Thursday, January 31, 2008

10 Oscar-Related Questions for Insomniacs

Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There.

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

1. Could Cate Blanchett play Queen Elizabeth I playing Bob Dylan? If so, would she be nominated twice for that?

2. In choosing the music for Juno, could director Jason Reitman have misunderstood a request by Ellen Page, keeping in character as a pregnant teenager with strange cravings, for moldy peaches?

3. Will Diablo Cody and Ricki Lake start a trend in snarky home births? (Midwife: Just relax into the birthing tub, this is so beautiful and empowering! Pregnant woman: No jet sprays in this thing? Is that the best you could do? Would you send the doula out for cheeseburgers?)

4. Could Bob Dylan in whiteface (he’s done it before) play Cate Blanchett playing Elizabeth? If so, would he get a nominated song out of it—“Virgin Queen Revisited”?

5. Speaking of nominated songs and sequels, can we expect Twice?

6. Has Julia Roberts, of Charlie Wilson’s War, ever stuck herself in the eye with a safety pin? If so, was this a punk thing or a grooming thing?

7. Could Cate Blanchett play Meryl Streep playing a rabbi? Oops, wrong year, wrong medium.

8. Who the hell is Michael Clayton? What the hell is a diving bell?

9. When actor Daniel Day-Lewis and wife director/screenwriter Rebecca Miller converse, is it dialogue? Does this make them scabs?

10. Will there be blood? Oh wait, we know that one—with Johnny Depp around, absolutely.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Shout Out to All of You and An Achingly Heartfelt Goodbye to Heath

By Victoria Looseleaf

Greetings, cheers and a gigabyte’s worth of hellos to you, our ardent followers, contributors and fans who have been loyally reading, posting and being such a cool, vital part of The Looseleaf Report cyber community—our blog—since its launch last April. Please allow me, then, to take this opportunity—albeit a belated one—to at long last welcome you to The Looseleaf Report Blog.

(DIGRESSION: Last June I intended to make my entrance with thoughts on the final episode of The Sopranos, but since I was addicted to the HBO show and suffering from major withdrawal, I instead fled the country for Cuba, France, Greece, Spain, Holland and Argentina, where I covered a coterie of arts festivals. But hey, I loved the ending, it was sheer fucking genius and am thrilled the cast got its due at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.)

In any event, recapping for new peeps out there, our Tribeca film coverage by New Yorkers, Robert Rosen and Mary Lyn Maiscott, was without peer. (Who knew, btw, that Sarah Michelle Gellar had such passionate fans?) For that I say muchas gracias and do faithfully swear to contribute regularly from now on from my base in Beverly Hills…Adjacent. Seriously, as the online counterpart to our hip, late-night, bicoastal television show on the arts, The Looseleaf Report (catch us in New York, Los Angeles or streamed over the web), this blog will serve as another outlet for Mr. Rosen, Ms. Maiscott and me, Victoria Looseleaf, straddler of high and low culture, to not only shed light on happenings in the worlds of arts and entertainment, but to dialogue with you.

In other words, please talk to us, post your comments and tell your friends to visit us (and for a hoot, check out The Looseleaf Beauty Report on YouTube by plugging in the word, “looseleaf.”)

Now, though, I write simply to express my profound sadness at Heath Ledger’s passing. Heath(cliff) Ledger (named for the stable-boy-turned-faux aristocrat in Emily Bronte’s only novel, Wuthering Heights), we hardly knew ya. But, oh how you were loved…and fantastically brilliant. You’re gone now and way too soon. (I’m not pointing fingers but even without my UC Berkeley crim degree I’d be pissed and puzzled about the masseuse calling Mary-Kate Olsen, not the brightest etoile in the sky—not once, but twice before dialing 911...)

Fortunately, though, we shall have your celluloid self to cherish forever: From your conflicted, repressed cowboy (“Jack, I swear” —who hasn’t felt like that, huh?), to your insanely lovable Cassanova (what’s better, really, than sex in a gondola?)—with forays into surfdom, teen lust and even a wry Bob Dylan portrayal—you gifted us with your luminous presence.
But will I be able to handle your turn, Heath, as “The Joker” in the upcoming Batman sequel, The Dark Knight? Perhaps, but only with a big bottle of bourbon and a box of Kleenex. Farewell, sweet prince…and plant a big one on James Dean for me, puhleeze.