Monday, February 25, 2008

The Usual Suspects

So the big news o' the day has to be about the 80th Annual Academy Awards that went down here at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA last night ... but before we get to all of that, let's get our daily dose of Britney Spears out of the way first ... not that there is a lot to talk about (thank the Gods) but with all the positive progress that our dear Britney has been making this past few weeks, I think it's worth nothing all of the good stuff now that there's "good stuff" to be had.

After spending part of her weekend with her children, Sean Preston and Jayden James, Brit Brit went out on the town Saturday night with her father and conservator Jamie Spears for a nice dinner at Mastro's Restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA. Father and daughter carried on their lovefest into Sunday with a trip together to worship together at a private church in Malibu, CA. Here are a couple pics of the twosome as they made their way home from services yesterday:

Therapy? Work? The kids? Church? I am just SO pleased with the way things are going in Britney's life right now. I've always held out hope that she would be able to straighten out her life again and it looks like the possibility is within reach. Again, I must continue to stress that this is only the beginning of a turn-around for Britters but you've got to start somewhere ... right now, it looks like she's on the right track. [Source]

Okay ... so the Oscars ... all in all, I think it turned out to be a pretty good show. I wasn't wowed but I also wasn't bored to tears either. There were a few things about the show that didn't sit well with me (I hated that they changed the traditional order of award presentations, I was pretty disgusted that they left Brad Renfro out of the Memoriam montage and I thought Amy Adams' performance was totally lame, especially compared to the other performances) but, again, it was an OK show. But, before we get to the show itself, let's take a look at some of the folks on the red carpet:

Photo credit: Wireimage

By and large, I felt that the fugness was kept to a minimum ... so much so that no one really comes to mind. A lot of folks thought that Tilda Swinton's dress was nast but I didn't mind it so much. Yes, it looked a bit like it came from the Glad collection but I've seen way worse and, to be honest, I thought the off the shoulder dress looked nice on her. Katherine Heigl looked amazing ... her classic Hollywood glam look really worked for her. As usual, the dudes looked good in their tuxes but it's always impossible to distinguish one designer tuxedo from the next. Meh. [Source]

As for the show itself, I thought that Jon Stewart really held his own as host. He managed to pull off a few funny little quips ... my fave of the night was when he praised Cate Blanchett for her acting prowess, jokingly revealing that she even played the pit bull in No Country for Old Men. There seemed to be a lot of video montages in the show which, of course, looks like they were prepared for the chance that the Writer's Strike might still be in effect come Oscar night ... and I wasn't really thrilled at all by any of the Best Song performances ... but a lot of my picks ended up winning awards so I guess that made up for the things about the show that I didn't particularly care for:

Most of the drama at Sunday night's Oscars was over long before the golden guys were handed out. "Tonight, welcome to the makeup sex," said host Jon Stewart, referring to the recent settlement of the Hollywood writers strike, which allowed the 80th annual Academy Awards to unfold with the usual glitz and glamour. For a change, the ceremony felt low-key and relatively clutter-free, at least for an Oscar broadcast. Blame it on the lack of post-strike preparation time -- or, rather, thank the strike for reducing the number of time-fillers. It was a big night for "No Country for Old Men," which garnered three awards for Joel and Ethan Coen (best picture, director and adapted screenplay) and a best supporting actor win for Javier Bardem as the horrible-hairdo villain of the stark crime drama. As widely predicted, Daniel Day-Lewis struck precious metal as best actor for playing a ruthless oilman in "There Will Be Blood." And when Marion Cotillard won best actress for her passionate Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose," she summed up the strife-free mood of the night by saying, "Thank you, life, thank you, love." With the strike now history, the stars happily showed up on the red carpet, among them fresh faces like nominees Ellen Page and Saoirse Ronan ... Tackling his second time as host, Stewart opened the show with simple, crisp string of jokes that relied on helpings of his trademark political humor. Tweaking the best picture nominees for their bleak tone this year, he singled out "Juno" by cracking, "All I can say is thank God for teen pregnancy." Then he let fly with the presidential campaign jabs. Referring to Christie's role in "Away from Her" as a woman with who forgets her own husband, he said, "Hillary Clinton called it the feel-good movie of the year." He also unleashed a dig at John McCain, joking that Oscar is 80, "which automatically makes him the front-runner for the Republican nomination." Overall, the fake news anchor delivered a pretty good fake "Daily Show." Stewart's other best bits included a dig at the nomination of "Norbit" for makeup ("Too often, the Academy ignores movies that aren't good") and, in a nod to actresses with baby bumps, his announcement of a best baby award for Angelina Jolie ... And it was heartwarming when Jon Stewart brought Marketa Irglova back onstage to give her acceptance speech for cowriting the best song winner, "Falling Slowly" from "Once" ... The most disappointed person last night may have been sound mixer Kevin O'Connell of "Transformers," who has been nominated 20 times without a win and is sometimes called Susan Lucci of the Oscars. His movie lost out for sound mixing to "The Bourne Ultimatum."

