January 16, 2011
Christoph Waltz, left, is congratulated by Quentin Tarantino at last year’s Weinstein Company party. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)
Let’s hope the Beverly Hilton Hotel is reinforced in steel come Golden Globes Sunday — each year the awards telecast brings crushing star power to Beverly Hills as film and television celebrate their best and brightest, and this year is no exception. As the telecast emanates from the Hilton, studios and media tend to also focus their parties there, making for a wild power vortex. The lineups are still evolving, but here’s a guide to the best parties this weekend, from pre-game to the main event.
Awards appetizers: Friday and Saturday bring a surprisingly hefty lineup of pre-Globes celebrations, as Hollywood’s top companies and agencies toasting their nominees and praying with other fabulous entities riding the wave.
BAFTA tea party: For partying during waking hours, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts will host their annual, tres civilized award season tea party on Saturday. Saucers and sandwiches will be had by Darren Aronofsky, Helena Bonham Carter, Kathy Griffin, Jane Lynch, Helen Mirren, Tilda Swinton and more at the swanky Four Seasons Hotel. The event is hosted by British producer-director Nigel Lythgoe, president of the L.A. BAFTA chapter.
W Magazine: The fashion-society mag will ring in its “Best Performances” issue with a Golden Globes penthouse soiree at the Chateau Marmont on Friday. Editor in chief Stefano Tonchi will welcome Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Melissa Leo, the Coen brothers, Jennifer Lawrence, Darren Starr, Claire Danes and many more. Glimpses of the action on the famed patio may be had from Sunset Boulevard.
CAA: Later on Friday, power agency CAA will welcome their star clients for an exclusive cocktail party at West Hollywood’s private members club, SoHo House. Agency honchos like Kevin Huvane and Bryan Lourd count among their clients Nicole Kidman (nominated for her performance in “Rabbit Hole”) and James Franco. We’re sure they’re on the “just-drop-by” list.
Art of Elysium Heaven Gala: The folks at Art of Elysium, dedicated to pairing artistic mentors with children battling illness, will honor Franco at their annual black tie fete. Nabbing the Spirit award, Franco will be joined by luminaries like Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, Ben Silverman, Jeffrey Dietch, Kristen Bell, Rachel Bilson, new mom Ali Larter, Cameron Silver, Elijah Wood, Gerard Butler and Joy Bryant. The bunch will congregate at the California Science Center for the bash, where Vogue magazine will put on a fashion show after dinner.
Paramount: Saturday will see a private party from the peeps at Paramount. They’ve been very tight with info on this, but it is to be held on the patio at the Chateau Marmont. Sophia Coppola’s “Somewhere” is so on the nose, with all this Chateau action.
Main event: Pool deck to plush banquettes, subterranean sushi spaces to the rooftop — on Golden Globes Sunday, the Hilton is saturated in soiree.
InStyle / Warner Bros: The fashion magazine and studio partner up for what promises to be fierce fashion and major Hollywood players in the Hilton’s Oasis Courtyard. Expected attendees include the casts of “Inception” and “The Big Bang Theory.”:The Weinstein Co. / Relativity Media: Mogul Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood mega-financier Ryan Kavanaugh host. Need we say more? French fashion mag Marie Claire also lends some invitation power. This party takes over Bar 210 and should feature Weinstein darlings like Jennifer Lawrence and Colin Firth, as well as casts from “The Fighter” and “Blue Valentine.”
HBO: Counting a ton of nominations for original film and television this year, Home Box Office is bringing in a whole load of talent to party in the Hilton’s poolside area. One would expect red-hot ensembles like the flesh-baring folks of “True Blood” as well as “Temple Grandin” sweetheart Claire Danes.
NBC Universal: The major entertainment conglomerate returns once again to the heights above Wilshire Boulevard for back-patting and toasting on the Hilton rooftop. Their party should draw deep from their comedy stronghold with folks like Tina Fey and her merry band of “30 Rock” gems, including pregnant Jane Krakowski and Senate hopeful Alec Baldwin.
Fox: This crowd is tenting up the parking structure in the rear garage (the old Robinson’s May structure) adjacent to the Hilton to make beautiful music with its stable of bold names. Nothing like staking out your own territory, especially when hosting the bright young things of “Glee,” repping the television side, and the cast from Fox Searchlight’s big bragging-rights film, “Black Swan.”
I am a big fan of the Wicked story. First a book, then a Broadway musical, the Wicked story covers the other side of The Wizard of Oz, told from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West (here named Elphaba). For those that have neither read the book nor seen the musical, I will clue you in on very crucial fact: Other than the very basic outlines of characters and plot, the two are vastly different. I’ve been rooting for the big screen version in production over at Universal seemingly forever now, but it looks like there is a new player in this particular game.
Mike Ausiello, at his brand spanking new website TVLine, reports that ABC is working on a Salma Hayek helmed mini-series adaptation of the book. Set to be eight hours, the plot would logically cover Elphie’s years in school, time as a political dissident, and whatever the last third of the book is about — seriously, I’ve read it twice, and I’m still not entirely sure what was going on. There is certainly enough story there for eight hours, but the question is obvious: Is there room enough in the pop culture landscape for both stories?
