– Nicolas Winding Refn (Valhalla Rising, Bronson) has already lined up Ryan Gosling and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) for his thriller Drive. Now Carey Mulligan is negotiating to play Gosling’s passenger. After Gosling’s stuntman/freelance getaway driver is involved in a botched bank robbery, he is on the run with the ex-con’s girlfriend along for the ride, which no doubt doubles the trouble. Angelenos watch out: shooting starts next month.
– Pedro Almodovar starts shooting The Skin In Which I live today in Spain. Sadly, Penelope Cruz is absent from this one, but Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya (Almodovar’s Talk to Her) and his DP, Luis Alcaine, are in tow for this adaptation of Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula, which boasts elements of Saw and Human Centipede concepts. Maybe that’s why Cruz is opting out of this one. After working on Julio Mendem’s Sex and Lucia and Room in Rome, Anaya (pictured) is used to sexually explicit material. Not that anyone is complaining.
– While The Switch disappoints at the box office, Vultures poses the question: “Do people care more about the minutiae of [Jennifer Aniston’s] life than they do about her movies?” Their analysis: the “Angelina Jolie–brokered dissolution of [her marriage to Brad Pitt] confirmed to the media that they had been right to anoint her a person of interest, and they gave her a lifetime pass on their coverage calendar”; that her peers include Jennifer Garner and Drew Barrymore (not Reese Witherspoon and Anne Hathaway, who are “slightly ahead”); and that some directors and roles are out of her reach because her celebrity status would take audiences out of the movies. Her star power is huge, but it hasn’t proven enough for her to open a film; she hasn’t proven capable of vanishing into a role instead of just playing variations of herself. Audiences may relate plotlines to what’s happening in her personal life: a woman of a certain age who wants to be married, wants kids, wants a better partner, wants to move on, etc. Vulture concludes that Aniston’s acting needs to emerge from its rut around the same time the tabloids tire of her, so that she can be judged simply as an actress. Guest starring with real-life pal Courteney Cox in the upcoming second season of Cougar Town doesn’t inspire much hope for change.
– Meanwhile, Brad Pitt is causing a stir by saying things like this: “I was never for the death penalty before” but post-oil spill he is “willing to look at it again.”