As for the Brad Renfro snub, well, I just don't think that any lame ass statement from the Motion Picture Academy can undo the shitty way they just decided to cut him out of the In Memoriam montage:

Why was late actor Brad Renfro cut from the video tribute at Sunday's Oscars? "It was really an editing decision because we can't fit everyone in," a rep for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tells "There was no specific reason." The montage featured footage of late actors, including Heath Ledger, who passed away a week after Renfro ... The actor made his big film debut, opposite Susan Sarandon, in 1994's The Client. His film credits include Sleepers, Apt Pupil and the acclaimed independent film Ghost World.

Seriously, this was pretty shitty. They couldn't "fit" in a 3 second clip of the late actor but they managed to include agents and studio bigwigs that no one has ever heard of? I can't believe that Renfro was omitted merely because they "couldn't fit" him in ... it seemed more like they were making a statement about his passing (he died of a heroin overdose) ... which is strange because Heath Ledger (who died of an accidental overdose of prescription medication) was prominently remembered in the montage. [Source]

BUT ... that HORRIBLE misstep on the Academy's part shouldn't really take away from any of the winners from last night's awards show. While I was bummed that Cate Blanchett lost both of her nominations, I was very happy that Tilda Swinton and Marion Cotillard both won in her place. My pick of the year, No Country for Old Men, won all the awards that I thought it would win ... which was cool but didn't really make for an exciting and surprising Academy Awards:

Photo credit: Wireimage

The 80th annual Academy Awards proved to be nothing if not international – honoring performers from Spain, England and France on Hollywood's big night Sunday. Still, when the dust settled, it was the American neo-Western No Country for Old Men that took top honors at the Kodak Theatre ceremony. Besides being named Best Picture, the drama won Oscars for its Directors Joel and Ethan Coen, who were also honored for their Adapted Screenplay. England was well represented – by Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, for There Will Be Blood, and Best Supporting Actress Tilda Swinton, for Michael Clayton. France's Marion Cotillard was named Best Actress for La Vie en Rose and Spain's Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor for No Country. In all, the Coens' violent tale of a psychotic killer on the trail of drug money won four Oscars. The offbeat comedy Juno was cited for Best Original Screenplay ... When Bardem won early in the ceremony he said, "Whoa! This is pretty amazing. I have to speak fast here, man." He not only spoke fast, he spoke in Spanish, to deliver a speech to his mother, to whom he dedicated his award. She sat in the audience, choked up at the sight of her son on the Kodak Theatre stage. "Mom, this is for you ... for Spain, and for all of us," he said in Spanish. "Thank you very much" ... A totally surprised Swinton captivated the crowd when she accepted for her supporting role. "Happy Birthday, man," she said as she clutched her little golden boy – which she explained she will be giving to her agent, Brian Swardstrom, because he looks just like Oscar, from the top of his head "to his buttocks, it must be said" ... Marion Cotillard, 32, who won for the biopic of singer Edith Piaf La Vie en Rose, was giddy onstage. "We'll, I'm speechless now," she said. "Thank you, life. Thank you, love. It is true, there are some angels in this city [Los Angeles]."

