MGM via Everett Collection
Veteran stage and screen icon Elaine Stritch has died at the age of 89. The actress passed away at her home in Birmingham, Michigan on Thursday (17Jul14).
The star, known for her brash attitude and sharp tongue, began her career with her first stage role in 1944 and made her Broadway debut in Loco just two years later (46).
She went on to become a regular in New York's famous theatre district, featuring in a hit 1952 revival of the musical Pal Joey and landing her first leading Broadway role in Goldilocks in 1958. Her other theatre credits include parts in Noel Coward's Sail Away, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company, a role she reprised in 1972 when it opened in London's West End.
She later won high praise for her one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty, for which she won a Tony Award in 2001. During the production, in which she recounted her life story, Stritch revealed she had tried and failed to win the role of Dorothy Zbornak in hit TV series The Golden Girls, a job which went instead to Bea Arthur.
Her early TV appearances came on shows like The Growing Paynes, Studio One and the classic British comedy series Two's Company. In more recent years, she appeared in U.S. soap One Life to Live, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Law & Order, while she earned an Emmy Award playing Alec Baldwin's mother on 30 Rock.
Stritch's filmography included parts in the 1957 remake of A Farewell to Arms, The Perfect Furlough, Providence and Woody Allen films September (1987) and Small Time Crooks (2000). She also portrayed Winona Ryder's grandmother in Autumn in New York and Jane Fonda's acerbic mum in 2005's Monster in Law.
The actress, who was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995, bid farewell to fans with her Movin' Over and Out concert series in the Big Apple in April, 2013, before moving to Michigan to spend more time with her family.
Paramount via Everett Collection
Kate Winslet has given some amazing performances. She's brilliant as a depressed suburbanite in Little Children (2006), as a depressed suburbanite in Revolutionary Road (2008), and as a depressed suburbanite in the recently released Labor Day (2013).
Admirers of Winslet often place her alongside Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman as one of the best actresses of her generation. She's received many awards and nominations, including a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in The Reader (2008) as a depressed woman who might as well live in the suburbs. All of this leads to the question: is Kate Winslet overrated?
When we measure greatness in acting, we should consider versatility. Winslet has acted in over 20 movies and she's played some variation of sorrow in the majority of them. In addition to the aforementioned films, she's acted in Sense and Sensibility (1995), Jude (1996), Titanic (1997), and Finding Neverland (2004).
It seems that there are two roles that Winslet often plays. The first is the depressed woman who struggles to find happiness in contemporary suburban America. The second is the depressed woman who struggles to find happiness in a different time period.
Winslet supporters may cite the lack of female roles as a defense, and claim that Winslet is merely doing the best she can with what she's given. If this is so, then what do we make of Blanchett's diverse performances as Queen Elizabeth, Bob Dylan, and the living trainwreck that is Jasmine French? What about Nicole Kidman as Suzanne Stone, Virginia Woolf, and Charlotte Bless?
Winslet has indeed been fantastic in many films, but the difference between her and other great actresses like Blanchett and Kidman is that Winslet hasn't shown her versatility. With the exception of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Carnage (2011), two vastly underrated Winslet performances, she's played the same, sad woman time and time again.
Here's hoping that Winslet does something different in her next film.
What do you think?
The Oscar nominations came out on Thursday morning, and as of now, it's anybody's race. Some say 12 Years a Slave has it in the bag, while others think American Hustle will snatch the Best Picture trophy. There's no one way to know for sure — does the Academy weigh emotional impact? Flashy performances? The film's lasting message?
How about titles? Yes, you can tell a lot about a film by its title, and about its Oscar chances, too. We've compiled some handy data about each Best Picture nominee's title and what it says about the film's chances come time to hand out the awards. (You can also head over to BBC America to check out this fantastic infographic that predicts the Best Picture winner!)
