The Annie Hall icon was the guest of honour at The Hollywood Reporter's 21st Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles, where she was handed the prize - named after former actress and film studio executive Lansing - in recognition of her work as a pioneer, mentor and philanthropist.
Speaking about the accolade, she told the audience, "My idea of a leader would be somebody like Sherry Lansing. You know why? Because she has this gift, like so many of you here today do, of organising large groups of people in order to achieve a common goal.
"And Sherry's particular brand of leaders, you know, that kind of leader has to be charismatic and intelligent and attractive, but most of all persuasive - and that's not me."
The event turned personal for Keaton as she hailed her late mother Dorothy, who died of Alzheimer's disease in 2008, as her "first and most inspired leader" during her speech.
Referencing her mother, the actress declared, "You know, mom, sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had told you how much I love the sound of your laughter. Would that have made you feel proud of yourself? Or what if I just told you how proud I was to be the daughter of a really special former Mrs. Los Angeles? Would that have made a difference?
"Or if I'd... told you how quickly I ran home to you the day Dave Garland stuck his finger in my padded bra and made me feel humiliated? Would you have finally understood that you were irreplaceable, mom? Or what if I just told you how much fun it was for me just to sit across from the kitchen counter and watch you make your mid-afternoon snack... would you have felt fulfilled?"
The publication's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment - which included Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres and Lena Dunham - were also celebrated during the event at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
There's an old expression amid the ancient people of Beverly Hills (which were really just a bunch of reanimated skeletons that started the movie industry by clickety clacking their bones together in front of a magic screen) that you can lead a Llama to a birthday party, but you can't make it spit. That is exactly what happened last night on The Real Alpaca Farmers of Sassafras Mesa. Lisa Vanderpump went to a party, but wouldn't get in a fight. They tried everything: they planned a party, they invited her enemies, they goosed up the expectation of her rival, they hired a petting zoo just for the occasion. But, just like a willful mouse that is leaving chocolate sprinkles all over your kitchen counter and tearing into your cereal boxes and not eating the poisoned peanut butter you left on the floor, Lisa did not take the bait. Good for you, Lisa.
Before we can get to Lisa staying above the fray we have to talk about Adrienne the evil Queen of the Maloofs (a race of mole people that live beneath a mountain). Queen Adrienne is mad at Lisa. Why? Who knows? No, seriously, I want to know who knows, because I don't think that even Adrienne knows anymore. It's like she just has this little bit of malignant anger that is making her feet feel all uncomfortable and tingly, like getting that pedicure where the fish eat all the dead skin off of your feet. It's there and ticklish in a bad way, but even though you can put your foot in it, you can't put your finger on it. Anyway, Adrienne is mad and wants Lisa to apologize to her.
Lisa also wants Adrienne to apologize to her, but there is a reason: Adrienne wrongly accused her of selling stories to the tabloids on national television. Yup, that seems like an apologizable offense. To make matters even worse, Adrienne keeps telling people that Lisa is immature for not inviting her to her Villa Blanca Naked People Serving Drinks soiree. Um, Adrienne is the one who sent a giant arrangement of spite flowers sticking out of three steaming piles of poop. Lisa didn't invite you to keep drama out of her party and Adrienne just couldn't stay away. Who is the one who is immature?
Alright I'm getting ahead of myself, because I don't want to get to the party yet. I just can't. We have so much to get to before that. First we have to talk about Taylor, who asked Kyle's husband Mmmmmauricio and Adrienne's jester Paullo the Chimp to walk with her in one of those stupid charity walks where people get to put on T-shirts for the cause and feel good about themselves, but how do they even raise money? The same way that Adreinne is angry at Lisa: no one knows. Anyway, Taylor knows about some walk in Sacramento (no one should ever walk in Sacramento) where the guys walk a mile in women's shoes. No, not figurative, literal. They walk a mile wearing high heels. Ugh, there is nothing worse than straight men in high heels. It always sounds like this, "Whine, whine, complain, my feet hurt, I need to sit down, whine, whine, whine. Honey, why don't you wear these stilettos to dinner?" The worst.
So Adrienne takes her chimp Paullo shopping for shoes and he tries on a whole bunch of pairs while still wearing socks. Ugh, straight guys in high heels are the worst. Don't you know the socks make it even harder to walk? Paul picks out two pairs of size 12 from the saddest tranny shoe store on all of Melrose Boulevard. (PS--Doesn't Adrienne have a shoe line? She should be like, "You are wearing my freaking shoes in this damn race. They come in size 12. Here, you are wearing these. Thanks for the advertising.") Paullo gets two pairs of shoes, one a sparkly red pair that looks like a cheap version of Dorothy's ruby slippers (sorry, Paullo, you are no friend of Dorothy) and another pair that is a sparkly silver platform boot that goth kids wear to see their favorite industrial bands at underground clubs. They're also a best seller in Germany. As soon as I see them with the two pairs of shoes I figure out exactly what is going to happen. "Paullo is going to pretend to wear the red shoes but chicken out and wear the androgynous shoes because he can't take the pain slash blow to his manhood," I said to myself.
