Oscar Buzz Watch: Helen Hunt Is Definitely Getting Another Oscar Nomination

Okay, here’s how it’s going to go: you’re going to start hearing a lot of craaaazy talk in the upcoming weeks about Academy Award-winner Helen Hunt. About how she’s in a movie again, and that she’s actually really good, and that she’s on her way to a second career nomination. And your first instinct is going to be to not believe it. Not Helen Hunt! She’s history’s greatest monster! She won the 1997 Best Actress award for As Good As It Gets for being a prickly but warm-hearted waitress who had the good fortune to be the object of Jack Nicholson’s OCD affections. She beat such actresses as Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, Helena Bonham-Carter (back when she was a respectable star of English dramas and not an eccentric thatch of brambles), and Julie Christie.

At the time, it was not all that controversial a victory. As Good As It Gets was a crowd-pleaser and Hunt held her own with Nicholson (who also won the Oscar). She was also critically acclaimed for her TV work on Mad About You, and believe it or not, she had been considered overdue for an Emmy by the time she won in 1996. Of course, that was the first of four consecutive Emmys, and combined with four Golden Globes and that Oscar, it’s not all that surprising that the worm turned on her popularity. That Oscar win was looking more and more suspect. What did she even do in that movie besides sass at Jack and care for her sick kid? And what about the homerism of the one American in that category besting four Brits? Typical, right?

By the time 2000 rolled around and Hunt struck out on four high-profile releases in the final three months of the year, she had become something of a punch line among Serious Movie People and her Oscar win an object of scorn. That 2000 quartet is an interesting case study. Hunt ended up starring in two of the top five box-office hits of the year! How did it end up killing her career?? Well, her character in Cast Away wasn’t likeable, and it’s not like you could pin the success of that movie on anyone but Tom Hanks. Her chemistry with Mel Gibson was nonexistent in What Women Want, and back then, nobody could chalk that up to Gibson being a misogynist psychopath. Dr. T and the Women was a forgettable Robert Altman effort, though hardly worth sinking a career. But Pay It Forward… wow. Pay It Forward was such a complete flop commercially and critically that it sucked Hunt’s entire narrative down the toilet. The rest of the aughts saw her in only four more movies, five if you count the HBO adaptation of Empire Falls. As career nose-dives go, it was pretty dramatic, and it was proof positive for Hunt’s many detractors that she could neither act nor pick a good role.

Starting this weekend, Helen Hunt is back in theaters with The Sessions, Ben Lewin’s new movie about a polio-stricken John Hawkes who hires a "sex surrogate" (Hunt) to help him lose his virginity. It was a big ol’ hit at Sundance, and Hunt in particular got rave reviews. The positive critical notices continued at the Toronto and London film festivals, and what do you know? That old friend Oscar Buzz is back. This sounds, frankly, insane. Helen Hunt, who starred in the worst movie Woody Allen ever made (Curse of the Jade Scorpion), who cast herself in her directorial debut as Bette Midler’s daughter (the widely ignored Then She Found Me, though it should be noted that Rex Reed loved it!), is now Oscar-worthy, and possibly on a track to win her second Oscar?

As we learned with Ben Affleck last time, though, arc is everything in the Oscar race, and Helen Hunt’s comeback story gets better the more unlikely it seems. The prodigal daughter returns. And in The Sessions, she’s got a lot working for her chances at a nomination. She plays a good woman whose role in the film is to help a man achieve greatness, as reliable an Oscar niche as there is. That the "greatness" she helps Hawkes achieve has to do with having sex with a beautiful woman doesn’t hurt. She’s also, as of right now, due to be campaigned in the Supporting Actress category, despite the kind of screen time and story prominence that would support a Lead Actress claim. Ask Jennifer Connelly how that strategy worked out. (OMG, Jennifer Connelly! If Helen Hunt gets to shake off the dust of a terrible post-Oscar decade, won’t that give Jennifer so much hope that she might do the same??)

Here’s another Oscar tendency that works in Hunt’s favor: the Academy tends to hand out backup nominations every now and then, as if to prove that certain questionable award choices were justified. Remember all that grumbling about Marisa Tomei winning for My Cousin Vinny (grumbling that is TOTAL bullshit, by the way; Marisa was amazing in that movie)? Follow-up nominations for In the Bedroom and The Wrestler put that win in a different context. Charlize Theron’s win for Monster gets called a fluke? Follow-up nom for North Country. Hilary Swank and Sally Field managed to win on their follow-up nominations, so don’t think that can’t happen.

