Posts Tagged ‘Academy Awards’

And Another Thing About the Oscars……..

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

My friend Chris and her husband Jerry were supposed to come to my house for the big night, but since Jerry’s an Academy member they decided to go down to LA and attend the ceremony instead. (The nerve.) It was Chris’s first time and she was as excited as a prom queen. She didn’t care that they’d be sitting in the bleachers. She just wanted to experience the scene for herself and who could blame her?

She texted me these pics.

The red carpet…..

red carpet

Oscars’ cute ass……

Oscars ass

Inside the theater in the nosebleed section before the action began….

oscars theater

Yes, it was a long ceremony, but she had a great time soaking it all in.

Oscar Food Should Be Rich….

Monday, February 24th, 2014

short ribs

I hardly ever eat red meat anymore, but when it comes to special occasions and the tastes of my guests – and it’s watch-the-Oscars night at my house – I serve beef. This year the menu will feature beef short ribs. I’ll be using Ina Garten’s recipe, which is as bullet-proof as it gets and not only can be made the day before but is more flavorful when cooked ahead. I don’t use the whole bottle of wine as she does in the video, nor do I pour in as much broth, and I add more carrots plus my secret ingredient: cremini mushrooms. The result is delicious with the meat falling off the bone and the sauce perfectly suited to the mashed potatoes accompaniment. There will also be a Caesar salad without the eggs and anchovies (sounds sacrilegious, I know, but that’s how I roll when it comes to Caesar dressing), garlic bread and a chocolate something for dessert (one of our friends is bringing it). To start I’ll pull together some appetizers: hummus, guacamole, olives, cheeses or a combo of all. I always make sure to have enough for everybody and often overdo it. But hey, that way there are leftovers. :)

Dolores Hart: Another Reason To Look Forward To Oscar Night

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I always love watching the Oscars, even as I always bitch about how long and boring the show is. This year I’m having people over for dinner to watch, so it should be lively no matter how good/bad the show is. But one of the things I’m really looking forward to is the appearance of Dolores Hart, the actress who gave Elvis his first screen kiss….and who later became a nun.

Hart is the subject of an Oscar-nominated short documentary, “God Is The Bigger Elvis,” which will air on HBO in April.  (The New York Times has the story.) Despite being in poor health and despite the fact that she’s Mother Dolores now, living at a monastery in Connecticut, she’ll walk the red carpet on Sunday night. I really hope the film wins, so she’ll be on stage and receive a standing O from the audience.

In the meantime, I found a piece that “20/20” did about her not that long ago. It gets cut off at the end, but it’s fascinating.

Imagine giving up a life in Hollywood at the height of your stardom. Hart’s honesty in the ABC segment is refreshing. She’s asked whether it was a difficult decision to leave the movie business and cloister herself away at the monastery, and she says it was.

And by the way, she’s still beautiful. Not every woman can wear that habit.

Photo: Wendy Carlson/New York Times


RIP, Sidney Lumet

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

I’m a day or two late, but I did want to acknowledge the death of yet another Hollywood legend. Actually, Sidney Lumet was the quintessential New Yorker, but he made movies that were as critically acclaimed as they were commercially viable. “Network” is my favorite of his films, but I love “The Verdict” too.

Lumet’s films won Oscars for so many of the actors who starred in them and yet he never won a Best Director statue himself (not counting the lame Lifetime Achievement Award).

Here’s a clip reel of his best work via The Daily Beast. Enjoy.

So Much For The Oscars

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

What a coma-inducing show that was.


I was briefly hopeful at the very beginning when Hathaway and Franco were digitally inserted into the Best Picture nominated films, but I knew soon enough that I and the rest of the viewing audience were in for a looooong night. Were the dresses pretty? They were gorgeous. Were there any surprises in terms of the awards themselves? Not a one. Did everybody behave? Sure, except for Melissa Leo’s F-bomb. This is what you get when you don’t hire comedians to host the Oscars: a boring, boring broadcast. You want funny? Get funny people as your MC’s.

Herewith some other suggestions:

  • Don’t bother telling the winners not to thank everyone. They will anyway. They can’t help themselves.
  • Don’t try to make the show shorter by cutting the stuff we actually enjoyed – like the clips of previous winners.
  • When you do the “dead people montage,” let the audience clap if they want to.
  • If you’re going to bring back Billy Crystal, have him hang around for more than 10 seconds.
  • Persuade Sandra Bullock to present more than one award; she’s entertaining.
  • Ditto: Tom Hanks.
  • Where were Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton, not to mention the others on my “women of a certain age” list?
  • Find a new writer for the show – someone who can actually write jokes.

    Michael said after the final award was given out, “That’s it. I’m never watching the Oscars again. It was such a waste of four hours.”

    He says that every year, but this time I can hardly blame him.

    Oscar Countdown Part 6

    Saturday, February 26th, 2011

    On the eve of the show, I started thinking about how boring the acceptance speeches usually are. You know the ones – from the “I’d like to thank my agent, my publicist, my manager, my stylist, my mother” laundry lists – to those that elicit groans because the winner says coyly, “I didn’t prepare anything because I didn’t expect to win.”

