“THE SATIRIST is prevented by repulsion from gaining a better knowledge of the world he is attracted to, yet forced by attraction to concern himself with the world that repels him,” said journalist Italo Calvino.
In other words — Ricky Gervais on Sunday night, at the Golden Globes. Are we ready?
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SPEAKING OF the Globes, it looks to be the usual glut of major stars — so many more than at the Oscars. Among them will be Madonna. Her “W.E.” movie has been nominated for Best Original Score and Best Song (“Masterpiece.”) “W.E.” has been Madonna’s passion for the past two years of filming and editing. But she has another reason for appearing at one of Hollywood’s most glamorous evenings. On February 5th, she’ll perform at the Super Bowl halftime. It’s never too soon to promote an event, or an upcoming album.
Madonna’s set list for the Super Bowl is still fluid, but she will, without a doubt, perform “Like a Prayer.” This is the number that always leaves ‘em screaming for more.
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ASHTON KUTCHER has cut his hair and shaved his beard. Apparently, this alteration will be incorporated into upcoming episodes of “Two and a Half Men.” This is good news as far as I am concerned. I was surprised that the producers of the show ever allowed Ashton to appear so scruffy and unattractive — though it didn’t affect the ratings; Ashton has carried the show effectively since the departure of Charlie Sheen.
Still, the grungy beard wasn’t an appealing look. And it didn’t help him as he separated from Demi Moore. He looked majorly creepy. She looked vulnerably wan.
So, now it’s up to Demi to put on a couple of healthy pounds and move ahead. Boys to men, honey.
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AS I predicted, the Los Angeles police who are “re-investigating” the 30-year-old drowning death of Natalie Wood have come up with zilch, nada, zero new evidence. What a waste of time, money newsprint and webspace this was. The only positive I see coming out of it is that a new generation, perhaps intrigued by the scandal, will search out Natalie’s fine and often neglected work.
I did catch something about her the other night on Turner Classic Movies. It was Robert Redford’s tribute to Natalie. They had starred in two movies together, 1965’s “Inside Daisy Clover” and “This Property is Condemned,” which was released in ’66.
Redford admits he was pretty much an unknown quantity in Hollywood back then, but Natalie, who was at the peak of her stardom, demanded him as her leading man in both movies. Redford spoke so affectionately and admiringly about her — certainly it’s the way she’d prefer to be remembered.
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IT’S FUNNY, in a grim sort of way — the news that Lindsay Lohan might portray Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime movie about the star of stars. Everybody is retching and carrying on about what a terrible idea it is, but back when Lindsay was still in her teens, I compared her to La Liz, favorably. This was when Lindsay’s behavior was merely rebellious and had not tipped into illegalities.
Lindsay was an unusually appealing child star who had, apparently overnight, blossomed physically into a gorgeous teenager, just the way Elizabeth did. Her overbearing mother, Dina, also put me in mind of Elizabeth’s relentless stage-mom, Sara. And Lindsay’s press reps at the time reminded me of the games that used to be played by the old MGM studio flacks. Protect, deny, threaten! (“Lindsay was certainly not flirting with Colin Farrell. If you print that you’ll destroy her career!” It was to laugh.)
I thought — and I wrote — that Lindsay seemed poised to have a great, Liz-like career, full of drama, romance and good movies. When I met her at an Oscar night party, her real troubles were just beginning, but she was still an A-list, promising young star. She said, “You are the only person who writes anything nice about me!” I promptly took her across the room to meet Barbara Walters.
And then everything went to hell. Over the years, as Lindsay plunged from one humiliating misadventure to another, I made repeated attempts to reach out, through a variety of people, to get her side of things. (The original dragon at the gates of Lindsay’s reputation, Leslie Sloane, eventually threw in the towel.) But to no avail. It was frustrating and infuriating to watch this talented girl — today a young woman of 25 — throw it all away with such a senseless air of entitlement.
Now, Lindsay says she has cleaned up her act. Her Marilyn-styled Playboy layout got her the kind of attention that didn’t involve handcuffs, and I have an idea she needed the money, too. (The IRS says she owes them about $100,000.)
So, Lindsay as Liz? Why not? Lindsay can’t harm Elizabeth’s iconic image; that is carved in diamonds. She won’t be ET — who could be? — but she might turn in a convincing performance. She can act. (Does anybody even recall Sherilyn Fenn in the 1995 TV movie on Elizabeth? See? Relax.)
And at least, if the movie happens, Lindsay will be compelled to dye her hair dark. If you ask me, the great tragedy of Lindsay’s career has been her decision to bleach her beautiful auburn locks blonde. So unflattering. Miss Taylor also went blonde at various times in her fifties and sixties. It wasn’t a great look for her, either.