Garland and Monroe at the 1962 Golden Globes. The greatest meeting of prescribed medications in world history. THAT was entertainment! Tonight’s GG’s will present nothing nearly as fun.
Probably not but I don’t foresee any “get over it, he won” junk either. So there’s that. xo
I think it would be terrific if his name was never mentioned. That’s probably the best/worst thing one could ever do to a narcissist and would likely just drive him nuts.(And a late Happy Birthday to you, Mr. W. If our First Ever Road Trip was any indication, I think a meeting of the Mr. WoW Adventure Society to celebrate one of your upcoming birthdays would be about as much fun as any of us could handle these days. And, as long as Lulu’s Lap is still available, I’m up for virtually ANYthing!)
My lap is always available for therudedog. A trip to see B and Mr WoW seems like the perfect thing to do in 2017!!!
Sounds good to me!
Drunk or stoned works!
I have a feeling we will have fun watching!!!
I finally managed to get Rick’s blog show up on my computer and it is terrific – everyone should take a look if you love movies and books
I am going to drink rum and coke tonight while I watch the Golden Globes in honor of Debbie and Carrie.
Thanks for the shout out, Lulu. Put it both ways on Mr. W’s holiday post just now.Just checkin’ in for the comments…I haven’t had satellite/cable in 8 years, so I watch clips the next morning!Have fun, you guys! Nice to see this tradition continue : )Rick
Thanks for the shout out, Lulu. Put it both ways on Mr. W’s holiday post just now.
Just checkin’ in for the comments…I haven’t had satellite/cable in 8 years, so I watch clips the next morning!Have fun, you guys! Nice to see this tradition continue : )Rick
Lulu,That’s great! (In honour of Debbie and Carrie.) Do it!
Mandy Moore looked lovely! Natalie Portman looked great too. She sounded more like Jacqueline than herself to me.
I didn’t see SJP but I do love her. I thought her brother, the plastic surgeon took care of that mole a few years ago. Oh well.
What’s with all the waist length necklines? Or is it just me?
If Sofia Vergara shows up in one those, the Globes will really be unleashed.
Elongates the silhouette?
No double sided tape left in Hollywood. I wish Nicole would go back to the honey colored wild hair of the past. Speaking of hair, I loved Tracy Ellis Ross channeling Diana with her low full ponytail.
Nicole–geez! That thing looks like something she pulled off the body of Belle Watling.
Memo to Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling–please shave. Please.
YOU should be on the red carpet doing the interviews…
YES! It would be glorious to hear Mr. WoW opine on the Red Carpet.
What–four Trump jokes in Fallon’s monologue? Why? Why give DT and his fans an excuse, why acknowledge this creature at such an event? Will others be wiser?
Missed the monologue; glad I did. UGH!
“Gone With The Wind” reference. Hilarious!
Travolta looked less patched-together-from-scraps than usual.
Yes, better wig.
less Pan Stick, too. (Max Factor still makes it, and somebody uses it.)
So far this is most boring Golden Globes in years!!!The men are better dressed tonight than the women, what does that tell you?And Jimmy has fallenMaybe if I have a double rum and Coke things will seem better
Lulu–make it a triple! Remember, we’re in End Times, who needs a functioning liver or kidney’s?
I am thrilled for my fellow Rhode Islander, Viola Davis!
“I took all the pictures, went to the luncheon…” Viola Davis – hilarious!
She is fabulous!!
I screamed, brilliant—that might be opening quote for the column. She is magnificent. I urge all who care, to read the big New Yorker profile on her, about two weeks ago.
Read it saved and sent her yet another note!!
Amy and Goldie, THUNK. Yes, Colin Farrell! I have not see. laLa Land yet but I freely admit I am looking forward to a movimusical about movie musicals!
Goldie Hawn is now unrecognizable. Love her but there is a point at which plastic surgery becomes completely ridiculous.
She is instantly recognizable to me, because she’s been wearing that fright mask–with periodic tweakings– for about 20 years.
Isn’t it ironic that Goldie’s made two movies mocking plastic surgery?
I’m really going to miss Carrie Fisher. (I can’t believe that comic voice has left the planet.)
Agree far too,little for two wonderful women and stars!