After a private plane jaunt to Sacramento (never fly to Sacramento) the guys show up for the walk and there are all these dudes who are getting really into it. They're dressed in matching outfits and have on real shoes that they went and picked out at DSW like any self-respecting grown man who likes to wear ladies' shoes every once in awhile, and they're not complaining at all. They all know how to walk and some even run. These guys have been practicing. Mmmmmauricio gets a pair of loaner silver shoes (size 14!) and wears them with socks because he is a guy and an idiot. And, just as I thought, Paullo goes for those big silver boots and everyone is like, "You freaking cheater. That doesn't even count." And he walks about 10 city blocks (really, that probably equals a mile) and is like, "I'm doing it. I'm really walking in high heels." No you're not. You're dressed as Kiss for Halloween, that's what you are. So don't start getting all cocky thinking that you ended domestic violence by wearing the surplus stock from Hot Topic, because you did nothing but embarrass yourself. Yes, the only thing more embarrassing than wearing socks with high heels is not wearing high heels at all. Way to go Paullo. And we all know you only wore those platforms so you could finally be tall for one hour of your life.
Now it's time to get to Yolanda, a rubber tree that grew in the marshes of Indochina (do they have marshes in Indochina?) and was one day sprinkled with magic potion by the model fairy Eileen Ford and she sprouted limbs and posed in a number of different frocks and French cut bathing suits and neon green thongs in the fashion catalogs of the universe. Yes, it is now time to talk about her. She went to the set of a photo shoot to watch her seedling Gigli (who was the inspiration for the Jennifer Lopez movie of the same name) model clothing for a certain clothing company. Guess! No, that's the name of the brand, Guess! No, Who is on First, Guess is on Gigli.
This whole thing exposes Yolanda for what she really is: blithely awful in the way that most Real Housewives tend to be, even those who have a barky exterior and whose hair is made out of little wisps of blond twigs. The most popular crime of the Real Housewives (aside from batshittery and general bonkersness) is self-delusion. Yolanda thinks that she is not a stage mother. She thinks that, because she was a model, she can show up and give Gigli advice on just how to best show off her rib cage to the camera. She says she just likes to show up and be there for support and not have any input. She is not, I repeat, a stage mother. OK, maybe she'll comment on the makeup. And maybe she'll make a little comment about the wardrobe. Sure, she ignores her daughter when she tells her to stop, but she just wants to make sure that she has eye drops in her eyes so they don't get dried out because it will make her make a funny face. But she's not a stage mother. No!
And she certainly didn't stand over the photographer making suggestions and go through all the pictures and tell them which ones work. No, she did not do that at all. And she certainly didn't tell the makeup artist to round out her daughter's eye because she looked "too Chinese." She would never say something awful and racist like that! Gosh, no. "Chinese eye" is a technical term in the modeling world for when a makeup artist makes a Caucasian girl look like like an Asian. It refers to a precise technique of painting around the eye, it isn't racially charged. Gosh, don't you know that? It's probably because you're a stage mother. Yolanda, she is not. She is not a stage mother. No, she is not! And that Gypsy Rose Lee, man she got a raw deal. If only her children understood her. She wasn't a stage mother, she was a god damned angel and her eyes were round. They were the roundest.
Zoom on over to Kyle's house right now, because it is time for Portia's birthday party. Yes, it's just a little casual affair. Nothing special, just some kids in party hats and some cupcakes. Oh, and face painting and custom printed T-shirts. And we have to have a petting zoo with a llama and some ponies dressed up as unicorns. Oh, and did you see what Madison had at her party? We have to have those blow up toys and the kids can win them at carnival games. We have to have that. Oh, order a bouncy house. I mean, that just goes without saying. And what are the adults going to do? I guess we can have a photo booth. That's not too much, right? We're just trying to keep it casual this year. Nothing big. Oh, sure, I'd love it if you could bring some Funfetti cupcakes you made from the box. I'll just cancel the two-ton cupcake that Crumbs was sending over on a flat bed truck. Yeah, I was thinking that might be a little extreme anyway. Thanks.
Lisa is the first one to come to the party because she has a wine tasting at Villa Blanca that she just can't be late for. She arrives with two presents for Portia and leads an old llama around by its collar. Oh, wait. That's just her husband, Ken. Never mind. Sorry Ken! We didn't see you there.
