Today's News: Our Take


CITY SLICKER

Gap model Jason Lewis has been cast on Sex and the City as a love interest for maneater Samantha (Kim Cattrall). The new season kicks off this summer. read more

Oscar Winners Smile in Face of War


On Academy Awards night, war protesters crowded the streets around Hollywood's Kodak Theater for several blocks in every direction. Inside, Bowling for Columbine director Michael Moore — who won best documentary feature — lent his controversial voice to them all with his "Shame on you, Mr. Bush!" acceptance speech. Just afterward, the scruffy rabble rouser braved the backstage press room to explain himself.

First off, Moore recounted what viewers may've missed when Oscar's orchestra drowned out his anti-Dubya rant. "I don't know if you heard it or not," he told reporters. "I just said that anybody who's got both the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against them is not long for the White House!"

Emboldened by winning an Oscar for griping about the U.S. government, Moore clearly had no regrets about waxing political. "I'm an American, and you don't leave your citizenship at the door when you enter the read more

HEAVEN SENT

Todd Haynes's 1950s melodrama Far From Heaven may have gotten shut out by Oscar, but the acclaimed film won five trophies at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards, including best picture, best actress (Julianne Moore), best director (Haynes), best supporting actor (Dennis Quaid) and cinematography. Antwone Fisher's breakout star Derek Luke won best actor and Emily Mortimer was named best supporting actress for Lovely & Amazing. read more

SHORT CUTS

The Hours, featuring Nicole Kidman's Oscar-winning performance, arrives on DVD June 24... War jitters have led Lisa Marie Presley to cancel plans for a European promotional tour on behalf of her debut album, To Whom It May Concern. read more

Political Animals Turn the Oscars Into a Zoo


In a time of war, battles between the rich and famous over little statuettes that justify big paydays and bigger egos seem, to put it mildly, trivial — and Oscar knows it. So, out of respect for the soldiers who are, for better or worse, risking their necks in the Middle East, the producers of last night's 75th Annual Academy Awards ceremony didn't merely trot out the usual who's who of Hollywood stars; instead, they let march a parade of stars and stripes.

Right from the kickoff of ABC's three-and-a-half-hour telecast, it was obvious that the colors of the evening would be red, white and blue, not gold. In fact, host Steve Martin began his uproarious opening monologue by observing the steps that execs had taken to irritate the Iraqi forces: "You probably noticed there was no fancy red carpet tonight," he said in his winning, deadpan style. "That'll send 'em a message." Not a moment later, the good-humor man instructed read more

HOUSE RULES

Bringing Down the House was the No. 1 film at the box office for the third-consecutive weekend. The Steve Martin-Queen Latifah comedy grossed another $16.2 million for a three-week total of $83.4 million. Horror flick Dreamcatcher, which opened at No. 2 with $15.3 million, fared much better than fellow newcomers View from the Top (No. 4 with $7.6 million), Piglet's Big Movie (No. 7 with $6.1 million) and the Cuba Gooding Jr. farce Boat Trip (No. 10 with $3.7 million). Note to Cuba: Bitch-slap your agent, and then fire him. read more

THEY HAD IT COMING...

The 75th Annual Academy Awards went on as scheduled Sunday night, and war politics and jazz were in the air. As expected, Chicago danced off with a field-best six trophies, including best picture and best supporting actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones. In two major upsets, Roman Polanski scored best director kudos for The Pianist and the film's star, Adrien Brody, walked off with best actor honors. Elsewhere, a tearful Nicole Kidman won best actress for The Hours, and read more

STAR SEARCH UPDATE

With war coverage blanketing the airwaves, the networks have been forced to make some schedule changes. Among the shifts: ABC is holding the remaining episodes of its struggling reality show The Family until summer; the finale of CBS's Star Search, interrupted last Wednesday, will air on April 2; and NBC will go with reruns of its Must-See Thursday comedies on Tuesday. read more

GET OUT THE BROOM

Madonna made headlines on Oscar weekend — but not the kind she would have liked. The aspiring actress's stink bomb of a film, Swept Away, was the big "winner" at the 23rd annual Razzie awards, which recognize the year's sorriest cinema efforts. The movie picked up five trophies, including worst film, worst performance by an actress (Madonna), worst remake, worst screen couple (Madonna and co-star Adriano Giannini) and worst director (Madge's hubby Guy Ritchie.) Adding insult to injury, the singer — who shared worst actress honors with pop tart Britney Spears for Crossroads — was also singled out as worst supporting actress for her cameo in Di read more

Billy Campbell Plays Evil Again


Serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in 1989, but TV movies refuse to let him rest in peace. Mark Harmon played the sinister role in 1986's The Deliberate Stranger. And tonight, Once and Again's Billy Campbell goes handsome and homicidal in USA's similarly titled The Stranger Beside Me (8 pm/ET). Did he watch Harmon's gorefest for evil pointers?

"I haven't seen [Harmon's film]," Campbell tells TV Guide Online. "I sort of avoided it on purpose. I think he's much better looking than I am."

Actually, both Harmon and Campbell have that trustworthy, All-American Hunk Next Door look, which Bundy reportedly used to fool his female prey. But after wifebeating read more

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