By the way, while we’re on the subject of The Sessions, John Hawkes’s chances for a second career nomination aren’t looking too shabby either. If you think the sex surrogate for a polio-stricken man in an iron lung trying to make it through like with dignity and wry humor is a winner of a role, try playing the guy with polio. It might be condescending, it might be tunnel-visioned, it might be cheap, but Oscar voters tend to leap at performances of disabilities.

I’m just saying you might want to be prepared. Try and remember how Helen Hunt looked on red carpets, because she’s coming back. (Does she still pretend to date Hank Azaria? That could be fun!)

Follow Joe Reid on Twitter.

Movies Opening This Weekend, In Order of How Much We Love Their Trailers

Some people judge a movie based on reviews, other will go see something just because it features a favorite actor. Here, we’re judging this weekend’s offerings based solely on what we see in the trailers and ranking them accordingly.

Virginia: This Dustin Lance Black-penned family flick looks to have plenty of black humor and oddball antics, though there’s surely a heart of gold somewhere. High points for creative use of Jennifer Connelly, though, and the deployment of gorilla masks. This is the trailer to top this week.

Hysteria: Beneath the frilly costumes and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s admirable attempt to pull off a British accent, this is a movie about vibrators and that seems hilarious. Now we’re not sure that a feature-length film about the antics of a doctor whose only job is to fingerblast nervous patients into a happy haze will work, but for two minutes of trailer, it’s a great idea.

Mansome: A documentary on male grooming from Morgan Spurlock, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, this movie looks very promising based solely on the trailer. We’ve got celebrities talking about body hair, we’ve got extreme modifications and we’ve got the always-moronic musings of Adam Corolla, all of which add up to be an enlightening, weird and exceedingly metrosexual good time.

American Animal: A sick guy on a bender is betrayed by his roommate who… got a job? The premise isn’t quite clear from the trailer, however this SXSW-approved indie looks like a hell of a lot of oddball fun.

Battleship: Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna and Aleksander Skarsgard are on a navy ship when some aliens come knocking… No it’s not a bad joke, it’s an action movie. And despite what the reviews are saying, the trailer manages to deliver some kind of Top Gun meets War of the Worlds excitement that would convince us to see this on.

Beyond The Black Rainbow: No doubt the spookiest trailer for a film opening this week, this look at indie sci-fi joint Beyond The Black Rainbow is weird and exciting to watch but leaves us with no clue about what to expect and even less of an idea why we should part with our time and money to see it.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting: Ladies having babies and going crazy! We’re sure there are some folks out there for whom this is a very exciting film. We are not those people.

Links: Mark Zuckerberg Is TIME’s Person of the Year, Ryan Reynolds & Scarlett Johansson to Divorce

● Mark Zuckerberg was named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year ahead of the Tea Party, Afghanistan’s president, Julian Assange, and the Chilean miners. Jesse Eisenberg should earn at least half the honor. [TIME] ● The two children of Jon and Kate Gosselin that were expelled from school were removed for abusing not only other children, but adults. Maybe that whole reality show thing was a cry for help from Jon and Kate. [Radar] ● Jennifer Connelly is with child, the second for her and husband Paul Bettany. [Us Weekly]

● The World’s Sexiest Man and his sexier (and more famous?) wife — Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson — are splitting up, making every sad and bitter person in the world feel a teensy bit better. [TMZ] ● Jon Favreau will not direct Iron Man 3. The studio should let Robert Downey Jr. do it himself. [Vulture] ● Miley Cyrus is “really pissed” at Annal Oliver, the girl who took the video of her salvia trip. Oliver has since deleted her Twitter account. [E! Online]

