Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Roanoke Scandals: Who'll Get the Movie Roles?

Lawrence as Bickford
It appears that Roanokers and former Roanokers are at the middle of some pretty nasty national and international criminal doings these days and it makes for interesting reading and great movie speculating, if not for ideal Chamber of Commerce PR.

All the sordid details that can be found at this point are in stories in today's local daily in Roanoke (here).

A blonde beauty and former Channel 10 television anchor, Juliet Bickford, is a figure in a con game in Hampton where her boyfriend and a couple of pals ripped people off the gullible and laundered money through her bank account. They lived pretty high for a while. She's facing tax charges; two of her boyfriend's buds have been convicted; and the boyfriend is apparently somewhere in Greece, perhaps continuing the games. Sounds like a Hitchcock crime romp, complete with the Tippi Hedren-Kim Novak-Grace Kelly blonde who's too gorgeous to blame.

Deneuve: Jenny Taubman
The other case is a bit dicier, and has its own movie parallel of sorts: Orson Welles' final film "F for Fake." But the truth here is movie material of its own. Seems a Chinese immigrant was hired to paint copies of valuable works and was happy to do so for up to $9,000 a copy. He says he had no idea they were going to be sold as originals. The guy who commissioned the works, however, apparently did have an idea and among his victims appears to be Roanoke collectors Jenny and Nick Taubman (a former ambassador to Romania and CEO of Advance Auto). They are among the founders of the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke.
Nicholson as Taubman

The Taubmans appear to be among a nice-sized group of the duped--almost all of whom had art advisors, people who are experts and would normally be able to tell the real from the forged. The perpetrator of this New York City scandal is in jail, the Chinese artist has slipped out of the
country and is back home and the Taubmans are suing and keeping quiet about the embarrassment.

Juicy stuff--unless you're in the middle of it. Can't wait for the movies. I suggest Jennifer Lawrence as Juliet Bickford and Jack Nicholson/Catherine Deueuve as the Taubmans (Nicholson would have to lose the hair). George Takai is, of course, the Chinese dude. He gets all the great Chinese roles, even though he's Japanese. Details, details.

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