It’s My Fault ‘Enlightened’ Got Canceled

We’ve all heard the terrible news, I believe. HBO has pulled the plug on the whip-smart and arrestingly offbeat existential sitcom Enlightened after just eighteen episodes. And I just want to publicly say: my bad, y’all.

Sorry, everyone who started watching this great show early on and tried to convince me to give it a shot. I’m halfway through season one now, but I know that’s too little, too late. What’s more, I’m watching on HBO GO, which means I didn’t even register as a viewer. Shit! This is totally my fault.

Sorry, people who created, wrote and starred in this: I was afraid to try something different because it was advertised with Laura Dern’s crying face, which made really uncomfortable somehow. I’d blame David Lynch, but in fact this probably says something about how men don’t want to deal with emotion. What a callow fool I’ve been.

Can you ever forgive me, intelligent TV fans of the world? I honestly didn’t think this would happen purely out of my negligence. I feel so rotten about it. If only there were another half-hour HBO series that tackled the bracing realities of 21st-century identity, femininity and society. Oh well. 

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

A ‘Typically Dark’ New Script From David Lynch is in The Works

And just when I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that the man whose work made me fall in love with cinema was exiting the game forever, more news has crept up about a possible new feature in the works. But of course, there are so few details that its difficult to speculate just what this might be—but how could you not?

In a recent profile with The New York Times centered on Lynch’s commitment to transcendental mediatation, the subject obviously veered off into his filmmaking when talk of Bob Roth—one of the leaders of the organization–apparently let out that Lynch was  "was working on a new script and that it was typically dark." Whoops! I mean honestly, if I were guarding that wonderful of a secret, how could I contain it either? But of course, Lynch lovingly replied, "Bobby’s got a big mouth," and then speaking to the nature of the script: "I think people would probably recognize it.”

Okay, so if Roth says the script is dark and Lynch basically confirms that whatever he’s working on falls under the caliber of his signature auteuristic style, then I’m all in. Is this what Laura Dern meant when she said that she and Lynch had something "cooking?" Is it safe to assume she didn’t mean breakfast foods? But you know, after this long it’s natural to feel a bit of concern that a person is bound to change and the Lynch we know and worship may have different cinematic affinities.

But then again, look at Terrence Malick, he disappeared forever and came back with more fervor than ever. Also, whatever Lynch has been doing since Inland Empire has always stayed in the vein of his obsessions—both aesthetically and psychologically—whether it be his albums, paintings, etc. So I’m hopeful. The next question is, who is going to call Laura Dern?

Are You Watching ‘Enlightened’? Because You Should Be

Look, I know it’s bad form to compare two shows centered around female characters, but with every think-piece about how Girls is great or terrible or middling or tolerable, there’s one less think-piece about how Enlightened is excellent. I’m not saying that the two should be compared—although Laura Dern herself makes a great point when she said that the behavior on Girls is fun and relatable whereas the same scenarios on Enlightened cause one to say, "She’s so sad and scary and tragic. I hope I’m nothing like her" (which itself is enough for a very long essay). What I am saying, however, is that if you’re already watching Girls, take the time to sit put for the following half-hour and watch Enlightened. It is glorious. And if you don’t believe me, here are three smart women who you can trust who feel the same way.

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

How to Play a Rock Star in a Movie

The casting of the upcoming CBGB’a movie has been a drawn-out process scored by endless commentary from fans who think they know better than filmmakers. Even the classic bar’s regulars got in the game. Not too long ago, Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys told us, “Hell, get Johnny Depp to play me!” Now it’s been announced that there is a new round of cast members, including former Roseanne star (and current The Big Bang Theory player) Johnny Galecki as manager Terry Ork and actress Mickey Sumner as Patti Smith. Perhaps the most controversial casting, though, is Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who, The Hollywood Reporter found out, will be playing Iggy Pop. 

The musician has plenty of experience behind the camera, having composed music for video games, TV, and movies, and he’s also appeared in plenty of rockumentaries in his capacity as a band member. But can he actually play the role of a musician?

He can start by checking out these clips below, showcasing what we consider fine examples of actors playing rockers.

The Velvet Goldmine 

With Jonathan Rys Meyers as Brian Slade and Ewan McGregor as Curt Wild—clearly Pop influenced—this should be Hawkins’ go-to movie for Iggy inspiration.

