Friday, February 24, 2012

by Janet Lawler
February 24, 2012
Angelina Jolie - Truly Statuesque
The Oscars are my Super Bowl Sunday.  Forget the BBQ wings... TV commercials... and beer.

It's time for Movies... Popcorn... and the Red Carpet!

Oscar Sunday is that one time of year when we all get to be part of the magic of moviemaking -- even if just sitting on the sofa and watching.  Who needs a gown to have fun this weekend??

Oscar Sunday is now an international event -- tuning in early for the pre-pre-pre-red carpet coverage (who will wear what and say what), how will the show's host do (two words this year - Billy. Crystal), the opening of the show (will it soar or bomb?), that audience filled with jittery stars, and of course, the winners making long-winded speeches.   What's not to love?

Unlike the Super Bowl, there are plenty of winners on Oscar night.  Not just one. We can root for many favorites to take home an Oscar... we can join the office Oscar pool.  (My co-worker says we can't fill out Oscar ballots until Saturday to prevent cheating.  Whut?? She thinks otherwise people will do research online before making their picks.)  So what!  It doesn't matter -- research or not -- there are always big surprises on Oscar night.  That's why we watch.

I recall so many thrilling memories of the Oscars.  In the 70s, I remember Jane Fonda winning for "Klute" ... and as she walked to the podium... what would she say??  Something political?  Anti-war?  She didn't.
A message from Marlon Brando
And when Marlon Brando won for "The Godfather" and sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to tell Hollywood to go shove it on behalf of Native Americans.  Wow.  Or when screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky chastised Vanessa Redgrave for her political speech after she won for Best Supporting Actress for "Julia".   Classic moments.

Other memorable moments... the naked dude running across stage and David Nevin noticing his "shortcomings".  In 1985, Sally Field crying to Hollywood "you like me, you really like me"!  She won her second Oscar that year for Places in the Heart.  She already had another for Norma Rae.  In the 90s, Jack Palance doing one-arm push ups on stage.  Silence of the Lambs sweeping the Awards, the film was the third film to win Oscars in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.  Jim Cameron winning for Titanic and screaming "Whooohoooo... I'm King of the World!" 

Note to Self:  Be Humble When Accepting Awards
Oscar week is a great time for movies and for moviegoers.  And now we can't escape it -- there are Oscar blogs, Oscar Apps, Oscar Trivia, an Oscar Channel on YouTube... yup, a little over kill... but who cares?  It's glittery, harmless and fun.

Who won last year anyway?
As this year's nominee Gary Oldman said about all the Oscar hype... "It's a fairy tale and I'm going to enjoy it."

That's the spirit, Gary!

And the Oscar goes to...

Your guess is as good as mine.  Make your picks early... don't listen to my co-worker.

Until next time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

by Janet Lawler
February 22, 2012

Who knew fly-fishing could be so heartwarming and fun?

Salmon Fishing in Yemen, the new movie, definitely hooked its audience last night at an advanced screening here in Manhattan.  The romantic comedy stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, with a terrific supporting role for Kristin Scott Thomas.

The story is a fish tale -- about a Middle Eastern sheik who wants to bring the sport of fly-fishing to his country.  Money is no object... and so, Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor join forces to make it happen. 

It's a romantic comedy (with a tricky title for a movie) that make both lead characters endearing to the audience as well as to each other.  Blunt brings her familiar wit and charisma from "The Devil Wears Prada" but adds a delicate touch to the dramatic scenes.  Ewan McGregor is adorable in every scene -- I can't say much more -- he's simply adorable to watch.  He makes you root for the fish too.

Kristin Scott Thomas
Kristin Scott Thomas gets plenty of laughs throughout portraying a fast-talking Brit press manager/mother-of-three.  Her line telling her son to remove his "hoodie" is golden, but I can't repeat it here.  Go see the movie for yourself.  The film is directed by Lasse Hallstrom -- well-paced, enticing, with stunning shots of Afghanistan,  The screenplay is written by Simon Beaufoy, based on the novel by Paul Torday

After the movie, I heard several people raving about it outside.  One movie-goer said to her friend "I'd  go see that again!".
Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor
I would too.  It's a good one. Go catch this movie, you won't be tempted to throw it back.

"Salmon Fishing in Yemen" opens on March 9th.  Here is the movie trailer 

Enjoy the Oscars on Sunday, February 26th on ABC

Until next time.