Entertainment journalist Gene Seymour and I saw the light comedy 2 Days in New York. It was directed by and stars Julie Delpy. Her leading man is Chris Rock.
Here's a clip of Gene and me discussing Julie Delpy's comedy:
How many times have you seen a black man on TV praising the work of a female filmmaker and also discussing the works of Woody Allen? By the way, To Rome With Love gave me that "I've seen this before" feeling. Ellen Page was a re-do of Diane Keaton's Manhattan character, Alec Baldwin was like the Bernadette Peters muse in Alice, Jesse Eisenberg was like a male version of Mia Farrow as Alice and Woody Allen was a bit like his Broadway Danny Rose character. To Rome With Love was like reheated leftovers from a good Italian meal served with a nice discount wine. Delpy gave me a Manhattan and characters I know but don't often see in a comedy. I liked that.
There was scant racial diversity in the combined group of movie critics and entertainment contributors seen on Today, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America and PBS' The Charlie Rose Show the day the Oscar nominations were announced. Making that group more diverse could've opened the way for more information and insight. For instance: Men rarely get Oscar nominations for roles in musicals. Especially in the Best Actor race. Hugh did it. He joins Yul Brynner (winner) for 1956's The King and I, Rex Harrison (winner) for My Fair Lady and Ron Moody for Oliver! Each film was nominated for Best Picture. My Fair Lady (1964) and Oliver! (1968) won the Oscar. Hugh Jackman is a Best Actor Oscar nominee for Les Misérables. The movie musical is up for Best Picture.
With his Best Actor nomination for Flight, Denzel Washington is now the black actor with the most Oscar nominations to his credit. He has 6. Morgan Freeman has 5. Quevenzhané Wallis makes history as the youngest female ever to be nominated for Best Actress and the youngest black actor to be nominated an Oscar...period. The Beasts of the Southern Wild star is 9 years old.
On the day of the Oscar nominations none of the network morning news shows nor Charlie Rose had a black film critic/entertainment journalist present to add to the comments about Best Picture nominee Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino's racially controversial western about slavery in the Deep South. One point of controversy about Tarantino's box office champ, which he wrote, is extreme use of the N-word.
Here's some trivia for you: The youngest male to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actor was Jackie Cooper. He was 9 and nominated for Skippy (1931). In 1933's The Bowery, directed by Raoul Walsh, he played a street kid in the New York City of the 1890's. The film stars Wallace Beery and George Raft. Young Cooper uses the N-word in the first ten minutes. His character and Beery's character both use a degrading term for the Chinese. And they don't have a high regard for women. That's in the first ten minutes. In fact, the story opens taking us into a saloon called "N*gger Joe's." The 1931 romantic drama starring Janet Gaynor, Daddy Long Legs, opens with orphans saying the N-word in a nursery rhyme. That was Hollywood before the Production Code.
In the Golden Globes ceremony, Jodie Foster received a special honor. She's another actress who walked through a door kicked open by the late film/TV star Ida Lupino.
If you didn't recognize the name Joan Darling, I'm sure you've seen her classic and memorable sitcom work on network television. Or you've heard of it, at least.
I'm extremely proud of our film review/interview show pilot. I loved doing it. I was honored and proud to work with Gene. Wish us luck finding sponsors. I believe our show could bring some much-needed diversity to an area of the broadcast arts. It could inspire young people to appreciate the art of classic films too. I'd really dig that.