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What to Watch: Olympic Games, Tedd Lasso and more

<p><strong>Anyone else in desperate need of new shows to watch during these trying times? Thought so. Thank goodness Pamela Connellan’s latest round-up of the best treats for your eyeballs is right here.</strong></p> <p>The 2021 Olympics are on right now and yes, they’re going to be different to other years but that doesn’t mean we won’t be glued to our television screens. In good news, Tokyo is only one hour behind Australia’s East Coast time zones and just two hours ahead of the West Coast so this makes these Olympics ideal viewing for Australians.</p> <p>As well, the experts are saying this could be a great Olympics for Australia because we could possibly pick up our highest medal tally since 2008.</p> <p>Channel 7 has exclusive broadcasting rights and coverage will be spread across three of the network’s channels – channel 7, 7TWO and 7mate. It will also be streamed online via 7plus and the network will host a 24/7 live stream covering all the games and commentary around the clock. Thankfully, all of these services are free.</p> <p>If you don’t have free-to-air, 7plus can be accessed via an app on AppleTV or Chromecast from a laptop. 7plus will require a login that just takes an email address and a few personal details. Channel 7’s coverage will start every weekday at 5:30am and 6am on weekends, finishing after midnight AEST.</p> <p><strong>When do the Paralympics start?</strong></p> <p>The Paralympics will kick off just over two weeks after the Olympics Closing Ceremony. Channel 7 is also hosting these Games and will be showing them across the network as well as online. The Paralympics Opening Ceremony is set to start on August 24th and will close two weeks later on September 5th.</p> <p><em>You can watch the 2021 Olympic Games on Channel 7, 7TWO and 7mate plus the events will be all be streamed live on</em>&lt; <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/reP1gVGpFKo" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>Watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV – rating at Number Three across Australia</strong></p> <p><strong>Ted Lasso is a comedy TV series which scored 20 Emmy nominations this year and right now, it’s rating as the third most popular TV series in Australia by </strong><a href="https://www.justwatch.com/"><strong>JustWatch.</strong></a></p> <p>Critics are saying the series star, Jason Sudeikis, is very good along with his co-stars Hannah Waddington, Juno Temple and Brett Goldstein.</p> <p>Created by Bill Lawrence who also produced <em>Scrubs,</em> the plot revolves around an unflappable American football coach named Ted Lasso (played by Sudeikis).</p> <p>Ted is summoned to London to coach a Premier League soccer team and yet, he’s set up to fail in every possible way. Although no one appreciates him, particularly the club’s owner, Rebecca (played by Hannah Waddington), Ted responds with consideration and kindness all the time.</p> <p>Somehow, his optimism and enthusiasm are contagious, even to the gruff Richmond captain, Roy Kent, (played by Brett Goldstein).</p> <p>All in all, this is a feel-good comedy and is proving to be irresistible to audiences the world over. The first season is streaming now on Apple TV and the second season streams on Friday July 23rd on Apple TV+ with 12 half-hour episodes released weekly on the streaming service.</p> <p><em>Watch the first and second seasons of Ted Lasso on </em><a href="https://tv.apple.com/?ign-itscg=MC_20000&amp;ign-itsct=atvp_brand_omd&amp;mttn3pid=Google%20AdWords&amp;mttnagencyid=a5e&amp;mttncc=AU&amp;mttnsiteid=143238&amp;mttnsubad=-498734364170-c&amp;mttnsubkw=74330531010__5BSi2b5W_&amp;mttnsubplmnt="><em>Apple TV now…</em></a></p> <p><strong>There’s a new movie about the Queen of Soul – Aretha Franklin – out soon</strong></p> <p><strong>Called <em>Respect</em>, the new movie traces the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from when she was a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her heady days of international superstardom. <em>Respect </em>is the remarkable true story of this well-known and loved music icon’s journey to find her voice.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qTtxoz3OIlU" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Music legends don’t get much greater Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson is the actor who plays the role of Aretha in this new musical biopic. This must have been a daunting task but as an Oscar winner, Hudson is well-equipped to take on the role. Recently, Hudson told <em>Entertainment Weekly</em> that she’d been handpicked for the part by Franklin herself:</p> <p>“I know that Aretha was adamant that [her life] be a film. If it’s not a film, it’s nothing. I’m just honoured that she picked me to play her. I mean, who can say that? And again, I would have never done it without her wishes,” said Hudson.</p> <p>Directed by Liesl Tommy and written by Tracey Scott Wilson, <em>Respect </em>is produced by Scott Bernstein and Harvey Mason Jr.</p> <p>Respect will be in Australian cinemas by August 19th…</p> <p><strong>The highly-anticipated third season of <em>Succession</em> will be streaming on Foxtel and </strong><a href="https://goto.binge.com.au/c/2231614/823586/11099"><strong>Binge</strong></a><strong> later this year</strong></p> <p><strong>Award-winning drama series <em>Succession</em> will return for a third season in the Australian spring. The first teaser trailer is here and the season looks set to be an all-out war. </strong></p> <p>Ambushed by his rebellious son, Kendall, at the end of season two, Logan Roy begins season three in a perilous position. Scrambling to secure familial, political and financial alliances, tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LVGE48hpWFA" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Set in New York, the bitingly funny, critically acclaimed drama series <em>Succession</em> explores themes of power, politics, money, and family, centred around the Roy family and their family-controlled media conglomerate. Joining the already impressive ensemble cast for season three are Oscar winner Adrien Brody (<em>The Pianist</em>) and Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgard (<em>Big Little Lies</em>).</p> <p><em>Season 3 of Succession will premiere in spring of 2021 and all episodes of the first two seasons are now streaming on <u><a href="https://binge.com.au/">Binge…</a></u></em></p> <p><strong>Yotam Ottolenghi’s <em>Keeping Cooking Simple</em> is streaming now on Stream from the Opera House</strong></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w_c_msoXB1o" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>It’s hard to remember what we used to cook before Yotam Ottolenghi burst into our culinary consciousness. From his introduction of bold new flavours and ingredients, to his consistent foregrounding of vegetables in his meals, Ottolenghi’s books continue to excite and inspire food-lovers everywhere.</strong></p> <p>Spend an hour with Yotam Ottolenghi and Adam Liaw, as they discuss what makes a recipe simple, cooking for fussy children and how Ottolenghi’s books saved the humble cauliflower. This is an amazing talk and lasts for 55 minutes – all recorded live at the Sydney Opera House back when Ottolenghi visited in January 2019.</p> <p><em>Yotam Ottolenghi’s Keeping Cooking Simple is streaming now on the Opera House’s free channel, </em><a href="https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/digital/stream.html"><em>Stream</em></a><em>, or on </em><a href="https://youtu.be/w_c_msoXB1o"><em>YouTube…</em></a></p> <p><strong>What’s My Marion’s Kitchen Channel All About?</strong></p> <p><strong>On her YouTube channel, Marion Grasby says she’s a little bit Thai (courtesy of her mum) and as you might be able to tell from her accent…a little bit Australian (courtesy of her dad).</strong></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4FNQGT0kT1c" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/4FNQGT0kT1c">https://youtu.be/4FNQGT0kT1c</a></p> <p>Marion continues, saying she’s a food producer, television presenter and cookbook author who lives in Bangkok and travels all around Asia to find the most amazing recipes, dishes and ingredients to share with everyone on YouTube. She posts new recipes at least three times per week.</p> <p>So, on Marion’s channel, you’ll find recipes from all over Asia. From spicy Thai noodles to soup dumplings and Chinese fried rice. There are Thai noodle soups, Asian beef burgers, Japanese noodle soups and more. To find out more, take a look at her YouTube channel – <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN1h109PDDp_wYIFsoWmZrQ"><strong>Marion’s Kitchen</strong></a>.</p> <p><em>You can join in with </em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN1h109PDDp_wYIFsoWmZrQ"><em>Marion’s Kitchen</em></a><em> here – along with her other 1.38 million subscribers on YouTube…</em></p>

