Sports agent JB Bernstein was once incredibly successful in his field, but now there's a bunch of serious new sporting entrepreneurs in town that look to be about to make his job very difficult. With his agency under the threat of closure, he and his partner Ash need to start thinking long and hard about fresh new ideas that could rake in the dollars. While watching a cricket match on the box, JB devises a crazy idea to find America's next huge baseball star in India by setting up a talent show for the nation's finest young cricketers. The finalists of the show entitled 'Million Dollar Arm' are Rinku and Dinesh, who subsequently fly over to the US to begin training in the art of baseball. However, things are less easy than they first appeared and JB finds himself in deep water when it becomes clear just how different baseball and cricket are.
Continue: Million Dollar Arm - Clips
The bright lights of Hollywood and the awards that come with it can warp good people into wild-child tearaways with no grip on reality or morality. Just look at Lindsay Lohan. Just kidding, she's never won any awards, has she?
For Juno Temple - recent nominee for BAFTA's rising star award - this is a plight she's not willing to surrender to. "I'm not a Barbie doll and I never will be. I'm not really into that scene, I've partied in LA but it's not really my thing at all,' she told Metro. "I'd much rather go to dinner and a dive bar to be honest, that's more my vibe. And honestly I don't really want to be someone like that." Juno is one of a quintet of nominees, comprising four females and one male; a stark comparison to last years award which was dominated by males. "I look up to people like Cate Blanchett, 43, and Michelle Williams, 32, and you don't know anything about them apart from what movies they've got coming out and I love that," she explained. "That's what it used to be like with all the amazing greats like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and all these people. You knew them as the person on screen and you didn't know their private life."
Also nominated for the gong to be announced at the Baftas on February 10, were US star Elizabeth Olsen, Indian star Suraj Sharma, 19, Swedish star Alicia Vikander, 24, and 31-year-old Brit star Andrea Riseborough.
Suraj Sharma, the 19-year-old actor who stars in Ang Lee's Oscar tipped movie Life Of Pi, has narrowly avoided expulsion from Delhi University's St Stephen's College for missing more than half his first term lectures to promote the 3-D movie. The school - known as 'India's Cambridge University' - eventually let Sharma retain his place after he crammed in eight last minute essays.
Sharma's casting in Life of Pi came after he accompanied his brother to an audition, for moral support. A producer encouraged him to try-out too, and the rest, as they say, is history. His casting has generated a real buzz in India, with many comparing Life of Pi to Danny Boyle's Mumbai-set Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire. In the film he plays Pi Patel, the young son of Indian zoo owners, who is trusted with moving a cargo full of animals across the sea to Canada. When the ship sinks he finds himself alone with a Bengal tiger on a life-boat. Sharma was picked from 3,000 applications for the role, with director Ang Lee saying he had, "the innocence to capture our attention, the depth of character to break our hearts, and the physicality needed to embody Pi on his journey." However, his college principal Valson Thampu told the UK's Daily Telegraph the actor had made less than half of the minimum 66 per cent of lectures and tutorials students must attend to remain at the college. The deadline for work passed on Tuesday (Sharma had submitted nothing), though Thampu made an exception, saying, "He had not cleared the requirement until 10 minutes ago. He submitted eight essays and I'm delighted. I've accepted them altogether, which is not usual."
Let that be a lesson to you all, kids. Forget your school work, try become a Hollywood star, hand in all your work at the same time, if you really have to.
As the Life of Pi reviews roll in, it's become clear that this is a movie to take seriously, but that's far from the attitude that lead character Suraj Sharma adopted when he tagged along with his brother for the audition.
Asked by The New York Daily news if he'd always wanted to act, Sharma's response was "No," which seems funny considering he's the lead in a possible Oscar winning movie. "It was my brother who wanted to audition for the role and I went along with him," he explained. "I'd told him 'I'll come if you buy me a Subway salad afterwards.' Next thing I know, I am in an Ang Lee movie! I was a school-going kid, literally, obnoxiously normal. I was in that stage when you don't know what you want to do with your life. With this film, I went through something life-changing." They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but this complimentary meal seems to have lead to an acting career for the young man.
