Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-1-58-32-pmlam-roastSad news today from Hollywood that Naomi and hubby Liev Schreiber are splitting up after 11 years together.

We had hoped they might be one tinseltown relationship to actually make it, as they obviously have a lot of time for each other and both seem extremely nice people.

Anyhow, we wish their family well as they tackle the situation as well as the inevitable Hollywood insider interest.

It just reminded us that Naomi first came to the world’s attention in this iconic Aussie TV commercial.

Her nascent talent shines out in the thirty second spot as do her natural, fresh-faced good looks. And her Aussie accent, which has now pretty much vanished.

One of the best, for 70 years plus ...

One of the best


We are sad to see that Mickey Rooney died on Sunday, but he had a good innings when all’s said and done and has left us with a huge basket of great memories.

Let it be noted that he made over 200 films in total, which is remarkable. He enjoyed one of the longest careers of any actor, spanning 92 years actively making films in ten decades, from the 1920s to the 2010s, and was one of the few surviving actors from the era of silent films.

For current generations, Rooney will stay rooted in collective memory as a cheerful, avuncular old man playing roles in which he invariably saves some kid from loneliness, a life of crime, an empty Christmas or somesuch. In later years he developed quite a career as a character actor, and one that persisted almost till his death.

Not that his life didn’t have some ups and downs. Famously, he was married 9 times. The 1950s and 60s were a fallow period, although he worked regularly. On December 31, 1961, he appeared on television’s What’s My Line and mentioned that he had already started enrolling students in the MRSE (Mickey Rooney School of Entertainment). His school venture never came to fruition. This was a period of professional distress for Rooney. In 1962, his debts had forced him into filing for bankruptcy.

Then in 1966, while Rooney was working on the film Ambush Bay in the Philippines, his wife Barbara Ann Thomason (aka Tara Thomas, Carolyn Mitchell), a former pinup model and aspiring actress who had won 17 straight beauty contests in Southern California, was found dead in their bed. Beside her was her lover, Milos Milos, an actor friend of Rooney’s. Detectives ruled it murder-suicide, which was committed with Rooney’s own gun.

He never lost his essential optimism though. In 1983 he was voted an Honorary Oscar for his lifetime of achievement. His goodnaturedness endeared him to people the world over: he was mentioned in the 1972 song “Celluloid Heroes” by The Kinks: “If you stomped on Mickey Rooney/ He’d still turn ’round and smile…”

For all the variety of his life and work, it would be a shame if we forget the Rooney that first became famous as an irrepressible, laughing, cheeky jackanapes in loads of films with other cheeky chappies of his era, and especially with his oft-time-collaborator Judy Garland, with whom he formed a great friendship and working relationship: they were one of the top song and dance duos of their time.

Rooney had it all. He could sing – “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” anyone? – he could dance, he could act: his performances lit up the screen with humour and goodwill. He was thoughtful man, too, a commentator on religious and other matters in later life, and a regular hoot on a bunch of chat shows.

What people might forget, though, was his superb musical skills.

Man, that kid could play the drums.

Safe trip, Mickey. Heaven won’t know what hit it.

Here’s a good list of all the winners at the Golden Globes with pictures. I can’t wait to see Lincoln when it comes out – always loved Daniel Day Lewis’ work, not to mention Game Change about the truly appalling former Governor of Alaska. Down here in the backwaters of the known universe we need to wait awhile for such joys, but they will be here soon enough.

Jodie Foster accepts her lifetime achievement award

Jodie Foster accepts her lifetime achievement award

Jodie Foster was up for a lifetime achievement award, which seems a bit early given that she is only 50. Mind you, she started so young that it seems like she’s been around forever. I always loved Peter O’Toole’s response when turning down such an honour from the Academy Awards – “Tell them I am not dead yet.” Still, Jodie obviously felt it was valuable, so good on her.

I would just like to say that her speech, which I have seen called “rambling”  and “bizarre”, (which means, of course, it simply went over the heads of the entertainment hacks writing their reports), was, in this writer’s humble opinion, the most elegant and beautifully turned speech I have ever heard at an awards ceremony.

She completely stole the show, which is saying something, because it was a good show. In particular, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were inspired hosts, and to Poehler goes the award for by far the funniest line of the night – back announcing William Jefferson Clinton she asked the hagiographically excited audience, wide eyed, if they realised “that was Hilary Clinton’s husband?” Bang. That is comedic satire approaching genius.

Anyhow, Jodie Foster made a clever, witty and impassioned speech in praise of her industry, her friends (to whom she seems much more wedded and loyal than most “stars”) and to her own right to privacy, which I applaud.

Whether or not Ms Foster is a lesbian, a bisexual or straight is no-one’s business but hers unless she chooses to make it so. Her skewering of the obsessive cult of personality that has surrounded her for nearly all her life was apposite, and yet warm-hearted, witty and intelligent. Little wonder her directorial efforts have often garnered as much praise as her acting.

She seemed to float the idea that she was retiring from acting, although she later apparently denied it. I trust not. She is as compellingly watchable being funny as she is being angry or scared, as her performances always combine a certain awe-inspiring intensity of focus with a solid dash of humanity and humility.

Oh, and an honourable mention to Will Ferrell, too. He really is such a funny, funny guy.

What was your favourite moment from the evening?

David and Victoria Beckham

David and Victoria Beckham doing it tough

Apparently, the Beckhams are only the world’s fourth highest earning celebrity couple, trailing in miserably far behind Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady (her supermodel, him American footballer for the New England Patriots). Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z trolled in second, (someone will tell me who he is, I suppose), with Brad and Angelina a mere third on the Forbes list. Rounding out the top five were Kristen “Why does everyone think I’m miserable?” Stewart – perhaps you’ve complained about the intrusion of fame just once too often to be credible, dearie? – and the adorably shy and tongue-tied Robert Pattinson, who both apparently scooped up about $20 mill each from staring breathlessly at each other.

I happen to think David Beckham seems to be a rather nice bloke, and Victoria seems a level-headed enough sort, but I can’t help but vomit a little into my mouth when I see these lists and what such people earn. I don’t resent their money, I just resent that people like psychiatric nurses, country postmen and paramedics don’t earn as much.

As a society, our value systems are shot, and that’s why objectionable little scrotums like the UK’s recent rioters think it’s OK to rip off fellow battlers when they get a chance. “It’s only fair, innit?” So there.

Meanwhile, a “rioter” in the UK has been sentenced to six months in jail for stealing two bottles of water from a shop which someone else had previously broken into.

This entirely proportionate and reasonable response will, of course, do everything to make these nasty little bastards respect the state and what it stands for even more.

Luckily, while him and his mates are inside (when they could, one supposes, be outside cleaning up the mess they’ve made) they will, at least, learn a trade.

Armed robbery, probably.