Courtney B. was robbed.
Memo to Tom Hiddleston–edit, edit, edit. And after editing, don’t tell that story.
“The Crown” is so well done and Claire Foy is fab.
Yes!! And now I am going to sit and cry as Viola and others will honor Meryl!! xoxoxoxoco
La Streep DECIMATES Trump!
Yes she does with grace and a saber! Love, love, love her. She never mentioned his name.
They will kill her and I have a feeling she won’t give them a second thought or reply!
She deserves an award just for the speech.
“Hell Or High Water”, my favourite movie of the year – great script.
Finally, Ms. Huppert gets acknowledged! I wish Ms. Streep had stooped to do what she did. Who made her Queen? Hollywood can’t be so great that people of color must remind them that art is color-blind. There are more elites than in the White House.
Mr. Wow, thank you for “doing” the GG’s – much appreciated!
It was fun to all be together again!!!! We need to come up with more reasons to be together other than Award Shows.
Here’s to a virtual trip to help Mr.WoW write his column for at least a week or two – now that would make headlines!!!!
That is why if Diedre, Baby Snooks, TheRudeDog, Daniel, Rick, Delusional, and little old me came into your virtual life and helped you write your column, not only would readership increase but you would be offered a writing position worthy of your time and for a nice chunk of money as well.
Well, remember…I have to nap a lot. :-\
I am not nearly as witty or clever as Mr. WoW but I would be happy to join in!
Well, I’ve read enough terrif columns under the Liz Smith banner that I’ve saved a few to re-read, and I appreciated Denis/Mr. W’s contributions a great deal!And would gladly kick in my two editorial cents if you ever start a venture of your own, someday.
Good books, star babies, jazzy ladies
By Liz Smith
Tribune Content Agency
“FROM EARLY childhood on, I have found enormous solace in books.
When I was lonely or hurting or confused, I read. When in midlife I searched
for answers, or even just clues, I found them in books. Books were my allies,
my passageway to thoughts, ideas and experiences other than my own. For my job,
I read from dawn till nightfall.
“A recent Yale study found that book readers lived an average of
two years longer than non-book readers; the more time spent reading books, the
study found, the better. So my friends, no matter what fresh madness the new
year brings, armor yourselves with a pile of good books. Our lives, and our
sanity, may depend on it.”
So writes William Falk, the editor-in-chief of The Week magazine.
These are not just words to live by, they are words I literally live by! And, I’m living longer, too. Who needs pills? I
SPEAKING of books, I just finished two more.
“The Vanishing Year” by Kate Moretti and Francesca Kay’s “The
Long Room.” Both can be described as thrillers. “The Vanishing Year” has more
than a few echoes of “Rebecca,” but it is so smartly conceived, so chillingly
twisty. I’m sure Daphne du Maurier would applaud.
“The Long Room,” which involves spying, is truly unique, and
heartbreaking. I was anxious to get to the end of Moretti’s “Vanishing,”
although I’d pretty much figured it out; I wanted to see how the beleaguered
heroine coped. However, Francesca Kay’s “The Long Room” was another story.
Halfway through, I didn’t want to go on. Not that it was poorly written. Quite
the opposite. It was so well done, the protagonist, alone in his eavesdropping,
alone in his head, was rendered with such ominous empathy, I wondered if I
cared to be depressed if it ended as I feared it might. When one is so affected
by a book, now, that’s a great read!
I’m also just about to turn the last page of William J. Mann’s
“The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America’s Greatest Political
Family.” I am a longtime admirer of Mr. Mann’s work, most recently “Tinseltown:
Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood.” The history of the
Roosevelts — often cruel and incendiary — does not take a back seat to any show
biz tale. More on this massive work later in the week.
I think the Roosevelt book alone put three more years on my life!