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Friends monkey trainer calls out David Schwimmer “despicable” behaviour

<p>David Schwimmer was not a big fan of Marcel the Monkey, labelling it the “worst thing” that happened during the filming of <em>Friends</em>.</p> <p>When on the reunion, the star admitted he did not enjoy filming scenes with the monkey, as he often “messed up” filming.</p> <p>“Here is my problem: The monkey, obviously, was trained. It had to hit its mark and do its thing right at the perfect time,” Schwimmer said during the reunion.</p> <p>“What inevitably began to happen was we would all have choreographed bits kind of timed out, and it would get messed up, because the monkey didn’t do its job right. So we would have to reset, we’d have to go again, because the monkey didn’t get it right.</p> <p>“It was time for Marcel to f**k off.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842335/friends-monkeu-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d32e56fbc3284465ad4048f38b68f18f" /></p> <p><em>Image: Friends screengrab</em></p> <p>Marcel’s trainer, Mike Morris, has called out Schwimmer for his “despicable” words.</p> <p>Morris told The Sun that the two monkeys who portrayed Marcel only had a problem with Schwimmer but the other cast members.</p> <p>“I didn’t watch the reunion interview but I heard from others what Schwimmer said. I just don’t agree with it, if anything he threw off their timing if we want to be truthful,” Morris said.</p> <p>“Schwimmer was fine with the monkeys for the first couple of episodes and happy to be there, but people would laugh at the monkey and I think he got jealous because it wasn’t him getting the laughs.</p> <p>“He seemed to get a little bitter about them being there after that, and of course the monkeys didn’t like working with him after he turned on them.</p> <p>“It made it harder to do the work. A five-camera show is hard to work on with animals anyway so if you have an actor that’s not very helpful, it makes it even worse.</p> <p>“My colleague who also worked on the show says that people would laugh at the monkey and throw Schwimmer off. He’s not the kind of actor who can improvise.”</p> <p>Morris went on to say Schwimmer only despised working with the monkeys, as he was not talented enough to ad lib.</p> <p>“I think a good actor can play off an animal,” Morris said.</p> <p>“We did a shot with Seinfeld and he played off the monkey and went with what the monkey was doing.</p> <p>“I think David had a little problem with that, he was very regimented and had to do what the script said.</p> <p>“I think he had a problem improvising with the monkey.”</p> <p>A capuchin named Katie was one of the two adorable monkeys to play Marcel, and she is still working in the film business.</p> <p>Sadly, the other monkey, known as Monkey, died of cancer in August of 2020.</p> <p>“Schwimmer was talking ill of the dead when he made those comments,” Morris said.</p> <p>“I find it despicable for him to still be speaking ill of her.”</p> <p>The reunion special wasn’t the first time Schwimmer has spoken of his experience with the monkeys.</p> <p>Morris admitted he will never watchthe ’90s sitcom due to Schwimmer claiming the monkeys threw poop and tried to bite him.</p> <p>“I have refused to (watch <em>Friends</em>) ever since he did an interview after the animals got written out of the show and he said they tried to bite him and throw poop at him,” Morris said.</p> <p>“They didn’t do any of that. None of it is true, when I was there none of that ever happened.”</p> <p>Morris said Katie doesn’t hold any bad blood toward Schwimmer despite his comments.</p> <p>“Katie can’t speak for herself so that’s why I’m talking out for her,” Morris said.</p> <p>“The monkeys definitely wouldn’t hold a grudge against David, if Katie had to work with him again tomorrow she would do it no problem.</p> <p>“I know he holds a grudge against the monkeys but they definitely don’t hold one against him.</p> <p>“They’re just good-natured animals and probably don’t even remember him.”</p>

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Willy Wonka star reveals Gene Wilder’s “favourite brat”

<p><span>A child star who had the opportunity to work alongside the infamous Gene Wilder has spoken out on the experience, 50 years since its first premier date.</span><br /><br /><em>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory </em><span>hit movie screens 50 years ago on June 30, 1971 and achieved rapid success almost overnight.</span><br /><br /><span>The film went on to become a phenomenon that was registered in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.</span><br /><br /><span>The child actors Peter Ostrum, Julie Dawn Cole, Michael Bollner, Paris Themmen and Denise Nickerson – who played Charlie Bucket, Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teavee and Violet Beauregarde – all came together for a virtual reunion in honour of the film’s anniversary.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842239/willy-wonka.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b9da36eca8c24fbeb170655d6cf92150" /></p> <p><em>Image: Yahoo</em><br /><br /><span>The actors all had the opportunity to co-star together, and even got to explore the imagined Wonka Chocolate Factory.</span><br /><br /><span>The cast recounted such fond memories of exploring the film sets in Bavarian Germany and working with Gene Wilder.</span><br /><br /><span>Themmen admitted that he was indeed a “notorious troublemaker on the set.”</span><br /><br /><span>So much so that even Wilder called him “a handful”.</span><br /><br /><span>“I can corroborate that,” the actor, who played the television-obsessed rascal Mike Teavee, admitted.</span><br /><br /><span>“I was younger than the others. I was 11, they were 13 and was naturally just sort of more high-spirited and rambunctious.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842237/willy-wonka-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a8d501bcedd64f7b97dd573169a7717a" /></p> <p><em>Image: Yahoo</em><br /><br /><span>The now-62-year-old opened up about one brief moment he shared with Wilder, in 1976 during a fundraiser screening for the film <em>Silver Streak</em> at the Avon Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut.</span><br /><br /><span>“I sat at the back of the room and he gave his commentary and then I went up to the front of the room afterwards with my poster in hand,” Themmen relived with a smile.</span><br /><br /><span>“I said, ‘Hi, Gene, how you doing? I’m Paris Themmen, I was Mike Teavee in Willy Wonka.”</span><br /><br /><span>“And he said, ‘Oh you were a brat!’ And I flashed all the way back 50 years, or 40 years at that time, and said, ‘Well, I’m 50-something now and maybe not as much of a brat.’</span><br /><br /><span>And he signed my poster, ‘To my favourite brat.’”</span><br /><br /><span>Wilder died in 2016 at the age of 83 after a long vibrant career.</span><br /><br /><span>Cole, who played Veruca Salt, said: “I think people kind of want us to tell you that he was like Willy Wonka offset, but he wasn’t.</span><br /><br /><span>“He was such a lovely, kind man, very unassuming,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“He was just down to earth, not pretentious, he was just a wonderful person to be around and to work with,” said Ostrum, who played Charlie Bucket.</span></p>

