a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Archive for May, 2013


Jayne Houdyshell Receives Drama Desk Career Achievement Award! Brava!

The great Jayne Houdyshell, one of the best actresses out there today, received a Career Achievement Award from the Drama Desk last week. Here she is, admitting it was “so totally unexpected.” But you deserve it, Jayne! You deserve it!

Cannes Film Festival Winners ~ Do We Care? Nominations, probably. Not wins.

So Cannes has announced it’s Palme d’Or winners, etc. etc. I come from the school that Cannes awards were virtually irrelevant to the Oscars. Except recently. Cannes was historically the dumping ground of the films Hollywood didn’t know what to do with.

But let me say it’s NOMINATIONS that Cannes can bring, not necessarily Oscars themselves. although recently we’ve seen notable exceptions

Like Jean DuJardin winning for Best Actor for “The Artist”. That’s a Cannes PLUS Harvey = Oscar equation. And that’s the winning combo, all elements needing to be present. And Harvey of course is Harvey Weinstein.

So I have to say that the three-hour “steamy lesbian romp,” as Tom O’Neil calls. it “Blue is the Warmest Color” is not an obvious or easy fit for Oscar. And first it’s got to get a nomination. Which is very questionable right now, if you ask me.

And you must be asking me or why would you be reading this?

“Inside Llewyn Davis”, from the Coen Brothers has gotten solid raves,along the Croissette, but also qualifiers saying it’s “minor Coens.” But getting the Jury Prize(means it’s #2) probably will mean it will get an Oscar nod as Best Film, no mean feat.

Will the leading actor, Jason Issac, who accepted for the Coens get an acting nod? Maybe.They weren’t there to accept it either. Bad form.

I mean, this film has to make Oscar Issac famous. Unknown Michael Stuhlbarg didn’t get nominated for the Coens previous “A Serious Man” despite his bravura performance. But the picture got a Best Picture nod in “The Year of the Ten” when Oscar voters had to make ten choices. Some thing like that could happen again. And Best Original Screenplay? Sure, if indeed it was original.

Now, Bruce Dern, a Hollywood veteran if ever there was one, could reap a nomination for his win as Best Actor in Cannes for Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska”. He’s a shoe-in for the Old Coot slot. A very revered position, since that’s what the Academy is mostly made up of. And he’s never won an Oscar. But I thought this was a Supporting Performance? Guess not.

And Berenice Bejo getting a Best Actress award for Ashgar Farhadi’s “The Past” is now poised to get a second Oscar nomination following her supporting one for “The Artist.” She would take the now obligatory French actress slot. Last year we saw the divine Emmanuelle Riva get nominated for Best Actress,  but not win for the Palme d’Or winner “Amour.” “Amour” did get amour from the Academy for Best Foreign Film.

But a three-hour lesbian romp does not seem like an easy fit for Best Foreign Film this year. So “Blue” may not be the new Gold for Oscar.

But all of these I see, in my Oscarologist’s experience eye, as possible nominations not wins.

And it rained all the time too.



Best Play TONY Predictions by Stephen Holt & Scott Siegel!

More TONY Predictions by Stephen Holt & Scott Siegel at the Green Symphony restaurant in NYC! If you want more go to http://www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

Co-Host ~ T.J. Craig

Camera & Editing ~ Kevin Teller


Stephen Holt & Scott Siegel Predict the TONY Awards 2013!

Stephen Holt and Scott Siegel Predict the top six TONY categories, Best Play and Musical and Best Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical. Here they are having a very lively discussion, and actually AGREEING on who is going to win Best Actress in a Play.
If you want to see all six categories and predictions go to http://www.youtube.com/StephenHolt
Filmed on location at the Green Symphony restaurant in New York.
Co-Host -T.J.Craig
Camera & Editing ~ Kevin Teller


Richard Kind wins Best Featured Actor in a Play at the Drama Desk Awards!

The great Richard Kind turns a dastardly Hollywood mogol of the ’50s in Clifford Odets’ “The Big Knife” into a complex, almost likable guy. Kind won the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play this past Sunday and is also nominated for a Tony Award in the same category for his terrific turn.

What’s so Great about Gatsby??? Not much.

That’s the question I always asked myself after finishing the book, which I loved. It’s deservedly a classic. But at the end of it, each time, and at the end of this bloated, horrifying Baz Luhrman-on-steroids version, when it was all over I kept thinking “What is so great Gatsby?”

I still don’t know.

I suppose it one of those great unanswered questions that the narrator Nick Carraway poses. He claims that Gatsby was one of the greatest men he ever met. Or THEE greatest.

And even though Leonardo Di Caprio is giving a charming, likeable performance in this almost unplayable role…you still end up with a big “huh”?

No Leo himself is an admirable figure. I do admire him, and so do millions of fans all over the world who are driving the box-office on this little love story internationally.

It’s a modest tale that doesn’t merit the overblown Baz style…maybe if it was a musical? It worked for “Moulin Rouge” but here it’s just too much.

How much is too much?

THIS is too much.

And it’s sort of literary homicide being created on poor, dead F. Scott Fitzgerald. If he were alive today, WHAT would he think? I guess he’d like all the early summer hoopla this film is heaping on his greatest novel…but do we really need to see F. Scott Fitzgerald in 3-D?

It’s an overblown device in any case. 3-D. I couldn’t bare it, even the thought of it, which made me skip the opening.

Those glasses! I would’ve had nausea and headaches for days! So I finally saw it in 2D, which was bearable, but honestly, this Gatsby was a bit of bore.

Jay Gatsby as a summer action hero? A blockbuster? And that’s exactly how Baz Luhrman directed it. As a comic book. A Classic Comic Book, the kind they used to have when I was a kid growing up in the Bronx.

I think in the end what was so beautiful and mesmerizing about “The Great Gatsby” was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s incandescent prose, which is showing every sign of being immortal.

But It was meant to be READ. It’s like a butterfly that you were meant to hold in your hand. Not blown up on the big screen, like an…well, like a blown-up butterfly.


Imagine the horror!

Well, you don’t have to imagine it, just skip this car wreck of a movie and read or re-read the beautiful book. You’ll be glad you did.


Judith Light! Winner! Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play! “The Assembled Parties”

The wonderful Judith Light just won the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Richard Greenberg’s “The Assembled Parties.” She also won in this same category last year for “Other Dessert Cities.” I told her she would win the Drama Desk and then the Tony, too, last year, and SHE DID! Now you can see her surprised reaction when I said history was about to repeat itself, and she would win again. AND SHE DID! She’s also nominated for a Tony so maybe that will happen AGAIN this year! It’s very unusual for there to be two consecutive Tony wins in a row. But then I don’t remember this ever happening with the Drama Desk either. So….

If anyone one can pull off this impossible feat, it’s the much loved Judith Light!

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