Mia Farrow Beats a Dead Horse

Mia Farrow | Disney | Oscars

Mia Farrow Beats a Dead Horse

How sad to see Mia Farrow dredging up her 1992 scandal with Woody Allen on national television this week and in newspapers.

My favorite interviewer, Daphne Barak, is responsible for Farrow's "60th birthday" exclusive. Barak also is the regular supplier of "interviews" or rather press releases from Michael Jackson's parents, Joseph and Katherine.

In all of these cases, the subjects seem allowed to say whatever they want, whether it's true or not, and there is no questioning of their veracity or attempt to bring in outside people for balance.

In Farrow's case, what seems clear is that she's made it impossible for her son, Seamus, to have any kind of relationship with Allen. This must be particularly brutal for Allen, since Seamus is his only biological child. Can it be healthy for Farrow — who's obviously still bitter over the events of 1992 and rightly so — to have done this to their son?

The big question is: What could be her motivation? Of course, the answer is: money, money, money. It's been years since she's made any movies and a decade since she received a reported $3 to $4 million for her tell-all autobiography. With many mouths to feed, it seems she's sold out if only to beat a very dead horse.

I think that the situation with Allen and Farrow's adopted daughter Soon Yi — who became Allen's wife and mother of two more adopted children — remains an uncomfortable one. But 12 years have passed and the couple is still together. Farrow is not required to accept what's happened, but neither is she obliged to seek out income producing activities associated with her anger.

Disney's $38 Million Dirty Secret

Michael Eisner is all excited about downsizing Miramax, kicking out the founding Weinstein brothers and putting a lid on the company's per-film budgets.

But Disney has fast become famous for expensive flops and no Oscar nominations. Miramax racked up 20 this year.

Most of Disney's 2004 disasters are well-known and have been much publicized: "The Alamo," "Around the World in 80 Days," "Home on the Range," "The Ladykillers" and "King Arthur," to name a few.

But one that's slipped under the radar is "The Last Shot," a comic farce starring Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Ray Liotta, Calista Flockhart, Tony Shalhoub, Toni Collette and Buck Henry, among others. It also featured a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson, who wrote "Catch Me If You Can" for Steven Spielberg and is now writing "Vengeance" for him.

According to my sources, "The Last Shot" cost $28 million to make and at least $10 million to promote and advertise. So what did it do at the box office? Answer: $467,000. That's all, folks.

In other words: Nobody went to see it except for maybe the families of the people involved. That's a write-off of $38 million, right into the wastebasket.

Somehow, Disney has managed to keep this one a well-kept secret.

Ironically, Eisner's big complaint about Miramax — while he's busy eviscerating it for no particular reason — is that it hasn't been profitable. Eisner was said to be upset about the Weinsteins spending big bucks to make "Cold Mountain" and "Gangs of New York." But at least people went to see those movies. And I mean lots and lots of people.

In the case of "The Last Shot," a box office take of $467,000 means about 46,700 people went, if they paid $10 a pop.

Of course, "The Last Shot" still managed to exceed John Travolta's "Love Song for Bobby Long" as the most failed box-office attraction of the year. I guess that's something.

In the meantime, rumors abound that Eisner is considering putting in Disney's Nina Jacobson to run Miramax when the Weinsteins leave.

No disrespect, but isn't this the person responsible for the god-awful Kate Hudson vehicle "Raising Helen?" Is that really the way a company with three Best Pictures — "Chicago," "Shakespeare in Love" and "The English Patient" — not to mention 65 Oscar nominations in 10 years, should be managed? I cannot remember the last time Disney won an Oscar. I know it wasn't for "Raising Helen," that's for sure.

Oscars Generational Shift

Chris Rock's hosting of the Academy Awards this weekend is a welcome change, frankly. I don't care what he says before the show airs or when it airs. It's time to get hip, and producer Gil Cates has made a daring move in the right direction.

People seem to forget Steve Martin's famous line when he hosted a couple of years ago: "Millions of people around the world are watching us and they're all thinking: 'Everyone in Hollywood is gay.'"

It's a joke, folks: don't take this stuff seriously.

But Rock's hosting may signal more than just a few jokes. It's also about the long overdue integration of African-Americans in Hollywood. Tomorrow night, Ebony magazine is throwing its first lavish pre-Oscar party for the black nominees: Morgan Freeman, Jamie Foxx, Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo.

Oscar is clearing out the cobwebs in 2005. Now comes word that a big new party that will combine film, hip-hop and many other worlds is looking to rival Vanity Fair's annual pristine event.

I'm told that best-actor favorite Jamie Foxx, the cast of "Ray" and many other stars will join Chaka Khan, Wyclef Jean, Pierce Brosnan, Paula Abdul and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds for a huge gala at The Factory in Beverly Hills. The party, plus a concert, will benefit Children Uniting Nations. Eleven famous chefs will provide the food, too.

I have a feeling that right after the Governor's Ball on Sunday night, this and Elton John's party at the Pacific Design Center will be the hot, hot, hot spots.