“THE WORLD is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything,” said Albert Einstein.
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SO OPRAH Winfrey will be receiving the famous Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in the fall—she will add an Oscar to her already crowded shelves of awards and plaques.
Good news? I’m sure Miss Winfrey thinks so, but she might be the only one. Lots of criticism out there. Most of it centers on the fact that Winfrey made her name and fame in television, not motion pictures. (She has appeared onscreen in “The Color Purple” and “Beloved.”) How dare she accept an Oscar? Who does she think she is?
Let’s see. She’s somebody who raised $80 million via Oprah’s Angel Network. Somebody who gave $10 million in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Somebody, who in 2007, was listed as having donated over $300 million to various charities. Somebody who…oh, forget it. People who like Oprah, love her. People who don’t, loathe her.
You know, it’s called the Humanitarian Award. So what if Oprah is not a movie star or a producer? How many of you rolled your eyes and went to the bathroom over the years when the likes of David L. Wolper, Sol Lesser, Lew Wasserman, Walter Mirisch, Arthur B. Krim, George Seaton and Jules C. Stein accepted their Oscars? It’s not always stars such as Frank Sinatra, Rosalind Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Paul Newman, Jerry Lewis or Gregory Peck who do good deeds in a naughty world.
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OPRAH WINFREY has done good deeds. She is a phenomenon in show biz, and her influence is worldwide. If she had ever wanted to be a movie star, I’m sure she would have become a movie star. And if you think she’s only doing it all for herself, for her own ego—fine. There are worse things to do with one’s ego.
I don’t think Oprah is all sweetness and light. (Just take a look at the behind-the-scenes series she approved, showing the workings of her final season. Tough cookie!) I have even criticized her—the James Frey incident…the owner of Hermes incident, etc. But she has still contributed more to the good side than to the dark. Much more. She deserves her humanitarian award.
Of course Doris Day still deserves her Lifetime Achievement Oscar, too. But God forbid the high-ups at the Academy do two things correctly in one year.
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THE HOLLYWOOD Reporter tells us that few in Hollywood have “enough downtime” to submit to full-out plastic surgery. Everybody’s opting for the quick fixes that often have better results than the old stitch-‘em-up-and-hide-out-for-a-month methods.
Super-effective lasers, light treatments, vastly improved fillers. Nobody just gets out of bed, washes their face, combs their hair, puts on a bit of mascara and heads to the red carpet. (Well, nobody ever did that!)
Angelina Jolie benefits from something called the Gentle Waves machine, developed by dermatologist David Colbert. Michelle Williams (and apparently every actress in Hollywood) has undergone the “triad facial,” another Colbert innovation. This is very popular with stars who are about to be photographed for Vanity Fair or Vogue. Also, the ruthlessly sharp HD transmissions on TV make it impossible now to simply use a good concealer.
But my favorite info gleaned from this article was the Calcium Nature Lift. This is very popular with men. For a mere $5,000 guys are injected for 10 minutes with liquid calcium in the jaw. It gives the immediate appearance of a square manly movie-star jaw line. And who is the model for this procedure, whose picture is carried into the session (“I want to look like this!”), whose name is whispered to doctors all over Hollywood?
But of course, it is the squarest-jawed man in the biz—007, Daniel Craig himself. Although I must say, I think Daniel’s intense blue eyes beat out his jaw.
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GOOD GRIEF! On the Fox Movie Channel the other night, I stumbled upon “The Blue Bird,” the 1976 George Cukor movie starring Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Jane Fonda and Cicely Tyson. Considering the millions 20th Century Fox spent, how astonishing that the movie ended up resembling a Poverty Row production, costing one hundred bucks, and filmed in a backyard? Everybody (including yours truly) had to travel to Russia for this? It was the first US/Russian movie collaboration and hopes were high. Fox lost a bundle.
Miss Taylor looks extremely lovely but somewhat pained throughout (well, she was stricken with a virulent dysentery mid-way through filming.) She is best when disguised as a cackling old witch. Jane Fonda and Ava Gardner (especially Ava!) have some campy fun.
I was disappointed, however, that the musical number between Elizabeth and Ava—a showdown between Light and Luxury—was cut. I watched that scene being filmed, and it looked divine. Maybe, with Elizabeth recently gone, and interest in her career renewed, that bit of history might turn up? Elizabeth and Ava, onscreen, for the one and only time. Even in something as awful as “The Blue Bird” that’s a moment worth seeing.
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“You know, so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I mean, I don’t mind paying more. I really don’t mind paying more taxes.”
That’s actor Matt Damon, one of the real sweethearts in this business. He gives back in this life, and is grateful for what he has. Maybe someday we’ll see him accepting a Jean Hersholt Award.