Lincoln Center’s 57th New York Film Festival — 17 countries, 29 features — is coming at us.
Opening night’s world premiere is Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” It’s dense. It’s complex. It’s crime. Friendship and loyalty turn to unspeakable acts. The A-1 talents include Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, De Niro as their No. 1 guy, Joe Pesci as a mob boss.
The “centerpiece” is Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” which tangles love, resentment, child custody and divorce. Scarlett Johansson, who personally knows about uncoupling couplehood, plays the wife. Her lawyer’s Laura Dern. Husband Adam Driver’s lawyers are nice Alan Alda and un-nice Ray Liotta. It’s vindictive, petty, harrowing and hilarious.
Spain’s contribution is Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.” Antonio Banderas plays an Almodóvar character who has health problems, midlife crisis, a triumph, a fall down, an artistic challenge, and an etc., etc. Somewhere in the middle there’s a flashback, and Penélope Cruz plays his doting mother.
Closing night is Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn.” Set in 1950s New York, it invokes today’s racial divide. Norton’s a detective, Alec Baldwin‘s a Robert Moses-like character, and an alphabet of stars — Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Cherry Jones — play multiple devious types, which our father who art in heaven only knows we don’t have in our city today.
Call it a comeback
After playing Hide-and-Forget it these last years, Eddie Murphy‘s back. In “Dolemite Is My Name,” he’s a floppola who steals a pimp’s dirty stories, gets bounced off the air because he’s too racy, then comes back as a comedy star. Jammed with kung fu and car chases, the scenario’s too complicated for my pay grade, but he produced the thing. Wesley Snipes and Snoop Dogg are also in it, and come fall we get it — where else? — on Netflix.
Times change. Attitudes change. Wardrobe changes. Dialogue changes. Now comes transportation.
The Copacabana once starred bygone’s biggest — Jimmy Durante, Martin & Lewis, Sophie Tucker. Ringsiders whose names shall remain nameless — with fat wallets, thin ladies, and bodyguards — arrived in chauffeured limos.
That’s then. Now’s now. The Copa just catered a Supreme T-shirt party. Several hundred people. Their cloakroom — which has known sables and holsters — never ever before was clogged top to bottom with wall-to-wall checked-in skateboards.
In their 70 years, this was a first.
Please try to pay attention
Cate Blanchett did wardrobe, hair and makeup, then Midtown to a TV show to plug her new film “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” then raced way downtown for a camera press line, then did a live info for the movie’s VIP audience and then off to Canada. It ain’t easy making green … Heather Mills, Paul McCartney’s former, one time ago, long back ex, lunching with two friends at the Tuscany hotel’s outdoor cafe Atto and signing autographs and sipping Champagne … Monday, funky nightery the Green Room 42 has “Hadestown’s” Reeve Carney trying out the tryout musical “Oswald.”
Question: What kind of music goes with JFK’s assassination?
From G. Gordon Liddy: “A liberal feels a debt to his fellow man — which he pays off with your money.” Repeated on Park Avenue.
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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