The Oscars Scare Ellen DeGeneres – That’s Why She Hosting For A 2nd Time

By Shannonn Kelly
05:34AM, EST, March 01, 2014

7 Years of Good Luck...? Ellen Degeneres Returns to Host The 2014 Academy Awards
7 Years of Good Luck…? Ellen Degeneres Returns to Host The 2014 Academy Awards

I for one am excited For Ellen Degeneres to host the Oscars – despite the fact that anyone would be better than say…Whoopi Goldberg…

Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting the Oscars for the second time tomorrow Sunday, March 2nd and I think she’ll be a hit. She’s timely, funny, engaging and there’s very few people who’ll be angry with her if she makes fun of them because she’s found a balance between being snarky and kind.

It’s been 7 years since her last stint

According to Beth Hanna – Parade Magazine:

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres sat down with Parade Magazine days before the big show to discuss all things movies and Academy Awards, including why her initial reaction to hosting for a second time around was “no,” on her decision to not dance on the Kodak stage, on being the inspiration for current Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock’s 1999 hit “Miss Congeniality” and more. Interview highlights, below.

On why she initially said no to hosting the Oscars again (her 2007 hosting earned her an Emmy nomination):

“Everybody who works with me thought I was crazy. But the person who lives with me—Portia—was on my side. She thought, ‘I don’t need to go through this, either. She’s gonna be stressed.’”

On why she said yes in the end:

“I thought, ‘All right, let me scare myself again.’ It’s good to do something that scares you.”

On NOT dancing on Sunday’s Oscars:

“I’m not going to be dancing. I dance on my show. I don’t think people need to see that every time I do anything.”

On beating out Jennifer Aniston for the supporting role in 1999’s “EDtv”:

“Jen Aniston is my friend and she recently reminded me that I beat her out of that. I got the part and Jen Aniston didn’t! That’ll probably be the only time that happens.”

On being the inspiration for the film “Miss Congeniality”:

“Miss Congeniality was written based on me. When I was getting ready to cohost the Emmys, the writer saw me [on TV] learning how to walk in a dress and heels. My stylist at the time—a man—was teaching me, and it was hilarious. The Miss Congeniality writer saw it and thought it was brilliant.”

On maybe taking on an occasional dramatic film role:

“Okay, I’ll do that. Put that I’m available for small roles. If they give me the right one, I promise I’ll be nominated for an Oscar, if not win… You know what? I can tell people that on Oscar night.”

Ellen Degeneres Hosting The 2007 Academy Awards in her "Saturday Night Fever" Suit
Ellen Degeneres Hosting The 2007 Academy Awards in her “Saturday Night Fever” Suit

James Franco Wins GALECA ‘Wilde Artist of the Year’ Award

by Shannonn Kelly
07:05AM, EST, January 22, 2014

James Franco rapper, drug dealer 'Alien' in Spring Breakers, earns him  'Wilde Artist of the Year' from GALECA
“Spring Breakers”rapper, drug dealer ‘Alien‘, earns James Franco ‘Wilde Artist of the Year’ from GALECA

James Franco, Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey were singled out for their performances among others on Tuesday by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA). Garnering ‘Best Film of the Year’ was “12 Years a Slave” (2013) directed by .

These and other winners listed below will receive a ‘Dorian Award‘ from (GALECA), whose awards are based on the ‘Best’ in  TV and Film screened or broadcast in the USA. Continue reading “James Franco Wins GALECA ‘Wilde Artist of the Year’ Award”

Directors’ Federico Fellini and David Lynch Share More Than a Birthday

by Shannonn Kelly
02:40PM, EST, January 20, 2014

Today, January 20th is the Birthday of two very different yet somehow similar Filmmakers:

  • Living: Director, writer, David Keith Lynch born 1946 in Missoula, Montana. He’s 68.
  • Deceased: Director, writer Federico Fellini, born 1920 Rimini, Italy.
Birthday Buddies Federico Fellini and David Lynch
Birthday Buddies Federico Fellini and David Lynch

