a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Archive for September, 2017

My First NYFF rave for “Awardsdaily” this year.”Last Flag Flying”

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Congrats to Ann Dowd for Winning Her 1st Emmy for “A Handmaiden’s Tale!”

A belated and hearty congratulations to the great New York character actress Ann Dowd for winning her first(but I’m sure not her last) Emmy on Sunday night for “A Handmaiden’s Tale.”

I worked with Ann trying to get her an Oscar for “Compliance” a few years back. What it actually takes, besides having immense talent, which Ann certainly has, is MONEY. Money spent on Oscar campaigns, and Oscar strategists, who make in the six figures.

Well, I’m not that, but it was an eye-opener. To me. And to Ann, too. I remember her saying “I can’t believe that after all these years(acting) I’m still naïve as to how this all works.”

She did win a National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress that year, so I did help get her that.

Well, she’s where she should be now. Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama Series. Congratulations, Ann! You’ll just keep on winning…I’m so sure…

Ann appeared  on my show at that time. See above ^ My lovely interview with her shot and edited by the great Kevin Teller is on my You Tube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/Stephenholtshow

Search under Ann Dowd

 

 

Amazing Emma Stone Dazzles in “Battle of the Sexes”! Best (Lesbian) Tennis Movie EVAH!


“Battle of the Sexes” is one of the Best Films of the year. It contains the best ever filmed Tennis Match, and last year’s Oscar Winner Emma Stone is just GLORIOUS in it! She’s in her prime here and proves that yea, she CAN act up there with the Big Ones in Hollywood Heaven.. And will for sure garner her second Oscar nomination for her charming, conflicted Tennis Queen Billie Jean King.

“Battle of the Sexes” while it purports to elucidate the Tennis Match to end all Tennis Matches of the 1970s (And I don’t even like Tennis!)between feminist heroine Billie Jean King and self-proclaimed Male chauvinist Pig Bobby Riggs (an excellent Steve Carrell), it really is Billie Jean’s surprising coming out love story between her and her devoted hair dresser (in more ways than one)(Andrea Riseborough). Their extended, erotic, lesbian love scenes are something to cheer about. They’ll leave you as breathless as the participants. Tender, beautiful, moving.

I can’t ever remember this many completely shown Sapphic sex scenes in a mainstream American film, and that really is just a joy to behold. Not over-the-top, not overdone, Stone & Riseborough really hit the mark as two lovers who must hide in the shadows and sneak around even though it’s the supposedly enlightened 1970s.

Actually, Emma Stone has never been better. She is growing before our delighted eyes in to one of the Best Screen Actreses Maybe Ever. And Steve Carrell is at the top of his game here, too, as the buffoon-ish Bobby Riggs. “The Battle of the Sexes” is a Match Set. Love All.
“The Battle of the Sexes” is that rare thing, and truly refreshing movie.

NEW YORK FILM FEST COMING SOON!


The 55th New York Film Festival is coming soon! The press screenings have started and the movies I’ve seen already are just grand!

I will be covering the NYFF for http://www.awardsdaily.com so keep your eyes peeled at the wonderful Oscar website. I of course will link from here, but the articles, reviews, etc. will be there.

So exciting, always!

Crushingly Miscast Nicholas Hoult is More Like “Super-Model In The Rye” than “Rebel in the Rye”

Would you buy this above pictured actor as a Supermodel or the tortured author J.D. Salinger? Nicholas Hoult as handsome and photogenic as can be, really mostly fails as “The Rebel in the Rye,” author Salinger of “Catcher in the Rye.” I mean, he’s a super-hero, not a writer. And it’s a shame. I mean, I left this well-meaning, but superficial movie, never wanting to read anything Salinger wrote ever again. And that’s just sad.

It was like drinking too much Pepsi. And I hate Pepsi. The neo-phyte director, Danny Strong, who also co-wrote the screenplay, is so obsessed with Salinger that he casts someone (Hoult), who is BRITISH, and from the Mutant movies as SALINGER? Sacrilege! Salinger was an Upper West Side, rich, Jew punk and Hoult is about as Jewish as the Duchess of Cornwall!!

And it a shame, because Strong has assembled a first-rate cast of great New York actors around the hopelessly good-looking  and inert, inept Hoult, and they all do the best to cover his limitations and the cliché-ridden script.

Zoey Deutsch does POP effectively as the teenage Oona O’Neill who, yes, Salinger was really involved with. Hoult comes alive in their boy/girl scenes, and it looks like “Rebel in the Rye” might really go somewhere. But alas, the whip-smart Oona dumps him for Charlie Chaplin ( yes, that really happened ) early in the film, and never really recovers, when she departs his life and hence the picture.

Strong IS strong on atmosphere, and the post-war II New York is captured quite convincingly by his cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau, and production designer Dina Goldman.

He’s also lucky he has one of America’s greatest actresses, Emmy-Winner Sarah Paulson on hand as Salinger’s devoted, long-suffering agent. Paulson, like Deutsch makes her scenes believable. Also onboard are Kevin Spacey as Salinger’s writing teacher at Columbia U. And Jefferson Mayes and Bryan D’arcy-James as the publishers, Salinger must confront and overcome. They all make the boilerplate they’re handed in the last half of the movie, palatable.

But this is a profoundly JEWISH story, and what does the director do? Casts two goyim as Salinger and his Jewish father. Victor Garber is Canadian, for cripe’s sake! He’s playing the supposedly stern conservative, against-his-son’s career father! More mis-casting! Non-Jews playing Jews! I thought we had moved WAAAAAY past this point, but I guess not.

And Nicholas Hoult will have a big career and be cast as he should be, a super-model or super-hero, where he doesn’t have to actually act. And he’ll be fine.

What a shame! But this film has turned me off reading Salinger forever. Justabout.

Happy to Announce I’ll Be Covering the NYFF!

Happy to announce I’ll be covering the New York Film Festival again this year for the powerful Awards site, http://www.awardsdaily.com and my dear friend and inspiration the great Sasha Stone! Ecstatic at this news!

Especially looking forward to Woody Allen’s latest “Wonder Wheel” starring Kate Winslet in another Oscar savvy performance in one of Woody’s great female roles! Think what he did for Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine.” Or Penelope Cruz in “Vicky Christina Barcelona.” Fingers crossed for Kate the Great!

More soon!

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