Mr. Wow Blog
Mr. wOw Wonders: Halle as Aretha. Really? Really?!
12:00 am | January 18, 2011

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Lifestyle Point of View | Comments: 55


…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.)

* * *

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.

  • Baby Snooks

    I have never really cared about the Golden Globes and the recent lawsuit already bores me simply because it doesn’t surprise me. Which is why I never really cared about the Golden Globes. Maybe if they had the “men in black” delivering the envelopes in the Brinks truck it might seem more legitimate.  Awards by a press association?  Popularity contest. Or something else. 

    Last year’s Academy Awards bored me. So I will never watch again. Attended one. Would never attend again.  I suspect in the old days when it was an actual awards dinner for just the industry it was less, well, boring.  Now it is, well, a pr vehicle for fading stars. Often the previous year’s winners. At least Bob Hope and Johnny Carson made it a little, well, fun.  Even if, well, boring if you were actually there.  Now it’s just, well, boring even at home on television. No fun.  At all. 

    As for Halle Berry as Aretha I would imagine Aretha will make the final decision.  Whether anyone wants her to or not. So far Aretha hasn’t said anything. So either she’s fine with it. Or she’s still laughing too hard to say anything. 

    Personally I think Halle Berry is too, well, piss elegant as they used to say.   Aretha can be elegant.  But is never pissy. She is usually just Aretha.  

    I miss Mr. Blackwell. Never thought I would. But what fun he would have with the fashion divas and their assorted disasters. 

    I liked Liz Smith’s assessment of Christina Aguilera. A sofa in a bordello indeed. Liz must have been channeling Mr. Blackwell.  Christina may have been channeling Cher at the London premiere who also looked like a sofa in a bordello. Liz Smith would never say that of course.  But one wonders if she thought it.  As for Sandra Bullock, obviously she called Cher to ask where she got her wigs.  I love Cher. But, well, she was the beginning of the divas and their fashion disasters. Although Cher at times turned fashion into performance art.  Which is fine onstange. Not so fine offstage. 

    I will go take a Midol. Or two.

    1:38 am | January 18, 2011
  • Andy
    Andy C

    Halle Barry as Aretha?  Boggles the mind.  If Aretha picked her, I want that same mirror.  Why not someone who perhaps, uh, um, can sing?  Or looks like her?  Or as you said, is African American, untouched?

    I watched the Golden Globes and aside from Angelina hanging on Brad and Kevin’s Bacon’s wife hanging on him (got a little “oh puleeze” moment there), I enjoyed it.  I must be the only one who thought it was funny though pushed a bit far and took it for what it was:  entertainment.  Do I care who won?  No.  Do I remember who won?  No.  Will it matter?  No.  It just looked like a big party where everyone was having fun and I enjoyed it. 

    8:09 am | January 18, 2011
    • Hannah Smith

      Really? “Kevin Bacon’s wife”? Let’s call Kyra Sedgwick by her name, if you please. As much as awards don’t matter, she’s been nominated more than him for the ones that DO matter, and won equally as many times, if you’re counting, not to mention is the current star of a hit TV show. Let’s respect these women who play smart characters, shall we? There are so few.
      And, on another note, Mr. Wow what’s your take on this – as someone on an industry blog pointed out, why is everyone saying Robert Downey Jr.’s joke wasn’t as offensive as Gervais? ‘Cause, fyi, it was on the same level. Now – admittedly, I laughed. At both of them, at times. But that doesn’t mean I’m not aware that objectifying these women isn’t a problem, and doing it in a sleazy way when you’re already a sleazy guy, and then getting not just excused for it, but celebrated…*sigh*. Perhaps it’s because Gervais isn’t good-looking, and Downey Jr is, that he gets the pass?

      1:00 pm | January 18, 2011
      • Andy
        Andy C

        Apologies, I forgot her name — “brain drain”

        5:46 pm | January 18, 2011
      • Deirdre Cerasa

        It’s because, in my opinion, Robert Downey, Jr. has gone to rehab, paid his debt and made some very good movies.  It is time to move on, he has.  Ricky Gervais should.