Well, on its own, the answer is probably not. But when you factor other Oz related projects currently in production, including one with Robert Downey Jr. attached that focuses on the Wizard’s story, the answer is no … definitely no … positively no … decidedly no (and there goes my musical reference of the post). There might be enough room for two of these stories, but I think more might be a stretch. And as much as I would easily pick the two Wicked properties, I doubt both would be viable projects.
So which (ha!) has the advantage? The TV production is being written by Erik Jendresen, who penned several of my favorite Band of Brothers installments, so that is definitely a plus. Plus, I have been begging for more “Event Television” for as long as I can remember, and a four-part mini-series would most certainly fit the bill; but, for those who’ve not seen the musical, it is — excuse the pun — magical. It is one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen on stage, and I’d love to have a version I can pop into ye ‘ole DVD player anytime I’d like. And, there exists the most no-brainer piece of casting ever for Elphaba (I’m looking at you, Lea Michele), and a bit of dream casting I’d love to see for Glinda (Kristen Bell has singing chops, too, boys and girls).
Burlesque! I know this movie has been out since Thanksgiving 2010 but it was playing in the Gladbrook theater this weekend and I really wanted to see it. Being a big fan of movie musicals this was on my must-see list. I also really like Christina Aguilera and Cher’s music; so, that is just more fuel on the fire.
The movie didn’t disappoint. It was really well done. The best part, for me at least, was the music. Christina has the best and most powerful singing voice I have ever heard, and it’s not something you would easily guess at from her speaking voice. I immediately downloaded the soundtrack when I got home and have been listening to it ever since.
Now to the movie itself…. (spoiler alert, read at your own risk)
Christina plays a girl named Ali who leaves her small town in Iowa to try her luck in the big city of LA. It is a true movie musical, and what I mean by that is that it has a song within the first five minutes. Christina belts an Etta James classic, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.”
Once in LA, things are slow for Ali as she tries to find work. Then one fateful evening, she walks into the Burlesque club and falls in love with the performance style. Enter Cher. She is the owner of the club, Tess. She is singing the opening number of the show when Ali first comes into the club.
The club itself is really well done. While set in modern day, the club gives the movie a period piece feel, as though we are transported back to the original Burlesque time period. The costuming, the lights and all of the dancers really add to that feel. An added treat for me is that Julianne Hough appears in the movie as one of the dancers, Georgia. She is one of my favorite pro dancers from Dancing with the Stars. She hasn’t been on the show since season eight so it was great to see her dance again.
Back to the movie, Ali talks to one of the bartenders, Jack, played by hottie Cam Gigandet (who plays a bad vampire in Twilight). They discover they are kindred spirits as he came to the big city from small town Kentucky. Jack directs her to see Tess to try to get in the act. Long story short, she crashes and burns with Tess but uses her new found friendship with Jack to land a waitress gig so she can remain close to the club.
She is at the club every night, watching each routine and memorizing them. All she needs is her chance, and before long, one dancers needs to drop out and a replacement is needed. Ali impresses Tess by her work ethic and not backing down when Tess tells her no first. She wheedles the job out of her and she turns out to be a hit when they discover her singing talent.
From her the movie really takes off. Christina sings five different times throughout the course of the movie. Cher has a power house solo that gave me goose bumps from the first eight bars.
The plot line is solid. Tess is struggling to keep her club, and she tries to use her new found star in Ali to help save it for her. That leads to jealousy from the other dancers, all of the classic conflicts that comes with the performing arts.
The romantic angle is there between Jack and Ali; however, you find out early that he is engaged to some chick in New York that doesn’t seem to care whether he’s there or not. Jack and Ali are still able to form a great friendship and is a solid emotional base for the movie. Grey’s Anatomy’s Eric Dane is in the movie as businessman, Marcus. He is trying to buy the club from Tess and takes an interest in Ali, while Jack is still trying to figure out his feelings. You can’t really hate hime because he’s just being a smart businessman and he’s good to Ali when they are in each other’s company.
The movie comes to a satisfying conclusion. I won’t give everything away but know that I wouldn’t be blogging about it with such a nice tone if I hated the ending. It’s definitely a movie I will purchase when the DVD comes out. It gets my recommendation to anyone wanting to watch an entertaining film, whatever that’s worth.
Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci and Peter Gallagher also star in the movie.
Here’s Cher’s song, “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me Yet.” Not much of a video but the song is amazing!
Kristin hinted: “You never know, because if your part gets cut down or not, so I don’t know – we’ll see when it comes out…”
But she added: “It was really really fun. We shot it in my home state of Michigan so that was nice to be back.”
Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox Arquette all reprise their roles in the new installment of the horror franchise.
The film sees Sidney Prescott, played by Neve, return to her small town of Woodsboro to promote a book she has written about the murders of the first three films.
Writer Gale Weathers Riley (Courteney) and husband Sheriff Dewey (David) begin investigating when murders start happening as soon as Sidney comes back.
Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere also star in the film as Sidney’s cousin and friend.