining that his brief prison stay after his drug bust really made him "feel like I'd seen a thing or two, you know?" But, he continues, he now realizes his experiences really can't compare because "I ain't never had to drink this yellow water you got here at Folsom!" Performing "Cocaine Blues" to great acclaim from the prisoners, the concert is a great success, and Cash embarks on a tour with June and his old band.

The scene changes to a tour bus in the dead of night - still 1968. Cash, disturbed by "bad dreams...memories," goes to see June in the back of the bus. (On his way he removes a cigarette from the mouth of a sleeping Luther Perkins, who in real life died around this time when his house caught fire; in his biography Cash said he believed Luther Perkins' house fire was caused by a cigarette.) Waking June at 2 AM, he proposes to her, but she turns him down. Cash tells her that that was the last time; June tersely replies, "Good." and that she doesn't like "re-runs". At the concert, June tells Cash that he is allowed to speak to her only on stage.

June tearfully agrees, and after a long embrace the scene fades to the deck of Cash's home in Hendersonville. Cash watches his father interact with his newest daughters Rosie and Carlene. He jokes with his father, their tense relationship having apparently begun to heal. The final shot shows Cash continuing down the stairs to the pier, looking up, and meeting June's eyes where she is fishing with her father. They look at each other and Cash smiles and the frame freezes; the scene then changes to footage of the couple performing together, with brief biographical information about Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash superimposed over it.

Walk the Line was released on November 18, 2005 in 2,961 theaters, grossing USD $22.3 million on its opening weekend. The film went on to make $119.5 million in North America and $66.9 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $186.4 million, well above its $28 million budget.

Critics generally responded with positive reviews, garnering an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, almost exactly the same score received by Ray, a biopic about Ray Charles, to which the film is often compared. Walk the Line also received a 72 metascore from Metacritic.

Phoenix's performance inspired notable film critic Roger Ebert to write, "Knowing Johnny Cash's albums more or less by heart, I closed my eyes to focus on the soundtrack and decided that, yes, that was the voice of Johnny Cash I was listening to. The closing credits make it clear it's Joaquin Phoenix doing the singing, and I was gob-smacked". In her review for the Los Angeles Times, Carina Chocano wrote, "Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon do first-rate work — they sing, they twang, they play new-to-them instruments, they crackle with wit and charisma, and they give off so much sexual heat it's a wonder they don't burst into flames". A.O. Scott, in his review for the New York Times, had problems with Phoenix's performance: "Even though his singing voice doesn't match the original - how could it? - he is most convincing in concert, when his shoulders tighten and he cocks his head to one side. Otherwise, he seems stuck in the kind of off-the-rack psychological straitjacket in which Hollywood likes to confine troubled geniuses". In his review for Time, Richard Corliss wrote, "A lot of credit for Phoenix's performance has to go to Mangold, who has always been good at finding the bleak melodrama in taciturn souls ... If Mangold's new movie has a problem, it's that he and co-screenwriter Gill Dennis sometimes walk the lines of the inspirational biography too rigorously".

Andrew Sarris, in his review for The New York Observer praised Witherspoon for her "spine-tingling feistiness", and wrote, "This feat has belatedly placed it (in my mind, at least) among a mere handful of more-than-Oscar-worthy performances this year". Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B+" rating and Owen Gleiberman wrote, "while Witherspoon, a fine singer herself, makes Carter immensely likable, a fountain of warmth and cheer, given how sweetly she meshes with Phoenix her romantic reticence isn't really filled in". Baltimore Sun reviewer Michael Sragow wrote, "What Phoenix and Witherspoon accomplish in this movie is transcendent. They act with every bone and inch of flesh and facial plane, and each tone and waver of their voice. They do their own singing with a startling mastery of country music's narrative musicianship". In his review for Sight and Sound, Mark Kermode wrote, "Standing ovations, too, for Witherspoon, who has perhaps the tougher task of lending depth and darkness to the role of June, whose frighteningly chipper stage act - a musical-comedy hybrid - constantly courts (but never marries) mockery".

However, the Cashs' daughter, Rosanne Cash was quite critical of the film. She saw a rough edit and described the experience like "having a root canal without anaesthetic" and was instrumental in having the filmmakers remove two scenes that were not flattering to her mother. Furthermore, she said, "The movie was painful. The three of them were not recognisable to me as my parents in any way. But the scenes were recognisable, and the storyline, so the whole thing was fraught with sadness because they all had just died, and I had this resistance to seeing the screen version of my childhood".

Film critic Andrew Sarris ranked Walk the Line #7 in top films of 2005 and cited Reese Witherspoon as the best female performance of the year. Witherspoon was also voted Favorite Leading Lady at the 2006 People's Choice Awards. In addition, David Ansen of Newsweek ranked Witherspoon as one of the five best actresses of 2005.

