Review of "Anna Nicole" on Lifetime From The TV MegaSite

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Anna Nicole

"Anna Nicole" review by Suzanne
Premieres Saturday, June 29th at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

I didn't really know much about Anna Nicole Smith before watching this movie. I knew that she was had a reputation as being one of those people who is just famous for being famous (and having big boobs), and that she had married an old rich guy, and that she died of a drug overdose, and then there was fighting over her estate. I didn't even know that she had been a playboy centerfold!  That's because I generally avoid celebrity gossip unless it's about actors or actresses that I already know and like.

If this movie is accurate, she was a small town girl whose mother did not treat her all that well, and she got pregnant and married at a very young age, and then became a stripper to support her son after her divorce. She always wanted to be Marilyn Monroe, so the first chance she got, she got bigger breasts. This made her a much more successful stripper. Also, she started taking pills mixed with alcohol in order to get up the courage to strip.  I don't know why she didn't try to get into acting other ways or why, if she loved having attention, she had to take pills and drink in order to overcome stage fright. This movie doesn't really dig too deeply into the "why" of anything.

The movie goes into a lot of details about her subsequent marriage to the aforementioned old guy, and how she treated her son, and all of the partying she did, and how she got rich and famous.  Frankly, after watching the movie, I have far less sympathy for her (assuming the movie is true).  She was selfish and kind of slutty, and she went after fame and fortune in any way possible except for working at it. She dragged down her son with her and then left behind a tiny baby (who's probably better off without her). Lots of women come from bad parents or poor families, and they don't destroy their lives so well as Anna Nicole Smith did, and in such a public and embarrassing way.

OK, back to the movie.  The actors do a fantastic job, particularly star Agnes Bruckner; and Martin Landau, who plays the creepy older guy she marries; and Adam Goldberg as Howard K. Stern; and the two actors who play her son. The script is very average but moves along at a good pace.  If you want to see how Anna Nicole Smith came into being, you will want to see the movie. Or watch it for a fun popcorn romp, to a certain extent. It's pretty sad, especially near the end.  Overall, it is enjoyable if you don't mind wallowing a bit.

My Interview with Agnes Bruckner


Anna Nicole follows the swift rise and fall of Vickie Lynn Hogan, a Texas high school dropout and single mother with dreams of a better life.  Realizing the power of her beauty, Vickie accepts a job as a dancer at topless bar, where she changes her name to Anna Nicole Smith and first makes her mark.  With a new persona and a shocking marriage to octogenarian millionaire J. Howard Marshall, Anna’s career blasts off when Playboy features her in a pictorial spread that evokes comparisons to Marilyn Monroe.  But after her husband’s death, Anna’s financial support ends and her hard-partying ways, excessive drinking, drastic weight fluctuation and endless pill-popping take their toll, inevitably setting the stage for the fading starlet’s tragic descent.

Premieres Saturday, June 29, at 8pm ET/PT


Starring Agnes Bruckner as Anna Nicole Smith with Academy Award®-Winner Martin Landau, Oscar® Nominee Virginia Madsen, Adam Goldberg and Cary Elwes

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 22, 2013) – The Lifetime Original Movie Anna Nicole tells the rags-to-riches story of the iconic supermodel who captured the world’s attention with her beauty and unconventional lifestyle.  Exploring the sordid details that created her infamous persona, from stardom to untimely death, the world premiere will be on Saturday, June 29, at 8:00pm ET/PT.

The film, starring Agnes Bruckner (Lifetime’s The Craigslist Killer, Private Practice) as cultural icon Anna Nicole Smith, Academy Award and Golden Globe®-winner Martin Landau (Ed Wood), Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen (Sideways), Adam Goldberg (Saving Private Ryan) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), is from executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias, Oscar-winning Chicago) and Judith Verno (Lifetime’s Drew Peterson: Untouchable, The Craigslist Killer, Natalee Holloway).  Directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol) and written by John Rice and Joe Batteer (Blown Away, Chasers), Anna Nicole is from Sony Pictures Television.

