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  1. the oscars
    It’s in the Bag for ScorseseAs Oscar night approaches, New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst are discussing the race. Check back through the weekend for more. From: Lynda Obst Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2007 3:14 PM To: David Edelstein Subject: Re: The Parties Dear David, Can I tell you about the parties? And I’ll get to your questions along the way. By the time I arrived at Bryan Lourd’s affair, the New York contingent (Graydon Carter, Fran Lebowitz) was leaving, and the line was ten minutes just to drop off your car at the valet. I was worried we had actually come too late, but no. Somehow, the coziness of Bryan’s sprawling architectural home, combined with his now traditional detail of camellia wrist corsages given to the women on our entrance, made the crush of wall-to-wall movie stars less unmanageable than I feared.
  2. the oscars
    In Anticipation of Gossip and ExhibitionismAs Oscar night approaches, New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst are discussing the race. Check back through the weekend for more. From: David Edelstein Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2007 1:09 PM To: Lynda Obst Subject: The Parties Dear Lynda: At this point, my aesthetic judgments are even less relevant than earlier in the week. Now, it’s all about the parties, the nasty gossip, the things that no one will say publicly but will be reflected on the ballots—and become a part of Academy history. So I’m going to make life — my life, anyway — easier by interviewing you.
  3. new york fugging city
    The Fug Girls Live-Blog the Oscars We can’t think of a better way to kick off our new weekly column for the Daily Intelligencer than by starting on the night of the Celebrity Superbowl. On Sunday we’ll be live-blogging the entire Oscar telecast, from the opening credits at 8 p.m. to the orchestra playing off the Best Picture winners because the show’s run over and the limo lines outside are starting to break traffic laws. So go load up your cooler with Cheetos and Red Bull — we’ve all got a lot of snarking ahead of us.
  4. the oscars
    America Loves Competitions, Wacky Acceptance Speeches As Oscar night approaches, New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst are discussing the race. Check back through the weekend for more. From: Lynda Obst Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 2:18 PM To: David Edelstein Subject: RE: Overcoming Obamamania Dear David: We spend all this time brooding over what’s the best performance, the best movie — because we love to. We pick the purest vodka, the finest wine, our favorite football team, the most marbled steak, the fattest tomato; we love to root, to choose and then to triumph or be deflated, to be right or to be angry. This is a way that we participate in the global Zeitgeist and map the undercurrents of the culture and how we individually track with it. Are we Crash or Brokeback people? But it doesn’t mean our obsession with the winner diminishes other performances. It’s true that it’s an honor to be nominated and the greatest ride of your life, yadda yadda. But without winners, there would be no wacky speeches, no cheering, no betting pools, no fun.
  5. the oscars
    When Are They Going to Award the Believable Behavers? As Oscar night approaches, New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst rekindle their discussion of the race. There’ll be more later today and through the weekend. From: David Edelstein Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 2:01 AM To: Lynda Obst Subject: RE: Overcoming Obamamania Dear Lynda: Actors in biopics clean up at awards time because: 1. What you said: the magnitude of real lives, etc. 2. Biopics are character-driven, which means less emphasis on plot, which means better showcases for actors, who can focus on their “arcs” and epiphanies instead of staring at blue screens and pretending to be awed. 3. They have to transform (usually), so their acting is easier to see and, therefore, to reward. You hear, “What an amazing actor!” more often than, “What a believable behaver!” — although behaving believably onscreen is often the greater feat (which is why Oscar-deprived Kate Winslet might be the best actress of her generation).
  6. gossipmonger
    Helpful HarveyHarvey Weinstein doesn’t help his designer girlfriend Georgina Chapman get coverage — well, except for that meeting with Anna Wintour when she was starting out. Fashion Week interlopers were able to buy tickets to Bryant Park shows on Craigslist. Food Network star Paula Dean had a run-in with a naked man in the hallway of the Regency Hotel. Later, skaters: The Roxy closes for good on March 10. Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform tonight at Snitch, accompanied by a dozen strippers. Lindsay Lohan will attend Robert Altman’s memorial service in L.A. after skipping the one in New York. Megaproducer Scott Rudin won’t return Cindy Adams’s calls.
