You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Cooler’ heats up fest

Lions Gate pic saddled with NC-17 rating

Wednesday’s Los Angeles Film Festival opening night kicked off the 11-day event with a dose of violence and romance as “The Cooler” premiered at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome.

IFP exec director Dawn Hudson and fest director Richard Raddon introduced the Lions Gate pic, while Heather Graham performed intro honors for her “Killing Me Softly” helmer, Chen Kaige, the fest’s guest director. Graham spent the screening canoodling with b.f. Chris Weitz while aud members gasped at the graphic scenes — including more than the world has ever seen of William H. Macy.

Lions Gate now has to grapple with how and if it can turn the Vegas gambling pic, recently tagged with an NC-17 rating, into a more acceptable R before its November release.

At the packed Sunset Room afterparty, pic’s Alec Baldwin said he enjoys alternating studio pics like “Cat in the Hat” with indie fare “because everyone is working on the project because they love it.” Lions Gate prexy Tom Ortenberg meanwhile called the pic the most original love story of the year.

Also mingling at the opening were Billy Baldwin, Faye Dunaway, Oliver Hudson, John Cameron Mitchell, Guy Pearce, James Remar and Christan Slater.

The fest’s busy sked of Coffee Talks included a sesh on directing with Jodie Foster and David Fincher, moderated by Kasi Lemmons over the weekend

Foster and Fincher regaled a SRO crowd, which included guests such as helmer Tony Bui and Dunaway, with “Panic Room” tales .

Foster recalled her days on set trapped in a 8×6-foot room as “horrible, but I’d still come home with a smile on my face.”

Fincher, in his signature grump mode, often let out a pained sigh before answering questions and admitted he finds working on a film mostly “miserable.”

“Once you find (a script) you love you have six-and-a-half minutes to enjoy it,” he lamented.

Foster, who continues her quest to get “Flora Plum” made, says the project still has Russell Crowe attached. “It went from humbling to humiliating. Hopefully we’re doing it now.”

— additional reporting by Sharon Swart

More Scene

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content