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'Hemingway & Gellhorn' and Owen & Kidman & Strathairn & Duvall

The movie with the best cast around is being made for HBO. "Hemingway & Gellhorn," directed by Philip Kaufman ("The Right Stuff, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"), stars Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway and Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn, the superb war correspondent who was his third wife.

Surrounding them are David Strathairn as John Dos Passos, Parker Posey as Hemingway's fourth wife, Mary, Lars Ulrich of Metallica as documentary-maker Joris Ivens, Peter Coyote as editor Maxwell Perkins, Diane Baker as Gellhorn's mother, and Tony Shalhoub as a Communist Party functionary and journalist.

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When I emailed a friend on the production to congratulate him on the cast (first reported on-line by Deadline), he wrote back that it was thrilling to be working with these actors -- and with Duvall.

Robert Duvall?

"Yes, he's playing a Russian general in Spain."

This production offers further evidence that cable brands like HBO have become a haven for our most adventurous filmmakers and performers.

A couple of posts I've read question Owen's casting, but I think he's a great actor and smart choice. Maybe the image of Hemingway people carry in their minds is of the massive, bearded "Papa" of his later years. Here's a picture of Hemingway from 1928. Gellhorn and Hemingway met in 1936.

Photo of Ernest Hemingway in 1928 by Helen Pierce Breaker

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