Tag Archives: Julie Andrews

Oscars 2015: Shorten the Speeches, Amp Up the Stars

27 Feb

Every year the Oscar show unfolds and seems to last forever and every year everyone complains about it. I always tell myself I’m not gonna watch anymore and then, of course, I do. All the way to the end, which is way past my bedtime. This year, the Oscar show was more like the Independent Spirit Awards, with virtually the same movies in competition. Lots of indie people filled the auditorium and few bonafide Hollywood stars of any magnitude were around. There were lots of presenters I didn’t recognize, some of whom I’ve heard of but wouldn’t have been able to recognize (e.g. Chris Pratt), some of whom I’ve never heard of (Ansel Elgort, anyone?), and some whom I’ve heard of but was seeing live for the first time (Margot Robbie). And there were frequent cuts to audience members, presumably nominees, whom I was clearly supposed to know but didn’t.

Eddie Redmayne, eventual Best Actor winner for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, although I didn’t recognize him when they first showed him

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Merry Christmas: In Defense of “The Sound of Music”

25 Dec

When I was a child, my first exposure to the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, “The Sound of Music,” was the original Broadway cast album featuring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel in the lead roles of Maria Rainer and Captain Von Trapp. I later read the play. I didn’t see the 1965 movie version with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer until I was in high school, some four years after it had originally been released. I was somewhat skeptical at the time. Maybe I just happened to be in a demographic that deemed it unfashionable. Years later, in the early ’90s, I’m guessing, I saw a double bill of THE SOUND OF MUSIC with an earlier, similarly-themed Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, THE KING AND I (1956), at the Cinema Village in Manhattan. What struck me then was how claustrophobic the more stagebound KING AND I was, while THE SOUND OF MUSIC was “opened up” to allow panoramic Austrian landscapes into the story. Until this month, I hadn’t seen it, or any other version of the musical, since.

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