Tag Archives: Anne Hathaway

JENNIFER LAWRENCE HIGHLIGHTS AN OSCAR NIGHT FULL OF UPS AND DOWNS

85th Academy Awards, TelecastJennifer Lawrence is a live wire.  The “Silver Linings Playbook” Oscar winner livened things up back in the press room Sunday night after winning her award as Best Actress.   As those who watched the 85th Academy Awards show know, Lawrence tripped and fell on her way up the steps to retrieve her statuette.  A reporter with a thick accent asked her what happened and if she meant to do that.

“Was it on purpose?  Absolutely,” scoffed the 22-year-old, stunning in a strapless ice pink Dior gown that featured a lavish, patterned skirt.  “What do you mean, what happened?  Look at my dress.  I stepped on the fabric, they just waxed the floor.”

Then she was asked, “What was going through your mind?”

“A bad word I can’t say,” responded feisty Lawrence, to laughter, “that starts with F.”

A reporter asked her feelings on becoming so successful at such a young age, and whether it’s a good thing to get honored so early in her career.  “I guess so, yeah.  Who knows?  I guess we’ll see.” Then the reporter persisted:  was she fearful of peaking too soon?

“Well, now I am,” she answered.

Looking over the crowd of media from around the world seated at tables before her, holding aloft their numbers in hopes of being called upon to ask their question, Lawrence noted, “It’s like an auction, right?… I feel like I’m picking people to make fun of me.”

In the middle of describing her day, as chaotic and nerve-wracked as Steve Martin in “Father of the Bride,” she stopped herself and apologized.  “Sorry.  I took a shot before I came out here.”

But it wasn’t all joking around.  Lawrence took the opportunity to talk about mental ailments, now that “Silver Linings Playbook” is helping to bring public attention and understanding to them.  “I don’t think we’re going to stop until we get rid of the stigma of mental illness. I know David won’t,” she said, referring to “Silver Linings Playbook” filmmaker David O. Russell, whose son has bipolar illness.  She pointed out that taking medicine for asthma and other ailments is something people take for granted, “but as soon as you take medicine for your mind, there’s such a stigma about it.” 

Lawrence’s backstage banter accounted for some of the more entertaining moments in an Oscar night that was uneven in the extreme, both on camera and off. 

The split personality of the evening – part traditional Oscar show, part frat boy joke fest – didn’t work.  It was like one of those zany Food Network fusion challenges, where chefs are asked to make a dish out of peppermint and chives or some such weird duo.  From the opening number on, host Seth MacFarlane ping-ponged between good and bad, the worst being his “joke” about John Wilkes Booth being the actor who really got into Lincoln’s head.  The feeling extended into the press area, too, where David Arquette had a seat as a Howard Stern Show plant (remember when Arquette had a career himself?) and disingenuous questions mingled with real ones.  Like beginning Best Actor winner, Daniel Day-Lewis’ interview with a question about how it was to wear that beard in “Lincoln,” was it uncomfortable?

Day-Lewis answered questions cordially.  (The beard was his own, of course.)  

Day-Lewis, who holds passports from both Ireland and the U.K., was asked within which style he’d celebrate.  “I’d be happy with either one.  I guess because I’m here, I’ll celebrate L.A. style.”  What a great finish to a role that began with the “paralyzing” prospect of getting Lincoln wrong and then never being able to show his face in America again – Day-Lewis making history as the only three-time Best Actor Oscar winner in history.

Anne Hathaway almost started to cry in the press room when she talked about her dream coming true – then was asked about the cynical responses she’s had for being open with her emotions.  Does that get to her?

“It does get to me,” she admitted.  “But you have to remember in life that there’s a positive to every negative and a negative to every positive…The universe is said to be 51 per cent matter and 49 per cent antimatter, so things tip in the scale of the possible.”  She added, “I live my life with love.  I live my life with compassion, hoping for the best for everyone, no matter how they feel about me.”

She also spoke of her “Les Miserables” leading man, Hugh Jackman, as uncynical.

