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In Uncategorized on January 28, 2010 at 6:49 am

When done right, which is all too rarely, Stephen Sondheim’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC can be an ecstatic evening in theatre, a fit reminder of how entrancingly clever he can be, as well as melodic, swooningly romantic and heartwarming: three qualities lately rather missing from his work. I will never forget seeing the original 1974 road show production in Los Angeles, with the late Jean Simmons perfectly cast (bother her lack of voice) as a completely captivating Desiree Armfeldt, that perilously aging, romantically needy diva, and Margaret Hamilton, of all people, playing her redoubtable mother, Madame Armfeldt. (It took a real leap of faith to believe that she was ever a devastatingly irresistible courtesan.) When the entire cast strutted their stuff to Patricia Birch’s kaleidoscopic choreography in the Act One curtain number, A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY, with everything building and building into that proverbial, all-too-elusive “wow” finish, musical comedy orgasm was truly achieved.

The 2003 New York City Opera production was probably the best-acted of all, and again hang the lack of voices, with Jeremy Irons heartbreaking as Desiree’s beloved, lawyer Frederick Egerman, Juliet Stevenson superbly authoritative as Desiree, Claire Bloom as her mother and the very musical Marc Kudisch making a comic banquet of Desiree’s obnoxious, macho dragoon lover, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. The achingly yearning way in which Irons delivered his little monologue about his confoundedly unlikely but nevertheless ardent love of his idiotic young wife, Anne, despite the formidable appeal of his former lover, Desiree, was a magical lead-in to her singing “Send in the Clowns.”

The current London-imported revival at the Walter Kerr Theater is a decidedly mixed bag that largely suffers from Trevor Nunn’s suprisingly coarse direction of something that should be souffle-light and as sparkling as a chandelier. The minimal, molding mirror set design itself, although depriving us of a lusciously opulent fin-de-siecle elegance, is not that bad and serviceable in the extreme, but the lack of onstage furniture felt indeed frugal (with a $125 top ticket price, no less), especially as it turned Madame Armfeldt’s sumptuous banquet into a ridiculous indoor picnic with actors sitting on the goddamned floor. Ditto the cheapness of the eight (or is it nine?) piece orchestra which made the lilting waltz melodies and ensemble numbers sound very ocarina-taproom. There was a lot of heavy vulgarity, notably in the performance of Leigh Ann Larkin (so strikingly strong as June in the Patti LuPone GYPSY) as the maid, Petra, who seemed to confuse the role with Lois Lane in KISS ME KATE (and was that an all-service Irish brogue she kept slipping into in this so-called Swedish locale?). She sang the hell out of “The Miller’s Son,” but the hard-core, bump-and-grind sell really belonged in another show, maybe SHOWGIRLS.

Larkin, at least, sang in tune, which could not be said for more than a few members of the cast, particularly certain members of the so-called “lieder” quintet, who, together, often sounded like back fence cat yowling. An exception here was the always reliable and handsome Stephen R. Buntrock (an absolutely magnificent Curley in the last Broadway revival of OKLAHOMA, far superior to Patrick Wilson, who he replaced). Hunter Ryan Herdlicka’s falsetto-tinged croon was the wrong sound for Frederick’s repressed, embattled son, Henrick (you want a deliciously neurotic head voice for this desperate male virgin’s anguished high notes), while Ramona Mallory was a monotonously grating, shrieking irritant as Anne, making it impossible to see what, if anything, Frederick saw in her.

Talented Stephen R. Buntrock, seen here in OKLAHOMA, would also make a terrific Frederick or Carl-Magnus here

Also charm-challenged was Aaron Lazar as Carl-Magnus, a noxiously one-note cock o’the walk, and Erin Davie as Charlotte, his long-suffering wife, was okay, but possessed nothing of the ingratiating elan of wonderful Andra Akers in the Los Angeles production, who nearly stole the show, making the utmost of its Eve Arden possibilities. Katherine Leigh Doherty (oh! these tiresomely double-named actors these days!) was an unappealing, conventional, paging Dakota Fanning/Abigail Breslin young Fredrika, lacking in the requisite prettiness which would make her a believable daughter to this production’s Desiree, and I will never forgive her (or make that Trevor Nunn’s direction) for standing upstage during Angela Lansbury’s death scene, completely blocking the view of the entire orchestra left side of the house.

They’re carrying on about Lansbury like she’s the second theatrical coming of Christ, herself, and, although her feisty energy is always welcome here as Madame Armfeldt, and it’s good to see her in a more glamorous role than that matronly tennis enthusiast she played in the dull DEUCE or the wacky medium in BLITHE SPIRIT (which was basically a retread of her DEATH ON THE NILE performance), I do find her struggle with line memorization distracting, and sadly feel she should have done this role ten years ago and would have totally killed in it.

The best performance in the show is Alexander Hanson as Frederick, who originated it in this particular London production and has all the voice which Irons lacked, as well as the easy charisma and skillfully rueful acting chops the part calls for. With him in the role, it’s easy indeed to believe that even such a worldly dame like Desiree never quite got over him, and it’s a joy and privilege to heartily welcome him to New York.

As good as Hanson is, however, he is, somehow, not the major reason to see the show. I’m a great believer in natural visual beauty being a total salubrious, life-extending balm to the soul, be it the Rocky Mountains, or, as here, Catherine Zeta Jones. Her husky voice, while perfectly adequate for this work, is nothing extraordinary, and her acting could not really be described as inspired – although I’d love to see her in the hands of a really committed director who might have, for example, instructed her to display more of a reaction to Frederick’s in-song revelation of his young bride’s withholding virginity, all the better to launch into her own vituperative lyrical response. Also, I thought it was unnecessary that she wiped a “tear” away during a crucial moment of her most important song.

However, when confronted with that sinuously elegant body, swan neck, creamy complexion, those light-catching iridescent eyes, Fragonard nose and, above all, that intriguingly curved mouth which defines “bewitching,” who the hell cares about anything else? Beauty this staggering is something beyond art and, sitting in my fourth row orchestra seat, those few times when her questing theatrical gaze seemed to meet mine (and, was it my fantasy, perhaps shared by others, that she sang the end of “Send in the Clowns” looking directly at me?) chills were to be had. Once upon a time, people stood on chairs or thronged the streets to catch glimpses of fabled goddesses like Lily Langtry, Lillian Russell, La Belle Otero, Liane De Pougy and Hedy Lamarr. You are hereby instructed to plunk down whatever coin it takes for the best seat in the house merely to bask in this sumptuous human spectacle.


As stated, Zeta Jones is among that rarest rank of women whose looks are simply beyond, the pure stuff of legend, able to enslave kings (and movie superstars) and sometimes start wars, stemming from Helen of Troy, herself.