Anna Nicole follows the swift rise and fall of Vickie Lynn Hogan (Bruckner), a Texas high school dropout and single mother with dreams of a better life.  Realizing the power of her beauty, Vickie accepts a job as a dancer at topless bar, where she changes her name to Anna Nicole Smith and first makes her mark.  With a new persona and a shocking marriage to octogenarian millionaire J. Howard Marshall (Landau), Anna’s career blasts off when Playboy features her in a pictorial spread that evokes comparisons to Marilyn Monroe.  But after her husband’s death, Anna’s financial support ends and her hard-partying ways, excessive drinking, drastic weight fluctuation and endless pill-popping take their toll, inevitably setting the stage for the fading starlet’s tragic descent.

Hungry for celebrity, Anna launches her own hit reality show and soon gives birth to her daughter.  But her newfound happiness and positive outlook on life is shattered when her son dies of an overdose while visiting his mother and newborn sister in the hospital.  Unable to overcome the devastation over his death, in a tragic twist less than one year later, Anna herself dies of a fatal combination of pills, adding her name to a long list of icons who have succumbed to the temptations of fame.

Madsen portrays Anna’s mother Virgie, Goldberg is Anna’s lawyer, Howard K. Stern; Elwes plays Marshall’s son, E. Pierce; and Graham Patrick Martin (Two and a Half Men) stars as Anna Nicole’s son, Daniel.

Anna Nicole is executive produced by Verno’s Peace Out Productions and Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.  Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol) directed the screenplay by John Rice and Joe Batteer (Blown Away, Chasers)


Sony Pictures Television (, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, is one of the television industry’s leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, around the world and for a multitude of platforms.  In addition to one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) boasts a current program slate that includes top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. SPT has 18 wholly-owned or joint venture production companies in 13 countries outside the U.S. and also maintains offices in 33 countries. SPT’s worldwide television networks portfolio includes 124 channel feeds available in 159 countries, reaching more than 840 million households worldwide.  SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE’s premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT owns production company Embassy Row and is a part owner of cable channel Game Show Network (GSN), 3D channel 3net, premier horror/thriller website and VOD service FEARnet and national U.S media sales company ITN Networks, Inc.  SPT advertiser sales is one of the premier national advertising sales companies and handles the commercial inventory in SPT’s syndicated series as well as in U.S. digital businesses including FEARnet, and PlayStation. 


Lifetime is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families.  In 2012, as a result of its aggressive triple threat programming strategy doubling its amount of original programming spanning scripted dramas, reality series and movies, Lifetime posted its strongest year-on-year growth among the key demographics in 10+ years, while also reaching its youngest median age in 16 years.  Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks.  A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.

Show Credits

Anna Nicole Credits


Anna Nicole Smith                                                      Agnes Bruckner

J. Howard Marshall                                                     Martin Landau   

Howard K. Stern                                                         Adam Goldberg

Danny (Teen)                                                              Graham Patrick Martin


E. Pearce Marshall                                                      Cary Elwes


Virgie                                                                          Virginia Madsen



Directed By             

     Mary Harron

Written By

    Joe Batteer & John Rice

Executive Producers

     Neil Meron & Craig Zadan

Executive Producer

     Judith Verno

Produced By

      Robert J. Wilson

Casting By

     Susan Edelman, C.S.A.

Director of Photography

     Michael Simmonds

Production Designer

     William Arnold

Edited By

     Etienne Des Lauriers, A.C.E.  

Music By

     Zack Ryan

Based on the Article “Paw Paw & Lady Love,” Written by Dan Paul Lee,

Published in New York Magazine


Agnes BrucknerAgnes Bruckner
Agnes Bruckner is no stranger to being in front of cameras, having begun acting at the age of 12.  In 2002, she earned the attention of critics nationwide for her leading role in Blue Car, an independent drama about a gifted teenager whose world of turmoil becomes increasingly complicated after a unique relationship forms with her English teacher.  For her work in Blue Car, Bruckner was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in the category of “Best Female Lead.”