To the top



Four Christmases

Four Christmases-Movie Poster.PNG

Four Christmases (Four Holidays in Australia and New Zealand, Anywhere But Home in the Netherlands, Norway, United Arab Emirates and in South Africa) is a Christmas-themed romantic comedy film about a couple who go to see all four of their divorced parents in one day. The film is produced by Spyglass Entertainment released by New Line Cinema on November 26, 2008, the day before Thanksgiving, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It stars Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon as a San Francisco, California, couple pressured into visiting all four of their divorced parents' homes on Christmas Day. Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, and Robert Duvall co-star. The film is director Seth Gordon's first studio feature film.

No one enjoys the holidays more than Orlando "Brad" McVie (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon). Every December 25th, this happily unmarried, upscale San Francisco couple embark on a holiday tradition they have shared every year since they met - ditching their crazy families for a relaxing, fun-filled vacation in some sunny exotic locale. There, sipping margaritas by the pool, they toast the season, knowing they once again avoided the chaos and emotional fallout of their four respective households: divorced parents, squabbling siblings, out-of-control kids and all the simmering resentments and awkward moments that are the hallmarks of every family Christmas. But not in Christmas 2006. Shorts and sunglasses packed, Brad and Kate are trapped at the San Francisco airport by a fogbank that cancels every outbound flight. Worse yet, they are caught on camera by a local news crew, revealing their whereabouts to the whole city... and to their families.

With no escape and no excuses, they are now expected home by Brad's father (Robert Duvall) and Kate's mother (Mary Steenburgen), as well as Brad's mother (Sissy Spacek) and Kate's father (Jon Voight), thereby celebrating four Christmases in one day. As they brace themselves for a marathon of homecomings, Brad and Kate expect the worst-and that's exactly what they get. But as Brad counts down the minutes to their freedom, Kate surprisingly finds herself tuned to the ticking of a different clock. At the end of the day, each will gain a new perspective on where they came from... and where they're going. Getting to know themselves and each other as they really are could finally give them a chance at the kind of love they've only been playing at. Kate decides she would like to someday start a family, scaring Brad away. Brad eventually comes back to Kate, surprising her at her door with the line "If we're going to have one, we must have two, so they can play together," as he realises how empty his life is and how much he loves Kate.

A year later on New Year's Day 2008, the couple welcomes their first born child in a hospital: a baby girl. They attempted to keep the child's birth a secret from their families, but once again they were caught on camera by a local news crew who was covering the first birth of the new year thereby revealing the arrival of the child to the city...and to their families.

One of the film's executive producers, Peter Billingsley, who had a starring role as Ralphie in the 1983 film A Christmas Story, has a credited role as an airline ticket-counter person.

The film began production in December 2007, during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, which meant that no changes could be made to the script. During production New Line Cinema became a "unit of Warner Bros.", which put the film's completion at risk.

The film received generally negative to mixed reviews from critics. The film earned a "Rotten" rating of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 111 reviews. Metacritic gave the film a 41/100 approval rating, indicating "mixed or average reviews", based on 27 reviews.

The Hollywood Reporter called the film "one of the most joyless Christmas movies ever" with "an unearned feel-good ending adds insult to injury"; it criticized the film's script for "situat Hollywood clichés about Southern rednecks incongruously within the tony Bay Area." Variety magazine called it an "oddly misanthropic, occasionally amusing but thoroughly cheerless holiday attraction that is in no way a family film." The Associated Press said the film "began with some promise" then segued into "noisy joylessness sets the tone for the whole movie"; the review noted that "Vaughn makes the movie tolerable here and there, but this kind of slapsticky physical comedy doesn't suit Witherspoon at all." Frank Lovece of Film Journal International found "no core to their characters. They just embody whatever plot machination the movie needs at any given moment", and that, "Every predictable Christmas-comedy trope gets dragged out like the string of electric lights that is pulled from the wall to whipsaw through the living room". Roger Ebert gave the film a meagre two stars, and told his interview in the style of a conversation between a filmmaker and his boss, whereby he derided the films alleged lack of humour or narrative sense.

On its opening day, a Wednesday, it ranked #2 at the box office with $6.1 million, behind the previous week's new release blockbuster Twilight. It then went on to take the top spot each successive day from Thursday to Sunday, earning $46.1 million and ranking #1 over the entire extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In its second weekend, Four Christmases held on to the #1 spot, taking in another $18.1 million.

As of January 8th, the film has grossed $118.6 million domestically and $154.9 million worldwide.

The motion picture soundtrack of the movie is available to download from Amazon or iTunes. It was released on November 25, 2008 by New Line Records. No compact disc version is available at any retail location.

