George Clooney is currently directing Ben Affleck in the film adaptation of JR Moehringer’s The Tender Bar in Boston which they are pretending to be Long Island, if they’re staying true to the story told in the book about Moehringer’s affection and attachment to the neighbourhood pub as a child and then young adult. I say this every time I write about this movie but I loved this memoir and I’ve been waiting 15 years or so for it to be a movie so the fact that George and Ben are doing it… it’s actually perfect. High expectations here, like high enough, if they live up to them, for there to be some Oscar conversations happening when the film comes out. I wonder if they’ll be able to get this done in time for fall festival season. Apparently they’re shooting until April so if they go into post right away, given that there shouldn’t be much need for CGI, it’s tight but not impossible. For TIFF, for example, usually festival directors want to see something by mid-July, although I’m sure exceptions can be made for George Clooney. And this seems like a film that would make its rounds on the festival circuit before, perhaps, an American Thanksgiving-ish release date to kick off its awards run? All of this is speculation – the studio has yet to announce any release scheduling, but I can’t imagine Amazon wouldn’t want to mount a run at it as soon as they can behind these two names. Amazon, by the way, was also the studio behind Manchester By The Sea. These are two different stories, obviously, but there does seem to be a familiar vibe between them and, you’ll recall, that film was a contender, and Casey Affleck eventually won the Best Actor Oscar for it.
Anyway, in other George news, he was on the Smartless podcast with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett this week and while I haven’t listened to the entire episode, the clip that’s making the rounds is what he says about “getting into trouble” with Amal because she’s been watching ER and Doug Ross is such a player. I wish the other guys had asked him more specifically what she objected to because Doug is a fictional character, and I seriously can’t imagine that Amal Clooney would be fussed about a storyline on a show. Or that his character on the show, being a player, was kinda what George’s reputation used to be. As if she didn’t know.
So what, exactly, were these conversations? Was he just bullsh-tting to make conversation or is it more like, she’s watching these old shows, and their depiction of romance, that are now outdated, as we all continue to interrogate ourselves, our biases, our conditioning, and the culture of the past, and discussing with him why these narratives were so problematic? ER, by the way, and Friends were a tandem, and I’m sure you’re somewhat aware of how certain jokes and storylines on Friends are, through today’s lens, pretty bad takes.
I might be stretching. But the point is, it’s not clear. Because they didn’t ask! Where’s Oprah when you need her!