CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2014 |
Meryl Streep is right. At some point in his storied career, Walt Disney belonged to an anti-Semitic group and surely was sexist -- or a "gender bigot," as she put it Tuesday when she presented a National Board of Review award to Emma Thompson for her work as the novelist P.L. Travers in the movie “Saving Mr. Banks.” (Thompson played opposite Tom Hanks' Disney, the creative visionary who desperately wanted to turn Travers' complicated heroine...
January 8, 2014 |
One of the modern icons of moviedom called out one of Hollywood's historic heroes Tuesday, as Meryl Streep delivered a sharp rebuke to Walt Disney for alleged sexist and anti-Semitic views at the National Board of Review awards gala in New York. Streep was on hand to present an acting award to Emma Thompson for her portrayal of the prickly British author and "Mary Poppins" creator P.L. Travers in the new film "Saving Mr. Banks," which dramatizes Disney's efforts to persuade Travers to adapt her books into a musical.
January 7, 2014 |
Before portraying a dysfunctional Oklahoma family on screen in “August: Osage County,” the movie's actors learned to be a family first by sharing stories, meals and, sometimes, the same living quarters. At least that's how actress Margo Martindale explained it Sunday during a screening of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play-turned-film, directed by John Wells, which is up for two Golden Globe nominations and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. “You live in this toxic environment enough, it's not hard to sort of feel poisoned by it,” costar Meryl Streep said of the story and her portrayal of the family's pill-addicted, truth-spewing matriarch, Violet Weston.
January 2, 2014 |
For the last several weeks, the Oscar race for lead actress felt fairly settled, with five familiar faces, each of them previous winners - Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"), Sandra Bullock ("Gravity"), Judi Dench ("Philomena"), Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County") - as the likely nominees. Then, on Friday, "August: Osage County" opened in Los Angeles and New York, more than three months after the flamboyant tale of family dysfunction premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, a bumpy debut that led to some subsequent tinkering that softened the movie's ending.
December 27, 2013 |
Oscar voting begins online Friday, though many Motion Picture Academy members who didn't register for online balloting received paper versions beginning late last week. Some diligent members have already made their selections and mailed them in. The timing isn't particularly good for anyone associated with "August: Osage County," which opened Friday in Los Angeles and New York to reviews not normally associated with an Oscar contender. A.O. Scott, writing in the New York Times, observed that the movie's plot, which includes adultery, divorce and incest, was "secondary to the spectacle the actors make of themselves.
December 26, 2013 |
"I'm just truth telling," says Meryl Streep's Violet, the gorgon mother at the center of "August: Osage County," and in that same spirit I have to confess that (a) I never saw this Pulitzer Prize-winning vehicle by Tracy Letts when it was on stage and (b) nothing about this film version makes me regret that choice. Despite a pedigree that includes five Tonys in addition to that Pulitzer and a cast of gifted actors that is a full dozen deep, "August: Osage County" does nothing but disappoint, with all the talent involved simply underlining how uninvolving this material is. If anything, the cinematic "August" feels related to that branch of reality TV where dysfunctional characters, whether active or passive, make a public display of their wretched lives.