Given the cinematic clout of its director, and the politically emotive subject matter after Obama's re-election, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, starring Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham, is sure to prevail come February, when the Academy Awards take place. Ang Lee's Life of Pi is sure to provide some stiff competition, though.
Perhaps tigers will prove a lucky omen for Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee, whose magical 3-D epic Life of Pi - based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Yann Martel - hits theaters in the U.S. this weekend. The film follows the adventurous tale of Pi, whose ship carrying zoo animals to Canada is his by a storm and sinks, leaving the protagonist on a lifeboat with only a fully grown Bengal tiger for company.
Life of Pi comes some 12 years after Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, whilst being nominated for Best Picture. Considered one of the most influential foreign movies of all time, Crouching Tiger was lauded for its story and cinematography, both of which are praised in Life of Pi. The new film has been a long-time coming. It clearly boasts a huge Hollywood-style story and has been on the mind of movie studio executives for years. In 2003, Fox 200 Pictures hired M. Night Shyamalan to direct the film though the filmmaker ultimately decided to make Lady In The Water instead, easily one of the worst movies ever made. As Time Magazine put it, "What was [Shyamalan] thinking? This isn't just duff, it's career-threatening catastrophic." In 2005, Fox entered talks with Alfonso Curaron, the award-winning filmmaker hailed for his classic Y Tu Mamá También. Curaron instead chose to directed Children of Men, leading Fox to hire Amelie directed Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The Frenchman began writing and adapting the screenplay and filming was scheduled to begin in 2006, though he eventually left the project and Fox hired Ang Lee.
Over 3,000 men auditioned for the role of Pi, though it was 17-year-old student Suraj Sharma who landed the role, albeit somewhat unintentionally. Sharma agreed to accompany his brother to the auditions for moral support, though was asked to try-out by the casting director and eventually landed the part. "I had never acted before", he told the New York Daily News, "The first thing I learned was how to act opposite no one. I didn't think I could do it, but Ang gets what he wants. So it was new for me - but it was doable"
Continue reading: Crouching Tiger: Ang Lee And Long Road To Life Of Pi
Ang Lee's epic spiritual adventure movie Life of Pi - based on the Booker Prize winning book by Yann Martel - is set for release on Wednesday in the U.S. (November 21, 2012), on the back of strong early reviews. The movie follows the story of a student who sets sail on a cargo ship hauling zoo animals from India to Canada, however, when the ship sinks, he is forced to get along with a full-grown Bengal tiger.
Lee - best known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - shot most of the visually stunning movie in his native Taiwan, though it could be lead star Suraj Sharma who takes all the plaudits come awards' season. "I had never acted before," the actor told the New York Daily News, "The first thing I learned was how to act opposite no one. I didn't think I could do it, but Ang gets what he wants. So it was new for me - but it was doable." All the water sequences were shot in a huge movie studio tank, while Sharma was forced to act opposite a digitally created version of the tiger. "I'd watch the tigers being trained to get an idea how it would move on the boat. But then I had to imagine the whole thing. I had to get the idea so I could see the tiger as best as I could." Sharma's story could provide the backbone for a Hollywood movie itself, with the New Delhi native being asked by his brother to accompany him to a movie audition to provide moral support. "The casting director told me I might as well give it a shot, too, so I made an audition tape," Sharma recalled, "I wound up having five call-backs and then went to Bombay to meet Ang. For the first three auditions, I didn't even know what I was auditioning for; I just knew it involved survival manuals." Of course, the movie turned out to be Lee's latest assault on awards' season (he won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain in 2005), with Life of Pi tipped for an Oscar nomination, at least. Currently, the movie is the fifth favorite to win Best Film at the awards' ceremony in February, though Sharma is the 33/1 outsider to win Best Actor.
Tom Shone of The Guardian suggests Ang Lee's latest film could usurp the likes of Argo and Lincoln at the Oscars, writing in his review of the movie, "Hollywood has been waiting for this movie. Get ready for the year of the Tiger." Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter echoed the sentiments, writing, "A gorgeous and accomplished rendering of the massive best-seller."
Continue reading: Is Ang Lee's Life Of Pi Ready To Upset The Oscars Form Book?
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