Bruckner has had a successful run on the silver screen during the past several years.  After the triumphant debut of Blue Car, she went on to star alongside Sandra Bullock and Ryan Gosling in Warner Bros.’ Murder By Numbers.  Soon afterwards Bruckner starred opposite Val Kilmer, Carrie Fischer and Rachel Leigh Cook in Samuel Goldwyn Films’ Stateside, before appearing in 2007’s MGM fave Blood and Chocolate with Hugh Dancy.  Other film projects include Dimension’s Venom, Sony Pictures’ Dreamland, and Sony Pictures’ The Woods.  Bruckner also starred in a number of successful independent films including Home Room with Busy Philipps and Erika Christensen; Rick with Bill Pullman and Sandra Oh; Haven with Orlando Bloom; Peaceful Warrior with Nick Nolte and Amy Smart; Kill Theory; Breaking the Girls; The Millionaire Tour; The Pact and The Citizen.

In 2011 Bruckner starred in the Lifetime Television movie The Craigslist Killer, a crime thriller about a seemingly normal man who lived a dark and secretive online life.  Also on the small screen, she has had significant roles on Covert Affairs, 24, Private Practice, Fairly Legal, Hawaii Five-0, Dirty Sexy Money and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, to name a few.

Bruckner currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Martin LandauMartin Landau
Martin Landau’s distinguished acting career spans five decades.  He has been honored with many awards including a 1994 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as ‘Bela Lugosi’ in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.  Landau also received two prior Oscar nominations: in 1988 for his performance as ‘Abe Karatz’ in Francis Ford Coppola’s Tucker, and in 1989 for his role as ‘Judah Rosenthal’ in Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.  Most recently, he reunited with Tim Burton for Frankenweenie.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Landau studied Fine Art at the prestigious Pratt Institute and went on to work as an artist at the New York Daily News.  In his early twenties, he began to study theatre at Lee Strasberg’s Actor’s Studio and went on to forge a successful career on Broadway.  Landau’s early stage credits include the role of “Juvan” in Franz Werfel’s Goat Song, as well as roles in Stalag 17, First Love, The Penguin and Middle of the Night.

As television quickly gained prominence, Landau soon landed starring roles on several network programs including Omnibus Presents Oscar Wilde’s Salome, opposite Eartha Kitt and Patricia Neal. He also appeared on Studio One, The Philco Playhouse, Goodyear Playhouse, Kraft Theatre, Armstrong Circle Theatre and Playhouse 90, among many others during television’s Golden Age.

It was Landau’s performance in the national tour of Paddy Chayafsky’s hit Broadway play Middle of the Night that caught the attention of Hollywood’s producers and directors.  He was soon to appear on the big screen in Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest, Lewis Milestone’s Pork Chop Hill, George Stevens’ The Greatest Story Ever Told, John Sturges’ The Hallelujah Trail, Henry Hathaway’s Nevada Smith and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’ Cleopatra, with co-stars Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.

Recently added to Landau’s long list of over 100 films, are Frank Darabont’s The Majestic, in which he co-starred with Jim Carrey, Ron Shelton’s Hollywood Homicide with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett, starring as “Gepetto” in Pinocchio and The New Adventures of Pinocchio, Shiner with Michael Caine and Wake produced by daughter Susie Landau Finch, and written and directed by son-in-law, Roy Finch.

On television Landau is probably best known for his work on two hugely popular series Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999, as well as literally hundreds of episodic shows as a guest-star.  His credits also include dozens of movies-of-the-week and miniseries.  Currently, Landau is appearing as Anthony LaPaglia’s father on the hit TV series Without a Trace, in which he was nominated for an Emmy Award.

After a 15-year hiatus from theatre, Landau recently returned to his roots, appearing on-stage in the world premiere of a play about a Palestinian and a Jew entitled Sixteen Wounded at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre.  He was so affected upon reading the piece, he immediately committed to appearing in it.  The response by both critics and public was staggering.  The play, by Eliam Kraiem sold out every night during its six-week run, breaking a 36 year house record at the Long Wharf’s popular Stage II, leaving its audiences in a tearful state of shock.