 

La Bamba

Lou Diamond Phillips played Ritchie Valens in this 1987 movie about the rocker who died at 18 in a plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.

 

The Rose

Bette Midler made her screen debut in this movie, based loosely on the life of Janis Joplin. Pop never had Janice’s pipes, so singing like this won’t be a worry for Hawkins, but still a good role to study.

 

Sid and Nancy

For a taste of 1970s rock, what’s better than the Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb in this 1986 classic?

 

The Doors

To capture some of pop’s slithering sex appeal, checking out Val Kilmer’s performance in Oliver Stone’s The Doors would be a smart idea. Kilmer’s magnetic, insane, and overwhelmingly alluring Jim Morrison raised the bar for playing rockers.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

The 1982 punk cult classic featuring a young Diane Lane and Laura Dern is required viewing for anyone who should be allowed to be punk, let alone play one on the screen. Absolutely essential viewing.

It’s Officially Official: P. T. Anderson’s ‘The Master’ Will Come Out on October 12

Film majors, raise your skinny little arms up to heaven: According to Box Office Mojo, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master will receive a limited release on October 12. The film, said to be a loose retelling of the origin of Scientology, was rumored a few weeks ago to be coming out some time in the fall, but this makes it official. Now, we’re less than seven months away from watching Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix trying to act the hell out of each other, with Laura Dern and Amy Adams coming in to bat cleanup. Have you ever been so excited this early for Oscar season? (Trick question: You should always be excited for Oscar season, under penalty of death.)

It’ll be a nice way to capitalize on the critical acclaim that Hoffman is currently getting for his role in Mike Nichols’s revival of Death of a Salesman (though I suppose it’s not like he’s ever not being praised for something), and the first appearance of Phoenix in an actual acting role — not a thinly-disguised mockumentary where he pretends to be a more incomprehensible Matisyahu — since 2008’s Two Lovers. Aside from that, it’s a new Paul Thomas Anderson movie! You know what he’s capable of, hopefully, so let’s hold back on the fannish squeals and mutually set our calendars for October 12. No one talk about this until then, alright?

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’ May Be Coming in October

Well, this is a nice surprise: according to producer/financier Megan Ellison, Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film, The Master, could be hitting theaters as early as October. It’s all tentative, of course, but after more than three years in the making without any real word on a timetable, it’s the first big indication we’ve heard of the movie’s impending release. The Master, if you don’t know, is PTA’s vaguely Scientology-related project about "a charismatic intellectual known as ‘The Master’ whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man." That charismatic intellectual is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, while the young drifter is Joaquin Phoenix — a devilish one-two punch of acting power there’s ever been one.

Amy Adams and Laura Dern also star in the movie, which quickly attracted controversy after script rumors indicated that it’s all loosely based on L. Ron Hubbard’s life and the Scientology "religion" he founded back in the 1950s. Those rumors have been denied by producers attached to the film, but come on. We all know what’s going on. Last December, BlackBook got to take a look behind the scenes of The Master‘s set and found an ample supply of snappy costumes, well-suited for the movie’s mid-20th century setting. It was just a tease, but it looks like The Master will be another carefully stylized, psychologically gripping PTA film, joining the rest of them. (That’s just a massive assumption, really, but whatever, the man has rarely done wrong.) It’s been a long time since 2007’s There Will Be Blood, so let’s hope PTA is finally ready to show us what he’s been working on.

Ten Great Comedic Performances That Deserved Oscar Nominations

Steven Spielberg, Terrence Malick and Marin Scorsese all made lauded films in 2011, but their Oscar buzz has been stolen by a brave performer that delivered the year’s most tear-jerking sink defecation moment. Unless something goes terribly wrong — always a possibility when it comes to the Oscars — Melissa McCarthy is a lock to earn a Best Supporting Actress nod for her work in Bridesmaids, and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo also have a reasonable shot at Best Original Screenplay. To which we say “great, and go ahead and give Wiig a Best Actress nomination while you’re at it, Academy.” Both actresses did commanding work that gave Bridesmaids a solid, emotional core to stack hilarious profane jokes on, and helped turn the movie from a fun summer comedy into a cultural phenomenon.

