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ベルリン映画祭を振り返る 新鋭才能 大きく開花 金熊賞に31歳ズバニッチ作品 (朝日 2006/02/21朝刊文化面)より
Bosnian drama 'Grbavica' wins Berlin's Golden Bear
Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:22 PM ET
By Scott Roxborough
BERLIN (Hollywood Reporter) - "Grbavica," an emotional tale of war and rape and their consequences from first-time Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic, won the Golden Bear for best film at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday.
"Grbavica," which left festival audiences applauding and in tears after its gala premiere, tells the story of a victim of the infamous Bosnia war "rape camps" who is forced to confess her past to her 14-year-old daughter, the product of the violation.
The film was a surprise winner at Saturday night's Berlinale gala, beating higher-profile competition entries such as Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross' "The Road to Guantanamo" and Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion."
"I will be very calm because I know this is a dream and in five minutes I will wake up in Sarajevo," Zbanic said as she hoisted her golden statuette. She invited the entire "Grbavica" cast and crew on stage before adding a more somber note.
"I want to use this opportunity to remind us all that though the war in Bosnia was over some 13 years ago, war criminals still live in Europe freely," said Zbanic. "They've not been captured for organizing the rape of 20,000 women in Bosnia, killing 100,000 and for the expulsion of a million. This is Europe, and no one is interested in capturing them. I hope this film will help change your view on Bosnia."
"Grbavica " wasn't the only political film to win over the 2006 Berlin Jury. "Offside," a crowd-pleasing comic drama from Iranian director Jafar Panahi about girls in Tehran who defy that country's sex-separation laws by sneaking into soccer matches, won the Silver Bear Jury Grand Prix, a prize it shared with Danish melodrama "A Soap."
The decision to award joint Silver Bears to a Danish and an Iranian film can be seen as a political statement from this year's jury and its president, actress Charlotte Rampling. European newscasts continue to feature coverage of protests by groups of Muslims in the Middle East and Asia who are outraged over controversial Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
DIRECTING NOD TO 'GUANTANAMO'
"The Road To Guantanamo," perhaps the most politically explosive film of this year's Berlin Festival, had been tipped for the top prize, but the docudrama about three British Muslims falsely imprisoned by the U.S. had to settle for the Silver Bear for best director.
In one of the evening's most emotional moments, Winterbottom invited the former Guantanamo prisoners, the so-called Tripton Three, onto the stage to share the honor.
But the award for most emotional acceptance speech at this Berlin gala would have to go to "A Soap" director Pernille Fischer Christensen, who won the inaugural prize for best first feature in addition to the Jury Grand Prix
"Please don't make me come up here again," said the tiny, teary-eyed Christensen on her second tip to the podium. "I am so happy, I'm so surprised." The first-time director said she was amazed that a film made for less than $1 million could find such success.
Also surprising were the Berlinale acting awards, which proved a clean sweep for local talent.
"It's heavy," joked Sandra Hueller as she hefted the best actress Silver Bear she won for her harrowing performance as a girl perhaps possessed by demons in "Requiem."
The film, from director Hans-Christian Schmid, also won the European film critics' prize, the Fipresci.
Moritz Bleibtreu won the best actor Silver Bear for his starring role in Oskar Roehler's "The Elementary Particles," in which he plays a sex-addicted man looking for love. An almost manic Bleibtreu thanked everyone from his "brave, adventurous" director to the doormen who let him into the gala.
Juergen Vogel made it a triple play for German actors when he won a special Silver Bear for his artistic contribution in producing, co-writing and starring in Matthias Glasner's bleak portrayal of a serial rapist, "The Free Will."
"I think we are noticing a new power coming out of Germany, there is more courage to make different, independent films," Vogel said at a press conference after the award ceremony.
The Hong Kong drama "Isabella," one of the few Asian films in competition at this year's Berlinale, won the Silver Bear for best film music. The Alfred Bauer Prize, named for the festival's founder, went to "El Custodio" from Argentine director Rodrigo Moreno.
The winners of the 56th Berlin International Film Festival were announced at a gala ceremony at the Berlinale Palast on Saturday night. The ceremony was broadcast live in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on pubweb 3Sat.
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 19 February 2006 0629 hrs
Bosnian rape drama 'Grbavica' wins Berlin's Golden Bear top prize - AFP
BERLIN - Bosnian drama "Grbavica" about the plight of the thousands of women raped during the Balkan wars won the Golden Bear prize for best picture at the 56th Berlin Film Festival Saturday.
British actress Charlotte Rampling, the president of the festival's jury, presented the award to director Jasmila Zbanic at a gala ceremony in the German capital after a competition dominated by politically charged themes.
"I just want to use this opportunity to remind us all that the war in Bosnia was over some 13 years ago and the war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic still live in Europe freely," said Zbanic, 31, referring to the former Bosnian Serb leader and his army chief.
"They (have not) been captured for organizing the rape of 20,000 women in Bosnia, killing 100,000 people and expelling from their houses one million. Nobody is interested to capture them."
"Grbavica", which Zbanic described as a "small film from a small country with a small budget", tells the story of the fraught relationship between an assaulted woman and the rebellious daughter she raises alone in Sarajevo without knowing which of her rapists was the father.
