Yes, the ongoing saga of Jude Law and Sienna Miller has come to a fork in the road.
“We have parted ways,” Law told me last night at the premiere of his pastry swirl of a romantic comedy, “The Holiday,” directed by Nancy Meyers, the same master of delightful fluff who’s given us “Something’s Gotta Give” and “What Women Want.”
Jude got high marks from the star-studded audience for his Hugh Grant-like turn in this new film, but the role is something of a cakewalk.
His really important work of this Oscar season is in Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking and Entering,” a film that will get a late start here in the U.S. but deserves a break. It features searing performances by Jude and Juliette Binoche, who are both mesmerizing.
But between “The Holiday” and “B&E,” Jude heads home this morning to London so he can see his two eldest children with Sadie Frost in their school holiday plays. And then, of course, he gets ready for Christmas with the family.
And then there’s his next movie, a remake of “Sleuth,” which he’s producing and Kenneth Branagh is directing.
It’s a big project, with Michael Caine taking the role Sir Laurence Olivier had in the original, and Jude filling Caine’s shoes. And Harold Pinter is sprucing up his original screenplay.
And that’s the problem. Miller is about to take off in “Factory Girl,” her own late Oscar entry. Law simply cannot be here by her side or even to help “B&E” much as it hits theaters.
“I think they’re meant to be together,” shrugged a friend at the premiere. “But they never had an official break-up from the first time,” the friend continued. “So this is it. They have parted ways, he’s right.”
Well, at least they didn’t get married and divorced in three months, like most celebrity couples!
Jude, I should tell you, is quite the movie star despite being a good actor. Yesterday morning he caused a scene at a New York coffee bar at Third Avenue and 30th Street when he popped in for a quick latte. The staff still hasn’t gotten over it.
Meanwhile, Jude’s costar in “Holiday,” Cameron Diaz, came to the Museum of Modern Art premiere sporting dark brunette hair and several dozen security guards who stood sentry around her at all times as if she were more important than Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles D’Avignon” or Monet’s water-lily pond panels, all of which were two floors above and didn’t required nearly that much fuss. But you know, Cameron Diaz is a piece of work!
Kate Winslet, on the other hand, was busy traversing the city trying to juggle both the “Holiday” premiere and her Gotham award from the Independent Feature Project East, which was given out simultaneously at a similarly star-packed event at the Chelsea Piers.
I had to give her credit, since I did the same thing, except of course she had a chauffeured limo. But Kate — who’s become a real New Yorker with husband Sam Mendes — is a sport of sports. After her turns in “Little Children” and “Holiday,” is she starring in any more movies this season, I asked?
“That’s it!” she replied, while the mother of one of her kids’ school chums chewed her ear off about more domestic matters.
Some more celebs taking in the spectacular affair at MoMA: a “real” actor Rufus Sewell, the British stage and TV sensation who doesn’t get enough attention. Also: Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson of “Rain Man” and “Diner” fame.
And 90-year-old legend Eli Wallach was there with equally famous wife, Anne Jackson. Wallach steals “The Holiday,” and get this: He’s got two more movies coming, one with Diane Keaton. He also plays Noah Dietrich in Lasse Hallstrom’s terrific Clifford Irving-Howard Hughes saga “The Hoax.” Wallach is a New York gem who deserves some kind of citation at this year’s Academy Awards. Ain’t nothing like the real thing!
“Death of a President,” the inappropriate mockumentary that was shown with much controversy at the Toronto Film Festival, is dead after a month in release.
The Gabriel Range-directed feature — which showed the simulated assassination of President George W. Bush — was released on Oct. 27 by Newmarket Films, the same company that gave us “The Passion of the Christ.”
Newmarket opened the film on 143 screens. Thirty three days later it’s playing on three screens — one very small one in New York City, one in Madison, Wis., and another in Norfolk, Va.
So far the pitiful total take is $519,000. Compare that to at least $2 million in production costs and another $500,000 for promotion and advertising. That’s a nearly complete write-off for Channel 4 Television in Britain, which underwrote this bizarre and awful project.
The film, a kind of cheesy "CSI" episode, shows what happens after Bush is murdered in cold blood and a hunt ensues for the killer. An Arab-American is put on trial and convicted even though there is little evidence against him. Once he’s imprisoned, it turns out that a black American whose son has been killed in Iraq is the actual assassin, but since he has already committed suicide, the Arab remains imprisoned.
The fact that few theaters would show the movie, and that no one wanted to see it anyway, should remind us that just because something is made in the UK doesn’t mean it’s classy or successful.