  7. the oscars
    Oscar Loves Real People (When They’re Interpreted By Famous Actors) As Oscar night approaches, New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst rekindle their discussion of the race. There’ll be more tomorrow and through the weekend. From: Lynda Obst Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 4:07 PM To: David Edelstein Subject: Overcoming Obamamania Dear David: It’s a cold rainy day in Tinseltown, and the first Oscar party is struggling to drown out the Obamamania buzz. Tonight, once Entertainment Weekly and Tara and Peter Guber fête Fox Searchlight’s Last King of Scotland, Little Miss Sunshine, Notes on a Scandal, and Thank You for Smoking (will we be allowed?), we’ll get back to the crucial business of debating the winners of statuettes, not primaries.
  8. gossipmonger
    Tom Brady Does Not Love New York, or Bridget MoynahanTom Brady put his New York pad up for sale as soon as he found out ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan was pregnant. Speaking of officially pregnant: Naomi Watts. Speaking of maybe pregnant: Christina Aguilera. Hillary Clinton, or someone from her office, got mad at David Geffen for throwing a party last night for Barack Obama. Former As Four designer Kai Kuhne flipped out after his credit card was denied at Sway. A Chelsea nightclub doesn’t want handicapped customers upstairs.
  9. gossipmonger
    V-Day in CeleblandSpike Jonze and Drew Barrymore spent Valentine’s Day together. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban spent Valentine’s Day apart. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick spent Valentine’s Day together, but seemed “distant.” Mike Myers, Hugh Jackman, and Joan Collins all spent Valentine’s Day at the Waverly Inn, though, presumably, not together. Mike Bloomberg’s favorite singer is Aretha Franklin. Liz Smith says Steve Schwarzman’s birthday blowout could have cost as much as $15 million.
  10. party lines
    Tom Hanks Can’t Win an Oscar Pool Tom Hanks was in town the other night for a screening of Starter for Ten, a new romantic comedy he produced. The after-party was at the Odeon, and naturally we jumped into his booth to talk about Oscars — and about condoms. What’s your least favorite thing about the Oscars? The getting-dressed part. It’s that horrible competitiveness of whose tux you’re gonna wear. What’s the most you ever won or lost in an Oscar pool? It’s always just twenty bucks a head. And I’ve never won.
  11. the oscars
    Wherein Obst Stands Up for Miranda From: Lynda Obst Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 4:55 PM To: David Edelstein Subject: RE: Powerful Female Executives David, Touché. If you get my drift. I suppose women who have broken glass ceilings in the same era as Miranda identified with her, sorry. I had many, many identification points with her character, the least memorable of which were terrorizing past assistants, though there are certainly a few of those who will sign on to the Website and cheerily dredge up incidents I have long since forgotten! But a hit the proportion of Prada does not owe to power-suite feminists alone. In fact, I seem to recall talking to dozens of older men who loved this movie, which surprised me at the time. No, I think the charms of Miranda cross the gender barrier. I agree that Emily Blunt was terrific, as clearly Meryl did in her cooler-than-cool acceptance speech at the Globes. Enough of this squabbling though — it is not a political movie, and these struggles are long over. Except for the numbers of power-suit Hollywood women fired this year. It is not, David, an easy road. Glamorous maybe, from the outside. But never easy.
  12. the oscars
    If We’re Reading This Right, We Think Edelstein Just Called Obst Miranda PriestlyFrom: David Edelstein Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 4:47 PM To: Lynda Obst Subject: Powerful Female Executives Dear Lynda, Too bad you rolled your eyes at another Greatest Generation movie, because Flags of Our Fathers was a bitter, bitter film in which America’s defining image of heroism — well, it’s side by side with Washington crossing the Delaware — was shown to be at least partly a lie. Too bad the structure was so clunky and that Eastwood didn’t help the young actors shape their performances. There’s this myth that Eastwood is a great actor’s director, but what he’s best at is leaving them alone, forcing them to sink or swim. (How Republican.) Some rise to the challenge, others — the ones in Flags — thrash valiantly. Re: Meryl. I forgot that women producers and studio execs would be the likeliest to appreciate both Streep’s exquisite bitchery and her vulnerability.
