a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Boston’

Brie Larson Wins SAG Best Actress for “Room”!”Spotlight” Wins Best Ensemble!

Brie Larson 3Looking not at all like this possessed picture above ^ Brie Larson just won her well deserved SAG Award for Best Actress or as they put it, Best Female Actor.  She seems so much like the girl next door, you can’t believe that she was the “captured for seven years” girl next door.  In the shed in the back garden. And now here comes Best Actor!

Annnnnd it’s Leo. Oh well. And a Standing O, too. That’s it. That’s the ball game. He’ll win the Oscar, too. As will Brie Larson.

And “Spotlight” wins Best Ensemble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK GOODNESS!!!!

A shocked Mark Ruffalo gave a very nice speech, very moving, very heartfelt. “I really didn’t expect this”he exclaimed. And then handed the blue “Actor” award over to Michael Keaton, who ALSO gave a very impassioned speech about the “disenfranchised everywhere. Flint, Michigan, everywhere.”

So basically, that ALSO is the ballgame, dear readers, dear cineastes, for Best Picture.

I saw “The Big Short”,”Spotlight”s main competitor, but I kept thinking “They’re not giving their main award to a film that they may not understand.”

Even though the heroes in “Spotlight”  are journalists, a species that actors purport to disdain, but not tonight. And this win for “Spotlight” which I’m happy about, re-emphasizes that “Spotlight” is about something very, very serious and it’s a drama. “The Big Short” is a comedy. Comedy always loses and will probably now lose the Oscar, too. Spotlight 4

“Spotlight”is about the decades-long cover up of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church is an important topic. SAG felt it was more important than Wall St.’s corruption.

I also felt that “The Big Short” disturbingly glamorizes this corruption. Which is something that “Spotlight” does not. It faces its’ issues straight on, and condemns them. And everybody in the movie is just terrifically understated, and quietly brilliantly intense.

This win tonight for “Spotlight” puts it in the front-runner spotlight, once again, and I think it will stay there through to the Oscars.

Mark Ruffalo’s very moving acceptance speech showed Oscar voters, who watch these predictive proceedings like a hawk, are very likely to take note of that marvelous moment of Ruffalo’s. They also saw Leo, and Brie, and Alicia Vikander doing their best Oscar audition acceptance speeches, too. And they did it so well, I think all three of them nailed down their Oscar wins tonight. Indupitably.

The only category left up in the air tonight was Best Supporting Actor, because supposed favorite Sylvester Stallone is leading that Oscar category and Idris Elba isn’t nominated there. But Mark Ruffalo is.

So we have a very locked and loaded Oscar race now. Except for Best Supporting Actor, which will be announced VERY early in the evening as it usually is.

This occasion is a much more joyous one than the Golden Globes were.Indubitably.Boston Globe

 

Joe Franklin Passes & Yes, I Was a Guest on his Show

One of the greats of New York talk shows just passed. Joe Franklin. He was ONLY 88, but he’s been around for so long, I thought he was in his 90s. or older.

As  a kid growing up in the Bronx, ever-glued to my television set., I Joe Franklinalways watched him whenever he came on. Which seemed to be always. He was omnipresent and I kept trying to figure out just why he had so, er, undistinguished guests.

Until years later, I became one. He was shooting his show in, I think, a TV Studio in New Jersey.I don’t know how I ever got on his Show. He was very finicky and he did all the booking himself. He was a real one man band, like I am. And you had to really pursue him, and call back a million times, it seemed. I was in the early regional theater days of my show, and we had just all traveled to Boston. To cover ART, the American Repertory Theater, run in those days by Robert Brustein.

And FINALLY Joe booked me. I couldn’t believe it! ANOTHER childhood dream come true! And then, there I was sitting on the sofa opposite him, with, I think, at least two others guests, a male to my left and a female to my right.

And I noticed something I hadn’t expected to find. He was just as nervous as I was! He put very unusual people together and then would mix it up, rapid firing questions like they were torpedo pellets. And I made the incredible, stupid mistake of saying that ART was doing something like “tap-dancing Ibsen”(which they really were) and I had said the bad word “Ibsen.” I don’t think Joe knew who that was. And then he switched the rest of the questions to the other two panelists, and didn’t come back to me again.

But at least I had made it on to his show.

Then he came back to me again, for some reason, I guess it was meeting him on Broadway for the Drama Desk. I think we got sat next to each other, for some forgotten show. And we were talking and he said, “Are you a critic? Do you want to be on my show?”

By this time he was on in the middle of the night on RADIO! You had to be there, like at 3 AM! And I don’t know if I did one or more shows this time. I remember him coming out and exclaiming with gusto”You did great, kid!” I thought I was talking to Florenz Ziegfeld.