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Five of the best things to watch right now

<p><strong>From Bill Nighy in <em>Buckley’s Chance</em> to David Attenborough’s new documentary, Pamela Connellan brings you the scoop on the latest and greatest must-watch shows.</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Buckley’s Chance</strong></p> <p><strong>A new Australian film, starring well-known British actor, Bill Nighy, and set in the Australian outback, has just started showing in cinemas here. Called <em>Buckley’s Chance,</em> the film also stars Milan Burch, who plays the role of the young boy, Ridley, along with a new screen star – a dingo called Buckley.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4WGivlcmmrs" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>After the loss of his father, Ridley is forced to move to the Australian outback to live with his estranged Grandfather (Nighy). During Ridley’s adventures, he becomes lost and befriends a dingo excluded from its own pack. A strong bond is formed as the two try to make their way home.</strong></p> <p>The film also stars beloved Australian actors Kelton Pell, Victoria Hill and Martin Sacks. <em>Buckley’s Chance</em> is a fascinating tale for all the family about fun, friendship and family, filmed on location in Broken Hill and the surrounding Australian outback.</p> <p>The film is directed by Canadian director Tim Brown (<em>Treasure Hounds, Devil in the Dark, Bite</em>) and produced by Brown with Gilbert Adler (<em>Valkyrie, Superman Returns, Constantine, House on Haunted Hill), </em>Scott Clayton <em>Guest House, The Driver, Joey and Ella)</em> and Andrew Mann (<em>Danger Close: Battle of Long Tan, Gold, The Chaperone).</em></p> <p><strong><em>Buckley’s Chance</em></strong><strong> is now showing in Australian cinemas…</strong></p> <p><strong>2. </strong><em><strong>A Perfect Planet</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Sit back and enjoy this new five-part documentary from David Attenborough</strong></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xxibm1ODEpI" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>In this new five-part documentary from Sir David Attenborough – called </strong><em><strong>A Perfect Planet</strong></em><strong> - he explores the impact powerful natural forces have on the earth’s existence. He also looks at how the effect impending climate change will have on the earth in the future.</strong></p> <p>The documentary shows how life on planet earth flourishes as result of a perfect balance of a whole array of factors. Filming for the series took place over four years, across 31 countries, with crew navigating difficulties in extreme temperatures and remote locations. The series covers volcanoes, the sun, weather and oceans, with the final episode focusing on the human impact on the environment.</p> <p><em>A Perfect Planet</em> was shown on the BBC earlier this year to critical acclaim and it was one of the most popular programs on the BBC’s video on demand service, with the highest viewing figures in the platform's history.</p> <p>Reviewers praised the series, especially the content about weather and climate change as "perhaps the series' most dramatic scenes."</p> <p><strong><em>A Perfect Planet</em></strong><strong>, season 1, is </strong><a href="https://www.9now.com.au/"><strong>streaming now on 9Now</strong></a><strong> and new episodes are released on Saturdays at 7.30pm…</strong></p> <p><em><strong>3. </strong></em><em><strong>The Pact</strong></em><strong> – a story about five friends bound together by a fragile pact of silence – is now streaming on Stan</strong></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vggtMuD-Ehc" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>An unexplained death and suddenly five friends are bound together by a fragile pact of silence. What really happened that night in the woods? The six-part thriller, </strong><em><strong>The Pact, </strong></em><strong>is now steaming on Stan.</strong></p> <p>When a young brewery boss is found dead, a chain of events is triggered that draws four of his employees; Anna (Laura Fraser; <em>Breaking Bad</em>), Nancy (Julie Hesmondhalgh; <em>The A Word, Broadchurch</em>), Louie (Eiry Thomas; <em>Keeping Faith</em>) and Cat (Heledd Gwynn; <em>Ordinary Lies</em>) into a fragile pact of silence, bound by a secret which will change their lives forever.</p> <p>Anna’s police officer husband, Max (Jason Hughes; <em>Three Girls</em>), investigates Jack’s (Aneurin Bernard; <em>Dunkirk</em>) unexpected death alongside his fierce superior DS Holland (Rakie Ayola; <em>Noughts + Crosses</em>), unaware that his own wife and her best friends are at the heart of a conspiracy. While brewery worker Tish (Abbie Hern; <em>The Twilight Zone</em>) becomes increasingly suspicious of her co-workers, Jack’s estranged father Arwel (Eddie Marsan; <em>Ray Donovan</em>) struggles to conceal dark family secrets.</p> <p>What really happened that fateful night? You’ll need to watch <em>The Pact</em> to find out but it’s clear, this is a gripping, contemporary thriller. Written and created by Pete McTighe who’s also worked on <em>Doctor Who, </em>this series comes with everything a thriller needs – mystery, intrigue and the elusive shock factor.</p> <p><em><strong>The Pact</strong></em><strong> is streaming now on Stan…</strong></p> <p><em><strong>4. </strong></em><em><strong>Wolfgang</strong></em><strong> – a documentary about the well-known chef – will stream soon on Disney+</strong></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xDlGkFoj1TY" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Wolfgang</strong></em><strong> is a documentary film which tells us the inspiring, true story of Wolfgang Puck, a man who survived a troubled childhood filled with a series of challenging obstacles but whose perseverance led him to become one of the most prolific chefs of our time and a household name.</strong></p> <p>From Emmy Award-winning director and producer, David Gelb, this is an inspiring and emotional film which is now streaming on Disney+.  As a teenager in Austria, Wolfgang Puck used his love of cooking to escape the harsh rule of his stepfather.</p> <p>A local apprenticeship allowed him to train at a revered French restaurant, before landing in America at the young age of 24.</p> <p>In the 70s in Hollywood, Puck began working at Ma Maison, crafting an original menu around fresh ingredients, making the once-tacky eatery a popular, acclaimed restaurant. Still, the lack of acknowledgement from Ma Maison’s owner pushed Puck to take the biggest risk of his career and open his own restaurant called Spago.</p> <p>Incorporating everything Puck knew about the restaurant trade, Spago was an instant hit and famous clientele came to enjoy his new American cuisine and his lively personality. Almost by accident, Puck created the concept of a ‘celebrity chef’ with his many television appearances. He built a global empire of restaurants, cafes and products for home cooks but at the same time, all of this hard work did take its toll on his family life and we see how this unfolds.</p> <p><em><strong>Wolfgang</strong></em><strong> will stream on </strong><a href="https://www.disneyplus.com/en-au"><strong>Disney+</strong></a><strong> on June 25th…</strong></p> <p><strong><em>5. </em></strong><strong>Spicks and Specks</strong><strong> has returned to our screens</strong></p> <p><strong>It’s been a long time – a whole decade in fact – since we've seen the very funny ABC TV music quiz show </strong><em><strong>Spicks and Specks</strong></em><strong> but luckily, the series has returned earlier this year for a brand new season!</strong></p> <p>Ten new episodes have been released every Sunday night. Everyone we know and love is returning including <strong>Adam Hills</strong> as the trivia master and <strong>Alan Brough</strong> and <strong>Myf Warhurst</strong> as the team leaders.</p> <p>As well, there’s a whole new range of guests making us laugh as they try to answer questions and sing songs for their team. Artists like <strong>Alice Skye</strong><strong>, </strong><strong>The Teskey Brothers</strong><strong>, </strong><strong>Vika &amp; Linda</strong> and <strong>Missy Higgins</strong> have all taken part. Plus comedians like <strong>Anne Edmonds</strong><strong>, </strong><strong>Nazeem Hussein</strong><strong>, </strong><strong>Luke McGregor</strong> and returning faves <strong>Dave O’Neil</strong> and <strong>Denise Scott</strong> are all onboard for the ride.</p> <p><em><strong>You can catch the new season of</strong></em><em><strong> Spicks and Specks</strong></em> <a href="https://iview.abc.net.au/?&amp;WT.srch=1&amp;WT.mc_id=Corp_TV%7cAdWords:%2Biview_b_g_339709145936_&amp;gclid=CjwKCAjwt8uGBhBAEiwAayu_9blDVROZfKeir8NyAsMUi78Fp4de3p04q6D0vBaDJX7EZNJnTU7f9RoCpQMQAvD_BwE&amp;gclsrc=aw.ds"><strong>on ABC iView...</strong></a></p>

