The greatest American play? Quite possibly Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” set in 1949 and revived last night on Broadway in a production that is outstanding. Mike Nichols directed and reinvented Miller’s classic, with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, Andrew Garfield (the new movie Spider Man) as Biff, Linda Emonds as Willy’s wife Linda, and Finn Wittrock as Happy. This is a historic production, quite possibly the best ever (and there have been many great ones starring Dustin Hoffman, Brian Dennehy, Lee J. Cobb, George C. Scott).
Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Miller’
By Samuel Negin
Broadway vet Philip Seymour Hoffman is gearing up for his Broadway performance in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, but he is looking ahead towards his film resume. Hoffman is in talks to star in a movie adaptation of John LeCarré’s novel A Most Wanted Man according to Daniel Miller of The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be shot in Hamburg, Germany, and will be directed by Anton Corbijn.
By Sean O’Connell
“Pulp Fiction.” “The English Patient.” “Good Will Hunting.” “Shakespeare in Love.” “Chicago.” “The Aviator.” “Gangs of New York.” “The Reader.” “The King’s Speech.”
For decades, Harvey Weinstein’s name has been synonymous with the Academy Awards, and his influential fingerprints have been all over the Oscar season.
Last night, I had the great thrill of speaking for about 30 minutes by phone with Aaron Sorkin, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest American screenwriters alive today — right up there with his mentor William Goldman, as well as Woody Allen, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Charlie Kaufman, Tony Kushner, David Mamet, Eric Roth, and Robert Towne. Rather remarkably, though, Sorkin had never even been nominated for an Academy Award prior to this year — not for “A Few Good Men” (1992), not for “Malice” (1993), not for “The American President” (1995), and not for “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007). (Perhaps the Academy just couldn’t handle the truth!) Next Sunday night, however, he is widely expected to win the best adapted screenplay Oscar for his most impressive script yet, the “Citizen Kane” (1941)/“Rashomon” (1950)-inspired “The Social Network.”
Over the course of my time with Sorkin — who is now in the midst of polishing the pilot script for an HBO show about a cable news anchor, and who talks just as quickly and wittily and intelligently as the characters that he has been writing for the past two decades — he and I discussed…
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of spending about 45-minutes on the telephone with Michelle Williams, who is not only one of America’s finest actresses — and, at 30, will probably remain one of them for decades to come — but who is also a deeply intelligent woman; a devoted single mother; and a real survivor. (She’s also not bad on the eyes!)
Williams became a star at the tender age of 17 on the hit TV show “Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003) — I remember when it happened because I’m about the same age as her and often tuned in. She proved that she had the acting chops to match her looks in a number of early films, but especially “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), for which she received a best supporting actress Oscar nod. She attracted the interest of the tabloids when she first began dating her “Brokeback” co-star Heath Ledger, with whom she would eventually have a daughter, Matilda — and again in early 2008, when Ledger died suddenly. After a period of mourning and seclusion, Williams reemerged in a series of roles that brought her widespread acclaim — from the bare-bones indie “Wendy and Lucy” (2008) to the eccentric ensemble piece “Synecdoche, New York” (2008) to the Martin Scorsese-mystery “Shutter Island” (2010) — and, before long, she’ll be seen portraying another movie star who died far too young, Marilyn Monroe, in a biopic entitled “My Week with Marilyn.” Things have never looked better for her in terms of her career, but she’s not ruling out the possibility that she might wake up one day, decide that she’s had enough of it all, and call it quits. There’s more to life than being a movie star, she has learned.
Over the course of our conversation — a full transcript of which follows — Williams and I discussed virtually all of the above. We focused particularly, however, on the pinnacle achievement of her career up to this point: her remarkable performance in Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company, 12/31, NC-17, trailer), a gritty, honest, adult drama about the complexities of a relationship. (To me, at least, it’s somewhat reminiscent of a play and film that preceded it by half a century, “A Streetcar Named Desire.”) To play the part of a woman who falls in — and, six years later, out of — love with the same man (Ryan Gosling), a lot was asked of Williams — extensive emotional and physical nakedness, a quick weight gain, and even some tap-dancing — and, as anyone who has seen the film can attest, she certainly rose to the occasion.
I thought that I’d share a fun — and probably apocraphyal — story that always gives me a good laugh…