Paul Bettany in Eight Minutes or Less

“You have about 8 minutes with Mr. Bettany,” says a bleary-eyed publicist as we walk down the hallway at Manhattan’s Regency hotel. To promote the Charles Darwin biopic Creation, Paul Bettany has been doing interviews here for the last six hours. A delta force of publicists and handlers stalk the 19th floor, shuffling around faceless journalists, on a mission to organize press for Bettany and Jennifer Connelly, his wife and co-star, who I spot coming out of the elevator. Eight minutes is not a lot of time. It seems like even less when I remember that I’m clutching a notebook with five pages of questions. And then even less when I consider I’m trying to interview a guy who’s appeared in movies like A Beautiful Mind and Master and Commander and has Creation and also the, uh, very interesting looking Legion coming out this month. Honestly, press days suck. How am I going to get him to say serious and smart things to me? He’s done it for other journalists, but they must have had at least, like, 12 minutes. (Serious things he’s said include, “I wish I did have faith.I think it would make life so much easier. I just have not discovered God in my life. I mean, I don’t see him.”) I decide not to wallow. I walk into the room. Paul Bettany’s sitting there in the stale air looking bored as hell. We start to chat. In the end, I got 19 minutes and 40 seconds. It’s all after the jump.

Do you enjoy press days like this? Um, well, [long pause] I don’t mind it too much when I know I am trying to represent the movie well.

I have to admit, I hate doing interviews like this. Ok good. I’m glad we can start off like this.

Well, let’s actually start off with Legion. I know you’ve said before that you like to mix it up, but Charles Darwin to this? I did Legion first and then I did Creation and then I went and did the vampire movie [Priest]. I like vampire movies. I love all sorts of movies. There are loads of ways you can get pigeonholed. You can get pigeonholed by other people, or you can pigeonhole yourself and say, ‘I only ever do cool, art house movies, important movies about historical figures,’ or say ‘I don’t do those sort of things I only do action movies,’ and I just refuse to be one of those people. I just want to do as many different things as I can, and to act on my own whim. I’m making a movie about Charles Darwin and I’m thinking, ‘maybe I’d like to jump about on a wire after this?’ The two movies are very different disciplines. You know when you go to the movie theater, you are going to get a very different thing from seeing Legion than you are from seeing Creation. It’s the same when you’re making it.

Do you worry about the reviews when you make a commitment to film a movie like Legion? All in all, I really don’t care how the movie reviews, or what the acting reviews are like. In Legion, I’m an angel. It’s a movie that wasn’t made for critics. I made that movie because I wanted to see people’s popcorn go up in the air. I went to see it the other night and it’s a really visceral reaction. It’s like doing comedy. Horror is like doing comedy. You see people laughing at your jokes or you see people going “Ouoooghhh” and popcorn going everywhere. And it’s gratifying in a really nice way.

What was the last thing you were doing where you had to look around to see if anyone was watching you do it? That is a really funny question. It happens to me every morning. We are making a film right now and we have paparazzi outside of the house. It doesn’t usually happen, or just randomly during the summer. Well, it’s my job in the morning to take the dog for a walk and so there comes a point where I have to put a plastic bag on my hand and pick up the dog’s shit. And I’m always looking around for paparazzi. In fact, Jennifer went jogging, she went running with our dog and it pooped, and she thought about what might be worse, to have a picture of her leaving the poop or a picture of her bending over in my lycra pants picking up the poop? It’s like FUCK! I always find I look around for paparazzi before picking up poop. Get it at the right angle and what not.

You’ve played Geoffrey Chaucer and Darwin. Would you say you’re drawn to personalities in history? I wouldn’t say I usually am. Not to the point where I’d really like to play George Washington or something. With Charles Darwin I just got really interested in him after I made Master and Commander. And I went to the Galapagos and I was reading, as I’m sure anyone who has gone to the Galapagos has, his diaries from The Beagle. I can’t think of any other examples where I have actually had any sort of a plan. Which is terrible. I don’t have any plans. It’s terrible. It’s incredibly shallow. I believe I’m a very shallow personality. I have no plans, it’s awful.

That’s sort of refreshing? I don’t know if it is. Maybe. But it’s probably more along the lines of a bit stupid. Some people have great plans and they work out really well. But then some people have plans like Stalin. Stalin had a seven year plan that went really badly. So who knows.

Were you prepared to be bombarded with questions about your faith and religion after completing Creation? No. Not as much as I am. What is really interesting is that evolution and there being a god are not mutually exclusive. They are not. I am an atheist but there’s no intellectual reason for there to be a conflict.