        7:33 pm | January 18, 2011
  • LandofLove

    I loved the fact that Annette Bening wore her glasses. Not only did she look great but she projected real style and maturity. She put the 20-somethings to shame.

    8:23 am | January 18, 2011
  • Lori Castle

    Sandra Bullock’s hair is for a movie she is shooting now and she said as soon as its done shes going back to her old hair!

    10:13 am | January 18, 2011
    • Baby Snooks

      Whether it’s her hair or someone else’s hair she might heed the reaction and just reshoot the film she’s shooting with hair that is a little less, um, severe.  She looks like a 65 year old woman who decided to copy the hairstyle of her 15 year old daughter.  And went overboard with the color as well as the cut.  Of course maybe she’s shooting a Western. And is playing an Navajo princess. A 65 year old Navajo princess who has never seen a mirror. 

      I really hate these awards shows. But love the various photo shows that start appearing online about an hour after everyone does their red carpet thing. I do have to wonder if some of these women, and men, bother to look in a mirror before heading for the limo. 

      4:47 pm | January 18, 2011
      • Baby Snooks

        And speaking of red having perused another “photo show” why do redheads who risk wearing red or orange always pick the absolute worst shade of red or orange to wear particularly if they plan on having a Kodak moment? What the mirror sees and what the camera sees are two different things.

        9:08 pm | January 18, 2011
  • Paul Smith

    Well, I have often wondered if Ms. Franklin checked a mirror before she left home, so her choice of Hallie Berry comes as no surprise.  The Golden Girls Globe would be really showing its age if they fired Ricky G.  He has brought the show back to water cooler life.  Bless him !  A tacky show deserves a tacky host.  MTV would grab him in a heartbeat, rather than using the stinkbomb Chelsea Handler.  The ratings would soar with him aboard.

    10:52 am | January 18, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      I don’t BLAME Aretha for choosing Halle—as I said, who wouldn’t?  But now it’s up to Miss Berry to kindly turn it down, which I think has already happened.

      I guess in the matter of Mr. Gervais I am just showing my age.  And being a hypocrite, as I said a few bitchy things in this post.  Tho I would not get onstage an say them.  (Which means nothing, an unflattering remark is an unfallerting remark, here or at the Beverly Hilton.)

      11:44 am | January 18, 2011
      • Baby Snooks

        I missed this one.  I think Aretha should claim someone else was calling around claiming to be her.  And that someone else made the decision. And leave it at that.  Or maybe roll around the floor and pretend to be laughing.  As for who does play her, young and old, it doesn’t matter if they can sing. I doubt anyone would accept anyone but Aretha singing the songs. We’ve already been there, done this with Etta James.  Some become the songs. And anyone else singing the songs just doesn’t work.  Hopefully that will take care of someone calling around claiming to be Aretha telling everyone that Beyonce will play the young Aretha. Who of course will want to sing the songs that aren’t hers to sing.  I will go take another Midol. Or two.   

        4:30 pm | January 18, 2011
        • Baby Snooks

          Actually Halle Berry does resemble her. In the beginning of her career.  Before she became a big star. I will be kind and leave it at that.

          9:22 pm | January 18, 2011
  • Haunted Lady

    I’m with you on Halle Berry. She’s gorgeous and probably a lovely person but I’ve never seen her in anything that suggests depth.
    The Golden Globes are for fun and one can’t get too serious. Truthfully, we don’t remember who won what when and don’t care a whole lot. Same for the Oscars and all the others. But it is fun and entertaining so I watch and will undoubtedly continue watching.
    The clothes are great fun, too, but I wish people would lay off Helena Bonham Carter. She’s unique and, frankly, I’d be disappointed if she dressed “regular.” And beside, if no one ever committed a fashion faux pas, it would be rather dull and probably ruin Joan Rivers career.

    2:10 pm | January 18, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Haunted One…Joan Rivers runied her career a long time ago.  I can’t even remember when she used to be funny.  Maybe back when she first started on the Liz Taylor fat jokes—which even Miz Liz thought were amusing—at first.  Actually, Joan was funnier before she started in on other people.  Her initial self-deprecation was most amusing.