Kyle doesn't believe that Lisa has a wine tasting and thinks she is just trying to avoid Adrienne. I don't know if that's true. It might be true and I don't care if it is. Leave it to Lisa to find a tactful way to get out of having to scream and cuss at Adrienne while there are children trying to eat out of the cotton candy fountain and cookie mountain in the middle of the tennis court. Kyle wants to have dinner with Lisa and Adrienne and broker peace. "Oh, no no no no no no," Lisa says in her soft purr. "Things always get fouled up when other people involved." If ever some scribe were to write down the commandments for the Real Housewives (put this in the story idea folder) one of them should be not to let other people into your squabbles because that's when they go from tiffs to explosions. That is just taking the pin out of the grenade and watching it explode, slicing everyone with shrapnel.
Lisa leaves and there is a parting of the clouds in the sky and a blinding light rains down from on high in those big sweeping beams that are almost visible like they were painted by Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light™ and everyone puts their hands up to their foreheads to shield themselves and turns away. Kyle puts her sunglasses on her face and says, "Oh, goodie! Camille is here!" Yes, it was St. Camille, the Martyr of Grammer, and she floated down through the hoary sky with her arms outstretched and her face just a little bit tighter. The light was at her back and everyone fell to their knees to greet her. She walked through the house past the genuflected masses making crucifixes with her right hand and letting her followers kiss the ring on her left as she passed. Her acolyte, DeeDee, walked behind her swaying an incense burner back and forth and little puffs of smoke emitted from it spreading a scent that many recognized. It smelled of righteousness and success. It was the smell of burning money. "Hello," Camille said. "I am here for a party!"
Kyle brought a complaint to Camille, the problem with Lisa and Adrienne, and she held her hand palm up to Kyle. "My lamb, we have to lead by example. Look at how well we are getting along now that the demon Satan was exorcised from my body after Season 1. We will show them how it should be done." Yes, Camille hung around, but she was really there as a figure head, a dignitary of years past. The action panned by her, but she did not engage. She just ate more cake (she did not really eat cake) and emitted halos of light from her brilliant head. Oh, St. Camille, how we have missed your benediction.
Dana/Pam was also there, walking around going, "Look. $25,000!" like it was last season and we still cared. Good luck with that, Dana/Pam. Brandi showed up wearing heart-shaped glasses because she just saw Lolita and has a new role model. Kyle was being strangely nice to Brandi, but I like that. These girls need to warm up to Brandi. Taylor totally snubbed her and then walked around saying, "Guys. Yolanda told me that Brandi said she slept with every guy in Beverly Hills. Did you hear that Brandi said she slept with every guy in Beverly Hills? I have talked to every guy in Beverly Hills, and they have all slept with Brandi." God, Taylor, you are such a goon. Don't you even hear yourself when you say this? It is obviously a joke. You basically just posted an Onion article on your Facebook page and said, "Can you believe that Ben Affleck is going to set Argo in Boston? It's an outrage!"
Anyway, Brandi was really nervous about being there with all her haters but after chilling with St. Camille and her acolyte DeeDee, she thought she better leave before there was drama. She told Kyle she was going to leave and Kyle said, "No, stay. Please stay." Brandi said she would, but then dipped out the front door while no one was looking and texted, "Sorry, I can't deal with drama at a kid's party. BYYYEEEEE!" Like Lisa, Brandi is smart to try to avoid the drama, but unlike Lisa, she created more drama on her way out.
Eventually Adrienne, Queen of the Maloofs, arrived with her jester Paullo the Chimp on his lease. "Where is Lisa!" she demanded while throwing her gloves on the floor and kicking Paullo once in the shin, just for good measure. "She's not here. She had something to do at work," Kyle says. "Yeah right, Adrienne says. How immature! Why is she making such a huge issue out of this?" Um, excuse me, Adrienne. Who is the one making the huge issue? Who is the one sending flowers and demanding audiences and apologies and talking to everyone she knows about this? You! Lisa is just sitting at home quietly waiting for you to apologize because you said a shitty thing about her in front of a bunch of cameras and still haven't done anything to make it better. Kyle knows that Adrienne is wrong in this fight (I hope that everyone with a brain knows) but won't say anything. She needs to just break it down for her squirelfriend and tell her to get on the horn, apologize, and then move on. The only reason it is a deal at all is because Adrienne is making it one. God!
Finally Kim Richards stumbled into the party blowing air kisses at everyone. She wasn't stumbling for her usual reason (if you could see me right now I'm making that motion where you extend your thumb and pinkie from your hand and tip your thumb toward your mouth) but from exhaustion. Yes, she had to get a present for Portia on her way over to the house so she stopped by her favorite store, which happens to be a children's clothing store. She looked at all the pretty dresses and sparkled tops and little T-shirts with princesses embroidered on them and just remembered all the happier times. She remembered when she would pull all the clothes off the rack and litter the floor of her trailer with them and just roll around in all the costumes, all the beauty. She wanted to find something like that for Portia. One of those little girl dresses that make them immediately swing around so that the dress gets full of air and spins out of control as they feel a little bit dizzy and like they're going to fall over.