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Renée Zellweger has a new man on the scene

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Renée Zellweger has a new man on the scene and it’s none other than reality star Ant Anstead.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The two-time Oscar winner, 52, reportedly hit it off with Anstead on the set of his upcoming Discovery+ series <em>Celebrity IOU Joyride</em>, a spin-off of <em>Celebrity IOU. </em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zellweger had the chance to appear in an episode earlier this month, and People have just confirmed the pair are official. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The actress and reality star’s romance didn’t spark off until Zellweger returned to the set to drop off work boots for Anstead. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The announcement of the couple follows just days after </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anstead finalised his divorce from ex Christina Haack, 37. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7842036/zellwegger-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a94ddbb2551c42cd8d1cb6d16a44af70" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Getty</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Together they share son Hudson, 21 months. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Ant and I have made the difficult decision to separate. We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority," Haack wrote in September 2020. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We appreciate your support and ask for privacy for us and our family as we navigate the future."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An official divorce was filed in November 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zellweger has had the bug of love a few times as well, as she was previously married to Kenny Chesney in 2005, and was in a relationship with Jim Carrey from 1999 to 2000. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The beloved star has also been linked to stars Jack White and Bradley Cooper.</span></p>

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Meryl Streep reveals why she was “miserable” making her iconic movie

<p>Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep has revealed the difficult time she had onset of one of her most well-known films.</p> <p>Streep perfectly incapsulated <em>The Devil Wears Prada</em> character, Miranda Priestly, who was the editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine and the blueprint for a boss from hell</p> <p>It has been 15 years since the world first got to see Streep in a new, brilliantly-played light, and now she and her co-stars have revealed what it was like working on the film.</p> <p>Streep is now 71, and boldly revealed that she employed method acting while filming.</p> <p>She often chose to retain elements of her icy, mean-spirited character, even off-set.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841857/meryl-streep-devil-wears-prada.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/621a7033204a429eb5d698af827deb40" /></p> <p>It became an often occurrence that she would brush off her co-stars Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway.</p> <p>“Meryl is so gregarious and fun as hell, in some ways it wasn’t the most fun for her having to remove herself,” Blunt told the publication.</p> <p>“It wasn’t like she was unapproachable; You could go up to her and say, ‘Oh my God, the funniest thing just happened,’ and she’d listen, but I don’t know if it was the most fun for her to be on set being that way.”</p> <p>Streep said filming the movie “was horrible!</p> <p>“I was [miserable] in my trailer. I could hear them all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!’”</p> <p>She went on to say: “That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing!”</p> <p>Streep’s performance earned her a host of high-profile awards including a Golden Globe and a nomination for an Oscar.</p> <p>The star has since been nominated for the industry’s highest honour seven more times.</p> <p>Hathaway agreed with Blunt that Steep put up an unnatural wall during film, but admitted it helped.</p> <p>“I did feel intimidated, but I always felt cared for,” she explained.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7841855/meryl-streep-devil-wears-prada-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/615433f6b7d84a6d8266b82b811ca3f4" /></p> <p>“I knew that whatever she was doing to create that fear, I appreciated [because] I also knew she was watching out for me.”</p> <p>Streep’s character has drawn comparisons to <em>Vogue </em>editor Anna Wintour who has had to knock down several rumours that she is an unkind boss.</p> <p>“I wasn’t interested in doing a biopic on Anna; I was interested in her position in her company. I wanted to take on the burdens she had to carry, along with having to look nice every day,” Streep said.</p> <p>The A-lister also spoke on the movie’s worldwide appeal, despite being marketed toward women as counter-programming for<em> Superman Returns.</em></p> <p>“Because they’d given us such straitened circumstances to make the film with a smaller budget, this opened up and said that a ‘chick flick’ can be a huge hit with a broad audience,” she said.</p> <p>“This is the first movie [where] men have come up to me and said, ‘I know how you felt; I have a company, and nobody understands me. It’s really hard.’</p> <p>It’s the hardest thing in the world for a man to feel his way through to the protagonist of the film if it’s a woman.”</p> <p> </p>

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Robert De Niro seriously injured on set of new movie

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Robert De Niro is recovering after suffering a serious injury while filming.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">De Niro, 77, hurt one of his quad muscles while on the set of Martin Scorsese’s </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Killers of the Flower Moon</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in Oklahoma.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I tore my quad somehow … [It was] just a simple stepping over something and I just went down,” De Niro said in an interview with </span><a href="https://www.indiewire.com/2021/05/robert-de-niro-leg-injury-martin-scorsese-flower-moon-1234637854/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">IndieWire</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “The pain was excruciating and now I have to get it fixed. But it happens, especially when you get older; you have to be prepared for unexpected things.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Luckily, the actor clarified that his injury was “manageable”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">De Niro went on to describe his role in the Scorcese film as a “sedentary” one.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t move around a lot, thank god. So we’ll manage,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><a href="https://people.com/movies/robert-de-niro-leg-injury-update-pain-was-excruciating/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">People</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> magazine, De Niro returned to New York to receive medical treatment for the injury on Thursday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A representative for the actor reportedly told the magazine De Niro’s departure “will not affect production as he was not scheduled to film again for another three weeks.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">De Niro will play cattleman William Hale alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, who will play Ernest Burkhart, Hale’s nephew.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The movie, set in 1920s Oklahoma, is currently being produced by AppleTV+. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Based on the nonfiction book written by journalist David Grann, the film will dive into the serial murders of the Osage Nation that sparked a “major investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover”, according to </span><a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5537002/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">IMDb</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p>

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Betty White opens up about loneliness while in quarantine

