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The Latest Movie Star, Newman and Woodward Hawke HBO Series

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The Last Movie Star is not just a documentary series. Another admirable product of HBO Max, because nothing in the life of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward can be. A long love story, the life of a family that has been intertwined with that of America for several decades, cannot be simple. It’s not trivial either.

Ethan Hawke has admirably directed the Martin Scorsese produced series – 6 episodes for 441′ of story which premiered during the first three days of the 17th Rome Film Festival. A chorus story featuring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward: love – happy, enduring and troubled – star talent with family life as a backdrop – 6 children and the pain of Scott’s disappearance – and history cinema, like the American one of those years seen from their point of view.

Courtesy of @Sky Press Office

The couple’s dedication to acting, racing and philanthropy: everything comes to life in the interviews transcribed to write Paul’s autobiography with those closest to the couple. All performed by George Clooney (who plays Paul Newman himself), Laura Linney (Joanne Woodward), Sam Rockwell, Sally Field, Karen Allen.

Paul and Joanne: For Everyone Simply The Last Movie Star

“It’s no use being an artist if you have to live like an employee”. It is not difficult to attribute this phrase to Paul Newman – both in real life and in the choice of characters to interpret – and it lives on from the intertwining of direct testimonies of friends and family, of those who have worked with them as well as vast archival traces, to which are added the memorable sequences of theirs. Ethan Hawke chooses to tell them through their long – 50 years of marriage and 5 years of clandestine relationship before going out – a love story between two legends of world cinema. The director in full confinement starts from typewritten transcriptions of audio cassettes recorded by Newman himself – then destroyed – which had been a first attempt to write an autobiography.

Courtesy Press Office

Paul & Joanne or Newman versus Woodward

Beginning in the 1950s, when the two met in New York to begin – while studying at Actors Studios – their acting careers as mere stand-ins on Broadway. Paul and Joanne’s first film together was the hit The Long Hot Summer, which was immediately followed by Joanne’s greatest recognition: the Best Actress Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve. Then the pressures between marriage and motherhood push her to put her career on hold, while that of her husband explodes with The Hustler and Hud. The 60s are those of the consecration of the legend of Paul Newman with Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. And at the end of the decade, it was Joanne Woodward’s turn to come out of retirement with Rachel, Rachel, one of her husband’s first independent films.

Courtesy Press Office

At the end of the 1960s, the civic spirit of the couple emerged. The positions against the war in Vietnam are coming, the campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy. But in the private sector, problems are exploding: the addiction of Paul Newman’s eldest son, Scott; the fight against his alcoholism; alleged infidelities. Joanne Woodward imposes an ultimatum to sobriety. But the success of the star does not stop: Buffalo Bill and The Indians, Slap Shot, arrive, with her in Sybil.

Press conference and red carpet of the daughter of the two stars: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

The 1970s were also those of passion and many victories with Paul Newman’s racing cars. Those in which he plays in The Verdict and The Color of Money. Scott’s tragic death prompted Joanne Woodward to return to even committed TV movies. The couple find solace in the charity of their company Newman’s Own, but they don’t give up on movies, even together as Mr and Mrs Bridge. The Last Movie Star will air in December exclusively on Sky and air on NOW.

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