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Russell Crowe braces for criticism

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 00:52

Mar 26 - The actor says he isn't surprised by the backlash on his new film ''Noah.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Rain lashes down from the heavens while hungry followers of Cain trample over each other for a spot on Noah's massive wooden ark. The end is inevitable and, of course, not pretty. Director Darren Aronofsky, best known for dark and unrelenting dramas such as the Oscar-nominated "Black Swan," would have it no other way in the biblical epic "Noah," which stars Russell Crowe. The star-studded cast of the film hit the red carpet in New York on Wednesday (March 26) to celebrate the film's opening. The movie distributed by Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures is the auteur director's first big test of whether he can guide a big-budget spectacle to box office success. And the risk-taking Aronofsky, 45, is sure to unsettle some along the way as the film blends one of the best-known Old Testament tales with the trademark psychological torment to which he routinely submits protagonists. On the red carpet Crowe said he expected the backlash. "We knew going in that there was going to be some criticism. But I didn't realize it was going to be so strident, you know. And it's kind of funny because there is a whole bunch of people that have gone on record now, you know, accusing the movie of things that are just not real. And now people are actually starting to see the film then those people don't have these, you know, strident opinions based on nothing but their own assumptions started to look a little foolish," said Crowe. The film also stars Jennifer Connelly as Noah's wife, Naameh, Anthony Hopkins as Noah's grandfather, Methuselah, Emma Watson plays Ila, the wife of Noah's eldest son, Shem, played by Douglas Booth. While faithful to the slim four chapters in the Bible, "Noah" also takes a detour into fantasy with the biblical Nephilim. Aronofsky explains the giant fallen angels made of rocks as a representation of a pre-flood Earth that was home to alternate possibilities of life. Paramount said "Noah" had a $125 million (USD) budget. The film is tracking to gross a respectable $41 million in its opening weekend domestically, according to Boxoffice.com. The film also represents a string of bets Hollywood has made on Bible stories. "Noah" is set to be released in U.S. and Canadian theaters, as well as several other countries, on Friday (March 28).

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Russell Crowe braces for criticism

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 00:52