Nell Gwynn, painted by Peter Lely, who rose from orange seller in the streets to prominent actress to mistress of Britain’s King Charles II. Called “pretty, witty Nell” by Samuel Pepys, she was the living symbol of Restoration England.

Jeanne, Comtesse du Barry (painted by Elsabeth Vigee-Lebrun), mistress of Louis XV, her expenditures helped bring about the French Revolution and she was dragged, shrieking the place down, to the guillotine, an undignified but wholly understandable way to go.

Emma, Lady Hamilton, immortal beloved of Lord Nelson, painted by George Romney

La comtesse de Castiglione (nee Virginie Élisabeth Louise Charlotte Antoinette Thérèse Marie Oldoïni), the first photographic supermodel of the 1800s, who, with her endless blonde hair and eyes which changed from green to violet, who captivated Emperor Louis Napoleon of France, and ended her days a recluse on the Place Vendome, with the shades drawn, the rooms draped in black and mirrors banished so there’d be no reminders of her faded beauty.

La Castiglione by Pierre-Louis Pierson, her photographer of choice

Lola Montez, nee Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, the Irish beauty who became a “Spanish” dancer and ultimately the mistress of Franz Liszt, Alexandre Dumas and King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her the Countess of Landsfeld. When he abdicated amid revolutionary rumbles, she fled the country, ending up in Australia where she entertained gold miners. She scandalized the country with her so-called underwear-less dances and fell on even harder times, ending up destitute in New York. She died before she was 40 and is buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Lillie Langtry, British actress known as the “Jersey Lily” who counted Edward VII, future King of England among her lovers

Lillian Russell, American actress and sufragette, goddess of the Gay ’90s, whose name is inextricably and lavishly linked with that of her boyfriend Diamond JIm Brady. Actress Marie Dressler: “I can still recall the rush of pure awe that marked her entrance on the stage. And then the thunderous applause that swept from orchestra to gallery, to the very roof.” Her voice was chosen by Alexander Graham Bell to first introduce long distance telephone service on May 8, 1890, singing the Sabre Song from New York to audiences in Boston and Washington, D.C..

La Belle Otero, Spanish dancer and courtesan, the most desired woman in Europe, who had countless lovers, including Prince Albert I of Monaco, King Edward VII, Kings of Serbia, Kings of Spain, Russian Grand Dukes Peter and Nicholas, the Duke of Westminster and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio. Six men were rumored to have committed suicide over her. Her breasts were legendary; the twin cupolas of the Hotel Carlton in Cannes were modeled after them.

Liane de Pougy (photographed by Nadar), Folies Bergere dancer and courtesan rival to La Belle Otero. Lover of cocaine and heroin, she trained as an actress with Sarah Bernhardt (“keep your pretty mouth shut”) and was lesbian lovers with writer Natalie Barney, who wrote “Idylle Sapphique” about her. She married Prince Georges Ghika in 1920, and, after the death of her son in WWI, became a nun, Sister Anne-Mary, devoted to the care of children with birth defects, as well as a writer.

Liane, drawn by Paul Helleu

Cabaret entertainer/Folies Bergere star Emilienne D’Alencon, who, along with Otero and de Pougy, made up the “Three Graces of Paris” (think Naomi, Christy and Linda of their day), rival courtesans for the best men and jewels in Europe. An early friend and supporter of Coco Chanel, she counted among her lovers King Leopold II of Belgium and the ladies La Goulue and poetess Rene Vivian.

Lina Cavalieri (painted by Boldini) the most beautiful opera singer in history, epitome of the hour-glass figure, early silent film star. She married tenor Lucien Muratore, as well as Robert Winthrop Chanler, of the Astor family, and wrote a book MY SECRETS OF BEAUTY. She died in Italy during WWII, when a bomb fell on her when she ran back to her house to retrieve her legendary jewels.

Dancer/actress Gaby Deslys claimed to be French, but in reality was a Czech peasant girl, Hadiwga Nawrati. King Manuel II of Portugal was mad for her, giving her a $70,000 pearl necklace – pearls were her passion – which hastened the Portuguese Revolution of 1910. She started a 1911 riot at Yale while performing at the Hyperion Theater, following a Yale-Princeton football game, inflaming students, with her inflated ticket prices, who tore the theater apart. She died at 38, from a throat infection brought on by influenza, after two operations in which the doctors were severely inhibited by her strictl instructionsd not to scar her neck. She left her half million dollar fortune to the poor of Marseilles. Her famous gilded swan bed was used in Gloria Swanson’s bedroom set in SUNSET BOULEVARD. MGM bought her life story rights for a film with Judy Garland that was never made.


Cleo de Merode, yet another Folies Bergiere dancer and the very last of the great courtesans, any of whom could have inspired Sondheim’s song, LIAISONS, who also carried on with King Leopold of Belgium. She set coiffure styles with her trademark luxuriantly long locks, danced until she was in her fifties and was very popular in her homeland of Austria, where she befriended the artist Gustav Klimt. She retired to Biarritz and wrote her memoirs, LE BALLET DE MA VIE in 1955, died in 1966 at age 91 and is entombed at Pere Lachaise cemetery in paris.


Lady Diana Cooper, photographed by Man Ray in her role in Max Rheinhardt’s fabled stage spectacle. This British aristocrat married Duff Cooper, through him, and became the redoubtable British ambassadress to France. Nancy Mitford satirized her in her book, DON’T TELL ALFRED.

Diana, drawn by John Singer Sargent

With film coming into prominence in the twentieth century, certain very special movie stars became the new fetishized stuff of worldwide adulation.

Greta Garbo

In the film ROMANCE, Garbo played Rita Cavallini, a character author Edward Sheldon based on Lina Cavalieri

Marlene Dietrich (Cecil Beaton)

Louise Brooks

Merle Oberon, in the role of Anne Boleyn, another world-changing beauty. Oberon concealed her half-Indian heritage to have an international career, made her own mother impersonate her maid, married Sir Alexander Korda (among others) and ended up immensely rich in Mexico, a symbol of eternal tanned beauty. A regular Oscar presenter, as she left the stage one night, Bob Hope looked after and remarked, “Now THAT’S what I call Acapulco Gold!”

Hedy Lamarr

Vivien Leigh

as Emma Hamilton, after the George Romney portrait

Rita Hayworth, who, by marrying Aly Khan, became Hollywood’s first real Princess

Gene Tierney, who fascinated Prince Aly Khan, John F. Kennedy and Howard Hughes

Ava Gardner: Sinatra sang “One for My Baby” about her. ‘Nuff said!

Elizabeth Taylor, who, of course, played Cleopatra, the original Power Beauty

Two swans: Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly

COPYRIGHT: davidnoh2009


In Uncategorized on January 18, 2010 at 12:13 am

Drew Barrymore, Style Winner in Atelier Versace (Getty Images)

ON THE (WET) RED CARPET WITH THE E CHANNEL… live commentary done with (mostly) love, please remember. These are those random thoughts which all of us have of some kind or another, watching these opulentky self-congratulatory orgies.