  13. the oscars
    Obst (and Everybody Else) Loves Meryl Streep From: Lynda Obst Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 4:10 PM To: David Edelstein Subject: RE: Deaf Jam Dear David, With such a trenchant understanding of why Iwo worked, I’m surprised you didn’t like it more, and particularly surprised you didn’t see that that is exactly why I think Flags was a nonstarter. Seeing a movie based upon the experiences of heroic WWII GIs — a movie that necessarily calls to mind Saving Private Ryan and the attendant celebration at Normandy that brought together the French, President Bush, and Steven Spielberg — not only do I not know what else there is to say, I can’t separate the clichés from the profundities. Also, the acting was much better in Iwo. What is there to say about Meryl that hasn’t been said? Forget Raymond — everybody loves Meryl. The Devil Wears Prada rode on her performance.
  14. the oscars
    Eastwood Turns Antiwar, and Edelstein Sees a Seismic Shift From: David Edelstein Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 2:11 PM To: Lynda Obst Subject: Deaf Jam I wasn’t surprised by the Letters From Iwo Jima nomination. The L.A. critics dug it. And with two major films this year, Eastwood had to be nominated for something. Odd that Flags of Our Fathers was such a nonstarter. In some ways, it’s stronger than Iwo Jima, which suffers from a bland humanism that has little to do with the warrior codes (and collective insanity) of the Japanese military at the time. And yet its strongest scenes are wrenching — tragic with a touch of farce. When an old Republican like Clint Eastwood is bent on deconstructing the myths that drive nations to war, you know you’re in for a seismic shift in the culture.
  15. the oscars
    Obst Weighs In, Fond of ‘Sunshine’ and Pushing for ‘Babel’From: Lynda Obst Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:48 PM To: David Edelstein Subject: RE: ‘Girls’ Gone Bye-Bye Dear David, Amazing, isn’t it, when the Academy defies the odds and seems to be saying something controversial? But what is it they’re saying, exactly? Remember, we voted before the Golden Globes (not that the Academy would have been influenced by those 92 voters, who are themselves influenced by the charms of the various movie stars swept in front of them all season). The Academy seems to be saying, Dreamgirls is not Chicago — and there are some movies we like more.
  16. the oscars
    Waiting for Obst, Edelstein Disclaims and Explains From: David Edelstein Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:25 PM To: Lynda Obst Subject: I forgot to say I am so above this Dear Lynda, As I wait for your response, I want to mention that several friends and one lively Website have let me know they think I sound altogether too gushy (even “queeny”) on the subject of this year’s Academy Awards, merely because I decided to get into the spirit of the thing and to spare you my standard disclaimer. (From 2005: “As longtime readers are probably sick of hearing, the Oscars are worthless as a measure of artistic merit, but fascinating as a measure of how Establishment Hollywood hopes to present itself to the world …” Blah blah blah).
  17. the oscars
    Oscar Snubs ‘Dreamgirls,’ Astonishes Edelstein New York film critic David Edelstein and Hollywood producer Lynda Obst discuss the Oscar nominations by e-mail each year. This year, Daily Intel gets to host their thoughts. Check back throughout the day for updates. From: David Edelstein Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 9:28 AM To: Lynda Obst Subject: ‘Girls’ Gone Bye-Bye Bella Lynda, Unbelievable! Incredible! Astonishing! The absolute shoo-in, Dreamgirls, has been dealt a devastating blow. Nothing for Best Picture, nothing for Best Director (Bill Condon) — not even that consolation nom, Adapted Screenplay! (The unkindest cut?) I thought Dreamgirls was thoroughly mediocre (with one song, “We Are Family,” among the most eardrum-lacerating things I’ve ever heard), but the dis is stunning. Did anyone see this coming? Whew. Deep breath.