a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘TCM’

“Yankee Doodle Dandy”,”Music Man” & “Welcome to Me” All in ONE DAY!

Yankee Doodle DandyI exercised my Freedom, my inalienable right, to binge watch (or play the game HowManyMoviesCanISeeInADay?) until my eyes were screaming for relief. Then you stop.

Lovely weather in NYC today. But here I was watching James Cagney winning an Oscar in 1944 for his great performance as George M. Cohan in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” What a grand ole film! B&W but still resonates with any theater person(yeah, me)watching it. My fave scene – the theatrical boarding house where the Cohans are too poor to get served anything but molasses and noodles!

Loved all the vaudeville scenes(and there are many). So close to the real life period, they’re bound to be more accurate than most other depictions. And “The Music Man” which I watched next on TCM, as well, is in vibrant color and a musical close to my heart. It was the first time I ever saw a Bway show, and this was IT. Sooo many memories.

And “Welcome To Me” was just awful. I watched it BEFORE these other two great movies. I had a DVD screener of it sent to me and yes, I watched it all the way through. It’s got a premise that can’t be sustained for a whole film. A borderline personality goes off her meds, AND wins an $800 million lottery. An SNL skit maybe, it’s another vain attempt by Kristen Wiig to become a movie star. Not a TV star.

And this was so bad, I felt myself longing for “The Skeleton Twins” another Indie in which she stared with Bill Hader. It was serious. They were brother and sister who had issues. He’s gay. She’s crazy. Or something.

Well, she’s playing crazy again in “Welcome to Me” which might have been funny as an SNL skit (and perhaps it started that way) but blown up to an entire “comedy” OUCH! Her character, Alice Clieg (as in Kleig lights, Yeah we get it. NOT FUNNY!) decides to become the new Oprah and have her own talk show and spends most of her newly won dough on this horrendously misguided endeavor, which nobody stops, because she’s paying millions to do.

They cover their asses by saying it’s a Public Access show. But this film was soooooo bad, I felt as someone who has devoted a major part of my life to Public Access, that it was insulting to Public Access.(Not an easy thing to do.) And you just hate her.

Kristen Wiig is a very talented performer in all directions, but you can’t help but feel watching “Welcome to Me” that she’s losing her marbles.Shame.

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And the Oscar Goes to…

And the Oscar Goes to...

Well, it’s a little premature to say that but that indeed is the name of the marvelous documentary by Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein that was commissioned by TCM, Turner Classic Movie, for this marvelous month they have every year entitled ’30 days of Oscar.”

It started airing tonight and its essential viewing for all you Oscarologists out there. glamorous, gorgeous, sumptuous, moving, extremely well-costumed and all the adjectives in between “And the Oscar Goes to…” delights for its’ nearly two-hour length.

New to me, the fact that the Academy used to hand out its’ list of winners to the press BEFOREHAND until in 1940, the L.A. Times really jumped the gun and published that year’s information WAY too soon. Henceforth, AMPAS turned its’ tabulations over to Price, Waterhouse, now Price, Waterhouse, Cooper, the accounting firm that has kept the Oscars honest(and top secret) to this day.

Having an awards show without suspense is a rather dreary prospect, and since those days suspense has been an important ingredient in the Oscar season. VERY important. Who’s going to win? Is the big question that is on my mind and Sasha Stone’s mind, and Tom O’Neill’s mind, and David Poland’s mind all year long. And on Harvey Weinstein’s, too, I daresay.

So as we await the Writer’s Guild winners tonight, I can breathlessly say that yes, even mighty http://www.goldderby.com has changed its’ collective mind over what’s going to win Best Picture. Tom O’Neil agrees with Tariq Khan in one of their entertaining podcasts that they both think that “12 Years a Slave” is now going to win Best Picture. Which is what I’ve been saying ever since I saw it in Toronto.

Nothing is going to upset Cate Blanchett’s continuing March of Triumph to Best Actress. UNLESS something shocking happens at the BAFTAS in two weeks. Dame Judi Dench could upset there as the incredibly sympathetic “Philomena”. In fact, the BAFTAS could throw a monkey wrench into a LOT of Oscar campaigns. Like for instance, if Chiwetel Ejiafor wins there, and as a highly regarded British actor, he probably will for his historic portrayal of Solomon Northup, the black man who was kidnapped and spent “12 Years a Slave” prior to the Civil War.

Mathew McConaughey, and also front-runner in Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto, both Oscar nominated for their tremendous work in “Dallas Buyers’ Club” are not even nominated AT ALL for the BAFTAS, so neither can win. And if Ejiofor makes the Speech of Speeches which I think he will…look out, Matthew McConaughey!…

And Michael Fassbender could do the same thing, since he’s nominated,for Best Supporting Actor, and Jared Leto isn’t. Fassbender, of course, plays the evil slave owner Epps. And I’m just betting that the BAFTAS could turn the Oscar race upside own.

And Britisher Steve McQueen will probably win there as Best Director and not Alphonso Cuaron, who won the DGA award for directing “Gravity.” All three of these astoundingly talented men could win and probably will win at the BAFTAS.

So Oscar LOOK OUT!

And as everyone seems to be picking up on Lupita Nyong’O’s star continues to rise and rise in Best Supporting Actress.There’s nothing that can stop her. And I predict she’s a slam dunk for the BAFTAS, too.

So in this quiet period before the BAFTAS happen in London, treat yourself to “30 Days of Oscar” on TCM and don’t miss “And the Oscar Goes to…” Check out the full schedule at http://www.tcm.com

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