The picture, named after a Sarajevo suburb, was Zbanic's first feature after several documentaries and she said she hoped it would change the lives of the women it honours.
The festival's Silver Bear for directing went to British filmmakers Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross for "The Road to Guantanamo", which tells the true story of three British Muslims who were held at the US prison camp in Cuba for more than two years before being released without charge.
"There's really only three people that should get any prize because of this film and that's the three people whose story it was," Winterbottom said, before calling Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Ruhel Ahmed to the stage for a lengthy round of applause.
The Jury Grand Prix award, a runner-up prize, went to the Danish film "A Soap" about the love affair between a woman and a transsexual, and the Iranian soccer comedy "Offside".
Pernille Fischer Christensen, the director of "A Soap", also accepted a new prize for best feature film debut.
"It has taken me a very long time to come to produce my first feature," she said. "Thank you very much everybody for embracing me with your love for cinema."
Iranian director Jafar Panahi said he hoped his film, which depicts a group of girls who disguise themselves as boys to illicitly attend a soccer match, would make it past the censors in the Islamic republic.
"I have one wish: to take this movie home and have it seen by as many people as possible," he said.
Two German stars picked up the Silver Bears for acting, in a strong year for homegrown film at the international festival.
Sandra Hueller won the best actress nod for her harrowing portrayal in the true story of a epileptic girl who died in 1970s Germany after an exorcism.
"What you see in the film looks awful but I can say the process of filming the movie was a pleasure," Hueller said.
Moritz Bleibtreu, star of the film "The Elementary Particles", won the best actor prize for his performance as a sex-addict teacher in the German adaptation of the international bestseller by French literary bad boy Michel Houellebecq.
"I'd like to thank Oskar Roehler for making such a courageous film," said Bleibtreu, best known internationally for his appearance in "Run Lola Run", of the racy feature.
The Berlinale also presented two honorary Golden Bear awards during its 11-day run, to British actor Ian McKellen (the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) and Polish director Andrzej Wayda ("Ashes and Diamonds"), for their life's work.
The festival, which ranks with Cannes and Venice among the top European film festivals, featured a total of 360 pictures from 56 countries and hosted some 18,000 guests.
It will wrap up Sunday with screenings of a restored copy of Sam Peckinpah's 1972 Western "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" and popular films from the competition.
Herewith are the winners of the main prizes awarded Saturday at the 56th Berlin Film Festival.
Golden Bear for best film: "Grbavica" by Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia-Herzogovina)
Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear: "A Soap" by Pernille Fischer Christensen (Denmark) and "Offside" by Jafar Panahi (Iran)
Silver Bear for best actress: Sandra Hueller in "Requiem" (Germany)
Silver Bear for best actor: Moritz Bleibtreu in "The Elementary Particles" (Germany)
Silver Bear for best director: Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross for "The Road to Guantanamo" (Britain)
Silver Bear for outstanding artistic contribution: Juergen Vogel for "The Free Will" (Germany)
Silver Bear for best film music: Peter Kam for "Isabella" (China)
Alfred Bauer Prize for work of particular innovation: "The Minder" by Rodrigo Moreno (Argentina)
Best first feature film: "A Soap" by Pernille Fischer Christensen (Denmark)
Teddy for best film with gay or lesbian context: "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros" by Auraeus Solito (Philippines)
- AFP /ls
Berlin Festival Honors Bosnian Film About War, Rape (Update1)
(The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Bloomberg.)
By Catherine Hickley
Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- A Bosnian drama about war and rape won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, with movies on political themes, including the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay and the plight of women in Iran, also scooping up awards.
``Grbavica,'' directed by Jasmila Zbanic, was awarded the Golden Bear for best film. It tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who has been told by her mother that her father died a hero's death in the war against Serbia. When doubts arise through events at her school, she confronts her mother and finds out she is the product of a rape in a prisoner-of-war camp.
``The truth is not yet fully revealed'' about the war in Bosnia, Zbanic said after the awards ceremony. ``I don't see any future in Bosnia until the truth is out. We had a cathartic experience making the film. This kind of communication helps.''
The eight-person international jury, headed by British actress Charlotte Rampling, awarded the Grand Jury runner-up prize to Iranian director Jafar Panahi's ``Offside,'' a comedy about women who disguise themselves as men to gain admittance to Tehran's soccer stadium, the preserve of men, to watch a World Cup qualifying match, only to be confronted by guards.
First-time Danish director Pernille Fischer Christensen picked up two prizes for ``En Soap'' (``A Soap''), about a beautician who falls in love with Veronica, a man who has applied for a sex-change operation. Fischer Christensen won the prize for best first film and a Silver Bear runner-up award.
Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross won Silver Bear awards for best director for ``The Road to Guantanamo,'' a dramatized account of three British Muslims imprisoned at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Winterbottom said he is trying to raise public awareness of Guantanamo, a military prison where as many as 500 detainees have been held for as long as four years, most without charges.
``I think the most shocking thing about this film is that Guantanamo exists,'' Winterbottom said after the ceremony.