McCarthy’s nomination would not just be a victory for funny ladies (a subtext valiantly explored throughout 2011 by our nation’s think-piece authors), it would be a victory for all cinematic funny people. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has historically ignored comedic performances, even from big names in hit movies, even when it’s a performance that balances laugh getting with making a character’s journey feel real and hard-earned, no matter how silly. (Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, and everyone in Broadcast News being laudable outliers.) Everyone knows that winning the Best Actor statue is an easy feat for a Serious Dramatic Actor — just emote while in the vicinity of a Nazi. The ten giants in the following list had much harder jobs than any of those “serious actor” wusses could have stepped to. They each made us howl with laughter for nearly an entire movie while still going through a character arc, delivering a performance with earned emotion and all that other  thespian stuff, and for that they deserve a list-form tribute.

Steve Martin, The Jerk  (1979)
It goes without saying that the Oscars are stupid and no one should take them seriously, and not just because they gave Best Picture to Crash (honestly, we’ve never seen it. Maybe it’s better than its reputation?) but because they’ve never nominated Steve Martin. Not even once. That’s a massive body of work to ignore, and for our money he’s never been better than his first lead role the 1979 idiot opus The Jerk. Martin fully commits to Navin R. Johnson’s childlike innocence and zeal to discover the wider world, and it’s genuinely heartbreaking when that wider world begins to corrupt him. And really, he deserved the nod for “he hates these cans” alone.

Laura Dern, Citizen Ruth (1996)
As currently seen in the HBO series Enlightened, Laura Dern is a uniquely egoless actress, always willing to look as terrible as possible (in all senses) if it will lead to comedy or a greater truth. And she was never braver than in this underrecognized Alexander Payne blacker-than-coal comedy, an absolutely brutal satire of all sides of the abortion debate. As the fume-huffing, oft-pregnant Ruth Stoops, Dern captures the cadence and spirit of her character, a woman worn-down by life but not as dumb as expected, and absolutely nailed one of the greatest “oh shit, she really said that” lines in cinema history. 

Roddy McDowall, Lord Love a Duck (1966)
Proof positive that Generation X didn’t create the meta-movie, George Axelrod’s scalding satire of 1950s and ’60s teenager films goes to absurd length to tweak its subject materials (something about beach parties must have really stuck in Axelrod’s craw). But Duck  is kept from dissolving into pure mania by Roddy McDowall’s arch yet deeply sad performance as Alan Musgrave, a love-struck loser who do anything, including a bizarrely drawn-out murder attempt, to make Tuesday Weld happy, even as he knows his love will never be reciprocated.

Bill Murray, Groundhog Day (1993)
There’s no shortage of genius Bill Murray performances ignored by the academy, and choosing just one was a Herculian task. But really, it had to be this. Though Phil Connors’s surroundings, appearance and day never change. Murray subtly plays his character’s confusion, growing frustration and eventual transformation of a selfish man that learns to care about others. He also goes big for the most hilarious suicide montage in cinema history.

Myrna Loy, The Thin Man (1934)
As one-half of married detective couple Nick and Nora Charles, Loy set a standard for lightning-fast witty repertoire that has rarely been matched — though outspoken fans Quentin Tarantino and Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino certainly gave it a try. Loy helped define booze-soaked elegance throughout the Thin Man film series, but she also managed the much trickier balance of making her character’s love for her partner seem as exciting as the white-knuckle cases they were trying to crack. Loy was never nominated for her work, but her famous fans and industry peers campaigned for her to get an honorary life-time achievement award in 1991.

Reese Witherspoon, Election, 1999
The greatest role Reese Witherspoon has ever had (on some level even she must know this) sharpens her natural perkiness and poise into a lethal weapon that lays low all in its path, especially poor Matthew Broderick, the only one to see the quiet menace that pulses just beneath Witherspoon’s sunny demeanor. And the scene where she raises her hand to answer every single question is just too damn honest.