In addition to his Oscar, Landau’s body of work has earned him many other honors and numerous awards including three Golden Globe Awards, The Screen Actors Guild Award, three Cable Ace Nominations, one Cable Ace Award, three Emmy Nominations, numerous Critics Awards including The New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Texas, Boston and National Society of Film Critics Awards, a Belgian Viewers Best Actor Award, a Brazilian Saci Award and a Biography in both Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. In December 2001 he was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He recently received several Lifetime Achievement Awards: the German Golden Camera Award (Berlin Film Festival), the REMI Award (Houston Film Festival), the Wedgewood Award (Chicago’s Goodman Theatre) and the Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Charleston, San Diego and the 2002 Independent Film Festivals. Martin Landau is Executive Director, along with Mark Rydell and Sydney Pollack, of the Actor’s Studio’s West Coast Branch.

Landau lives in Los Angeles.

Adam GoldbergAdam Goldberg
Actor, director, and producer Adam Goldberg is a familiar face to movie and television fans alike.  On the big screen, he has appeared in (UNTITLED), Dazed and Confused, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, A Beautiful Mind and Zodiac.  He has also directed two features -- the comedy Scotch and Milk and the thriller I Love Your Work -- and produced the travel documentary Running With the Bulls.

Goldberg is known for memorable television roles including Matthew Perry’s unstable roommate on Friends and a movie producer’s spoiled son on Entourage.  He has also starred on ABC’s The Unusuals and in CBS’s NYC 2-2.

Goldberg was born in Santa Monica, California, and as a teen studied acting, which he pursued at Sarah Lawrence College.  

Goldberg lives in Los Angeles and plays in the band LANDy.  His latest endeavors on the movie app Vine have garnered international attention.

Graham Patrick MartinGraham Patrick Martin
Graham Patrick Martin is currently starring in the indie film Somewhere Slow, which recently screened at Cinequest Film Festival, Omaha Film Festival and the Vail Film Festival. He also co-stars in the TNT series Major Crimes, opposite Mary McDonnell.  Martin has recurred on the last three seasons of the hit comedy Two and A Half Men, alongside both Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher, playing the son of Courtney Thorne-Smith and the best friend of Angus T. Jones.

Martin was born in Thibodaux, Louisiana.  At the age of eight, he attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts summer camp, where he began his acting career on the stage. He has since performed in over 25 musical and dramatic stage productions.  In 2003, Martin was cast in his first professional role in Christopher Durang’s Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge, for which he was nominated for Best Performance by a Child Actor at the Big Easy Awards.  In 2004, he played a supporting role in Tennessee Williams’ A House Not Meant to Stand.

In 2005, Martin relocated to New York City, where his focus shifted from theatre to film and television. Initial commercial work soon led to a guest-starring role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  All the while, he was training at Fiorello H. Laguardia High School for Music and Performing Arts. 

After expanding his resume, Martin moved to the west coast in 2007, landing a role at his very first Los Angeles audition to play a series regular on the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show.  He played the son of Bill Engvall and Nancy Travis, and brother to Jennifer Lawrence.  This role earned Martin a Young Artist Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy Series.

Martin has guest-starred on numerous television shows, including The Closer, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Love Bites, iCarly, Good Luck Charlie and Jonas.  He has also appeared in several indie films, including Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door and Rising Stars

Recently Martin wrapped filming on Bukowksi, James Franco’s directorial debut and biopic of the late writer, Charles Bukowski, set for a 2014 release. 

Martin lives in Los Angeles.