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Did Giuliana Rancic, in a divine Pamela Roland silver frock, one of the best of the night, actually ask GLEE hunk Cory Monteith, ‘If I was a girl and came to visit your mancave what would I find?’ And did she call him KEITH?

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I loved out lesbian Jane Lynch, nominated for GLEE, saying ‘My girlfriend’s with me and we got our makeup done together.’ And there was Ryan Seacrest snarkily showing a clip of her at the ROLE MODEL premiere getting shit on her forehead from a bird and her saying “The cameraman promised me he would never use that – where is that fucker?” This should completely endear her deservedly once and for all in America’s heart, even with Ryan saying “I could watch that clip over and over again” (I happen to love that one on AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS with the little girl
in a momentary state of shock when her pet parrot craps on her and then, realizing what it is, she starts bawling her head off. What IS it about bird doodoo? Especially when people say, “It’s good luck!” and who the fuck thought THAT one up?).

Ricky Gervais telling looks-obsessed Ryan that he eats nothing and runs to maintain weight reminded me of the time I saw him on a Saturday afternoon jogging on Madison Ave., looking absolutely miserable.

Okay, Mr Jay Manuel, Fashion Police capo: you need to look in the mirror and remove something: that silver hair is a loud accessory alone, plus the print bowtie, the corsage and big bling on two fingers??

Questionable Compliment of the Night: the ineffable Ryan saying to Mickey Rourke of his (naturally nameless)* date: “This young lady makes you look twenty years younger.” She’s obviously Russian, and Mickey, good luck with that! And in the TMI dept.: Rourke’s saying how relaxed he is at the Globes this year not being nominated “with your underwear crawling up your ass.” And can I get a chemical count in his face?

*actually, her name is “Anastasia”…of course it is

Elisabeth Moss working a just rolled outta bed look with bangs and nightgown

Ginnifer Goodwin said she was wearing Vionnet. Who’s Vionnet, exactly, I wanna know? [The original designer of that name shuttered her doors before WWII and there have been attempts to revive the label with nothing like Miss Madeleine’s genius.)

(AP/Chris Pizzello)

Why does Rourke’s nameless beloved get to share the red carpet interview with him, while out actor Neil Patrick Harris’ boyfriend, David Burtka, (seen above with him) a wonderful NY actor who showed the full monty in Edward Albee’s PLAY ABOUT THE BABY and was fantastic in GYPSY, who was formerly with Guillermo Diaz (magnificent in STONEWALL) remains off-camera?

Christina Hendricks in decidedly UN-fierce Chrisitan Siriano: An inflatable Macy’s float in peach (Timothy A.Clary/Getty)

La Siriano prides himself on his supposedly “original” usage of that “fierce” phrase…please, child, we were saying it at the Paradise Garage when you were a distant twinkle in yo mama’s eye and Project Runway a blip to the future!

Emily Blunt , below, in a gorgeous Dolce Gabbana dress and silver Ferragamo clutch, but bed hair, telling Ryan she doesn’t know when she’s getting married to John Krasinski

And then Ryan saying “I don’t know when I will be married.” When they legalize it for gays?

Blunt said of her YOUNG VICTORIA that the most challenging aspect of it was not the lousy, namby-pamby script “but I wanted to make it contemporary, didn’t want to make it too odd with the costumes, a real portrait of a girl rather than a queen.” But that was just the problem with this lavishly empty, very disappointing pageant. After her appealing negative strength in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA especially, and with her rivetingly strange, sloe-eyed beauty, Blunt could have created a fascinating biographical portrait, but this film reduced her to a conventional mere maidenly victim of history. Victoria and her beloved Albert were pretty little dolls and there was no way you could believe that this mouse could transform herself into that redoubtable monarch who puritanically ruled an Empire, so forcefully portrayed on the screen by the likes of Patricia Routledge and onstage by the feisty Helen Hayes? Even Miranda Richardson and Harriet Walter, two formidable scenery chewers whose histrionic excess would have been welcome, seemed muted in this pallid historical effort.

And that’s Olivia Wilde looking very Studio 54 in Gucci on the right

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Why does Adrian Grenier always look like he needs a shower?

He admitted that his ENTOURAGE character was “reduced to a machine last year,” and, asked if people expect him to be Vince-esque, said, “Nobody can be Vince, not even me.” Does that explain why I find this show essentially kinda phoney, basically just too Hollywood-plastic?

(MTV News)

Quentin Tarantino in a hybrid Japanese kimono tux could now do The Bela Lugosi Story, no prob, describing pitching INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS to Brad Pitt at Pitt’s personal vineyard and waking up with “six empty bottles lying around” but the deal done.

Lea Michele, working Chopard emerald earrings, tells Giuliana that her gown is by Oscar De La Renta, which is the typical tulle prom dress he’s done for a million others. She admitted that, although she never met her, Madonna gave her entire song collection to GLEE for their upcoming Madonna episode. Rancic learned that of her favorite songs, either “Borderline” or “La Isla Bonita” will be used, but, for sure, “Ray of Light – the way they’ re doing it is incredible and will do her proud.”

When Michele demurred from naming her current boyfriend, Giuliani kinda tackily said, “You’re too new to not tell me who you’re dating” which is like saying “You’re not big enough yet to tell me ‘no comment.'” But Michele did admit that none of the cast are dating each other. Whew!!! I guess we care, right?

(Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Patricia Arquette is way too short for all that drapery she has on tonight, more overloaded Tanagra figurine than Greek goddess.

Sandra Bullock wears the most vivid color of the evening by Bottega Veneta and looks every inch on top of her likably generous game, admitting that “THE BLIND SIDE was a large step outside my comfort zone…the first scene was horrible – I didn’t find the rhythm. I didn’t know what I was doing in that car and told anyone who would listen. But they were all silent… It feels so sweet to be a double nominee. It’s because of other people that I stand here. You’ve gotta love people rather than judge people.” She donated a million dollars to Haiti “because I can. They need it now.”

Bullock tells Ryan “You have really nice green eyes” and natch he runs with it saying, “I’m not gonna mess with [her husband] Jesse [James]. I see him standing down there.”

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Chace Crawford wears Dolce and is asked “Who are the actors you look up to and admire?”

Who cares?
But Crawford admits “I was a big Cruise fan and watched TOP GUN as a little boy,” making us ALL feel ancient, little muthafucka.


Vera Farmiga in a corny Dolce and Gabbana fishtail skirt tells Ryan: “My husband saw you in the steam room at the Four Seasons and I heard it got very heated.”

Ryan blinks and asks about her chemistry with George Clooney in UP IN THE AIR, to which she responds, “It’s impossible not to not have chemistry, he has that energy.” Ryan: “I’ ll be sure to tell your husband that in the steamroom.” Where could this all have really gone?

