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Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

THE 83RD ACADEMY AWARDS: NO LORETTA YOUNG UPSET

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2011 at 8:09 pm


Loretta Young, gowned by Adrian, wins the 1947 Best Actress Oscar for THE FARMER’S DAUGHTER in one of the greatest upsets in its history

of course, much of the chatter is about BLACK SWAN, with E’s Red Carpet coverage even staging a “Black Swan” fashion show as I speak

but who could forget that other swan who made it to the Oscars?

yup, Bjork in all her wacky Nordic glory, but what few people know is her gown was hardly anything new. In 1935, the Countess Dorothy DiFrasso threw a COME AS SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO BE costume party, and Marlene Dietrich decided upon the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan (aka Zeus who disguised himself as a bird to boink her). She called upon the services of Paramount costume designer Travis Banton who spent as much time and care on her costume as for any film project, even picking the blue embroidered eyes of the bird out and redoing them in green when Dietrich objected to wearing a swan whose eyes matched her own.

Here she is, acompanied by pals Clifton Webb (as Fu Manchu) and Elizabeth Allen, who came as Dietrich, herself.

stay tuned – I will be live blogging from the Red Carpet momentarily

Giuliana Rancic’s Christian Siriano gown looks like he run it up from some Motel 6 drapes. what’s up with the old lady upswept chignons she and Kelly Osborne are sporting? Looks like too many hairdressers were watching the MY FAIR LADY ballroom scene this week..and how well I remember the stranglehold Audrey Hepburn’s coiffure in that scene wielded over women the world over, starting with my Mom in Honolulu, who became obsessed with wiglets for years after…Giuliana: eat something, for God’s sake! You look like a praying mantis!

when exactly did Osborne become a fashion expert? Her Tony Ward grey dress is lovely altho with her pale coloring and hair shade, it washes her out, but what are those horrendous burn marks on her forearms? oops, those are tattoos which automatically discredit her from proffering any viable style opinion…if you gotta permanently deface your body, at least work opera-length gloves for a formal occasion like this, please!

“Francisco Acosta!” triumphantly announced Jennifer Lawrence, giving credit to the designer of her Calvin Klein elongated red tank top. She does look lovely in this simpler than simple look, however, a fit California girl opener for this Left Coast celebration, epitomizing the Hollywood Golden Girl ideal set in place by Jean Harlow in the 1930s, and I guess, Mary Pickford, with her famous golden curls before that

Melissa Leo in librarian hair and Marc Bower encrusted mirrored white carapace which looks very IMPORTANT GARMENT, strenuously so, and none too comfy for the long night to come–luckily they give out Best Supporting Actress (for which she is up) don’t they? Maybe once she wins, she can just take it off and kick back…this may very well be the most dissed look of the night

whoa! Mila Kunis in lavendar chiffon and mucho cleavage just walked on, looking like a million-good for her

Tonight’s co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco have been adorably carrying on all week in Oscar promo clips…they continue the act with Seacrest making them read Ricky Gervaise’s texts…they might be good, after all…he at least has some kind of brain, she will undoubtedly change into every designer on the planet for ongoing visual stimulation… although it is a bit much that he is nominated for Best Actor as well. But then a lot about this year’s Oscars is too much -like those TEN TEN TEN nominated Best Pictures

Gorgeous Armie Hammer – surely Bruce Weber’s ideal man – shows up with equally pretty wife (who at least isn’t a matchy matchy blonde) – he’s married…OF COURSE dammit!

Hailee Steinfeld is but a child, yet ALSO working the MY FAIR LADY upswept–first gruesome trend spotting of the evening. One of a kind Marchesa she says is what she is wearing and also said she ‘drew’ it beforehand…which seems about right about this very basic party frock

Florence of the Machine wears a Valentino dress he must have designed for Loretta Lynn in 1960

MIia Kunis’ dress is Elie Saab – lovely-and she immediately leaps to front style ranks–she definitely deserved a Best Supporting nomination for all the real tension and sexy spice she added to BLACK SWAN, have loved her since all those delightful years on THAT 70S SHOW and glad to see her career jump-started by this film, however much I abhor it.

Don’t you wish you found Russell Brand funnier?

Mandy Moore in silver sparkly Monique Lullhier, MY FAIR ladylike hair, all of which makes her look rather anonymous and twenty years older…the dress is magnificent though

Michelle Williams looks semi miserable posing on red carpet -also in silver which might be the shade of the night – it’s Chanel and the t-shirt line top of it matched with her pixie haircut is a drab, too-casual looking match. Black would have been a better, more dramatic choice of color for the dress

Amy Adams in blue beaded L’Wren Scott gown and Cartier vintage looking lavolier with soft, long 40s movie star hair -nice way to counter that essentially bland girl next door quality of hers.


‘She’s like a bonde Audrey Hepburn!’ enthuses Giuliana about MIchelle Williams–Audrey, take another spin in your grave from being injudiciously compared to yet another starlet…whenever anyone is not overtly sex-bomb-ish and maybe a little gamine she automatically gets to be called Hepburn-esque, despite the fact that nearly all these new girls essentially lack the photogenic perfection of face which made Audrey Audrey in the first place

is Mark Rufalo’s lucky lady’s name really Sunrise? Her dress looks self-designed, reminiscent of Kim Basinger’s infamous asymmetrical white satin disaster years ago …

Jennifer Hudson just arrived looking literally Da Bomb in Versace tangerine orange with Amazon hair… that girl carries it all off magnificently and struts to front fashion ranks as well…when you look up ‘bodacious’ in the dictionary, her image should immediately pop up


Cate Blanchett is gonna get majorly slammed for the everything but the kitchen sink look she arrives in … it’s very Mary McFadden on mescaline. With its armor-like silhouette her short hair, Blanchett has a kind of Joan of Arc audition look here.

Scarlett Johansen in bed hair and red lace, posing away like she’s never looked better. She has. It’s Dolce and Gabbana.

Marisa Tomei looks like Susan Kohner in 1958 in her bob coiffure and black fishtail gown which is a vintage Charles Fucking James! Possibly the greatest of all American couturiers, that should be in a museum, not subject to being stomped on by rivals and flat-footed paparazzi. When you examine James works in museums, you can’t even touch them unless you wear curatorial gloves. But it’s pretty fabulous to see James actually being worn. I thought that sweetheart neckline looked a little too retro to be new…

Sharon Stone looks like a TWILIGHT auditioner…also rocking the MY FAIR LADY do but here a bit more Mrs. Frankenstein, to continue the Goth connection. The ostrich trimmed Dior Morticia Adams sheath just underlines everything

BUt, you know what? Every Oscar ceremony needs one great Joan Crawford moment

Some day I want to see full coverage of the stars’ handlers, this army of chunky, forbidding crones in self-effacing, non-formal black who remind me of Bunraku puppeteers as they grimly steer their peacock charges through the crowd…love the one with Mila Kunis in a fur coat she inherited from her Aunt Gladys

That has to be Westwood on Helena Bonham Carter..Her Ancient Roman hairddos fascinate–what does she tell her stylists? no it’s by costume designer Colleen Atwood and really pretty fabulous…the Victorian fan purse is a divine choice

How I would love to see Hilary SWank with softer hair, which make her look a less-shall we say-Seabiscuity? the Gucci dress has it all strapless, sequins, ostrich feathers and kind of one big retro yawn…like something she maybe might have worn five years ago …actually very very very Bob Mackie ’70s

Helen Mirren in a very court presentation look, appropriate and regal

the Celine Dion -as I always call her – looks more normal than I’ve ever seen her–am still recovering from that reverse tuxedo Galliano look from year’s back


Halle Berry just showed up in Swank’s dress except there’s tulle rather than feathers on the skirt, by Marchesa. She will be paying tribute to the late great Lena Horne tonight, wearing a pair of cuff bracelets owned by Horne which were auctioned last Wednesday here at Doyle Gallery.


HIL AND HAL SHARE A DRESS

Hugh Jackman -ever the cheerleader whether on Broadway or Hollywood – loves ALL the nominated films–yawn

Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz please adopt me (the tapas alone!)

Reese Witherspoon -great fall of hair and black and white dress which looks kinda off-the-rack but rather works. It’s actually Armani Prive–uh oh, looks like Gio wasn’t quite as inspired by her as he’s been by, say GaGa or JLO in the past.

Nicole Kidman needs to get a new hairstyle-loathe the ubiquitous ponytail and messy bangs–the Dior dress doesn’t fit her right, either. Remember when her appearances – especially in Galliano – used to be an Oscar highlight? It’s been quite a while. Think the downslide started with that huge – again Galliano – red monstrosity a few years ago…when she and that LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE girl met, she looked like a Macy’s float

Penelope Cruz easy breezy in red L’Wren Scott and easily the sexiest woman there (as per u) as Javier beams away at her on the carpet

Gwyneth Paltrow continues in silver – the color of the night, undoubtedly – looks clean and chic in a fresh, modern-looking Calvin Klein. Maybe best of the night, with amazing Vuitton baroquely scrolled earrings

BUT COULD HER VOICE BE ANY MORE NASAL? (and, Mama, she wants to sing!)

Anne Hathaway in a big old Valentino red dress which is not the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen, with a rather unsightly, desperate-looking pouf to one side. UPDATE: saw more shots of it and it is actually a bustle, but a low-placed one, the very hardest in the world to carry off, as any fin-de-siecle diva knows

Sandra Bullock in declarative red doing the Mrs. Norman Maine heartbreak “I’m a survivor!” comeback – Vera Wang did the carefully elegant dress, but I really think the pulled back, formal hair is never good on her. She’s undoubtedly a lovely person, but undoubtedly also rather plain, facially, and the severe look does her no favors. I think a darker shade of red for the dress – with more blue in it – would have been better on her.

Mrs. Donald Trump in Dolce with her man and that THING on her man’s head. I cannot help but imagining bedtime at their house, shuddersome as that seems, whenever I see them. What does he do? Put the THING in a box for the night, or just unwind it and let it trail onto the floor?

Interesting dress on Mark Wahlberg’s wife, very hip and I wonder who did it…what a life/career trajectory for him. Mr. Hollywood is a long way to go from a convicted felon who blinded a Chinese man in Massachussets years ago. (Sorry, but I don’t think little facts like that should ever be forgotten, even as we celebrate success, overcoming adversity, etc. etc.)

Natalie Portman in purple – the most exquisite maternity model in history; Renaissance artists would have fought over her for their Madonna – Rodarte and Tiffany jewelry. Lovely side-pinned hair and great red tassel earrings. UPDATE: at the post ceremony press conference, one reporter asked her if she was the new model for Dior, why she wasn’t wearing Dior tonight rather than Rodarte, and also did she have any comment about Dior designer John Galliano’s “anti-Semitic” dust-up in Paris. She seemed about to answer when the dragon lady handling the conference cut her off.)


‘Are you nervous?’ Seacrest asks with his ineffable Millennium-ready facile-ness. And he meant the Oscar which of course she’ll win, not the baby about to pop out of her.

THE OSCAR SHOW BEGINS

with a funny, fully deserved takeoff of INCEPTION, the most needlesssly convoluted film of all time

the line from THE KING’S SPEECH made me laugh out loud-another worthy, oh-so pompous target

and Jimmy Franco–loved the no dance belt look in the BLACK SWAN spoof! Give the people what they want-attaboy!

gorgeous white dress on Hathaway who deliciously knows how to deliver a laugh line with the best comic material she’s ever been given

wow, I’m speechless: Tom Hanks actually looks like he’s never had any facial surgery

INCEPTION wins cinematography–very deserved – good Lord, that avalanche! …maybe it won’t be a (shudder) KING’S SPEECH sweep after all

Kirk Douglas ….not since Mary Pickford received her honorary Oscar…

hearing her name announced as supporting actress nominee, Helena Bonham Carter says ‘Don’t clap’

Drawing out the winner’s announcement, first hilariously and then embarassingly, , Kirk “Yoda” Douglas has turned into everyone’s “adorably” infuriating uncle but with a infinitely more tolerance alotted him here than at any family gathering

hooray for Leo – makes up her losing for the wonderful FROZEN RIVER. She drops the f-bomb in her totally Indie speech, a first in acceptance speech history…amazing this took so long

Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin look divinely natty in white tuxedos

Aaron Sorkin wins screenplay adaptation for SOCIAL NETWORK -again deserved …was there any question? But all references to children and God should be verboten in speeches I firmly believe.

Predictably, THE KING’S SPEECH wins Original Screenplay…calling himself a late bloomer David Seidler reminded me of when Ruth Gordon won Best Supporting Actress and said, “I can’t tell you how encouraging a thing like this is!”

Singing, Hathaway has quite a belt… and you KNOW Franco could make a better drag queen than that! Probably good enough to rival JOhnny Depp or Stephen Dorff

Mirren is absolutely the most elegantly dressed woman in the house – love the classic portrait line of her gown and subtle color

Reese Witherspoon presents Supporting Actor

code question: why is Jeremy Renner there with his Mom?

Christian Bale wins – I hope he doesn’t use his Boston THE FIGHTER accent as he did on Charlie Rose–oh thank God he went back to being Welsh .. looks like Abe Lincoln, sounds like Alfred Doolittle…says he won’t drop the F-bomb like Leo, as he’s done that plenty…who could forget his onset meltdown?…again, as with Wahlberg, proof that in Hollywood bad behavior can lead to great reward

not a good new look for Anne–silly gown, unnecessary necklace and sillier coronet hairdo (only Norma Shearer could ever really carry that one off)

the Dior gown on Kidman just looks ungainly-another color – ANY color – again so preferable

“a younger hipper Oscars” was what Hathaway said earlier, and Best Original Score going to Trent Reznor for SOCIAL NETWORK would seem to support that

One question re Matthew McConaughey (and you know I bet he got that tan from surfin’ and not outta a bottle): Why?

what an incredibly long, wholly unfounded career he’s had

Cate Blanchett’s Givenchy dress — there’s always one gown that looks diseased.

7 Oscars for Rick Baker who just won Best Makeup for WOLF MAN sporting the most expensive looking ponytail in the world

Colleen Atwood wins Best Costume for migraine-inducing ALICE IN WONDERLAND

very pandering to begin “ordinary” people’s reminiscences of their favorite Oscar song with rap crap like IT’S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP…and okay, we’d like to appeal to a younger audience but the opinion of someone over 50 — even just one – to wax lyrical over the likes of Jerome Kern or Warren & Dubin would have been nice

Kevin Spacey’s rendition of CHEEK TO CHEEK should definitely be filed alongside Kirk Douglas’ indulgence-demanding appearance…such a healthy healthy ego that boy has, makes me glad he found the perfect profession

why would Levi whatsisface change from his Red Carpet tux to this casual outfit to sing a nominated song alongside the formally gowned Mandy Moore?

does Alan Menken – whom some are already referring to as a ‘living legend,’ believe me – realize his songs all sound depressingly alike?

Liked Jake Gyllenhaal’s humorous but so true reference to nominated shorts’ relevance in at-home Oscar polls…more proof of this year’s show’s greater reach, like that financial doc clip from INSIDE JOB they showed before the last commercial break…really something new for Oscars – whole thing feels not only younger without trying too hard, which was what I feared, but also strangely democratic

Oprah enters and receives dutiful but not overwhelming applause … wonder what industrial material the corset’s made of? … nice to put someone so high profile to present the documentary awards

LOOOVED what Charles Ferguson, winner for INSIDE JOB, said about the lack of jail for the greedy deserving

Anne’s silver fringed dress a bit much – very tackie Mackie – Rachel Zoe styled her and really went for it

‘Take a leak’ said Robert Downey Jr. adding to the linguistic color of the night…in a class-less age, why should the Oscars possibly have any? And it feels somehow more right than any hypocritical clinging to a non-existent elegance which has just felt so cluelessly stodgy for lo these many years. It’s akin to Franco’s snark about this year’s ‘dirty’ film titles, RABBIT HOLE, WINTER’S BONE, etc., very on point in our puerile zeitgeist

Although she looks hot, Best Song presenter Jennifer Hudson’s new body has paid a facial price – black can crack

