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Archive for March 19th, 2009

I remember being handed Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future novel A Handmaid’s Tale in high school English and promptly trying to figure out a way to get out of reading it, seeing as Atwood’s novels are dreary ( her essays are anything but). So I tracked down a tape of the film at the local video store and watched. It was dark, dreary, dystopian, like Atwood, but there was this young actress, luminescent even in the red burqua they made the handmaids wear.

That was Natasha Richardson.

By all accounts, she was like that in life- boisterous, warm. with a throaty laugh and an energy that consumed the space she inhabited. She convinced confirmed bachelor Liam Neeson to marry, and their nearly fifteen year marriage was one of the most sane, normal, human relationships in Hollywood history. Their backgrounds couldn’t be more different- he, a working class lad from Ireland who fell into acting after a career as a boxer and a fork lift operator for Guinness ( that, my friends, is very Irish).  She was the member of a famous theatrical family whose legend predates modern acting, even film.  Her mother was an Oscar winning actress and activist. Her father was an Oscar winning film maker and well known rogue. Her uncle, her aunt, her sister- they all act. It’s the family trade. And she was wonderful at it.

It doesn’t take much for Natasha Richardson to worm her way into your heart by acting- the performance she gave as Patty Hearst is the stuff of legend. But her best performances never happened on screen. There was the electric 1993 production of Anna Christie, in which she and Neeson devastatingly portrayed lust while falling in love behind the scenes. Her now legendary turn as the luminous Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ reconfigured Cabaret, for which she was awarded a Tony award. Her most famous film role was that as Lindsay Lohan’s mom in the remake of  The Parent Trap, where she was amusing and charming and warm. It was my daughter’s favorite movie for years.

As a fan of film and theater, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ms. Richardson yesterday. She passed away in New York, after being transferred from Montreal, suffering head trauma after a fallon a ski hill. She was only 45 years old.  My heart goes out to Mr. Neeson, their two sons, Micheal and Daniel, her mother, sister Joely, and the extended family and friends of this astonishingly beautiful, gifted woman.

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And not just a single season pickup. CBS and Warner brothers announced officially what we fans already knew- our favorite physicists will be around for two more years.

Sadly, Charlie and Alan will be around for three more, on an unfunny, aging sitcom.

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31 million votes? Wowza.

Reviewing back, Matt and Anoop were still the best, and Danny sucked. That was heinous and I don’t care what anyone says. Who the hell votes for him ( Dial Idol has him at number one).

They launch into ” Trouble” as the group number and it’s awful the way those group sings are awful ( some awesome piano from Scott, though).

The Ford music video sucks like usual.

Okay, now for the real reason we are here:

Dead wife Pimper- safe

Soul diva- safe

Anoop Doggy Dogg- safe

Rocker chick and Rig Pig-  both in the bottom three ( so which of the Dial Idols is wrong- Megan or Alexis?)

A great little performance from Brad “I’d do him in a second” Paisley  ( well, I would).

Scott, Megan, Kris, Matt- all safe.

Adam and Alexis- Adam is safe, Alexis- damn it.

Ryan then turns around and sends Allison back to safety ( thank God!).

Carrie Underwood comes back again to sing her duet with Randy Travis. It’s lovely.

Simon admits that they would consider saving one of the two remaining ( bet it’s Alexis).

And the one safe is- Michael. Alexis was voted to go home.

Will the judges save her?

She launches into ” Jolene” again, her life depending on it.  Still some pitch issues, her voice cracking with emotion. She’s determined, I admit. Better than last night, full of anguish.

And the judges say- no.

Whoa.

Good news is- TV Guide’s piece yesterday proved wrong.

Next week is Motown ( oooooh… love me some Motown). The show airs Wednesday and Thursday due to the Presidential address.

Till next week, y’all.

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