Squeeze It In

Every year there are always one or two Cannes market screenings worth catching. I’ve been hoping all along that Sylvester Stallone‘s The Expendables would turn up in this fashion, but with no announcement so far I guess not. So the one to see, I suppose, is Taylor Hackford‘s Love Ranch, which will screen on Saturday (along with four or five other must-sees that day).

Love Ranch is a ’70s period drama about Joe and Sally Conforte’s Mustang Ranch, with Joe Pesci playing the (in)famous Mr. Conforte and Helen Mirren (i.e., Hackford’s wife) plays Sally. Joe Pesci plays the (in)famous Mr. Conforte and Helen Mirren (i.e., Hackford’s wife) plays Sally — although they’re apparently referred to in the film as Charlie and Grace Botempo.

“Most of us are a little scared, I think, of husband-and-wife collaborations on films,” I noted last month, “as they tend to disappoint, hence the muted enthusiasm about this one. The screenplay, however, is by celebrated author and longtime New York magazine contributor Mark Jacobson, who based it on a story he wrote about the ranch, so maybe.

“The film has been tied up in legal wrangles due to the producers, Capitol Films David Bergstein and Ron Tutor, having failed to make payments on loans and being foreclosed upon in late ’08, blah, blah. But financial boondoggles never prevent a film from being shown at a festival or two, as critical acclaim at Toronto or Sundance can obviously add value to the core asset. If it’s worth showing, there’s always a way.”

I’m aware, of course, that E1, the sales agent, might not want someone like me to show up and potentially post something negative so I may be looking at a challenge.

  • LexG

    This sounds AWESOME. Huge Pesci fan, good to have him back (apparently in 1982 DEAR MR. WONDERFUL mode)… Hackford is MASSIVELY underrated, as only the director of all-time Lexian MASTERPIECE and GUIDE TO LIFE “Officer and a Gentleman” can be….

    Also there is nothing more fascinating ever than the sex industry, at least to me. No one in America will care, but then again most of America marries their high school sweetheart, so they can get the bozack.

  • Deathtongue_Groupie

    I don’t, Lex. Doesn’t the fact that in a movie about a houseful of young women, the person mentioned on the poster as “Introducing” is a GUY set off an alarm bell or two?

    Especially considering your lack of appreciation for MILF”s or cougars, you should be worried that Hackford is going to make this an ode to his wife’s senior hotness and not the girls of the house.

  • LexG

    Mirren is the hottest old timer on the planet. Strangely sexy, plus she’s awesome. Not my cup of tea necessarily, but she definitely has “something” I can’t put my finger on where I always think, wow, she’s COOL. Mad props. Like, whatever old dude got THIS deal lucked out.

    Of all the older actresses we’re supposed to bow before, Mirren is the one who really deserves it.

    Hackford Power: Idolmaker, Officer, Against All Odds, White Knights, Everybody’s All American, Blood In Blood Out, Dolores Claiborne, Devil’s Advocate, Proof of Life…

    Everybody give it up for America’s premier auteur of… er… vaguely overlong, Sydney Pollack-esque smart “adult” movies with protracted digressions into bad taste and shiny cinematography and a vague haziness that always goes one reel too long? How else does one define a Hackford?

  • pmn

    Devil’s Advocate has to be one of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

  • crazynine

    I hadn’t heard about this, but this could be surprisingly awesome.

  • raygo

    Everybody give it up for America’s premier auteur of… er… vaguely overlong, Sydney Pollack-esque smart “adult” movies with protracted digressions into bad taste and shiny cinematography and a vague haziness that always goes one reel too long? How else does one define a Hackford?

    One the most entertaining paragraphs I’ve ever read here. Kudos. (And I whole heartedly agree.)

  • The Winchester

    I second that summation.

    Bravo, sir.

  • teeem

    i’ve seen this turkey. Pesci does a spot-on imitation of himself, in spite of being miscast. Mirren’s lovely and noble and put-upon in a story that doesn’t need to be told.

    S P O I L E R :

    the best moment in the film belongs to Bai -what’s-her-name. that should tell you something.

  • reno rambler

    I’ve been curious about this since they were filming parts in Reno and near ABQ when I was visiting. I adore Mirren and could watch Prime Suspect over and over again but my teen heart still has a thing for her as Morgana LeFay (sp?) in Excalibur.

  • Quantrell Bishop

    I would love to hang out and see a few flicks with Lex. If I had piles of fuck-you money, I’d champion you.

    Seriously man, start a blog.

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  • taikwan

    Excalibur…..best version of King Arthur and Helen was so evil as Morgana. Birthed her baby boy by herself.

    Patrick Stewart and Liam Neeson too. (not birthed by Helen/Morgana but players in the film)

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