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in element-type-p"> <p>Betty White's agent Jeff Witjas has said that White is ready for some face-to-face interaction after a safe year at home.</p> <p>White, 99, has been isolating at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and keeping busy by "reading, watching TV and doing crossword puzzles at home", according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tmz.com/2021/05/11/betty-white-keeps-busy-quarantine-covid-update-summer/" target="_blank"><em>TMZ</em></a>.</p> <p>This doesn't mean White isn't counting down the days until she's able to safely interact with friends.</p> <p>Witjas confirmed that White's "ability to regularly interact with friends face to face," during the pandemic has "severely affected in her life," explaining that like many, she's "looking forward to summer when she can safely enjoy the outdoors and regain her freedom."</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLSXVN2nVmF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLSXVN2nVmF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Betty White (@bettymwhite)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite being an animal lover, White hasn't had any furry friends to keep her company but has said there are a few ducks that keep her company that "walk up to her door every day to say hello".</p> <p>Wijtas declined on commenting whether or not White had been vaccinated.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Biopic rumours about Steve Irwin run wild

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A biopic about the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin is rumoured to be in the works.</p> <p>According to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/celebrity/celeb-news/steve-irwin-movie-67552" target="_blank"><em>Woman's Day</em></a>, the untitled project is said to be "gaining momentum" in Hollywood, with movie executives drawn to Irwin's appeal in America.</p> <p>"There's no way this project can go ahead without Terri and Bindi Irwin being involved every step of the way," says a well-placed insider.</p> <p>"Steve's international appeal, particularly to Americans, can't be ignored and this isn't the first time a project like this has been presented to them."</p> <p>"This time, however, any script that can be filmed Down Under is automatically top of the pile right now – and Hollywood bosses love Steve's life story. He was saving lizards when he was six! And while his story may have ended too soon, there's a real sense of closure now with how Bindi and Bob have taken up his legacy."</p> <p>Steve died in 2006 at the age of 44 after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb, but was involved in several Hollywood films while he was alive.</p> <p>Steve appeared in Happy Feet (2006), Dr Dolittle 2 (2001) and appeared alongside his wife in the 2002 film<span> </span><em>The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.</em></p> <p>"The timing's right to honour Grace's grandad," adds the insider.</p> <p>"The family will want Aussie actors for the film, which will pretty much tell Steve's life story."</p> <p>"And the end will include real footage of the family as they are now. It's a project they've considered before, but now they're finally ready to give it the green light."</p> </div> </div> </div>

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How Tom Cruise saved Elisabeth Shue's life

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The behind-the-scenes story has been shared by a camera operator from the 1988 film </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cocktail</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, claiming that Tom Cruise prevented a freak accident while in his mid-twenties.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Bill Bennett, Cruise tackled co-star Elisabeth Shue to the ground, saving her moments before she was about to walk into a “deadly” spinning helicopter blade.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the incident happened 33 years ago, details of the story were revealed when the aerial camera operator shared it in a Facebook group called Crew Stories.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><em><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/14777696/tom-cruise-saved-elisabeth-shues-life-helicopter-blade/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Sun</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>,</em> Cruise confirmed the details as true.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now a top TV and commercial cinematographer, Bennett said the crew were “shaken up” by the “close call” as he explained how dangerous the situation actually was.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I witnessed Tom Cruise save Elisabeth Shue’s life, for real,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We were filming the scene from a helicopter, where Tom and Elisabeth are riding horses along the beach. We were shooting film, but I had a video recorder in the helicopter to record the camera’s video tap images.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“After a couple takes, the pilot would land the helicopter on the beach, and Tom and Elisabeth would come over to watch the shot recordings and get notes from the director. The only monitor was at my operating position in the left front seat of the helicopter.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In his recount of the event, Bennett explained they only intended to land for a few minutes so the pilot would leave the engine running and the blades still turning</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was also quite loud, and you had to shout to be heard over the noise of the engine,” he added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You have to know, when you are working around helicopters, that the area at the back of the helicopter, where the tail rotor is spinning is deadly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The rotor is invisible when it is spinning, and if you walk into it, it will kill you instantly. It is a totally ‘no go’ area when working around helicopters.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So, after we landed for the second or third time, Tom and Elisabeth came over, I opened the side door of the helicopter and they leaned in to watch the shot on the monitor.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The director gave them a couple notes, and Elisabeth, getting quite excited, took off suddenly, running towards the back of the helicopter.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since Bennett was strapped in a harness, he explained that he could not reach out after her and instead leaned over and screamed “stop”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though his screams were drowned out by the helicopter noise, it was “just at that same moment that Tom saw where Elisabeth was going”, he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He lunged after her, but was only able to grab her legs, tackling her to the ground.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He rolled her over, dragging her at the same time, and you could see the momentary anger on her face while she was yelling ‘Why did you do that?’</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But by that time he is pointing at the tail rotor which is now a couple feet away, screaming at her that she almost died.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“At that point she turned white, and he pulled her back towards the front of the helicopter and they walked away.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though everyone in the helicopter was “quite shaken by the close call”, Bennett knew that Cruise had, “in that instant, truly saved her life.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The incident occurred in 1987,  meaning that “mandatory safety meetings were not commonly done”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the post gaining traction on social media, writer Mike Timm passed it onto </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mission Impossible</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> director Christopher McQuarrie - who is currently working with Cruise on the seventh instalment.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CK69alvFr2M/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CK69alvFr2M/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mission: Impossible (@missionimpossible)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to <em>The Sun</em>, Timm told Bennett, “[McQuarrie] loved the story and, of course, Tom confirmed it.”</span></p>

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Frances McDormand comes out on top

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Frances McDormand is officially the greatest living actress as determined by Oscar wins, even beating Meryl Streep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With three Oscar wins at Best Actress, McDormand is ahead of the pack that includes Streep’s win for a supporting role.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Two-time winners of the Best Actress award include Jane Fonda, Maggie Smith, Glenda Jackson, Jodie Foster, Sally Field, and Hilary Swank.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The only one to beat McDormand was Katharine Hepburn, who claimed four prizes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">McDormand won Best Actress in 1997 for </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fargo</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and for </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in 2018.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 2021 Oscars saw McDormand win the award for her role in </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nomadland</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chloe Zhao’s </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nomadland</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> also won Best Picture, and had been a strong contender for the award following wins at the Venice and Toronto film festivals more than six months ago.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMKpOr2BnVT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMKpOr2BnVT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Nomadland (@nomadlandfilm)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nomadland </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">sees McDormand play a retired woman struggling to make ends meet following the 2008 crash, travelling through America’s west.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zhao, who is Chinese-American, also took home the award for Best Director, becoming the second woman and first woman of colour to win.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Frances McDormand won two Oscars tonight, one for Best Actress (her third win in the category) and one for Best Picture as a producer on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nomadland?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nomadland</a>. More here: <a href="https://t.co/QGwDlmpx6l">https://t.co/QGwDlmpx6l</a> <a href="https://t.co/POcXXH3azT">pic.twitter.com/POcXXH3azT</a></p> — IndieWire (@IndieWire) <a href="https://twitter.com/IndieWire/status/1386556898464333827?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 26, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">McDormand’s competition included actresses Viola Davis for </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and Carey Mulligan for </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Promising Young Woman</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Following on from her win, the actress will soon appear opposite Denzel Washington in a </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Macbeth</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> film.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Quoting the play in her acceptance speech, she said, “I have no words. My voice is in my sword.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We know the sword is our work. And I like work. Thanks for knowing that, and thanks for this.”</span></p>

