'Manchurian' thrills at preem
Par stuck to the party line on “The Manchurian Candidate” at Thursday’s Acad bow. Its chief talking point: Jonathan Demme‘s remake is no partisan polemic.“It acts like a Rorschach — depending on your political perspective, it changes what you see in characters,” Par’s Rob Friedman said during the lobby after-fete. Indeed, pundits have already likened Meryl Streep‘s Machiavellian schemer to Hillary Clinton or former White House adviser Karen Hughes, but never both. Demme expressed doubt either party would embrace the pic, pointing to its indictment of big business. “This is a movie that wants to really agitate,” he said. “It wants to offend all of the parties.” And Friedman brushed off concerns about Ronstadt-like repercussions from the pic’s sharp political tone. “At the end of the day, it’s a thriller,” he said. “Thrillers can be set in a bank. This happens to be set in the world of politics.” But it’s also debuting in the wake of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the summer’s biggest cause celebre, as the presidential campaign kicks into high gear. Thursday’s bow followed Monday’s “Outfoxed” preem at the Pacific Design Center and Tuesday’s Westwood launch of “The Hunting of the President” — a cinematic trifecta for L.A. conspiracy nuts. “It is timely,” Friedman said of his “Candidate,” “but it’s totally different than ‘Fahrenheit.’ ” Among those on hand: Par’s Sherry Lansing, producer Tina Sinatra and the extended Sinatra clan, Ivan Reitman, Jodie Foster, Paul Thomas Anderson, Winona Ryder, Ed Begley Jr., Griffin Dunne and Shohreh Aghdashloo.