Liz Smith: Anne Hathaway and James Franco: The Perfect Oscar Hosts?

AP / Robin Platzer, Twin Images

And more from our Gossip Girl: Abraham Lincoln, vampire-slayer … Amy Adams, innocence lost … Mariah Carey, happy at last

“WHY NOT?”

That was James Franco’s answer when asked recently why he accepted the job of co-hosting the Oscar telecast, with Anne Hathaway.

What a perfect reply. I mean, it’s true — why not? Even Rob Lowe survived dancing with Minnie Mouse. It’s one night. If you flop, you flop. Next take! At least Franco and Hathaway will look very nice up there onstage. (On that score, he has nothing to worry about. Every man looks wonderful in a tux. Miss Hathaway, on the other hand, is probably already inundated with impassioned pleadings from designers, as well as her own worries about what those tiresome people who critique clothing on awards night will have to say. It’s always tougher for women.)

* * *

I HAD no idea vampiremania had morphed this much. Sure, I’m aware of the teen vamps of “Twilight” and the Deep South bloodsuckers of “True Blood.” The genre can’t be killed. Not even with a stake through it’s heart.

Now we’re hearing that there’s a project in the works titled “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” It’s based on a novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith. I’d never heard of the book, or the author, which is odd because, like the great Fran Lebowitz, I am a “promiscuous reader.” (It was published in March of this year.)

Anyway, the book takes the well-known facts of Lincoln’s life and throws in a few vampires. Some might say this is a distasteful sacrilege. I say, in the words of James Franco: why not? I’m sure most people don’t believe in vampires, and certainly don’t believe one of the greatest presidents of the United States was a vampire hunter. Our education system is a scandal, but I don’t see this book being taught in school — not even by people who think the world is only five thousand years old. Or by people who think our current president is an evil Socialist intent on destroying America.

Eric Bana, who is tall and quite handsome, is being wooed to play Honest Abe. Eric made a fine Henry VIII in “The Other Boleyn Girl.” (Too bad the movie — based on Phillipa Gregory’s delicious novel was so dull.) But Mr. Lincoln, though tall — unusually so for his time — was also painfully thin and, well…not handsome.

Oh, but what am I thinking? This is a movie where Lincoln goes around hunting the undead. He can be handsome in these odd circumstances — as if he didn’t have enough trouble with the Civil War.

* * *

DAVID FINCHER’S “The Social Network” continues to rack up awards and nominations. There seems little doubt that the film — which tells all about how the omnipresent online social network came to be — is going to rack up Oscar nods in every significant category.

Winning? The onscreen intricacies and machinations behind Facebook might have to take a backseat to a movie about how important it once was to communicate verbally. I do mean “The King’s Speech.” Although that film also bows to a modern technology that re-shaped the world — radio.

* * *

AMY ADAMS says: “The world thinks I am so innocent, but it’s not true!”

Amy is a sweet thing, but I don’t think the “world” is overly concerned with her innocence. She’s put her Disney princess days behind her. (Go see her in “The Fighter” — mouse ears went red as Amy cusses up a storm.)

Miss Adams’ quote is emblazoned on the cover of Marie Claire magazine. And just to make sure we know she’s not so innocent, she’s wearing a dress cut to her waist, and she’s sporting green fingernail polish. (Like “Cabaret’s” Sally Bowles: “divinely decadent.”)

* * *

OKAY—Two things that make me happy as this year winds down.

One is the astonishing renaissance of Betty White. White has been an iconic TV figure for many years, and has not worried over getting work. Nobody ever wondered “whatever happened to…” But there was something in the air in 2010 that vaulted this woman into the consciousness of everybody — not just her diehard “Mary Tyler Moore Show” or “Golden Girls” fans. Actually it was something online. Facebook made her their golden girl, and it’s all been sizzling tweet since then.

Not only does Betty have yet another hit sitcom, “Hot In Cleveland,” but the Associated Press has named her “Woman of the Year.”

Betty White is 88. You go girl!

* * *

THE OTHER thing I’m really happy about is Mariah Carey’s pregnancy. She has always wanted children and she has a lot of love to give. She is a truly sweet person. And of course, because Mariah — the girl who wears high heels in the snow — never does anything half-measure, I was not at all surprised to learn that she is having twins.

I hope her husband Nick Cannon and her two coming bundles of joy bring Mariah the emotional security she has always craved. I think Mariah is close to filling the hole in her heart. The one she’s filled with success, money, and her fans.

Now’s she’s got something real.

15 comments so far.

  1. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    If there is a god, a sleeper finally being released will sweep the nominations and the awards. I Love You Phillip Morris.  Hurry before Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres and GLAAD have a hissy fit.  Which they will. It is politically incorrect.  And it is Jim Carrey at his funniest.

    • avatar Paul Smith says:

      There was not much laughter in the theatre when I went.  There was, however, agreement of its vulgar frankness.  A gay serial criminal will not go over well with the brittle, gay middle-class.  Having prison thugs throttle an enemy of your boyfriend is probably not the kind of love gay marriage advocates have in mind.  I predict a cult following in its future.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        It definitely doesn’t project the image some want projected but then they would probably object to the image projected by La Cage aux Folles and probably do.

        There was a lot of laughter in the theatre when I went.  And the audience was not all straight couples.