All in all ... a pretty expected list of winners. Props to Marion Cotillard on her win ... that was one that I wasn't expecting. I understand she was absolutely stunning in La Vie en Rose, a movie that I missed seeing but deffo plan to check out as soon as I can. I really was pleased that Tilda Swinton finally won an award ... she is such an amazing actress (she really made the movie Michael Clayton for me) and if she stays on course, she could become the new Cate Blanchett. Click HERE for a full list of this year's Academy Award winners. [Source]

Stripper turned screenwriter Diablo Cody took home the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (the only award I expected Juno to win) which I felt was pretty well-deserved ... but I was more interested in seeing her rock those $1 million dollar pair of Steven Weizman shoes that she was supposed to wear to the awards show. It turns out that she didnt' really take kindly to the fact that folks were told that she'd be wearing the shoes so she decided to not wear the shoes in lieu of a pair of $12 gold ballet flats from Payless Shoes ... which she blogged about on her My Space profile:

Oscar nominee Diablo Cody will look like a million dollars when she steps out on the red carpet at the Academy Awards on Sunday--literally. The Juno writer, a former stripper, has been chosen to wear footwear designer Stuart Weitzman's million-dollar shoe to the big event at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 'Retro Rose' shoe features two Kwiat diamond roses, fixed to 1940s-style beige metallic T-strap high heels. More than 1,800 Kwiat diamonds weighing 100 carats were used to make the roses, and 400 of them have been incorporated into the design of the shoe, which is worth over $1 million. Shoe mogul Weitzman has also created a ballerina flat with a similar diamond-like design, which Cody will change into after she walks the red carpet and kicks off her high heels. This is the first time Weitzman has created a changeover pair of shoes with a matching design element for use at the Academy Awards. He says, "I think it is great and typically Diablo that she chose to be not just glamorous but also practical in her choice of shoes for this year's Academy Awards."

And then Diablo blogged: Yesterday, my stylist took me to go try on my Oscar shoes, which were made for me by Stuart Weitzman. They were sparkly. Kind of retro. With hefty brooches to be affixed atop each narrow toebox. I was pleased, but it wasn't, like, an event. Today, I read this. NEWS TO ME, kids. I must have somehow missed the part where my shoes cost a MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS and my "choice" of footwear would be publicized nationwide. I honestly thought they were just sparkly shoes. Mr. Weitzman did mention that the diamonds were real when I tried them on, but I'm not Nancy Rockman, Expert Gemologist. I didn't, you know, bust out my miniature spyglass and assess the potential worth of my kicks. I swear to God, I have the most bizarre life. Truly. This looks really attention-whorey, and for once, I didn't do it on purpose. I'm flattered that they picked me (surprise!) to wear the Pimp Shooz, but WTF, right? ETA: I'm actually really pissed about this, now that I think about it. They're using me to publicize their stupid shoes and NOBODY ASKED ME. I would never consent to a lame publicity stunt at a time when I already want to hide. I'm sorry if I sound like a party-pooper, but Jeebus.

For the record, I don't think she wore the less audacious Weitzman ballet flats either. Something tells me that the very indie Diablo decided not to look like a sell-out in million dollar shoes and opted to look cool by not wearing the shoes ... which is something you'd expect a Junior in high school to do. Shoot, I'd've worn the shoes ... hellz yeah I would've ... actually, if Steven Weitzman wants to send them along to me, I'd still wear them ;) In the end, tho, I guess it doesn't matter ... Diablo won her little gold man (which she immediately began to have oral sex with while in the press room ... as did Javier Bardem, strangely enough) so in the end she wins -- million dollar shoes or no. [Source]

UPDATE: Of course, Stuart Weitzman has to respond to Diablo Cody's response regarding these shoes:

"I have been making a special pair of shoes to be worn at the Academy Awards for a number of years. This year - more so than in any previous year - the lady who was given the opportunity to wear it was quite involved in the design process. Diablo Cody sent me examples of the type of shoes she liked and actually did the final selection herself, choosing a three-inch retro style T-strap as well as a changeover pair of ballerinas. She chose to adorn the shoes with medium-sized diamond roses from three different sizes offered to her. Why she seems to be so surprised as to the attention being paid to her and these shoes, I cannot answer. It should certainly come as no surprise that a one-of-a-kind pair of shoes would generate excitement at the Academy Awards. Regardless, what should matter is the fact that this talented woman won an Oscar this weekend. I offered her the opportunity initially because I so enjoyed her film, and I'm very happy for her success. I wish her all the best."