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Always nice to see gallantry, like Josh Duhamel holding an umbrella over Fergie on this professed “date night’ for them, although it looks like her hem got wet. With his perfect, similarly tiny WASP features he looks to be Ryan’s twin brother, albeit 3 feet taller. Fergie says she gained 17 pounds for her NINE role, and it was great, “eating cheese, fish and chips. I had to honor the character. And I loved my girls [in the cast]: Kate [Hudson], Penelope [Cruz], Marion [Cotillard].” (No mention of Nicole Kidman.) She and Duhamel just renewed their marriage vows. Okay, bitches?

Lanvin-clad January Jones said of her MAD MEN “I try to avoid doing a sixties look. I don’t want to walk around as Betty all day.” Fair enough, hon, but please note: only Latoya Jackson wears headbands.

FYI, from the evidence here: the current girlfriend of George Clooney (in an unappetizing grizzled beard) has but a single name: Elisabetta. For some reason Seacrest says to her, “You’ve gotten this man to come out of his shell.”

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Clooney described his Haiti telethon to air this Friday on 17 networks with musicians he can’t name as yet before things are finalized. Their songs will be released on Itunes and make money for several charities. “We do it when there’s an immediate need. It’s a difficult time for people to be giving.”

Obsequious Ryan: “Congratulations on everything with the two of you! [How long has it been?] Ciao, Elisabetta!”

(Actually, her last name is Canalis)

Marion Cotillard, in a sumptuous black satin Dior that looks like a deconstruction of Rita Hayworth’s famous GILDA dress, says she was nominated [for PIAF] two years ago when the Globes were cancelled. She extolled the cast camaraderie on NINE [with Nicole, as well, I wonder?] and said her biggest dream was always “to do a musical. As a liitle girl I watched ANNIE and SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN.”

Rita Hayworth, inevitable touchstone for Hollywood glamour, past, present and into the future

Anna Paquin, in Stella McCartney gold sequins, hangs on to her TRUE BLOOD boyfriend Stephen Moyer and seems more press ready than a few years ago when she merely giggled inanely when I tried to interview her. She admits he proposed to her in Hawaii, inspired by a “song about a white sandy beach.” Understandably she didn’t say who sang it, as you have only a limited time on the red carpet, but it was actually by multisyllalbled Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Hawaiian legend, and I applaud Moyer’s good taste. My family once hired Brudda Iz, as he was known for a promotional appearance for their company Noh Foods International, and he needed the full side of a plane to himself. For the song, click here

OMG, Mariah Carey is holding her own umbrella! WTF???! Are her handlers amputees???

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Perennial nominee Steve Carell of THE OFFICE says he hopes his “buddy, Ricky Gervais [tonight’s host] goes after me. He has been nothing but supportive of the American OFFICE. [I’m sure the paycheck helped.] I have fourteen movies that I’m shooting right now.” I really believe him.

Drew may be the fashion winner of the night in Versace crystal pouf-trimmed champagne chiffon and the perfect classic sleek coiff, truly looking like a Barrymore for the first time.

Grandma Ethel Barrymore, the Goddess of the Earth in her day

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Amy Pohler in Jay Gottfried proves that red is not really the color for blondes – especially this short-waisted dress which unflatteringly makes her look stocky with a waistline-emphasizing black belt.

But Tina Fey really gets it right in an insane fashion forward Zac Posen 1950s-cocktail length printed lampshade skirt and no jewelry, generously saying “It feels like it’s someone else turn tonight. People love GLEE. Toni Collette and Edie Falco amazing.” She says her daughter Alex is responsible for some great lines she’s used on 30 ROCK: “I want to go to there/Touch my knees-butts’.”

Brendan Fraser: WHAT HAPPENS to white guys after a certain age? Remember when he was a dead ringer for Michelangelo’s David?

Juliana Margulies continues the evening’s trend of sideswept hair and no jewels and admits that, were she not careful, “my hair with this rain would just be a frizzball by end of night.” Frankly, I’m getting a littled tired of Narciso Rodriguez’s intricately binding cut-out gym tank bodices.

A radiant Gabourey Sidibe having a ball as any young girl should, working her pose on the runway and appropriately dressed in green draperies.

Chloe [Don’t I always look like I think I’m the utter bomb?] Sevigny, another chickabiddy who’s learned to do something besides look accosted and giggle when interviewed, does look facially good, but severely impaled by those Valentino ruffles.

Penelope Cruz has the best hair of the night, lusciously Rita Hayworth with a visible hairpin (like Garbo in GRAND HOTEL), although her Giorgio Armani Prive black lace gown is too mother of the bride. She carries her own umbrella and wonderfully says, “I’m not Puff Daddy. I hold my own umbrella. NINE was one of my best experiences. We had long dinners and all the girls went to a Madonna concert [all except Nicole, I bet].” Of her role in the upcoming SEX AND THE CITY film, “I can say nothing, but it was one day, two hours of shooting.” She talks about Clooney’s Haiti telethon, “It’s on everyone’s mind” and you actually believe her; she’s not a Hollywood phoney, by any means. “Tonight cannot just be about the movies.”

Who is Kristin Bell? Do we need to know?

In Herve Leger by Max Azria, Mariah Carey is now rivalling Aretha Franklin herself for the WTMC (Way Too Much Cleavage) Award and says re her recent drunken Palm Beach Film Festival speech “Lee [Daniels, her PRECIOUS director] threw me off when he called me ‘Kitten’ in front of the whole room.”

Wow, it doesn’t take much, does it?

FYI: Angel Rose, Mariah, confesses is her own favorite personal champagne, and it looks like she will officially be known as “Miss Subtlety” after this with Ryan first mentioning it and Jay Manuel picking up on this title like a shot

Bounteous Aretha, at another event

“Be less brilliant” was what Robert Downey told Ryan about his producer wife’s notes on the SHERLOCK HOLMES set and re IRON MAN 2: “So far it looks good, and lots of things happen to that [great] house.”

Harvey Weinstein just blocked Ryan’s camera, thinking he was coming to talk to him before the commercial break.

I hope cheapskates don’t recycle their old AIDS ribbons for Haiti’s cause.

The fashion trend absolutely looks to be sideswept hair and very little jewelry (thank god) with a lot of girls even eschewing earrings

When did Jennifer Garner turn into Julia Roberts?? The shade of her interestingly cut Versace dress definitely needed a tan here. And is that female mullet??

Nicole Kidman also in sideswept hair–do they all have the same stylist, f’Chrissakes???

MAD MEN’s Jon Hamm –remember when his lady, Jennifer Westfeldt, was the big Broadway star and she used to show up with him and you’d think “Who the FUCK is that absurdly handsome guy???” But even he can’t carry off the full beard; maybe only the young Alan Bates could, really (see WOMEN IN LOVE, THE SHOUT).