What was the best thing that you learned from making Creation? I think it’s about tolerance of ideas. Tolerance of other people’s ideas. I think that it’s a large message in the movie that isn’t really hammered home, but it’s certainly a message that one can glean from the Darwin’s marriage. He was agnostic, but when the child dies he goes toward science and his wife goes toward religion. And somehow they go on together, looked after each other, supported each other and coexisted while having these wildly different opinions. His wife absolutely believed in heaven and hell and she didn’t change. And somehow we are getting less and less able to be able to have different opinions and still be able to be at peace with one another. I mean you go on the internet and people get so angry at Charles Darwin. It’s so weird. I mean, calm down. So you don’t believe in it? Just calm down.

I read that you had a hard time getting into Darwin’s inner turmoil, especially about spirituality, so you focused on looking the part. Is that true? Well, there are certain things that I can understand about Charles Darwin. There are certain things I can’t. I can’t understand the ability that he had to focus and observe and re-observe life. His way of freshly looking at things and not just saying, ‘well I know what a cup looks like,’ but to actually look at it without all of his preconceived notions of the cup. I do know what loss feels like. I concentrated on those bits that I could control. I cannot become the most intelligent human being that has ever lived, but I can sort of do an impression of that for the camera [laughs].


Were you at all surprised to see what a few wigs and a couple of pounds would do? I gained 40 lbs because I just made Legion and I had been in a gym for 6 months. There are these scenes with Darwin where I knew I didn’t want to look like I do now…so I better start eating sandwiches! It wasn’t that I wanted to get fat, it’s just that I didn’t want to have a 6 pack for the movie. It would have been wrong. Wouldn’t have done Darwin justice. I also have a great makeup artist called Veronica McAleer. She is brilliant. She put wigs on me.

Now that you have experienced hydrotherapy, do you believe it does much good? No! It was freezing cold. I don’t know what it does. It’s great for your pores. You know, it’s really interesting. He was so sick. He had traveled all the way around the world as an incredibly robust youth who liked hunting and sports and was a jock in a weird way. He went all around the world and was fine and then came home and was sick for the rest of his life. I think it was psychosomatic. He then went to hydrotherapy and hydrotherapy has absolutely no scientific basis. I mean there is no science to it and yet, he’d come out and say, ‘Oh I feel much better now, I feel great!’ He was a scientist! Which leads me to think that it was psychosomatic.

Publicist interrupts: Times up! No, let’s have a few more questions, shall we?

SomepPeople are saying that you guys had a surprising lack of chemistry on screen. I felt that there was this sort of disconnect between you and Jennifer on screen. But I thought it was so purposeful and made the relationship touching, the two of you portraying the real disconnect that can happen in relationships. You know I was so surprised to hear that criticism because that was sort of the point. Darwin was a scientific man. Using science I could prove to you that the chemistry of the film is a bananas concept. People talk about on screen chemistry and I can promise you it doesn’t exist. It’s about acting. And you can in actual fact, overplay these things on film. If you don’t have a relationship with the person, you tend to feel the need to sort of telegraph it, gazing into their eyes a lot, and overplay it.

I have been married for seven years and there’s a massive amount of ignoring each other that just goes on, not because you’re tired of each other, just because you know the person is there. You know what they look like and you’ve got the kids to get right, you’ve got things to do. And the way you are physically with them, which might seem without chemistry, actually comes from a slower and deeper love for that person. You know they walk by you and you don’t even have to look to know where their hand is. Cause that hand’s been in the same place for the past seven years in our case. And the Darwins had been together for 15 years when we meet in the film, so they had the same familiarity. I’m glad you picked up on that because that was the whole fucking point. The fucking point wasn’t that they were falling in love. The whole point was that their long marriage was in crisis. Married people don’t behave like a new couple. I don’t do that and I have two kids. Imagine what it’s like with fucking ten children? As if they really have time to stare at each other?

What are some movies you really enjoyed watching in the last year? You are gonna laugh at me. But the Fantastic Mr. Fox. It’s fucking brilliant! It’s my movie of the year.

What was the last movie that you saw? A Serious Man.

The last restaurant that you ate at? I just got back from LA. It was the Four Seasons, but that was because I happened to be doing a hotel junket. If I were going to make one up the Blue Hill. But, really I haven’t eaten there, I would just be making it up.