      Now, she is just a freak.  That face!  That face!  That face!

      With you on Helena.  This is the way she is.  If she showed up “properly” dressed and coiffed who would care or even recognize her?

      2:28 pm | January 18, 2011
      • Haunted Lady

        I agree on Joan Rivers but thought I’d try to be nice to a lady of her years. She lost a lot of respect from me when she was rude and nasty to a radio newscaster in St. Louis who was trying to interview her. And, really, she hasn’t been funny since about 1982.

        3:17 pm | January 18, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear HL…honey, you are kind.  Like she’d go out of her way to be nice to anybody, regardless of age?

          And you nailed it–1982, her final funnies.

          6:22 pm | January 18, 2011
      • Baby Snooks

        I hope I don’t offend anyone but Joan Rivers started out as a typical Jewish broad from the suburbs. She is still a Jewish broad from the suburbs.  A very rich one.  And she looks like all the other very rich Jewish broads from the suburbs who ended up in Beverly Hills and other places where very rich Jewish broads end up. She was probably a JAP early on.  That is a Jewish American Princess. They end up Jewish broads after they marry. They usually marry very well and become the real ladies who lunch.  And as they get older, the JAP emerges once more. And they head to the plastic surgeon.  She still holds a mirror in front of herself on stage.  It’s just more fun to hold it in front of everyone else. She is the same old Joan Rivers. She just looks younger than she used to. Which irritates everyone. Except everyone else who looks younger than they used to. Especially everyone in Beverly Hills.

        I do agree with her daughter that enough is enough. For a while anyway. She is going to end up looking like Jocelyn Wildenstein. Who looks like Ron Popeil.  


        5:02 pm | January 18, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Baby…apparently you’ve missed it.  Joan already looks distressingly like Jocelyn Wildenstein.  But…this is the way she likes to look.  

          There’s no “for a while…”   Rivers has had enough, for five lifetimes.  That said, she’ll have more.  What else is there now?  She sure ain’t funny.

          6:20 pm | January 18, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            No, I missed Aretha calling around. Or someone calling around saying she was Aretha. I’m giving an Aretha an out.  If she’s smart, she’ll take it.

            Joan does not look like Jocelyn. But will.  Something about the eyes and mouth.  Same something, by the way, can be seen occasionally in a photo of Nicole Kidman.  Who has admitted using botox. How it begins. The botox. Then a little nip and tuck to take care of the puffiness under the eyes. Then a little browlift. Then a little nip and tuck under the chin and jawline.  Then the cheekbones need rescuing. Or resculpting. Or sometimes they just want cheekbones.  Then the lips have to be redone. To match the cheekbones. Or the nose. Sometimes the nose needs rescuing. Or resculpting. And before you know it, well, they look like Jocelyn. Who looks like Ron.  Michael Jackson, of course, didn’t.  He ended up looking like Faye Dunaway looking like Joan Crawford.  With Zsa Zsa’s nose.  I think that is how it started with Michael Jackson. He wanted Zsa Zsa’s nose.  Her nose looks good on La Toya. It did not look good on Michael. Michael would have been better off looking like Jocelyn. And like Ron. 

            I like Joan. Brutal but funny. Life is brutal. Less brutal when you can laugh about it. 

            8:37 pm | January 18, 2011
          • rick gould

            Joan was funny when her humor was the down-to-earth Jewish gal who liked to dish, usually about herself. Then she became a star. Then hubris took over, and she thought she was bigger than Johnny Carson. Gradually, like most stars, she became a caricature. And her catty digs became more personal and tacky. She reminds me of the mean old aunt at the wedding reception nobody wants to share a table with!
            Joan Rivers is a latter day Bob Hope, clinging to the spotlight, recycling the same stale gags from her index files. Except Joan tries to spice them up by being louder and more vulgar than ever.
            I saw her documentary: “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.” I’d say that about sums it up.
            I’m no Pollyanna, but I am just up to here with mean-spirited, vulgar digs passing as humor and wit. And the glee in which the press and public take in celebrity gaffes. Which is why I skip most talk shows and gossip blogs. It’s everywhere, endless, and ultimately, enervating, really.