      • avatar Hannah Smith says:

        As a member of the so-called “brittle, gay middle-class,” let me say that I Love You Phillip Morris felt much more genuine than the critically lauded (and awfully written) The Kids Are All Right. Though campy at times, and certainly a vehicle for Jim Carrey to show off his “I can still act” skills, I Love You Phillip Morris didn’t spend time preaching nor did it make the gay relationship the central plot thread of the film – Carrey’s machinations, instead, take center stage, and they should. Any good film (which, by the way, is really what the gay “community” wants) shouldn’t have to be all about preaching to an already jaded choir. It should, instead, be about telling a good story well. As far as that goes, the best story told this year is barely getting any nods – Winter’s Bone, by far, leaves all these other glitzy, over-produced films in the dust. And will get little notice come awards time; it doesn’t have the money to campaign. At least Lawrence is consistently getting nominations. Hawkes deserves them, too, as does Granik and Dickey. Next time they should make something uplifting about someone’s rise to overcome [a tragedy/accident/loss of a loved one/speech impediment] even in the face of pressure from [society/family/themself]. Then maybe they’ll get more notice.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        I saw this movie a while back.  I liked it a lot.  I saw the revival of
        “La Cage”  I hated it. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        You. Where’s the Christmas Cornucopia?  I got so depressed on Sunday I thought I better do something cheerful and went nuts.  Even took my gold and brass tone beaded cornucopia table ring, speaking of cornucopia, and turned it into a wreath with three strings of white lights and hung it in the center of my living room window and used all my gold tinsel garland around the edges of the window to frame it. Hung the Mardi Gras wreath inside on a screen divider. Created another wreath for the door from an old wreath and some old red silk poinsettia flowers I found while looking for the enormous red velvet ribbbon that I never found and some red tinsel garland and then went ahead and hung the lighted garland on the outside around the door and the living room window which I swore I wouldn’t do.  Then I brought out the heart-shaped teddy bear wreath, which I had  bought years ago for someone in Los Angeles who will remain nameless but never mailed when I realized it would end up in a box in warehouse somewhere along with various boxes, thousands of boxes, of things from probably every Tuesday Morning on the planet along with things from probably every auction held at Butterfield’s, and placed it in a glass bowl on a side table that amazingly holds it upright at just the perfect angle.  Since I cannot post a photo you must be content to visualize it. And then I got depressed again because it looked so, well, Christmasy and I wasn’t in the mood.  So I went to bed.  Someone dragged me to I Love You Phillip Morris thinking it would cheer me up. It did. I’m still laughing. 

      • avatar Linda Myers says:

        Baby,
        WOW! I thought I had decorated until I read this. :-) Mine would seem very minor to yours! Merry Christmas!
         
        Linda

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I am sure it is nothing compared to Mr. Wow’s extravaganza that no doubt he is busy taking pictures of to share with us.  Christmas is so many different things.  Cultural traditions, religious rituals. One tradition but I can’t remember at the moment where it originated is the “Festival of Lights” which is probably what most of us think about and look forward to. Some really go nuts with the lights. To our enjoyment. 

        I usually don’t miss a tree. I do this year for some reason. Remembering Christmases past I suppose.  Friends gone.  Memories. 

        Maybe wowOwow should have a “tree contest”and people can send in their photos and Mr.Wow can choose the best. Second best. His is the best. 

        Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year and of course a Sassy Saturnalia.  “Santa Baby…”

      • avatar Linda Myers says:

        For many years, the Solstice celebration has been my families intro to Christmas and recognizing the ritual prior to Christmas, then on with Christmas in this modern world. I use to have both a Solstice tree and a Christmas tree but years ago I combined the two, though in a way many would not recognize. I decorated this year, not on the scale of past years since I was doing an apt. instead of a big old house. On the other hand, I probably spent more this year on Christmas than I have for quite a few on my family and grandkids. Covering a read,wear,want and need for each of them and maybe still going beyond a tad. Santa Baby down the chimney… not sure I will be awake for that. :-)

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Well, Baby, our tree this year was a miniature fiber-optic beastie that we could hide in the closet at night from the hairballs. This was because the newest member of the feline faction. Selene, was spayed and de-clawed (front only! front only!) on 12/20, and we didn’t want or need a trip to Mr/Ms emergency vet because she fell out of our usual seven-foot, somewhat tipsy creation. So the cats chewed on the fiber optic fake needles and puked instead.
         
        We referred to the tree as the Chinese-restaurant midget tree (in honor of all the revolving fiber optic lamps I used to see in Chicago’s Chinatown Restaurants). We didn’t do outside lights (when we do, it’s the toss them at the bushes and see how it turns out effect), but my son hung my flamboyant, glittery, iridescent gold wreath on the front door over the “attack cat” sign.
         
        A fascinating and somewhat hilarious factoid: The Old Testament specifically proscribes the decorating of trees for religious celebrations. Because this was, ahem, a pagan sort of thing to do.
         
        My husband won’t let me put a plywood cut-out of Mithras and the bull in our front yard. I could do a nice one, too, as I am a speculative fine artist. He said people might complain. What happened to religious freedom? They put up crosses…at least the bull thing wasn’t human sacrifice. O well, we live in a neighborhood where all but two houses had McCalin/Palin signs. And I’m really just a lonely iconoclast. But still, phooey.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Baby…It’s on the way!  I say it’s a slightly more subtle tree.  Others might not agree.  I included several photos of Mr. Wow himself standing next to the…thing.  We shall see. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        We cannot wait to see. The unveiling of Mr.Wow’s Tree.  And of Mr. Wow? Wow!

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Well, that will depend on the powers at WoW.  I don’t mind being nameless.  Or called Mr. Wow, which I find hilarious.  It’s the faceless part.  But that’s my problem.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Well someone may recognize you and go “oh, that’s…” in which case you are no longer Mr. Wow.  And then we couldn’t call you Mr. Wow. 

        Of course you could deny being “…”  I do that all the time. As both myself and Baby Snooks. 

      • avatar Linda Myers says:

        Mr. WOW revealed! Either way I am waiting to see the tree! Merry Christmas Mr. WOW and Mr. B.
         
        Linda