Deep Inside Hollywood

Natalie Portman Poses for 17 Photos

Star Wars and Garden State obsessives who still carry a torch for Natalie Portman aren’t going to like where she’s going next: marriage and motherhood. Not in real life or anything, just for a role. But still, movies feel like real life sometimes, so it may trouble the fanboys that her next project, 17 Photos of Isabel, finds Amidala trading space adventures for womb-centric dramedy. She plays a careerist woman with eyes for the boss, only to find herself dealing with marriage, a stepchild, and pregnancy when he responds affirmatively. Romeo is going to assume that this coming-of-age-and-maternity material will be better than it sounds thanks to filmmaker Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex). That whole unfortunate Bounce moment notwithstanding, Roos remains one of Hollywood’s sharpest, funniest gay creative minds. Best of all, Roos’ snarky muse Lisa Kudrow is on board again, too.

Sam Rockwell’s Winning Season

When you think of the WNBA, what’s your next thought? That’s right: Sheryl Swoopes. And your next thought after that? Exactly: lesbians. So why are there never any teen lesbians in TV shows or films featuring girls basketball (or any sports for that matter)? The closest Hollywood will get is allowing the tough-girl protagonist of the little-seen Stick It to escape the third act without a male love interest. Will The Winning Season, a new feature about a down-on-his-luck coach (Sam Rockwell) and his underachieving high school girls basketball team (featuring Hotel for Dogs’s Emma Roberts and Half Nelson’s Shareeka Epps), address this omission? Early reviews out of Sundance Film Festival don’t say one way or the other, but it is an indie feature from Grace Is Gone director James C. Strouse, which means that the odds are better than if Disney was behind it. Here’s hoping for some balance.

John August’s Frankenweenie

It’s good to know the names of people who write movies. It helps when you want to sing their praises or wonder aloud to fellow movie nerds how a misfire went wrong. But so far gay scribe John August can boast a pretty successful track record, one that includes both Charlie’s Angels films, as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, and Corpse Bride for Tim Burton. And now he’s on board for yet another Burton project, an animated feature-length do-over of Burton’s early short, Frankenweenie, about a pet brought back to life. August will also tackle the comic book Preacher for Sam Mendes. The plot of that one? Not controversial at all, really–it’s just about a disillusioned minister who decides to hunt down God and exact some retribution. Now, guess which one will probably get its own Happy Meal?

All Aboard for Mad Men

Romeo is breathing a sigh of relief that hold-out Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner has finally signed on for a third season of the award-winning drama about advertising executives in the early 1960s. And it’s not just about lust for Don Draper (Jon Hamm) or the vicarious va-va-voom thrills provided by Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks). Queer viewers know that Sal (Bryan Batt), the deeply closeted and yet still married Madison Avenue suit with enough fear and tension to fill a pre-Stonewall dive, is one of the most frustrating and complex gay characters on TV right now. And now his character gets to continue loving Joan Crawford and being miserable. Romeo’s TiVo programming finger is already getting itchy.

Romeo San Vicente can’t stay mad at most men. He can be reached care of this publication or at [email protected].

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