Yup, Jon Hamm’s ‘Mad Men’ Emmy-worthy yoga moment was as painful as it looks

19 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Emmy Awards 2015: Meet the host Andy Samberg.

This year we’ve had unprecedented access to the top nominated shows … legal access, as opposed to dodgy downloads. LOS ANGELES — If we look to television for more than entertainment — and let’s face it, we do — then Sunday’s Emmy Awards ceremony will have something for everyone.When in search of a host for a live awards programme, it always helps to have someone at your network with a resume that lists Saturday Night Live as a credit.

LOS ANGELES – Will blood-splattered fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” finally take home top television honors, or will voters instead offer sentimental favorite “Mad Men” and its retro-cool advertising execs a golden send-off? Thanks to a combination of free-to-air fast tracking, pay TV programming and the introduction of streaming services Presto, Stan and Netflix earlier this year, viewers Down Under are no longer in the dark about the latest hit shows from the US. The masterful storytelling of television’s second golden age rightfully will be center stage, with leading contenders including “Game of Thrones,” ”Orange is the New Black” and the final season of “Mad Men.” But growing pressure on media to reflect American diversity, and Emmy voters’ response, will be a crucial part of the ceremony as well.

The Emmy Awards, the biggest honors in television, will be handed out at a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles that could see some major surprises – and maybe even a history-making win for black women. “We’re going to see some new winners in most of the top races, and that’s going to be great for Emmy fans,” said Tom O’Neil, a showbiz journalist who founded Hollywood awards prediction site Gold Derby. In Australia, television’s night of nights is the TV Week Logies, but American television’s night of nights is the Emmys, where grown men and women come in glittery frocks to duke it out for little more than 3kg of copper, nickel, silver and gold. One big question on everyone’s minds for this year’s 67th Primetime Emmys, television’s version of the Oscars, is: will Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” finally win on his eighth try for his work as troubled ad man Don Draper? It’s easier to write jokes because there is good material to bounce it off of and people have a shorthand with television because there is so much that people agree is great. They’re finely crafted – each takes five and a half hours to make by hand – and the design represents the muse of art upholding the electron of science, a bow to the voting body’s full name: the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Though the wildly popular AMC series about the sex- and booze-fueled world of 1960s Madison Avenue has won the coveted outstanding drama trophy four times, its leading man has come up empty every year. In a gripping fifth season, Jon Snow carked it (or did he?), kiddies were killed in cold blood and Cersei Lannister took the ultimate nude run of shame.

Birnbaum said despite the fierce competition, “Mad Men” may win again if only to ensure it goes out in style. “It’s its last time to get nominated and as we saw last year, ‘Breaking Bad’ swept the Emmys because it was a fantastic show and it was its last chance to get nominated,” she said. First, the battle-scarred Nicole Kidman film Grace of Monaco, already put through the indignity of being denied a US cinema release and flogged off to Lifetime – remember The Simpsons? “Lifetime. The Emmys luuuuuurve long-running Modern Family, but Best Comedy this year could go to Veep, as the yanks do love a presidential sort, even a bumbling one such as Selina Meyer. The Emmy for outstanding television movie instead went to HBO’s Bessie, a biopic about legendary American blues singer Bessie Smith starring Queen Latifah. Henson for Fox’s music melodrama “Empire.” “Most of the experts are picking Viola, but Taraji is certainly in the hunt and we will see an overdue milestone happen in that category,” O’Neil said.

Second, Alex Gibney’s controversial HBO documentary about the Church of Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, emerged a clear winner in the documentary categories. Henson told Entertainment Weekly that she was praying for a win for either Davis or herself at Sunday’s ceremony, to be hosted by comedian Andy Samberg. “Here we are in 2015, and we’re still saying things like ‘First African-American,’ ‘First woman this’,” Henson said. “I just pray to God … and it’s not even about me. “I hope Viola wins.

Not only did it win outstanding documentary or nonfiction special, it also took out Emmys for outstanding directing and outstanding writing for nonfiction programming. But “no matter what happens Emmy night, no matter what happens for another 100 Emmy nights, the work that both Taraji and Viola do is undeniable,” Sidibe said Tuesday. “They are powerhouses and they are amazing people, and they will forever win, whether they win that night.” It’s been a far longer wait for women then it was for men.

