Nobody was more convincing as a gladiator-on-a-mission than Russell Crowe. He received an Oscar for avenging -- as Maximus Decimus Meridius -- the deaths of his wife and child.
Russell will be a chilling, relentless Inspector Javert in the upcoming "Les Miserables." And he plays Superman's father, Jor-El, in the 2013 reboot of that franchise, "Man of Steel." The burly Aussie, who disdains the fripperies of show biz, is always working. (Yes, he was born in New Zealand, but he self-identifies as an Australian.)
So, what will this talented actor do with the role of Noah, in Darren Aronofsky's biblical take on the guy who builds the ark and saves human and animal-kind? Indeed, what will this "Noah" be like, in Aronofsky's hands? The director is known for his dark, intense and sometimes creepy films -- "Requiem for a Dream," "The Wrestler" and "Black Swan." Cecil B. DeMille he ain't.
Well, end of the world stories are always intense, so Mr. Aronofsky might be on solid ground, before it rains, anyway.
Crowe will be an interesting Noah. The ark-builder is often portrayed as a foolish heavy drinker.
There's nothing foolish about Mr. Crowe's persona.
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I see I have homework to do. Just started reading about Time's picks as "The 100 Most Influential People in the World."
Never thought I'd see a list like that without Oprah on it. But I was happy to see my movie pal Harvey Weinstein named and written about by the star Johnny Depp who says, "He can be your most frightening nightmare and your closest friend. He is a producer."
Now I have to get busy reading because I never even heard of some these "most influential" ones.
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Memo to Chelsea Handler: Ask your "best friend" Jennifer Aniston, if she appreciates your continued trashing of Angelina Jolie? Get over it, Miss Handler. Brad didn't leave you. You say you don't think Angelina's a "girl's girl" -- that she's not the kind of girl you'd have as a friend. Maybe not. Maybe Angelina has better things to do then sit and dish? She has six children to tend to. And a man.
Chelsea, you're a funny woman, a great big star on E! and clearly a pal to Aniston. But Jennifer doesn't need your defense of her. She needs people to stop talking about Brad and Jen as if they mean anything to her anymore.
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Speaking of Jolie/Pitt there's intense speculation as to whether the couple will keep their wedding photos private? I doubt it. As this column speculated last week, given the pair's charity endeavors, it would be far more likely they'll sell to the highest bidder and donate the money.
One of the first stars to do this was Elizabeth Taylor. She essentially turned her 1991 wedding to Larry Fortensky into an AIDS benefit. The photos of the bride, groom and Michael Jackson, as well as the accompanying story, written by somebody named Liz Smith, raised lots of cash for Elizabeth's newly formed AIDS Foundation.
I have a feeling Angelina and Brad will be equally unselfish.