THIS N’ THAT:
Congratulations to Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Mara Lane on the
birth of their first child, a boy. They have named him Wolf Rhys Meyers and if
that’s not a marquee name, I don’t know what is! So glad Jonathan has pulled
himself together. I love him as an actor and of course I’ll never forget our
one interview, in the midst of his “Tudors” success as Henry VIII. He wore a
T-shirt slashed wide and low, from clavicle to sternum. We disagreed slightly
about the guilt or innocence of Anne Boleyn, but his physical impact was enough
to make me back off. He was charming, although I did keep glancing warily
around; had the actor traveled with a chopping block, just in case an interview
…We told you some time ago about the Harlem Repertory Theatre’s
excellent and unusual production of “The Wizard of Oz.” The show has been so
successful that it extended its run at Tato Laviera Theatre (240 East 123rd
Street) through May 27. This is a marvelous experience for children and for
adults who still believe in the power of hope. Call 212-868-4444.
…Get ready for Jazz Women of New York, a new all-female band
conceived by vocalist Lee Torchia. She says women in jazz are a force to be
reckoned with. I thought women in jazz were already reckoned, but … I reckon
not. The core group is pianist Jill McManus, saxophonist and flutist Carol
Sudhalter and bassist Melissa Slocum. There will be standards, original
material and “multicultural jazz fusion.” These talented musicians begin taking
bookings in March. Contact http://www.jazzpromoservices.com,
Lee@jazzraga.com or call 917-624-0325.
…If you weren’t in Times Square, or at home watching CNN anchors
and pop icons melt down, the place to be on New Year’s Eve, apparently, was
NYC’s Metropolitan Opera, swooning over Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo in
“Romeo et Juliette.” I have rarely read such rapturous reviews, and an
opera-mad acquaintance of mine who attended the performance said that it was
“among the top five most thrilling nights in opera I’ve ever seen!” I haven’t
been to The Met in some time, but perhaps I’ll muster the energy to see the wildly
praised Ms. Damrau and Mr. Grigolo before they leave the production at the end
of this month.
…Perusing The Week magazine, I stopped on its Holiday Gifts page
(“for those who have everything.”) There was a monthly oyster subscription (50,
fresh, delivered from Duxbury, Mass., $1,000 for a year), an exquisite
dollhouse designed by Palm Beach’s famous Aldous Bertram, $9,500 and not
something for kids to play with and Judith Leiber Balloon Clutches,
approximately $5,000 each. (I keep my Altoids in a jacket pocket and reserve my
clutching for pearls). But the best was a 19th-century antique gown
holder. It was found among the possessions of Egypt’s King Farouk. Fashioned of
gold and diamonds it is designed to, well, hold your gown. This one’s about
$10,000. I’d say just use your hand, but I don’t “have everything,” so what do
OH, The Golden Globes happened last night. Tomorrow, we’ll tell
all. All that we watched on TV, anyway. We’ll give our vaunted opinions. In the
past we’ve generally tried to stay away from fashion critiques. But I think
2017 requires a new playbook; last year upended so many things, yes? We shall
Attending the Globes was always fun, the very best awards show.
(Lots of drinking.) Just as the old Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton’s
Restaurant was a total blast, an acid trip of star-gazing. (Lots of celebs too
giddy from winning or losing to care who was listening to what they said.)
But those were days before social media and iPhones smothered the
world. You could actually hold onto a story, wait to file.
Wait. To. File. Three little words that meant so much!
ENDQUOTE: “Hazel’s mind was like wandering alone in a deserted
museum. Hazel’s mind was choked with un-catalogued exhibits. He never forgot
anything but never bothered to arrange his memories. Everything was thrown
together like fishing tackle in the bottom of a rowboat, hooks and sinkers and
line and lures and gaffs all snarled up.”
That’s from John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row.” Since we started off
with books, I figured why not end similarly?
That particular description; a mind “wandering alone in a
deserted museum” always stuck with me. I thought of it again for some reason,
and pulled out an old paperback copy of the book to see if I’d remembered
correctly. I had. Now, I’m re-reading “Cannery Row.”
Truth to tell, this came about as I was trying to get through
Netflix’s “Medici” series. I made a noble effort, but every time Dustin Hoffman
popped up as Giovanni de Medici, I began snickering — totally absurd casting!
However the discussions of artwork in the show led me to think of museums, and
that led me to think of … etc.
I turned “Medici” off and Steinbeck on.
I hope Liz Smith realizes how fortunate she is that you have stuck by her side through thick and thin.
This column is brilliant!!!!