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Why James Bond would make a terrible spy in real life

<p>James Bond may have more than 60 years of experience saving the world from notorious villains, but he’d have a tough time getting a job in MI6 today, says Alex Younger, chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, in the <em>Guardian</em>. Apparently, there’s more to being an SIS officer than expensive cars, martinis and tuxedos.</p> <p>Even if Bond’s appreciation for the finer things in life were qualification enough, his recklessness on the job would likely cut his career short. “The violence, mayhem and death that seem to follow Bond wherever he goes are certainly one thing that would have gotten him early retirement from any reputable intelligence service long ago,” says Alexis Albion, the International Spy Museum‘s lead curator. “Also, his tendency to use his own name, lack of communication with headquarters, wanton waste of government resources, lack of discretion in his sexual dalliances … the list goes on.”</p> <p>In other words, James Bond would make a terrible spy.</p> <p>Think about it. It’s hard to be effective at espionage when everybody knows who you are. Agent 007 is the most famous spy in the world, yet he rarely wears a disguise and almost always uses his real name. Even if “Bond, James Bond” is actually a code name, why use it over and over again?</p> <p>Finally, 007 has a pretty terrible track record of getting captured by his enemies. Alec Trevelyan – aka Janus, from <em>GoldenEye</em> – even captured him twice! And how many times do you have to drink a poisoned beverage to learn that you shouldn’t consume anything given to you by your enemy? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool Bond twice, shame on 007.</p> <p>There’s also Bond’s inability to stay under the radar. Real-life spies go out of their way not to draw attention to themselves. Bond, meanwhile, is a magnet for attention. Just look at the types of luxury vehicles he drives: Aston Martins, Audis, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces. They’re way too eye-catching, and probably too fast; Bond’s need for speed is yet another problem. To quote Q in <em>GoldenEye</em>, “Need I remind you, 007, that you have a license to kill, not to break the traffic laws.”</p> <p>Then there’s the simple fact that Bond is an alcoholic. British researchers report that 007’s weekly alcohol consumption is over four times the recommended limit for an adult male. They also suspect that Bond suffers from alcohol-induced hand tremors as a result of all that drinking. That could explain his preference that his vodka martinis be “shaken, not stirred,” when, in fact, they should be stirred, not shaken.</p> <p><em>Written by PJ Feinstein. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/why-james-bond-would-make-a-terrible-spy-in-real-life">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best <a href="https://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">subscription offer.</a></em></p>

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How the Oscars finally made it less lonely for women at the top of their game

<p>This year, with the nomination of both Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell in the Academy Awards’ Best Director category — and their films in Best Picture — it seems at last the Oscars powerbrokers have learned to count, putting more than one woman in the category for the first time. Women have been nominated for awards in the past, but it’s been lonely at the top.</p> <p>When Lina Wertmuller was nominated for Seven Beauties in 1977, her co-nominees were all male; fast forward to Kathryn Bigelow 33 years later when she became the first and only woman to win Best Director, and the same rules applied. Women, it seems, take up such space in the cultural psyche, perhaps two can’t fit. This affects the field in two ways.</p> <p>On the one hand, as we’ve seen with Bigelow and the Oscars, and Jane Campion as the only woman ever to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes (in 1993 for The Piano), being the singular nominee of your gender, makes these women “exceptional” and “iconoclastic”. They are mould smashers and rule breakers whose talent appears to strike out of nowhere and is singularly responsible for their individual success.</p> <p>While there is no disputing the “talent” part, the blinding light generated by Bigelow or Campion on these occasions hides the tall barriers women face in the resource-intensive world of commercial filmmaking. When viewed as singular successes, Campion and Bigelow are subjects of excellence and objects of isolation.</p> <p>Now two women have received Oscars nods for directing in the award’s 93rd year, and it’s noteworthy — both in terms of behind-the-scenes factors and the films they’ve created: Nomadland and Promising Young Woman.</p> <p><strong>Changing the rules</strong><br />Several factors have been credited for diversification of the Oscars and other award events this year, including subtle shifts in membership and eligibility criteria to unfold over the next few years and the holding off of some larger budget productions due to pandemic cinema closures.</p> <p>The contribution of big streamers like Netflix is also a matter of debate. The needle-moving role of each of these factors may not be known for a little while; after all, some changes aren’t due to bear fruit until 2025 or later.</p> <p>Regardless of the cause, there is no doubt this year the door has opened to more nominations for women and people of colour across all categories in all major ceremonies (the BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and Oscars).</p> <p>A number of things unite the female-helmed Best Picture and Best Director nominees this year: both Nomandland and Promising Young Woman centre their stories around a female protagonist; both are low-budget, independent films, with flashes of innovation in cinematic style.</p> <p>Both are about the dashing of dreams, due (in Nomadland) to the economic collapse experienced by itinerant workers in Trump’s America, or (in Promising Young Woman) to the scourge of sexual violence against women and the persistently unfair rules that privilege young male professionals over their female counterparts.</p> <p><strong>Films that speak to their times</strong><br />Along with a third female-directed film many believe should have been nominated — Kitty Green’s remarkable The Assistant — all these movies are uncannily topical. Green’s film depicts, in micro-detail, the demoralising experiences of a young female entertainment industry worker under a boss seemingly based on sexual predator Harvey Weinstein.</p> <p>The Amazon warehouse work that Nomadland protagonist Fern must resort to anticipates the unionising struggles of real-life Amazon workers in current-day Alabama.</p> <p>The sexual assault at the centre of Fennell’s movie, that takes place at a medical school party, could just as easily have come to pass among students at esteemed Australian schools and universities or, indeed, in the corridors of political and industrial power.</p> <p>Meticulously depicting disenfranchisement and gendered violence from the inside, these female-led films make a pitch for group solidarity. In Nomadland, the occasional visits Fern enjoys with fellow nomads bring welcome, though temporary, solace.</p> <p>In Promising Young Woman, Carrie’s difficulty with processing the rape and subsequent death of her best friend Nina, the eponymous woman of the film’s title, are compounded by the fact Carrie is isolated and, audiences are repeatedly told, “has no friends”.</p> <p>The film’s opening shots of masses of men’s bodies (gyrating on the dance floor) contrast sharply with the subsequent framing of Carrie on her own and vulnerable. In the logic of this movie, boys go out in groups and girls do not. This is considered a bad thing, whether you’re a student in med school or law school or, perhaps until now, a film director.</p> <p>There is no doubt Promising Young Woman contains a message for men. In the post-#MeToo era, phrases like “educate your sons” remind us that women’s safety is men’s responsibility and has nothing to do with women’s dress or behaviour. But the film has further insight to offer: women are stronger when we’re together. This year’s Oscars will give women at the top of their filmmaking game their first chance to live that message.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Julia Erhart. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-oscars-finally-made-it-less-lonely-for-women-at-the-top-of-their-game-157240">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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Kristen Stewart stuns fans as Princess Diana in new film Spencer

