Even by Hollywood standards, 2006 was a weird year. PETER MITCHELL looks back
FAIRYTALE weddings, bitter divorces, scandals, shock deaths, drunken anti-Semitic rants and Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears sans knickers.
Even by Hollywood’s seedy standards, 2006 was an interesting year.Mel Gibson was busted for drink-driving, sledged Jews, called a female sheriff ‘sugar tits’ and then, hoping it would be all forgotten, began campaigning for an Oscar for his new film, Apocalypto.
Michael ‘Kramer’ Richards, of Seinfeldfame, committed career suicide when he lost the plot and repeatedly dropped the ugly ‘N’ word during a stand-up comedy performance in Los Angeles.
Borat, the polyester suitwearing Kazakh character with the ’70s-style porno moustache, took a similar route.
Borat made fun of Jews, gays, African Americans and feminists, but instead of being universally lambasted like Gibson and Richards, he has so far collected more than $US210 million at the global box office and, if the early buzz is right, could score an Oscar nomination.
Exes Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise played tit for tat weddings in 2006.
Kidman married the Caboolture Kid, Keith Urban, in Sydney and Cruise tied the knot in Italy with new Scientology convert, Katie Holmes.But, before the ink was dry on both marriage certificates, whispers abounded that NikUr and TomKat were honeymooning in Splitsville.
It did not help when Urban, who has a history of drug abuse, entered rehab within weeks of the nuptials.It was also a rocky year for Australia’s next big Hollywood thing, Abbie Cornish, who found herself tagged by tabloids as The Other Woman in the break-up of America’s sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon, and Ryan Phillippe.
The world cried when Steve ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin died tragically on the Great Barrier Reef in September, while Hollywood also lost director Robert Altman, actor Jack Palance and mega-producer Aaron Spelling. Yes, 2006 was a weird one. Here is a summary of the Hollywood highlights, low-lights and trends that marked the year. PINK IS THENE W BLACK Toss away the cotton-tails.Burn the G-strings.Mini-skirts without underpants is the hot trend in Tinseltown thanks to the newly single mother of two, Britney Spears, and her new knickerless buddy Lindsay Lohan.Undies giant Bonds is bracing itself for a major downturn in sales in 2007 after paparazzi captured revealing shots of the trend-setting knickerless young celebs. ADOPT AN AFRICAN The hot accessory to dangle over a starlet’s shoulder in Hollywood in 2006 was not the Louis Vuitton Speedy handbag, but a kid from Africa.Madonna scored one in Malawi.Angelina Jolie picked one up the year before in Ethiopia. Trend spotters say kids from impoverished South American nations will probably be the musthave in 2007. NOT SO VIRGIN MARY Was it an immaculate conception or method acting at its most extreme? Teenage Kiwi actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, an Oscar nominee in 2004 for WhaleRider, was cast as the Virgin Mary in the $US35 million Hollywood biblical epic, TheNativityStory. In life imitating art and on the eve of the film’s worldwide release, it was announced 16-year-old CastleHughes was pregnant to 19-yearold boyfriend, Bradley Hull.She didn’t make the trip to the Vatican for a special screening of the film. WEDDED BLISS (including odds of likely break-up in 2007) Stars to walk down the aisle in 2006 included Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (2-1), Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban (4-1), Jack Black and Tanya Haden (20-1), Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock (no longer taking bets), Pink and Carey Hart (6-1) and Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott (10-1). BREAK-UPS (with odds of likely reunion) Britney Spears and Kevin Federline (2-1), Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock (1-1), Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe (20-1), Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody (3-1), Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn (2-1), Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie (1-1). MOST LIKELY MARRIAGE IN 2007 Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock. A GOOD ...... In an attempt to cut down on the rising costs of billboards, promotion etc, Hollywood studios in 2006 decided to give films similar titles.In 2006 we had AGoodYear starring Russell Crowe; TheGood Germanstarring Cate Blanchett and George Clooney; TheGood Shepherdstarring Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon; and AGood Womanwith Scarlett Johansson. WORST FILM OF THEYE AR Crowe’s AGoodYear. The Kiwi actor (yes, Kiwi) attempted romantic comedy and it didn’t go down too well. BEST FILM Borat:CulturalLearningsof AmericaforMakeBenefit GloriousNationofKazakhstan. It was the best reviewed movie of the year, with every major US critic giving it an ‘A’ — a rare event. BOX OFFICEDISASTE RS
Hugh Jackman’s TheFountain — cost $US35 million, made $US9 million
Kirsten Dunst’s Marie Antoinette— cost $US40 million, made $US30.7 million.
Clint Eastwood’s FlagsofOur Fathers— cost $US90 million, made $US54 million.
Crowe’s AGoodYear— cost $US35 million, made $US26 million.
Nicolas Cage’s TheWickerMan — cost $US40 million, made $US32 million.
NicUr and TomKat played tit for tat weddings
ACCESSORISING . . . Madonna added a Malawian baby to her brood while undies were optional in newly single Britney Spears’ wardrobe
Virgin mum-to-be Keisha Castle-Hughes
Who would have thought? Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock filed for divorce
Drink-driver Mel Gibson made a mug of himself with an anti-Semitic rant