Oh, Joe, we’ll miss you! He was the essence of New York Show Business.

Matthew Morrison to Return to Broadway!

Matthew Morrison 1

TONY®, EMMY®, AND GOLDEN GLOBE® AWARD NOMINEE

MATTHEW MORRISON

WILL RETURN TO BROADWAY

TO STAR IN

“FINDING NEVERLAND”

PREVIEWS BEGIN

SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015

AT BROADWAY’S LUNT-FONTANNE THEATRE

OPENING NOW SET FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15

New York– Producer Harvey Weinstein announced today that Tony®, Emmy®, and two-time Golden Globe® Award Nominee Matthew Morrison will return to Broadway to star in Finding Neverland as J.M. Barrie. Morrison created the role of Barrie in early workshops of the Broadway-bound musical. Finding Neverland will begin previews on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street), and will now open on Wednesday, April 15.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to see Matthew returning to his Broadway roots and back to the role he created in our workshop,” Mr. Weinstein said.

Mr. Morrison has previously starred on Broadway in Hairspray, South Pacific, and The Light in the Piazza (for which he was nominated for a 2005 Tony® Award). He is known to television audiences for his Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated role as Will Schuester on the hit Fox show, “Glee.” Morrison has also released two studio albums since 2011, with the most recent being Where It All Began – a collection of standards, many first made famous in Broadway musicals.

Based on the Miramax motion picture by David Magee and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J. M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up – one of the most beloved stories of all time.

Directed by Tony Award®-winner Diane Paulus (Pippin) with book by Olivier Award®-nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by U.K. pop sensation Gary Barlow (Take That) and Grammy Award®-winner Eliot Kennedy, choreography by Emmy Award®-winner Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance), this new musical explores the power of imagination to open up new worlds, and the pressures put upon those worlds by the inevitability of growing up.

In its sold-out, world-premiere engagement at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, Finding Neverland played a total of 75 performances at the Loeb Drama Center on – all of which played to capacity crowds, making it the highest attended and highest grossing production in A.R.T.’s 34-year history.

Additional casting information will be announced shortly.

Video

And now for something MUCH cooler! Bay State Cruises to Ptown!

The Heat Wave continues unabated and I just stayed in all day, working, working, working on trying to get my Mega-Trek of the year together, the combo of Canadian Film Festivals, Montreal and Toronto, which occur one right after the other late-iin-August into mid-Sept. Always the highpoint of my year. And this will be the 14th year! Where does the time go!

This super-duper travel segment shows me actually getting on board Bay State Cruises Fast Ferry to Provincetown and I got to talk to and become friends with a very likable lawyer Robert Vitale, who I just met on the Ferry Dock in Boston in Part 2! And the ferry does depart and arrive in Provincetown where I am able to show the viewers the original marquee of the historic Provincetown Playhouse which is now in pieces on a beach behind the Whaler’s Wharf. The Provincetown Playhouse is where Eugene O’Neill started doing his plays and that in essence was the beginning of the American Theater.

“The Fighter” An Oscar Knock-Out!+ Other Awards News

I have to say, having just returned from an Academy-ish screening(it was mixed with guilds and obviously, actual press, too. I mean,was there!) and yes, it’s got Oscar nomination chances galore!

The audience at this screening seemed to love it, as I was tipped that the Academy would and they audibly did. That was born out by all the laughs and gasps and cheers throughout, though there was no final applause at the end. Every one left with smiles on their faces. ALWAYS a good sign for Oscar!

Mark Wahlberg’s passion project of many years has come to ripe fruition with him wisely surrounding himself with the some of the Best Actors in the business, like Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams, all of whom I think are assured Oscar nominations in Supporting for this.

So it’s a holiday feast of blue-collar, but blue-ribbon actors all trying to out-do each other in what is a veritable Oscar smack-down and SUCCEEDING mightily. Each landing punch after thespic (acting) punch in this knock-out of a movie!

Although this is a boxing saga, it’s really more of a family drama, being played out against a boxing background. This Lowell Massachusetts hard-scrabble setting, replete with Boston accents, gives Leo, Adams and especially Bale, career-capping chances to really go to town in an award-winning, Oscar-baity way. Are they chewing the scenery for Thanksgiving? Gobble Gobble. Well, Leo and Bale are anyway…but the Academy LOVES these showy turns.

Wahlberg OTOH plays it down, very understated, almost dour and lets the wildness of the colorful characters around him shine. And shine, they do!

Bale is unfogettable as his crack-headed brother who is also his f**ked up trainer. Leo is  their horrible Mother-From-Hell  who is also his money-grubbing manager, and Adams gets to play against them as the good girl who he hooks up with, and who has to stand up to his insane family AND SHE DOES! You are totally rooting for her to take down the dastardly, deadly duo of Mom Leo and Brother Bale. This movie is one juicy fight scene from beginning to end! Whether it’s in the ring, or in the living room, or on the front porch, EVERY one is fighting!