I started watching films that were age inappropriate when I was in single digits. So it was probably the same story when I saw “Blue Velvet” in 1986, as I believe it was ‘Restricted’ and I probably snuck into the movie theater. I loved the spooky premise of finding a severed ear in a farmers field, loved the character Frank Booth played by now deceased Dennis Hopper. I just completely loved that movie. Continue reading “Directors’ Federico Fellini and David Lynch Share More Than a Birthday”

Johnny Depp Put A Ring On It! Amber Heard and Depp Engaged

by Shannonn Kelly
06:53AM, EST, January 18, 2014

Johnny Depp, 49 and Amber Heard, 27 are engaged.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in "The Rum Diary" are now Engaged
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in “The Rum Diary” are now Engaged

According to US Weekly:

“The proposal happened a while ago, she just didn’t wear the ring.”

It was reported  back in May 2013, that Johnny Depp got down on bended knee and proposed to actress Amber Heard, on her 27th birthday back on April 22, 2013. A source close to Heard was reported to say: Continue reading “Johnny Depp Put A Ring On It! Amber Heard and Depp Engaged”

Award Season :: Complete Nominee List :: 2014 Oscars :: Snubs ‘n’ Picks

By Shannonn Kelly
06:30AM, EST, January 16, 2014
Updated: 08:56AM, EST, January 16, 2014

Oscar Nominations Announced - Big Snubs!
Oscar Nominations Announced – Big Snubs!

I’ll be updating my blog later this morning to give you the breakdown of all the Oscar Nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards. As you can see, I’m waiting to fill in the blanks below.

The nominees will announced in 2 hours at 8:30AM on CBS. I’ll be watching from home in my PJs with a Mimosa and some decadent baked goods 🙂

In the meantime, enjoy the video below with 250 dancers and Academy Award® Host Ellen DeGeneres dressed in matching tuxedos dancing to “The Walker” by the Los Angeles soul/indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums.

Sticking with the theme of celebrating “Heroes”, real-life Thor, actor Chris Hemsworth announced the Nominees this morning along with the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

When I calculate below, it looks like “Gravity” and “American Hustle” both come out on top with 10 Oscar nominations each. Somebody, please check my math 😉

Your Complete List of Nominees for the 86th annual Academy Awards which will air Sunday, March 2, on ABC. Continue reading “Award Season :: Complete Nominee List :: 2014 Oscars :: Snubs ‘n’ Picks”

Maragret O’Brien – The ‘Original Tootie’ Turns 77 Today…

by Shannonn Kelly
06:35PM, EST, January 15, 2014

Margaret O'Brien, the 'Original' Tootie
Margaret O’Brien, the ‘Original’ Tootie

Known as one of the most popular child stars in cinema history, Margaret O’Brien turns 77 today.

One of the reasons I like to blog about old Hollywood is simply for the fact that if you don’t record and write about pre Gen X, Gen Y or Millennial contributions to the film and music industry, people will be forgotten and their names will not come up easily in conversation.

Similar to my heritage, Margaret O’Brien is of ½ Spanish, ½ Irish ancestry, her mother was an accomplished Flamenco dancer and her father a circus performer, sadly who died before Margaret was born.

Her first role (albeit un-credited) was in “Babes on Broadway” (1941), where she played “Maxine”, a little girl at an audition when she was only 4 years-old.

When she was five, O’Brien, garnered critical praise for her acting chops playing “Margaret” in “Journey for Margaret” (1942). It was because of this role that O’Brien became known as “Margaret” and no longer called by her birth name “Angela”.

In 1943, O’Brien made five films, the most memorable being “Jane Eyre” where she sang and spoke with a French accent as the character “Adele Varens”. In 1944, O’Brien made “Music for Millions”, and “The Canterville Ghost”, starring the great Charles Laughton as a ghost doomed to haunt an English castle and Robert Young as his American descendant.