A Silver Bear was also awarded to Moritz Bleibtreu for best actor in ``Elementarteilchen'' (``The Elementary Particles''), a German film based on the novel of the same name by Michel Houellebecq. Bleibtreu plays Bruno, a sex-obsessed high-school teacher who suffers a mental breakdown.
Epilepsy and Exorcism
Sandra Hueller won a Silver Bear for best actress for her role in ``Requiem,'' a German film directed by Hans-Christian Schmid. She plays Michaela, a 21-year-old woman suffering from epilepsy, whose strict Catholic background leads her to believe she is possessed and agree to undergo an exorcism ritual.
The prize for the best artistic contribution went to Juergen Vogel, the producer, co-writer and lead actor of ``Der Freie Wille'' (``The Free Will''), a German rape drama.
The Silver Bear for the best score went to Peter Kam for the music to ``Isabella,'' the story of a Chinese police officer whose daily routine is turned upside down by the appearance of a daughter he never knew he had.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Catherine Hickley in Berlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: February 18, 2006 16:21 EST
Dreary lives take center stage in 'Soap'
Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:59 PM ET
By Kirk Honeycutt
BERLIN (Hollywood Reporter) -- In "A Soap," the characters watch American soap operas, and you envy them because the movie you're watching is appallingly dreary. This two-hander is about a sometimes awkward, sometimes compassionate relationship between a self-loathing transsexual and her downstairs neighbor, a confused woman looking for love in all the wrong places.
The movie strands you in two miserable flats with these cliche-ridden characters and a static love story that is as predictable as it is pedestrian. Unaccountably selected for competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, "A Soap" is not likely to travel far from its native Denmark.
Trine Dyrholm plays Charlotte, a thirtysomething blonde who moves out of her doctor-boyfriend's place for vague reasons. When she knocks on a neighbor's door for help in moving a bed, she meets Veronica (David Dencik), a man transitioning to a woman. The two don't get along well at first, but Veronica's suicide attempt a few nights later does bring them closer together. Each still maintains a wary distance, however.
Men shuffle in and out of both flats, as sex customers for Veronica and unsatisfying one-night stands for Charlotte. Charlotte's ex (Frank Thiel) shows up every so often to plead/berate for her return. She must get some kick out of it because she always lets him in. One night he drunkenly smacks her, so Veronica hurries downstairs to smack him back. That's what girlfriends are for.
These two characters are in such depressing, dead-end situations that they are clearly meant for each other in a way that only a truly bad movie will allow.
Pernille Fischer Christensen's repetitive, unenlightening direction of Kim Fupz Aakeson's tissue-thin script brings the pace to a crawl. Then every so often the movie stops for a narrator to go back over a few details that perhaps got lost in the shuffle.
Cinematographer Erik Molberg Hansen's harsh lighting flatters no actor. Rasmus Thjellesen's sets all too successfully reflect the dreariness of these forlorn lives.
Charlotte: Trine Dyrholm
Veronica: David Dencik
Kristian: Frank Thiel
Veronica's mother: Elsebeth Steentoff
Director: Pernille Fischer Christensen; Screenwriter: Kim Fupz Aakeson; Producer: Lars Bredo Rahbek; Executive producers: Bo Ehrardt, Birgitte Hald; Director of photography: Erik Molberg Hansen; Production designer: Rasmus Thjellesen; Music: Magnus Jarlbo; Costumes: Signe Sejlund; Editor: Asa Mossberg.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
78th Annual Academy Awards Nominations
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Philip Seymour Hoffman - CAPOTE
Heath Ledger - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jake Gyllenhaal - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Felicity Huffman - TRANSAMERICA
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Catherine Keener - CAPOTE
Michelle Williams - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES
"Travelin' Thru" - TRANSAMERICA
BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
☆作品紹介 『ブロークバック・マウンテン 』
Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"
Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"
Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, "Brokeback Mountain"
"A Love That Will Never Grow Old" from "Brokeback Mountain"
2006 Golden Globe Award Winners Full List
禁断の米映画 賛否 男の象徴・カウボーイが同性愛 アカデミー賞最有力候補！？ (産経 2006/01/12)
（産経新聞） - 1月12日16時12分更新
Photo Credit: By Jessica Miglio -- The Weinstein Co. Via Associated Press
'Transamerica' Plots a Too-Wacky Course, but Star Felicity Huffman Brings It On Home
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 23, 2005; Page C05
Gloria Steinem once observed that, on some level, all women are female impersonators.
That at once witty and profound observation comes to strange, sad life in "Transamerica," an otherwise unremarkable picaresque made remarkable by Felicity Huffman in its lead performance. As Bree Osbourne, a preoperative male-to-female transsexual, Huffman dives down the rabbit hole as a woman playing a man acting like a woman, a feat that might earn a 9.5 degree of difficulty in the Acting Olympics. Proving that she's an actress to be reckoned with on film as well as TV (she's won an Emmy for her role on "Desperate Housewives"), Huffman pulls the challenge off with skill, aplomb and deep compassion.
