Tag Archives: Woody Allen

Musings on the Golden Globes

First and foremost, those of you who decided to carry the gold (or yellow) theme into your evening wear need to revisit basic black. Ditto on folks with a fondness for forest green, which only works in the forest — or on sports utility vehicles.

Another fashion faux pas — evening gowns with wide clear strips down the center of the torso. Nobody wants to see a dress that reminds them of those weird clear bandages from the local dollar store. Don’t bother being revealing when there’s little to reveal.

If you’ve got to show some skin, try rocking the backless look like Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange and Claire Danes. And call friends ahead of time to color coordinate. More elegant pairings like Tina Fey in strapless raspberry and Jane Lynch in halter-style black would be lovely.

Snaps for Fey and Lynch on another front, by the way. They managed to launch the male body part humor before Ricky Gervais could go there. The self-congratulatory high-five was well deserved, and almost as delicious as Madonna’s retort to Gervais’ vulgar virginity humor.

Steer clear of tomato red lipstick, unless you’re Angelina Jolie — who was half of last night’s classiest-looking couple. Only Jolie could rock those lips while wearing a white gown topped with a similar shade. For the rest of us, playing matchy-matchy with make-up and evening wear is a no-no.

Props to young actors and those who love them. Jodie Foster made sure her two sons got some love from the camera, and the trio of young Modern Family cast members looked amazing as they dashed to the stage together while Sarah Hyland did purple satin proud.

Hooray for films like “Hugo” and “The Adventures of Tintin.” Scorsese and Spielberg remind us all that family entertainment and filmmaking excellence needn’t be mutually exclusive. And that genuine humility leads to gracious speechmaking.

Scorsese took time to honor the fine folks of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their ongoing commitment to film restoration and preservation, and confessed that “Hugo” came to be after his wife said, “Why don’t you make a film that our daughter can see for once?” Francesca, he shared, is now 10 years old.

It appears that Harvey Weinstein, thrice dubbed something akin to “the punisher” during Sunday’s ceremony, has been promoted. Still, it’s been a while since the Old Testament made its way into a Hollywood awards show.

The cast of “Downton Abbey,” a rather drearily dressed lot in wartime mode, deserves a most tastefully-dressed cast award. Who knew any of them could get away with wearing bright colors? Their speech described the feeling of ‘spotting a promising child and waking up to discover they’ve won an Olympic medal.’

I learned some things during the ceremony that I might not have discovered otherwise — like the fact that Glenn Close wrote lyrics for “Lay Down Your Head,” a nominated song from “Albert Nobbs” that features music by Brian Byrne.

And while I embrace the message delivered by a woman from Turkey — for ‘peace at home and peace in all the world’ — I’m unclear about why she flaunted the peace sign wearing a white chiffon gown that could pass for pajamas.

When an Iranian filmmaker accepted an award for “The Separation,” he ran through a list of all the things could have said, then opted to ‘just say something about my people’– that “they are a truly peace-loving people.”

Politics always seems to find a way into these ceremonies, but this year’s remarks were mellower than most. Not so for the sexual inuendo, or blatant admissions if you consider Seth Rogen’s remarks about his own aroused anatomy when sharing the stage with a glamorous co-presenter.

“The Help” has taken plenty of heat, but award winner Octavia Spencer made her take clear, referring to Martin Luther King, Jr. as she noted that ‘all labor that uplifts humanity has importance.’ Heavy stuff for a speech that opened with “Nuts!” and shared fears of ‘falling off these high-heel shoes.” Way to rock the lavender, by the way.

A French composer for “The Artist” accepted his award using English translations kept on a piece of paper in his pocket until that marvelous microphone moment presented itself. But first he shared this — “Right now if I were to write a song it would be a tap dance.”

Madonna accepted her best original song award soon after, quipping that she couldn’t claim being French as an excuse for struggling with words. “This is a surprise” was followed by “um” times three — something grammar teachers likely overlooked once she changed “who I adore” to “whom I adore.” Can a coffee table early reader be far behind?

Married actors William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman sang a charming ditty ending with “It’s an honor to be nominated. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” during their reading of the nominees.

Dustin Hoffman, who’s tied with Meryl Streep on my personal best actors list, thanked his wife and agent for getting him the rattling off nominee names gigs. The crowd shared a collective smile as award winner Claire Danes wiped her ruby red lipstick off his cheek before thanking her parents.

“Any fulfillment I have as a person and an actor I owe to you,” said Danes. Apparently she forgot to thank them her first time around, when she was just 15 years old and starring in “My So-Called Life.” Young actors, take note.

I was charmed by those who tried to pass Meryl Streep her eyeglasses after she’d taken to the podium without them. And her remarks as well — which thanked ‘everyone in England who let me come and tromp all over their history’ and noted that ‘we made this for 25 cents in five minutes.” Streep seemed to embrace fellow nominee Viola Davis from the stage, saying “I love you Viola, you’re my girl.”

