Woody’s name is muddy

January 12, 2009

What’s happened with Woody Allen? Ok, he ran off with his adopted daughter, or something like that (don’t hold me to anything lawyers, I’m just riffing on dubious memories), but that was years ago, and Hollywood’s always quick to forgive (take Kiefer Sutherland, done for drunk driving, beginning his next 24 hours of hell this very evening). So, assuming Woody’s forgiven, why the cold shoulder at the Golden Globe’s tonight?

Vicky Cristina Barcelona won a Golden Globe. At the Golden Globes. Tonight. For best Comedy or Musical. I’m guessing comedy. I haven’t seen it. And yes, for reasons that must make sense to someone somewhere, comedy and musical are lumped together.

So… VCB, as I’m choosing to call it… I can’t stay up late, I’m flying home tomorrow… VCB gets a Globe and everyone troops up to get it. A bunch of people. I don’t know, six or seven, or five. A little woman stands upfront to do the talking. I don’t know who she is; If I had more time I’d find out- I don’t like being rude. I’ve just realised, it may seem rude me failing to recognise her as a producer or, who knows, Penelope Cruz? But she was short.

Anyways, they troop up, she troops up, and the first thing she says is that she’s nervous. Nervous? What’s this? She starts off by pinching Woody’s shtick! What next? Will she be nauseous? So she speaks, and she speaks, thanks and thanks… and I’m thinking what about Woody? I’ve not seen the film, but he did direct it, didn’t he? And write it? So she gets to the end and says something like “oh, and thanks Woody.” And that’s it! Not even “Thanks Woody Allen.”

The whole thing took place, the film won a major award, and everyone was in denial as to Woody Allen’s contribution. Well, that’s not fair.

Earlier on in my break here in the States I babysat with my mother while my sister and her husband enjoyed a trip to San Francisco. They have Films on Demand here and so I demanded a Woody Allen film. We watched Love and Death.

Sonja, are you scared of dying?
Scared is the wrong word. I’m frightened of it.
That’s an interesting distinction.

I pinched that from here.

Give Woody Allen a break. If you’re going to give him a Golden Globe at least give him a proper name check.

Other Golden Globe trivia…

Well done Mickey Rourke, and nice tribute to the dogs. You’re right, a man alone can always rely on his dogs, or something like that.

Well done Alec Baldwin. Steve Carell in The Office is funny, but you beat him. ‘Cause you’re funny too. Well done 30 Rock. Well done Tracy Morgan for funny speech. Well done other funny people… Ricky Gervais, you had to work but you got there. Shame you’re not doing the Oscars. Sascha Baron Cohen hesitantly delivering some good jokes, but the audience somehow going all coy. Oh, and the guy from the American Office… Excellently following Kate Winslet with “We’re just TV actors” and pointing out that “the English actresses” stole the crying from you.

I’m going to get hard now because it makes me angry. Revolutionary Road, I suspect, will be most excellent. But how can I enjoy it when one of the parts of a work of art let’s down the said work by, well, crying like a big baby. A script doesn’t cry. a prop doesn’t cry. A light doesn’t cry. Actors! Learn your lines, do your job, and then… well, no then. Job done. Oh, Kate! Twice! And the second time I really did think I could see the performance. Is it really that upsetting? Is it really that big a deal? We’re you not just doing your job? Was it not just fun? Working with your husband? Having your kids on set? Could you not just have got up on that stage and, effectively, gone “whoopee! Thanks! Who’d a’ thought! Two!”

I’m sorry to rant. It’s out of place for me. But tonight I was a guest in America and Kate Winslet made me want to grovel an apology. I wanted to run on home.

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moguls1I’ve avoided the use of a pic of Robert De Niro, or Art Linson, or Bruce Willis with a beard, or a bear, for fear of being sued by Hollywood Moguls. So here’s a pic of me and Trev posing as media bigwigs from the 20th Century.

But to the point. I’ve just finished What Just Happened? by Art Linson. The book, not the film. I’ve not seen the film, but I’ve read about it. And I’m left bewildered. What just happened to What Just Happened?

The book is a slight but a fun read, if you like knowing just what happened during the making of a handful of films over the last few years. Take this snippet of dialogue between De Niro and Linson, as Linson tries to persuade De Niro to take one of the lead roles in The Edge, a David Mamet-scripted wilderness thriller (Moguls Wood?) which sees our hero grapple with an irritated grizzly bear;

The bear worries me.

The bear?!… …what part of the bear?

You know, fighting with a fake bear. Might not work.

We’re gonna use a real bear for some of the time.

A real bear is interesting.

Well, then we’re gonna use a real bear a lot.

A beat.

The bear… the bear still concerns me.

Imagine De Niro saying this, and it becomes priceless De Niro. (in the end, Anthony Hopkins fought the bear).

But if De Niro is playing Linson in the film, under another name, then who plays De Niro? It seems the film has decided to use fake films instead. In The Edge Alec Baldwin turned up for filming with a ridiculous beard. Eventually they persuaded him to shave it off. He’s a method actor you see, with a double chin.

In the fake film, Bruce Willis has to be persuaded to shave off a beard. and it seems the bear has been replaced by a dog!

Art Linson’s book details the troubled production histories of The Edge, Great Expectations… De Niro again…

The convict’s gonna be a great part.

It doesn’t have a bear in it, does it?

No bear.

I might get interested.

… and Fight Club. Guess what? The suits didn’t like it. Now there’s a surprise.

But why is none of this in the film? (Note. Reminder. I haven’t seen the film… yet. But from everything I’ve read it’s coming from a completely different book.)

We’re missing a treat here. De Niro arguing over the bear. Baldwin outshouting his famous speech from Glengarry Glenn Ross. De Niro getting interested at wrestling a real live bear… you growlin’ at me?

But no. they’ve thrown the book away and made it all up. Surely, surely, even Art must be shaking his head and truly asking himself what just happened?

Note to moguls; I don’t know what the rules are here. Please don’t sue me for quoting from the book. I like the book. And I have no money.

if you like reading books that dish the dirt on Hollywood forget Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and go straight for High Concept by Charles Fleming and Hollywood Animal by Joe Eszterhas; two of the most sordid books ever written and both great fun.