The stage, film and TV star, who served as an actors union leader for more than four decades, passed away on Saturday (05Jan13).
Greenhouse appeared in many plays on and off Broadway, and her TV and film credits include Law & Order, Ryan's Hope, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Stepford Wives, Woody Allen's Bananas and the original production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.
Greenhouse served five terms as president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' New York branch and two terms on the Screen Actors Guild's National Board from 1981-87.
She also received a slew of union awards, including the Founder's Award, the Ken Harvey Award and the George Heller Gold Card, the highest honour given by national AFTRA for service to the union.
Current SAG-AFTRA co-president Roberta Reardon says, "During her more than 40 years of board service, Martha helped lead the New York Local of AFTRA through turbulent times, and the union came out stronger due to her hard work, talent and dedication. She was an inspiration not only to me but to the entire leadership. Her service to the union should be held up as an example to everyone who will walk in her footsteps."
The trailers for Hope Springs might lead you to believe it's a romantic comedy about a couple trying to jumpstart their sexless marriage but it causes more empathetic cringing than chuckles. Audiences will be drawn to Hope Springs by its stars Meryl Streep Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell and Streep's track record of pleasing summer movies like Julie & Julia and Mamma Mia! that offer a respite from the blockbusters flooding theaters. Despite what its marketing might have you believe Hope Springs isn't a rom-com. The film is a disarming mixture of deeply intimate confessions by a married couple in the sanctuary of a therapist's office awkwardly honest attempts by that couple to physically reconnect and incredibly sappy scenes underscored by intrusive music. Boldly addressing female desire especially in older women it's hard not to give the movie extra credit for what writer Vanessa Taylor's script is trying to convey and its rarity in mainstream film. The ebb and flow of intimacy and desire in a long-term relationship is what drives Hope Springs and while there are plenty contrived moments and unresolved issues it is frankly surprising and surprisingly frank. It's a summer release from a major studio with high caliber stars aimed squarely at the generally underserved 50+ audience addressing the even more taboo topic of that audience's sex life.
Streep plays Kay a suburban wife who's deeply unsatisfied emotionally and sexually by her marriage to Arnold. Arnold who is played by Tommy Lee Jones as his craggiest sleeps in a separate bedroom now that their kids have left the nest; he's like a stone cold robot emotionally and physically and Kay tiptoes around trying to make him happy even as he ignores her every gesture. One of the most striking scenes in the movie is at the very beginning when Kay primps and fusses over her modest sleepwear in the hopes of seducing her husband. Streep makes it obvious that this isn't an easy thing for Kay; it takes all her guts to try and wordlessly suggest sex to her husband and when she's shot down it hurts to watch. This isn't a one time disconnect between their libidos; this is an ongoing problem that leaves Kay feeling insecure and undesirable.
After a foray into the self-help section of her bookstore Kay finds a therapist who holds week-long intensive couples' therapy sessions in Good Hope Springs ME and in a seemingly unprecedented moment of decisiveness she books a trip for the couple. Arnold of course is having none of it but he eventually comes along for the ride. That doesn't mean he's up for answering any of Dr. Feld's questions though. To be fair Dr. Feld (Carell) is asking the couple deeply intimate questions so if Arnold is comfortable foisting his amorous wife off with the excuse he had pork for lunch it's not so far-fetched to believe he'd be angry when Feld asks him about his fantasy life or masturbation habits.
Although Arnold gets a pass on some of his issues Kay is forthright about why and how she's dissatisfied. When Dr. Feld asks her if she masturbates she says she doesn't because it makes her too sad. Kay offers similar revelations; she's willing to bare it all to revive her marriage while Arnold thinks the fact that they're married at all means they must be happy. Carell's Dr. Feld is soothing and kind (even a bit bland) but it's always a pleasure to see him play it straight.