And is it just me or does MAD MEN actually not look all that great for all its careful design? That muddy photography…

How short is Taylor Lautner? And Ryan, who is even shorter, droolingly wants to know about his recent date at the Olive Garden. According to Giuliana, who loves their garlic bread (SO L.A.), this girl he was spotted with is evidently just a good friend, Sara Hix.

and then follows an excruciating q & a between Giuliana and Lautner, which reads like a wary Rock Hudson answering a romance-hungry Hedda Hopper in the 1950s

Giuliana: What do you look for in a girl?

Taylor: Oh boy! [Freudian, or what?!]. I am not dating anyone.

Giuliana: There are quite a few beautiful women here

Taylor: What’s that?

Giuliana: Thank you Taylor, that was very cute.

And here’s the goddess of the night, not to say year, Mo’nique, looking and obviously feeling like a million in her Oscar-(yes!)gold dress


Courtney Cox: “I like being a cougar.”

Does she have a choice???

“It’s a family show, not just for cougars,” she exultantly continues.

Shaddup about the cougars, already! Someone had to do this project, I guess, and I guess I am glad the girl is working…wonder who else’s fingerprints, and how many, were on the first script sent to her.

Kate Hudson, divine in a VERY Galliano-looking white Marchesa (designed by NINE producer Harvey Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman), and – yes – sideswept movie star hairdo with terrific pearl shoulderdusters, simply the most glamorous film presence of year (and also the hottest cast member) of NINE

“We girls would all go out and have good wine and fun times” Kate says of her co-stars –but somehow not, I think, Nicole.

Hey, Ryan! Heidi Klum is holding her cheek, out waiting for that extra continental kiss, you rhubarb! Her Cavalli gown looks like the dresses you could send into the comic book MILLIE THE MODEL if you were of a certain age in a certain age…but then doesn’t most Cavalli look like that?

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Ryan asked her what designers stand out inthis year’s PROJECT RUNWAY. She won’t say and also won’t admit that being in LA was a serious booboo for the show, only saying “Being back in NYC – it’s always good to be back in our small smelly room at Parsons.”

The school will love that.

To Mark Wahlberg, Giuliana screams, “You’re such a freakin cool guy, so normal!”

Yes, luckily his thug days of putting out the eyes of Chinese guys in Massachusets are over.

And according to him, we now get to look forward to an ENTOURAGE movie. Yawn – just imagine the added scope that show will achieve on the big screen.

Paul McCartney proves once more CUTE DOESN’T AGE WELL. Wonder what kind of hair dye he uses.

I love Sandra Bullock’s great comedy pose for Mr Jay Manuel in that fabulously colored gown. No wonder America continues to love her, and in a much realer way than with previous “Sweethearts” Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan, whom she’s now utterly surpassed. She’s completely down to earth and always has been.

Heather Graham (in Elie Saab) MUST have sold her soul to the devil. How this sort of attractive, sort of talented but nothing really special actress has managed to keep her claws in as the sexy chick in hot project after hot project like THE HANGOVER, decades after DRUGSTORE COWBOY is



Tracey Morgan will be mistaken for a(n inept) waiter in that white Joseph Abboud tux

Tobey Maguire (with Jennifer Meyers), so superb in BROTHERS, tells Ryan, “It was physically intense” and is now at a good place where he can eat food again. He deserves to win best dramatic actor but probably won’t, with all the Jeff Bridges fever.

Julia Roberts is now blonde. Here we go again. Remember how fading America’s sweetheart Ginger Rogers used to change her hair color every second???

The amazingly poised and mature Anna Kendrick says she said to George Clooney during UP IN THE AIR: “You need to put down the nerf football and we need to do the scene.”

“Do you know that you will be asked George Clooney questions for the rest of your life? God, he’s hot!” says Giuliana (isn’t she still married?), who obviously never got over him flirting with her on-camera aeons ago, and at one point even tries to scream him over to her by cravenly using Kendrick’s name.

“Don’t be gross,” Baby Kendricks admonishes her like Mom, as Giuliana says ‘frickin’ for the zillionth time. But Rancic does looks great in that silver gown, and at least earns her role as fashion arbiter as opposed to all those other unsightly, judgmental on-air freaks.

Christian Siriano

Khloe Kardashian

Leon Hall

Steven Cojocaru

And, “No, I was not thinking I want him,'” Anna tells the out-of-control-for-George Giuliana, in her Marchesa dress that looks like an exploded Kleenex box.

Carey Mulligan, above left, in Nina Ricci

Christina Hendricks of MAD MEN, wearing Christian Siriano champagne satin that also looks like a MILLIE comic book entry

(Getty Images)
Colin Farrell gallantly holding an umbrella for his date – have they known each other more than three hours?

Amy Adams: dullest, most blandly sweet actress in Hollywood, with an unappealing, funereal outfit to match. Oh, she’s pregnant.

Wearing a J. Mendel dress, Jane Krakowski’s earrings are a mistake, very Venice Beach. Her man, she says, designs a line called Psycho Bunny. Sounds genius, right? right????

Julia Roberts goes casual in, I guessed right, vintage YSL; Mrs. Tom Hanks is wearing my Mom’s drapes.

The bottom of Fergie’s dress (Elie Saab) looks like the rain got to it, or is it a tie-dye effect? Mr. Jay says she looks like a Grecian goddess.

I’m trying to think of which one and simply cannot.

Medusa? (oo that was low and too easy…Ferg did rock in NINE,though)

(by Norma Peters)

Giuliana wraps up the red carpet by saying every time she hears “the Globes” she will only think of Mariah Carey. Bette Midler actually coined that phrase on the Globes, referring to Joan Crawford back when she won for THE here


“WHERE DOES HE GETS HIS IDEAS FROM?” perfectly chosen host Ricky Gervaise starts off brilliantly with the expected dig at Steve Carell

and then he pushes his own original OFFICE DVD box set: “Quality over quantity.”

Grandma-looking Cameron Diaz working a ‘serious actress’ look–whew it’s all about matronly for a lot of girls this year

Gervais’ digs at 24, HOUSE etc. merely prove what a pathetically easy target TV is

“Let’s get on with it before NBC replaces me with Jay Leno” – so easy for Ricky, but how could he not?


Keith Urban so needs a haircut, guess that will happen when Nicole Kidman gets a tan

Nicole rushes through a perfunctory Haiti mention. Dress that girl in some color, instead of this washed out Nina Ricci, somebody PLEASE! Remember when she used to make us all gag on the Oscars in that green fur-trimmed and then dazzling gold Dior numbers? (I’m omitting her copycatting of Uma Thurmans’s groundbreaking appearance in a similar lavendar Prada that one year.)