Meryl Streep polishes the Golden Globes and mentions no names
“I TOOK all the pictures. I went to the luncheon…”
That was likely the line of Golden Globe night, delivered with a
wry shrug by Viola Davis, as she finally stood at the GG podium, a winner for
“Fences,” after five nominations. She was throwing a little shade on the
networking and publicity chores required of all actors during awards season.
But, at last, she was clutching her Globe. She added, “This came right on time!”
I love Ms. Davis, and have admired her even more since reading
John Lahr’s wonderful profile on the star in The New Yorker several weeks back.
She wore a gorgeous yellow, one-shoulder number and was hands down one of the
most attractive and glamorous women at the event. Her competition, in the supporting
actress category, was uniformly excellent, but I had no issues with Viola up
there. (Perhaps because I find the competitive nature of acting to be somewhat
mysterious and often unfair, even under the best of circumstances. But, even
with the Globes, which at least separates comedy and drama performances,
missteps can be made. Matt Damon is still making hay out of his “comedy” win
for “The Martian” last year.)
The show itself was kind of a hybrid thing, best expressed by The
Daily Beast writer Kevin Fallon, who observed, in part: “Award shows should
have silliness. They should have grand moments, like a sporadic-seeming ‘Rocky’
tribute, and levity and bits. But they should also have a pulse and a narrative
and a direction — and the wisdom, most of all, to read a room. Given the sheer
number of tone-deaf moments, this award show failed in that regard.” (I suggest
reading this excellent piece, which ticks off expertly the fumbles and the
triumphs of the show.)
Perhaps the sense of things being a bit off was an enduring
hangover from what most everybody — certainly people of a particular political
affiliation — agree was a brutal year.
To be honest, I’d hoped to get through the three hours without any mention of the president-elect.
None. That hope was dashed after the witty “La La Land” opening homage. Host
Jimmy Fallon fired off four or five not-terribly-funny jokes. Why go there, why
provide ammunition, why give egomaniacs their bread and butter? I clutched my
head in frustration.
At last, Meryl Streep got up to accept her Cecil B. DeMille
Lifetime Achievement Award — an accolade I was surprised to learn several
months back, that she hadn’t already
Then she spoke — her words more impactful for a hoarse throat. As
much as I did not want to be reminded of the person who takes charge on Jan. 20
— please, please, just amuse me! — I had to admit, if it had to be done, if
somebody had to have that job, I’m glad it was Miss Streep. She did not trash
talk; she didn’t attack; she didn’t mention the name. She went for the heart of
the matter — dignity, empathy, freedom of the press and the intelligent
responsibility of the press, which has and continues to go down the drain as
the 20th approaches. It was her fabled “cerulean blue” monologue in “The Devil
Wears Prada” given vitally urgent, human, real-life flesh and blood.
The final quote by Carrie Fisher was the incisive cherry on the
sundae of our discontent. (“Take your broken heart, make it into art.”)
If by some bizarre chance Meryl Streep had called me up and said,
“Honey, I’m gonna get a little political Sunday night,” I’m sure I would have advised
I’m so glad Miss Streep didn’t call me.
THIS N’ THAT: Random Globe thoughts:
…The Debbie Reynolds/Carrie Fisher tribute. Really? I could have
done better on my home computer, drunk. Could they have spared that 47 seconds? And, as 2016 seemed unusually heavy-handed
in celebrity losses (perhaps not, but it sure seemed that way) shouldn’t there
have been a general In Memoriam?
…The three Stallone girls in funereal black. In between their
Miss Golden Globe duties, I was expecting them to sadly announce that Sly had
passed on to that big boxing ring in the sky.
….Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. Whatever they were going for, it
didn’t go. Cringy!
…One brief shot of Colin Farrell blew me away. Sobriety really
suits this wonderful actor and lovely guy.
….On the red carpet we were told “deep vees and liquid metallics”
were the big trend. Heard someone screaming about Sarah Jessica Parker’s
“sleeve drama.” It was just an ugly dress.
…”Moonlight” actress Janelle Monae looked like a dramatic
…Nicole Kidman, so terrific in “Lion,” wore something that
appeared to have been ripped off the body of Belle Watling. (And if you don’t
get that reference, you are reading the wrong column!)