            12:19 am | January 19, 2011
      • rick gould

        I remember Joan hosting for Johnny Carson back in the early 80s, during the Christmas season. And Elizabeth Taylor had announced she was entering the Betty Ford Center, which was a big deal, as no major celebrity had publicly done such a thing.
        And there was Joan, in Johnny’s chair, making Liz Taylor movie star fat jokes, while Taylor the woman had put aside her pride and was spending the holidays in rehab. Rivers kinda lost me after that. I don’t believe in kicking people when they’re down. Even celebrities.

        12:33 am | January 19, 2011
        • Baby Snooks

          Funny how Elizabeth Taylor never announced she was checking into the fat farms but everyone somehow always found out.  Maybe Joan Rivers thought Betty Ford was another fat farm.  The jokes have gotten more vulgar because we have gotten more vulgar.  If you don’t want jokes told about you, don’t provide the material. 

          7:10 am | January 19, 2011
          • rick gould

            One thing that has crossed my mind is that certain celebrities today, particularly the B List and lower variety, seem to play into the “any publicity is good publicity.” And become public laughingstocks in the process.
            But it doesn’t excuse the glee in which a sizable portion of the media and public derive from throwing stones. My life isn’t so exemplary that I want people who know me, or don’t know me!…making nasty jokes at my expense.

            11:04 am | January 19, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            There are just as many “A” listers as “B,C,& D” listers who go out of their way to make sure their names stay in print. Sometimes without thinking about what is going to be printed. Or said about what is going to be printed.

            The thing I have always found amusing since I found out about it are the number of these celebrities who act stunned and shocked and threaten to sue once the stories hit print who in fact had someone give the story to the tabloids. Although some have someone sell the story. And split the proceeds with the “tattletale.” Guess it helps supplement the dwindling residuals. 

            It’s one thing to be gossiped about. Quite another to provide the gossip. 

            1:37 pm | January 19, 2011
          • Mr. Wow

            Dear Rick…ah, but the unfortunate point is nobody really becomes a laughingstock anymore.  We have spawned a generation that believes in reality TV and that bad behavior is what life is all about–it gets you noticed!

            1:43 pm | January 19, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            I think both of you should take note of the developing war between the witty and the witless.  The witless of course being Sarah Palin who apparently doesn’t find Joan Rivers funny either. Joan Rivers once again is less than amused with Fox which should have learned not to kick her in the you-know-what in order to kiss someone else’s you-know-what.  I suspect St. Joan of Bark is about to bite.  Grab your popcorn as they say. Show’s about to start. 

            5:42 pm | January 19, 2011
  • Amaretasu

    I like watching the award shows to hear what people will say, and also what the host will say about people. To me it’s comedy and it’s funny. That’s what comedy is, making fun of people. As far as Halle Berry playing Aretha, If she chose, then why not. I saw where on the red carpet, Halle statd that if she(Aretha) did the singing, she’d do it. Well, get ready for some lip sinking in that movie people.

    2:10 pm | January 18, 2011
  • lsmyers

    I have been an Aretha fan for as long as I can remember, I love the way certain celebrities do their craft regardless of personal lives feeling that is not my business. Has anyone really been able to portray somebody else? Maybe Aretha did not care for the accuracy and more the fantasy being created, if Halle was her call and I can not figure out why, it could just be Aretha’s way of throwing out an option to push Halle to try the unknown.

    2:10 pm | January 18, 2011
  • Mr. Wow

    Dear Linda…it is Aretha’s way of putting it down for future generations—this is what Aretha Franklin looked like.  At some point in her life.  And that’s okay-ish.   As you say, she was/is probably more interested in the fantasy and glamorization of her physical image. The voice cannot be faked.  Nor will it be. Whatever control Aretha has over her story, surely it is written in stone that her own voice be heard. 