Movies with the word "America" in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 2 (An American in Paris; American Beauty) ...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 2 (America, America; American Graffiti)
Movies whose titles refers to a crime or act of duplicity......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 2 (Mutiny on the Bounty; The Sting)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 11 (The Racket; She Done Him Wrong; Imitation of Life; Libeled Lady; Grand Illusion; The Caine Mutiny; The Hustler; Mutiny on the Bounty; The Killing Fields; The Fugitive; Traffic)
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Movies with a main character's surname in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 10 (The Great Ziegfeld; Ben-Hur; Tom Jones; Patton; Annie Hall; Kramer vs. Kramer; Gandhi; Schindler’s List; Forrest Gump; Shakespeare in Love)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 45 (Disraeli; Trader Horn; Arrowsmith; The House of Rothschild; Alice Adams; Captain Blood; David Copperfield; Ruggles of Red Gap; Anthony Adverse; Dodsworth; Mr. Deeds Goes to Town; The Story of Louis Pasteur; The Life of Emile Zola; The Adventures of Robin Hood; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Kitty Foyle; Citizen Kane; Here Comes Mr. Jordan; Sergeant York; Mrs. Miniver; The Magnificent Ambersons; Madame Curie; Wilson; Mildred Pierce; Johnny Belinda; Julius Caesar; Mister Roberts; The Diary of Anne Frank; Elmer Gantry; Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; Mary Poppins; Doctor Zhivago; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Doctor Dolittle; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Barry Lyndon; Prizzi’s Honor; Jerry Maguire; Good Will Hunting; Saving Private Ryan; Erin Brokovich; Capote; Michael Clayton; Lincoln)
Movies whose titles include a military rank......to win a Best Picture Oscar: o...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 6 (The Smiling Lieutenant; Captain Blood; Captains Courageous; Sergeant York; Saving Private Ryan; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World)
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Movies with a city name in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 4 (Cimarron; Casablanca; An American in Paris; Chicago)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 18 (Hollywood Revue; Shanghai Express; San Francisco; In Old Chicago; The Philadelphia Story; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Casablanca; Roman Holiday; Peyton Place; Judgment and Nuremberg; Chinatown; Nashville; Fargo; L.A. Confidential; Gangs of New York; Munich; Letters from Iwo Jima; Midnight in Paris)
Movies whose titles seem like they should probably have a possessive apostrophe, but don't......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 4 (Boys Town; Kings Row; Dead Poets Society; Howards End)
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles are a single intangible noun......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (Crash)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 8 (Alibi; Suspicion; Crossfire; Deliverance; Traffic; Atonement; Inception; Moneyball)
Movies whose titles end in "ity"......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (From Here to Eternity)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 3 (Double Indemnity; Atlantic City; Sense and Sensibility)
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles are made up three letters or fewer......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 4 (Z; JFK; Ray; Up)
Movies that have the word "her" in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (Ben-Hur)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 1 (Hannah and Her Sisters)
Paramount via Everett Collection
Movies with U.S. state names in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 2 (In Old Arizona; Mississippi Burning) *Note: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gangs of New York both refer to cities, not states, and the "Virginia" in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a human woman.
We loved Nebraska, but this is really the only one we could think of for it. Sorry, Alexander Payne. Sorry, everybody.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles are just a main character's first name......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 5 (Rebecca; Hamlet; Marty; Gigi; Oliver!)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 20 (Skippy; Cleopatra; Ivanhoe; Shane; Fanny; Cleopatra; Alfie; Lenny; Rocky; Julia; Norma Rae; Tess; Bugsy; Babe; Elizabeth; Seabiscuit; Ray; Juno; Precious; Hugo)
Movies whose titles were mispronounced by Leonardo DiCaprio on live television......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 0...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 0 (There can be only one Philomania.)
12 YEARS A SLAVE
Movies with numbers in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 6 (It Happened One Night; Around the World in 80 Days; The Godfather Part II; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Million Dollar Baby; Slumdog Millionaire)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 36 (Seventh Heaven; Five Star Final; One Hour with You; 42nd Street; The Private Life of Henry VIII; One Night of Love; Broadway Melody of 1936; A Tale of Two Cities; Three Smart Girls; One Hundred Men and a Girl; Four Daughters; One Foot in Heaven; 49th Parallel; Henry V; Miracle on 34th Street; A Letter to Three Wives; Twelve O’Clock High; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Three Coins in the Fountain; The Ten Commandments; 12 Angry Men; The Defiant Ones; A Thousand Clowns; Anne of the Thousand Days; Five Easy Pieces; Born on the Fourth of July; The Godfather Part III; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Apollo 13; The Sixth Sense; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; District 9; 127 Hours; Toy Story 3; Zero Dark Thirty)
Movies that refer to a unit of time in their titles......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 2 (The Best Years of Our Lives; Around the World in 80 Days) ...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 9 (One Hour with You; Lady for a Day; The Yearling; The Longest Day; Anne of the Thousand Days; Dog Day Afternoon; Remains of the Day; The Hours; 127 Hours)
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Paramount via Everett Collection
Movies whose titles include mention of an animal......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 3 (The Deer Hunter; Dances with Wolves; The Silence of the Lambs)...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 17 (Of Mice and Men; The Little Foxes; The Maltese Falcon; The Ox-Bow Incident; The Snake Pit; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Lion in Winter; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Dog Day Afternoon; The Elephant Man; Raging Bull; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Black Swan; War Horse)
Movies whose titles include the name of a street......to win a Best Picture Oscar: 1 (The Broadway Melody) ...to get nominated for BP, but not win: 5 (42nd Street; The Barretts of Wimpole Street; Broadway Melody of 1936; Miracle on 34th Street; Sunset Boulevard)
Cast your bets, folks. Captain Phillips looks like it has this one locked down.