…Timothy Olyphant obviously thought he had leapt ahead in time
and was already at the casual, beachy Spirit Awards.
…Marvelous acceptance speeches by Sarah Paulson, Viola Davis,
….The onstage pairing of Naomi Campbell and Matt Bomer hurt my
eyes — too much beauty!
…Memo to Tom Hiddleston: Edit, edit, edit. And after editing, do
not tell that awful, self-serving story!
…“Thank you for shaving”: Jon Hamm to his smooth co-presenter
Laura Dern. It was a joke, but truly I’ve rarely seen so much fur on so many
beautiful male faces. (Including Hamm, whose handsome mug was well-matted. To
be fair, Hamm has an unusually heavy beard. Even clean-shaven he features a five,
six, seven o’clock shadow.)
…Brad Pitt has been looking a decade younger in recent months,
and I don’ think he’s had any work. The happy burst of applause that greeted
him could be interpreted as Hollywood saying, “Finally, man, we didn’t think it
would take you this long!” (In high
places, Pitt’s soon-to-be ex is known as “St. Jolie.” It’s not intended as a
AS TO the award-giving itself. “La La Land” is a truly charming
film that has, in my opinion, been ridiculously overpraised.
…Sorry that “Hell or High Water” wasn’t recognized. It’s a
little-seen, classic in the western genre.
…Somewhat painful to watch: Emma Stone taking her “La La Land” Globe
(in the “musical or comedy category”) with the divine Annette Bening sitting
there, Annette having given a stunning performance in “20th Century Women.”
(Bening, a genius, has yet to win an Oscar!)
…Ryan Gosling is a sweetheart and wonderful in “La La Land,” but
I would have preferred Hugh Grant for his career best in “Florence Foster
….Totally on board with Isabelle Hubert’s win for “Elle.” This is
an extraordinarily bold and original film performance, directed by Paul
Verhoeven, guaranteed to lead to screaming fights at dinner tables. (Natalie
Portman is brilliant, fascinating, in “Jackie.” But she already has an Oscar
for playing another black swan. Yet why do I feel that come Oscar time, it’ll
be Emma Stone, swept along in a “La La” landslide?)
…As I’ve said, still not sure Casey Affleck is really an actor,
but what he did in “Manchester by the Sea” was certainly what the role needed,
so I wasn’t surprised by the Globe win, and possibly Oscar.
The wins, the losses, the dresses, the cleavages are already old
news. But I think what will live on from this evening will be Streep. Online,
somebody wrote, “Tonight, the Resistance began!” a likely overstatement. Others
penned excoriating condemnations. Life will go on.
But I think we should close with a bit of Meryl’s speech,
whatever it does or does not lead to:
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And
when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.”
Wise! And this goes not just for the people in power right now,
who some of us see as “the enemy,” this applies to the frantic, disappointed,
still scrambling and sometimes dissembling losers. Wipe your tears, accept the
loss, however it came about, gird your loins, disagree passionately,
truthfully, consistently. Learn from your mistakes and step into the light.
To paraphrase the shockingly gone Carrie Fisher, we all need to
feel very sane about how crazy we feel, and deal with it.
Mr. Wow, you look so handsome today on NY Social Diary.
He’s a damn fine-looking gent, isn’t he?
Yes he is with a great smile although he’ll deny it.
I think B needs to give you a couple of glasses of champagne every night. The columns are sparkling so far this year!!!We are all lucky that those smart ladies including MR. WOW in woWow (am sure that isn’t totally correct) many moons ago. I have a feeling this year is going to be amazing for Mr. WoW and his wowettes!!
Lulu, I agree! The columns have wonderful! Whether it’s the sparkle of champagne or getting the gang together again, I love it! Keep ‘em coming Mr. WoW, you are on a roll!
Frantic Friday: ‘Sweeney Todd,’ ‘Dear World,’ Cyndi Lauper
and ‘La La Land’ backlash?
“ONLY THE mediocre are always at their best,” said Jean
Writer and diplomat Jean Giraudoux died in 1944, but 1969 was a
big year for him. As the ’60s ended, his play, “The Madwoman of Chaillot” was
brought to life onscreen — a film starring Katharine Hepburn, Yul Brynner, Paul
Henried, Richard Chamberlain, Edith Evans and Danny Kaye.
