Film & TV

PopHampton: Pop! Goes the American Dream in ‘Madoff’

ABC’s hotly anticipated miniseries Madoff will air on Wednesday, February 3 and Thursday, February 4. Madoff chronicles the rise and fall of the infamous financier Bernie Madoff, who created a deep and far-reaching Ponzi scheme that resulted in a loss of more than $50 billion in capital. Inspired by the book The Madoff Chronicles by Brian Ross, the miniseries will follow Madoff and his family before and after his arrest. Madoff, a former Montauk resident, is played by Richard Dreyfuss, while wife Ruth, who has a pivotal role in the story, is played by beloved East Ender Blythe Danner.

“Nothing on Earth makes people want something more than telling them they can’t have it,” says Dreyfuss as Madoff coldly in the series’ trailer (watch below). Dreyfuss looks like a great casting choice for the title character, as does Danner whose Ruth was not involved in the Ponzi scheme but stood by her husband.

Danner is a powerhouse of a performer, so hopefully Madoff will give her a new opportunity to shine. Danner was recently nominated for Best Actress at the 25th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards for her role in the indie drama I’ll See You in My Dreams.

We don’t know how deep or dark Madoff will go, but the real life drama is so potent that they won’t need to stretch the truth too much. It will be interesting to see how the series deals with the ongoing aftermath of the crime; eldest son Mark committed suicide in 2010, while the slightly younger Andrew succumbed to cancer in 2014.

While you wait for Madoff, check out Woody Allen’s 2013 film Blue Jasmine, which follows Jasmine (played by Cate Blanchett) as she struggles to find stability and a new life after the collapse of her marriage to a Madoff-like figure (East Hampton’s Alec Baldwin). The darkly comic tale won Blanchett an Academy Award.

And if you just can’t get enough Ponzi scheming in your life, be on the lookout for HBO’s own Bernie flick, The Wizard of Lies, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. Based on Diana Henriques’ book of the same name, The Wizard of Lies will air sometime in 2016.

Speaking of large amounts of money, DreamWorks Studios, co-founded by East Ender Steven Spielberg, has just entered into a $200 million equity investment deal from Participant Media to reinvigorate the struggling production house. DreamWorks will also switch distributors, leaving Disney behind for Universal Pictures. The production company has had a difficult few years, with high-profile films like Need for Speed, Delivery Man and The Fifth Estate bringing in low box office numbers. The studio’s latest, The BFG, will be the last DreamWorks film to be distributed by Disney. Upcoming DreamWorks projects include Ready Player One, which Spielberg is set to direct, and Ghost in the Shell, starring Amagansett’s Scarlett Johansson.

For some lighter fare, look for Hamptonite/presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton to appear on a third season episode of Comedy Central’s sitcom Broad City. The show, produced by Amy Poehler and starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, follows two young Jewish women as they get into various hijinks and wacky situations while searching for careers, love and purpose. An airdate for Clinton’s episode hasn’t been announced. Broad City has had a ton of celeb cameos, including East Ender Kelly Ripa, who played herself. Broad City’s third season premieres on Wednesday, February 17.

File this one under “I don’t know whether to be insulted or flattered”: Frequent Hamptons visitor Neil Patrick Harris was listed as one of the “Gays We Respect” by Maxim’s Russian edition. “We, men, do not consider men who love men to be men,” the ridiculous article reads. “There are gays who have earned our respect and the right to remain real men in our eyes.” Well, thank goodness for that! But in all seriousness, Russia does have extremely harsh anti-gay laws, so Maxim Russia meant well. Probably.

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