She picks one off the shelf and it is just the most darling thing she's ever seen. It's sparkley silver thread on black fabric and it has a white bow tying off the waist in the middle. It looks like something Holly Golightly would have her daughter wear. She takes it up to the counter and plops it down. The cashier rings it up and runs Kim's card and then gets on the phone. After some hushed mumbles she hangs up and says, "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but do you have another card?"
"No, I don't. I just have the one. Isn't there enough on there? It's debit."
"Well the balance is $313. 74 cents and..."
"$313! You have got to be kidding me. I could buy 20 dresses at H&M for that! I'm going to have to find something else. Give me all these dresses in the largest size you have."
"Ma'am are you sure? Are those going to fit?"
"Yes," Kim says and goes to the dressing room. This is always happening to her. She always wants to do her best and the world is just keeping it from happening. She puts her head in her hands and wants to cry but can't summon even the strength for that. She just lets her eyelids feel the inside of her lotioned palms.
"Here you go, ma'am." And hands her a huge pile of dresses.
Kim gets up and disrobes and squeezes into one of them. She's still small enough. Her hips barely curving, her legs stubbed, her body's development arrested in a sample size for a very large little girl. "Still got it," she says to the mirror before putting all the dresses on teh floor and lying down in them. She lies there for about 10 minutes, her head full of all those old memories, her skin itchy on top of all the fabric beneath her. There's a Target just down the block, she realizes. That is going to have to do. She picks herself up and puts back on her clothes – her adult clothes – and walks out. "Thanks," she says waving her right hand to the clerk as she walks toward the front door without stopping, "none of those were right."
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Bravo]
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WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Julie & Julia melds the analogous stories of cooking legend Julia Child’s life in 1950s France with the modern-day tale of writer Julie Powell’s real-life quest to prepare all 524 recipes in Child’s classic tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The film neatly covers Child’s life in post-World War II Paris with her foreign diplomat husband Paul her foray into and eventual mastery of French cooking and the difficulties she encountered while trying to publish her groundbreaking cookbook. Intercut with Child's story is Powell’s decision to shake up her life as an unfulfilled government employee in post-9/11 New York by challenging herself to cook and blog. Her inevitable trials (she burns an important meal gets in trouble at work and pisses off her husband) and victories (a perfectly poached egg a write-up in the New York Times) are all included.
WHO’S IN IT?
Ever lovely Amy Adams plays endearingly bedraggled Julie with hopeful conviction and Chris Messina is cute and convincing as her sweetly supportive husband. It is of course Meryl Streep who steals the show with her joyful high-energy portrayal of the 6-foot-2 master chef. Streep as she is apt to do turns in a nuanced humanizing and wholly hilarious portrayal of a cultural icon many associate with Dan Akroyd's impressions on Saturday Night Live.
Stanley Tucci proves a savvy charismatic match for Streep as Paul Child Julia’s affectionate charming and unflinchingly supportive husband. Jane Lynch momentarily steals Streep’s spotlight as Julia’s equally tall equally whirling dervishy sister Dorothy.
Julie’s life in Queens is populated by Mary Lynn Rajskub who plays her pragmatic friend and Casey Wilson and Vanessa Ferlito who make memorable cameos as Julie’s condescending corporate ladder-climbing carb-avoiding frenemies.
All of it. Nora Ephron’s script elegantly weaves the story of Child in Paris and Powell in Queens portraying both locales as the prettiest freshest versions of themselves. The film is a joy to look at not only for the sumptuous shots of Powell’s many creations and Child’s rich French fare but also for the pristine recreation of the style and fashion of 1950s Paris. It will make you want to drink champagne cocktails wear chiffon and eat chocolate cake. And beef. And bruschetta. And anything else available.
The film is superbly acted and manages to be funny inspiring and poignant without falling into schlocky chick-flick territory. The story is refreshing in its depiction of two happy drama-free marriages. The true romance here is with all the gorgeous food which Streep Tucci Adams and especially Messina consume with joyful gusto.
At just over two hours the film runs a bit long especially for a comedy. Although it never slows or bores several scenes about publishing the cookbook could have been shortened or cut completely to pick up the pace. While the ending is lovely the film then wraps up a bit hastily.
Julia first learning her cookbook might be published and frenetically rushing into the house screaming “Paul! Paul Paul Paul!” while nearly tripping over herself has just a slight advantage over the scene in which Julie confronts her moral dilemma about killing lobsters and is subsequently traumatized while boiling them alive.
Finely crafted from start to finish Meryl and the food take the cake so to speak in terms of star power. The movie is lighthearted fare for anyone desiring inspiration in the kitchen — or any other life department for that matter.