Mo’nique really looks like a queen. Now THAT is a Greek Goddess look with the classic hair and flattering draped gown if ever there was

Sophia (Loren), thy name is tranny

(Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Richly deserving best supporting actress Mo’nique’s heartbreaking address to her husband about being “14 years old and telling each other we gonna be stars … and you said, ‘You first.’ Sidney, I love you more than you will ever know, baby” And to Sidibe, “Gaby, sister, I am in awe of you..’

Harrison Ford now makes Larry King look like Zac Ephron.

“A MANEATER ON THE PROWL”: how does that introduction make even a proudly self-professed cougar like Courtney Cox feel?

UNITED STATES OF TARA TV Actress winner Toni Collette, in glittering Elie Saab, remembers being on the loo and missing her award her last time at the Globes – um, thanks for sharing!

(Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Miss Golden Globes this year is Alfre Woodard’s daughter, Mavis Spencer, and, with all the rampant nepotism and way too many offspring in this town, this once cute little honor must be as hotly contested as anything else. But Alfre’s daughter IS gorgeous. Recall Melanie Griffith’s most charming public moment on the podium when she recalled holding this title years ago?

Melanie Griffith at 15, with Don Johnson
There’s Neil Patrick Harris. But where’s his boyfriend? Why out of camera range?

William Hurt’s beard hurts.

Just how many serial killers has nominee John Lithgow played?


Jeremy Piven: where’s your usual date, your Mom?

I’m glad to see your TV “assistant” (Rex Lee) is sitting next to you and I look forward to many more scenes — even on the big screen now, if Marky Mark is to be believed – of you demeaning him with anti-Asian/gay slurs, but redeeming yourself when he realizes that you’re really a good guy after all and what would he be like without a great white father like you…yeccchh. There are still all kinds of ways to be Uncle Tom in this world.
ENTOURAGE’s Kevin Dillon (left), Adrian Grenier (right) and in the center, Rex Lee, upholding the Willie Fung (Asian Stepin Fetchit) tradition in Hollywood

Did some ceiling plaster fall on Paul McCartney’s jacket?


A fab-looking Kate Hudson enters the stage and Pierce Brosnan goes “Whoo!” in the audience, proving that wood does have emotions

Felicity Huffman looks opulent in an imaginative gown and a ton of bling she somehow carries off, with a lovely flattering soft hairdo


Re that official Golden Globes representative: no wonder people (especially actors) think journalists are related to the insect family. Get an attractive writer some time, please!! They do exist.

Bestowing the TV actor award was great for cancer-challenged Michael Hall

But shows that glorify serial killers however “justified”? hmmm…

And did Bill Paxton really mutter “the cancer card,” over his losing this award?

A “family man,” but read his lips…?

What would be scarier: sleeping with Harrison Ford, or Calista Flockhart? Anyone??

Bebe Neuwirth be afraid: Cher looks ready to go right into ADDAMS FAMILY.

Jeremy Piven sure looked excited to see her, though.

Can’t you just hear Cher telling her designer “Remember when Elizabeth Hurley looked so hot in that safety-pinned Versace???”

(Getty Images)

(Art by Aly Fell)

Is anyone even looking at Cher’s co-presenter Christina Aguilera–was she even there?

“Go, Michael!” winning composer Michael Giacchino just enthused that Sir Paul McCartney said that to him as he went up to podium, making said composer wet. In high school, we had an expression for this “IFS” (I feel sorry)…Now, had Lennon said it…. Nice of Sir Paul to bestow such a crumb, however…

GREY GARDENS gets my award for most unoriginal project of the year..

There have already been two documentaries and a Broadway musical about those wacky Beale ladies

I even know someone who wrote a play about the Marble fuckin’ Faun!



Biggest wonder in the world – what Jessica Lange would look like sans all the work? Not so perpetually angry, I trust

The ‘greedily nominated’ (according to Colin Farrell) Meryl Streep looks good and classy. Have we seen that gown before, and who could blame her? She must get so sick of shopping awards shows, and giving acceptance speeches

After that awful ponytail in CRAZY HEART and this greasy kid’s stuff (remember that expression?) look, Colin so needs a visit from the Hair Rescue Squad

It’s Marion “Cotiyare” not “Cotilard,” Colin

There, that’s cutie David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris’ boyfriend, sitting behind Stanley Tucci. Has he given up his career, like Mrs. Richard Benjamin (the enchanting Paula Prentiss) did? What a shame if he did – it’s been reported that he became a chef – as he was a real charmer.

The Benjamins

JULIE AND JULIA winner La Streep could go on for hours if she wished in her acceptance speech. She simply DOES NOT GET PLAYED OFF

Wonder what her awards garage looks like?

oops, that is actually CITIZEN KANE’S Xanadu

Helen Mirren’s face looks like a Giacometti sculpture now

Why are people just milling about?

Things are looking up for TV actor winner Kevin (someone Madoff with my $$) Bacon. But you KNOW he could still afford a tailor for those pants. With Kyra Sedgwick in Oscar De La Renta, which made her look almost disembodied on the red carpet

I’m glad to see Morgan Freeman taking a healthy slug of wine; actors should drink.

Note to Joan Allen (on right, with daughter): eat something and lay off the facial “improvements”!!

On the left: Lookalikes Carey Mulligan and her mother – separated at birth? Oh, that’s right, they were!

Winner Drew Barrymore’s speech highlights: “I’ve been in this room since I was 7 years old…Monique you set the bar…Thank you Michael [Sucsy, her director] for taking a chance on me. ..I knew I could be Jeff Spiccoli’s girlfriend…with the lisp and the paralysis….” Her gracious, sincere speech actually made these awards seem like something honorable and worthwhile.

Oh, come on! Do you know who votes for these things? Do you know anyone who does? Does anyone?

re Cameron Diaz: I just decided definitively that blondes don’t look good in red, with the exception of Martha Plimpton, most talented woman on the planet, who rocked a red cheongsam at her dazzling Lincoln Center concert last night?

I am frankly in no rush to see IT’S COMPLICATED. Haven’t I already, somehow?? Nancy Meyers doing so-called wish fulfillment with bland rich white women dealing with their bland rich white men and bland rich white kids in their bland rich white houses? Yawn

How drunk is Gervaise getting? And good for him!

Jennifer Aniston’s look, “daring” skirt split aside, with her ubiquitous overgrown Frederic Fekkai “Jen-do” still screams safesafesafe.

(Getty Images)

also: “Hey Brad and John Mayer, I’m sexy GODDAMMIT!!!!!!!”

OK, Tarantino: combien du botox?? Did you appreciate Best Director winner Jason Reitman’s mention of you during his acceptance speech? I bet not. But I wish MY Daddy was a Hollywood director, a pity he’s not

Ashton Kucher desperately needs to button his jacket. Wifey Demi Moore twittered she stayed home as she was having a bad hair day.

