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The Oscars 2011: Which Cause Will Inspire the Most Obnoxious Political Statements?
25 Feb 2011
by Jeffrey Jena
Well it’s that time of year when all of the rich leftists in Hollywood get out their $40,000 dollar gowns, put on their millions in jewelry, climb into their limos, and head up to the Kodak Theater to pat themselves on the back for being working class heroes. I couldn’t care less about which picture or actor gets a trophy, I just love listening to the political correctness and monumental hubris on display for the world to see.
In the past I have tried to guess the Oscar winners by trying to decide which films best fit into the current liberal Hollywood zeitgeist. My favorite nomination this year is the truly mediocre “The Kid’s are Alright.” It’s about a lesbian couple’s kids who seek their biological father and realize the moms make better dads! If this movie had ended with the one woman admitting she digs guys and leaving her lesbian partner, do you think it would have been nominated?
This year I have decided to add my own category. The category is: Which liberal cause will come up most often during the evening. And the nominees are:
Republicans Destroying Unions: Starring: The State of Wisconsin, Screenplay by John Trumka and Mitch Stewart. I predict that at least three people will mention how they stand in solidarity with the government workers in Wisconsin, and around the world. Forget the fact that the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA, the two largest performer’s unions, don’t allow their “poorer” members access to the union health care plan or pension at any price. Multimillionaire union actors will stand with their brothers and sisters who are being asked to fork over a few bucks for their lavish benefit packages. As we already know, SAG has been drumbeating for the folks protesting in Wisconsin already! I love how my unions spend my money on causes with which I don’t agree, but I’m getting off the subject.
Revolutions are Us: Starring: Countries throughout Africa and the Middle East, Screenplay by Google and The Muslin Brotherhood from an original work by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I’m sure someone will mention how great all the revolutions are in Africa and the Middle East. Forget the fact that the first people who an Islamic government will line up against a wall are Jews, homosexuals and artists.
We’re Still Here: Starring: Whoopi Goldberg. The Whoopster made a lot of noise on The View about not being mentioned in a New York Times article about the lack of Black nominees this year. Please note she wasn’t upset about the lack of Black nominees but that she wasn’t mentioned as an Oscar winner. Maybe Ms. Goldberg has made so many turkeys since Ghost in 1990 that the writer was trying to be nice to her by not reminding people that at one time Whoopi was considered a serious actress.
One could make the case that winning an Oscar is a bad career move for an actor or actress of color. In addition to Ms. Goldberg the careers of Jamie Foxx, Cuba Gooding Jr. Louis Gossett Jr., Jennifer Hudson, and Halle Berry have certainly not been on the upswing lately. Even the great Sidney Poitier was never recognized again after winning in 1963. To be fair to the Academy, most of his movies after 1967 were very forgettable.
I know people will be critical of me so let me state for the record that I don’t say Mr. Poitier or Ms. Goldberg shouldn’t have taken any of the less than stellar roles they were offered. Trust me, if they make “Sister Act VII” or “They Call Me Mr. Tibbs 4” and offer me the most minor roll, I would jump on it like Bob Goldthwaite jumped on “Hot to Trot!” Hey you gotta pay the bills and make the minimum to get your union health care.
The real minority in Hollywood that gets ignored every year are conservative actors, directors and producers. Are any conservative actors, directors or producers up for an award this year?
Who do we see about that?
Last edited by Katiedot on Sat Feb 26 2011, 11:21; edited 1 time in total
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Posted: February 25, 2011
My mother called to ask if I'm going to the Oscars. Um, no. If I'm lucky, I won't be watching alone in my yoga clothes. Or if I'm really lucky, maybe I will be.
She's asked every year for almost a decade, since 2002 when I actually did go to the Academy Awards with my friend Ted from college. That time, I took my cellphone on the red carpet, watched Renee Zellweger twirl around (repeatedly) in her yellow vintage gown and J. Lo sport a 50s do, and called a few friends. I also called my mother, sealing my fate that she would assume I belonged on the red carpet of every awards show the rest of my life.
My mother phoned in January to see if I was going to the Golden Globes. Though I did go to the In Style Globes Viewing Party for half a decade while I worked at the magazine, I never attended the actual ceremony. That fact never swayed her notion that I was inside that festive ballroom, laughing and drinking champagne with Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, and she would possibly see me on TV, maybe even accepting some kind of award. Impossible, since I was an employee at a magazine, not a film or TV star. Didn't matter. She thought, and still thinks, I belong inside.
