She’s really not going

Irony is alive and well and ready for its closeup at the Oscars. E! has announced that Jennifer Holliday, who may or may not still be extremely bitter about being passed over for the role of Effie in the “Dreamgirls” film, is going to provide live entertainment during its six-hour “Countdown to the Red Carpet” special. She’s going to sing “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” — Effie’s showstopper that marks the beginning of a steep personal and professional decline. Jennifer Hudson is picking up the hardware at nearly every awards show and is in the elite Oscar nominees club, but Holliday, who originated the role on Broadway, is digging her heels into the red carpet.

Oscars: Pictures perfect

Maybe you’re a parent who spent more time last year in the G and PG realm of singing slugs and dancing penguins. Or maybe you mistakenly thought “The Good Shepherd” was a sure contender. Now it’s almost time to fill out your Oscar ballot and you realize you haven’t seen a single one of the candidates for best picture.
AMC is here for you. They’ve just announced that on Saturday, Feb. 24, AMC Burbank 16 will screen the entire slate back to back, starting at 11 a.m. That’s “Babel,” “The Queen,” “The Departed,” “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “Little Miss Sunshine” for one $30 ticket (and please note, the R rating rule applies to all). With a free large popcorn, free large soda and unlimited refills, it’s probably the best deal this side of Netflix.

Little Mass Mailing List

So the Screen Actors Guild gave its best film ensemble prize to a movie that was sent out on DVD to all its members… for the second year in a row. Did that influence the win for “Little Miss Sunshine”? Hard to say. Guess you’d have to poll a significant sampling of the 110,000 SAG members, including those who may be unusually grateful for a free copy of a movie.

Hollywood heavy weights

The announcer backstage introduced Helen Mirren’s second appearance. Instead of the grand dame of the evening, in walks milquetoast publicist Stan Rosenfield, carrying her two Actor statuettes and setting them down on the podium. Later, Steve Carell, the dual winner for “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Office,” swabbed his brow as he toted two beefy bronze figures.


Somebody from the cast of “The Office” mentioned backstage that they spend 60 hours a wek together in an office. That brought on the first “Duh” question of the night: “What do you do in those 60 hours on the clock?” Rainn Wilson calmly explained the process of making a TV series. Whoever asked that question must have been completely lost in the Mirren/Irons discussions about acting.

Advanced seminar

Jeremy Irons and Helen Mirren held forth backstage on the differences between British actors and Americans, that being the Brits’ solid background in stage work and American actors’ gifts for playing to the camera, and the often confusing distinctions between lead and supporting roles. Can I get college credit for this?
Mirren does sound more than a tad bitter, though, about the fact that all the awards recognition for “The Queen” has come from this side of the pond, not her home turf. Is the wrath of the real Elizabeth that frightening that BAFTA fears retribution for supporting a film that does not entirely flatter the queen?
Seems she would prefer to win “the mother of all film awards,” the Oscar, than accept an invitation to tea at Buckingham Palace anyway.

One for America!

“Ugly Betty” star America Ferrara is getting the statues to go with all the critical kudos and ratings. She was every bit as classy in her acceptance speech as Betty is unpolished. “We share a common knowledge of struggle and rejection and success,” she said of her fellow SAG members. Sweet and on point.

Such a gent

Can’t believe Jeremy Irons claims he feels like “a plumber” whenever he arrives on a set. Even though he blew his opening joke (and will never be cast as a New Yorker because of his accent skills), he can show the room a thing or two about genuine race in an acceptance speech.
If you’re keeping score, that’s Brits 2, USA 0.

Helen gets her first

Mirren has just scored her first award of the night for HBO’s “Elizabeth I.” And she’s the odds-on favorite for her performance as Elizabeth II in the feature “The Queen.” If (or when) she wins her second award of the night, it’ll be the first dual win for playing British monarchs named Elizabeth. It’s the kind of record baseball statisticians just love.