On Broadway, composer Jerry Herman took the tale and put it to
music, titled “Dear World,” which starred Angela Lansbury as the Countess
Aurelia. (Lansbury won a Tony Award for her efforts.)
Neither version was a commercial success. However, it’s easy to
see that the basic theme — civilized society threatened by corrupt, soulless
business entities and monolithic oil companies — would have thought to have had
appeal to counterculture protests raging in the streets. Perhaps had both
versions not adhered to the original ’40s era, although the countess lives very
much in a gauzy La Belle Epoch past of gallant, attentive lovers and good
manners. The mirror she gazes in is cloudy, veiling reality.
Big business and oil are still sloshing through our lives,
despite all those “draining the swamp” promises lately made and swiftly
So perhaps another look at Giraudoux’s fable/cautionary tale — in
its “Dear World” musical guise — is nigh? Sure it is.
From Feb. 25 to March 5, Tyne Daly will appear in The New York
Theatre Company’s production of “Dear World.” This happens at the York Theater
at Saint Peter’s Church (619 Lexington Avenue).
“Dear World” will be the final show in the company’s winter 2017
“Musicals in Mufti’ series. Also scheduled are “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt
Weill: A Musical Voyage,” Jerry Herman’s “Milk and Honey” and a one-night only
event, “Hello, Jerry!” a tribute to the great Mr. Herman. These productions are
sparsely staged, book-in-hand. This concept, I think, will serve “Dear World”
particularly well; the screen and Broadway incarnations were quite elaborate,
visually. I’m going to make it a duty to see Ms. Daly, a national treasure,
tackle Countess Aurelia and belt out Jerry’s great song, “I Don’t Want to
That said, these days, more than ever, “I don’t want to know” is
nothing America or the world should be singing or thinking. No matter the
outraged blowback, the more we know, the better equipped to go into battle.
For info on the series and individual productions go to http://www.yorktheatre.org, or call
MORE REVIVAL: On Feb. 14, at the exquisite Barrow Street Theatre
(27 Barrow Street) a new production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The
Demon Barber of Fleet Street” begins previews. The grisly, classic musical about
revenge and noshing, stars Jeremy Secomb, Siobhan McCarthy, Duncan Smith and
Joseph Taylor. It opens officially on March 1.
This production, from Tooting Arts, arrives from London, where
reviews went like so: “No matter how big a Stephen Sondheim fan you are, you’ve
never seen a ‘Sweeney Todd’ served up quite like this.” Bill Buckhurst directs.
One interesting and amusing aspect to this show — William “Bill”
Yosses, former executive pastry chef at the White House, serves as the official
pie maker throughout the New York run. And in keeping with the London version,
“pie and mash” (meat, mashed potatoes and hot parsley sauce) will be available
for purchase by the audience, prior to every performance. There’s also a
“Sweeney Todd” has never been my favorite Sondheim, but the
promise of “pie and mash” might get me over to Barrow Street! For tickets,
THIS N’ THAT: Denmark is always cited as “the happiest” country
in the world. The Danes are famously, wonderfully content. Now we know why, and
it’s so simple. Denmark’s inhabitants, who pay high taxes and don’t see a lot
of sunlight, compensate by snuggling with friends by candlelight and eating a
lot of sweets, preferably at the same time. It is called “hygge” (HOO-guh). All
this cuddling and candy consumption promotes “the feeling that one is safe,
sheltered from the world.” That sounds divine, but with Danes each scoffing
down about 18 pounds of sugar a year, I’d say Danish dentists are probably the
happiest and wealthiest practitioners of that profession in the world. (It’s a
semi-urban legend that dentists have a high suicide rate. True or not, why not
try Denmark? You’ll get a good cuddle out of it, if nothing else.)
…TOMORROW night, Cyndi Lauper appears on PBS’s “Austin City
Limits” concert series. While Lauper will likely perform a set heavily
featuring songs from her recent country-tinged hit album, “Detour,” the pop
goddess will surely offer some of her standards — “True Colors,” “I Drove All
Night,” “Time After Time” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Check your local
…NOW that the Golden Globes are over, our thoughts turn to Oscar.