Eddie Murphy, Bowfinger, 1999
The last funny Eddie Murphy movie deserves some recognition, doesn’t it? While we’re not sure how he was able to pull deep enough within himself to play a paranoid, deranged movie star, the academy should have given him a Best Supporting Actor nom for his work in Steve Martin and Frank Oz’s witty parody about the movie business, which is notable for being one of the few “inside Hollywood” movies that is actually funny instead of toxically myopic. Though it’s sad that Murphy apparently absorbed none of Bowfinger’s messages about vanity destroying talent, Murphy tears into Kit Ramsey’s paranoid delusions about aliens and the KKK with a gusto that still serves as a reminder of what this man is capable of when he actually gives a shit.

Steve Carell, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 2005
We’re not saying that Carell’s depiction of Andy Spitzer’s not-too-late maturation from man child to adult should have beaten Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Capote turn, but it’s a crime the best comedy of the first decade of this century didn’t even get some token recognition. While Hoffman’s weight loss was impressive, we’re not sure if even he would have been brave enough to submit to that chest-waxing scene. But beneath all the hilariously boorish behavior, Carell delivered a performance that was as sensitive and well-observed as any “real” acting, and had a lot to say about finding your place in an often terrifying modern world of modern dudedom.

Groucho Marx, Duck Soup, 1933
Groucho Marx, often considered the father of cinematic comedy, was never nominated for an Oscar, instead receiving an honorary award in 1974. If this depresses you, cheer up by watching Duck Soup, a film so famously stuffed with mischief, double entrees, and finely tuned physical comedy that it famously convinced Woody Allen’s character in Hannah and Her Sisters not to kill himself. Groucho and his brother Harpo’s “mirror scene” is one of the most iconic sequences of early Hollywood, and has been paid tribute countless times by everyone from Bugs Bunny to the X-Files, but it still wasn’t enough to earn him some damn respect in his time. 

13 Hollywood Mistresses Worth Cheating For

Tiger Woods may be up to his putter in a mistress scandal, but what’s most disturbing about this particular case of martial infidelity is that Tiger’s wife is a ridiculously attractive Nordic supermodel. Despite this fact, the man still found it necessary to cheat with strange picked up at various bars across the country. Sure, some of the girls in question aren’t too shabby either, but was it really worth it? Now, no one here is advocating cheating on wives or significant others, but if you are a celebrity and you do decide to cheat, at least shoot for an upgrade. For example!

(‘DiggThis’)image1. Kevin Federline Cheated on Shar Jackson with Britney Spears. It’s sad to say, but when looking at the options, I don’t think any man on earth really blames K-Fed for his decision. It’s like when you own a clunker, and some executive does a suicidal plummet off of the roof of his office and the keys to his Benz just happen to land in your hand. What, you’re not going to trade up?

image2. Billy Crudup Cheated on Mary-Louise Parker with Claire Danes. Now I know there may be some heated debate on this one, but let the record show that this bout of infidelity took place prior to Parker’s sexy turn on Weeds. What makes this a particularly nasty split is that Parker was pregnant when Billy broke their bond. What goes around comes around, as Danes eventually cheated on Billy with Hugh Dancy while filming Evening. Oh well, Billy, you had a good run.

image3. Donald Trump Cheated on Ivana Trump with Marla Maples. Money may not buy happiness, but in Ivana’s case, the rumored $20 million and change from her divorce certainly must have helped. Was it any surprise that Donald cheated? Not likely. It was more of a surprise that he managed to get a woman as hot as Marla Maples. Come to think of it, maybe money really does buy happiness. Though apparently, it doesn’t buy a good toupee. However, do you really need a good toupee when you’ve got money to close the deal?

image4. Paul Hogan Cheated on Noelene Hogan with Linda Kozlowski. Paul and Noelene were the Australian equivalent of Brangelina for many years. Then Hogan met Linda Kozlowski on the set of Crocodile Dundee and saw her in that one-piece bathing suit. The rest is history, mate. Apparently it was a love at first sight scenario, because the two are still together and even have a son between them. Good job Paul. I mean, if you’re going to cheat, at least.

image5. Brad Pitt Cheated on Jennifer Aniston with Angelina Jolie. If you didn’t know about this one, then hopefully a landslide will take down that rock you’ve been living under. While it’s hard for a man to imagine how anyone could cheat on Jennifer Aniston, it’s harder for a man to imagine not sleeping with Angelina Jolie given the opportunity. Jen is hot, but the concept of “Branifer” just isn’t as clever. Also, think of the African children saved by this union!