Bill Cosby’s legacy is under siege now for alleged sexual assaults (largely denied by him), but in 1966 he was the first African-American to be honored as best actor in a drama series, “I Spy.” Cosby won again, in 1967 and ’68, with two other black actors following him after a barren stretch of more than two decades: James Earl Jones for “Gabriel’s Fire” in 1991 and Andre Braugher for “Homicide: Life on the Street” in 1996. At last Saturday’s creative arts Emmy Awards for technical achievements and guest actor turns, Bradley Whitford was honored for his “Transparent” role as a cross-dresser. “I love to be in a show that is a voice of understanding, compassion and radical inclusion. Some are also tipping HBO’s “Veep” – a political satire about a female vice president (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who surprisingly becomes head of state – to ride the buzz of the 2016 White House race and dethrone “Modern Family.” “‘Veep’ has been a tremendous hit for HBO and considering that we are going into an election season, everyone is talking about political issues right now,” Birnbaum said. But he’s up against some tough competition in Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Michael Kelly (House of Cards) and Alan Cumming (The Good Wife). Previously, a small number of the academy’s 18,000 members watched DVDs of the nominated best comedy and drama series and voted by paper ballot, said O’Neil, author of “The Emmys” reference book.

Last year’s audience of 15.6 million was the second-biggest for the awards in eight years, exceeded only by the 17.8 million who watched CBS’ telecast of the 2013 ceremony, the beneficiary of the NFL game that preceded it. Football, in fact, will be yet another crowd-pleasing element in the Emmy mix: “Fox NFL Sunday” will broadcast from the red carpet, with the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game airing right before the awards.

It all depends on whether the Emmy voters, a notoriously safe group of people, only marginally out-safed by the Oscars, get their head around giving the biggest award of the night to a show which lives in – hold your breath – genre. Transparent has already won the Golden Globe, although that award’s voting body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, despite their quirks, tends to respond more quickly to new programs than its more arcane cousins, Emmy and Oscar. Nominees Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie) Where to begin with a field like this? There is a tonne of people watching and “what is this comedian going to do with it?” I’ve always romanticised it — [the notion] that everyone in entertainment coming together and cross-pollinating and seeing these strange combinations of people hanging out and presenting together and sitting together.

Poehler because she’s simply brilliant, and Schumer because, in that very nebulous way that tends to influence things such as the Emmys, this is “her year”. Nominees Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Louis C.K. (Louie), Will Forte (Last Man on Earth), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), William H. Broadly, there’s a bunch of brilliant actors here, with a whole lot of great writing backing them up, but it’s tough to go past Jeffrey Tambor, an actor who has parlayed an early career as a character actor into one of the most career-defining roles of our time, retired academic Maura Pfefferman in Transparent.

Henson and Tatiana Maslany are easy to skip: Henson is on Empire which might find it tough to turn media noise into something more solid, and Maslany works in the least-loved of Emmy’s children, genre. She’s been a source of public fascination for decades, the focus of the enduring mystique of the talented Heide circle that helped shape Australian art from the 1930s on.

What happens, though, when new material comes to light about a person whose life, along with that of her husband, John, has been under the microscope for so long? How does the reputation of these celebrated arts patrons stack up against fresh revelations of infidelity, jealousy and the fate of the adopted son who suicided in his early 30s? Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan write in their new book Modern Love about sexual liaisons between Sunday and Joy Hester, between Sidney Nolan and poet Barrett Reid, and the extent to which John enabled Sunday’s affairs, participating as a sort of voyeur.

Little wonder that Sunday was shy of public attention and imposed an embargo on public commentary regarding herself, while John was equally reluctant about exposing his private highlights and sorrows. For Harding and Morgan, the new material – and revising all that has been written about the Reeds – has been steadfastly about fact-finding, without imposing judgments. “We had one subject who said to us, ‘I just want the truth to be told’,” Harding says. “What is the truth?” It boils down, she says, to the views of about 40 interviewees, along with information gathered from a huge variety of other primary source materials. Writing Modern Love was like constructing a jigsaw, with friends of the Reeds taking the authors into their confidence to share personal information in the interests of the full story being told. In uncovering many new facts about their romantic entanglements and early histories, the pair have produced the most thorough view of the Heide set yet compiled.

Both authors are adamant that the Reeds were always interested in a greater good, especially in seeding a modernist sense of national creativity. “They were,” Morgan says, “always thinking beyond themselves.” The Reeds really wanted to make a difference and their legacy at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in the leafy Melbourne suburb of Bulleen has been extraordinarily rich. She looks magnificent and happy with her new, handsome husband – why wouldn’t she? – and yet, that moment was followed by years of complications and stresses, as well as great successes and wild joys, that surrounded their bohemian lifestyle. There were so many complex relationships, lovers and personalities to be handled at their Heidelberg property, it seems incredible the Reeds got anything much else done.

Sometimes they have paused at certain locations on the six-hectare grounds simply to imagine the spirit of those two strong personalities, to conjure certain scenes they now know to have transpired in what they describe as a living museum. In one of those rooms, Sunday ended her life in 1981, 10 days after John – her husband of almost 50 years – died of cancer. “Sunday wasn’t ill when she died, but she couldn’t live without John,” Morgan says. “It is a story of enduring love but it is a story of great heartbreak and loss.