"Transamerica" opens as Bree gets ready for her day in her modest Los Angeles apartment, painting her nails, fixing her makeup, dressing in a pink suit and practicing vocalizing exercises with an aim, presumably, to soften her husky voice and raise it by an octave or two. It's quickly made clear that Bree -- who was born and raised as a Stanley -- is on the verge of a long-awaited operation to finalize a process that began long ago, when she first had an inkling that her inner gender didn't fit her outer one. Her plan is foiled, however, by a collect phone call from a juvenile correctional facility in Manhattan; it seems that a brief liaison as Stanley several years ago resulted in the birth of a son.
His name is Toby (Kevin Zegers), and he needs to be bailed out, a task Bree at first ignores until her therapist (Elizabeth Pea) insists that she won't approve the surgery until Bree has confronted this reality. Bree travels to New York and helps out Toby -- who turns out to be more confused kid than delinquent -- telling him she's with "The Church of the Potential Father." When he tells her he wants to go to California to be an actor, she decides to drive him there herself, having hatched a plan to drop him off with his stepfather along the way.
"Transamerica," which was written and directed by Duncan Tucker, aspires to be a comic-dramatic road picture, sending the two main characters down colorful byways and into whimsical situations, with a healthy dose of self-discovery and healing at the end. On their cross-country journey, Bree and Toby have occasion to attend a transsexual cocktail party in Texas, go skinny-dipping with a blissed-out drifter in New Mexico and even, in Bree's case, meet a potential love interest. Things get even more colorful -- and much more melodramatic -- once they arrive at Bree's family's house in Phoenix, where her parents must wrap their heads around the fact that their son is a mother.
Although it features some good performances, including a nice turn from Zegers as a surly but essentially good-hearted teenager, "Transamerica" tries awfully hard to be liked, and its forced wackiness winds up putting viewers off rather than giving them a truly intimate view of an unknown world.
But if Tucker's road map often feels a little bit too confining and the screwball comedy too contrived, he can take credit for introducing viewers to a character they have almost certainly never met before. With her stiff, self-conscious gait and masklike makeup job, Huffman does a terrific job of internalizing the apprehension and uncertainty of someone tiptoeing toward a new life, and she imbues Bree with smarts, humor and fragility. She's a natural at playing a character who feels unnatural. "Transamerica" may be a relatively minor movie, but it's major proof that Huffman can play not just a desperate housewife but also a man desperate to be a housewife.
Transamerica (103 minutes, at Landmark's E Street Cinema) is rated R for sexual content, profanity, drug use and nudity.
The Wife Next Door - Felicity Huffman Has a TV Hit and a New Movie, but She Keeps It Real
Her name is Kitten and she's fond of fake fur -- Cillian Murphy makes his mark in 'Pluto'
- John McMurtrie, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, December 19, 2005
A closeted cowboy, an out-of-the-closet writer, a pre-op transsexual waitress and a bisexual hit man.
Who says Hollywood is traditional?
These were among the characters recognized last week when the Golden Globe nominees for best actors and actresses were announced.
And then there is Kitten.
The cross-dressing protagonist in Irish director Neil Jordan's delightful comic drama "Breakfast on Pluto," she is perhaps the most fun of the gay-bisexual-transgendered bunch honored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. ("Breakfast on Pluto" opens Friday in Bay Area theaters.)
Though her name is Kitten and she speaks in a delicate purr, this character in platform shoes, fake fur and snakeskin coats is as tough as Russell Crowe's boxer Jim Braddock in "Cinderella Man" (another Globe nominee).
Christened Patrick Braden, Kitten flees repressed 1970s Northern Ireland and journeys to London, where she searches for the mother she never knew. Along the way, she loses herself in the glam-rock underground of the British capital and gets in trouble with the law over her perceived involvement with the Irish Republican Army. She is abused, beaten, choked and even injured in a bombing, but never loses her innate cheeriness and kindheartedness.
"Oh, serious, serious, serious," she says, in pooh-poohing the troubled world around her.
Cillian Murphy is the up-and-coming Irish actor who plays Kitten in Jordan's adaptation of Patrick McCabe's novel.
"I fell in love with the character so much because she's fundamentally good," Murphy, 29, says by phone from his home in London. "And what she wants in life are very, very simple things, you know? Just to be part of a unit, to be loved and just to look pretty."
And does she ever look pretty.
Many in the States will remember Murphy (whose first name is pronounced kill-ee-an) as the none-too-gentle psychopaths in "Batman Begins" (as Dr. Jonathan Crane) and "Red Eye" (as the hit man with the evocative name of Jackson Rippner). He also had prominent roles in Danny Boyle's 2002 cult thriller "28 Days Later" and, the following year, in "Cold Mountain" and "Girl With a Pearl Earring."
Where Murphy's big blue eyes and boyish looks helped conceal the face of a murderer in "Batman" and "Red Eye," in "Breakfast on Pluto," they accentuate Kitten's beauty. Maybe it's the smooth cheekbones and full lips, but few actors look so good done up in rouge and lipstick.
Murphy doesn't remember how many outlandish outfits he wore for the movie -- he seems to be wearing a different one in every scene -- but he enjoyed them all.
"That era lent itself very nicely to androgyny," he says in his lyrical Irish accent. "All of the clothes were flattering to both men and women.
"Kitten," he adds, "finds solace in the cheesier side of it."
