And more from our Liz: Woody’s “Midnight in Paris” is his biggest hit … will “Harry Potter” nab a best picture nomination? … Elizabeth Taylor goes to a spa, has a blast, circa 1979
“I DON’T see any reason for marriage when there is divorce,” said the divine French movie star Catherine Deneuve.
Miss Deneuve was as good as her word, almost! She married at age 21. The marriage lasted seven years. She never did it again.
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AND HERE was the general reaction to last Friday’s announcement that Jennifer Lopez and her third hubby, Marc Anthony, are splitting after seven years: “Meh.”
I’d heard no scandal about the pair, and almost to the very end, Miss Lopez was saying lovely things about the father of her twins. But they were not an “on-fire” couple. Miss Lopez had calmed down since her Sean Combs/P.Diddy and Ben Affleck days. (The terrible legacy of Lopez and Affleck was the beginning of the press joining people’s names for tabloid use — remember, they were “Bennifer?”)
Today it all seems nice and civilized between Jennifer and Marc, and he was quite chipper at a concert on Saturday night, flirting onstage with his female fans. And Lopez and Anthony will go ahead as joint hosts of a South American talent show for TV. It’s terribly Noel Coward-ish of them, though probably neither ever heard of Sir Noel!
Jennifer Lopez will find new life for herself on the pages of the weekly glossies. However, she’ll be competing for space with that other Jennifer, Miss Aniston. (I just read several stories on Aniston — one ordering her “not to blow it” and marry her latest beau, Justin Theroux; the other insisting that Angelina Jolie had “set her sights” on Mr. Theroux, leading Jen to despair. It is all very funny.)
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WORD OF mouth—it’s not a myth.
Woody Allen had made many fine films. But only a few have been big box-office. He has his audience and the studios budget accordingly. What a surprise then, that at this period in his life, Woody’s latest movie, “Midnight In Paris,” would turn out to be his biggest American hit —ever. It has grossed more than $40 million dollars, outdistancing “Hannah and Her Sisters.” Worldwide, “Midnight In Paris” has topped the $70 million mark, making it the second highest earner for Sony Classics, after “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
“Midnight In Paris” has been driven by word of mouth. The reviews were terrific, but a lot Woody’s movie have had terrific reviews and then sunk. Not this one. At every recent event, party, during every phone call, whatever, this film has been discussed. I chatted the movie up to dozens of friends, and have written about it several times. The most unlikely people said to me, “Have you seen ‘Midnight In Paris?’”
This one goes right up there with “Manhattan” and Annie Hall” as a great popular hit. Bravo to the director/actor/comic/writer/jazz musican, Woody. “What’s New Pussycat?” as his first film asked. It’s you, Woody — you are eternally new.
“Midnight In Paris” is ravishing and evocative and moving. I hope the Academy of Arts and Sciences sees it that way, when nomination time arrives. They probably won’t!
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SPEAKING OF Oscar, the buzz is high and the push is heavy for the current and final “Harry Potter” movie to nab a Best Picture nod. The reviews have been superior and the film seems about to make more money than any movie has — ever. But will Oscar give in and allow “Harry” the ultimate kudos? Insiders say, “The Academy doesn’t take the franchise seriously.” I say — don’t bet the rent they won’t take it seriously, now that it’s over. Perversity, thy name is Hollywood.
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FOR THOSE of you who don’t always know what’s going on in the new world of e-books and e-magazine articles, you probably missed Vanity Fair’s special little article and fabulous online slideshow of Elizabeth Taylor and her friend Maury Hopson. Back in 1979, Maury accompanied Elizabeth — then an unhappy Senator’s wife — to an exclusive spa in Florida, to take off weight, and “refresh” herself. (No drinking.) It worked. La Liz lost 22 pounds and never again became the obese woman of the infamous Studio 54 evening — squeezed into a limo with Steve Rubell. (Two years later, she would take off another ten and conquer Broadway in “The Little Foxes.”)
Maury Hopson took pictures of Elizabeth, and one of the staff members also took pictures of the two of them engaged in various spa-like activities. VF published 16 of the shots and they are the most adorable, natural pictures of Elizabeth you’ll ever see. Wrapped in a towel … swimming … exercising … and totally camping it up. She is also shown proudly displaying her sexy, shapely legs in a pair of inexpensive Candies backless high heels. Richard Burton used to like to call attention to Elizabeth’s flaws —her double chin and “stumpy” legs, but it was he who always encouraged her to wear her mini-skirts mini-er and her hot-pants, hotter. These candid shots of the 48-year-old star show just why Richard wanted to see more, more, more of his wife’s gams.
The photographs also convey the real-life Elizabeth’s humor and sense of reality. I wouldn’t say she was “down to earth,” really — I mean, she was Elizabeth Taylor. But considering her life from the age of nine, she was a damn fine example of getting over yourself, in an atmosphere that encouraged total narcissism and vanity.
Elizabeth played the game of stardom, but she always knew it was just a game.