Saturday, June 15, 2024

Orlando Bloom Happy His New Films Have No Fencing or Sword Play


Orlando Bloom — we do think him as a modern day swashbuckler, whether it’s from the “Lord of the Rings” series or “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He told me last night that he’s very happy his new indie films, “Sympathy for Delicious” and “The Good Doctor” feature no fencing or sword play. In “Delicious” he plays a punk rock star who performs mostly shirtless, albeit covered in tattoos. His band becomes the vehicle for a deejay who suddenly discovers he can heal people by laying on hands. Juliette Lewis is sort of the band’s Chrissie Hynde. Actor Mark Ruffalo, in his directing debut, also plays a local priest who tries to help the film’s central character, played by real life paraplegic actor Christopher Thornton. Last night, at the party following the screening, though, Bloom and wife Miranda Kerr were the object of the panting paparazzi, along with the film’s other star, Laura Linney.

Ruffalo dedicates “Delicious,” to his brother Scott, who was brutally murdered in late 2008 while Mark was shooting his film.  Now at last the film hits theatres in New York and Los Angeles this Friday after debuting at Sundance in 2010. This strangely wonderful, original indie film will need Scott Ruffalo as an angel to watch over it. Distributors didn’t want “Sympathy” when it was first available.

The shot it’s getting on Friday may not last long because it’s also going on Video on Demand. But if you love good films, “Sympathy for Delicious” is a must see. Ruffalo’s best friend, Christopher Thornton, a paraplegic actor (from a rock climbing accident), wrote this unique script for himself ten years ago. The pair have been working on it since then. The hard work paid off. Ruffalo directs this story about a paraplegic homeless guy/parttime DJ, who suddenly has the ability to heal with his hands.

Thornton is sort of mesmerizing as Delicious D aka Dean O’Dwyer in what is alternately a physical and spiritual role. Thornton and Ruffalo just about take up the whole movie, except that Bloom’s rock star is a hoot. And of course nearly stealing the film from everyone is Laura Linney as the rock band’s manager, Nina. Linney is one of those handful of actors who can be plopped down in almost any situation and succeed. It’s worth seeing “Delicious” just for her big scene with Ruffalo. And yes, they played brother and sister memorably in the hit “You Can Count on Me.” At the premiere, Ruffalo admitted to the audience and Linney, “Laura, I always wanted you yo be my sister in real life.”

In New York and LA this weekend, see “Sympathy for Delicious.” Tell your friends.

PS Also at the party at the Soho Mondrian: Griffin Dunne, Aidan Quinn, Gina Gershon, Josh Hamilton, Darren Criss from “Glee,” and the sensational Ewa da Cruz, who’s just shooting a new film. This Audrey Hepburn lookalike is a knockout and great at comedy. Hollywood, are you listening?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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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