<p>Actress Kristen Stewart has made her debut at Princess Diana, much to the delight of royal fans.</p> <p>Although fans were slightly apprehensive of Stewart filling the role, the latest photo released from production has left fans in awe.</p> <p>The new film<span> </span><em>Spencer</em><span> </span>focuses on one weekend in the life of Princess Diana as she spends the Christmas holidays with the Royal family at the Sandringham estate where she decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Can we all take a moment for this first look at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KristenStewart?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KristenStewart</a> as <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PrincessDiana?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PrincessDiana</a> in Pablo Larraín’s film, Spencer? <a href="https://t.co/Iww466Q8bx">pic.twitter.com/Iww466Q8bx</a></p> — Sunday Times Style (@TheSTStyle) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSTStyle/status/1354450349650808836?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 27, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>Filming will take place in Germany and the UK with a fall 2021 launch anticipated for the film.</p> <p>"'Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life," said Stewart. "It is a physical assertion of the sum of her parts, which starts with her given name: Spencer. It is a harrowing effort for her to return to herself, as Diana strives to hold onto what the name Spencer means to her."</p> <p>Producers are also excited about the film.</p> <p>"We are extremely grateful for the support of our distributors worldwide, our partners and funders who have shown tremendous commitment to us in these extraordinary times. With Kristen Stewart, Steven Knight and the rest of our fantastic team both in front and behind the camera, we are bringing 'Spencer' to the world.</p> <p>"It is an independently produced film made for the big screen about an iconic woman's own declaration of independence. We couldn't be more excited," said producers Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, Juan de Dios Larraín, Paul Webster and Pablo Larraín.</p>

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Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster reunite after 30 years

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Movie legends Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster reunited via Zoom to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of<span> </span><em>The Silence of the Lambs</em>.</p> <p>The pair were happy to see each other and reminisced about their experiences during and after filming.</p> <p>"It's a life-changing adventure, that movie, for both of us," Foster said during a one-hour remote conversation for<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://variety.com/2021/film/news/jodie-foster-anthony-hopkins-silence-of-the-lambs-30th-anniversary-1234887496/" target="_blank">Variety's Actors on Actors</a>.</p> <p>"I'm sure you still get people who come up to you and say, 'Would you like a nice Chianti?'" she joked to Hopkins.</p> <p>"Oh yeah, they do!" he agreed.</p> <p>Hopkins also revealed the real-life inspiration behind his iconic character, the manipulative killer known as Dr. Hannibal Lector.</p> <p>"He's like a machine. He's like HAL, the computer in 2001: 'Good evening, Dave.' He just comes in like a silent shark," Hopkins explained.</p> <p>"I remember there was a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and his name was Christopher Fettes. He was a movement teacher. He had a cutting voice, and he would slice you to pieces. His analysis of what you were doing was so precise; it's a method that stayed with me for all my life.</p> <p>"When I was doing it, I thought, 'This is Chris Fettes. This is the voice. This man is merciless.' I remember the cage scene, when I said, 'No!' Wrong, try it again. That, to anyone, to the observer, the recipient of that, is lethal and charismatic."</p> <p>He also recalled one of his favourite scenes involving Foster, which is where her character FBI cadet Clarice Starling gets into a Quantico elevator with her much taller male colleagues.</p> <p>"I'm like, 'This is brilliant, because you are a smaller person in this big, macho male world, coming in as the hero,'" Hopkins noted.</p> <p>Foster then shared the most important part of her character was nailing her rural West Virginia accent.</p> <p>"She had this quietness. There was almost a shame that she wasn't bigger, that she wasn't stronger, this person trying to overcome the failure of the body they were born in,' she explained.</p> <p>"I understood that was her strength. In some ways, she was just like the victims - another girl in another town. The fact that she could relate to those victims made her the hero."</p> <p>The classic film went on to win the five big Academy Awards, which are best picture, best director (Jonathan Demme, best actor (Hopkins), best actress (Foster) and best adapted screenplay (Ted Tally).</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Guide to the classics: My Brilliant Career and its uncompromising message for girls today

