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High Noon - 5th January 2004
  Heart For Aniston?
Continuing her evolution into Jennifer Aniston: Serious Actress, the Friends star is eyeing a role in a biopic about the US journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed by terrorists in Pakistan.

Aniston's production company Plan B, which she set up with her other half, Brad Pitt, has nabbed the rights to Marianne's Pearl's book, A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life And Death Of My Husband Danny Pearl.

But, Aniston tells Vogue, the movie will only be made if it's done the "right way".

"She [Marianne Pearl] is one of the most inspiring and courageous women I've met in a long time," she said. "And if the film is something that seems worthy of the story that she told, if it's done in the right way, then it will be made."

As well as producing, Aniston says she may star, too. "If it works, I would love to think that I could, but I reserve the right not to. We'll have to see when it happens. I'm just excited about nurturing it."
  Critics Kudos
Ambling in from leftfield to join the Oscar awards race, American Splendor has been named 2003's best film by The National Society of Film Critics.

The off-kilter biopic of comic book creator Harvey Pekar also picked up best screenplay. Clint Eastwood was named best director for Mystic River, while Bill Murray won best actor for Lost In Translation and Charlize Theron was named best actress for playing a serial-killing hooker in Monster.

To be honest, it'll make naff all difference come awards time, cos the NSFC is rarely in tune with Oscar (their best picture choices have coincided three times in 40 years), but we thought you might be interested anyway.
  Sevigny Snipped?
New year, same ol' tittle-tattle from the New York Post - which reports that acclaimed indie actress Chloë Sevigny has been dumped by hotshot talenthouse the William Morris Agency.

The Post reports that Sevigny's sexually explicit performance in Vincent Gallo's Cannes flop The Brown Bunny has enraged the company, who urged her to drop out of a film they regarded as "one step above pornography".

For her part, Sevigny says she ditched Morris of her own accord. Gallo's impressively dull feature, meanwhile, remains unreleased in the UK.
  British Director Dies
Still Crazy director Brian Gibson has died, of bone cancer.

In addition to the well-received rock comedy, Gibson directed Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got To Do With It? and Demi Moore drama The Juror. Early in his career, he enjoyed a very successful collaboration with writer Dennis Potter, directing the acclaimed Where Adam Stood and Blue Remembered Hills.
  Fighting Talk
More than a year after his punchup with distributor Hamish McAlpine scuppered plans to release Ken Park, Larry Clark's controversial teen drama will make it to UK cinemas. Redbus Films has picked up the picture, which was jeopardised when a political discussion over the World Trade Center attack got out of hand (and into fist)... The Last Days Of Disco writer-director Whit Stillman is developing Winchester Races, a period drama based on two unfinished Jane Austen novels, The Watsons and Sanditon. That's your lot. Happy new year.