LOL. I wouldn't be surprised if Miz Diablo never gets a free pair of shoes ever again ;)

And so ... after the awards were handed out ... came the after parties ... cheif among them, in my estimation (and since the Vanity Fair party was cancelled), the 16th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party which was held at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA. Here are a few pics from that party's red carpet:

Photo credit: Wireimage

There was a lot of hotness on this party's red carpet (hello, Chace Crawford, Jason Lewis, Jennifer Coolidge and ... Courtney Love?) as well as a lot of couplyness ... it was at the Elton John shindig that Sean Penn and Petra Nemcova decided to show the world that they are a new couple "just friends":

Less than two months after he announced his separation from his wife of 11 years, Sean Penn hit Sunday night's Oscar party circuit with a new blonde beauty on his arm: model Petra Nemcova. The two arrived together (or, at least, simultaneously) at the Elton John AIDS Foundation screening party. Although they separated briefly – he did an interview while she posed for pictures – they eventually reunited for the cameras, as Penn wrapped his arm around her for a few photos. So, are they dating? The actor, 47, and model, 28, avoided any clear-cut PDA. And when asked about her escort, Nemcova, wearing a custom-designed Roberto Cavalli dress, would only tell PEOPLE, "Yes, we are friends. He is on the advisory board of my charity." Friends who've been spending quite a bit of time together: A source confirms that the two also hit L.A. hotspot Villa the night before.

Interesting ... well, I say good for Petra ... Sean Penn is a huge step-up from James Blunt, IMHO. Both Madonna and Prince threw last minute Oscar parties but I haven't heard anything substantial from either affair ... I really hope that people haven't grown tired of the 80's or anything like that! [Source]

One last bit of Oscar-related funness ... my friend Tom Lenk spent his Oscar night partying away with some friends (and a potential new paramour ... who, unfortch, is not pictured) and was very sweet enough to send in this cute pic with his friends Maya and Veronica:

I'm told that the pic was taken by Dennis Rodman ... yes, the Dennis Rodman. And now you know why Tom is one of the coolest guys I know. Love it!! [thanks Tom]

Okay ... let's move on ... the Oscars are over, deal with it. Here are a bunch of INSANELY hot photos of Hugh Jackman -- hairy, wet and shirtless -- emerging from the ocean and slipping into a t-shirt on a beach in Sydney, Australia yesterday morning:

Ye Gods, the man is just to die for. Strangely enough ... Le Sigh doesn't seem to capture the sentiment properly. I wonder how you spell the sound that oozing drool makes as it pours from one's mouth. [Source]

Here are a couple new pics of P!nk out and about on the cold, wintry streets of NYC this weekend rockin' a great white coat:

Photo credit: Splash News

I guess the photogs are gonna be following her around until she hooks up with another mate or they just grow tired of her again. You never know, she must might end up connecting with someone completely unexpected ... [Source]

... much like Michael C. Hall has. I am completely shocked to learn that the Dexter star is rumored to be dating his Dexter co-star Jennifer Carpenter ... who plays his sister Debra on the show! Here are a few pics of Michael and Jennifer enjoying a lovely breakfast together here in LA recently:

OK ... so maybe not that recently ... the pics are from December 1 but still ... it's so strange to imagine these two dating. I know it's weird but I'm such a big fan of the show that I can only think of them as brother and sister. That being said, Jennifer Carpenter is pretty hot and I can't blame her for going after Michael C. Hall who is all kinds of sexy. Good for them!! [Source via ONTD!]

Oh Yay! Beyonce got herself a new wig!