    3:14 pm | January 18, 2011
  • DC4
    D C

    I cannot imagine why Aretha Franklin would choose Halle Berry over Jennifer Hudson.  I mean, like you, I would hope the world remember me as someone as gorgeous as Halle… but Jennifer Hudson quite beautiful AND shapely .. AND has the pipes the part requires.  I wonder if Aretha is jealous of her.  Hmmmm. 

    5:46 pm | January 18, 2011
    • Maggie W

      Exactly what I was thinking, DC.  Hudson could possibly knock it out of the park .  She has that voice and with a great coach as well as Aretha’s tutelage and support, it could be a moment.   Hudson also has that likeability factor that would bring audiences to the theater.   Her own personal story and rising star appeal to audiences as well. 

      11:52 am | January 19, 2011
      • Mr. Wow

        Alas, Jennifer Husdon is an even worse actress than Halle Berry.  And no matter how great her pipes, she wouldn’t have a chance to use them.  Nor should she. The sound of Aretha is like the sound of Judy Garland, or Peggy Lee or Sinatra.  No imitations, thank you very much!

        1:39 pm | January 19, 2011
        • Maggie W

          I think we’re looking at this from different angles. It’s not about acting or singing.  No one really expected Joaquin Phoenix to sound  just like Johnny Cash either.  Movie audiences showed up because Joaquin was hot at that time… before he turned into the mess he is today… and because there was a good story line.  Aretha’s story is ready to be told.  My son’s girlfriend walks through the house singing along to Hudson’s Weight Watcher commercials.  If I asked her about Judy Garland or Peggy Lee’, I would get that deer in the head lights look.  Hudson could bring in the movie goers and sings well enough to carry the story.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

          2:00 pm | January 19, 2011
          • Mr. Wow

            Dear Maggie…I do get your point.  I just think Aretha choosing Halle is so very far off the mark, physically, and image-wise.  To me, it seems almost like a joke.

            Of course, that’s what some people said about Elizabeth Taylor playing Martha in “WAOVW”   Those people hadn’t been paying attention to the expanding, liquor-loving, trash-talking ET.  Martha was not such a stretch. At all. Perhaps Aretha, with all her man issues, is not such a stretch for Halle?

            In any case, all these Aretha talk has put me in the mood.  I’ve got all her music lined up on my iPod.  What a woman!

            3:02 pm | January 19, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            Well I thought it was a joke – I missed the “Aretha personally chose Halle” when I first read your column and had missed it elsewhere and had no idea Halle Berry was going to play her - but reality is Halle does resemble her in the beginning of her career which no one else does and so maybe it’s not such a bad choice after all.  One thing is for sure. Aretha is no fool. So here’s to Halle as Aretha.  Since you brought up Elizabeth Taylor and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf it’s possible if Halle allows herself to be “padded a little” she may end up with an Oscar.  And Aretha is not majestically sized as you put it. Nor is she a little chubby as Joan Rivers put it.  She is voluptous as someone put it about Anita Eckberg. Some women do not get fat. They simply become voluptous.

            That means the curves are just bigger than they used to be. Everything gets bigger and some men like bigger.  And so they like voluptous.

            6:14 pm | January 19, 2011
          • Mr. Wow

            Dear Baby…true, some men like bigger.  John Warner did not.  He met and married a voluptuous woman.  Three months into the marriage she was gleefully exlaiming, “I’m fat!”  Cut to Warner looking disgusted.  Later she would complain to Halston and Andy Warhol that Warner wasn’t making love to her anymore (though she did not say “making love”) 

            THat was the rebound marriage of all time, and no happy woman married to a handsome, fit man, goes crazy and gains thirty pounds.  Still, I liked her Halston caftans, cut so low and slit up so high you could see all the way to Virginia. (Her legs are short, but shapely!)  And she was sensitive.  I once saw her storm out of a NYC event after a comic made some crude remarks about her girth. 

            Aretha has seemed comfy in her cushiony curves.  And I doubt
            her men have a problem with it.

            Halle as Aretha?  No matter what, an avalanche of interest.