To the top



Rendition (film)

Renditionposter.jpg

Rendition is a 2007 drama film directed by Gavin Hood and starring Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Omar Metwally. It centers on the controversial CIA practice of extraordinary rendition, and is based on the true story of Khalid El-Masri who was mistaken for Khalid al-Masri. The movie also has similarities to the case of Maher Arar.

CIA analyst Douglas Freeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) is briefing his boss in a square in North Africa when a suicide attack kills his boss and 18 other people. The target was an interrogator and torturer at a nearby prison, Abasi Fawal (Yigal Naor), but he is unharmed.

Egyptian-born Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), a chemical engineer who lives in Chicago with his pregnant wife Isabella (Reese Witherspoon) and their young son, is linked to a violent organization by telephone records indicating known terrorist Rashid placed several calls to Anwar's cell phone. While returning to the United States from a conference in South Africa, he is detained by American officials and sent to a secret detention facility near the location of the suicide attack depicted earlier, where he is interrogated and tortured. Isabella is not informed.

For lack of more experienced staff, Freeman is assigned the task of observing the interrogation of Anwar, whose interrogator is none other than Fawal. After Freeman briefly questions and tortures Anwar himself, he is convinced of Anwar's innocence. However, his boss, Corrine Whitman (Meryl Streep) insists that the detention continue, justifying such treatments as necessary to save thousands from becoming victims of terrorism.

Growing worried, Isabella travels to Washington, where she meets up with an old friend, Alan Smith (Peter Sarsgaard) who now works as an aide to Senator Hawkins (Alan Arkin), and begs him to find out what has happened to her husband. Smith slowly pieces together details of Anwar's detention. He is unable to convince the senator, nor Corrine Whitman, who had ordered the rendition to give proper details of the detention, nor to release him. He advises Isabella to get another lawyer on the case, but she refuses. Upon hearing the confrontation from her office, his sympathetic secretary quietly tips Isabella off on when Whitman will be next in the office. The next day, Isabella confronts Whitman, but she refuses to answer any questions.

Without the consent of his superiors, and not caring what happens to him, Freeman gets a warrant for Anwar's release and sends him back to America via a clandestine ship to Spain. Freeman, angered by the injustice Anwar has suffered from, then leaks the details of Anwar's detention to the American press. The story is then found in the newspapers the following day by Corrine Whitman, much to her horror.

Another story line is shown in parallel: Abasi's daughter Fatima (Zineb Oukach), has run away from home with her boyfriend Khalid (Moa Khouas). Khalid shows Fatima a picture of his brother, but does not tell her what has happened to him. Abasi is told that Khalid's brother was an inmate at his prison and later died. Fatima is unaware that Khalid is a member of a terrorist group until his friends are arrested at a planned march and he leads her to the terrorist group's base. Near the end of the movie, Fatima discovers a notebook that contains pictures of Khalid and his brother together, showing that they were extremely close, as well as a picture of the two brandishing AK-47 machine guns, then some pictures of a grief-stricken Khalid standing over the body of his brother, some pictures of her father and finally a statement saying that Khalid is doing a deed in revenge for his brother's death. Realising that Khalid's brother met his death at the hands of her father and that Khalid is about to assassinate him, she runs off. It is then revealed that the entire storyline took place before the suicide attack. At the town square Fatima begs him not to do it, arguing that the target is her father. After removing the pin of his detonator he hesitates, and is therefore killed by the organizers of the attack. As a result he releases the handle of the detonator, and the bomb explodes, killing Fatima also. In the present, Abasi rushes to Khalid's apartment and discovers his grandmother, who is stricken with grief over the loss of both her grandchildren and Fatima. Abasi then realises that his daughter died trying to protect him and is filled with grief himself.

The record of a phone call supposedly made by Rashid to Anwar is not explained in the film. However, earlier it was mentioned that phones are sometimes passed on from one person to another (the DVD extras explain that there was a subplot dropped from the film that elaborated on this concept). Yet despite this reasonable doubt the CIA officials refused to release him. It turned out that in South Africa, while Anwar's phone was off, there had been a call to it from an unknown person.

For the scenes of Abasi's private life it is not always clear to which storyline they belong, that before or after the explosion. Abasi learns about Fatima's death only a week later.

Reviews for Rendition were mixed. At Rotten Tomatoes, it achieved a 48% Tomatometer from 145 reviews. And based on 34 reviews, the film averaged a score of 55 at Metacritic. Roger Ebert awarded the film four stars out of four, saying that, "Rendition is valuable and rare. As I wrote from Toronto: 'It is a movie about the theory and practice of two things: torture and personal responsibility. And it is wise about what is right, and what is wrong.'" In contrast, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone applauded the cast, but noted that the film was a "bust as a persuasive drama". Travers declared the film the year's Worst Anti-War Film on his list of the Worst Movies of 2007.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia