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Entries in Tony Awards (27)

Friday
Jul252014

Truth Tell: Barbara Harris is Underappreciated

A Happy 79th birthday to Barbara Harris. She hasn't acted in such a long time but she was often just wonderful on the screen with unique rhythm, energy and comic ability.

I'm not sure that anything about Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot (Hitch's last feature in 1976) totally works but if you could argue that any of it does it's either the cemetery scene or anything involving Barbara Harris's performance as a con-artist psychic. The movie is frustrating since it feels half formed and its inarguably flabby:  every time you need the editing too tighten it up which would have made everything, including the memorable actors (Karen Black and Bruce Dern are also on hand), pop. It just keeps the scene going.

Barbara Harris's largest claim to fame these days is her Golden Globe nominated work in the original Freaky Friday (1976) wherein she switched bodies with her tomboy daughter Jodie Foster but my favorite Harris performance ever is her role as "Albuquerque" in Robert Altman's masterpiece Nashville (1975)

It don't worry me.
It don't worry me.
You may say that I'm not free. It don't worry me ♫ 

 I'd be okay with the entire 1975 Supporting Actress Oscar lineup just being ladies from Nashville, all told. 

Exit Music. Here's Barbara Harris doing bits from "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," a role she originated on Broadway in 1965 to the tune of a Tony nomination before Barbra Streisand took over in the film version five years later.

 

Monday
Jun092014

Linkbusters

The Daily Beast the sexual politics of Ghostbusters, 30 years later
The Wire the career of Lorraine Toussaint before Orange is the New Black 
BFI let's kill the buzzword "hybrid" when it comes to documentaries 
/Film there might be a sequel to Neighbors... which wouldn't surprise anyone
Variety Kino-Lorber has picked up one of Sundance's buzziest titles A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, an Iranian vampire movie, for US distribution (Glenn's review icymi)


In Contention on an new animated contender from GKids, Boy vs. World 
Pajiba celebrates Emily Blunt's greatness as an action star in Edge of Tomorrow
Guardian The director and his muse will try for more Oscars in 2016 with a biopic called Joy about the creator of the Miracle Mop. She was 12 years out of college with 3 children when all this stuff happened. Eventually Jennifer Lawrence will be old enough for the parts David O. Russell keeps casting her in.  
MTV Channing Tatum still super excited about Gambit prospects. Everyone wants their superhero dollars
AV Club rumors abound that it's either Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy or Jared Leto for Doctor Strange. I worry that Marvel has no clear vision of what they want. What connects any of those actors beyond fame? Very different gifts and styles. (I love Hardy as an actor but he seems like a terrible fit for that character)

Off Cinema
Variety on the explosion of new TV shows in summer now that the game has changed
Cinema Blend Steven Spielberg wants to turn Bryan Cranston's tony winning performance into a tv miniseries
Playbill shares the Tony "In Memoriam" segment that strangely didn't air 
Playbill collects all the Tony performances in one place (seriously, it's like no one even needs to watch live tv anymore) 

And finally I just want to say a big congratulations to Peyton Reed for his new gig.  I've been rooting for him ever since the one-two punch of Bring It On and Down With Love, two stylish, absorbing, joyful, funny movies with a real vision behind them. I was bummed when his proposed retro version of Fantastic Four was cancelled in the Aughts and for what: A low-rent generic lousy f/x heavy version? But it's been so long since he was in the news that I figured his career was over. But now he'll direct Ant-Man. There's been a lot of online sniping calling him a hack, even from sites I otherwise like, but those writers should really think before they type and consider his filmography. There's some "for hire" business yes, but he's a good director. It's an unexpected choice but a good one... even if I'm still deeply suspicious of the project considering Wright's departure and Marvel's current game plans.

Monday
Jun092014

Tony Award Winners

Did you watch the Tony Awards last night? The evening began with Hugh Jackman proving his physical fitness -- his knees get such a workout -- by hopping through his entire continuous shot production number, basically a tour of the backstage and upcoming performers in costume.

That led to a night of high energy but strange and touristy musical number choices like numbers from ancient top-selling shows (Les Miz and Wicked) rather than new ones that need the sales help and non-Broadway celebrities like Sting and Jennifer Hudson taking up a lot of room to sell shows that aren't even open. It'd be a bit like the Oscars going "how about Interstellar?" while giving prizes to Gravity back in March. 

Hugh Jackman also rapped with LL Cool Jr via the famously chatty opening number of "The Music Man" Hugh Jackman has now spent 14 years of his career playing Wolverine and at this point he's really wasting his life (I mean once you have 100s of millions, what's 20 million more?). He needs to commit and make only movie musicals before he's too old.  

Highlights and winners of the night after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May202014

Curio: Celebrating Sir Ian 

Alexa here with some film curios for you. It's a big week for Sir Ian McKellen.  X-Men: Days of Future Past opens with his return as Magneto (along with Fassy playing the younger version of course) and on Sunday he turns 75.  He has much to celebrate, such a long and storied career on stage and screen, but I do wish there'd been an Oscar by now (he was my pick in 1999 for his James Whale in Gods and Monsters).  Maybe his turn as an aged Sherlock Holmes in A Slight Trick of the Mind will bring one? I'm already excited to see his interpretation of the deductive master.

