A Great Kickstarter Project by Lady Parts

If you can, please support this excellent Kickstarter campaign from Lady Parts. Read the Lady Parts blog, follow @LadyParts on Twitter and see the actual casting calls that actresses are reading every day.

It’s appalling what women are asked to do and be on film. Lady Parts is doing her best to bring awareness and change.

Watch This: Trailer for Welcome to Me

I think winning $86 million in the lottery would make everyone go a little crazy, but in Welcome to Me, the main character is already crazy. Welcome to Me stars Kristen Wiig as a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder. She spends her winnings on buying herself a TV show which is about her and stars her. Oh, yeah, and she goes off her meds.

The cast in this indie production is simply outstanding: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Wes Bently, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Tudyk, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Thomas Mann, Loretta Divine and more.

There is also a long list of producers, among them is Will Ferrell. The film boasts a female director:  Shira Piven.

When you think about it, what Wiig’s character does in this show is a little like starting a blog where all you want to do is share your opinions on things. Like, say, this blog. (Except I don’t have any money, and Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Wes Bently, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Tudyk, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Thomas Mann, and Loretta Divine don’t want to come and play with me.)

The film will get a wide release on May 8, 2015, with limited openings on May 1. It looks good and you don’t have to win the lottery to afford it. Go see it.

Image Credit: Kristen Wiig TIFF 2014” by GabboTWelcome to Me 46. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Old Ain’t Dead Best Actress of All Time Award

We just watched the 2015 Oscars. The two women who won Best Actress Awards this year were Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette. Both wonderful actresses – accomplished, talented and deserving.

Sometimes the Oscars give Lifetime Achievement Awards. I want to give an award like that. I want to give the Old Ain’t Dead Best Actress of All Time Award. (There are no prizes and the award means nothing. Sorry.)

How do we judge the best actress of all time? Wins or nominations? Or some variation thereof? Why don’t we look at stats?

Is it Oscar wins? If so, the best actress of all time is Katharine Hepburn with 4 wins and 12 nominations.


Katharine Hepburn promo pic” by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio (work for hire) – [7] alt source: [8]. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Is it Oscar nominations? If so, the best actress of all time is Meryl Streep with 3 wins and 19 nominations.


Meryl Streep by Jack Mitchell” by Jack Mitchell. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Either record is phenomenal. To be in 12 films, or 19 films, and do such an outstanding job that your performance is considered worthy of consideration for an Oscar – that’s phenomenal. That’s talent and skill and hard work and love.

I do have an opinion in this stats-based contest between Hepburn and Streep. I’m picking Streep as the winner and here’s why.

Meryl Streep disappears into a part. I’ve seen her in parts where I didn’t even realize it was her, she was so in character. She can be completely different from one film and one character to another.

Katherine Hepburn seems to always be Katherine Hepburn. Not that she couldn’t act – she could. But there was some essential Hepburnness to her voice, her movements, and her posture that was always there no matter the part.

With Meryl Streep, nothing stays the same. There’s no Streep there.

To be fair, Katherine Hepburn was performing in movies in a time when the costuming, the make up, the prosthetics, the technology and techniques were far less sophisticated than they are now.

Even taking that into consideration, I’m still giving the award to Meryl Streep. The Best Actress of All Time is Meryl Streep!

Meryl Streep as 4 different characters

Applause. Applause. Applause. Applause. Applause. Applause.

New Rules for the Emmys

I’m more interested in the Emmys than the Oscars. After 3 hours of watching the Oscars last night, there were 2 awards given to women. Big whoop. The Television Academy has more female writers, directors, cinematographers and such to choose from. So changes in the Emmy rules may be significant.

The Television Academy announced several new rules for the Emmy Awards. This brings up issues about how favorite shows or actors might be affected by the new rules.

The change getting the most attention says that henceforth, one hour shows will be considered dramas, and half hour shows will be considered comedies.

Shows can petition the Academy to be assigned to a different category, but as things stand that means shows such as Orange is the New Black, which formerly competed in the comedy category, will be going up against dramas like The Good Wife. On the other hand, shows like Nurse Jackie will be in the comedy category.

