And more from our Gossip Girl: Natalie Portman — swanning to Oscar? … Harvey Weinstein vs. “The Social Network” … Remembering the great Jack LaLanne
“OH, GOD, please don’t start a sentence, with ‘Look”— it’s always bad news!”
That’s one of the many famous quotes from the super-duper Barbra Streisand/Robert Redford 1973 romance, “The Way We Were.” This was a movie that had more women weeping at the bittersweet finale than they had after Barbra broke up with Omar Sharif in “Funny Girl”— torrents of tears!
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OR YEARS — in fact, seconds after the movie was released and became a huge hit — there’s been talk of a sequel. The idea was never far from the minds of both Streisand and Redford.
And even now, with Bob at 74 and Babs at 65, the continuance of the Katie/Hubbell story is still on medium burn. At the Sundance Film Festival, which Redford oversees each year, the actor said of a sequel: “Yes, to me that would be an interesting love story. To see these people — who had this sexual passion, tremendous heat that led them into marriage — grow apart and mature … and then come back together again. That appeals to me a lot.”
Apparently, it even appeals to the rather distracted Miss Streisand, who would rather spend time at her beautiful home, with her beautiful husband James Brolin, and make movies that require no effort, like “Little Fockers.” (Of course, she still expends a lot of energy on politics, and we can expect more of that as the 2012 election nears.) Redford said, “She had a good idea about the story.”
So, there’s hope for Barbra the mature actress. As you know, she’s also mulling a remake of “Gypsy.”
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I went to see “Black Swan” again in Manhattan on one of those frigid days we’ve all been having lately — and I felt sorry for the Kips Bay movie house, because the place seemed absolutely deserted and the theater I entered was empty. But about ten minutes before the film began, the theater began filling with young girls – and a few young men. With “Black Swan,” we entered an erotic, psychotic and beautifully filmed adventure — and thousands are having this experience. (Click here to see this column’s original review of “Black Swan.”)
“Black Swan” gave me a new appreciation of actress Natalie Portman, a big talent that the British press seems intent on tearing down. Never mind!
Natalie was born in Jerusalem, moved to Washington when she was only three, grew up in a small town in Long Island, was “discovered” at age ten emerging from a pizza parlor and became a model; then on to the theater, where she scored off-Broadway in “Ruthless!” The rest is history.
She just won the Golden Globe as best actress and will doubtless be up for the Oscar come February 27. I was ready for Natalie Portman to become a huge star. When I met her at the time she was promoting “V is for Vendetta,” I found her shy, adorable, and a girl with very good manners. And I thought she was just wonderful under Mike Nichols’ direction in “Closer.”
The British press seems to be willfully waiting for Natalie to self-destruct from success. They refer to her as “Hollywood’s most grounded starlet,” saying she “forsook Harvard for a world of obsession, cruelty and eroticism.” (Hey, she’s an actress; she didn’t write the movie “Black Swan,” merely agreed to star in it, suffering months of ballet pain, exercise and dieting.)
Miss Portman’s detractors simply hate that she is smart and well-educated. They can’t forgive her for being a vegan, and say she gets beyond herself by attempting to solve the Middle East crisis, talking international matters with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the late Afghanistan expert Richard Holbrooke, and meeting the President at the White House.
Better she should be a druggie, in and out of jail, or filling the pages of the weekly scandal tabloids than just being the gorgeous adult success she has become!
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P.S. Portman was charming this past Sunday when she was interviewed on CBS’s morning show. When asked about the diversity of her roles and her lack of a defined “public image,” Portman said she didn’t feel “people should know very much about me. I’m rather boring anyway. It’s better they feel they ‘know’ me through my work.” This is a revolutionary approach to success as a movie star these days, but it seems to be working for Natalie Portman.
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AS THE race for Oscar heats up, so does the rivalry between “Social Network” producer Scott Rudin and “The King’s Speech” big guy, Harvey Weinstein.
The Hollywood Reporter (my “must read” entertainment magazine) describes them as “the industry’s two mastodons!” Despite Rudin’s slight edge, author Stephen Galloway insists: “When it comes to winning the top prize — best picture — Harvey can still pull it off. Just.” The writer observes that despite the publicity surrounding the far more entertaining Golden Globe ceremonies and awards, “It’s easy to forget how rarely they and the Oscars align.”
In summation, this article places a win for “The King’s Speech” squarely on the massive shoulders of my favorite mogul, Harvey. Especially if H.W. truly retrieves his sometimes intimidating mojo. (He has been far less combustive and in-your-face recently, despite spending a good deal of money to promote his film.) “Enough with Mr. Nice Guy, Harvey!” exclaims The Hollywood Reporter. “Bring back Tyrannosaurus Rex.”
Indeed, the big show biz carnivore is back. “The King’s Speech” was the upset winner of Best Picture from the Producer’s Guild of America.
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FAREWELL TO the wonderful and inspiring Jack LaLanne, who died the other day at 96, still in splendid shape, still working out nearly to the end.
I interviewed this guy not many years ago, and he was an incredible person — what a positive outlook! Jack became a legend, had a great life and accomplished everything he set out to do. I just wish he’d been able to celebrate his 100th birthday, decked out in his famous one-piece, body-hugging exercise get-up. What a guy! I know he’s up there right now, encouraging St. Peter to take a break from guarding the gates and do a few sit-ups.