Tagged: Brad Pitt

Oscars And Laundry = Glamour And Drudgery

Michael and I used to go to a friend’s annual Oscar party when we lived in LA. But now that we’re in Santa Barbara, here’s how we’re spending the evening: I’m doing laundry and Michael is reorganizing his office. We’re one fun couple, aren’t we? A regular Brad and Angelina.


Oops. The show is starting.
No. It’s only the “red carpet” show where the stars are being asked truly idiotic questions about what they’re wearing.
O.K. Here’s the real show. Host Hugh Jackman makes a steroids joke about Meryl Streep and all the awards she’s won. I wonder if A-Rod’s watching.
Best Supporting Actress. Love that they’re actually describing the performances of each nominee. Well done. Penelope Cruz? I wasn’t expecting her to win; I thought Marisa Tomei would get it. Even Penelope seems shocked.
Best Original Screenplay. Really love the bit with Steve Martin and Tina Fey. So far this show is great. Milk wins. Very impassioned speech.
Best Adapted Screenplay. Slumdog Millionaire. The writer actually thanks the author of the book. What a concept.
Best Animated Film. Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black present the nominees, while the camera finds Angelina Jolie laughing nervously. Is Angie feeling guilty for stealing Brad from Jen? Winner: Wall-E.
(Laundry break during Art Direction, Costume Design and Makeup. Am I the only one who thinks Sarah Jessica Parker looks better as a blonde?)
Best Cinematographer. Ben Stiller comes out doing a Joaquin Phoenix imitation. What a riot. Natalie Portman‘s dress is a winner. So is the cinematographer of Slumdog, who apparently couldn’t find a jacket that fit.
Sci-Tech Awards. I’m tuning this out except that Jessica Biel is at the microphone and I’m wondering if she was the one who broke up with Derek Jeter or vice versa.
Hilarious bit with Seth Rogen and James Franco as stoners watching DVDs. Best line: “Who’s a better actor? Reagan or Obama?”
Long musical number with Beyonce. I feel like I’m watching the Tony’s. Yawn.
Best Supporting Actor. I really do like how they’re stopping to acknowledge each nominee. Heath Ledger wins. His father, mother and sister accept the award. There are close-ups of teary, wistful audience members, but not the long standing ovation I anticipated. Weird.
(Another laundry run during the Documentary category. Then dinner during Visual EffectsSound Effects, Sound Mixing and Film Editing. This is when I wish we had people over. I could be busily serving hors d’oeuvres or pouring wine. Instead, the only wine I’m pouring is my own.)
Eddie Murphy is all business as he introduces the special humanitarian award to Jerry Lewis. Big standing O. I’m expecting an over-the-top acceptance speech – a little Cinderfella maybe? – but Jerry is short and sweet.
Great pink/purple dress on Alicia Keys as she and Zac Effron present the Best Original Score award to the Slumdog composer, whose name I can’t spell. 
Now come the Best Original Song nominees. This is the category Peter Gabriel boycotted; he was offended that he was only getting 65 seconds to perform his song from Wall-E. I’m offended he was offended. Who does he think he is? Beyonce? The winner: Slumdog. Yay.
Queen Latifah has the task of singing during the Dead People Montage. I ask Michael to pass the tissues when they show clips of Paul Newman. Sob.
Reese Witherspoon (I’m staring at her really hard, sending her vibes so she’ll play me in the still-in-my-fantasy movie version of “She-Fan”) presents the Best Director Oscar to Danny Boyle for Slumdog.
Is it possible this show will be done before midnight/9 p.m.? And where’s Jack Nicholson? He usually sits in the front row in his shades and smirks a lot.
Best Actress. Standing ovation for Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Marion Cotillard. Winner: Kate Winslet. No surprise, but it was cool how the past winners congratulated her.
Best Actor. Big hand for Michael Douglas, Adrien Brody, Robert DeNiro, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins. Winner: Sean Penn. Wow! Stunned that Mickey didn’t get it, but happy. Sean was great in the movie.
Last award. Steven Spielberg is on stage for Best Picture. Love the montage mixing old and new movies, Winner: Slumdog. Talk about a rags to riches story. It’s the equivalent of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Well, I had to end with a baseball analogy. Back to the Yankees tomorrow.