As Wahlberg is also the producer here (and Bob and Harvey Weinstein are also listed as producers, too(!) with Paramount the main distributor) he’s going to get nominated for  getting this made & helming this irresistible (to the Academy and I think to audiences, too) combo of heart, guts and BOXING.

Boxing films have traditionally been catnip to the Academy and this one, though the formulaic trailers have been misleading-by-a-mile, “The Fighter” will be no exception. So in a field of ten possible nominees for Best Picture, I say the “The Fighter” is going to score one of those ten best slots.

With Wahlberg so monotone himself, I don’t think he’s got a chance at an Acting nomination. But as a producer of “The Fighter”, yes!

It’s going to be a Golden Glove( and Golden Globe) bout between Geoffrey Rush for “The King’s Speech,” and Bale for this in Supporting Actor  and THAT match-up is going to cause all the major Oscar attention for this film.  And those two performances are so different and also so  juicy, well, it’s a delicious prospect!

And Melissa Leo and Amy Adams are BOTH so good that they are BOTH going to be nominated most likely. Canceling each other out, and leaving the win to Helena Bonham-Carter for “The King’s Speech.” 

When two actresses from the same film get nominated in Supporting it’s historically someone else, who wins. The last time I remember this happening was in 2001 for “Gosford Park” when it was both Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Maggie Smith going head-to-head in Supporting…and somebody else won. Jennifer Connelly in a year that there was “A Beautiful Mind” sweep.

Bale v. Geoffrey Rush, who is brilliant, but already HAS an Oscar would be literally duking it out til the last minute in Supporting. Rush, as the hilarious, genial ,but tough speech therapist Lionel Logue, who is the Australian Henry Higgins teaching Colin Firth(the King) how to speak, is going to be a Battle Royal(pardon the pun) with Bale’s junkie, who, though everyone forgets it, as also a Brit. Yes, he is. He really is. Remember him as the kid in Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun”? Yes, that was little Christian. A child actor who has endured and ended up as “The Dark Knight.” Yes, that was him, the last time in the hood and cape. But all people remember from that film is the astounding Joker of the late Heath Ledger. R.I.P. Heath.

Bale, however, ALMOST overdoes it in the OTT category,but how can you play a character who is always tweaking, and not seem OTT, as well as ADD? Bale has lost a ton of weight for the part and as a  junkie who jumps out of windows to escape his harridan, chain-smoking mother (Leo), I do think he’s in contention.

It’s just that how much do they like Christian Bale? I mean, really? With that Internet rant to that poor stage hand being something that still lurks in people’s mind when they think of him? They may just make him wait, and give Rush a second Oscar for what is clearly the performance of the year.

But Bale’s never been nominated before and Rush has won before.  Me, I’d vote for Rush…but…it’s gonna be a fight to the photo finish at the Kodak between the two of them.

It’s also just a question of HOW many Oscars are they going to give to “The King’s Speech”? Colin Frith and Helena Bonham-Carter are both way out in front in Best Actor and now, Best Supporting Actress, too. Is “The King’s Speech” going to sweep?

I heard people discussing how there was one movie where there were lines around the block about ten days ago.  It was for a SAG screening and that was for “The King’s Speech.” “The Fighter” was well attended, but not full, by any means. And no applause at the end, though a consistently involved chorus of laughs and gasps, means they were involved. But  not as enthralled as “The King’s Speech” audiences are.

Bale has the best Oscar shot of the bunch of them. He gets to OD, and then go cold turkey in a jail cell! Now that’s what I call a PART! So Christian Bale will finally get his first Oscar nomination…

But will he win?

And in terms of other films…I heard when the New York Film Critics get together to vote soon, very soon. (“True Grit” FINALLY starts screening next week for all and sundry) that at the moment it’s still going to be a pitched battle between “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network.” So, what else is new? That’s the way it’s been since Toronto!

Except that today, “The King’s Speech” just got 100% from the Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes! How can ANYone argue with those stats? Especially the Academy!

Harvey Weinstein must be having a very happy Thanksgiving indeed!

Coupled with women, who are just flat out refusing to see “127 Hours” because of the gore, and the arm-thing…

People, again it was women I was talking to, are not digging “Black Swan.” ‘It ruins ‘Swan Lake'” one balletomane told me. But ballet lovers are going to be in the minority of AMPAS.

But then, of course, WOMEN are not the majority of the AMPAS voters. The SWORM are. Single White Old Rich Men…

And EVERYbody is digging Michael Douglas’ performance in “Solitary Man.”

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: