Though I am a great list maker regarding things I have to do and things I must do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. My problem comes when I am asked to make lists of my favorite actors, actresses, movies, plays, musicals, books, etc. I look over these lists and I see so many names I have left out plus how many if I were making the lists today wouldn’t be on it or at least the position they are on.
I’ll stick by these lists for now, especially the ‘yesteryear’ categories, but the new ones can change from day to day. All lists are arbitrary but there are two things I am sure of with the first being that Charlize Theron gives/gave THE best performance on the silver screen ever given and “A Chorus Line” is THE best stage musical I have ever seen but that’s for another day!
FILM ACTORS FROM YESTERYEAR
1. Marlon Brando
2. Gene Kelley
3. George Sanders
4. Jeff Chandler
5. Claude Raines
6. Ryan O’Neal
7. Jack Lemmon
8. Rod Steiger
9. Laurence Olivier
10. Robert Mitchum
FILM ACTORS OF TODAY
1. Ralph Fienes
2. Michael Fassbendor
3. Jake Gylenhaal
4. Edward Norton
5. Matthew McConaughey
6. Ian McKellan
7. George Cloooney
8. Viggo Mortissen
9. Al Pacino
10. Dustin Hoffman
FILM “GLAMOUR STARS” FROM YESTERDAY
1. Ava Gardner
2. Lana Turner
3. Rita Hayworth
4. Cyd Charisse
5. Hedy LaMarr
FILM ACTRESSES FROM YESTERYEAR
1. Bette Davis
2. Susan Hayward
3. Kim Stanley
4. Joan Crawford
5. Jennifer Jones
6. Vivian Leigh
7. Judy Holliday
8. Judy Garland
9. Ida Lupino
10. Melina Mercouri
11. Geraldine Page
12. Betty Hutton
13. Doris Day
14. Ingrid Bergman
THOSE WHOSE MOVIES I WON’T MISS WHEN THEY COME OUT (NO MATTER WHAT THE REVIEWS ARE!)
1. Jennifer Lawrence
2. Rosemary Pike
3. Glenn Close
4. Russell Crowe
5. Barbra Streisand
6. Charlize Theron
7. Shirley McClaine
8. Shailene Woodley
9. Judi Dench
10. Gugu Mbatha-Raw
11. Matt Damon
12. Daniel Day-Lewis
13. Hugh Jackman
14. Michael Caine
And a dozen more! :O)
How many of the following do you know? Have seen?
By default instead of seeing “The Water Diviner” we went to see “The Road Within” a ‘small’ independent movie that wouldn’t be made by one of the big studios.
The film opens with Vincent (Robert Sheehan) in church at his mother’s funeral ceremony sitting with his father (Robert Patrick), a politician, when all of a sudden he bursts into twitches and out loud foul language which includes calling the priest a pedophile, a faggot, telling the other people that the priest dyes his pubic hair. These are expressions of his Tourette’s Syndrome that he claims his brain controls.
In the next scene we see him being checked into an experiment treatment center in Nevada run by an experimental therapist (Kyra Sedgwick) as she introduces him to his roommate Alex (Dev Patel) who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder along with a severe germ phobia. Very soon Marie (Zoe Kravitz), who is anorexic and has already had heart failure because of it, comes to Vincent’s room to tell she is to show him around.
Before you know what is happening Marie steals the keys to the therapist’s car and the trio are off on a road trip to spread Vincent’s mother’s ashes on the ocean in California. The center of the movie revolves how the 3 youths react to, and with, each other. In a way this is a triangle but not in the way you may think.
Kyra Sedgwick is wasted in her role and though Robert Patrick has 2 effective scenes it is the 3 young stars who save the movie that doesn’t really know whether it wants to be a comedy or not and is hesitant to deal with what is known about the illnesses.
Dev Patel, at 24, is building an excellent resume with his Slumdog Millionaire, the 2 Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films, this film and his role in the television series The Newsroom. I was not familiar with Zoe Kravitz, 26, before this film though she does have 2 famous parents plus having been in 26 films including 2 X-Men films and Insurgent: the Divergent series and will be in Mad Max opening in May. The most impressive is 27 year old Irish actor Robert Sheehan who I am certainly looking forward to seeing more of in future movies and will look into the 12 films he has already made.
“The Road Within” probably won’t be seen by many people but should be if no other rason the acting of the 3 young leads.
(COMMENT BOARD AT THE GATEWAY THEATRE)
This is a 7 part series of movies from the past so they will be remembered by a new generation that may only know a few.
Out of the millions of movies made in the 20th century there are moments that are imprinted in your mind that can pop up at any time. It can range from a shower scene with haunting music or an actress entering a scene or walking down a staircase or a lawyer arguing a case and no matter what it is there are times it will pop up unexpectedly.
How many of these have you seen? Heard? Remember?
Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the rain from the classic musical “Singing In The Rain.”
Deborah Kerr sharing an embrace on the beach as the water laps at their feet in “From Here To Eternity” or Kerr and Yul Bryner dancing around the room in “The King and I.”
Anita Ekberg dressed in the fountain in “La Dolce Vita.”
Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse “Dancing In The Dark” in Central Park in “Bandwagon.” Or Cyd and Gene in “Brigadoon.”
Shirley MacLaine begging Frank Sinatra to love her in “Some Came Running” or being sarcastic in “Steel Magnolias” and dancing up a storm while singing “If My Friend Could See Me Now” in “Sweet Charity”.
Liz Taylor and Montgomery Clift dancing in “A Place In The Sun” as the camera whirls around them.
Katherine Hepburn coming down in the elevator in “Suddenly Last Summer”.
Brando telling Rod Steiger “I could have been a contender!” or Kim Hunter and Vivian Leigh under Louisiana law he is the king of his house in “A Streetcar Named Desire” or saying “I gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse,” in “The Godfather”.
Lana Turner dressed in a white turban, white blouse, tight white shorts entering the kitchen ready to seduce John Garfield in “The Postman Always Rings Twice.”
Gene Tierney throwing herself down the stairs to lose her baby or sitting in the canoe watching Cornel Wilde’s kid brother drown in “Leave Her To Heaven”.
Clifton Webb sitting in the bathtub of water typing his column in “Laura”.
Gloria Swanson ready for her close-up for Cecil B. DeMille in “Sunset Boulevard”.
TAKE A LOOK
How many of you still read the printed version of your hometown newspaper? I do. I look forward to sitting down around 11 AM with cup of coffee and going through the paper leaving the Jumble and Crossword puzzles for the last before I get dressed and start my day.
Many things have changed with the paper, first and foremost the price. To subscribe for a year costs, for our city paper, over $230 a year plus a “transportation cost” of close to $20 each three months. I have tried to find out what that charge means as I know of the 260 apartments here I am not the only one who gets the paper delivered and they are not just transporting it to me!
Along with that there is a $2 charge each for the football preview issue, the guide to the arts issue and the Thanksgiving Day issue.
You now have to buy, each week, the TV magazine section if you want it. They have eliminated the Sunday magazine issue plus instead of a Lifestyle and a separate Travel and Leisure section they have combined both eliminating many columns and sections they had for both. The comics are no longer in color every day. Oh yes, you have to request weekend ad section if you want it.
The Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday issues are almost laughable with the news sections being so thin you could make a paper airplane out of them. The one thing they haven’t changed, or charged extra for, YET, is the Friday Showtime section telling you about all that’s going on in town.
It is no secret that papers are losing money left and right and they would be very happy if you would subscribe to their digital versions but those versions don’t have the ‘important’ sections: comics, TV schedule, crossword puzzle, Jumble, etc. I have also found that many limit the number of articles you can read per month unless you want to pay a premium price.
The sad thing is that by the time the printed version of the paper is delivered you have heard all the news on television. It use to be the newspaper did in depth stories on the current news but that is no longer true. Like your local TV half hour news programs they are all short, mostly puff, pieces. Google, Bing, Yahoo have become the newspapers of today!
Do I really NEED those comics, the Jumble and Crossword puzzles, in front of me on the table as I sip my coffee every morning? Time to make another change in life?
