Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Last chance at Oscar glory!

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oscarWith little time left until Hollywood’s big show, this could be your last chance to put in your picks on all those Oscars.

Will “Slumdog Millionaire” take home the Golden Boy for best movie, as is widely expected?

Can Mickey Rourke wrestle the best actor Academy Award away from Sean Penn, or might veteran Frank Langella slip in with a victory? And what happened to Brad Pitt?

Does veteran Meryl Streep have the clout to overpower British sweetheart Kate Winslet for best actress. Weigh-in now.

High hopes for Hugh at Sunday’s Oscars

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The choice of Hugh Jackman to host the Oscars on Sunday has generated plenty of talk, because he is no comedian and Hollywood is wondering how a song-and-dance man like Jackman will fare at the high-pressure job, which usually goes to funny men and women such as Billy Crystal, Jon Stewart or Whoopi Goldberg.hugh-jackman1

But average folks on the Web think the Australian actor will do just fine. In a poll on celebrity news site PopEater.com, 85 percent of respondents think he will do either “great” or “OK”. Only 15 percent of the 31,000 respondents expect Jackman will be “terrible” at hosting the Oscars.

Oscar goes to the dogs?

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FILM-VENICE/

Mickey Rourke has been vocal in recent weeks about his affection for his dogs, and he must be devastated by the death of his Chihuahua Loki.

Celebrities don’t usually bring their dogs along to the leading red carpets of the world but when they do — as Rourke did at the Venice film festival last year — their choices of breed can be surprising.  Who, for instance would have matched Rourke, with his background in boxing, with a tiny Chihuahua?

Is a show of “risks” enough to save the Oscars?

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Oscar organizers are promising a show filled with “risks” by changing the old formula of a comedianrourke4 telling jokes and film award winners getting all teary when they accept the world’s top film honors. But will ”risk” be enough.

Stung by competition from other awards shows and simply more channels on TV, the Oscars in recent years have seen an almost steady decline in viewership to 32 million last year — the lowest audience ever — from 39.9 million in 2007.

Mickey Rourke?! Too old for me, Evan Rachel Wood says

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SAGAWARDS/Mickey Rourke has been feeling a whole lotta Hollywood love recently — but his “Wrestler” co-star Evan Rachel Wood wants to make clear that none of it, physically, is coming from her.

Rumors that Wood, 21, and Rourke, 52,  were involved in a romantic relationship were fueled by reports that they were seen kissing at a Screen Actors Guild awards party in Los Angeles at the weekend.

Mickey Rourke stays outside WrestleMania ring — for now.

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rourke3(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

“The Wrestler” star Mickey Rourke appeared to back off an earlier boast that he would enter the ring against pro wrestler Chris Jericho, when the two appeared together Tuesday night on the CNN interview show “Larry King Live.”
    
But World Wrestling Entertainment, the company presenting WrestleMania XXV in Houston on April 5, said on Wednesday that Rourke is still in talks to possibly join the bout.
    
If Rourke is planning to make an appearance, it would be hard to judge from his exchange with Jericho on “Larry King.” Jericho said that Rourke made “a mistake” on the red carpet at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards when the actor announced he would take on Jericho at WrestleMania.

“If he got his wish and had a confrontation with me at WrestleMania, I think the ending of the Jericho-Rourke movie would not turn out very well for Mr. Rourke, as it did in ‘The Wrestler,’” Jericho said.
    
Rourke responded by appearing to back off his red carpet trash talk against Jericho, without mentioning the episode. ”Perhaps I did put my foot in my mouth,” he said.
    
When Larry King asked Rourke if he will wrestle Jericho, Rourke said no. ”It’s not my world, I was a professional fighter. Would I box him in a boxing ring or a bare-knuckle match? Yeah,” Rourke said. “Wrestling? That’s his world, that’s what this man does.”

“Wrestler” Mickey Rourke jumps into the ring — for real

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(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)SAGAWARDS/

Actor Mickey Rourke has turned himself into one of Hollywood’s comeback kings with an Oscar-nominated performance in “The Wrestler.” Now, the actor is planning to take on opponents larger and tougher than movie critics — he wants to fight in World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania match in Houston on April 5. 
    
Rourke made the announcement on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday night. The news was reported by SAGAWARDS/celebrity news outlets Access Hollywood and E! News. Rourke even fit in a bash against pro wrestler Chris Jericho, telling a reporter that he “better get in shape.” 
    
Rourke was stuck in the Hollywood wilderness for years because of on-set troubles and run-ins with the law. He gave a salty acceptance speech when he won a best actor award for “The Wrestler” at the Golden Globes on Jan. 11, and it’s clear that being back in the limelight has not taken the edge off Rourke. The question is: how will he fare in the ring? He is, after all, just an actor.

Golden Globes: raised finger gets thumbs down

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USA/(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

 When a camera caught “The Wrestler” director Darren Aronofsky jokingly making an obscene gesture on the Golden Globes telecast on NBC, as the star of his movie ribbed him from on-stage, viewers on the East Coast of the United States saw it live.
    
The Parents Television Council saw it too, and now they’re seeing red.
    
Tim Winter, president of the council, said in a statement that the middle finger given by Aronofsky to actor Mickey Rourke is “yet another example of arrogant behavior by some who seem intoxicated by being controversial, rather than eager to celebrate with the viewing audience some of the best artistic performances of the year.”
    
NBC declined to comment on the PTC criticism, and a representative for Aronofsky was not immediately available.
    
During the Sunday night broadcast, viewers on the West Coast did not see Aronofsky’s gesture because the telecast was blacked out for those two seconds. NBC could black out that portion of the show for West Coast viewers because for them it was playing on a tape delay, unlike on the East Coast GOLDENGLOBES/where it was carried live.
    
In another controversial moment on the show, “Slumdog Millionaire” producer Christian Colson said an obscenity on stage at the end of his acceptance speech, but the audio was dropped and viewers did not hear it.
    
Winter credited NBC with eliminating some of the graphic profanity from the show. But he also said that, given the show’s content, it should not have had a rating designating the program safe for children.

Toronto talks Oscar, but do movie fans listen?

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hathaway.jpgA lot of buzz at the Toronto film festival inevitably is about which movies may compete for Oscars as Hollywood begins its months-long campaign for film honors that often — although not always — bring stars fame and movie studios money.

Taken together with film festivals in Venice and Telluride, Colorado, which annually occur in late August and early September, the Toronto event is a key Oscar campaign launch site. But sometimes the movies suffer a critical backlash if they are too widely hyped. Other times critics jump on a movie’s bandwagon and propel the film forward.

Rourke’s Venice success shows we love a comeback

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rourke.jpgIf we are honest, most of us would admit that we derive a certain pleasure from seeing someone famous fall from their perch, be it with a critical flop, a personal problem or a bout of odd behaviour in public.

How refreshing, then, to see the world-weary entertainment press genuinely rejoicing in Mickey Rourke’s comeback in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler”, which won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice festival over the weekend. There were no snide asides among reporters as we waited in a hotel lounge by the Adriatic Sea to interview the 51-year-old. Noone complained about where they would rather be or how their head was still reeling from the night before (it was mid-morning).

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