Showing posts with label actresses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label actresses. Show all posts

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lauren Bacall's Honorary Oscar

Since the Academy decided not to honor Lifetime achievement at the Oscar ceremony this year I decided to give you the presentation made to Lauren Bacall late last year. How rude of the Academy to slight her this way.

(their tribute)

(my tribute from august 16 reposted)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sandra and Meryl Play the Oscar Game With Humor

LOS ANGELES – Sandra Bullock may be the front-runner for the best-actress Oscar, but for her, awards season is more about camaraderie than competition with her fellow nominees. Except Meryl Streep.
"With Meryl, when this whole thing started, I left her a voice mail going, 'You've got to watch your back. I'm gonna cut you. I'm gonna take you down,'" Bullock said with a laugh Tuesday after learning she and Streep were both nominated for Academy Awards. "And then she sent me dead orchids and told me to die, so I sent her a case of liquor and told her to toast to white trash."
Bullock — who kissed Streep on the lips when the two friends tied for best actress at the Critics' Choice Awards — said the best thing about collecting repeated accolades for her role in "The Blind Side" has been getting to know the other actresses she has been nominated with for the past month or more.
"You have to enjoy being with these women that you admire or love or like or have had friendships with or are just getting to know because you've got to take care of each other," Bullock said.
"No one, at least the people that I've met, no one cares about the end result or the statue," she said. "It's being able to sit in close proximity with these ladies ... and we have to go through this whole rigamarole and we just all look at each other and we get to know each other and you laugh at the absurdity of it all and how they pit women up against each other."
Despite becoming an Oscar nominee, the 45-year-old actress remains grounded. While speaking with a reporter about the Oscar nod, Bullock could be overheard telling her young stepdaughter, "I'll do your hair when I finish this."
"On one hand, it's a huge moment," Bullock said. "And on the other hand, you have to put your feet on the ground and get out of bed and do the things you always do."
The Academy Awards will be presented at the Kodak Theatre on March 7 and broadcast live on ABC.*

*(reprinted from associated press)

My Nomination Surprises: Supporting Actress

i did the least well predicting this category. sure betty white was a long-long shot but one needs to dream and wish. at the same time there are three surprises here:

1. maggie gyllenhaal did get a nomination. this was 'the nice' surprise. i did not pick her but am happy the academy did. but julianna deserved it over her...but wait...

2. julianne moore did not get a nomination! duh! penelope cruz did? yet also deserved it over maggie.

3. penelope cruz got a nomination for 'nine'. i don't get it. she deserved it, and won, last year but not this time around. marion cotillard anyone? but over julianne?

soooo...maggie deserved it over penelope and julianna deserved over the two of them...oy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Celebrating Lauren Bacall

a film i made honoring a living legend

Friday, May 29, 2009

'Nine': The Musical Film

The big screen adaptation of 'NINE' The Musical starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and Marion Cotillard is set to hit cinemas November 25, 2009.

My Favorite musical 'Nine' has been filmed.
I've been pretty skeptical about how it would translate to the screen. The preview, below, has made me less so. We can only hope!
But it is based on the Fellini masterpiece '8 1/2' which was originally a film. So the cinematic potential was built in. If only they had filmed it on location in Venice on The Grand Canal. So much for dreaming.

My main concern was the casting. My fears seem to be abating here a bit. With the exception of Nicole Kidman as Claudia Nardi. On stage the role was played by the erotic, exotic, sensual and beautiful Shelley Burch. Four qualities I never think of when Kidman's name is mentioned.

Marion Cotillard as Luisa seems a brilliant stroke.

Sophia Loren as Momma seemed a given.

Judi Dench as Liliane La Fleur? Hey Judi Dench in any role is a gift. She will be brilliant. I can't wait for her 'Follies Bergere'.

Penelope Cruz as Carla. Yes Yes Yes!

Stacy Ferguson, Fergie, is just someone I know nothing of. The trailer below tells me she will be remarkable as Saraghina the town prostitute.