We didn’t intend to write the book like that, it was just how it was.” During their work on two earlier books – Sunday’s Kitchen (2010) and Sunday’s Garden (2012) – the curators found themselves accumulating many additional facts and anecdotes. Solid amounts of new information came from reel-to-reel interviews kept in an attic, aging interviewees who were willing to reveal events they had kept quiet, and rare access to otherwise restricted papers and letters. The cover of the book is poignant, showing the Reeds and Nolan on the beach at Point Lonsdale in 1945, during the height of their menage, two years before the final break when Nolan could take no more of the entanglement and left for Queensland.

Soon after, he married John Reed’s sister, Cynthia, who, the authors note, was physically very similar to Sunday and who, it has been observed by more than one person, was in many ways like “Sunday and John fused into one person – physically, emotionally and sexually”. Harding describes a tacit contract: the trade-off for the Reeds’ largesse was that Sunday, who loved to be close to the art-making, would be intensely involved. “She needed to be personally attached to all the artists as a friend or as a lover,” Morgan says. “She thrived on shared experiences. They had many people they were close to – and on the flipside there were many people who were jealous of them and their resources and would do all they could to talk behind their backs.” Modern Love: The Lives of John & Sunday Reed (Miegunyah Press, $45) is released September 26.

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Finding the ‘Joy’ in Jennifer Lawrence

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Joy’ review: Jennifer Lawrence cleans up in enjoyable biopic.

Writer-director David O. Their latest collaboration — following in the footsteps of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle — is a biographical picture about the life and times of Joy Mangano.Jennifer Lawrence groans when she’s asked about singing the classic Nancy and Frank Sinatra duet Something Stupid with co-star Edgar Ramirez in her new film Joy. “David [O Russell, the movie’s director] texted me last night to ask if he could put it on the soundtrack and this is what I texted him back,” the actor says as she digs around for her mobile phone and reads out her response verbatim. “‘David, no!!!’ and it is three exclamation marks.In a very abbreviated nutshell, that actually happened to Joy Mangano, 59, the fabulously successful Long Island entrepreneur/inventor and HSN pitchwoman whose rags-to-riches journey started with the invention of a mop.

Russell has made three kinds of movies: offbeat romances (“Flirting With Disaster”), surreal comedies (“I Heart Huckabees”) and dramas about dysfunctional yet appealing families (“The Fighter”). In real life, Mangano is the Long Island housewife and inventor who became famous and eventually rich after bouts of near-bankruptcy, by creating and marketing her Miracle Mop. Out Boxing Day in Australia, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence in the fictionalised life story of Joy Mangano, a single mum from Long Island who made her fortune selling a mop. On Christmas Day, “Joy,” a movie inspired by her struggles as a divorced, single mother turned mogul by way of that mop, will open at movie theaters across America.

This was before she hooked up with the giant Home Shopping Network, becoming their most effective pitch person and eventually selling her parent company, Ingenious Designs, to HSN. Gross, I can’t listen to it; I have to go to bed.’ And I said yes, but it’s a groaning, reluctant yes.” It’s the kind of unfiltered moment you come to expect when interviewing Lawrence, who may now be one of the most famous actors on the planet but still blurts out whatever she’s thinking with such self-deprecating charm it’s impossible not to be, well, charmed.

Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Miracle Mop inventor and QVC pitchwoman Joy Mangano glues the movie together, but it threatens to unravel at any time. Lawrence, 25, looks genuinely surprised when complimented about how unchanged she seems from our earlier interviews before the fame and Oscars. “But there would be no reason to change,” she says with a shrug. “I just have a job and I love my job. In the film, Lawrence’s Mangano is a colourful character, a single mom with a unique relationship and friendship with her ex-husband, and an enterprising woman who parlays her creativity into an incredibly successful business.

Mom (Virginia Madsen) stays in her bedroom and watches soap operas, until she falls for a Haitian plumber (Jimmy Jean-Louis) who fixes a hole in her bedroom floor. She landed minor roles on TV shows such as Monk, Cold Case and Medium before her 2010 indie film Winter’s Bone led to her becoming the second youngest best actress Oscar nominee in history. This is true even when the film tilts off its rocker with a bit of Russell-esque madness built into the screenplay, and with the director failing to always keep the energy going. That resulted in not only a string of critically acclaimed films, an Academy Award and another Oscar nomination, but also her very own mega-franchise as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

Joy’s grandma (endearing Diane Ladd) delivers messages of empowerment and smooths over constant fights, but she’s opposed by the money-grubbing rich woman (Isabella Rossellini) who dates Joy’s dad and sends negative messages about her. Lawrence’s endearing habit of speaking her mind resulted in a controversial essay she penned on Lena Dunham’s website about her discovery during the Sony hacks that she was being paid less “than the lucky people with dicks” on her recent films, including American Hustle. “I completely understand when people say actors shouldn’t talk about politics and things they don’t know about, but this was my gender at stake and it was being threatened with unfairness and I thought, ‘What is the point of having this voice if it’s not to speak out for myself and for everyone else who can’t?’,” she says unapologetically.

