Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reel women

Quote of the day
"These aren't 'movie women', these are 'women women'!"—Linda Holmes of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, on the dialogue in the new movie Bridesmaids. BTW, did anyone catch Amy Poehler's commencement speech at Harvard? Fantastic!

Sharapova gets two snaps for couture

Her French Open outfit, as always, is tasteful, aesthetic, sporty but elegant, and stunning on her! No one even comes close. I love Serena and Venus, but their ideas of court fashion are so sad in comparison. I know Nike designs them all for Maria, but can't some of the other tennis ladies get in on the action? Functional is ok, but ofttimes they sport something dowdy, crass, or a hideous neon color.

Hattie McDaniel
Mae as Tira
Playing maids
In the May 23 issue, The New Yorker reviewed Lynn Nottage's play "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark." Set in 1933 Hollywood, it contrasts the title character with her maid, an African American who has acting aspirations herself and is actually more talented. Black actresses railed against having to "play the maid," and Lord knows TCM is rife with cringe-making stuff. But many actors in this position managed to inject some personality and a bit of humor not thoroughly soaked in stereotypes. Such is the case with the trio who attend Mae West's character Tira in I'm No Angel after she comes up in the world. Hattie McDaniel, Gertrude Howard, and Libby Taylor have some great moments, and participate with her in a fun musical number. West seems to put herself on a par with them, doesn't talk down, and acts like they're all women trying to get a leg up as best they can. I think she picked up elements of her jaunty style from African American actors and musicians in New York before she went to Hollywood, and she respected them as peers. I find West as "fascinatin'" as the characters she plays find themselves, and I'm always a sucker for a new bio, such as Charlotte Chandler's She Always Knew How.

No comments:

Post a Comment