            11:55 pm | January 19, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            Elizabeth Taylor has been many things, in many sizes, but voluptous is not one of them.  Voluptous is Rubenesque.  The curves are still there. They are just bigger curves.  Even in caftans. Elizabeth Taylor was never Rubenesque. She was, well, just fat.  Happy fat she said.  She said lots of things. To a lot of people.  Occasionally she even managed to complete a sentence without shocking the sailors in the room. 

            She was never svelte. She was definitely not svelte when she married John Warner.  She was already on her way to being, well, fat. 

            2:02 am | January 20, 2011
          • Community Manager

            Baby Snooks your comment made me bust out laughing this morning. Thank you!

            8:36 am | January 20, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            As I’ve often said, Elizabeth Taylor’s best “disguise” at times when she wanted to be “incognito” was herself.  “That can’t be her…” 

            9:55 am | January 20, 2011
          • rick gould

            Aretha is “voluptuous” but Elizabeth Taylor in her Warner days was just “well, fat…”
            One is probably 150 lbs overweight for eons and the other gained at best, 60 lbs. during an unhappy marriage. Interesting perception…
            I also found, in this age of 100% lack of privacy, Aretha’s recent unnamed hospital stay remained unnamed. Suppose I could of Googled the gossips for speculation, but figured it was related to pushing 70 and being obese.

            10:27 am | January 20, 2011
          • Baby Snooks

            Some are genetically predisposed to being svelte. Some are genetically predisposed to being voluptous. And some are just genetically predisposed to being incapable of controlling the addictions including the platters of fried chicken. 

            As for the unhappy marriage, Elizabeth Taylor had quite a few. Along with some unhappy affairs. She can revise her history all she wants. She cannot, unfortunately, revise the photos.  

            11:01 am | January 20, 2011
  • DC4
    D C

    Helena Bonham Carter makes my skin crawl.  I honestly cannot watch her anymore.  Except in Harry Potter movies.  She’s playing herself. 

    5:51 pm | January 18, 2011
    • Kathy Ackerman

      Sorry to disagree, but I think Helena Bonham Carter is a HUGE breath of fresh air in a plastic Hollywood.  She was an absolute riot in “Sweeney Todd”  (heck, she stole the show away from Johnny Depp) and I loved her restraint in “The King’s Speech.”
      If she’s in a movie, I’m guaranteed to buy a ticket!

      7:48 pm | January 20, 2011
  • Deirdre Cerasa

    I get a kick out of award shows.  I don’t stay home to watch but watch if I am home.  I love to see what people are wearing and some of the train wrecks.  Ricky Gervais was sometimes funny and sometimes nasty.  I guess that’s what they want.  Not my cup of tea.  Host is no long my reason to watch or not.  I was happy for Glee, Natalie Portman, Annette Bening, Laura Linney, Robert DiNiro, Colin Firth etc.  Fun to watch.  I try not to take any of it too seriously.

    7:45 pm | January 18, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Deirdre…don’t take it seriously at all.  I didn’t care for  R. Gervais, but I try not to take myself and my likes and dislikes seriously.  Who the hell am I, anyway?

      1:35 pm | January 19, 2011
  • Tee Zee

    Mr. Wow, missed you on Sunday to dish together live, hope all is well.
    Halle Berry as the Queen of Soul?  Only if you don’t want anyone to go and see it.  Hope Halle has the smarts to turn it down.
    Helena marches to her own tune, a standout in a sea of ordinary.
    Ricky Gervais is just what the event needs, no limit inhibition or alcohol!

    7:50 pm | January 18, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Tee…all’s well with me.  Old friends?  Not so hot.

      As for Mr. G., I’m all for a drunken revel, just not at the podium.  (It’s probably ginger ale in the glass.)

      1:32 pm | January 19, 2011
  • Chip Griswold

    Didn’t watch the awards, and now I feel like I didn’t miss anything.

    8:29 am | January 19, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Chip…well, you didn’t really. Unless you happen you happen to like (or at least be amused) by all that stuff like that there.