Upon learning that Lawrence would be playing her mom, Miranne says, “I braced myself so I wouldn’t fall on the floor.” As for Mangano, she says Lawrence playing her “made me feel old, number one. Lawrence hangs out with a posse of celebrity girlfriends, including Amy Schumer and singer Adele, but the reason is simple. “The friendship gets expedited a lot when you meet someone you know beyond a shadow of a doubt has no agenda,” she says. Draining her savings and taking out loans, she started off small, selling her mops to local boat owners. “She persuaded QVC to take a thousand, but sales were poor and they tried to send them back,” says Mason. “She suggested letting her demonstrate it herself, and the channel agreed.” Sales skyrocketed and Mangano’s career as a QVC pitch woman was launched. That’s so amazing there aren’t even words.” Mangano and her three children didn’t view “Joy” until the Dec. 13 premiere in Manhattan, though a family outing to see “Trainwreck” included a trailer.

This is, after all, the self-confessed reality-show junkie who confessed in a recent Vogue interview that on the night of her 25th birthday party, friends surprised her with a visit from reality queen Kris Jenner, who presented her with a cake inscribed, ‘Happy Birthday, you piece of shit!’ The only time she seems tongue-tied is when asked about her relationship status, after a four-year stint with X-Men: First Class co-star Nicholas Hoult and a year with Coldplay singer Chris Martin before their breakup earlier this year. “Next!” Lawrence says in a no-nonsense voice, pausing as she decides if she’ll continue that thought. For one thing, Mangano’s childhood is not that interesting for a film, despite some flashbacks to her as a youngster (when she is played by 10-year-old Isabella Cramp, who does actually look like we imagine Lawrence could have at the same age). A satire on the acquisitiveness of the public? (Here, QVC foists unnecessary things on gullible viewers who could better save their money.) Russell doesn’t seem to know. And, of course, the grave ending would be a lie: Mangano is very much alive at the age of 59, still inventing, still pitching products, still a superstar of the American home shopping universe. There’s the Clothes It All luggage system, essentially a rolling suitcase with a removable garment bag, and the Super Chic vacuum, which releases fragrance into the air.

If I even casually say something to a reporter, that quote haunts me for the rest of my life,” she says, “so I am never, ever, ever talking about boys again!” I don’t think any of us brought enough tissues!” A good portion of the film was shot last winter in Boston, and though the always-busy Mangano was twice scheduled to visit the set, snowstorms made travel impossible. He has mixed genres successfully before, as in the anti-war comedy-drama “Three Kings,” but the blender often grinds to a halt in “Joy.” Just as we’re getting used to the realism of Mangano’s fight for respect, Russell photographs Rossellini as if she were a gargoyle.

One of her creations, the thin and velvet-covered Huggable Hanger, remains a bestseller for HSN, at more than 300 million sold, and was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Yet in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Cooper, De Niro and Russell all supported her with fine work; here they lay back and make the movie a one-ring circus where she has to be acrobat, bareback rider and clown.

He had a presence all of his own.” At one point, Miranne says, “Jennifer grabbed Joy’s hand and said to David, ‘Look at the nails, a French manicure.’ ” (That manicure is a Mangano signature.) Lawrence revealed that in studying for her part as Joy, she watched recordings of the inventor’s early pitches on HSN, including ones for “Huggable Hangers” and found her so compelling that she wanted to buy them on the spot. There is something special when creative people get together.” Mangano’s take on Lawrence? “She’s beyond her years, so brilliant, hysterical and so talented.

Critically, Russell’s sense of wonder and beauty turns elegiac moments — especially when Joy Mangano becomes fully realized as a woman and as a business executive — into scenes of great beauty. Lawrence recently said on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” that the movie was “half Joy Mangano’s story and half [Russell’s] imagination and other powerful, strong women who inspired him.” The director mined much of his Mangano material by phone.

The cast includes Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Lucci (in a mock TV soap opera that gives Joy some of its silliness) and even Melissa Rivers as her late mother Joan Rivers. There’s no situation Joy cannot overcome or circumvent.” At a Newsday photo shoot at Mangano’s luxurious but serene 42,000-square-foot mansion on 11 acres in St. As for parting advice for the ambitious? “If this movie inspires even just one more person to believe in themselves and to go after their dreams, then it’s made a very special impact in this world.

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