A fast study for accents, O’Brien also added singing and dancing to her skill sets, which served her well in her most unforgettable role as the ‘original’ “Tootie” in “Meet Me in St. Louis” opposite the venerable Judy Garland. The song ‘Under The Bamboo Tree’ (Words and music by Robert Cole and The Johnson Bros., 1902) is to this day, still one of the most fondly remembered moments of the film.

O’Brien was rewarded with an Academy Juvenile Award for “outstanding child actress of 1944.”

Her Oscar was stolen by her mother’s maid 10 years after receiving it. O’Brien had searched for years through memorabilia and antique shops hoping her statuette would appear, but to no avail.

According to Wikipedia:

Memorabilia collectors Steve Neimand and Mark Nash were attending a flea market in 1995 when Neimand spotted a small Oscar with Margaret O’Brien’s name inscribed upon it.

The two men decided to split the $500 asking price hoping to resell it at a profit and lent it to a photographer to shoot for an upcoming auction catalogue. This led to Bruce Davis’ discovery that the statuette had resurfaced and, upon learning of the award’s history, Nash and Neimand agreed to return the Oscar to O’Brien.

On February 7, 1995, almost fifty years after she’d first received it, the Academy held a special ceremony in Beverly Hills to return the stolen award to O’Brien.

Upon being reunited with her Juvenile Oscar, Margaret O’Brien told the attending journalists:

“For all those people who have lost or misplaced something that was dear to them, as I have, never give up the dream of searching – never let go of the hope that you’ll find it because after all these many years, at last, my Oscar has been returned to me.”

O’Brien made a few more films, but was unable to fully transition to adult roles, working steadily but not memorably through the 1950’s to the 1970’s, then sporadically from 1981-2010 in film, TV and MOW’s.

One factoid you will not find in Wikipedia: Margaret O’Brien auditioned for the role of “Judy” in “Rebel without A Cause” (1944) . The role went to Natalie Wood.

According to film historian David Thomson, O’Brien lost out to Natalie Wood because when casting directors asked her questions about what she thought about parents and authority she answered: “All the questions by professing love for parents and teachers”, thus answered wrongly and thereby showed zero rebellious spirit.

People who know me, know how I feel about type casting. Had stodgy Hollywood at the time, thought “outside the box’ and cast O’Brien (not to take anything away from Wood’s performance), I think we would’ve been in for a quite a treat. Actors want a challenge they can rise to. Look at Charlize Theron and Sandra Bullock. They both stepped outside their ‘known characters’ to play gritty roles. They both won Oscars with that gamble. If O’Brien had it in her at age 5 to learn a French accent, she certainly could’ve shown a rebellious side.

The fact that Margaret O’Brien celebrates her birthday today shows me she has plenty of ‘spirit’…

Happy Birthday Ms. O’Brien 🙂

Women Working Behind The Scenes in Hollywood Lower Now Than in 1998

by Shannonn Kelly
07:04AM, EST, January 15, 2014

Where_Da_Ladies_At
Image kindly borrowed from Eden Sher’s Article: “I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?”

Twenty-two year-old Eden Sher who plays Sue Heck in ABC’s “The Middle“, wrote a great article about that lack of female directors in Hollywood called, “I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?” In part she wrote:

“Having women steer the ship makes all the difference in the world.

For example, I worked on a show in 2006 (another sitcom for ABC) that was created and run by men. There were only two female staff writers. All the producers were male. Every director, too. But despite the bro-heavy environment, these guys were not bad or misogynistic — in fact, they were awesome, progressive and kind. And yet nary a woman in sight.

So what was the problem? Why did this show reek of peen? It wasn’t because of some deep-seated aversion to women in the workplace. Rather, the problem was that these guys seemed to only hire people who were exactly like them: guys. And while working with what’s comfortable and familiar is all well and good, if your goal is to create an honest story about men and women interacting with one another — as was the aim of this particular show — you’re definitely going to miss the mark if you don’t have any input from a real, live female.

The show was canceled after twelve episodes”.