To be convincing as Kitten, Murphy says, he avoided the "long tradition of men dressing up as women in cinema. ... I wanted the character to be feminine as opposed to it being an affectation.
"You wanted to avoid camp; you wanted to avoid queeny," he adds. "I think she's a hugely resilient and strong character."
It's been said, Murphy remarks, that "Breakfast on Pluto" is about the loss of innocence. "Where in actual fact," he says, "it's all about the preservation of innocence for her and trying to create this sort of idealized version of her life."
To prepare for the role, Murphy spent a lot of time observing women, watching details such as how they move their hands. He also did more intense research, going out to clubs, in character, with transvestites. That experience gave him a sense of what someone like Kitten must go through.
"That's the reason they have such amazing wit and turn of phrase," Murphy says. "Because they have to when you just get shouted at on the street. It's these leery, stupid, drunken people. You feel threatened, you know?"
Jordan, who directed "The Crying Game" (1992) -- which famously broached gender identity -- didn't concern himself with Murphy's nocturnal outings.
"I just told him to treat himself like a woman," he says with a laugh from his Dublin office. "He could do what he wanted as far as I was concerned. As long as he didn't become a heroin addict, you know?"
Jordan says he chose Murphy for the role after testing all the young Irish actors he knew.
"He brought out a deeply emotional level to the part that really surprised me," Jordan says. "He's deeply instinctive."
Murphy was raised in Cork (as was another rising star, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who is in Woody Allen's new movie, "Match Point"). He got his start in acting after playing guitar in a Frank Zappa-inspired rock band in his late teens.
"He still is a hero of mine," he says of Zappa, "because he just didn't give a s -- ."
Of his band's talent, Murphy says, "The other members in the band were very, very proficient. And then there was me -- very much not."
Nowadays, Murphy plays guitar just for himself "and at drunk family occasions," he jokes. He and his old bandmates did get the chance to reunite for some music when he and artist Yvonne McGuinness were married last year in Provence.
Over the phone, the couple's 2-week-old son, Malachy, can be heard crying in the background -- or "asserting himself," as his father puts it.
When he's not at home changing nappies, Murphy spends his days on the set of Boyle's next film, a sci-fi thriller called "Sunshine." He plays a physicist who travels into space, with a crew, to set off a bomb inside the sun, which is dying.
Once the film is finished, Murphy is going to take some much-needed time off: no more cross-dressers, no more killers, no more scientists in space.
"I'm just going to stop," he says with a sigh. "I'm going to hang out with my boy. That's my plan."
E-mail John McMurtrie at email@example.com.
Page C - 1
'Breakfast on Pluto' Review - LA Times
Photo Credit: By Helayne Seidman For The Washington Post Photo
The Wife Next Door
Felicity Huffman Has a TV Hit and a New Movie, but She Keeps It Real
By Jennifer Frey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 18, 2005; N01
NEW YORK So Felicity Huffman is a bit giddy about the gorgeous dress she's got on ("Dolce & Gabbana!" she says, with a little hand flourish), but her feet are bare and tucked up on the couch, and she's just admitted that she missed her own show -- the wildly popular "Desperate Housewives" -- the night before because, well, since she has kids she needs toothpicks to keep her eyes open after 8:30. (She TiVos.)
Anyway, she's about to turn 43, and she's on her first real press tour, complete with morning-show and late-night appearances, and interviews and photographs (hence the dress) in the requisite hotel suite overlooking Central Park. Other actors might disdain this stuff; she's having a blast. She won an Emmy earlier this year and last week got Golden Globe nods for her performances in "Desperate Housewives" and the independent film "Transamerica," for which she already has significant Oscar buzz. And that's why she's here, of course -- film promotion. But let's get to that in a minute.
The truth is, sitting around with Huffman makes you think she could walk right into your kitchen on Friday night, when the moms are drinking too much wine and the kids are running wild in the yard, and she'd be right at home. In fact, hanging out with her is probably a lot like being neighbors with the woman who plays Lynette Scavo. So, yeah, it would be a little freaky living next door to anal-retentive Bree (Marcia Cross), and you'd have to hide your husband from Gabrielle (Eva Longoria), but Lynette? She seems so funny, so honest, so down-to-earth. And so, too, we happily report, is Felicity Huffman. She's witty and warm, she tells hilarious stories about things we unfortunately can't print in a family newspaper, and she's prone to saying things like "I've got to say, if men were the primary caregivers, there would be groups called 'Boy Does This Suck Anonymous.' "
Sure, she's married to a Famous Actor, but it turns out she's even got a husband to like. The talented William H. Macy -- known for shrewdly playing the odd bird -- is almost dorkily sweet when he calls about a week later from their home in California to put in a plug for his wife and her new film, which he's executive-produced. Parents of girls ages 3 and 5, the Macys have been together for 20 years now, but he can still relate, in detail, how nervous he was the first time they kissed. How he misses her during filming. How he knew he was a goner the first time they met. He's just in the middle of talking about how "gobsmacked" he was by her performance in "Transamerica" when there's a beep in his office and then the familiar, slightly nasal voice of his wife breaks in:
"Hi. I'm sorry," she says. "Dinner's ready when you are."