Ashton: “Alec Baldwin could not be with us tonight…” He preferred attending an eco-charity sledding event, but, as admirable as this is, his ambivalent attitude toward his 30 ROCK success is puzzling to say the least. He’s magnificently funny on the show – the best work he’s ever done – but I do wish he could just appreciate this success instead of belittling it and bemoaning his inability to become a movie star and really carry a film. 30 ROCK is infinitely superior to nearly every movie made in the last three years, and then some.

Again, what happens to white men after a certain age?

Call it divine retribution: they still have all the power, so maybe, like male pattern baldness, this is the payback…

Maggie Gyllenhaal: lovely Roland Mouret dress and Bulgari gems, unattractive Olive Oyl do; her smirk is her trademark rather preventing her from becoming this era’s Claudette Colbert.

Is it just me, or hasn’t Samuel Jackson made a film in the last three weeks?

Sophia Loren enters and everyone stands up, with Nicole Kidman, in closeup, wondering, “I think I’ve actually had more plastic surgery than she has!” Actually Loren looks FAR better than she did at awards last year in a simpler gown and more controlled hair, her posture also remains a sheer miracle.

Loren, nightmarishly unforgettable at last year’s Oscars

But NO ONE can say she doesn’t know her Golden Globes (with Jayne Mansfield), way before Mariah AND Aretha

Boulder-faced Governator Schwarzenegger is hanging in the house for this all-important state occasion. Did California officially shut down for lack of funds? His mispronunciation of the word “avatar” would have provided Conan O’Brien with a year’s more material…oops sorry!

JUST ASKIN’ DURING THE COMMERCIAL BREAK: When did Luke Wilson officially lose his career and have to become the AT&T guy? Remember when he bored us all as as “the boyfriend” in every movie in a five-year period?

Re: Taylor Lautner, for whom half of America is lusting: I don’t care about the abs – he’s a fucking embryo, people!!!

(Getty Images)

Rose Byrne, in Lanvin and Stephen Russell brooches, is the prettiest girl in the world.


Re Chloe’s gown: who squeezed the Charmin?


That’s pure gin in Gervais’ glass. I would stake my life on it. His hilarious intro of Halle Berry: “as Catwoman, she lost the ability to clean herself all over…”

Berry’s look: blah, like Jen Aniston’s despite all the flesh served up; would also love to see her in a new do

Christoph Walz deserved supporting actor for INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, a fabulously entertaining cinema-besotted film which could have been almost great had Tarantino merely curbed his jejune genre bloodlust (the gratuitous scalping scenes) and cast the Hitler and other prominent Nazis less B-movie cartoonishly.

Cecil B. DeMille Award to Martin Scorsese: An affable Robert DeNiro may be finally getting over his fear of public appearances–maybe the Kennedy Center Honors did it for him.

Has Leonardo DiCaprio done his face already, too? It’s uncannily smooth, and that perennial tan, very Douglas Fairbanks/Cary Grant/George Hamilton, an honorable Hollywood matinee idol tradition.

The films by Scorsese, an undeniable master of the medium, that I like, almost totally without reservations: MEAN STREETS, TAXI DRIVER, NEW YORK STORIES (his segment only), GOOD FELLAS, KUNDUN (but not the absurd Mao sequences), THE DEPARTED…when he’s good, he’s very good but then there’s CAPE FEAR, CASINO, THE COLOR OF MONEY, sleep-inducing AGE OF INNOCENCE, the completely unfunny KING OF COMEDY, and, I am sorry, the way overrated RAGING BULL (yes, yes, the technique…but all in the service of what content??) Women have always been a problem for him, cinematically, as well.

I lust, however, for his Swifty Lazar’s glasses!

And total bravos and support to Scorsese’s eloquent speech, and, of course, his film preservation efforts and non-stop extolling of the vital past, although when he said “GOOD FELLAS doesn’t actually bring to mind THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH …” all I could think of is, “Yes, GOOD FELLAS is a good film, whereas GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH ranks as probably the dumbest cornfest to ever undeservedly cop an Oscar for Best Picture.”

And that’s REALLY saying something (remember DANCES WITH WOLVES, which actually won the Oscar over GOOD FELLAS in 1990?)

The still obviously reigning “First Lady of Hollywood,” Julia Roberts, must think she’s got the best seat in the house, esconced between Harrison Ford and Paul McCartney, but I, for one, don’t really envy her…

Gervais switches to lager and says “I like a drink as well as the next man, unless the next man is Mel Gibson”

who appears, looking exhumed

and drunk

and that tie — is there a Sym’s in Los Angeles?

(Getty Images)

As GLEE finally won its deserved award, all I could think about was the fact that Matt Morrison, suddenly going from hottie hunk onstage in LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA and SOUTH PACIFIC to avuncular TV prof in GLEE, has had the most drastic career evolvement since Teresa Wright went from Goldwyn ingenue in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) to Jean Simmons’ mother in THE ACTRESS six years later.

from this, to playing mothers of grown daughters, in six years

Reese Witherspoon’s look: another safe blonde — sometimes merely washing your hair ain’t enough…It’s like Frieda in PEANUTS, a mere boring hair act

Is THE BACHELOR as unfunny as it seems in clips?

Todd Philips thanking his Mom for supporting his career wishes when she realized that he wasn’t as smart as his sisters rather says it all, especially on the unfunny evidence of his film: all we need – another dumb movie director. I should see the film, however, upon the recommendation of a few critics whom I do respect, despite what looks like more Asian Uncle Tom’ing by Korean comedian Ken Jeong who, admittedly, can be funny, although I don’t go for his pandering “small dick” self-references in this film and during press conferences. Asian men have a hard enough time not being viewed as completely sexless and/or effeminate as it is, remember the infamous Long Duck Dong (Gedde Watanbe) of 16 CANDLES, and black actors don’t help stereotypes by public chomping watermelon and shuffling, do they?

Have we come that far from Gedde Watanabe in SIXTEEN CANDLES to

Ken Jeong in THE HANGOVER?

Why does Rita Wilson always looks like she’s threatening to cry?

Maybe the Governator can sell his Golden Globe swag bag and financially save his state. Delivering his jibes about NBC and California’s budget, he has all the comic timing of the Hindenberg, or Nixon.

Why even bother to ask about Mickey Rourke’s cowboy hat?

Is it just me or does anyone else find all this just f-u-g-l-y???

The clip from AVATAR just affirms everything for me somehow about this film I am in absolutely in no rush to see. I like truly adult movies about people, you see, not cartoons or anything you have to don eyewear for and experience tales of Great White Explorer-fathers showing what’s what to grateful primitive peoples. Correct me please, if I’m wrong. And those Navi are just too plain ugly to look at for me, like the hideously-nosed “Hawaiians” of LILO AND STITCH.


Radiant Best Actress Sandra Bullock easily carries off her tumbling pre-Raphaelite coiff and gives a lovely, humble speech, which includes perfect German and the quite sincere mentioning of a lot of “little people,” like hair and costuming.