image6. David Letterman Cheated on Regina Lasko with Stephanie Birkitt. Well, all right, Letterman’s given himself enough grief over this one. Among others.

image7. Balthazar Getty Cheated on Rosetta Getty with Sienna Miller. While Balthazar has kids with Rosetta, he clearly made the right choice in picking Sienna Miller, according to cheater calculus. Truly, if you’re going to pick someone to break up your marriage, don’t you want to pick the girl that you know won’t last long? See also: Jude Law.

image8. Marc Anthony Cheated on Dayanara Torres with Jennifer Lopez. No one can deny that Dayanara Torres is attractive, but when presented with J-Lo on a hook, who wouldn’t take the bait? Clearly it was worth the trouble, because people actually know who Marc Anthony is now. He’s still not known for being a musician, but fame is fame. And in true player form, Anthony has even been caught cheating on J-Lo with Dayanara.

image9. Billy Bob Thornton Cheated on Laura Dern with Angelina Jolie. Laura Dern is an elegant, charming dream girl that any man would love to be with. But as Billy Bob and the rest of male America knows at this point, Angelina Jolie is the wet dream girl that any man would be crazy not to sleep with. This trade up is so easy to understand that even Laura Dern got it, and eventually traded up herself, settling down with musician Ben Harper.

image10. Nick Lachey Cheated on Jessica Simpson with Vanessa Minnillo. You may think Nick is crazy for cheating on Jessica Simpson, but that’s because you’re not Nick Lachey. It’s hard for most people to envision doing better than Jessica because she’s the spitting image of a busty girl next door. On the other hand, Vanessa Minnillo is like the exotic version of the busty girl next door.

image11. Usher Cheated on Tameka Foster with Grace Miguel. Everyone involved here is certainly attractive and accomplished and would have no need of, say, cutting a person who remarked on the situation, so let’s move on.

image12. Robert Rodriguez Cheated on Elizabeth Avellán with Rose McGowan. Director doing his star? Shocking. Strangely there’s almost a ghost of a physical resemblance there, in some intangible way. But why go where Marilyn Manson has already been?

image13. Dave Navarro Cheated on Carmen Electra with Jenna Jameson. In terms of raw beauty, it’s impossible to determine if Carmen is hotter than Jenna, or vice versa. That would be like comparing a sunset in Fiji to a sunset in Hawaii, or a jeweled dog collar to a jeweled leash. There’s no difference. But when it comes down to “professional talent,” one of them only looks like a porn star, while the other actually is a porn star.

Los Angeles: Top 10 Celebrity-Owned Hotspots

1. Ago (West Hollywood) – De Niro’s joint. Paps in the parking lot, authentic pies on the table. 2. Dolce (West Hollywood) – Ashton Kutcher’s spot. Good food, plenty of eye candy. 3. Mulberry Street Pizzeria (Beverly Hills) – Seven tables, twenty-minute time limit on using said tables, one (four-time) Oscar-nominated owner — Cathy Moriarty, who also waitresses on occasion — all adds up to a blockbuster hit.

4. Geisha House (Hollywood) – Ashton again, this time in red, plus sushi. 5. Milky Way (Beverly Hills) – Spielberg’s mom owns the place. On the menu: Jewish fusion. On the walls: family photos. 6. Beso (Hollywood) – Eva Longoria is attached to this one. Try the carrot juice martini — make sure to order it at the communal aka “hook-up” centerpiece table. 7. Ortolan (Mid-City West) – Celebrity chef Christophe Eme and his celebrity wife Jeri Ryan own this hot French spot. They keep the dining room so dark, they hand you a wee flashlight to read the menu. The food is fantastic, even if you can’t see it. 8. Tagine (West Hollywood) – Ryan Gosling co-owns this tiny, sexy Moroccan hotspot. 9. Viper Room (West Hollywood) – Johnny Depp’s name is no longer on the deed, but we bet he touched a bunch of stuff in there. Now owned by pseudo-celeb Harry Morton of Pink Taco, it still rocks. Sort of. 10. Dominick’s (West Hollywood) – Rose McGowan, Ben Harper, and Laura Dern. They would make an awesome threesome. Or awesome business partners for a critic-worthy restaurant. Either way.