Now about the only male role in 'Nine':
Daniel Day Lewis as Guido portraying a director, an italian, going through mid-life crisis? He is an amazing actor so maybe he can 'be italian'.
He does possess a certain needed sexuality.

I now have semi-high hopes. I really do want this to be brilliant and amazing. We'll see!!! In fact it seems to have 'Oscar' written all over it. Done correctly it could win them as the play did with the Tony Awards on Broadway. It may just mean that every supporting actress nominee next year could be from this film.

OH YES INDEED!!! Mothers, lovers, wives, frustrated producers, frustrated husband, ex-lovers and whores. A true mid-life crisis comes to a cinema near you on Nov. 25th, 2009.

The Cast:

Daniel Day-Lewis ... Guido Contini
Marion Cotillard ... Luisa Contini
Penélope Cruz ... Carla Albanese
Judi Dench ... Liliane La Fleur
Nicole Kidman ... Claudia Nardi
Kate Hudson ... Stephanie Necrophuros
Sophia Loren ... Mamma
Stacy Ferguson ... Saraghina

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Julie and Julia

Is Meryl Streep beomcing the 'Queen' of the summer movies?

In 2008 she had a summer smash with 'Mamma Mia' following 2006's summer smash 'The Devil Wears Prada'.
If 'Julie and Julia' is another summer smash the question is answered and the title assured.
That Meryl, of the deep, often dark, good lord 'she has another accent film' would become this is astonishing.
First of all she is at that supposedly 'unbankable' age group for women in ANY film.
Secondly she was a premier actress of the fall/winter worthy of Oscar 'consideration' films.

To be honest I like this Meryl better. Enough with the accents already. After her damn Australian accent that let us know "a dingo ate my was not an object it was a baby" movie I was done. Done I tell you. But then came 'Prada' and 'Mamma Mia' and she sucked me in again. She almost lost me with the too slick click-click performance in 'Doubt' where she was once again telling us "Look what a great actress I am. You can't deny I'm brilliant". No Meryl not quite. The critics have fostered that on you and us. Yet, when you play a 'real' woman like Donna in 'Mamma Mia' they kill you. Accents do not make great actresses they make great and mostly grating accents. When the audience is listening for the 'next accent she can do' the performance is lost. She has lost me a lot!

I thank god for 1984's 'Falling in Love' . No bloody accent!

Point in case: one of Meryl's greatest performances was in the tv film 'Holocaust' playing a German woman amidst the horrors of the nazi regime. Guess what? No German accent. Guess what? She was believable and almost brilliant.

Well enough. 'Julie and Julia' a sneak peak. And trust me THIS is not an accent but it is a brilliant impression/interpretation of a real life 'self made character'.
I do want this to be wonderful.

Monday, May 18, 2009

She Sees England, She Sees France - and Kristin Scott Thomas Sees Virtue in Both

Kristin Scott Thomas is a brilliant actress.
I hope she is finally getting her due.
Although I hated 'The English Patient', which I consider one of the worst movies ever made, I did see that her future acting would probably suck me in. She did. Her new film 'Easy Virtue' begins it's role out this week. And that Colin Firth is in it makes it a double pleasure for me.

NY Daily News 5/17/2009

Kristin Scott Thomas is the quintessential English beauty: chisel-cheeked, pale-skinned with a brittle wit and cut-glass vowels. It's ironic, then, that she has lived in France for the last 30 years, and considers herself as much French as British. She zigzags between Hollywood movies ("Gosford Park," "Mission: Impossible" and her Oscar-nominated role in "The English Patient") and French-language films like last year's "I've Loved You So Long."
Scott Thomas is back acting in English in her latest comedy, an update of the Noel Coward classic "Easy Virtue," opening Friday. She plays a British matriarch determined to drive away a brash American (Jessica Biel) who has married her only son.

You filmed "Easy Virtue" on location in three real English stately homes.
There was one that had the most fantastic - what do you call it? - glasshouse. It's the most extraordinary place, in really bad shape, with very little central heating. It was just like the book: in disrepair, freezing cold. It was perfect for playing the character of the house in the film.

