“WOMEN are works of art – men are engineering blocks,” said Lord George Weidenfeld.
Publishing’s Lord W. has considered numbers of women as works of art, including Arianna Huffington and Barbara Walters.
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NOW ABOUT those royals! Here’s the good news for all my friends in the media who are traveling to London to cover the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Britain celebrated the hottest day of the year so far yesterday. It topped 77 degrees and was predicted to be going even hotter. It was warmer in London than in Sydney, Australia or Los Angeles, USA. But I’d still take an umbrella and a raincoat.
Great Britain, however, was busting out all over. The early buds of May could be seen as lavender and violet bloomed and the wisteria soared into being.
The Brits have succumbed to royalty fever, with more than 90% of them deciding they now want a national anthem to compete with those of the Scots and the Welsh. Forty percent of those polled selected “Land of Hope and Glory” and 32% opted for “I Vow to Thee My Country.”
British retailers were happy for a change, looking forward to an almost $300 million dollars in sales to boost the economy.
The bride-to-be, Kate Middleton, has unveiled her coat of arms, with three acorns representing herself and her siblings. Kate’s arms will be combined with William’s after the wedding (his has the usual lion and unicorn, crowns and all that jazz).
And yesterday, William’s father, Charles, the Prince of Wales, set the record for being the longest heir apparent in British history. He has been the heir to the throne since 1952, when his mother became Elizabeth II. And he was so named formally when he was three years old. He is now age 62.
Oh, and incidentally: the wedding cake for William and Kate features a flower motif. It is being hidden under extreme wraps at a warehouse near Leicester and its creator Fiona Cairns calls it “a very romantic cake.” I suppose this means it nestles and coos and makes music.
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Here’s a cute one about our pal, the actor Hugh Jackman. He represents the “Live Below the Line” campaign, which tackles poverty by asking folks to try to live on about $2.00 a day for five days.
Asked if he intended to take part, Hugh demurred, saying, “Nope, I’m working onstage and I don’t want to faint.”
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WILL SHE or won’t she? As we went to press, no one knew whether the first lady of France, Carla Bruni, will appear at the May 11th Cannes Film Festival’s opening, to attend the bow of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” (She has a brief cameo in the romantic comedy.)
Carla and her husband Nicolas Sarkozy are sensitive about representing “too much bling” — and she just might say no to appearing for the film starring Owen Wilson and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard. Carla doesn’t want to damage her husband’s chances for re-election as President of the French Republic.
But the Cannes Film Festival will still show a biopic showing the rise of M. Sarkozy. It is “La Conquete” (“The Conquest”) and shows Sarkozy worrying about being short, using colorful language and discussing the breakup of his marriage to his second wife Cecilia. It is said that this little biopic could turn him into a laughing stock. I wonder how one says “laughing stock” in French?
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And now, back to the good old U.S. of A – Texas, to be exact. At the “Escape Family Resource Center’s” big gala in Houston this very week, the celebrity host, one Jerry Jones (he owns the Dallas Cowboys) was there autographing a football for the auction.
He announced that whoever bought it, he’d donate more to honor his pal and chairwoman, Joan Schnitzer Levy. (Joan is a twin treat; she spends winters visiting Palm Beach.)
Singer Steve Tyrell, who is a regular at New York’s Café Carlyle and also performs at Palm Beach’s Colony Hotel, bought the football, paying $22,000 for it. He had promised to give Joan Schnitzer ten times the football amount and promptly sat down and wrote a check for $222,000 to Joan’s charity.
And, in New York City, the movie guy Harvey Weinstein will pour at cocktails for veteran Hollywood show biz producer-writer-editor Peter Bart. I have already raved here about Mr. Bart’s historical and super work titled ”Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob (and Sex.)” The party happens Monday, April 25 at Desmonds on 60th Street.
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I love all my friends at HBO, and I admire most of what HBO produces. So I hope I will be forgiven this.
Several weeks ago I wrote about attending the premiere of HBO’s much-touted mini-series “Mildred Pierce.” They showed two of the five hours. I thought it looked fabulous, with director Todd Haynes’s usual expertise in terms of period mood, décor and costuming. Kate Winslet as Mildred was excellent, I thought, if a bit stolid — but Mildred was a serious, ambitious woman. However, I wondered if “Mildred Pierce” was going to hold up for another three hours. After all, the famous 1944 movie starring Joan Crawford jammed in a good deal of the James M. Cain novel, and threw in some very hot stuff not in the book. The mini seemed rather maxi when it came to moving the story along. The longueurs were … long!
Well, I finally saw the last three episodes of “Mildred Pierce” and all I can say is — three cheers for Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth (who played the vicious daughter Veda) and director Michael Curtiz, who guided their film to screen history and nabbed an Oscar for Joan.
The new version was close to excruciating as it wound down. Talk about a literal translation! And Miss Winslet appeared to be under anesthesia. Crawford was restrained as Mildred, but what she could do with her eyes and the slightest inflection of her voice. Kate — a brilliant actress, usually — appeared here to have no color, no fire. She was just an impossibly dreary masochist, sacrificing everything for her ungrateful serpent’s tooth of a child — and speaking in a flat, maddening monotone.
As for Evan Rachel Wood, who played Veda — sorry, kid, for low-down meanness, but Ann Blyth was the champ. But enough. That’s just my opinion.