Of all the directors you have worked with who was the most difficult? Lars Von Trier.

If you could take a piece of any actor today and make it yours, it could be anything from a talent, to abs, to George Clooney’s eyebrow, what would you want? I want everything that Daniel Day-Lewis has. But with my family. I love his talent. He has made a deal with the devil. Also, all of Meryl Streep.

All of? Well, except for the boobs and the vagina. They’re lovely! They really are, but I’m happy being a man. My wife would be shocked if I came home with a pair of Meryl Streep’s boobs and her vagina. I think she’d be more than shocked.

Movie Reviews: ‘Youth in Revolt,’ ‘Dr. Parnassus,’ ‘Brothers’

Brothers – The blistering 2004 Danish drama that inspired this Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In America) homage makes Brothers look like a timid version of its predecessor. Luckily for Sheridan, most Americans haven’t seen the original, so the film’s minor achievements won’t be dwarfed by comparison. Restrained and serviceable, Brothers belongs to the Coming Home school of war films where Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the enemy. Grace (Natalie Portman) is coping with her husband Sam’s (Tobey Maguire) presumed death in Afghanistan, when his black- sheep brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes along to gradually assume the role of surrogate husband and father. When Sam suddenly returns from an unspeakable POW experience with a terrible secret, the film’s third act becomes a gut-wrenching glimpse at war’s long- term effects. Not quite the Oscar powerhouse it aspires to be, Brothers is still haunting. (Dec) —Ben Barna

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus – The latest film from loveable crackpot Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys) will surely attract those intrigued by Heath Ledger’s last performance and the trio of superstars (Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell) enlisted to fill his shoes. But Imaginarium is more than an ode to its fallen lead—it’s also a return to form for the committed weirdo director. Realists beware: Gilliam allows his CGI-enhanced, schizophrenic imagination to roam free across a thin plot. But the former Python exerts more control than usual, seamlessly incorporating the three cameos into a story about the eternal battle between the immortal Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) and the devil (Tom Waits). The three A-listers give lively performances, but it’s difficult not to think about the man they’re replacing. Ledger’s final bow is by no means a tour de force, but littered throughout with faint Joker-isms, it’s a suitable farewell to a unique talent. (Dec) —Daniel Barna

The White Ribbon – Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon is a bleak morality play set in a remote German village prior to WWI. When a series of tragic, bizarre events disrupts the social order—the local doctor falls when his horse is deliberately tripped; a disabled boy is brutally attacked—the townspeople turn against one another hoping to unearth the truth behind these ritual acts of violence. As with Haneke’s last film, 2006’s misleadingly named Funny Games, Ribbon’s evil is all the more insidious because it lacks motive. It’s a whodunit in which who did it is superfluous. The performances here, specifically from the astounding child actors, are chilling, as is the luxurious but somber grayscale color palette. (Dec) —Nick Haramis

Creation – Jon Amiel’s sweeping portrait of Charles Darwin skirts the great thinker’s theory of evolution, choosing instead to explore the tension between faith and reason in the scientist’s personal life. After the death of his oldest daughter, Darwin (Paul Bettany) forsakes religion and nature, and wallows in self-pity for “killing God” with his unpublished On the Origin of Species. His wife (Jennifer Connelly) finds comfort in her devotion to the church and denounces her husband’s godless ideals. The real-life couple’s lack of on-screen chemistry is jarring, if ultimately compelling: their iciness contrasts strikingly with the warmth of newcomer Martha West, whose spirited performance as the ghost of the couple’s 10-year-old daughter is the heart of the film. (Jan) —Cayte Grieve

Youth in Revolt – Michael Cera and newcomer Portia Doubleday star in director Miguel Arteta’s less-than-riotous Youth in Revolt as teenagers stuck in mundane suburbia, wasting away their impressionable adolescence under the control of backward- thinking, manipulative parents. Cera’s Nick Twisp, an affable young man in the vein of Igby and Holden, is far more engaging than his manufactured Francois, the mustachioed, cigarette-smoking alter ego he dreams up to wreak havoc on his family and get closer to his love, Sheeni Saunders (Doubleday). Although solid cameos by Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi and Ray Liotta (along with unnecessary involvement from Justin Long) sprinkle the plot with some genuinely funny moments, these are few and far between for the man behind Chuck & Buck and The Good Girl. (Jan) —Eiseley Tauginas

