Mickey Rourke is still living the dream after his near-win Oscar for ‘The Wrestler’ this year.

Rourke, as we know, is the villain in the second ‘Iron Man’ movie with Robert Downey, Jr.

But one of his other projects that’s being fast-tracked is a remake of the 1986 cult hit, ‘Mona Lisa.’ Rourke has the Bob Hoskins role of the cab driver. Eva Green, of recent James Bond fame, fills the memorable shoes of the call girl played by Sammi Davis. (Remember Sammi? She was also one of the stars of John Boorman’s 1987 classic, ‘Hope and Glory.’)

And who do Rourke and director Larry Clark want for the Michael Caine part? Why, none other than Mick Jagger. Mick and his producing partner Victoria Pearman are said to be reading the script by Clark and David Reeves and considering saying yes.

It’s a pretty good idea, really. The new ‘Mona Lisa’ moves from London to New York. Jagger gets to play a sophisticated gangster. Mick always has had the acting bug even though he’s only appeared in a handful of films including ‘Performance’ and ‘Ned Kelly’ back in 1970, and more recently’actually 2001”The Man from Elysian Fields’ and ‘Engima.’

I ran into the timeless Rolling Stones leader this week in Cannes, where he and statuesque ladyfriend L’Wren Scott are the houseguest of famed international photographer and personality Johnny Pigozzi. Eternally youthful, the 65 year old grandfather looks ready for just about anything. Here’s hoping he signs-or sings’on the dotted line.

By the way, the ‘Mona Lisa’ producers would do well to get Jagger to record a few songs for their soundtrack. A couple of years ago he and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics did just that for the remake of ‘Alfie’ with Jude Law. The songs turned out better than the movie, and wound up winning awards and garnering rave reviews.


Last night on the Croisette, Julian Lennon either experienced kismet or instant karma.

John Lennon’s eldest son was in Cannes, and accepted an invitation to come over from the posh Hotel 314 to a party at one of the beach clubs’called for this week, inelegantly, Plage Vitaminwater. (It’s called branding, kids.)

It was only as he approached the club, Julian told me later, that he realized the party was to announce completion of ‘Nowhere Boy,’ a new film about his dad’s early days in Liverpool coming from The Weinstein Company next year. It’s based on a memoir by Lennon’s sister, Julia, that was published in the 1980s.

‘When I saw the pictures of the four young lads, I realized what was going on,’ said Julian, who was a decided sport about the whole thing. He was soon sitting in a little roped off area with famed actress Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays his dad’s legendary Aunt Mimi. Pretty weird, huh?

‘I really didn’t know about the movie,’ Julian told me. ‘So I took out my phone and called my mother in Spain”that’s Cynthia Lennon, John’s first wife”and asked her what it was. She knew all about it.’

In case you’re wondering, Julian’who had big hits in the 1980s’is working on his first album release in 10 years. ‘It should be out in January,’ he said. ‘We’re working on doing it right, with the right kind of label and release.’ You can hear a couple of the very catchy songs on Julian’s MySpace page.

As for the Beatles, Julian also told me he was very pleased to receive a birthday card from Paul McCartney this year. Lennon turned 46 on April 8th. ‘He actually wrote, ‘It’s been too long, we have to get together.’ It was so nice of him.’


The big premiere in Cannes last night was Alejandro Amenabar’s historic big-scale epic, called ‘Agora.’ It comes to the Croisette with a budget of over $70 million, paid for with Spanish money. You can see it all up on the screen, too, every bit of it: the sets, built in Malta, are spectacular. There are amazing costumes and tons of real extras, not computer generated.

‘Agora’ tells the story of Hypatia, the fourth century A.D. female scholar and astronomer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Hypatia found herself in the center of wars among the Christians, Jews, and Pagans. She was such an intellectual that for a while she was the rare woman to whom men deferred to in a decidedly chauvinistic time.

Rachel Weisz, who was nominated for an Oscar in ‘The Constant Gardener,’ is absolutely luminous as Hypatia. It’s a rare role for an actress, and Weisz is superb. She truly lights up the screen and carries the film as the lone woman among some strong actors: Oscar Isaac, Max Minghella, Rupert Evans, and Michael Lonsdale.

This cast is directed by Amenebar as a seamless ensemble, although Isaac and Minghella are standouts. Twenty-nine-year-old Isaac ‘now filming ‘Robin Hood’ with Russell Crowe–now leaps as a contender in the category of solid younger leading men. Minghella, 24, is startlingly good as Hypatia’s doomed student, Davus. If you’re wondering, he’s the son of beloved late ‘English Patient’ director Anthony Minghella, who died suddenly last year at age 54. Max will have to endure so many people telling him how proud his dad would be, but it’s true.

Rachel Weisz said after the screening that she based her no-nonsense character on her great aunt, a famous endocrinologist who never married and was devoted to science and career. This makes her reading of Hypatia exact and unforgettable, a sure candidate for awards attention this fall.

But Hypatia was also a virgin, and so ‘Agora’ ‘ though it has three attractive young leads’remains a little cold at times and distinctly non-passionate. Amenabar’s handling of science and philosophy is impeccable, and I loved the various conversations among Pagans, Jews, and Christians about the universe. Watching them all struggle to understand who they were, and how the galaxy worked, was utterly fascinating.

But some in the audience were disappointed: no sex scenes, no obvious love story among the trio to pull the story through to the end. Can ‘Agora’ live like this to have a great release? I think so. It’s a movie about ideas, with a lot of realistic warring in a cool setting. The rest, for once, we’ll have to imagine.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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