Did you all have to stay on site for Method acting?
Oh no, we stayed in a perfectly ordinary hotel. But at least then we got hot water and warm beds.

Jessica Biel, Colin Firth and Ben Barnes all sing on the soundtrack of "Easy Virtue." But no sign of you - why not? Are you tone deaf?
I don't know why. I think I wasn't available. I've been incredibly busy doing one film after another and haven't had any downtime. Actually, I'm going to be doing [Stephen Sondheim's] "A Little Night Music" in Paris in the spring in English. In Paris, it's treated as an opera - they've never done anything like this before, as they don't go in for musical theater at all.

You've lived in France since moving there as an au pair after finishing school 30 years ago. How did that happen?
I didn't really know what to do at all. I had secretarial experience, I typed a few letters, that kind of thing. Then I needed somewhere to stay, and fell into working as an au pair. I loved it. In fact, the other day I bumped into the girl I looked after and she now has three kids.

When you act in French, after all this time, do you still have an exotic accent?
Yes, some of my vowels are a bit funny. But in France, people are so used to having foreign actresses - Italian, German - that they don't mind at all. If you have a foreign accent, they don't only give you the part as the baddie, as is so much the case in Anglo-Saxon films.

Your movie debut was as a topless French socialite in Prince's notorious bomb "Under the Cherry Moon" in 1986. How was that?
People just hated the film. It was a real baptism of fire as far as I'm concerned. I got the reviews you dread. From then on, I thought, "I'm never going to read reviews of the theater I do and only read reviews about films I don't really mind about."

Have you kept in touch with Prince? I read that the song "Better With Time," on his last album, was an ode to you.
If it's true, it's fantastic. He came to see "The Seagull" [when Scott Thomas was acting on Broadway last year] and was completely wowed by it. A lot of people knew what we were doing and he just turned up. He is incredibly intelligent and talented - if he's written a song for me, it's just the most wonderful present. He's just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant at what he does. What's really great about getting older is that down the road you meet people you haven't seen for a long time and they're still doing something you really admire.

Speaking of age, you turn 49 next week. You're famously candid about aging, especially for an actress.
They did tell me to shut up a long time ago: "You mustn't say you're 35, say you're 30." I thought, "This is ridiculous! Why should I?" In English and American cinema, people my age are immediately categorized into either campy, kind of clowny middle-aged women making them appear much older than they really do look or you're playing someone's grandmother. In Europe, we have this fantastic tradition of really enjoying women over 40, of that not being a taboo at all - people like Catherine Deneuve. Look at [Pedro] Almodóvar, the way he films women with such care and affection. The filmmakers here just love women who've been around a bit longer, they make those wrinkles look beautiful. In English or American films, they just want you to be old and shut up.

Every time you're interviewed, it seems that you're described with some word like haughty, frosty or aristocratic. But you don't seem that way to me.
"Ice queen" is the one they always seem to pick. I think it's the parts you play. Once people have worked with me they know I'm not frosty at all. The parts I play? Someone's gotta do them.

But your breakout role was far from icy. In "Four Weddings and a Funeral," you played the lovelorn Fiona, who ended up marrying Prince Charles. Have you ever discussed that with him?
I met him the day before yesterday for the first time! And no, there was none of that. It was a rather sad occasion that we met. And [the film] was such a long time ago, I think he's forgotten completely.

BY MARK ELLWOOD: NY Daily News 5/17'2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Four beautiful and brilliant actresses.

The best show on television comes courtesy of the BBC.
It is hot, sexy, warm, tender.

Most of all it is adult.
The four actresses are a marvel.

Give it a shot on the BBC cable network.
You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

R.I.P. Natasha

Natasha Richardson dies at 45 after ski accident
21 minutes ago

NEW YORK — Natasha Richardson, a gifted and precocious heiress to acting royalty whose career highlights included the film "Patty Hearst" and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of "Cabaret," died Wednesday at age 45 after suffering a head injury from a skiing accident.

