Dylan inducted as honorary member of arts academy; Meryl Streep presenting award – May 15, 2013


Michael Chabon had long been mystified by that Bob Dylan lyric about “midnight’s broken toe.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, the keynote speaker Wednesday at the annual induction ceremony of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was explaining his undiminished passion for rock music and confiding that he had become obsessed by the opening line to Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom.”

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Dylan wasn’t there, but a performer of comparable acclaim not only attended, but took on extra duties: Meryl Streep. When Stephen Sondheim was unable to attend and present awards for musical theater, the Oscar-winning actress stepped in. Streep, elected as an honorary member in 2011, later handed a “distinguished service” prize to dancer Edward Villella, who was greeted not only with applause, but with shouts and whistles – as if he were a rock star.

Full article

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The Wrap: Weinstein unveils slate in Cannes: ‘August: Osage County’ shouts Oscars


The Weinstein Company unveiled its slate for the year at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, giving a glimpse of their game plan for Oscar season, which includes an intriguing documentary-style feature about the elusive writer J.D. Salinger, a biopic on Nelson Mandela and a southern vehicle for A-list Actresses, “August: Osage County“.

The presentation included a small parade of stars, including Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Michael B. Jordan and a host of other actors and directors joined by co-chairman Harvey Weinstein at the event.  Weinstein joked that he would have invited George Clooney, a coproducer on “August“, but he was still sore over losing the Best Picture Oscar to him this year with “Argo.”

That doesn’t mean TWC will be absent at the Oscars this year (they never are).

The most obvious Oscar bait – at least in the acting category – was a first look at “August: Osage County,” based on the play, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor and Juliette Lewis. It also includes Abigail Breslin and my how Little Miss Sunshine has grown!

The film delves into the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, starting with Streep, in a frowsy black wig (Weinstein told TheWrap this week that Streep went wandering through Wal-Marts late at night to prepare for the role), Roberts as her daughter returning during a family crisis and Lewis as her sister.

Looks like Streep gets in lots of zingers and embodies the tagline for the movie: “Misery loves family.”

Weinstein, wearing a tux, said he was going back to the office after the presentation to keep selling his movies to international partners. So goes Cannes.

TheWrap

Meryl Streep and Naomi Watts have the early Oscar edge according to our editors: http://bit.ly/19Fgq2W #Oscars2013

Tweet – Gold Derby

Women in the World Summit – April 4th, 2013 – Photos and video


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(The photos are from the Meryl Streep gallery. You’ll need an account on the forum to open the pics. There are more than 50 there.)

An article on Dailymail, mainly about Angelina Jolie, but also a pic with Meryl and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, Tina Brown.

Also a video with Meryl’s speech was uploaded on Youtube:

Meryl Streep, Duncan Sheik, and more: Announcing the 58th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards – May 20, 2013


Meryl Streep will be presenting the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement to Lois Smith and Francis Sternhagen (May 20, 2013). Article:

Meryl Streep Headshot 2011_300.jpgGuess I’m giving a party on May 20th. I hadn’t been thinking about this year’s Obie Awards. I was too busy getting depressed about the state of the theater. (It’s a known fact that critics always get depressed about the state of the theater.) So the theater, that tricky place, decided to cheer me up, by letting me know about some people who’ll be coming to my party. And suddenly, my life is about to be filled with all these wonderful people I love – the kind of people who make the theater a joy to write about, and rescue critics from depression.

Jessica Hecht, Jeremy Shamos, Bobby Cannavale, Maggie Grace, Judith Light, Aasif Mandvi, Krysta Rodriguez, Duncan Sheik, Courtney B. Vance: That’s a list of names that could cure anybody’s depression. The best part is, they’re the hosts and presenters for the awards ceremony, so they’re the ones who do all the talking. I don’t even have to worry about getting tongue-tied in their presence–which I usually do in the presence of fabulous artists. Oh–and did I mention Meryl Streep? Well, I’m one of the few who doesn’t get tongue-tied in the presence of Meryl Streep. She and I go back a long way–back to when she was a tiny child at the Yale School of Drama and I was already, as all critics always are, a very, very world-weary old man. I once directed a children’s show in which she–but I think I’ll save that story, in case I actually have to speak at the ceremony itself.

obieshot_560.jpgMeryl will be presenting the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement, and she’ll be presenting it to two artists who’ve spent their lifetimes helping me and the rest of the critical corps stave off our collective depression about the theater: Lois Smith and Francis Sternhagen. It makes me happy just typing those names–and seeing them onstage makes me even happier. They’re both much younger than I, of course.

So I plan to spend the next seven weeks looking forward to a wonderful party: the 58th Annual Village Voice Obie Awards. Now that you know who’s going to be there, you’ll probably want to buy yourself a ticket too. As chairman of the awards committee, I get a comp, of course–but that’s why people become theater critics, isn’t it?

Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep, and others spend Saturday at Oscars rehearsals


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some dressed down in jeans and hoodies. Others looked camera-ready in suits or chic dresses and spiky stilettos.

But all of the stars who rehearsed Saturday for the 85th Academy Awards seemed excited about being a part of the big show.

They paraded through the Dolby Theatre in 15-minute increments: Meryl Streep. Ben Affleck. Reese Witherspoon. Richard Gere. Jennifer Aniston. John Travolta. Nicole Kidman. Jack Nicholson. And dozens more.

Each practiced their lines in front of an audience of show workers and awarded prop Oscars to rehearsal actors. They also scanned the theater from the stage, searching for their show-night seats.

“Oh, wow. That’s a very dramatic picture of me,” best-actress nominee Jessica Chastain said after spotting her seat-saving placard. “I’m looking at everyone’s headshots. It’s kind of incredible.”

Affleck confessed his excitement from the stage as he looked out at all the famous faces expected Sunday.

“This is like the most memorable aspect of the Oscars,” the “Argo” director said. “You see all these place cards (at rehearsal), then you come back and they’re all here!”

Affleck also chatted backstage with the college students who won a contest to serve as trophy carriers during the ceremony.

“I love that,” he said. “It’s super cool.”

Travolta also took time with the students.

“I was there when that idea was born and I said it was the best idea they could possibly come up with,” he told the aspiring filmmakers backstage. “And here you are!”

Travolta plans to bring his 13-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu, to the ceremony.

Kidman made rehearsals a family affair. Husband Keith Urban and their eldest daughter, Sunday, watched from the audience as Kidman ran through her lines.

She looked impeccable in a wine-colored dress and tall, metallic shoes, but other stars were decidedly more casual. Kristen Stewart arrived in jeans, sneakers and a backward ballcap. (She also limped on an injured right foot.) Renee Zellweger also opted for comfort in jeans and running shoes.

The cast of “Chicago,” including Gere, Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones, injected their rehearsal with silliness. Latifah purposely over-enunciated her lines, and when a pair of rehearsal actors claimed an Oscar onstage and gave an acceptance speech, Zeta-Jones started to play them off with an imaginary violin.

“Get outta here!” Gere said with a smile.

Octavia Spencer, who won the supporting actress Oscar last year for her performance in “The Help,” also had a little fun.

“I’m going to do a soft-shoe,” she said, shuffling off stage.

Streep and Jane Fonda were each wowed by the set design. Fonda snapped a photo of it with her iPhone, and Streep marveled at how far the walk to the microphone was.

“All the way to here?!” she asked. “Oh my God.”

Halle Berry literally stumbled during her first rehearsal, her pointy heel catching on part of the stage. She insisted on trying again.

“Woo hoo,” she said. “Made it.”

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