Florence of the Machine – just what we need: a new Sinead

When I think country music, I just can’t help thinking of the down-home folksiness, dues-paying, ‘Hi how are ya, neighbor?” utter realness of ….Gwyneth Paltrow

During the “Death Montage,” everybody’s secret favorite moment, Celine sang “Smile” very prettily..and what a beautiful clip of a radiant young Susannah York

great choice to end with Lena Horne

beautiful shade of deep blue on Anne’s 56th gown change

it’s great to finally to have last year’s best director Kathryn Bigelow (and not a director “star” of which there are maybe four – Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola and Lucas – give the best director award

to the profoundly undeserving Tom Hooper, who basically did a Sidney Franklin (look him up) job on THE KING’S SPEECH…proof once more that aesthetically the Oscars are so often worthless. Hooper’s work doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned alongside David Fincher’s for THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

Annette Bening, who gets the Honorary Trouper Award for going to every Awards show this year only to ubiquitously lose to Natalie Portman for Best Actress, gets more and more Ida Lupino-looking (in a very Lupino-looking gown) as she ages, and announces the Special Award winners – nonentities like Jean Luc Godard, Eli Wallach, Frances Ford Coppola, Haskell Wexler and Kevin Brownlow (whose book THE PARADE’S GONE BY was one of my major childhood influences as an aspiriing film critic) – not deserving of precious air time. They received their awards at the non-televised banquet held months before this, to me, the truly exclusive event we are all not invited to.


Ida Lupino

Grizzled Jeff Bridges gives Best Actress to the nominees which include Annette Bening (brave to eschew a Streisand choker).
Whose that greasy pimp sitting behind Jennifer Lawrence?

Nicole Kidman, whose looks completely fade in contrast to those of of Andrew Garfield, sitting behind her

oh, it’s Darren Aronofsky who sooo needs to shave that creepy Paul Snider/STAR 80/1970s gay clone who won’t let go-moustache already.

Natalie Portman, who must be thinking “God, please no upsets!”

and Michelle Williamson, who must just feel lucky to be there

Bridges’ address to the nominees has a high school principal feel to it, unavoidable I guess

go into labor now, Natalie, you won! – and really make Oscar history!!

lovely tearful sincere speech mentioning all the so-called little people behind the camera, and she gets to walk off to the SWAN LAKE theme … does it get any better??

cool mock-up set of Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Sandra Bullock presenting Best Actor retains her real America’s down-to-earth Sweetheart title, especially addressing Jeff Bridges (“Dude!”) and, after the year she’s gone through, the entire universe must just love her

Colin Firth wins and gives the speech everyone wants him to – self-effacing, noble, ever-so-moved, but with that essential stiff upper lip – in fact it’s the identical performance (sans stuttering) he gave in THE KING’S SPEECH, and A SINGLE MAN, etc etc etc

Spielberg – entitled and pompous – walks on to present the lucky one out of 10 films to win Best Picture and mentions eminent past losers as a sop to this year’s disappointed. However, as anyone with any taste knows, RAGING BULL never deserved a Best Picture award, the most overrated film of all time perhaps … a film which probably ushered in today’s lack of scripted literacy definitively with its incessant f-bombs

what the fuck is with THE KING’S SPEECH soundtrack being played over the nominees signalling sans doubt that it’s going to inevitably win?

I am so heartily sick of our country’s grovelling Anglomania already!

Made worse by the producer referring to his ‘acting royalty’ This is fucking America- WE HAVE NO ROYALTY, YOU SILLY GIT!

…okay, okay he mentions his boyfriend…yay for us gays: looks like we’ve got one happy – if undeserving – Queen tonight!

and that hideously sappy children’s chorus may have just completely undone all the good that went before it…I guess there was no way we could leave even this year’s ‘new young and improved Oscars’ without feeling – as always -somehow besmirched by overweening cornball tackiness.