A couple of gowns had me suspecting the women who donned them shop in Sedona. It’s really the only place one ought to be spotted wearing a purple muslin-esque gown with chunky two-tiered turquoise-colored earrings, or sporting a blue and white tie-dye number. Okay, maybe Malibu too. I’m told the latter gown was chosen by a toddler.

Parenting issues always find their way into acceptance speeches. One winner noted his mother’s insistence that another person would win, thanking mothers everywhere for helping us to be humble.

I loved watching Steven Spielberg offer a simple “Thank you to Kate, I love you” before blowing his bride a kiss. Another winner’s ode to his Kate carried more baggage. And while Snowy stayed home, Uggie was in the house.

I adored watching “The Artist” winner who’s clearly honored to be following in the film footsteps of his father, who passed away nearly two years ago. And seeing Michelle Williams talk about ‘all the bedtime stories that were read for six months in a Marilyn Monroe voice.’

Nicole Kidman gave no-show and award winner Woody Allen a bit of glammed up grief for not making it to the ceremony. Her waist was a no show as well, and I readily admit to having a serious case of hourglass figure envy.

It appears Gervais has a bad bit of talent, charm and good looks envy in the Colin Firth department, which he translated into tacky tales of punching little kittens. Also issues with Johnny Depp, the first dashing presenter, accused by Gervais of ‘wearing whatever Tim Burton tells him to.’

This year’s Golden Globes ceremony was a mostly-classy affair, with largely predictable results and a few real shockers. Now those of us who relish such things can turn our attention to the Academy Awards and Tony Awards. But please, no more jokes about golfing with body parts.

– Lynn

Note: The Academy Awards will be telecast on Feb. 26 and the Tony Awards will be telecast in June. Click here for more information on the Golden Globes.

Coming up: “Godspell” tales

This post has been updated with corrections that reflect that delicate balance of trying to publish on a topic while people still care. 1/16/12

Happy birthday Paris!

An engaged but mismatched couple (played by Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson) stroll a street in Paris soon after arriving there with her parents

Paris celebrated its 2,000th birthday on July 8, 1951 — making Friday birthday number 2,060 for the city Woody Allen first fell in love with during filming of “What’s New Pusssycat?” Allen was screenwriter and actor for the 1965 film.

He’s written and directed a new film titled “Midnight in Paris,” an opening night selection for this year’s Cannes Film Festival that was released May 20 in L.A. and New York. It’s playing now in movie theaters throughout the Valley.

Owen Wilson is one of many stellar actors in the latest film written and directed by Woody Allen

I saw the film this week at Harkins Camelview 5 Theatre in Scottsdale. I’ve never been a Woody Allen fan, but wanted to see the film described as his “valentine to the City of Light.” Seems Allen considers Paris “equal to New York as the great city of the world.”

On that we agree. I traveled many times to Paris as a college senior studying in Germany, and loved every minute spent at eclectic sidewalk cafes and majestic art museums.

I’m eager to read David McCullough’s latest work, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.” Author Stacy Schiff, who reviewed the work for The New York Times, says it “explores the intellectual legacy that France settled on its 19th-century visitors” — long before the era when “freedom fries” replaced French fries on some American menus.

Reading Madeline books in a fun way to enjoy imaginary trips to Paris with your children

My children were first introduced to Paris via the books of Ludwig Bemelmans, author and illustrator of several “Madeline” titles, which follow the adventures of 12 French school girls. Bemelmans was born in 1898 in the Austrian Triol, but came to America in 1914. He lived in New York until his death in 1963. The “Madeline” movie released in 1998 could have been titled “Mischief in Paris.”

“Midnight in Paris” stars Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni (first lady of France), Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen  and Owen Wilson.

It’s a romantic comedy tackling “the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better.”

As a Denver native and Arizona transplant who sometimes longs to live in New York or San Francisco, I need reminding more than most that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There’s just more of it.

The film opens as a young couple arrives in Paris. The woman has marriage and moving to Malibu on her mind. The man, a successful Hollywood screenwriter, is working on a novel and dreams of living in Paris — where he loves to walk in the rain.

Midnight in Paris considers whether the grass really is greener on the other side

For several nights, the writer strolls alone to a special spot where he’s transported at the stroke of midnight to 1920s Paris, encountering all sorts of writers and artists, including Gertrude Stein, Salvador Dali, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

Period music, much of it by Cole Porter, plays throughout most of the film — which also features plenty of famous sites, from the Eiffel Tower to Moulin Rouge. It’s a movie best appreciated by those who love the literary — though artists, history buffs and philosophical souls will also “get it” more than most.

Now I have a real dilemma on my hands. New York or Paris?

– Lynn

Coming up: Tips for introducing children to opera, Valley arts organizations find new homes, Musings on “The Tree of Life,” Ode to hairspray

Update: Click here to learn about the PBS American Masters presentation of “Woody Allen: A Documentary” written and directed by Robert Weide. 11/21/11