Peter Bart: Can Superb Ted Kennedy Exposé ‘Chappaquiddick’ Survive Fact-Based Movie Malaise?

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There’s a powerful scene in the newly released film Chappaquiddick in which an exasperated, wheelchair-bound Joe Kennedy fiercely slaps his son, Ted. The monomaniacal old man is in a rage that Senator Ted, groomed to be the next Kennedy president, now faces ruin for driving his car off a bridge, thus drowning a young girl.
The question is, how many filmgoers will witness this riveting moment; as with most mid-budget dramatic films, Chappaquiddick, though superbly crafted…

Peter Bart: Saudi Crown Prince Visit Shows Global Appetite Of Hollywood, And Endeavor

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The demonstrators outside the WME-Endeavor offices Monday provided a reminder that the role of the talent agency is undergoing a radical change – one that is reverberating on varied fronts.
In part, the demonstrators’ presence is a response to the budding relationship between Ari Emanuel and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. These ties could result in a Saudi investment of $400 million in the talent emporium — a move with both financial and political ramifications…

Bart & Fleming: As Academy Clears John Bailey Of Harassment, Was Coverage Fair?

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Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business.
BART: When do you break a story? I first ran into that question when I foolishly ran the name of a murder victim before his next of kin were notified. I was on the crime beat for the Chicago Sun-Times at the time and I got yelled at by my city editor who, in turn, had heard about it…

Peter Bart: Donald Trump’s Nightmare, Stormy Daniels Has A Secret Side As Prolific Film Director With Skills

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Along with the compelling stage name Stormy Daniels, Stephanie Clifford has more sides to her than the ones for which she has become best known – porn film star and giant thorn in the side of the President of the United States.
Clifford’s lesser known side is that she is a prolific director of movies, albeit porn titles that include Sex Door Neighbors, Lust on the Prairie, and Space Nuts. At a moment where women are gaining ever greater recognition for their ability to…

Peter Bart: ‘Black Panther’s Triumph Sends Studios Scurrying To Find The Next Magic Formula

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Hollywood’s focus always shifts magically at this time of year from the fresh to the familiar. The Shape of Water, quirky and innovative, already is yesterday’s news as the next Avengers prepares to battle Rampage for the first shot at summer franchise business.
It’s all about following the money: After all the Oscar hoopla, The Shape of Water managed in the end to gross $61 million and Call Me By Your Name $17.4 million, but the gold standard for the summer blockbuster…

Bart & Fleming: Oscar Ratings & ‘Red Sparrow’ Sunk By Hollywood’s Liberal Trump Bashers?

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Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business.
FLEMING: Why were the Oscar ratings down 19% to the smallest viewership level of all time? I found it a most satisfying show. Jimmy Kimmel and producers Mike De Luca and Jennifer Todd did a fine job all the way to the finish line this time, owning last year’s gaffe and ensuring it didn…