It's subversive for a mega-watt star to play a character that talks about how sexually unsatisfied she is and how unsexy she feels with the man she loves most in the world. The added taboo of Kay and Arnold's age adds that much more to the conversation. Kay and Arnold's attempts at intimacy are emotionally raw and hard to watch. Even when things get funny they're mostly awkward funny not ha-ha funny.
The rest of the movie is a little uneven wrapped up tightly and happily by the end. Their time spent soul-searching alone is a little cheesy especially when Kay ends up in a local bar where she gets a little dizzy on white wine while dishing about her problems to the bartender (Elisabeth Shue). Somewhere along the line what probably started out as a character study ended up as a wobbly drama that pushes some boundaries but eventually lets everyone off the emotional hook in favor of a smoothed-over happy ending. Still its disarming moments and performances almost balance it out. Although its target audience might be dismayed to find it's not as light-hearted as it would seem Hope Springs offers up the opportunity for discussion about sexuality and aging at a time when books and films like 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike are perking up similar conversations. In the end that's a good thing.
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
A Santa Monica, Calif., physician whose name appeared in a Los Angeles County probation report released in the course of Winona Ryder's sentencing on shoplifting charges denied Monday that he knowingly allowed patients to abuse drugs, People.com reports. Dr. Jules Lusman, who reportedly specializes in laser hair removal and skin resurfacing, had his license revoked Friday by the Medical Board of California for incompetence in the case of eight patients, although Ryder was not
identified by name. Lusman blamed his downfall on a handful of "problem patients" and told Inside Edition, "I certainly did not believe at the time I attended to (Ryder) professionally that she was in an abusive situation." At the time of Ryder's arrest last year, Beverly Hills police found a syringe and seven different kinds of painkillers. According to the probation report, Ryder received 37 medications from 20 doctors between January 1996 and December 1998. Ryder's publicist's office reportedly denies knowing if the actress was Lusman's patient or not.
Britney Spears sought a restraining order Monday against a man who allegedly stalked her at her home and her parents' home, Reuters reports. Court papers identify Spears' alleged stalker as Masahiko Shizawa, a 41-year-old resident of Japan. Shizawa has been ordered to stay at least 1,000 yards away from the singer at all times.
Actor Tom Sizemore was arrested Saturday for allegedly punching his girlfriend (NOT, police say, onetime madam Heidi Fleiss--the two reportedly split up in recent weeks) in the face and throwing her to the ground. He was later released on $2,500 bail, Reuters reports. The actor, best known for his role as Sergeant Horvath in Saving Private Ryan, was ordered to appear in court Jan. 8 for arraignment.
Forty years of crashing guitar riffs has reportedly taken its toll on The Who guitarist Pete Townshend. Britain's The Sun newspaper quoted the rock legend as saying his hearing has worsened since that band's U.S. tour last year. "My right ear, which encounters my own edgy guitar and the machine-gun strokes of the drums, has suffered badly," he told the paper.
Dreamworks is in negotiations with director Gore Verbinski and scribe Ehren Kruger for a sequel to the hit thriller The Ring, Variety reports. The film, which revolved around a killer videotape, was a surprise hit this fall and has already grossed $123 million at the North American box office.
Saturday Night Live alum Cheri Oteri has joined the cast of New Line Cinema's When Harry Met Lloyd: Dumb & Dumberer, a prequel to the 1994 blockbuster Dumb & Dumber that starred Jim Carrey. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oteri will play Ms. Heller, a high school cafeteria teacher. The film also stars Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson.
Sex and the City writer Cindy Chupack has signed a seven-figure deal with HBO that calls for her to continue as an executive producer on the show and develop new projects for the TV network, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chupak joined Sex in its second season and has written 11 episodes of the show.
R&B singer Ashanti and rapper Nelly cleaned up at the 2002 Billboard Music Awards Monday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Nickelback, Creed and Puddle of Mudd followed with four honors each, Billboard.com reports. Ashanti took home eight awards, including R&B/hip-hop artist of the year, while Nelly pocketed six, including the coveted artist of the year honor.