Who is this waif in the ugly beaded shift with the Brit accent? Who cares? She pronounced “Sherlock” so prettily.


Robert Downey,Jr., wins Best Actor and “doesn’t thank” his wife who told him “Matt Damon’s gonna win so don’t bother to prepare a speech.” He looks great in his elegantly easy ensemble and has always had terrific original fashion sense on and off the screen, working Matsuda at the Oscars way back when and Bikkembergs in LESS THAN ZERO.

Pitt should have been nominated in this category for the funniest, most delightfully satirical performance of the year in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. And then we could have seen him and Angelina loving being the hottest couple in this hothouse high school cafeteria again.

Kate Winslet: one more blonde who, yes, phoned it in

How nice to see the often great Jeff Bridges FINALLY winning an award, even for the just okay nothing special, apart from him, CRAZY HEART. Loved him saying “You’re really screwing up my underappreciated status here,” as if to affirm my thoughts. And isn’t that why we watch these things? And blog about ’em?

He thanks his “beautiful wife of 33 years” -obviously still a sexy mama in her showbizzy red sequins–such long-suffering industry wives are, of course, are totally exempt from Fashion Police strictures.

And he beautifully mentions his always underrated Dad, Lloyd Bridges (see THE GODDESS, with the great Kim Stanley), who “loved showbiz so damned much and encouraged all his kids to go into it. You don’t wanna do what your parents did [hear that George W, wherever the fuck you are?] I’m so glad I listened to you, Dad. And my mom, she died last year, and I thank you, Mom. We went to a cha cha contest in this room, even though I said, ‘I’m too young to dance.’ ‘Come on [she said], you’ll have fun.” What a long impressive career Bridges has had, and life, as well. A friend of mine remembers seeing him down by the Twin Towers during the filming of KING KONG, looking coked out of his mind, as Bridges thanks Lloyd, his assistant on some 60 films.

Scott Cooper is not a director – he’s a model!

TBone Burnett takes a bow – big yay for him.

Julia Roberts goes maverick in her short, casual cocktail dress which I bet is vintage YSL. She doesn’t have to really try, of course, because, for some reason she is STILL the Queen of Hollywood (even with barely a movie out this year), getting to present Best Film, and is loving making everyone else look overdressed. It’s an easy too cool for school gesture. (Maybe she realizes she will never top her winning Oscar look in that black and white Valentino with Mom hair.)

(Getty Images)

But to me she just looks annoying, on something of a par with Pamela Anderson the year she showed up at Oscar parties with her boobs barely contained in a man shirt.

She reminds us she is also Miss Have-It-All as she superfluously tells her triplets to “go to bed” in a big yawnorama moment, mercifully the only reference to off-screen brats the entire night.

As Bette Davis sarcastically said in ALL ABOUT EVE: “How nice for her!”

James Cameron’s AVATAR wins and, although he had been rather mercifully brief in an earlier acceptance, refraining from shrieking “I’m King of the World!” as he once did unforgivably at the Oscars, this time his speech goes on and on. Is that some awful Navi language he’s making us listen to? It starts excruciatingly with “I went to the bathroom so I could take my time… this is the best job in the world etc etc. We make entertainment for a global audience…” I just knew it: he cannot help but being self-aggrandizing. We (and this included many in the Awards room itself, I am sure, who offered only tepid reaction when he exhorted them to applaud themselves) don’t want him to tell us that AVATAR “asks us to see all human beings as connected to one another.” Especially those fortunates who “have the best job in the world, etc., etc.”

Again Bette, who might have said, “How nice for everybody!”

So thank God for Gervais who aired out the hall by unsanctimoniously ending the show with his expressed greatest wish for “Peace on earth … no, I want you to watch my HBO show.”

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Tom “I am in Total Control of Everything, Even Paparazzi Grab Shots” Ford and a maternity wear-ing Julianne Moore (Getty Images)

COPYRIGHT: davidnoh2010


In Uncategorized on January 12, 2010 at 7:29 am

Sari, wrong number!
Aretha Franklin with Angela Gheorghiu at Kennedy Center, photo by Florentina Bucos

This year’s Kennedy Center Honors was livelier than it’s been in years, testament to the fresh, thankfully hipper cultural energy engendered by the Obamas in the Big House. It was a lavishly produced, star-filled, briskly paced, consummately entertaining show that paid tribute to Dave Brubeck, Mel Brooks, Robert DeNiro, Bruce Springsteen and the great opera singer Grace Bumbry (born in St, Louis, MO), who could amusingly give even her oh-so grandiloquent Southern sister Jessye Norman (born in Augusta, GA) a run for her money in the bombastic pretension department. Once, in an interview, while describing something, the multilingual diva, who now resides in Salzburg, actually asked of her interviewer, “Como se dice ‘la porta’ en Inglese? Ah, yes, the door!”

Grace Bumbry as Carmen

Paying tribute to Bumbry, who gave a memorable NYC recital a few years ago, in which she proved that she still possessed considerable operatic chops besides singing and grooving to the funkiest rendition of “Wade in the Water” ever witnessed, was Aretha Franklin. No one will ever doubt La Franklin’s place in music history, but it should be noted that she also ranks very high in the Questionable Fashion Hall of Fame. In fact, when it comes to sheer sartorial horror, Lady Soul rarely disappoints. Obviously, she loves clothes, but the wrong ones.

Don’t get me wrong, Aretha has been a part of my life for as long as I can recall, I’ve gratefully worshipped at her shrine, SPARKLE is my all-time favorite album, and one of my prized possessions is a Kleenex she blotted her lipstick with that I stole off the set from a Phil Donahue show taping, but, to put it bluntly, an utterly exhausted Fashion Police officially retired her name long ago…

There was the hat she wore last year to Obama’s inauguration that definitely puzzled more than a few Europeans – who pretty much asked, “What’s that spaceship on her head?” – unfamiliar, as they were, with our time-honored African American tradition of churchgoing millinery

Wither the snows of yesteryear?

Greater (self) love hath no (wo)man….

Defying Gravity
with Natalie Cole at the House of Blues, LA 2008. Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images

Didn’t Divine wear this?
at 2008 Grammys, Getty Images

Don’t squeeze the Charmin

An unregenerate fur-lover, Aretha’s answer to her animal-loving critics at a certain event, was to simply wear another fur coat the very next day

That’s not real leopard, right? Right???

I believe it was witty Village Voice columnist Blair Sobol who coined the phrase for underarms like these: Mermans

in 1968

Even in her slimmer days, she went her own way, causing Joan Crawford to remark once, watching her on the Oscar show in the 1970s: “She’s wearing my hair from THE GORGEOUS HUSSY!”

Didn’t Nancy Reagan try this look once?

Turn the hat upside-down and it serves chips ‘n dip

For the record, she could go classic. Photographed by George Hurrell in the 1970s.

COPYRIGHT: davidnoh2010