A few weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg wrote up a list of
suggestions, “Three Ways to Spruce up the Oscars.” This is an excellent piece
and easy, I’m sure, to find online.
I’m on board with all three suggestions, one in particular,
because it affects me as a viewer of the usually endless orgy of
self-congratulation — remove the short films category from the telecast.
Mr. Feinberg’s history of the how and why of short films is too
long to repeat here, but this is his compromise: “Continue presenting the
shorts awards on Oscar Night at the Dolby Theatre — but do so 30 minutes before
the televised portion of the ceremony begins, the same way that categories that
mean little to people outside the theater world are presented before the
televised portion of Broadway’s Tony Awards.” We shall see.
Oh, and while we have the Academy Awards on our mind, Doris Day?!
Honorary Oscar? Yes, I know she
doesn’t care. We do. And we’re not giving up on this. Dog, bone, Doris Day. Get it?
…AND, as Oscar nominations and the big night itself looms, I feel
an odd “La La Land” backlash. Perhaps it is just among our readers. We devoted
considerable space to the film, admitting that we’d fallen in love with the
famous photo of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dancing, long before we saw it. And
it is lovely, charming, visually gorgeous, moving (especially the end). Maybe
it is revelatory to those who have never seen a musical or don’t have a good
memory about the classic concepts of a boy-meets-girl tale enhanced by music
and lyrics. But even in praising it, we wondered over the extreme worship, the
gushing, with words such as “miraculous” and “enthralling” drummed into our
Now we’re receiving more and more notes from moviegoers, none of
whom hate “La La Land” but put it this way: “I wouldn’t pan it. It is entertaining.
But ‘great’ it is not.”
And I recently, finally, found Rex Reed’s review, which
concludes: “‘La La Land’ has moments of pleasure and satisfaction that are
worth the price of admission. It’s not that it’s a bad movie; it’s just not an
outstanding entertainment, the way great movies (especially musicals) should
be. But I hope it signals an open door for more to follow.”
The adoration of “La La Land” might have something to do with the
mass depression suffered by so many in 2016. With no signs of that depression
lifting, it’s almost a done deal that Damien Chazelle’s film will take every
top prize. This is not a tragedy — we’re talking about movies, folks. But it’s
something curious to consider.
However, if Emma Stone, talented as she is, wins the Best Actress
Oscar over Annette Bening for “20th Century Women” or Isabelle Huppert for
“Elle” — should either of those women be nominated — that, I think would be rather tragic. I’ll say it now,
I’m rooting for Ms. Bening, a four-time Academy Award nominee, a great actress
and an even greater woman.
Oh, and please don’t jump down my throat about Viola Davis in “Fences.”
She has already placed herself in the Best Supporting Actress category,
although as others have pointed out, it is a leading role. And yeah, I’d like her to win, too.
Will Michelle Dockery be on ‘Good Behavior’ next season?
“WHY NOT write a book?”
“Bob, I don’t even want to write my name anymore!”
That was an exchange between Vanity Fair scribe Bob Colacello and
Aileen Mehle, aka the late society columnist “Suzy.” Bob was embarking on a
wide-ranging interview with the glamorous gossip who dominated her milieu for
decades, and never met a competitor she acknowledged. We were all too dull and
trite, and not nearly as pretty!
Colacello’s wide-ranging take on Aileen, her final interview,
appears in the current issue, decorated with tons of fabulous photos.
“Suzy” reigned over the international set for what seemed like an
eternity. Her big chat with Colacello describes, among other things, Aileen’s
love affair with Frank Sinatra, told in her own words. (She says that Sinatra
was charm itself, “until he wasn’t.” When she saw Frank’s dark side, she ended
Aileen left nothing unsaid about her own meteoritic rise in
journalism. She has finally “told all” about the Reagan’s, the Kennedy’s, LBJ,
Grace Kelly and Monaco, etc.
Let’s add that she spoke lovingly of the New York Buckleys,
Paleys, Kissingers and anyone else who mattered in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s
and ’90s. This article runs for pages and — I can’t emphasize this aspect
enough — is full of glorious pictures of Mrs. Mehle and her life and times
taken by the most famous photographers.
