A Personal Manifesto

A couple of decades ago I realized everything in my life up to that point had been determined by men. I can hear my friend Denise shouting, “It’s the patriarchy, stupid!” That’s not it – at least not completely. The patriarchy is still with us. But inside my head, things have changed. Continue reading “A Personal Manifesto”

Review: The Last Word

The Last Word is a funny and moving tale about a woman everyone loved to hate. It stars Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, and AnnJewel Lee Dixon. Continue reading “Review: The Last Word”

Review: Wild Oats

Wild Oats stars Shirley MacLaine and Jessica Lange in a comedy about living it up while you can. It was funny, but the best part of the movie was watching Shirley MacLaine and Jessica Lange have a great time together. Continue reading “Review: Wild Oats”

Watch This: Trailer for The Last Word

Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried star in The Last Word. It’s a part Shirley MacLaine has played several times before – the curmudgeonly control freak that no one can stand. But the foil for her excesses in the past has always been some hapless young man. Now she’s up against Amanda Seyfried. It should make things pop. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for The Last Word”

Glee Goes Elder

Last week on Glee it was Shirley Maclaine singing along with Darren Criss. They sounded terrific together.

Shirley Maclaine and Darren Criss
Shirley Maclaine and Darren Criss

They sang of “Piece of My Heart.”

This week June Squibb was there, singing and dancing with Chris Colfer. The woman can belt! Not only was June Squibb there, but Tim Conway and Billy Dee Williams were also in the cast.

Image from Chris Colfer's Instagram account
Image from Chris Colfer’s Instagram account: http://instagram.com/p/nqyX5xtdYn/#

I cannot find a video of last night’s show, but you can give a listen to June and Chris singing “Memories.”

 

There are a lot more images Chris Colfer’s Instagram account, where he commented that Tim Conway was so funny it made him mess up hundreds of takes.

I don’t know how you feel when you see legendary elders like Shirley Maclaine and June Squibb singing along with the young folks on Glee, but it thrills me in many ways. They’re old, but they ain’t dead! The elders still have it, whatever it is. Age does not hold them back from being fabulous. It’s brilliant of Glee to honor the musical theater stars of yesterday and the traditions from which a show like Glee springs.

A hallmark of Glee‘s success is it’s ability to be inclusive. Gay, staight, trans, differently abled, young, and old – we all celebrate the joy of music and performance and everyone can be part of it. Thank you for going elder, Glee!

Teaser for Downton Abbey’s Christmas Show

Downton Abbey begins airing in the U.S. on January 5. The 2 hour Christmas special will air at the end of the season.

In the UK, this episode will air on Christmas day.

Small spoilers in the trailer reveal that Shirley MacLaine will be back and that Paul Giamatti will be about (playing Cora’s brother).

Say hi in the comments if you are a Downton Abbey fan.

Last Tango in Halifax might be Last Tango in Santa Fe

The Guardian tells us that Diane Keaton plans US remake of BBC’s Last Tango in Halifax. It will air on HBO. Sally Wainwright, the creator of the show, says she will be a producer of the American version but will not have a huge role in the production.

I know I have lots of feelings about this news, and I’m sure the dedicated Last Tango fans do, too.

First, where would it be set? I just made up the part about Santa Fe. It’s a cool place, there are ranches surrounding it, and a lot of films get made in New Mexico. It might be a sensible location for a series that needs both urban and rural settings along with great scenery. Diane Keaton has not asked for my opinion in this matter, however.

Who would be in it? Would Diane Keaton play Celia? She’s 67. What American actresses are in their 70s? Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Olympia Dukakis, Julie Christie, Candice Bergen are a few possible names. So we have talent in that age category, but American women don’t look their age. That’s a bit of a problem. Do we want to see anyone who doesn’t look as genuine Anne Reid in the role?

Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi in Last Tango in Halifax
Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi in Last Tango in Halifax

There are simply tons of older men to choose from for Alan. Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Peter Coyote and dozens more. But I so like Derek Jacobi’s sweet and loving Alan. Some swaggering American who is used to waving a gun around just doesn’t feel right. And 70 year-old American men still fancy themselves leading men who should be snaring women 30 and 40 years younger than themselves. That’s a bit of a problem, too. As for the feckless John, Tony Gardner was perfection in this part. Who could equal that?

What about Caroline and Gillian and Kate? Remember my dream actress pairing of Ashley Judd and Jennifer Beals? Think they’d make a good Caroline and Kate? Other actresses in their 40s abound, include Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Renée Zellweger and lots more. But I’m sort of convinced that Sarah Lancashire is irreplaceable as Caroline. Nicola Walker in her jeans and Converse sneakers brings such nuance and subtlety to Gillian.

Casting is a challenge. Adapting the dialog and locations will be a challenge as well. Diane Keaton has taken on a huge task to make this wonderful story American. I wish her well, and I wish her great luck finding the right people to do the writing and casting and create the sets.

I’m really attached to Last Tango in Halifax. Even so, Diane Keaton is trustworthy, in my opinion. If anyone can make a love story about older adults shine, it should be Diane Keaton. Who knows, I may love the American version of this tale of second chances as much as I do the British one.

When I get attached to a show, like the Millennium series in Swedish (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest) I feel a vague dread at the arrival of American versions. Then I go see it (of course) and I like it on it’s own merit. It isn’t the same as the original, but it still has the characters and the story and I end up enjoying both versions. I’m ready to see what happens to this lovely British tale of second chances. Go, Diane!

One extra good piece of good news from The Guardian post is,

The second series of Last Tango In Halifax, one of BBC1’s biggest-rating new shows of 2012, launches next month and a third is planned.

A big hurrah for season 3.

Diane Keaton image © 2003 Columbia Pictures