Well, now there’s some hard data to back her position and many more under employed women in the film industry.

A new study by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D. has been published that maintains the “Celluloid Ceiling” still exists for women working behind the scenes in Hollywood and it’s gotten worse.

According to Lauzen’s Study
(The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind the Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2011
by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D. Copyright© 2012 –All rights reserved.)

In 2011, women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers,producers, writers, cinematographers,and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 2010 and an increase of 1 percentage point from 1998 (see Figure 1).

Celluloid_Ceiling
Women accounted for 5% of directors, a decrease of 2 percentage points from 2010 and approximately half the percentage of women directors working in 1998.

The following summary provides employment figures for 2011 and compares the most recent statistics with those from previous years.

Findings
This study analyzed behind the scenes employment of 2,636 individuals working on the top 250 domestic grossing films (foreign films omitted) of 2011.

  • 38% of films employed 0 or 1 woman in the *Scene roles considered
  • 23% employed 2 women,
  • 30% employed 3 to 5 women,
  • 07% employed 6 to 9 women.

Scenes Roles* includes directors, writers, executive producers editors, and cinematographers.

Women comprised 5% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2011. Ninety four percent (94%) of the films had no female directors.

According to Actress turned Screenwriter Ariane Sommer:

“What needs to happen is to continue to forge the new paradigm, as evidenced by Kathryn Bigelow’s masterful direction, and allow women to express themselves beyond the female-centric and family fare. On an executive level, I think we are doing that, as for years we have been seeing high-powered women that are killing it. Sherry Lansing, for example, ran Paramount Studios for years and has forged the way for many others.”

It’s no surprise to any of us women in other non-Hollywood markets that this is the case. Even in filmmaking communities where I live, even though, they say they are an ‘equal opportunity employer’. If the job is in the film industry and it’s not in Craft Services, you can bet they are not….

What’s your feeling…? Film industry Men or Women…I’d love to know your thoughts.

  • For the complete and very excellent article by Eden Sher, please click Here.
  • To read the executive summary from the Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D study, please click Here.
  • To read a like minded article by Rebecca Pahle, please click Here.

Award Season :: 2014 Golden Globes :: Winners List :: ReCap

by Shannonn Kelly
03:51AM, EST, January 13, 2014

Updated 06:43PM, EST, January 13, 2014

Winners of "12 Years A Slave", "Dallas Buyers Club", "American Hustle"

Just 10 minutes into last night’s (okay, 3 hours ago) Golden Globes,  I tweeted #TamyFoehler ( they are a couple aren’t they 😉 ) are already killing with the laughs at the #GoldenGlobes.

I wasn’t drinking. Had no fancy dinner. Was sitting in my ‘schooshy pants’ in my Italian recliner, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made me feel like I was right there with them at the boozey Golden Globe® Ceremony.

The Academy Award® extravaganza is the Grand Daddy of all the award shows, but I relish presenters and nominees half in the bag on live broadcasts. Sometimes a little sloppy – – but always fun.

There’s an English saying, “Start as you mean to go on”, and that’s exactly what Fey and Poehler did. Their almost 10 minute opening monologue was hilarious. Continue reading “Award Season :: 2014 Golden Globes :: Winners List :: ReCap”

Award Season :: Full Presenter List :: 2014 Golden Globes

by Shannonn Kelly
07:05AM, EST, January 12, 2014

Longtime Pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck confirmed among Presenters at the 71st Annual Golden Globes, 8PM on NBC Sunday January 12, 2014 (photo credit: Eric Charbonneau)
Longtime Pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck confirmed among Presenters at the 71st Annual Golden Globes, 8PM on NBC Sunday January 12, 2014
(photo credit: Eric Charbonneau)

Co-Hosts Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler will have a star studded line-up of presenters to join in the fun for the 71st Annual Golden Globes tonight. With a special shout-out to Deadline.com – Here is the full list of presenters:

Just Confirmed:
Ben Affleck (2013 and 1998 Golden Globe Award winner; 2007 Golden Globe Award nominee), Drew Barrymore (2010 Golden Globe Award winner; 1993 and 1985 Golden Globe Award nominee), Kate Beckinsale, Orlando Bloom, Sandra Bullock (2014 Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama; 2010 Golden Globe Award winner; 2001 and 1996 Golden Globe Award nominee), Jim Carrey (2000 and 1999 Golden Globe Award winner; 2005, 2001, 1998 and 1995 Golden Globe Award nominee), Jessica Chastain (2013 Golden Globe Award winner; 2012 Golden Globe Award nominee), Emilia Clarke, Sean Combs, Matt Damon (2014 Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television; 1998 Golden Globe Award winner; 2010 and 2000 Golden Globe Award nominee), Leonardo DiCaprio (2014 Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical; 2005 Golden Globe Award winner; 2013, 2012, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 1998, 1994 Golden Globe Award nominee), Aaron Eckhart (2007 Golden Globe Award nominee), Chris Evans, Amber Heard, Jonah Hill (2012 Golden Globe Award nominee), Taylor Kinney, Niki Lauda, Paula Patton, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Jesse Spencer, Emma Stone (2011 Golden Globe Award nominee), Emma Thompson (2014 Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama; 1996 and 1993 Golden Globe Award winner; 2009, 2002, 1995 and 1994 Golden Globe Award nominee), Usher, and Christoph Waltz (2013 and 1910 Golden Globe Award winner) are the final round of presenters announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards.

2014 Golden Globes Co-Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey
2014 Golden Globes Co-Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey

Previously Announced: Kevin Bacon (2010 Golden Globe Award winner; 1995,1997 Golden Globe Award nominee), Julie Bowen, Laura Dern (2012, 2009, 1993 Golden Globe Award winner; 1999, 1992 Golden Globe Award nominee; 1982 Miss. Golden Globe), Robert Downey Jr. (2010, 2001, 1994 Golden Globe winner; 2009, 1993 Golden Globe Award nominee), Jimmy Fallon, Colin Farrell (2009 Golden Globe Award winner), Tom Hanks (2014 Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama; 2001, 1995, 1994, 1989 Golden Globe Award winner; 2008, 1999 Golden Globe Award nominee), Chris Hemsworth, Mila Kunis (2011 Golden Globe Award nominee), Jennifer Lawrence (2014 Golden Globe Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture; 2013 Golden Globe Award winner; 2011 Golden Globe Award nominee), Melissa McCarthy, Seth Meyers, Liam Neeson (2005, 1997, 1994 Golden Globe Award nominee), Chris O’Donnell (1992 Golden Globe Award nominee), Margot Robbie, Mark Ruffalo, Kyra Sedgwick (2007 Golden Globe winner; 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 1996, 1993 Golden Globe nominee), Channing Tatum, Uma Thurman (2003 Golden Globe Award winner; 2005, 2004, 1995 Golden Globe Award nominee), Emma Watson, Naomi Watts (2013 Golden Globe Award nominee), Olivia Wilde, and Reese Witherspoon (2006 Golden Globe Award winner; 2002, 2000 Golden Globe Award nominee).

From Bad Santas to Callous Millionaires – My Top 10 Xmas Movies

Dan Aykroyd at the mercy of his two callous millionaire Uncles in “Trading Places”

Updated

by Shannonn Kelly
02:19AM, EST December 24, 2013

After reviewing my list from last year, I decided to make a couple of changes as I now have had a change of heart.

Two films not mentioned that are runners up would be: “White Christmas” (1954) starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence(1983) a UK, Japanese co-production starring David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Takeshi Kitano.

As an avid Holiday movie fan, I think I’ve got a few selections that may surprise some people as part of my Top 10 Christmas Movies. Especially, since many people who know me, know who my all-time favorite actor is: James Maitland Stewart. Continue reading “From Bad Santas to Callous Millionaires – My Top 10 Xmas Movies”