SEXY movie star Chris Pratt is on the Vanity Fair cover, his
muscular shoulders bare and wet — he appears to have been photographed in a
lake or a pool, or the ocean. Tasty.
(I loved him in the
ridiculous “Jurassic World,” which also featured Bryce Dallas Howard running
around like mad in four-inch heels. I laughed at the serious criticism of this.
It was quite clear the whole thing was an absurd in-joke — I mean, if you’re
going to make a movie about dinosaurs come to life, why not have your heroine
dashing through the jungle in her treacherous Christian Louboutins?)
But who can concentrate on Chris, and his shoulders, when his
image is surrounded, literally, by four, count ‘em, four cover blurbs on the
president-elect and his family? It’s a rather hilarious visual.
Of course, this overkill came before
that reportedly “civilized” meeting between the man who will be commander in
chief and the powers at Vanity Fair, Vogue and other glossy entities. The
former real-estate mogul and VF’s Graydon Carter supposedly shook hands. We
shall see what future issues of Vanity Fair bring.
Oh, my favorite line in the Aileen article? At her 97th birthday,
a little over a year ago, after
accepting toasts from a tableful of pals, she rose and said, “I look in the
mirror every morning, and I say to myself, ‘Aileen you are a very lucky woman.
Look how good you look! And you’ve only had one face lift — 15 years ago!”
Aileen Mehle — she stayed big, it was the columns that got small.
And she was always ready for her close-up.
I received — last night in my brand-new small apartment
overlooking Park Ave — a stunning invitation to the great big Clive Davis
party, just before the Grammy Awards. It involves black satin and gold mirror
enhancements. I took my time admiring it before I actually absorbed the
information. The Davis invites are always striking, but this one begs to be
saved and put on display.
Clive is a longtime friend, and in years past, I attended several
of these grand annual events. It is one of those things that if you’re not
invited, you make sure you have a great excuse to be oh-so-inconveniently
unavailable. Or check yourself into rehab — people always believe that!
The Pre-Grammy Gala happens Feb. 11 at the Beverly Hilton,
“Salute to Industry Icons.” (The Grammys will be telecast Sunday, Feb. 12, on CBS.)
One of those being honored is Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of Black
Entertainment Television. Clive’s night of nights is always star-studded and
generally includes performances by both big names and up-and-comers. The latter
always hope to be the next Whitney Houston, who was Clive’s most famous, and
alas, most tragic discovery. Right to the end, Clive always believed Whitney
would resurrect herself. In an example of Hollywood Gothic to the max, Whitney
died on the very night of Clive’s 2012 Grammy gala, at which she was supposed
to be honored. What Clive had intended as a tribute to her career and hoped-for
comeback, turned into a memorial. He was simply devastated.
The more I study this posh
invitation — that I’m sure I won’t be able to throw away — the more I’m looking
for an old-fashioned Yves St. Laurent tuxedo I bought years ago. I was going to
say it is hopelessly out of style, but “Westworld” actress Evan Rachel Wood
wore a rather classic-looking tux to the Golden Globes the other night. She said
it was an homage to Dietrich and
David Bowie. I can do homage!
Whether or not I manage to dust off my black tie and head for the
coast, it is always such a privilege to be invited by the great master Clive
Davis. He is never out of style,
that’s for sure!
MEMO TO the TNT Network — stop toying with us, and let us know
whether or not the Michelle Dockery/Juan Diego Botto series “Good Behavior” has
been renewed for a second season. The tense, emotional season one finale aired
on Tuesday night.
I said, early on, that the two main characters Letty (Dockery)
and Javier (Botto) and the situation itself — she’s a con-woman out of prison,
on parole; he’s a professional hit man — might be boxed in. Where to take it,
without going beyond the always strained norms of suspension of disbelief? (In
some ways, it might have made a better feature film.)
But the two leads, and the entire supporting cast (Lusia Strus as
Dockery’s mother Estelle, especially)
are so committed and have such great chemistry, it would be a shame to let
“Good Behavior” die on the highway, which is where we last saw our
protagonists. Ominous police sirens wailed in the background.
Come on, TNT, give “Downton Abbey’s” former Lady Mary — who’s no
lady here — another season to slug vodka, sex-up various men, shoplift,
misbehave, agonize and compromise.
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