Friday, 28 May 2010
Monday, 24 May 2010
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Following the successful Facebook campaign to get her to host Saturday Night Live and her stellar performance on the show last weekend, Betty White is finding herself at the centre of a brand new Facebook campaign – this time, her fans want her to be appointed the host of the next Academy Awards. At last count, the group already has over 13,000 members.
As much as I love Betty and thought that her stint as SNL host was a true class act, I wonder how much sense it would make for her to host the Oscars. Sure, the lady is a pro at performing live, having come in the entertainment industry at the advent of radio and live varieity shows on television but the gig itself is a demanding one for anyone, let alone someone who’s pushing 90. It would be too much to ask of the fabulous Ms White but who knows? The woman is still a ball of energy and charisma that most people a quarter of her age can’t muster so if anyone can defy our expectations of senior citizens, it's Betty.
As for whether or not the Academy would even consider this idea, I say, they would be stupid not to! After all, the ideal host for the Oscars should be someone who’s funny and charming and most of all, so beloved by their peers that they can get away with poking fun of any of them. Furthermore, can you imagine the ratings bonanza that it would create? Betty’s stint as host was the highest-rated episode of SNL in 18 months, since the height of the 2008 US Presidential Election. Finally, never underestimate the power of a grassroots campaign!
Speaking of Betty White on SNL, how awesome was it to see on the same show the return of many former female SNL cast members (such as Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer) from the recent past in this Mother’s Day-themed special. It was like 2006 all over again with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph popping up in support of Betty White. What a treat to see many past favorite characters like Maya’s Whitney Houston and Amy and Tina on Weekend Update doing a ‘Really!?!’ segment with Seth Meyers.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
After 13 years of Labour rule, the United Kingdom has a new Prime Minisiter in Conservative Party leader David Cameron, who, at 43, becomes the youngest British PM in almost 200 years. Gordon Brown resigned today and in his speech, graciously took full responsibility for Labour's defeat in last Thursday's General Election. It is going to be interesting to see Mr. Cameron lead a minority government in coalition with the Liberal Democrats and I sincerely hope that they can bring about some positive changes to the UK. Even if it is for just one day, as we acknowledge the dawn of change, we must put aside our cynicism because now is the time for optimism and action.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Scarlett Johansson became a Tony Award nominee today (in the category of Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play) and, in the process, reaffirmed her claim as an actress of substance. In 2003, at the tender age of 18, Johansson became a critical darling for her leading role in 'Lost in Translation', winning a Bafta and a Golden Globe nomination for her minimal, precocious performance. Although I would definitely call myself a fan, it feels like she has not lived up to her potential in recent years, with her acting career becoming increasingly sidetracked for her full-time career as a celebrity, one who is more visible for her ad campaigns, selling products as diverse as Moet & Chandon champagne, Mango clothing, Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics and Calvin Klein fragrances, than for her acting. I am glad that with her Broadway debut, in the highly-acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's 'A View from the Bridge', Ms Johansson can redirect attention to her acting talent.
Other screen favorites, from both film and television, proved their mettle as 'legit' actors today by scoring their first Tony nominations. Amongst the nominees are Emmy-winners Kelsey Grammar (La Cage aux Folles) and Sean Hayes (Promises, Promises), as well as Oscar-winners Denzel Washington (Fences), Christopher Walken (A Behanding in Spokane) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music). Zeta-Jones' 'Night Music' costar, the legendary Angela Lansbury, is poised to win a record-breaking sixth competitive Tony, this time, for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.
Speaking of acting greats, I must pay tribute to the magnificent Oscar and Tony-nominated Lynn Redgrave, who passed away after a long battle with breast cancer on Monday. The Great White Way will dim its lights in her honor tonight.
For the full list of nominees for this year's Tony Awards, click here.