"ALTHOUGH I cannot lay an egg, I am a very good judge of omelettes." -- George Bernard Shaw.
I went to see "The Hundred-Foot Journey," starring the divine Helen Mirren, and for the first five minutes of this Lasse Hallstrom-directed film, I thought I was losing my mind. (I guess I'm crazy and getting into my dotage, but I can't stand unexplained scenes of crowds rioting in food markets in India; it was just too chaotic for me.)
The love interests of this movie are heartbreakingly played by two actors entirely new to me (of course) -- Charlotte Le Bon, an offbeat beauty, and India's Manish Dayal, who is humanly good and very good looking.
The supremely gifted Indian actor Om Puri is the leading man/father. (We will be seeing all of these actors again in the future. They are keepers.) You've probably been told or have heard of the food-restaurant aspect of this movie, which should definitely appeal to the young because FOOD has overtaken fashion these days. (Remember all those short-lived copycats of "Project Runaway"? All gone, though the original hangs in. Now, we have a dozen cooking channels and hundreds of shows and chefs and sadistic competitions. Forget hemlines and give us dessert!)
So I'm not going to waste time with the plot, which is deliciously improbable. I am just going to advise you to go and enjoy this wonderful little film, which is as perfect as the omelet that figures so prominently!
I'VE ALWAYS felt that Debbie Reynolds was robbed of an Oscar nomination for her wonderful performance in Albert Brooks' 1996 film "Mother." I never understood that snub. Not only is Debbie the survivor's survivor, she is so pro-Hollywood, preserving its history, talking up the golden age, etc.
In any case, Debbie Reynolds -- who was Oscar-nominated for "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" in 1965, Tony-nominated for the stage production of "Irene" in 1973 and in 2000 Emmy-nominated for her continuing role in TV's "Will & Grace" -- is finally going to win something!
Debbie will receive the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in January. Few deserve it more. Personally and professionally, Debbie has weathered storms that would have defeated others. But she kept on keeping on. The former teenage Miss Burbank, who became a great big movie star, deserves her podium moment. I hope she talks for an hour.
Hey, Oscar people! See this? How about something for Doris Day? (Yes, I will continue that campaign for as long as possible.)
LAST YEAR I wrote often of Allison Janney and the incredible performance she was giving on Showtime's "Masters of Sex" series as the unsatisfied wife of a closet homosexual (a very good Beau Bridges). Obviously, the powers at the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences agreed and awarded Ms. Janney an Emmy (her fifth) for her gut-wrenching work in "MOS."
No, you haven't missed the Emmy telecast. Janney's award is amongst those that are given, for some reason, at the Creative Arts ceremony, which is not televised. I would have enjoyed seeing this brilliant actress accept her award.
But there are so many things I'd like that I just can't have.
LETTERS, WE get letters, if you can refer to emails as "letters." I do. So I guess you have to accept it.
Here's one from David Cuthbert: "There is another great Judy Garland rendition of a 'new' song on the DVD's of her TV series -- the Alan Jay Lerner-Burton Lane version of 'Too Late Now,' which Judy was supposed to sing in 'Royal Wedding,' but then she stopped showing up for the film and Jane Powell got the role and the song. The movie was loosely based on Fred Astaire's partnership with his sister, Adele."
This was another of the songs Judy sang only for her TV series, never before, and never again.
I suppose all of you read Barbra Streisand's remarks about the death of Lauren Bacall. But in case you missed it, here it is:
"What a terrible loss for us all, first Robin, who was a genius, and now Lauren.
"It was my privilege to have known Lauren, to have acted with her and to have directed her. And, most of all, to have had her as a wise and loving friend. She was an original. Even with all those great films we can visit again and again, she will be missed."
More Bacall: Laurence Chrysler wrote us that he and the late Bobby Short once joined Miss Bacall for a drink before lunch at the Cafe Flore in Paris. "As she was about to light a cigarette, I mentioned that the only time I smoked was in Paris. Leaning forward, in her sultry voice she said, 'Neither do I. It's like a movie, isn't it?'"
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
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