…and a few random Golden Globe thoughts
WHEN HALLE Berry strode onstage at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, the audience let out a gasp of appreciation. Miss Berry is one of nature’s wonders — a great, great beauty.
As some of you are already aware, Berry has been chosen to portray the Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin herself. (Aretha personally chose Halle. Listen, if somebody was doing the story of my life, I’d choose Halle Berry as well!)
There’s been a lot of comment on this casting. The Internet is alive with condemnation.
In her youth, Aretha Franklin was not always the majestically sized woman we have come to know in more recent decades. Sometimes she was even thin. (Usually for a man.) Mostly she was full-figured. Always she was a genius. But she never looked anything like Halle Berry. For one thing, Franklin is fully African American, and she looks it. Whereas Miss Berry is bi-racial, and looks it. (Halle reportedly even had a bit of subtle work on her nose, to further refine her beauty.) Now, this issue might work itself out if Halle Berry was a great actress. Uh, need I say more?
Berry’s Oscar for “Monster’s Ball” was one of the most unworthy in a very long line of unworthy Oscar wins. (Can we cite Elizabeth Taylor in “Butterfield 8” or Julie Andrews in “Mary Poppins,” Cher in “Moonstruck,” Julia Roberts in “Erin Brockovich,” Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side?” And that’s just more or less recent history.)
Halle’s not an awful actress. Just kinda shallow. Which does not make her a bad person. But, if you are going to interpret the life of the woman who gave us “Respect.” “Think” “Baby, I Love You,” “You Made Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” etc, you better be prepared to plumb some depths. Berry cannot. And I think she knows it. At least in terms of tackling Aretha’s story. The most recent reports have Berry rejecting the film, on the grounds that she cannot sing. As if Aretha would allow anybody to attempt to “sing like her.” (Susan Hayward, Sissy Spacek and Reese Witherspoon got away with that in their musical biopics. But Lillian Roth, Loretta Lynn and June Carter Cash were pikers in ego, compared to Miss Franklin.)
Berry has already been vocally dubbed, in her award-winning turn as Dorothy Dandridge (and not even by Dorothy herself!) Why go down that road again? This won’t happen. Let’s think more along the lines of Jennifer Hudson. Better yet, let’s think a hell of a lot of other African American actresses with power and soul to spare. Hudson can’t really act. At all. (I am sure Tyler Perry, who provides work for so many gifted artists would have a suggestion or two.)
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Mr. wOw had some unhappy personal duties to attend to on Sunday night, so he could not be with you all — trite and bitchy, blogging live. Well, I think Mr. Ricky Gervais covered all the bitchiness you could handle! But … here’s some extra. I taped the show. And the pre-show. (Well, B. did, actually.)
I won’t belabor my total impressions because by now it’s all old news. But — what the hell was Sandra Bullock thinking? The poor thing looks like she weighs 100 pounds, 75 of them that terrible wig which covered her eyes. (This is what happens when you win an Oscar and practically the next day your asshole husband is revealed as an asshole, and you must divorce.)
I thought a lot of the humility expressed by various winners seemed real to me. (Sorry, actors are people too, and have genuine feelings. I know, I know — you’d prefer not to believe that.) And I was enchanted by Natalie Portman, who took her GG from Jeff Bridges and then said, “Oh, Jeff Bridges … I love you.”
During the red-carpet crap, somebody inane was interviewing Angelina Jolie, and remarked on how she and Brad immediately headed for the barricades and the fans as soon as they got out of their limo. “Oh, sure” said Angie, “That’s why we make movies.” Interesting. I think they make movies to finance their humanitarian efforts. But it sounds better to credit their love of the fans.
Helena Bonham Carter has been placed on every Worst Dressed list. No! Mrs. Tim Burton has always dressed this way. It was a Vivienne Westwood, and it was hideous. But Helena marches to her own drummer. Her hair is an eternal giant hive of tortured tresses, her makeup ghoulish. This is the way she likes to look. She should be taken off the lists and placed in her own singular category.
Annette Bening wore her glasses all night. Confidence! A real woman!
Michael Douglas! Mr. wOw attended the NYC premiere of “Wall Street 2.” It was a near-riot. The paparazzi and the fans were rabid. The whole night had a certain vibe that nobody wanted to articulate — this is Michael Douglas’s last movie! Well, the star looked hale and hearty on the arm of his under-talented, over-honored wife, the beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones. And he accepted his tumultuous GG ovation with real emotion. He has learned the hard way, being the child of a self-involved star father. And then repeating the sins of the father. Michael is being given a fabulous second act. Good luck to him!
Finally, Mr. wOw was very glad that neither Tom Cruise or John Travolta were in attendance that night. Perhaps they saw Mr. Gervais on last year’s Golden Globes? Enough is enough. Let them live their lives, with their wives and children. What the hell do we know anyway? And why should we care? I know I don’t.