You can't help but wonder if it's been made in a microwave, and you are absolutely certain Huffman would be entirely unapologetic if that indeed is the case.
* * *
She went Oscar-ugly for "Transamerica," (see Charlize Theron in "Monster," Hilary Swank in "Boys Don't Cry" and Nicole Kidman's nose in "The Hours"). Her character, Stanley "Bree" Osbourne, is a transsexual on the verge of a sex-change operation when she discovers she long ago fathered a son. (As Huffman puts it: "I was a woman playing a man becoming a woman.") In the film, she looks older, with bad hair and intentionally awful makeup. Her hands seem enormous.
"It really was something of a relief not having to try and be glamorous," says Huffman, arguably the least glam of the housewives, but in the Dolce & Gabbana she has on now, she sure ain't no slouch. Then again, unlike most of the big-time actresses who occasionally allow mere mortals to dip their toes into their lives, she doesn't make you feel like a total slouch, either. Which is yet another reason it would be okay if she moved in next door. It's entirely possible to imagine her with jam smears on her shirt.
"As Anthony Edwards once told me when I was complaining about not being pretty enough and not being something enough," she continues (referring to the actor best known for his role on "ER"), " 'Oh, baby, that's not your gig.' I mean, I'm fine-looking enough, but I'm not a beauty, so it's not like I was risking."
And it's not like she was about to turn down an opportunity for her first starring movie role 20-plus years into her career. When writer-director Duncan Tucker cast her in his film debut, Huffman wasn't even a Desperate Housewife yet. For those who don't follow theater -- Huffman started her career onstage -- she was just that woman who always had the bit parts in TV shows or movies, save for one small-screen lead turn in Aaron Sorkin's "Sports Night."
She was at the first table-reading for the "Desperate Housewives" pilot when she got word that Tucker had chosen her to play Bree. (An odd coincidence that the character name matches that of one of her TV co-stars.) In the film, she seeks out her teenage son (Toby, played by Kevin Zegers) and ends up bailing him out of jail. The two embark on a cross-country road trip where Toby slowly gets to know the awkward, conservative "church lady" he believes has come to help him and, eventually, the secrets she keeps.
"I spent the whole second half of the pilot-reading nauseous," says Huffman. "And I was scared. I was scared the whole preparation. I was scared the whole shoot."
It was what Tucker calls a "transformative role," one in which Huffman had to completely change her appearance, her mannerisms, her voice -- even her undergarments -- to truly inhabit the character. To do so, Huffman immersed herself in the world of transsexuals, reading about them, getting coached by them, going to their conventions, experiencing their world. It took an hour each day for her to lower her voice into the "Bree" pitch -- deep, but with awkward hints of femininity. She wore the restrictive girdles that pre-op transsexuals wear, even though it wasn't necessary for filming. She even wore an anatomically correct prosthesis, if you catch our drift.
At one point Macy brought the kids to visit the set. Little Georgia, then age 2, took one look at her mother in full makeup and freaked out.
"It was the very best it could be," Tucker says of her performance. "I knew she was going to try anything and never hesitate, and that's what you have to do. This is not a safe performance."
It's a little film -- released in New York and Los Angeles earlier this month, opening nationwide on Friday -- but Huffman's performance is generating very large Oscar buzz (Entertainment Weekly has touted her as a likely Best Actress nominee).
She's already won the National Board of Review award for best actress, and Tucker happily compares her role in "Transamerica" to Oscar-winning turns by Theron and Swank. (Huffman's response: "I'm writing Duncan huge checks. I'm fully funding that spin.")
Did we mention that when asked to describe Huffman, Tucker immediately said, "Bubbly and funny, with lots of energy and a sharp sense of humor"? Oh, and that he called her "somebody you just want to hang out with"?
See, we're not the only ones who wouldn't mind having her for a neighbor.
* * *
Speaking of desperate housewives, Huffman was raised in and around Aspen, Colo., the youngest of eight kids -- seven of them girls -- with a father who worked in investment banking and a mother who ran the house.
"My mother had eight children, so she worked harder than a Fortune 500 CEO," she says.
(She personally cringes at the idea of having even four -- the number her character has on the show -- saying, "God bless those who do.")
She was always into acting, and attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan to study theater in high school, then took drama at New York University. She studied under David Mamet and was part of a group of upstart performers who helped form the Atlantic Theatre Company -- under the auspices of Mamet and Macy -- in 1985.
Macy had already made his mark on the stage when "Flicka" Huffman -- her nickname, after the book "My Friend Flicka" -- enrolled in one of his acting classes. The first day, she stood up to do a scene, and he just knew.
"It's daunting," he says, "when you see someone who you've always had in the back of your mind."
But he couldn't do anything about it -- not while he was her teacher. And, he admits, she really was the one who finally took the initiative (the woman's not shy). They were both doing summer theater in Vermont, and there was a house party. Huffman invited him out to see the barn, then just started taking a walk through a nearby field, obviously expecting him to follow. He followed.
"Just like most guys, all I was thinking was, 'Grab her hand, kiss her, do it, she's going to walk away, do it now! ' " Macy says. "So I screwed up my courage, grabbed her hand and planted a big one on her."
