Film Notes: Pittsburgh native up for documentary Oscar


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Producer and Pittsburgh native Trish Adlesic believes in preparation, but if she and Josh Fox win an Oscar for "Gasland," she hopes to speak from the heart.

That's where some of the most moving and beautiful acceptance speeches originate, she said Thursday by phone. "I would want to thank my parents for never giving up on the truth. They really instilled that in me; it's part of my Pittsburgh roots."

Ms. Adlesic is the daughter of Mary and Joseph Adlesic of Shaler and the sister of Mary Jo Keane of Shaler and John Adlesic of Ross. Add an uncle who's a priest and a couple of teenage nieces and she will have a small cheering section in Pittsburgh come Oscar night, Feb. 27.

She and Mr. Fox, the movie's director, are nominated for their documentary, "Gasland," competing against "Exit Through the Gift Shop," "Inside Job," "Restrepo" and "Waste Land."

"Gasland," which surged in sales and rentals after Tuesday's Oscar nominations, exposes the effects of America's race to drill gas wells.

When Mr. Fox received an offer of $100,000 for the natural gas drilling rights to his property on the border of New York and Pennsylvania, he resisted the urge to accept. Instead, he set off on a cross-country journey to investigate the environmental risk of agreeing to the deal.

Ms. Adlesic, who lives in Manhattan, was on her way to work at "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" where she's the location manager, when she received a text Tuesday from a publicist who was at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"I was so afraid to push the box," but it held only good news.

If tradition holds, the ceremony should include a clip from the movie, which is available from Amazon.com and Netflix. "Obviously there's no greater award in the world to get for a film, and we think it will continue to shed light in a way we never anticipated."

Setting aside the global platform the Academy Awards will provide there's the question of what the nominee will wear.

Mariska Hargitay, one of the stars of the NBC hit, has offered to allow Ms. Adlesic to try on some of her gowns and if nothing fits, to make a well-placed call or two to a designer. The women are two inches apart in height but, as the actress advises, it's all about the heels.

More SAG presenters

Jason Bateman, Jon Hamm, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Renner, Sofia Vergara and Robin Wright will be presenters at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night.

They join a growing roster of actors that already includes Scott Bakula, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Tim Conway, Rosario Dawson, Josh Duhamel, Angie Harmon, Eva Longoria, Cory Monteith, Amy Poehler, Hilary Swank, Betty White and SAG president Ken Howard.

The awards will be simulcast on cable's TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Noodling around

If you missed "Noodle" when it opened the Pittsburgh Jewish-Israel Film Festival in 2008 or returned in 2009, it will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon.

JFilm is presenting the comic drama about an Israeli flight attendant and an abandoned Chinese boy. Admission is $9 general admission; $8 for moviegoers 65 and older; $5 for those ages 13 through 18; and $12 (includes first drink at nearby Houlihan's) for younger adults ages 22 to 45.

For tickets, call 412-992-5203, or look for a table near the box office on Saturday. Younger adults are invited to join Shalom Pittsburgh's South Hills Outreach Division afterward at Houlihan's.

'Asia Unreeled'

A four-film series highlighting documentaries from Japan, China, India and Korea will launch at 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at Winchester Thurston Academy.

The school is partnering with Silk Screen: Asian Arts and Cultural Organization in the series, "Asia Unreeled."

It will open with "The Spirit of Taiko," an account of the spread of Japanese Taiko drumming in the United States during the past four decades. The afternoon also will feature a musical performance by members of the Pittsburgh Taiko.

At 2 p.m. Feb. 13, "Up the Yangtze" chronicles the havoc China's Three Gorges Dam has wreaked on the landscape and people living along the Yangtze River.

At 2 p.m. Feb. 27, the Oscar-winning "Smile Pinki" introduces a 5-year-old Indian girl born desperately poor and with a cleft lip that left her ostracized. The documentary takes viewers inside one of the 160 Indian centers, providing free surgeries, operated by Smile Train.

At 2 p.m. March 6, "Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women" examines women forced into sexual servitude during World War II who are demanding justice 50 years later. Recommended for moviegoers 17 and older due to mature content.

Pre-register at www.winchesterthurston.org and receive a discount: $28 for adults, $15 for students and seniors for the series. Otherwise, tickets for each movie are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors otherwise.

Movies will be screened in the Hilda Willis Room in the Upper School building, 445 Morewood Ave., Shadyside.

In brief

• One-time Oscar host Hugh Jackman has been added to the list of presenters for the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony.

• Donald Sutherland, on screen today in "The Mechanic," received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week. It's outside the Roosevelt Hotel next to the one for his son, Kiefer Sutherland, the Associated Press reports. The elder Sutherland joked that getting a star was better than a headstone at a cemetery.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her Mad About the Movies blog at post-gazette.com/movies.


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