The number of nominees in best drama and comedy series categories increased from 6 to 7. This is in acknowledgement of the fact that television has proliferated and there are more shows than there were before. Even though some shows will be in a different category than they were before, there’s one more chance at making it into the nominations.

The TV Academy also took on the question of what is a series and what is a limited series. If a show has “an ongoing storyline, theme and main characters” from season to season it’s a series. If a drama tells one self-contained story over a season, it’s a limited series.

To be nominated as a guest star, the actor cannot have appeared in more than 50% of the shows in the series. This cuts out people who appear in almost every episode but are listed as guest stars in the credits. That rule, were in place before now, would have affected winners such as Desperate Housewives’ Kathryn Joosten,  Orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba, and Scandals Joe Morton.

The variety category is being split into variety talk show and variety sketch show.

There will be more voters in the final round than before. Everyone eligible to vote in the nomination round may also vote in the final round. There’s a caveat for voting in the final round: voters must watch the required submitted material online and attest to no specific conflicts of interest with the nominees.

The 2015 Emmy Awards will be announced on Sept. 20, 2015.

Watch This: Hey, Academy, I’m a Woman

I love this funny video. It was directed by Leslie Korein and written by Kim Kalish.

In fact, by damn, let’s see every name involved in the video:

Director: Leslie Korein
Director of Photography: Carissa Dorson
Producers: Kim Kalish and Andrea Schwartz
Writer: Kim Kalish
Editor: Lauren Gaudite
Make-Up: Emily King Brown
Production Assistant: Jasmine Gilmore

I’d say they all did a fine job, and they aren’t bad singers either.

If it weren’t for a Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress category at the Oscars, you might never hear a woman’s name spoken all night at the event. And, good grief, the red carpet. Could anything about the Oscars scream women are only to look pretty louder than the red carpet? #AskBetterQuestions.

Sundance: She is a Best Director

Here’s a video from the Sundance Institute in which filmmakers including Jane Fonda, Greta Gerwig, Kristen Wiig, Lesley Headland, Mindy Kaling, Ava DuVernay and others discuss the importance of female voices.

I found it interesting and inspiring.

Review: An Invisible Sign

You say the critics hated it? Yeah, I probably loved it.

An Invisible Sign got terrible reviews from all the critics. And, as often happens, I love the very movie the critics hate.

Spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Review: An Invisible Sign”

Review: Obvious Child

Obvious Child was advertised as “The most winning abortion themed rom-com ever made.” The title comes from the Paul Simon song of the same name.

Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is trying to be a comedian. She gets on stage and talks about everything from her sex life to her dirty underwear. She’s kind of funny on stage but much funnier in real life. One of her problems is she hasn’t figured out how to translate her natural humor into something that works when she has a microphone in her hand.

Donna has more problems. Her boyfriend just dumped her and the bookstore where she works is closing. Her friend Nellie (Gaby Hoffmann) gives her grown up advice on how to deal, but Donna is far from grown up.

Jenny Slate and Jake Lacy in Obvious Child

Donna deals by getting roaring drunk and picking up a buttoned-down guy named Max (Jake Lacy) for a one night stand. They have fun while having sex, but the results are not fun. Donna’s preggers.

Jenny's in a box at the bookstore when Max asks her out.

Max, instead of disappearing like a good one night stand should, hangs around. He asks Donna out. They tentatively like each other. He turns out to be a student of her mother’s. Her super-smart and highly organized mother is played by the fabulous Polly Draper. Donna’s flaky father is played by Richard Kind. Let’s just say Donna didn’t fall far from the old man’s tree.

Donna, Nellie, Mom: everyone agrees abortion is the only option. Should Max be told?

I won’t give you any more plot spoilers, but I will say that the actual romance part of this rom-com doesn’t begin until the end of the film. There may be a romance in the future of Donna and Max – it’s possible but not guaranteed.

Gillian Robespierre wrote and directed the film. Big cheers to female writers and directors making films! Support it for that reason alone if you want, but it’s also a funny film that you will enjoy seeing.

Watch the Trailer

Obvious Child was released in the U.S. in October 2014. It’s available on DVD and from streaming services.