Movie Breaks

No, I haven’t gone all TMZ on you. I’m aware that the winter meetings are kicking off in Vegas. But since I have absolutely no control over what happens there, I might as well take a break for some movies.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival starts at the end of next month and it’s a big deal here in town – sort of a mini-Sundance. It lasts for two weeks and everybody sees tons of movies and hears actors talk about their work. Last year, for example, we had Angelina Jolie (accompanied by Brad) discussing “A Mighty Heart.” We also had Javier Bardem, who cracked jokes about making “No Country for Old Men” with the Coen brothers.
Grrrr. Such a sexy beast.
The year before, we had Helen Mirren, who ended up winning the best actress Oscar for “The Queen.”
Veddy veddy proper lady – until she admitted that she quite enjoys playing nude scenes.
And Will Smith and his wife Jada were on hand so he could tell us about “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
Don’t they look like a loving couple? Either that or they’re….acting.
This year, we’re getting Penelope Cruz and Clint Eastwood, among many others, and I’ll be sitting in the front row for every event.
O.K. I’m lying about the front row. I’ll be lucky if I can see anything from way up in the balcony, but it’ll be fun just the same.
In advance of the Festival, the studios send prints of their films that are in contention for awards and we get to screen them.
Recent screenings have included “Doubt,” “Milk,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Before that, I saw “Body of Lies,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Changeling,” “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” and the French film “I’ve Loved You So Long.” My favorites of those? “Frost/Nixon” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona.”
This weekend, I saw two more films. The first was “The Reader” starring Kate Winslet.
Interesting shoes if you like dog collars.
It opens January 9th and co-stars Ralph Fiennes. Set in post WW II Germany, it’s based on the bestselling novel and Oprah pick. Here’s the setup: Ten years after his affair with a mysterious older woman, a law student discovers she’s a defendant in a war crimes trial. It’s not a Holocaust story; it’s more about the generation of Germans dealing with its aftermath. Very compelling. I bet Kate gets an Oscar nom.
The other movie was “Frozen River” starring Melissa Leo. Remember her as Detective Kay Howard on “Homicide?”
It’s an indie flick that was shot in, like, 20 days for hardly any money, and it takes place in a border town on the Mohawk reservation, somewhere between New York State and Quebec. Melissa’s character is drawn into the smuggling of illegal aliens in order to feed her kids. It’s winning all kinds of pre-Oscar awards. It certainly opened my eyes to the problems of Native Americans.
Here are the trailers for both films in case anyone else needs a break from speculating about which free agent will land where. (Come on, Cee Cee. Sign already.)

So What If A-Rod Wants to Play for the Dominican Team?

In case anyone missed it, David Ortiz, who has been described as a “close friend” of the Yankees third baseman, said A-Rod will play for the Dominican team in the 2009 WBC, not the American team. This news indicates a change of heart for A-Rod, who, after much soul-searching, decided to play for the American team last time around.
So is Alex Rodriguez American, Dominican or bi? And should we care? Is it any of our business?

In his column on Yahoo Sports, Jeff Passan makes a federal case out of the subject, announcing that A-Rod is having an identity crisis and should be institutionalized. (O.K. I’m exaggerating about the padded cell part, but only slightly.) Well, excuse me, Jeff, but why can’t a player have an allegiance to both the country of his birth as well as the country of his heritage? While it’s true that he grew up mostly in the U.S., his parents, Lourdes and Victor, are from the Dominican. What’s wrong with honoring their culture, their customs, their affinity for spicy, heartburn-inducing foods? 
I say you can’t know what somebody else is going through unless you walk in their shoes.
If I were playing in the WBC, which team would I play for?
I was born and raised in America, so that would be the easy choice.

But my ancestors came from Germany. I don’t speak German. I don’t hang out with Germans. I’m afraid of German shepherds. But I do have a fondness for sauerkraut, Wiener schnitzel and apple strudel.
I also drive a fast German car, use dishwasher-safe German dishes and keep my house so neat and orderly and Germanic you wouldn’t know anyone lived there. Plus, I do a very entertaining imitation of Colonel Klink from “Hogan’s Heroes.”
Perhaps I am bi, just like A-Rod, and maybe I should play for the German team in the WBC (if there were a German team).
I’m just pointing out that these are not simple matters, so lay off A-Rod, Jeff Passan.
Speaking of not simple matters, I went to a screening of the new Brad Pitt movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” It opens December 25th and also stars Cate Blanchett. It’s nearly three hours of BOREDOM. It’ll probably get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but it was what I call a 12-watch looker (I looked at my watch 12 times). See at your own risk.

Taking the Yankees to the Movies

Since there was no game tonight, I decided
not to sit around watching the Red Sox beat up on Toronto. So
I went to see the new Coen brothers movie, “Burn After
Reading.” I thought it was boring – with the exception of
Brad Pitt, who’s hilarious as a dimwitted gym rat. At some
point I zoned out and spontaneously started casting different
Yankees in the parts of the actors. ***Spoiler Alert!*** I
picked Johnny Damon for the Brad Pitt role (well, Johnny’s
kind of goofy). A-Rod got George Clooney’s part as the guy
who cheats on both his wife and his girlfriends (enough
said). Andy Pettitte stepped in as the wholesome,
good-natured manager of the gym. Mussina landed John
Malkovich’s part as the intense CIA agent who’s writing his
memoirs. And Joe Girardi was an easy choice for the CIA boss
who just wants to bury the dead bodies and pretend
everything’s fine. As the credits rolled and it was time to
leave the theater, I had to laugh at my pathetic self. I
mean, it was just one rained out game and yet there I was,
going through withdrawal. I guess I missed Yankees baseball
so much I had to drag the players to the movies with me. I
REALLY need to prepare myself for the end of the season – and