“Tom Hooper, my director, has gone on record as saying without [Hugh] this film could not exist.  He has strength and soul, and artistry and fun.  We do live in a world that can tend toward the cynical. This film — it’s inherent to the film’s success that we believe in the goodness of this character.  Hugh has that.  People believed in him, and it made the film soar.”  Playing the unfortunate soul Fantine, she said, had made her “connect with the darkness of life; and more to the point, to the unnecessary suffering human beings inflict on each other all over the world.  It made me more aware.”

Hathaway glowed when asked about her husband, actor and jewelry designer Adam Shulman.  “He just made everything better and clearer and more real.  And that’s all I’m going to say.” 

At more than three and a half hours, this year’s Oscar show didn’t come close to producers Neil Meron’s and Craig Zadan’s pronouncement that they would “really try” to bring it in on time.  Nor did we see any evidence of their scientific-sounding scheme to take out wasted moments in order to have more time for entertainment.  What we did see was a lot of “Chicago” – a film from a decade ago that was showcased mainly because it was produced by Zadan and Meron.  And the “Dreamgirls” section of their 11-minute tribute to musicals showcased Jennifer Hudson, who has been appearing on “Smash,” which is produced by Zadan and Meron.  How long would the show have run without the Zadan and Meron material, one wonders.  Isn’t the idea to celebrate films of this year?

What a disappointment.

 

 

 

Ben Affleck and Fellow Nominees Are Winners at Oscar Nominees Luncheon

ben-affleck-argo-trailerBen Affleck is already an Oscar winner.

That’s right – no matter how his “Argo” fares at the 85th Academy Awards on Feb. 24, the canny filmmaking star has made the utmost of this awards season, helping to hoist his historical thriller to ever-greater prominence as it picks up honor after honor (Producers Guild, Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild, Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes) by bringing his self-effacing charisma and charm to every occasion.

His star power was certainly on display at this week’s Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  While some nominees eschewed the press room, Affleck took full advantage.  He entered to enthusiastic applause, then proceeded to turn question after question into a chance to promote his movie – and was so smooth and fun about it, nobody seemed to mind.  Commenting on the many interviews he’s done, he talked about how there’s “a whole spectrum of interesting stuff” in the “Argo” script — about a joint CIA-Canadian secret service operation to get a group of diplomats out of Iran by faking a movie production.  “I’ve worked on movies where I ran out of things to say at the junket in 15 seconds, so it’s incredibly satisfying to have something I enjoy continuing to talk about.”

Asked whether he thought there should be an expansion of the number of nominees in the Best Director category, to coincide with the Best Picture noms, he said, “I’ll leave those sorts of calculations to the folks in the press and the pundits and the Oscarologists or whatever it is.  I just feel incredibly honored to be here as producer of this movie, to be at the big party.  It’s tremendous.  Seven nominations, including Best Picture — I’m elated, truly genuinely thrilled.  So I don’t get into worrying too much about who was nominated for what,” added Affleck, referring to his snub in the directing category.  “I’ve had many, many, many, many, many – many — years watching from home.”

He talked glowingly of the Oscar-nominated directors, of the wave of talented movie makers in Mexico.  When a Univision reporter asked about “Argo’s” Mexican director of photography, Rodrigo Prieto, Affleck proudly told her he’d learned “nuevo palabras” from the cinematographer, including a word meaning “trusted friend” which he said Prieto called him all through the production.  The word caused snickering throughout the pressroom.  Suffice it to say, it does not mean trusted friend.

Always a festive occasion where all the nominees still feel like winners, this year’s luncheon was attended by more than 160 Oscar contenders – including youngest-ever nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), adorable in a sparkly-top purple dress and poised beyond her nine years.

Also in purple hues was beautiful Jessica Chastain, who admitted, “It’s said that most little girls dream about their wedding dresses, but I always dreamed about my Oscar dress.”

The actress, whose portrayal of a driven CIA agent in “Zero Dark Thirty” landed her a Best Actress nomination, commented on women working in traditionally male-dominated arenas.  She offered the advice of “looking at the great examples of women like Kathyrn Bigelow and like Maya, the woman I play in this film.  Instead of complaining about the numbers not matching – and of course it’s a really important issue – but I’ve found, if you do really good work, it will rise to the top.  And Kathyn Bigelow never talks about the glass ceiling for women in Hollywood, for directors. She shows up on set.  She’s an expert at her work.  At the end of the day, that’s what she’s known for. You don’t think, ‘She’s a brilliant filmmaker – and she’s a woman, can you believe it?’  I just think, ‘She’s a brilliant filmmaker.’”