    I was musing on all this, as I said, when – lo and behold – I came upon an article on Yahoo that addresses the very subject. Apparently, the Oscar producers have specifically told the nominees not to thank everybody in the universe.

    “Leave your list in your pocket,” Oscar producer Bruce Cohen advised contenders at their annual nominees luncheon three weeks before the show. “Nothing is more deadly than a winner reading a list of names.”

    I couldn’t agree more. But I also know that when your client or friend or spouse is standing up at the podium in front of millions of people, it’s kind of cool to be recognized for your contribution. So the solution is not that simple, as David Seidler, the screenwriter of “The King’s Speech,” explained.

    “You’re stuck. If you don’t thank a long list of people, you have a long list of people very upset, and if you do thank a long list of people, you have a billion people out in the audience bored stupid,” Seidler said.

    What’s a winner to do? Speak from the heart. Let us share what you really feel about winning, about what it was like to make the film and do the work and collaborate with others. And then – if there’s time and they haven’t started playing the get-the-hook music yet – thank your spouse or your parents or your kids and save the hugs and handshakes for the stylist and publicist for the after-party.

    Of course, if someone wants to do push-ups like Jack Palance did all those years ago, I wouldn’t mind at all.

    Oscar Countdown Part 4

    Thursday, February 24th, 2011

    With the expansion of the Best Picture category to 10 films (I’d like to see them go back to 5, but that’s for another post), it’s easy to overlook the movie “Winter’s Bone.” No mega-budget. No “A”-list stars. And definitely not a warm-and-fuzzy story.

    Based on Dan Woodrell’s dark and twisty novel, “Winter’s Bone” is about a young girl who must go in search of her meth-dealing father in order to hold on to her family home. Jennifer Lawrence is utterly compelling as the film’s centerpiece, but it’s the setting – the oh-so-grim Ozarks – that steals the show. Talk about stepping into a place you’d rather not visit. Still, there are real places like the one depicted in the movie; they exist and they’re right here in the good old U.S. – places where people like Jennifer Lawrence’s character struggle to put food on the table every day.

    I first heard about “Winter’s Bone” from my literary agent, who represents Woodrell too. She told me his book had been optioned and that the film was actually getting produced – AND that it was being screened at Sundance. Not only did it make it to Sundance but it won the festival’s top prize, so I couldn’t wait to see it. Michael and I went the day it opened. Despite his affection for “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network,” “Winter’s Bone” was his favorite movie of the year, hands down.

    Here’s a piece from today’s Huffington Post reminding us just how good “Winter’s Bone” is. If you haven’t seen it, see it!

    Oscar Countdown Part 3

    Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011


    Let me go one more step if I may. (Oh, wait. It’s my blog. I may if I feel like it.) I DON’T WANT TO SEE ONLY YOUNG MOVIE STARS ON THAT STAGE!

    My point is that I’d rather not be watching the show and going, “Who’s that?” I want to see actors and, particularly actresses (actors are allowed to get old in Hollywood so they aren’t hidden in the closet), whose work I’ve enjoyed but who aren’t making movies much anymore.

    For instance…


    Sure, Jessica has a bit of that cat eye thing going on from too much surgery or Botox or whatever, but it’s not as bad as Faye Dunaway’s cat eye thing and Jessica is someone I’ve loved in movies, so bring her on.

    Here’s another example…


    Enough with Kate. It’s her mother I watched in “Private Benjamin” and “Overboard” and “The First Wives Club,” so bring her on.

    And how about…


    She does have a couple of new movies coming out, but she was an icon back in the day (“Coming Home,” “Klute”), so bring her on.

    I’m not mentioning Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep because they’ll be up there; they seem to be the only women of a certain age who are still considered bankable. Maybe the Academy producers will surprise me and deviate from the parade of Halle, Nicole, Sandra and Julia. I hope so anyway.

    More Oscar Countdown

    Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

    OK, we talked about Natalie Portman and Christian Bale in yesterday’s post. Now it’s time to focus on Melissa Leo, who wowed everybody in “The Fighter” as Mark Wahlberg’s kick-ass mom (even though she’s not that much older than he is). Whilden)

    I thought Leo was sensational in “Frozen River,” the indie film for which she received a Best Actress nom, but she was equally good in “The Fighter.” Will she win this time? Apparently, she turned off members of the Academy by taking out her own “For Your Consideration” ads in the Hollywood trades. I thought the move was pretty gutsy myself.


    Want to know why she did it? Check out this interview with The Daily Beast’s Jacob Bernstein . Here’s an excerpt about the ad campaign.

    “I’ve been busting my ass, trying to get the movie sold and seen, and now I show up where they ask, get put into hair and makeup that they pay for, so I can promote this thing [and campaign]. So I’m a little confused. I thought this is what we’re doing. This is what all the girls are doing.”

    I love her for not playing the game. Or for playing it her way. She’s unique in Hollywood – an actress who finally achieved stardom in middle age, which is usually Death Valley for women – and I’m rooting for her to win. She’s in a tough category, but I think she’s plenty tough enough to take home the little man in gold.