 For now, here are some goodies to wish him a happy three-quarters century.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr292014

Tony Award Noms 2014: Much Movie-to-Stage Madness

The Tony Award Nominations are upon us. 8:30 AM is, I think, officially my favorite time each day. It's always when award nominations for anything are announced. Plus I've already had a cup of coffee, am wide awake and have usually already written something. The curse of the Early Riser. The 2013/2014 Broadway season  -- at least for the musicals -- was completely dominated by movie-to-stage transfers or classics that have become movies and are back on the stage again but most of the transfers didn't fare as well as you might have expected.

Ever adorable Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu announced the nominees this morning with A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder leading the tally and Hedwig and the Angry Inch close behind. A complete list with commentary follows

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr162014

Strictly 4 My L.I.N.K.A.Z.

The Wire Joe & Mark predict the Tony nominees in the play categories. Could Audra McDonald win a sixth Tony? (The nominations are only two weeks away)
Defamer Paul Walker's incomplete scenes from Fast and Furious 7 will be played by his real life brothers
AV Club a TV series on Sigmund Freud is ALSO going to be a cop show because every other television series is required to be. Gross.

Just Jared Magic Mike XXL gets a release date: July 3rd, 2015. That's only 443 days away, pervs
YouTube final X-Men Days of Future Past trailer, to spell out the plot though the notion of Professor X laughing in disbelief about time travel is unintentionally funny given the company he keeps: shapeshifters, psychics, blue skinned freaks, weather goddesses, people with laser eryes, fancy-skeletons berzerkers...
Pajiba 7 ways tv shows have covered up unexpected pregnancies from Mad Men to Sex & the City
My New Plaid Pants Yay. Picks of Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of his boxing film Southpaw 
MNPP Which is hotter? Charlie Chaplin: Führer, Tramp or Thief?

Cast This?
Variety the Tupac biopic via John Singleton is happening. Expect casting announcements soon. Wouldn't it be hilarious if Chadwick Boseman gets a third consecutive biopic? (no) WHO WOULD YOU WANT IN THE LEADING ROLE? And unknown or...

Finally...
Geek Dad has lots of fun quotes from Anthony Mackie about superheroes and Captain America: The Winter Soldier including this delightful bit on getting in shape for it...

Fitness is a lifestyle, you have to eat a certain way... So you know, me and my homeboy Jack Daniels stopped talking. You know, no more pizza. Me and my girlfriend Häagen-Dazs broke up. She’s French; it was crazy.

And then I show up and you know, Chris looks like a Greek god. And I’m feeling good about myself, I’m like Spandex-ready, you know. And I show up and he’s like, Captain Tiny Ass. And I’m like, “Dude, how’d you get your ass that small?” Like this [GESTURES AS THOUGH SQUEEZING A SMALL BOTTOM], it’s that big – you know. And I’m man size, like I can lift the whole building. And I look at his butt and I’m like, “What did you do? What did you do to it?”

If only there was video!

Saturday
Aug032013

A Raisin in the (Hollywood) Sun

Dancin' Dan here with the news that made my week: Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun is coming back to Broadway. This news alone might not necessarily be cheer-worthy since it was just revived in 2004 but other than one of the great American plays back on the boards it's the starry cast attached to it that brings the excitement. Denzel Washington will lead the ensemble in the role of Walter Lee Younger which was played by Sidney Poitier on both stage and screen. So Denzel's Training Day Oscar speech continues to be true.

I'll always be chasing you Sidney. I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing I would rather do, sir."

Joining Denzel will be no less than three Oscar or Tony-nominated actresses: Sophie Okonedo (as Walter's wife Ruth, originally played by Ruby Dee), Anika Noni Rose, and Diahann Carroll (as Younger family matriarch Lena, most recently played on Broadway by Phylicia Rashad).

WOW.

Taking a page from Cicely Tyson's book and returning to the stage after 30 years, Carroll is certainly my main draw here, despite Denzel's wonderful Tony-winning turn in August Wilson's Fences which was his last Broadway performance. He said he wanted to do this because his wife was outpacing him on the theater front and he wanted to catch up. Love that healthy competition!

Despite the play's acclaim, the original production of A Raisin in the Sun won none of the four Tony Awards for which it was nominated (it was a crowded year, with The Miracle Worker, The Best Man, and Toys in the Attic all being major players), and while the 2004 revival missed the Best Revival of a Play Tony (which went to Henry IV), it did score nods for its three main actresses, including a win for Phylicia Rashad.

Fun fact: Diahann Carroll was the first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (for No Strings in 1962). Can she pull the same trick as Rashad and add one for Drama to her mantle? Can Washington finally catch up to Poitier? Will the third time be the charm for this gem of American drama? We'll find out in April 2014.