Good Morning Hollywood, March 29: Sex, Lies and Peter Bart’s Shaky Memory

Peter Bart’s memory gets hazy, Terrence Malick’s dates are changing, and Sophia Loren gets a bargain night at the Academy

Much ado about Peter Bart's shaky memory, Terrence Malick's changing dates, and Sophia Loren's night at the Academy …

Sophia LorenThey do more than just hand out Academy Awards, you know: the latest in the Academy's year-round slate of screenings, tributes and panels was announced on Monday, and it should be one of the starriest and most festive AMPAS evenings since that big show at the Kodak. It's a May 4 tribute to Sophia Loren, who will be in town for a night of film clips, an onstage Q&A and "personal remarks from her friends and colleagues." And the nice thing is that while you can't buy an Oscar ticket at any price unless you're a member (and then it's expensive), the general public can buy tickets to Sophia's big night for only $5. (Academy members pay $3.) Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 1. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Here's a story that keeps changing. In his upcoming book "Infamous Players: a Tale of Movies, the Mob (and Sex)," Peter Bart claimed that he was on the set watching the filming of the celebrated Donald Sutherland/Julie Christie sex scene from Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now," and that the actors in fact really did have sex. Sutherland took exception, and released a statement saying that Bart was dead wrong – and that the then-studio-exec couldn't have seen what they were doing anyway, because the scene was shot in a locked room occupied only by Roeg, his cinematographer and the two actors. Merle Ginsberg emailed Bart to ask for a response, and the email she got back does not exactly qualify as standing by your story. "We're talking about events of over four decades ago!" wrote Bart, incorrectly. (It was 38 years ago.) "I hope people will rediscover this fine movie – it deserves to be remembered as an example of brilliant filmmaking, not for the mythology that grew up around it." Even when you're milking that mythology for headlines, Peter? (The Hollywood Reporter)

Speaking of changing stories, word on "The Tree of Life" is going back and forth these days … On Monday, citing an "exclusive" but unnamed source, the British-based Empire reported that the long-awaited Terrence Malick movie will premiere in the UK on May 4 – a significant date, since that's a week before the start of the Cannes Film Festival, which has been waiting to show the film since its 2010. "Thierry Fremaux is fuming," wrote Anne Thompson of the Cannes chief, who was expecting that his festival would host the film's world premiere. But not so fast – Fox Searchlight, which is distributing the film, then informed Thompson that the British release would not  take place before Cannes. So she revised her lead to say, "Thierry Fremaux doesn't have to fume."  Thompson also spoke to someone who saw the film and had this to say: "It will change the language of movies. It's a real event. People will say, 'what the f*** is this?'" (Thompson on Hollywood)

Last fall, some were predicting a surprise Oscar nomination for Michael Douglas in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" – a nod, went the reasoning, that would happen because of the Academy's desire to salute the veteran actor who'd been battling cancer. That didn't happen, but producer Jerry Weintraub insists that there's still an Oscar in Douglas' future. It'll come, he tells S.T. VanAirsdale, for "Liberace," the Steven Soderbergh movie in which Douglas plays the flamboyant pianist. Weintraub also admits that "a lot of people think I'm nuts" to make the movie, in which Matt Damon co-stars as Liberace's lover Scott Thorson. (Movieline)