COPYRIGHT: davidnoh 2011

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TAMMY TELLS US TRUE

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2011 at 3:06 am

Few things on TV make me literally fall off my chair, but Debbie Reynolds on the Feb. 15, 2011 OPRAH show gave us all a hilariously wry post-Valentine’s Day gift, reminiscing about ex-husband Eddie Fisher

click here

That oh-so sweet and innocent, Peter Pan collar-wearing Tammy movie image Reynolds was always shackled with belied the very salty dame who lurked beneath all that bland niceness. Like that other showbiz avatar of wholesomeness, Florence “BRADY BUNCH” Henderson, Reynolds positively delights in sending it all up, as when, years ago, on another talk show, she recounted an excruciatingly slow, sentimental story Jimmy Stewart once told her on the set of HOW THE WEST OF WON about some old hound dog which ended with an impersonation of said canine, with Reynolds’ letting a long string of on-air saliva dribble from her lips.

That was probably the only other time I ever fell off my chair watching the tube and wonder if anyone else out there remembers that moment and which show it was?

Here’s Debbie again, younger but just as full of spunk, on the set of her 1954 film ATHENA

COPYRIGHT: davidnoh2011

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

What with yet more winter storms coming our way, this sexy Frank Loesser classic, which was featured in the film NEPTUNE’S DAUGHTER and won the Oscar for Best Song in 1949, has been running non-stop through my brain, especially after the charming treatment it got on that GLEE episode with Chris Colfer and uber-talented Darren Criss

click here

The song is possibly the most covered duet in record history, performed by such couples as Ricardo Montalban & Esther Williams, as well as Red Skelton & Betty Garrett, in NEPTUNE’S DAUGHTER, Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer, Pearl Bailey & Hot Lips Page, Louis Armstrong & Velma Middleton, Ray Charles & Betty Carter, Barry Manilow & K.T. Oslin, Robert Palmer & Carnie Wilson, Sammy Davis Jr. & Carmen McRae, Ray Charles & Dionne Warwick, Bette Midler & James Caan (in the film FOR THE BOYS), Natalie Cole & James Taylor, Willie Nelson & Norah Jones, Dolly Parton & Rod Stewart, Ann-Marget & Al Hirt, Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey (God help us), Rod McKuen & Petula Clark, Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone (for the film ELF), and even Miss Piggy & Rudolf Nuryev in a steam bath on THE MUPPET SHOW.

Possibly the most unforgettable version was sung by Mae West and Rock Hudson (who loved nothing more than musically camping it up) on the 1957 Oscar telecast, which must driven the censors crazy (especially when Hudson offers her a cigarette, ad-libbing “King size!” while she responds with one of her patented “Ow!”‘s).


in rehearsal

for the live performance, click here

Hang in there: warmer days are on the way, and, apropos of nothing, really, save my love for Nuryev, here’s a very “happy” shot of him with Tab Hunter

and, if that didn’t rouse you enough, here’s another sizzling Darren Criss moment on GLEE, which completely made Superbowl Sunday for moi

click here

and, lest anyone out there think I’m some kind of full-on unregenerated Gleek: no, I like the show with reservations, often finding one divine moment like the one above, only to be followed by another tiresome Sue Sylvester evil rant (and what’s with that little helper, anyway?) or way-overloaded p.c. appeal (the coming together of jocks & nerds over “Thriller” was a little much) or Matt Morrison just being too too for words, etc.

OLYMPIA LATESSA

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2011 at 5:39 am

Having just seen the Roundabout revival of Tennessee Williams’ most sheerly campy play, THE MILK TRAIN DOESN’T STOP HERE ANYMORE, all I can say is that leading lady Olympia Dukakis

not only looks like Broadway veteran, Dick (HAIRSPRAY) Latessa

but, with her bellowing, declamatory manner and complete lack of essential alluring sensuality and/or femininity, in a word, Butch Beyond Belief, she acts like him, too…only with the addition of the lousiest Southern accent – in which “teeth” becomes “toyth” and “coffee,” “coff-oy” – ever heard since, well, her own in STEEL MAGNOLIAS. Who could forget: “Well, if yuh cain’t say anything na-ice about any-bou-dy, co-ome si-it he-ah!” (Definitely from the South…of Jersey)


“Psst, Oly, your accent sucks!”

COPYRIGHT: davidnoh2011