Since the first of April I chose over “Woman In Gold” movies such as “Danny Collins” (good), “The Longest Ride” (okay), “While We’re Young” (awful) and “Desert Dancer” (okay) until today when I went to see “Woman In Gold” which I definitely should have seen before now.
The painting in question, “The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” by Gustav Klimt, was used as a test case before the Supreme court regarding reparation for Jewish descendants whose family art was stolen by the Nazis. It is based on a true story that brought Maria Altman (played by Helen Mirren as an adult and Tatiana Maslany as young Maria) and a young lawyer, Randol Schoenberg (played by Ryan Reynolds) together to fight for the portrait of her aunt, along with other art works, that Austria claimed and saw as their “Mona Lisa”.
There are a series of flashbacks throughout the movie showing the Jewish Altman family, society and cultural leaders of Vienna, and what happened to them and their belongings when Hitler and his Nazis marched into Austria. Though many of these scenes are familiar they still resonate with the cruelty they caused on all levels.
The major part of the film is the interaction between the unsophisticated lawyer Reynolds and the refined Mirren, who can have a very sharp tongue. The chemistry between the two makes their journey together very believable as does Daniel Bruhl when he comes to their aid as an Austrian journalist aware of injustices of the past on a personal level.
Part Holocaust story, part courtroom drama and part history the whole movie is elevated by the acting of the leads especially, no surprise here, by Helen Mirren, who can throw out quips with gusto and whose face can express so much without dialogue.
As with most ‘based on a true story’ films much is left out such as Maria having children and what happened to her husband, played by Max Irons, though a major scene and middle portion of the film involves him. Over the credits we see pictures of the real people and we learn what happened to most of them.
The direction, especially the Austrian scenes, by Simon Curtis are generally well done as is the screenplay by Alexi Kaye Campbell, though the latter does pull at the heartstrings at points while the score by Martin Phipps and Hans Zimmer adds emotional tension to some scenes.
“Woman In Gold” is a movie that pulls you into all aspects of the story to the point of involving you emotionally!
Travolta strolling down the streets of Brooklyn to Staying Alive in “Saturday Night Fever”
Bette Davis “I’d like to kiss you but I just washed my hair,” in “Cabin In The Cotton”
“Love means never having to say your are sorry,” from “Love Story” with Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal
Shirley Booth calling for Sheba in “Come Back Little Sheba”.
Ursula Andress coming out of the ocean in a very skimpy bathing suit in “Dr. No” as Bond girl Honey Ryder.
Sophia Loren all wet in “A Boy On A Dolphin”.
Sidney Poitier reaching out to grab Tony Curtiss’ hand to pull him up on the train in “The Defiant Ones”.
Ava Gardner in an iridescent blue/green gown entering the room in “The Barefoot Contessa”.
Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin singing and dancing “New York, New York” in “On The Town”.
Brandon DeWilde calling for “Shane” to come back.
Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in the hotel room in “The Graduate”.
Dustin Hoffman slamming the taxi hood in “Midnight Cowboy”.
Marilyn Monroe walking away from the camera in “Niagara”.
James Cagney yelling, “Look Ma! I am on the top of the world” in “White Heat” or his mashing a grapefruit in Mae Clark’s face in “Public Enemy”.
“You talking to me?” in “Taxi Driver”.
Paul Newman and Patricia Neal in the kitchen in “Hud”.
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more,” bellowed by Peter Finch in “Network”.
100 YEARS OF MOVIES!
(This photo taken of me in front of the Shubert Theatre at the performance when “A Chorus Line” became the longest running show on Broadway!)
THE well earned salute this past week at the Public Theatre!
It is no secret to anyone who knows me that my all time favorite musical is “A Chorus Line”. I have seen it 101 times on stage in cities such as New York, Memphis, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise, St. Louis just to name a few.
I came across the above YouTube video and all I could think was that I wish I was there.
The closest you can come to seeing the stage show on tape is seeing the documentary “Every Little Step” which followed the auditions for the 2006 revival. Please DO NOT SEE the Hollywood version from stage to film as it is probably one of the worst adaptations of a Broadway show to film.
For more information regarding “A Chorus Line” I suggest you search the extensive past posts I have written about the show or go to wikipedia for its history.