our editor recommends NYFF REVIEW: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty On Saturday morning, the film’s first press screening generated sharply divided reactions, but the prevailing reaction at its official world premiere Saturday night, as the fest’s centerpiece screening, was much more positive: It received a lengthy standing ovation. Stiller introduced the film at its premiere by saying, tongue-in-cheek, “I want to thank the Film Society of Lincoln Center for having the courage to include a Ben Stiller film in the festival.” Noting that he grew up just 20 blocks from Alice Tully Hall, where the screening took place, he added thatWalter Mitty was a “valentine” to New York, having been shot all across the city. The dramedywas loosely adapted bySteve Conradfrom a 1939 James ThurberNew Yorker short story, which itself was made into a musical-comedy motion picture starring Danny Kaye in 1947. The new film takes place in the present day. It stars Stiller as the title character, a good-hearted but sad-sack loner who has known sadness, sacrificed for others and worked all but invisibly for 16 years in the photo processing department at waning Life magazine. A perpetual daydreamer prone to awkwardness, he develops a crush on a co-worker (Kristen Wiig), but before he can muster the courage to do anything about it he loses a photo from a famous photographer (Sean Penn), prompting his new boss (a heavily bearded Adam Scott) to tell him that he will lose his job if he doesn’t find it. In order to track it down, Walter Mitty must finally go out and experience the world. PHOTOS: New York Film Festival 2013: 13 Movies to Know This sort of a story is not new. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is about a man who gave up so much for others that he never had time for himself. The Wizard of Oz (1939) is about a girl who ventures far from home and eventually concludes that there’s no place like it. And Stranger Than Fiction (2006), a film that possesses a tone perhaps most similar to Mitty’s, is about a man whose bland life becomes dangerous and exciting because of the presence of unusual activity in his mind. Films of this sort are generally categorized as “fantasy,” which is not the Academy’s favorite genre, and this year’s awards season is tremendously competitive, so I cannot say with any degree of confidence that this film will be nominated for any major Oscars.
New York Film Fest: ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ Splits Critics, Charms Festivalgoers (Analysis)
10, 2006. Penn is attending the Toronto Film Festival and the screening of his film “All The King’s Men.” (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki) Sean Penn is ecstatic that his relief organization will sponsor runners from Haiti to participate in the New York City Marathon next month. “We’ve got five Haitian runners, 10 runners total, running for the team representing Haiti and our organization J/P HRO coming to the New York City Marathon the marathon. So we’re really looking forward to it,” Penn said. The 53-year old actor, who spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday night, expressed satisfaction that the organization continues to rebuild Haiti with its medical, relocation, structural and community development programs but also that it brings hope to the island nation. “It’s rewarding. I just came back from Port-au-Prince, where I visited our Haitian marathon runners, and to see that great discipline that Haitians have and that great spirit and the excitement that they have visiting New York for the first time.” Penn started the J/P Health Relief Organization after a catastrophic magnitude-7.0 earthquake ripped through Haiti in January 2010, killing more than 100,000 people. The organization set up camps for displaced residents and facilitated medical clinics. It continues to save lives and brings sustainable programs to benefit the nation. Penn acts as CEO and chairman of the board for the organization. When asked if his efforts to make a meaningful and lasting impact in Haiti made him proud, Penn responded: “I’ve got a group I’m very proud of and really inspired by. Let’s say I’ve been granted a fortunate ticket in.” The two-time Oscar-winning actor made the comments at the world premiere of his film “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” at the New York Film Festival. Penn stars alongside writer-director Ben Stiller.
New York case offers insight into secret war against Somali militants
View gallery.” Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. COMMENTARY | As he perfects his tan aboard a $300,000 boat off Florida’s shores, I can’t help but wonder if Alex Rodriguez has fallen off the deep end or is merely borrowing a page from his girlfriend’s playbook. In the past week, amid reports that he asked not be represented by his own union during his appeal of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s 211-game suspension, A-Rod has sued Major League Baseball, the Yankees’ team doctor, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. It’s a storyline straight out of pro wrestling, a “sport” in which A-Rod’s girlfriend – former beauty queen and Playboy cover girl Torrie Wilson – made her name. (The two have been an item since 2011.) A-Rod’s latest salvo was a lawsuit filed late Friday in which he accused Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and the hospital Ahmad is affiliated with of clearing the third baseman to play in the 2012 playoffs despite MRI results revealing that there was a superior labral tear in A-Rod’s left hip. According to the suit, Ahmad’s “careless and professional negligence” allowed A-Rod to further injure himself, later requiring major surgery. As a result, the suit alleges, A-Rod “sustained great pain, agony, injury, suffering, disability, hospitalization, as well as mental anguish and emotional distress.” (The same could be said of Yankees fans forced to watch A-Rod’s postseason performances.) The news came on the heels of A-Rod’s suit against MLB, one in which he accused MLB of orchestrating a “witch hunt” against him -one that has led to A-Rod having been dropped by two sponsors as well as ending up cut from an upcoming animated film. One section of the suit is titled “The Disastrous Tenure of Commissioner Selig,” which, as Bloomberg’s Jonathan Mahler pointed out, makes a nice bookend to another section titled “Alex Rodriguez and His Distinguished Career, Both On and Off the Baseball Diamond.” Distinguished career? The only thing I respect about A-Rod is his PR Machine. As I reported back in August, as the Yankees battled to stay in the wild card race, A-Rod was the back-page feature on both the New York Post and Daily News every day for more than a week.
New York Yankees: A-Rod and Playmate Girlfriend a Perfect Pair
HASHI’S JOURNEY Hashi, the former London resident, traveled a perilous course in which apparently he ran afoul of both al Shabaab and Western intelligence. In 2010, British authorities revoked Hashi’s British citizenship, meaning that when he was later picked up by the Americans, he could make no appeal to London for help. Sources familiar with the case said the British took this action because they had insufficient evidence to prosecute Hashi for terrorism-related offenses under British law, but did not want him to return to Britain. During sojourns with al Shabaab in Somalia, Hashi acted as an associate, or lieutenant, to a high-ranking leader of the group named Bilal Al-Berjawi, those familiar with his case said. Berjawi was reportedly wounded in a 2011 air strike on an al Shabaab base. That same year, British authorities revoked his British citizenship. British officials declined to comment on the case. In January 2012, Berjawi was reported killed in a U.S. drone strike. Al Shabaab leaders grabbed Hashi, imprisoned him, and beat him up, possibly because they suspected he had some role in Berjawi’s death, said a source familiar with the case. But eventually al Shabaab “cleared” Hashi and he left the group with the two Swedes, the source said. Both U.S. officials and defense sources confirm that the men were in transit to Yemen when they were detained. But defense lawyers dispute investigators’ assertions that the suspects intended to join Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, widely regarded as central al Qaeda’s most deadly spinoff. Not long after the men headed for Yemen, al Shabaab said on its Twitter feed that it had executed three other men for spying for the CIA and MI5 and helping them kill Berjawi.