They've been together ever since, though he moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and television work in the late 1980s and Huffman, who had built a small but steady and successful career in theater work, tried to commute from New York. She got her first big break when Mamet cast her as Madonna's replacement in "Speed-the-Plow" on Broadway in 1988. That performance brought a new round of scripts and auditions, but, she says with brutal honesty, "I tanked everything."
Eventually Huffman followed Macy west, where, she jokes, "I couldn't get arrested." She was 32, and seriously considered applying to beauty school to become a hairstylist.
"I aim high," she says of that moment. "I wasn't applying for law school. I wasn't trying to be a doctor."
Eventually Sorkin came along and gave her a regular role. "Sports Night" earned critical acclaim and a loyal cult following, but lasted only two seasons. By then, Macy and Huffman had wed (they married in 1997 and she later gave birth to daughters Sofia and Georgia). While Macy's career was flourishing, she took care of the kids and got bit parts in films and guest appearances on television shows like "Frasier."
"I had years of not working," she says. "Even now, I can't quite get it into my head that I'm gainfully employed for at least another year."
Of course she is a little bit confused as to why, with all this "buzz," that she doesn't have a project lined up for when "Desperate Housewives" goes on hiatus.
"I get scripts to read," she says. "I get scripts to audition for. But I don't get offers yet.
"Work on that for me, would you?"
Ah, but little does she know it's Macy's fault.
"One of the reasons she doesn't have a job," Macy says, "is that I stand at the front gate and wait for the scripts to come and throw them in the garbage. I don't want her to work on the hiatus. I've barely gotten a chance to see her. I miss her.
"So I've told her," he continues, "that unless it's Martin Scorsese or Clint Eastwood, I don't want you to work on this hiatus. It has to be nothing less than extraordinary."
* * *
Macy is used to people approaching him on the street to compliment his work, and Huffman is used to being "the wife." She hilariously explains that whenever she's out with Macy, people recognize him then stare at her with that weird look of faint recognition, then say things like "And isn't she on that show or something?"
He totally calls her on this.
"In the last month or two, I'm working, and I see these people from across the soundstage and they have this grin and I'm waiting for them to say, 'I just love you in "Boogie Nights" ' and instead they say, 'I just love your wife!' And all I can say is, 'I don't blame you -- I do too.' "
Originally, Macy advised Huffman against taking the role in "Transamerica" -- he wasn't thrilled with the initial script -- but once he saw the dailies, he signed on as a producer and, as Huffman puts it, "Bill made the calls." One went to Harvey Weinstein, who decided to distribute. "That's some good boyfriending," Huffman says.
And there will likely be more boyfriending in Macy's future -- as celebrity spouse on the red carpet.
"I think I'd better get used to it," Macy says. "Her career is about to explode, if it could explode anymore. She's really earned her way, and I think it's just a little more delicious when after such a long and sometimes torturous journey you get this kind of recognition."
The truth is, while she was all glam at the Emmys, what viewers connect to is the realism of her "Housewives" character; she's easily the most "normal," if there is such a thing on Wisteria Lane. Lynette is the highly educated, overstressed mom of "I Don't Know How She Does It" and "Perfect Madness" -- the novel by Allison Pearson and the nonfiction tome by Judith Warner, respectively, both bestsellers about the pressurized universe of upper-middle-class motherhood. In the first season, Lynette played a stay-at-home mom who found full-time motherhood much more insane than her previously high-powered career. In Season 2, she returns to work (her husband stays home) and experiences the ever-present work-home tradeoffs and plenty of ensuing guilt to boot.
Macy says he sees a lot of his wife's personal style in her character. She admits that's true (though she never had that pesky Ritalin addiction).
"Lynette's voice of motherhood -- and it's one of the reasons why I wanted the part so badly -- is one I connect with," Huffman says.
"And that's not just going, 'Oh, honey, did you forget the milk again?' and 'Geez, I wish you'd remembered to do your homework.' It's that 'I'm going to lose my mind! This is not fun! This is overwhelming! This is not the best thing I've ever done with my life! This is insanity!' "
Then she starts to explain that yes, yes, she adores her children ("Look, even I'm doing it," she says, referring to how mothers always apologize before they admit, out loud, that motherhood can make them nuts), but sometimes, yes, "motherhood can be a nightmare." This is clearly a subject she could talk about for hours, and suddenly you feel like kicking off your own shoes and tucking up your feet and taking full advantage of every working mother's dream scenario -- a hotel room without the kids. Some wine, some cheese, we could just stay here all night.
Before you know it, though, time is up, and she's asking if you want to use her bathroom (which is blissfully scattered with makeup) before taking a cab to the airport, and comparing baby rings. She has two gorgeous rocks Macy gave her after the birth of each daughter.
"I told him I wanted jewelry," she says conspiratorially, "and he said, 'Fine, fine.' And I said, 'No, you don't understand, I mean serious jewelry.' "
Then she laughs for maybe the 30th time, and you laugh too, and inside you wonder if her kitchen looks like all those pictures they always have of celebrity houses in the pages of InStyle magazine, or if there's peanut butter smeared across the counter by the sink.
You hope for the peanut butter.
