Robert Bianco is floored by the new FX miniseries “Fargo,” calling it “nearly perfect.” He says that the current TV landscape is excellent, so “who would have thought FX would give us not just another contender for TV’s top quality slot, but one that is both thoroughly original and outrageously entertaining.” While named after the 1996 film and executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, the new project is more of “a tribute without coming across as a cheap imitation.” The leads are Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton and Emmy nominee Martin Freeman with strong support from Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Adam Goldberg, Russell Harvard, Kate Walsh, and Oliver Platt. Episodes air each Tuesday night starting this week. USA Today.
The best dressed celebrities at Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards are unveiled. A new photo gallery praises Shailene Woodley, Lupita Nyong’o, Rihanna, and Jessica Alba. On the other hand, the worst dressed of the evening were Pia Mia Graham, Kat Graham, Bella Thorne, Nikki DeLoach, Karina Smirnoff, and Victoria Justice. E! Online.
Monday’s announcement of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners has the film world’s fingerprints all over it. Donna Tartt nabs the fiction award for “The Goldfinch,” a bestseller and “book-that-everyone’s-reading.” Anne Baker wins the drama award for “The Flick,” about three movie theater employees. The journalism prize goes to the Washington Post and the Guardian for coverage of the Edward Snowden NSA scandal. Thompson on Hollywood.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” reaches another milestone. The quirky dramedy passed the $100 million mark at the worldwide box office and is now the highest grossing movie in director Wes Anderson‘s career. However, it has done better in other countries than in the U.S. “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” made more domestically than this new film. “Budapest” stars Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, and Jude Law. Variety.
Three anticipated Warner Bros. films will be featured in special panels this weekend. Wondercon at the Anaheim Convention Center will have presentations of the “Godzilla” reboot, the futuristic “Edge of Tomorrow” with Tom Cruise, and the action tornado movie “Into the Storm.” Deadline.
Michael Ausiello asks if “Mad Men” is going out “with more of a whimper than a bang.” The seventh season premiere on Sunday only attracted a “disappointing” 2.3 million viewers, down roughly 30% from last year’s opening episode. This is the final season for the four-time Emmy champ as Best Drama Series. Seven episodes air this spring and another seven in 2015. TV Line.
Scott Feinberg hosts an exclusive chat with 80-year-old actress and singer Shirley Jones. She was the special guest of the TCM Classic Film Festival for their screening last week of “Oklahoma.” They discuss the start of her career on Broadway, followed by a string of great film roles (including her Oscar win for “Elmer Gantry”), and her TV work in “The Partridge Family.” Hollywood Reporter.
Director David Fincher departs the developing film project based on the life of Steve Jobs. It is written by Aaron Sorkin, his Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Social Network.” Sources say that Fincher left after seeking $10 million from Sony in up-front fees and control over marketing. Christian Bale was the helmer’s top choice to play the title role, so his future is uncertain with the departure. IGN.