Alan Nierob, the Los Angeles-based publicist for Richardson's husband Liam Neeson, confirmed her death in a written statement.

"Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," the statement said. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."

The statement did not give details on the cause of death for Richardson, who suffered a head injury when she fell on a beginner's trail during a private ski lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. She was hospitalized Tuesday in Montreal and later flown to a hospital in New York City.

Family members had been seen coming and going from the New York hospital where Richardson was reportedly taken.

Vanessa Redgrave, Richardson's mother, arrived in a car with darkened windows and was taken through a garage when she arrived at the Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side at around 5 p.m. Wednesday. An hour earlier, Richardson's sister, Joely, arrived alone and was swarmed by the media as she entered through the back of the hospital.

My Thoughts Are With Natasha Richardson and Her Family Today

I am hearing the outcome will not be good.
Natasha is a brilliant actress and my thoughts and good will are with her family at this time. I hope for her recovery but the prognosis is not good at this time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back To 2008

I thought i was finished with 2008.
Now two films came across my desk. They are both significant enough to make me revisit last year.
One could make a person think never ever to go to a movie again.
The other shows one why going or seeing films is a wondrous experience.

Let's start with the film that is truly a film masterpiece. 'I've Loved You So Long'. A powerful performance by the truly gifted Kristin Scott Thomas. How the hell was she not nominated for an Oscar after getting a SAG and BAFTA nomination? It again begs the question 'how the hell did anne hathaway get the nomination?'. This actress is at the top of her game here. I hope in time she gets her Oscar due.

Let's a word 'Australia'. Good god what a mess. What happened to Nicole Kidman? Between 2001 and 2002 she gave three terrific performances in 'Moulin Rouge', 'The Others' and her Oscar winning 'The Hours'. It has been a steady downhill slide since then. Nicole get with the program or give your Oscar back.
So now the WORST OF 2008 must be updated. No Anne Hathaway you are not off the hook. But you do get to tie for worst actress with Ms. Kidman. May the gods save both of your souls.

So now what about the worst film of '08?
For the talent, so called talent, and money involved this distinction now goes to 'Australia'. Somebody stop this madness. Yet I guess with all the great films produced in '08 I should stop carping. Carp? Yup a good word as 'Rachel yaya' and Australia are two dead fish!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Beautiful and Brilliant Mariska Hargitay

Mariska is havins some health issues.
Time for a tribute.
Get well soon.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today: Best Actress Nominees And My Pick

Three great performances: Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep and Melissa Leo.
One good performance: Angelina Jolie.
One hysterical, over the top performance in the worst movie of the year: Anne Hathaway.

You know who I want to win. You know who I think will win. You know who I think should win.

You know they've snubbed her 5 times already.
You know I don't trust the voters.
You know I shouldn't care.
But this year I do more than most in this category.

So I'm going out on the proverbial limb.

The winner should be: Kate Winslet.
The winner will be: Kate Winslet.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Today: Best Supporting Actress Nominees And My Pick

This may be the hardest category of all. 5 deserving nominees in 5 brilliant performances.
I narrowed my choice down to 2. Penelope Cruz and Taraji P. Henson. And I feel like poking an ice pick into my brain.

But I must mark my Ballot. So here goes as I pray for a tie...

Who I would mark the ballot for: Taraji P. Henson
Who will win: Penelope Cruz and I will have no argument with the win.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

'Frozen River'

I've always enjoyed Melissa Leo's work starting with 'Homicide: Life on the Streets'.
Her performance here is certainly Oscar worthy.

The film itself taught me something. It took me to a place I did not know existed. It introduced me to people I only heard about in passing. Therefore, I say it is a wonderful film. Worth a watch.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

'Vicky Chistina Barcelona'

Finally caught up with this on DVD. Not being a big Woody Allan fan I must admit he is great directing actresses. Especially his new muse Scarlett Johansen.

Penelope Cruz certainly deserves her supporting nod and there is no argument from me if she wins. I'll tell you the Supporting Actress category this year is full of great performances making it a tough choice to make a final decision. But I will.