Web posted at: 11:08 JST
◇作品賞（ドラマ部門）： 「ブロークバック・マウンテン」「コンスタント・ガーデナー」「グッドナイト＆グッドラック」「A History of Violence」「マッチポイント」
◇主演女優賞（同）： マリア・ベロ（「A History of Violence」）、フェリシティ・ハフマン（「Transamerica」）、グウィネス・パルトロウ（「プルーフ・オブ・マイ・ライフ」）、シャーリーズ・セロン（「スタンドアップ (North Country)」）、チャン・ツィイー（「SAYURI」）
◇主演男優賞（同）： ラッセル・クロウ（「シンデレラ・マン」）、フィリップ・シーモア・ホフマン（「Capote」）、テレンス・ハワード（「Hustle & Flow」）、ヒース・レジャー（「ブロークバック・マウンテン」）、デイビッド・ストラザーン（「グッドナイト＆グッドラック」）
◇作品賞（ミュージカル／コメディー部門）： 「Mrs. Henderson Presents」「プライドと偏見」「プロデューサーズ」「The Squid and the Whale」「ウォーク・ザ・ライン／君につづく道」
◇主演女優賞（同）： ジュディ・デンチ（「Mrs. Henderson Presents」）、キーラ・ナイトリー（「プライドと偏見」）、ローラ・リニー（「The Squid and the Whale」）、サラ・ジェシカ・パーカー（「The Family Stone」）、リース・ウィザースプーン（「ウォーク・ザ・ライン／君につづく道」）
◇主演男優賞（同）： ピアス・ブロスナン（「The Matador」）、ジェフ・ダニエルズ（「The Squid and the Whale」）、ジョニー・デップ（「チャーリーとチョコレート工場」）、ネーサン・レーン（「プロデューサーズ」）、シリアン・マーフィー（「Breakfast on Pluto」）、ホアキン・フェニックス（「ウォーク・ザ・ライン／君につづく道」）
◇助演男優賞： ジョージ・クルーニー（「Syriana」）、マット・ディロン（「クラッシュ」）、ウィル・フェレル（「プロデューサーズ」）、ポール・ジアマッティ（「シンデレラ・マン」）、ボブ・ホスキンス（「Mrs. Henderson Presents」）
Ｇグローブ賞外国語映画賞候補に真田広之出演映画 (日本経済 2005/12/14)
December 13, 2005
63rd Golden Globe Awards Nominations
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
2006 Golden Globe Awards
for the year ended December 31, 2005
1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Focus Features/River Road Entertainment; Focus Features
b. THE CONSTANT GARDENER
Potboiler Prods./Scion Films; Focus Features
c. GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
Section Eight/2929 Entertainment/Participant Productions; Warner Independent Pictures
d. A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
New Line Cinema; New Line Cinema
e. MATCH POINT
Jada Productions; DreamWorks Pictures
2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. MARIA BELLO
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
b. FELICITY HUFFMAN
c. GWYNETH PALTROW
d. CHARLIZE THERON
e. ZIYI ZHANG
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
a. RUSSELL CROWE
b. PHILIP SEYMOUR
c. TERRENCE HOWARD
HUSTLE & FLOW
d. HEATH LEDGER
e. DAVID STRATHAIRN
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE -MUSICAL OR COMEDY
a. PIERCE BROSNAN
b. JEFF DANIELS
THE SQUID AND THE WHALE
c. JOHNNY DEPP
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
d. NATHAN LANE
e. CILLIAN MURPHY
BREAKFAST ON PLUTO
f. JOAQUIN PHOENIX
WALK THE LINE
8. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
a. SCARLETT JOHANSSON
b. SHIRLEY MacLAINE
IN HER SHOES
c. FRANCES McDORMAND
d. RACHEL WEISZ
THE CONSTANT GARDENER
e. MICHELLE WILLIAMS
10. BEST DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE
a. WOODY ALLEN
b. GEORGE CLOONEY
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
c. PETER JACKSON
d. ANG LEE
e. FERNANDO MEIRELLES
THE CONSTANT GARDENER
f. STEVEN SPIELBERG
11. BEST SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE
a. WOODY ALLEN
b. GEORGE CLOONEY & GRANT HESLOV
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
c. PAUL HAGGIS & BOBBY MORESCO
d. TONY KUSHNER & ERIC ROTH
e. LARRY McMURTRY & DIANA OSSANA
12. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE
a. ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
b. JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
c. GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA
d. HARRY GREGSON
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE
WILLIAMS LION, THE WITCH AND THE
e. JOHN WILLIAMS
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
17. BEST TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
a. CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
b. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
c. ENTOURAGE (HBO)
Leverage and Closest to the Hole Prods. i.a.w. HBO Entertainment
d. EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS (UPN)
Chris Rock Enterprises, Inc. and 3 Arts Entertainment i.a.w Paramount Network Television
e. MY NAME IS EARL (NBC)
Acme Prods. i.a.w. 20th Century Fox Television
f. WEEDS (SHOWTIME)
Lions Gate Television i.a.w. Tilted Prods.
18. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
a. MARCIA CROSS
b. TERI HATCHER
c. FELICITY HUFFMAN
d. EVA LONGORIA
e. MARY-LOUISE PARKER