Hudson Rises, Lou Reed Sulks

I DJed at the Hudson Rise Picnic last night, an amazing benefit proposed to help prevent the construction of a hideous 14-story sanitation facility that’s been approved for construction as early as June 2009 down on Spring and Canal streets, near the river. The city is pushing to construct the building, which will contain garbage trucks, a mountain of salt, garbage fuel, and lots of other stinky stuff that doesn’t seem right next to the water and the Holland Tunnel. The reason I volunteered to DJ for free at this gala was that unlike most groups who gripe about things, these folks are actually offering an intelligent, cheaper, and indeed economically cleaner solution — Hudson Rise Park, which would connect to the river, cost about $200 million less than the city’s current plan, and still accommodate local garbage facilities. Another reason I DJed was to check out the celebs who were on the invite.

James Gandolfini was in attendance, and a guest at the bar actually turned to her wimpy husband and snarled, “Who is this guy? He looks like a mafioso.” Jennifer Connelly also showed up and looked amazing; I’ve met her once when she was very young and was chaperoned by her mom to The Tunnel for an event. She was sweet then and sweet today. Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson hosted the event; Lou generally gets a bad rap for being a bit anti-social, and he did little to disprove that last night. Even though he was there for the good cause, I heard and saw a very gruff and unfriendly incarnation. I once opened for Lou at the old Ritz — which is now Webster Hall — with a fashion show (I was doing that in those days; I produced/directed over 400 shows). But this one was as an opening act for the Warholian legend.

During dress rehearsal, a gofer came to us and announced that Lou Reed was on his way to his dressing room and that the models were not to look at him directly as he passed through. Well, my models were a bit feisty, and one of the older girls said some unkind words about the stars’ lower anatomical regions — kind of loudly — that had the rest of us in tears. I like his work and often his words when he’s interviewed, and even his pal Laurie Anderson is a great person, but Lou doesn’t seem to get that being cool means you actually need to be cool and not think you’re centuries past the rest of us mortals. I booked Laurie Anderson for a New Years’ Eve show back in the day, and I had the legendary Cab Calloway open for her. She was kind, cool, and very smart. Her set was inspiring and positive, so I don’t get the Lou attitude at all. My date last night had a mad crush on him but now thinks he’s a dork.

Well anyway, back to the benefit: There were lots of strong speeches from seriously sharp folk who were just asking the mayor to listen to a common-sense proposal and do the right thing. Victoria Faust (who brought me in) is an inspiring person who put this thing together in just a few weeks. My good friend Michael Calvadis DJed with me, and thank god he came along. When we arrived, there was no DJ equipment, and his laptop saved the day. His first song after the speeches was “Garbage Man” by The Cramps. My boy Dale brought his family, and I played “Whatever” for his ridiculously cute daughter. If you want to catch a DJ set of mine, I will be at Above Allen this Wednesday. And after that, I might take a break for a while. I’m going to leave it to the pros until I can hook myself up with a laptop and Serato, but I’m sure that by then we’ll be spinning telepathically or off our Blackberries.

Revlon Signs Jennifer Connelly

imageActress Jennifer Connelly is the new face of Revlon. She will be in good company at the beauty giant, as fellow Oscar winning actress Halle Berry is also a spokeswoman. Revlon president and CEO David Kenned explained his reasoning for choosing Connelly: “She is an accomplished wife, mother and actress and her successes complement the spirit of the Revlon brand.” Connelly was last seen as a model in those Balenciaga ads for spring/summer 2008. Her duties for Revlon, beyond looking good in print and television ads, are representing Revlon in fundraising events for charity. It’s hard work to be pretty.

Muddy Waters

imageJennifer Connelly starred in Dark Water, now she’s drinking it. This PSA for CharityWater.org is disturbing in its reality, but having the Blood Diamond starlet as the “lead” is sort of distracting. The spot’s message is strong enough without needing a recognizable actress to sell it. It’s the brown water in those glasses that gets our attention, not Connelly’s defeated look at having to serve it to her kids. The clip was directed by Hotel Rwanda’s Terry George. Check it out after the jump.