I haven't worked at the magazine for three years. My life is quite different now. This year I watched the first half of the Globes at home alone. Then I drove my Jetta to a friend's house to watch the second half so we could drink wine.
Truth is, I'm happier to watch on a large HDTV than to be a working spectator. For me it wasn't "fun" to go to the Oscars or Globes or any other awards show that's a competition between famous, gorgeous people unless I were a famous, gorgeous person, or had a real professional reason to be there. And even then, perhaps those inside would say it's a drag unless you win. And even then...
A viewing party is supposedly the next best thing to going to the awards show. Here's how it works at the Globes: A large company (like a magazine) hosts a dinner inside the Beverly Hilton where the ceremony is taking place nearby. The dinner is in a makeshift fancy room, constructed atop the hotel's outdoor swimming pool. The awards ceremony is televised on closed circuit TV while you eat chicken. After dinner, the viewing party is transformed from banquet to bash in a matter of minutes, with waiters folding up dining tables and guests not knowing where to stand. This becomes the after party. When the actual Golden Globes ceremony was over, the people who went to the real Golden Globes would hopefully then come to your after party.
I was always awkward there, pretending I had some reason to be chatting with Bradley Cooper or Alicia Witt. I didn't want to gawk, or act like a friend, or talk about a magazine story. I'm cringing at this second, even though I did have a legitimate professional reason to chat them up. It was slightly thrilling when George Clooney squeezed my arm and asked where the bar was. But I was always left wanting. Wanting more, wanting real, wanting the expectation in my mind to be fulfilled. I thought the famous people would be more everything, but just like regular people you and I don't know, they weren't all that. It also made me want more of myself, to not feel like an outsider with a big "L" etched on my forehead, which of course I placed there myself.
I will admit it was spectacular to borrow and wear Erica Courtney's Rock Star ring with the 15-carat diamond or the micro diamond earrings from Martin Katz when I got all dressed up for the Viewing Party. (I had to Master Cleanse for weeks to wear the sample dress.) But the anxiety over losing the gems outweighed the pleasure of wearing them. Christina Hendricks lost her borrowed $850,000 Chopard diamond bracelet on the red carpet at the Globes this year. It was recovered. What would happen if it were really gone? Or if I accidentally dropped the Rock Star ring down the Porta Potty? I couldn't sleep till I returned the jewels. Reality punctured my fantasy.
Before you say "Poor baby," "She's a whiner," "anyone would want to go" -- I get it. I am happy I went. Just saying I'll be happier to watch the Oscars on TV Sunday night, wear my hair in a ponytail, and maybe win a friend's Oscar pool (it won't be the first time). I'll call my mother from L.A. and discuss the gowns on the red carpet. I'll keep her fantasy intact. And be happiest of all that someone has that blind confidence in me. She doesn't need to know I'm on the couch in my yoga clothes.
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Posted: Fri., Feb. 25, 2011
Reporters, publicists play game year-round - Awards season respite more a thing of the past
By Tatiana Siegel
Though Hollywood publicists and journalists moved to a 24/7 news cycle years ago, the two camps still used to enjoy something of a reprieve from their conflicting missions in the run-up to the Oscars.
For more than half of the year, industry reporters chased stories -- often publishing or posting prematurely in the ever-increasing quest to be first -- while handlers tried to protect their clients from the fallout. Then, from October to late February, the goals of journos and flacks would dovetail as the focus switched to feeding the awards-season beast, with exclusives and firsts taking a backseat to smarter analysis and better access.
But that vacation is over, at least according to Hollywood's media strategists, who will gather today at the 48th annual ICG Publicists Awards luncheon at the Beverly Hilton. In its place is a 365-day news cycle in which Oscar-related scoops -- like last year's story involving "The Hurt Locker" producer Nicolas Chartier being banned from the Academy Awards over an anti-"Avatar" e-mail -- have newfound value and often play out for days.
"There is no harmonious truce that magically breaks out between publicists and journalists just because it is awards season," explains Steve Elzer, senior VP of media relations at Sony Pictures Entertainment. "There is a lot of reporting that goes on (during) this period."
In fact, the hardball/softball paradigm has morphed into a mandate of hardball all of the time.