Cary ElwesCary Elwes
Cary Elwes made his cinematic debut in 1984 in Marek Kanievska’s film Another Country based on the award-winning play.  He then starred in the highly acclaimed historical drama, Lady Jane.  That same year, Elwes starred in the classic fairy-tale The Princess Bride.  The following year, he joined Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington in the Academy Award® winning civil war epic Glory.  Elwes then joined Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to work on the high-speed action movie, Days of Thunder. His body of work also includes Hot Shots; Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Robin Hood: Men in Tights; Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book; Twister; Liar, Liar; Kiss the Girls: From the Earth to the Moon; Cradle Will Rock; Shadow of the Vampire and The Cat’s Meow.  Elwes also starred in the smash hit psychological thriller, Saw.  He was also in Garry Marshall’s Georgia Rule alongside Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan.  Elwes recently worked with Garry Marshall again in New Year’s Eve for New Line. His other credits include A Christmas Carol for Robert Zemeckis and The Adventures of Tintin for Steven Speilberg. Elwes just wrapped Behaving Badly opposite Selena Gomez, Nat Wolff and Mary Louise Parker.

Elwes lives in Los Angeles.

Virginia MadsenVirginia Madsen
A cool, classic beauty, with a vibrant blonde mane and an exuberant flair for the dramatic, Virginia Madsen is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and unique actresses to date.  Not only did she receive amazing reviews for her Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominated performance in Alexander Payne’s hit film, Sideways, but this Independent Spirit Award-winning actress has an illustrious resume of roles alongside the most notable and respected actors in the business. 

This past year, Madsen filmed AMC’s Hell on Wheels, and the independent feature The Wilderness of James, the NBC pilot Hatfields & McCoys and also starred in the feature, The Magic of Belle Isle, directed by Rob Reiner, opposite Morgan Freeman.  She starred in the independent features The Hot Flashes, alongside Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, and Wanda Sykes, Crazy Kind of Love and TNT’s Hornet’s Nest this past year.  In 2010, Madsen starred opposite Kevin Spacey in the indie comedy Father of Invention and in Red Riding Hood in 2011.  Madsen was also seen on the television shows Scoundrels, MONK, and starred in the Lions Gate thriller The Haunting In Connecticut.

Also on Madsen’s slate is her production company with partner Karly Meola called Title IX Productions.  Their first project is the documentary I Know a Woman Like That, which premiered at the Chicago Film Festival.  The doc was directed by Virginia’s mother, Elaine Madsen, about the lives of extraordinary women ages 64-94.  Next in the company’s lineup is the film adaptation of The Bitch Posse to be directed by Catherine Hardwicke and co-produced with Ambush Entertainment. 

Madsen’s other films include starring roles opposite Harrison Ford in the action thriller Firewall, Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in Robert Altman’s last film, A Prairie Home Companion and Forest Whitaker in the existential drama The Ripple Effect.  She also starred opposite Jim Carrey in New Line’s 2007 psychological thriller The Number 23, directed by Joel Schumacher, as well as opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the 2006 comedy The Astronaut Farmer.  In 2008, she starred in the Sundance hit Diminished Capacity alongside Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda for IFC.

Madsen also appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker with Matt Damon in 1997, the cult classic Candyman, Hot Spot, directed by Dennis Hopper, HBO’s first feature Long Gone and David Lynch’s Dune.  Her versatility was seen in the independent film, Almost Salinas and in American Gun, opposite Academy Award winner James Coburn. 

It was destiny for Madsen to become a star as her determination and talent quickly paid off.  When a Polaroid landed on the desk of the famed director David Lynch, he instantly cast her in his film Dune.  Immediately following, Madsen landed her first leading role in MGM’s Electric Dreams in 1984.

When Madsen became pregnant with her son, Jack, she put her successful career on hold.  It wasn’t until Jack was in pre-school that the actress had notions of reentering into her Hollywood career. Upon hearing of Madsen’s desire to act again, Francis Ford Coppola asked her to audition for his latest project, the film version of John Grisham’s legal thriller, The Rainmaker, a role that reestablished her dynamic career. And with the critical acclaim she received for her portrayal of “Maya” in Sideways and her roles in Firewall, A Prairie Home Companion, The Astronaut Framer, The Ripple Effect and Number 23, it was clear that her hiatus to raise a family did nothing to hinder this go-getter from resilient success.

Madsen comes from a very talented family.  In addition to her Emmy award-winning mother, Elaine Madsen, her brother is the gifted actor, Michael Madsen.  Madsen lives in Los Angeles with her teenage son.

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