And more from our Liz: Michelle Williams in Vogue as Marilyn … Cheryl Crane, Hollywood’s ultimate star child, writes her first novel
“WHENEVER YOU’RE in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is ‘attitude,’” said William James.
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WELL, Charlie Sheen had the right “attitude” on Sunday night at the Emmy Awards, I must say.
Charlie looked pretty good — a little mussed, but he prefers to dress very casually — and seemed almost conciliatory as he wished his former castmates on “Two and a Half Men” well. No drama. No sarcasm. (Well, a little drama. He paused significantly after each word, before he got to the “all best wishes” part.)
I was glad to see Charlie up there. He’ll work in that town again. Sooner perhaps than later. Who knows, if Ashton Kutcher doesn’t jell with viewers … we shall see.
Oh, as to Ashton: we don’t know yet what kind of character the writers have created for him, but his current beard is unappealing. He looks like a skinny street person.
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THE EMMY show? Not fabulous, but what three-hour awards show can be fabulous? There’s always too much of something. Like that third hour.
Host Jane Lynch was fine, if not scintillating. I don’t understand the need for “witty” 15 minute opening numbers. Let’s just get on with the show! Lynch did get off the funniest bit of the night: “People ask me why I am a lesbian. Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of ‘Entourage!”
I was happy for “Mad Men” and for “Modern Family,” though I am not as familiar with the latter. But it is a serious hit!
I adored the business with all six nominees for best actress in a comedy running onstage and holding hands like Miss America contestants. (I assume this was a pre-arranged bit, as they had a crown and roses ready for the winner, a shocked and emotional Melissa McCarthy of “Mike & Molly.”)
Loved Guy Pearce’s sincere (and raunchy) speech for his “Mildred Pierce” win and even though “Mildred” wasn’t my cup of tea, who could resist gorgeous, joyful Kate Winslet, up there looking truly surprised and grateful. Kate is an earthy, well-balanced young woman, one of the nicest actresses I’ve met. No phony baloney at all. I just had to be happy for her. I was also thrilled for the great Dame Maggie Smith, who took an Emmy for her fabulous scene-stealing in PBS’s “Downton Abbey.” And after having beaten the drum all season for the brilliant Peter Dinklage in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” it was satisfying to see him take his well-deserved award.
And though the Emmy telecast was no great shakes, it was actually more engaging than some Oscar shows we’ve all endured.
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OH, the real drama, as you probably know by now, occurred off-stage, hours before the show began, when Alec Baldwin excused himself from the telecast because Fox, which was airing the show, would not allow a Baldwin joke about the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal. This just means Alec will move on to one of his favorite spots, “Saturday Night Live” and eviscerate all who opposed him. And he’s probably already written something scathing for The Huffington Post.
As to fashion, I’ll leave most of that to the Rivers girls on E! But I did like my friend Jennifer Westfeldt’s yellow vintage number (she is the wonderful actress/director/writer and also the beloved of “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm.) Gwyneth Paltrow’s bare midriff number didn’t wow me. And Julie Bowen, who won an Emmy for “Modern Family”… honey, please eat.
And so the awards season has begun.
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SO THERE is Michelle Williams on the cover of Vogue, doing her best to look like Marilyn Monroe, with platinum locks and pushed-up cleavage. She stars as MM in the coming feature film, “My Week With Marilyn.”
Michelle doesn’t look much like Monroe. Some have said unkindly that she hardly appears to be a woman, but rather a female impersonator. Harsh! But I don’t believe this is the fault of the great Annie Leibovitz, who took the pictures, or the fault of the talented Miss Williams. Blonde hair and glistening red lips don’t turn a girl into Monroe, just as black hair and aggressive eye-paint won’t make one resemble Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe it is best to avoid these dress-up-like-somebody-else sessions. Even in the hands of a genius like Annie, it is hard to capture the elusive essence of an iconic dead star.
“My Week With Marilyn” (which is based on a book that can only be called “fanciful”) opens the prestigious New York Film Festival on September 30. Perhaps we should take this as a positive sign. Perhaps Michelle eschews drag-queen intonations and perhaps the film rises above its questionable source.
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“In this age of digital cameras, the paparazzi no longer flashed and popped. Instead, they sounded like a swarm of clicking insects.” So writes Cheryl Crane, in her first novel, The Bad Always Die Twice.
Miss Crane, as any good movie fan knows, is the only child of screen goddess Lana Turner. Cheryl survived a hard life within the silken confines of Hollywood — molestation at the hands of one of Lana’s husbands, put on trial for killing one of Lana’s abusive lovers, in and out of reformatories and hospitals. But she pulled it together finally, becoming a successful real estate agent.
She wrote a devastating book about her life, titled “Detour.” But she never ever turned her back on Lana. Mother and daughter remained close until Lana’s death.
Cheryl’s novel, unsurprisingly, involves the lurid Hollywood milieu, and cops and killings. What — you expected a saga about life on an oil rig? And, it stars a real estate agent with a glamorous screen goddess as a mother. Miss Crane writes with great flourish, and has a fine eye for detail. This is only the first of a planned series of books featuring Nikki Harper, real estate agent with a nose for crime.
Miss Crane is a lovely person, a real survivor who never blamed anybody else for her problems. Are you listening, Lindsay, or are you too busy throwing cocktails across crowded rooms?