"There is no question that the proliferation of blogs and online journalism has put enormous new pressure on publicists and journalists alike," Elzer says.
Oscar strategist Tony Angellotti, who is handling the "Toy Story 3" campaign this year, quips that he is "irascible year-round, not just off-season."
In fact, he says the feeling is mutual with Hollywood's hungry press corps. "I don't see a disconnect between the way press treat us or we treat them (during awards season)," he notes.
Last year's Les Mason Award recipient Stan Rosenfield, a personal publicist who handled the Oscar-winning campaigns of clients George Clooney and Helen Mirren in back-to-back years and is overseeing Geoffrey Rush's supporting actor bid this year, insists that the same rules apply out of season as during the Academy race.
"Journalists want certain stories from us, and when they don't get (them), they are not happy with us," notes Rosenfield, relaying an anecdote about a reporter pleading that his boss expected him to break a particular story involving an A-list client. "But if you want to be good at what you do, you need to have a meaningful relationship with the press. Everyone has a really good memory. Whatever your relationship is in May is your relationship in December."
As the media landscape has become more sophisticated, both sides are increasingly adept at playing the other side.
"At the risk of oversimplifying the complicated co-dependency shared by publicists and journalists, it is fair to say that no matter how contentious or challenging a story can get, each side uses the history of their relationship to push their agenda as far as possible to do their jobs effectively," Elzer concludes.
And the honorees and nominations are:
Motion Picture Showmanship Award
John Lasseter (Disney/Pixar)
Television Showmanship Award
Gary Newman and Dana Walden (20th Century Fox TV)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Awards – Film
"Despicable Me" (Universal)
"Inception" (Warner Bros.)
"The Social Network" (Sony)
"Toy Story 3" (Disney)
"Waiting for Superman" (Paramount)
"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" (20th Century Fox)
Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Awards – TV
"The Big Bang Theory" (Warner Bros./CBS)
"Fringe" (Warner Bros./Fox)
"The Good Wife" (CBS Prods./CBS)
"The Vampire Diaries" (Warner Bros./CW)
"The Walking Dead" (AMC)
Les Mason Lifetime Achievment Award
Jennifer Allen, Viewpoint, Inc.
Tony Angellotti, The Angellotti Company
Rob Harris, Unit Publicist
Michael Singer, Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Murray Weissman, Weissman/Markovitz Communications
Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Times
Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly
Tom O'Neil, Gold Derby
Sharon Waxman, The Wrap
Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere
International Media Award
Philip Berk, Australia/Malaysia
Jose Ignacio Cuenca, Spain
Elaine Lipworth, U.K.
James White, U.K.
Stevie Wong, Asia Regional
Excellence in Unit Still Photography – Film
Excellence in Unit Still Photography – TV
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From Ent blog
Oscar swag bag worth $75,000
February 25th, 2011
An anti-aging serum made of adult stem cells, a trip on a private island…sometimes, losing isn’t so bad after all. That is if you’re a star nominated at the Academy Awards of course. The non-winning Oscar nominees in the main categories will receive Monday morning, at their door steps, a gift bag containing $75,000 worth of free stuff.
With every major award ceremony comes the swag. It’s true for the Grammys, for the Emmys, for the Golden Globes, but during Oscar week, the gift swamp is taken to another level. I got a sneak peek at the eclectic basket put together by Distinctive Assets on Friday. This is the 9th year they spoil the non-winning stars the morning after the Oscars.
Here’s a few items the 22 actors will be getting. Actually, the only nominated actor who will get one even if he wins is James Franco, because he’s also co-hosting the show. Franco really has it all.
Let’s start with the trips. The most expensive gift is a $16,000 getaway to a luxury resort in the Maldives where you can enjoy treatments in the world’s first underwater spa. There’s also a $12,000 trip on a private island in Belize with a private houseman and the option to snorkel with sharks. Also in the bag: a germ-shield face mask to use aboard all these plane rides. The company XTI is also offering a $10,000 gift certificate to sterilize the stars’ movie set trailers with a green “nanocoating” product.
On the body-concious side, stars will receive a gift certificate for a one-week boot camp in Southern California to get in shape after this season of endless galas, cocktails and dinner parties. They also get a $850 fitness personal training package and Slimware portion-control plates.