*Special thanks to Hollywood.com writers Julia Emmanuele and Jordan Smith for helping to compile data and entertaining the madness of this post, and to our CTO Greg Zimerman for recovering hours of work after my Word Doc crashed. You're a hero, Greg.
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Mary Poppins and Pulp Fiction are among the latest movies added to the U.S. National Film Registry. The Disney classic and Quentin Tarantino's groundbreaking crime caper are among 25 films selected to be preserved for posterity in America's Library Of Congress.
Other titles on the 2013 list of inductees include Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Michael Moore's documentary Roger and Me, and classic western The Magnificent Seven.
The oldest films on the list of new additions are A Virtuous Vamp, a 1919 silent movie, and 1920's Daughter of Dawn, a love story featuring an all-native American cast that was only screened once before its restoration in 2012.
The Registry was started in 1989 to preserve important movies from America's history, with as many as 25 selected each year from hundreds of titles nominated by the public. Films must be at least 10 years old to be considered for inclusion.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says, "The National Film Registry stands among the finest summations of more than a century of extraordinary American cinema."
Tony Award-winning Broadway press agent Shirley Herz has died at the age of 87. She passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Sunday (11Aug13) following complications arising from a stroke she suffered last month (Jul13), according to her representative Kevin P. McAnarney.
During a career which spanned almost 65 years, Herz publicised hundreds of successful Broadway and off-Broadway production as well as films and TV shows.
Notable highlights include the original productions of La Cage aux Folles, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? and Dancing at Lughnasa, as well as the 1989 revival of Gypsy and the 2005 revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
She was presented with a special Tony Award for Excellence in the Theatre at the 63rd annual Tony Awards ceremony in 2009.
Herz is survived by her husband, Herbert Boley, whom she married in 1948.
Matthew Mcconaughey's 2011 movie Killer Joe is set for a run on Broadway. Tracy Letts' drama about a Texan police detective-turned-hitman will hit the New York stage next year (14).
Letts, who also wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County, will reunite with director Pam MacKinnon for the Broadway show.
The duo worked together on the revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which earned both of them 2013 Tony Awards.
Killer Joe was previously produced off-Broadway in 1998 with a cast which included The Silence of the Lambs' Scott Glenn and Man of Steel star Michael Shannon.
A rare first edition of T.S. Eliot's epic poem The Waste Land that was donated to a charity book shop has sold at auction for $7,000 (£4,500). The book was donated to Oxfam's Turl Street branch in Oxford, England and was expected to go under the hammer for between $3,100 (£2,000) and $4,650 (£3,000).
The tome dates from 1923, when it was published by Eliot's friends Leonard and Virginia Woolf.
Broadway hit Matilda has picked up steam ahead of the Tony Awards next month (Jun13) by scooping five top prizes at the 2013 Drama Desk Awards on Sunday (19May13). Matilda will be one of the frontrunners at the prestigious Tonys with 13 nominations, and the family-friendly show proved a favourite at the 58th annual Drama Desk Awards, which celebrate the best in New York theatre.
The show nabbed the coveted Outstanding Musical trophy, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Bertie Carvel, as well as honours for best book, lyrics and set design.
Hollywood stars Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy) and Nathan Lane (The Nance) missed out on winning the Outstanding Actor in a Play prize, which went to Tracy Letts for Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, while Cicely Tyson was named Outstanding Actress for The Trip to Bountiful, seeing off competition from Vanessa Redgrave (The Revisionist).
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike was crowned Outstanding Play at the ceremony, held at Town Hall in Manhattan.
Actor Nathan Lane saw off competition from stars including Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks and Jake Gyllenhaal to land the top honour at the New York Drama League Awards on Friday (17May13). Bette Midler, Vanessa Williams, Edie Falco and Alan Cumming were also in the running for the Distinguished Performance prize, but it was Lane's turn in Douglas Carter Beane's burlesque drama The Nance which bagged him the prestigious accolade.
Cyndi Lauper added another award to her collection for Kinky Boots, which was named Distinguished Production of a Musical, while Distinguished Revival of a Musical went to Pippin.
Distinguished Play was bestowed upon Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? landed the Distinguished Revival of a Play honour.
Bernadette Peters walked away with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre trophy and Jerry Mitchell received the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing during the ceremony, which was held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.
The New York Drama League Awards celebrate the best in Broadway and Off Broadway and are voted for by the public.