Jennifer Lawrence, stunning in a white strapless dress, talked fashion, too.  “Last time was comfort, this time it’s like, ‘Suck it up. Wear a corset’  I’m going to go for fashion.  It’s a shame the Oscars come at the end, when you’re exhausted from dressing up, and I never care.”

Best Supporting Actress Nominees-photo by Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Best Supporting Actress Nominees-photo by Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Anne Hathaway, looking tres chic with her pixie haircut and teeny tiny-waisted black dress, was asked whether she’d picked out a gown for the Academy Awards.  “I have to get on that don’t I?” she replied.  “It was the Super Bowl.  I couldn’t think about dresses with all that delicious fried food around.”

Naomi Watts also looked gorgeous in black

Speaking of great-looking, Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper was asked whether “Silver Linings Playbook” was a game-changer for him.  “Well, I know that I wasn’t up here for ‘Hangover,’” he answered, to laughter.  “So maybe.”

Far from feeling worn out by the awards season whirl, Cooper said “I’m enjoying every minute of this — but it’s easy for me because I like people.  If I didn’t like people, if I had a hard time being around people, it would be difficult.”  He said that response to the touching film, in which he plays a man struggling with bipolar illness, has “gone so much farther than awards season,” with memorable events such as showing “Silver Linings Playbook” to troops in Washington, D.C.  “I’m very grateful.”

As far as his plans for the 24th, he said, “I’m sure the day of I’ll be calming my mother down.  She still doesn’t know what to wear.  So I think I’ll be a caretaker.”

 

Miley Cyrus Latest Disney Darling to Go From Virginal to Vixenish

Miley Cyrus at 2009 Teen Choice Awards

As Miley Cyrus contemplates her disappointing “Can’t Be Tamed” album sales and absorbs response to her latest stream of “Let Me Prove to You I’m a Grownup” antics – lap dancing with a director, vamping it up in tarty outfits on stage – we can’t help but compare her journey to those of so many Disney darlings before her.

What is it about crashing a sweet, virginal image to smithereens that makes it so inviting?

Of course, Britney Spears leaps to mind.  Miley has made it clear she’s a huge fan of  the 28-year-old superstar whose rollercoaster life has provided careers for tabloid writers and bloggers and paparazzi since 1999, when the former Mousketeer caused a stir with a Rolling Stone magazine cover in which she appeared lying on her bed clad in shorts, bra, and open top.  The American Family Association called for a boycott of stores selling her albums.  Shades of Miley’s Vanity Fair Lolita-esque photo brouhaha.

Christina Aguilera, Britney’s fellow former Mousketeer, traded in her girl-next-door wholesomeness for piercings, a neck tattoo, and a string of raunchy songs and videos.

Older audience members remember original Mousketeer Doreen Tracy, who posed for the men’s magazine Gallery wearing her Mousketeer ears and not much else, and who came out with a book, “Confessions of a Mouseketeer.”

Sadly, there is the train wreck that is once-promising Disney movie star Lindsay Lohan.

Somehow, “Princess Diaries” star Anne Hathaway managed to transition to adulthood in such a deft and sophisticated way, her audience accepted her doing nudity in movies and handling exceptionally gritty material – as in her Oscar-nominated turn in “Rachel Getting Married” – with little turmoil

Which is more than can be said for Hathaway’s onscreen grandma, the Queen of Genovia herself, the great Julie Andrews.  Globally adored after successes including “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music,” she was delighted when her husband, Blake Edwards, put her in his 1981 satire “S.O.B.” as a goody-goody actress who makes a musical that flops and is then re-shot as a pornographic film.

“Mary Poppins Goes Topless” screamed headlines.  It created a furor at the time, but was eventually granted grudging acceptance.  Sure, she did it – but we’d rather watch the movies that have our Julie practically perfect in every way.