On the beauty side, there’s an uber-expensive $325 skin regeneration serum not even in stores yet. “To avoid controversy, this cream is made of adult stem cells, not baby’s!”, specifies Lash Fary, the founder of Distinctive Assets. It’s supposed to make your skin look like a baby’s though. What’s it called ? “StemSational”. Of course.
And then there’s the usual “weirder items” like $100 electronic cigarettes with Swarovski crystals, a $2,000 Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space craft scale model, a Madame Paulette stain removal kit, nasal products and New Zealand spring Kosher water.
Why all this? “There’s no better brand ambassador than a star, says Fary. By giving free stuff, it’s really a way for companies to get out there, to be photographed, to get free publicity”. Fary started this whole gift suites trend twelve years ago at the Grammy’s.
“We were the first to do it in a marketing way. Before it was all private, hidden, and very expensive and exclusive”, he says. It is now common place in the gala season, as much as the fashion on the red carpet and the party scene. Most celebrities are now accustomed to getting all this while others, like George Clooney or Ellen Degeneres, are known for giving the goods to charity.
Gift suites have popped all over Hollywood this week. Stars stop by with their assistants arms full of bags. Not too far from the Kodak Theatre, at the GBK gift lounge, stars can get $50,000 worth of stuff like a $10,000 African holistic health retreat, their own built-in private sauna, more face creams than you can imagine, fake glittery tattoos, wine boxes, truffles, some home gym device, yoga socks and magnetic jewelry.
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The Oscars Drinking Game ®
February 25, 2011 by Julian Sancton
It's a remarkable failure of planning that all of our culture's most alcoholic occasions — the Super Bowl, Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras, the State of the Union — occur on school nights. The Oscars, unfortunately, are no exception. But traditions are traditions. So this Sunday, pre-game like Clooney and brace yourself for a Tinseltown blackout* thanks to the 83rd Academy Awards Drinking Game.
We don't recommend you mix your spirits, so choose one and stick with it. You may feel more engaged if you pick a poison that corresponds to your favorite Best Picture nominee. If so, please refer to the following guide:
For True Grit: Whiskey.
For The King's Speech: Tokay, claret, tawny port, or Beefeater gin and tonic.
For The Social Network: A growler of John Harvard Ale; dorm-room vodka (the kind that comes in plastic bottles); appletinis.
For The Kids Are All Right: Chardonnay.
For The Fighter: Sam Adams; crack.
For Winter's Bone: Bathtub hooch; meth.
For Black Swan: Vodka tonic and ecstasy.
For Inception: LSD.
For Toy Story 3: White Russian.
For 127 Hours: A Nalgene filled with your own urine.
Have a hearty sip:
Every time Anne Hathaway changes outfits.
Every time James Franco makes you laugh.
Every time the orchestra interrupts the speech of someone you've heard of.
Any time the music doesn't interrupt a winning sound designer or short-doc producer.
For every visible tear in a thank-you speech.
For every thank-you speech that starts with "Wow."
For every red-carpet interviewee who doesn't mention who they're wearing.
Every time the camera cuts to Jack Nicholson.
If the In Memoriam montage snubs one of the following: Irving Kershner, Sally Menke, Gary Coleman.
If the montage includes Corey Haim.
Take a shot:
Every time James Franco changes outfits.
Every time Anne Hathaway makes you laugh.
If Natalie Portman loses.
If Natalie Portman wins.
Any time a winner claims they "didn't prepare."
Before Gwyneth Paltrow performs the song from Country Strong.
If 95-year-old honorary Oscar winner Eli Wallach makes it through the night.
If Gary Busey is allowed on the red carpet.
If Melissa Leo trips Hailee Steinfeld on her way to the stage.
Down the whole bottle:
If Aaron Sorkin doesn't win Best Adapted Screenplay.
If the Wolfman doesn't win Best Makeup.
If Tony Curtis gets snubbed in the In Memoriam montage.
If Betty White somehow makes the cut.
If Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein go mano-a-mano.
If Bruce Vilanch unzips himself from head to toe and Banksy pops out.
Smash the bottle over your head and jump out your window into a pile of trash:
If Christian Bale doesn't win Best Supporting Actor.
*Esquire condones neither binge drinking nor excessive use of the word "Tinseltown."
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Great articles Katie. A few different views of things eh?
- George Clooney fan forever!
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