      1:30 pm | January 19, 2011
  • Belinda Joy

    Well, personally I don’t have a problem with a bi-racial person playing the role of a Black person. Halle looks bi-racial and as such can indeed play “Black” but would never pass as playing a “White” woman, so I find all the debate on this issue quite interesting. It’s like saying Will Smith should never be tapped to play Barack Obama in a film (which it was rumored he may one day) because Will is Black and Barack is biracial.  I find that rationale silly.
    What I think a lot of people are tiptoeing around when it comes to the Halle/Aretha debate is plain and simple, Halle Berry is FAR more attractive than Aretha. Aretha to some has a great singing voice, but a great beauty she is not and never has been. However, my dear Mr. Wow, I take it you have never seen Halle Berry in the Spike Lee movie Jungle Fever.

    She is indeed an excellent actress and in this role she was unattractive, unappealing and believable as a Black crack head woman. So she has proven she can play a Black woman and I believe could do a fine job as Aretha. And I have to disagree with you about her performance in Monster’s Ball. For me, the key to a great actress is to perform in a role, in a way in which you believe she is the character she is playing. In Monster’s Ball you saw no sign at all of the beautiful, glamorous Halle Berry. And that is why she won the Oscar, and for me was well deserving of the award.

    12:44 pm | January 19, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Belinda… I have seen all of Halle’s work.  IMO (as the kids say) she is not a very good actress.  But not the worst. Passable.  Yes, indeed, the elephant in the room is that although Aretha was an attractive young woman, she was not a great beauty.  Halle is. 

      But it is impossible to gauge what might happen if Ms. Berry tackled Aretha’s life.  I giggle at the thought.  That’s just my giggle, and means not a damn thing outside my opinion.

      My real hope is that Aretha regains her health and decides it is way too early to agree to any biopic.

      9:22 pm | January 19, 2011
  • Jon Schweizer

    Halle Berry as Aretha is decidedly generous casting.  I realize Aretha’s achieved a well-deserved place in the world where she can make those kinds of requests.  But even in her younger days you would never confuse her with Halle.  Then again there wasn’t a strong resemblance between Tina Turner and Angela Bassett, yet that biopic worked out beautifully.  It didn’t hurt that Angela is an incredible actress.
    And I have to say after all these years I still think Joan Rivers is hilarious. “A Piece of Work” simply reinforced that sentiment for me.

    1:19 am | January 21, 2011
  • Maizie James

    Mr. wOw:
    First, I extend you fond greetings and best wishes for this New Year!  I look forward to, and thoroughly enjoy reading your columns … whether I agree or disagree with your point of views.  And curiously, I often come away with ambivalent reactions to your conclusions; agreeing in part, yet disagreeing on specific arguments.  This week for example, I agree that Halle Berry is not the right actress to play Aretha because - as you so aptly pointed out, Halle Berry is not a good actress, and neither can she sing.  She is attractive.  True.  However, I thought the late Lena Horne was far prettier, and more classy.  Yet you lost me when you pointed out that Halle Berry should not play the role of Aretha because she doesn’t ‘look’ African American.  Um…
    Mr. wOw, exactly how would you define what an African American woman looks like?  Fact is that I know many light-skin African American women who look biracial and, and many biracial African American women who certainly do not look biracial.  [I have two nieces who look more biracial than their darker complected biracial cousins.]  Not to mention biracial women with African American heritage who look and can pass for Caucasian – this certainly excludes Ms Berry.  Frankly, I am surprised by your comments specific to stereotyping.  Oh.  And, there are many full-figured women here in America who can sing … no matter their race.
    Wouldn’t it have been better to have simply stated that Halle Barry is wrong for the role because she can neither act or sing???

    4:20 pm | January 21, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Maizie…
      Thank you for your well thought out response.
      Aside from Ms. Berry’s woeful lack of real dramatic chops, I feel–as a white man, so take that for what it means–that any actress who portays Aretha Franklin should be fully African American.  Certainly not a ravishing biracial woman who had plastic surgery to refine her already refined features.   I mean, come on.  This is some crazy Aretha ego trip.

      Aretha was (and is) a mighty attractive, sexy woman.  But she never had her nose thinned out to look better for white people.  Sorry, the choice of Halle was all wrong on so many levels.

      4:37 pm | February 3, 2011
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