Photo credit: Splash News

I guess all that extra money that she's getting from her "design house" House of Dereon is paying off. [Source]

And speaking of House of Dereon ... here are a couple new ads for the clothing line:

A new wig and a new tiara? Something tells me that Beyonce is making bank. [Source]

Hilary Duff has been tapped to be the new spokesperson for Disney Mobile in Japan (which is interesting since Disney Mobile has folded here in the US). Here is a new promo pic of Hilary for Disney Mobile:

OH look! There is even a commercial to go along with it, too! I'm glad to see that Hilary was chosen for this new promotion ... it's nice to know that Disney hasn't totally abandoned all of their old stars just yet. [Source]

As I newslinked yesterday, Anne Rice has revealed that she has recanted (or is the correct term, backslided? backslid?) on her previous promise to never write another vampire novel again and has revealed that she is planning to write "one more" Lestat book after she releases 2 new Jesus Christ books. But, before we get to read the latest adventure of Lestat de Lioncourt we have to wait for her next two books ... the first of which, Christ the Lord: Road to Cana, is set for release on March 4th:

"One more book." Those are the words Anne Rice fans have been dying to hear about the Vampire Chronicles ever since her shocking — and dismaying to many of his followers — turn to religious writing. Long seen as a committed atheist, four years ago the best-selling author drove a stake through the hearts of her followers when she vowed to abandon her sinister stories and instead write only of the Lord. Turns out, vampires aren't that easy to kill. In an interview with TIME, the best-selling author of Interview with the Vampire and The Queen of the Damned has revealed that she plans to write one last book about Lestat, the feared yet beloved blood-sucking main character in her gothic novel series. "When I published my first book about the Lord I said I would never write about those characters again," Rice acknowledged. "But I have one more book that I would really like to write. It will be a story that I need to tell." Upon returning to the church after a more than three-decade absence, the author in 2005 dramatically and publicly declared that she would never again return to writing about vampires. Said Rice in an interview with Christianity Today: "I would never go back, not even if they say you will be financially ruined. I would be a fool for all eternity to turn my back on God like that." But never say never. While Rice justifies her decision by saying the book will have a definite Christian framework and a focus on the theme of redemption, she admits that the future chronicle will once again involve the character Lestat and a fictional organization known as the Talamasca that is responsible for investigating the supernatural. Much like the author herself, Lestat will be wrestling with the existence of God throughout the story. "I don't see it as a violation of my promise, because I won't be writing about vampires in the same way," Rice maintains.

Apparently, the new Lestat book (which also includes the Talamasca, fans of her work will be happy to know) will be a continuation of her Christ the Lord books which means she will end up marrying her devotion to her old work with her new religious outlook on life. I have been an Anne Rice fan for years ... I've read everything she's ever written. Even tho the Christ the Lord books aren't my faves, they are still very much Anne Rice novels and I do enjoy them. I can't wait to read what she has in store for Lestat ... I suspect there will a theme of redemption within her pages (much like what occurred in her life after the death of her husband Stan Rice) which I welcome. I gotta say, I kinda always knew she had more Lestat tales to tell. [Source, Source]

Yesterday I posted the cover photo of Eric Bana on the new issue of GQ magazine ... today, I'm posting the rest of his photoshoot for the mag:

Again ... he's wearing far too many clothes but ... I still heart him. [Source]

And finally, Pink reader L.M. sends in these old skool pics of Victoria Beckham from WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in the day ... before she was posh ... before she was plastic:

I LOVE these pics. The hair, the clothes, the Milo Ventimiglia look-a-like. Now this is a Vicki B. that I would want to get to know. This is a gal you could rat your hair with, somene to share scrunchies with. Now I see what David Beckham sees in her. [Source, thanks L.M.]

Les News:
Yesterday afternoon, Darion opened his home and hosted an Oscar party for a bunch of his friends. Mike and I arrived just as Jon Stewart was giving his monologue and the party was underway. There was so much food adn drink ... we had a blast. But, to be honest, the best part of the night was after the show was over (and after the party prizes were handed out to the folks who guessed the most correct Oscar winners) ... cuz off went the TV and on went the XBOX. Here are a few pics from yesterday's fun:

In a flash I was transformed from just Trent into Rozlo, a blonde guitarist from Amsterdam who was on tour with his band Mr. Baggage playing various small clubs around Europe. Hahahhaha ... I did ok on drums and my singing wasn't horrrrible but I really did well on the guitar -- I even have the thumb blister to show for it. We had just too much fun.

I'm happy to see that the sun has decided to come out today ... I hope the rain has gone for good cuz I'm already over it. Bring on the sunshine, SoCal. We need it!

Have a great Monday ... I'm out.