This Week: September 4 – 10, 2011
Welcome back to The 168 Turnaround, though now newly modified. I’ll still be running through my favourite Entertainment news from the past week (or 168 hours). Instead of spending the same amount of time on each topic, however, I’ll give a quick recap of the week, and then move in for a closer look at the news item that interested me the most. I hope you enjoy it.
The Week At Large
This past week has been one of surprises. Who knew, for instance, that in France you are legally obligated to have sex with your wife? I’ll tell you who didn’t know—the 51-year-old man who’s just been fined 8,500 pounds for never doing it (and so it turns out that abstinence isn’t as risk free as we once thought). Speaking of sex, word on the street is that English actress Kate Winslet (The Reader) is a fan of irony. Winslet, who has bared all in many of her films (and in the majority of her most successful ones), has apparently admitted to V magazine that she hates nude scenes, and goes on to call them bizarre and unethical. This in turn takes us from Oscar winning actresses to actors hosting the Oscars. After last year’s ho-hum show (hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway), the Academy is—no surprise—changing things up for this year’s gala. What is surprising is their choice in host: the once great comedian, turned failing actor Eddie Murphy. Is this a joke? Are you laughing?
The Close Up
Perhaps more surprising than anything else, however, is the news that famous actor (and some would say anti-Semite) Mel Gibson has teamed up with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas to make an as-yet-to-be-titled film about the heroic story of Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee. The film, backed by Warner Bros, tells the story of how the Maccabbe family led the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies in the second century B.C.E.
That’s right—Mel Gibson is going to make a movie with a Jewish hero. Which, you’d think, is strange news considering how, during his arrest in 2006 for a DUI, Gibson allegedly said to Jewish police officer James Mee, “Fucking Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Not exactly high praise for the Jewish people.
If you remember, Gibson’s 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, stirred up a lot of controversy because of (misplaced) fears that the film would negatively portray its Jewish characters. His 2006 arrest certainly didn’t help things, and his personal and very public troubles with girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva only further cemented the public’s poor perception of him.
And so you’d think Gibson would choose a different film to direct, a film that didn’t immediately draw attention to his troubled past.
Then again, maybe Gibson believes he needs the attention that directing such a film would give him. With his public perception in such poor regard, maybe he needs a little controversy to really fill theatre seats. After all, many critics suspect that it was Gibson’s involvement in The Beaver that lead to the film bombing at the box office this past spring, despite the fact that is was a hell of a good flick.
Personally, I think Gibson’s a great actor, and I’d watch anything he acted in or directed. For whatever reason, I have little difficulty separating a person’s personal life from his or her professional life…to a point, anyway. But even more importantly, I think everyone deserves a second chance. Gibson’s made some bad decisions in his life, and has acted like an ignorant ass on more than one occasion, but I’d like to believe he’s not such a bad guy.
But what can I say? I’m a sucker for his eyes.
The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items. If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here. If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below. Thank you for reading.