<p>Growing up in Australia in the 1970s, I much preferred the hijinks of Han Solo and Chewie to Princess Leia’s sexualised damsel in distress. My sister and I spent an entire summer pigging out on Choc Wedges and Barney Bananas so we could collect the men’s cricket team on specially marked sticks. Feminism seemed a world “far, far away”. Yet what Australian girls could and couldn’t do was being explored through a glut of screen adaptations of classic novels.</p> <p>These included Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), The Getting of Wisdom (1977), Seven Little Australians (1973) and My Brilliant Career (1979). Many revealed a depressing picture of what happened if you were different, clever or outspoken. You could be: left behind while other girls are led through a mysterious rock portal, the subject of school bullying, or crushed more literally by a falling tree in an act of sacrificial redemption.</p> <p>My Brilliant Career offered an alternative. Sybylla Melvyn, its “little bush commoner,” remains untamed and unapologetic. She would be modelled on author Miles Franklin herself, who mailed the manuscript to her literary idol, Henry Lawson. He subsequently provided a rousing endorsement and saw through its publication.</p> <p>My Brilliant Career emerged in 1901, the same year as Federation, and aligned women’s independence with national independence through a symbolic coming-of-age narrative.</p> <p>While Australian women received the right to vote the following year, My Brilliant Career voiced an irrepressible desire to be heard. Addressed to “My dear fellow Australians,” Melvyn (or Franklin) argues the story seeks to improve on other autobiographies by telling a collective truth: “This is not a romance … neither is it a novel, but simply a yarn — a real yarn”.</p> <p>As such, My Brilliant Career blends the intimacy of life writing with the broader scope of a story being retold. My Brilliant Career is everywoman’s career as much as it is the career of Australia.</p> <p><strong>A hoydenish tomboy</strong><br />Sybylla is a highly likeable but flawed heroine, kicking around a crowded home and lamenting the “agonizing monotony, narrowness, and absolute uncongeniality” of teenage life.</p> <p>The family has fallen on hard times, shifting from three stations and 200,000 acres to the small and “stagnant” Possum Gully. Dick Melvyn, once his daughter’s “hero, confidant, encyclopedia, mate, and even religion”, reneges all paternal responsibility by turning to drink after a series of failed speculations.</p> <p>Franklin captures the resulting strain between Sybylla’s hardworking mother and her eldest daughter. As Sybylla knocks about as a hoydenish tomboy and dreams of joining the ranks of poets like Gordon, Lawson and Paterson, her mother sees only domestic uselessness and self-centredness.</p> <p>Sent with her siblings to the local school, mingling with the Italian migrants at nearby diggings, and absorbing pub slang when retrieving her father, Sybylla has a democratic outlook:</p> <p><em>To me the Prince of Wales will be no more than a shearer, unless when I meet him he displays some personality apart from his princeship — otherwise he can go hang.</em></p> <p>Such colourful vernacular underscores how Franklin mobilises a living language, as much as a bush landscape, to generate national distinctiveness.</p> <p>Packed off to her grandmother’s to be transformed into more marriageable material, Sybylla soon navigates a class-bound squattocracy with limited options. Besides her mother’s descent into drudgery, her Aunt Helen has been forced to return to the family home after her husband’s desertion. Sybylla realises with</p> <p><em>a great blow that it was only men who could take the world by its ears and conquer their fate, while women, metaphorically speaking, were forced to sit with tied hands and patiently suffer as the waves of fate tossed them hither and thither.</em></p> <p>She is critical of women’s value being reduced to an index of their beauty but also internalises it to think herself plain and unappealing. In this, she is proved wrong, for her unpretentious liveliness attracts a number of possible suitors, including neighbouring hunk, Harry Beecham.</p> <p>For the 1979 film, Gillian Armstrong perfectly cast then little-known Judy Davis as the pimply, unkempt Sybylla, a far cry from the Chiko Roll or Big M girls then gracing Australian billboards and TV.</p> <p>My mother, now in her 80s, still raves about Sam Neill’s blue eyes as the dashing Beecham. Both Franklin and Armstrong build the chemistry in Sybylla and Harry’s courtship, emphasising an equality of energy and wit.</p> <p><strong>A higher love</strong><br />Distinguishing between sexual passion and friendship love, Aunt Helen advises Sybylla she might receive and find real love in the latter. Yet Sybylla seeks a higher love.</p> <p>Having “learnt them by heart”, the “men I loved” are the poets and she continues her “hope that one day I would clasp hands with them, and feel and know the unspeakable comfort and heart rest of congenial companionship”.</p> <p>Sybylla holds to a Romantic view of the poet as both bard of the people and transcendent. The poet must be “Alone because his soul is as far above common mortals as common mortals are above monkeys.” This drives her sense there is something more than her appointed lot in life.</p> <p>While Harry is prepared to “give” Sybylla “a study” and “truckload of writing gear” so she can pursue her career, Sybylla refuses his marriage proposal. She reflects, “He offered me everything — but control.”</p> <p>Realising she needs an unfettered life, she knows she would ultimately destroy Harry’s “honest heart”. At the same time, there is little possibility of finding an ideal mate, who would be someone who has similarly “suffered” for their dreams.</p> <p>My Brilliant Career not only captured the frustration of women at the turn of the century; it refused to end happily. Whereas the novel ends with Sybylla stuck and wearisome at Possum Gully, the film has her hopeful at the fence-line sending off her finished manuscript. Even in the 1970s, a choice between career and love seemed harsh.</p> <p>Whereas Franklin suggests that women’s path to success requires lonely self-determination, second-wave feminism emphasised collective consciousness-raising, even if that forum of voices remained faultily selective in its whiteness.</p> <p><strong>A social divide</strong><br />While representing the “rope of class distinction” drawing “tighter” around Australian working men and women, My Brilliant Career revealed a social divide marked as much by race as class and gender. The Irish M’Swats, for whom Sybylla is forced to become a governess to repay her father’s debt, are depicted as uncivilised in their dirtiness.</p> <p>The Aborigines exist as unnamed servants, their culture similarly dismissed. Servant girl Jane Haizelip tells Sybylla of her disdain for the men at Possum Gully: “They let the women work too hard. It puts me in mind er the time wen the black fellows made the gins do all the work.”</p> <p>While Franklin occasionally employs a slave rhetoric to emphasise female oppression, one is struck by the novel’s racial inequities.</p> <p>Many of the problems in My Brilliant Career remain prescient: drought, bushfire, economic depression and social precarity. Whereas second-wave feminists advocated having it all, too often the message today is that women can’t expect to have love, family and career simultaneously.</p> <p>Franklin achieved fame and showed women as central to Australian literature. I hope my daughter’s generation keep her spirit but that the yarn becomes one of shared, all-round fulfilment.</p> <p><em>An adaptation of My Brilliant Career is at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre until January 31.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Ann Vickery. This article first appeared on The Conversation.</em></p>

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“You’re f***ing gone”: Furious Tom Cruise lashes out on set of Mission Impossible

<p>Furious Tom Cruise has ripped into workers who broke COVID rules on the set of Mission: Impossible, screaming: “If I see you doing it again, you’re f***ing gone.”</p> <p>The Hollywood superstar has gone the extra mile to make sure tight social-distancing rules were being implemented during the filming, which is taking place in Britain.</p> <p>And after coming across two of the crew members standing within two metres of each other, he quickly flew into a rage.</p> <p>The Sun published the audio recording, which heard Cruise shouting: “If I see you do it again, you’re f***ing gone. And if anyone in this crew does it, that’s it — and you too and you too. And you, don’t you ever f***ing do it again.”</p> <p>50 staff members at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, Herts, were left shocked by the angry outburst.</p> <p>The 58-year-old was furious that his efforts to keep filming going during a pandemic could be at risk.</p> <p>He went on: “They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. “We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf***ers.</p> <p>“That’s it. No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their f***ing homes because our industry is shut down. “</p> <p>“We are not shutting this f***ing movie down. Is it understood? If I see it again, you’re f***ing gone.”</p> <p>A source said: “Tom has taken it upon himself, along with the health and safety department, to try to force the safety precautions, with a view to keeping the film running.</p> <p>“He does daily rounds to make sure that everything is set up appropriately, that people are behaving and working as safely as they can. He is very proactive when it comes to safety.”</p> <p>They added: “Everyone was wearing masks. It was purely that these people were standing under a metre away from each other.</p> <p>“It isn’t known whether he saw those guys breaking the rules before or whether this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.</p> <p>“People make mistakes and they slip up, but Tom is just on it.”</p> <p><strong>Tom’s rant, in full:</strong></p> <p>“We want the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing!</p> <p>I’m on the phone with every f***ing studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs you motherf***ers.</p> <p>I don’t ever want to see it again, ever! And if you don’t do it you’re fired, if I see you do it again you’re f***ing gone. And if anyone in this crew does it – that’s it, and you too and you too. And you, don’t you ever f***ing do it again.</p> <p>That’s it! No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their f***ing homes because our industry is shut down. It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education.</p> <p>That’s what I sleep with every night. The future of this f***ing industry! So I’m sorry I am beyond your apologies. I have told you and now I want it and if you don’t do it you’re out. We are not shutting this f***ing movie down! Is it understood?</p> <p>If I see it again you’re f***ing gone — and you are — so you’re going to cost him his job, if I see it on the set you’re gone and you’re gone.</p> <p>That’s it. Am I clear?</p> <p>Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired. That’s it. That is it.</p> <p>I trust you guys to be here. That’s it. That’s it guys. Have a little think about it …[inaudible].</p> <p>That’s what I think of Universal and Paramount. Warner Brothers. Movies are going because of us. If we shut down it’s going to cost people f***ing jobs, their home, their family. That’s what’s happening.</p> <p>All the way down the line. And I care about you guys, but if you’re not going to help me you’re gone. OK? Do you see that stick? How many metres is that?</p> <p>When people are standing around a f***ing computer and hanging out around here, what are you doing? And if they don’t comply then send their names to Matt Spooner. That’s it.”</p>

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Sean Connery: his five best Bond movies rated

<p>Obituaries for <a href="https://theconversation.com/sean-connery-bond-james-bond-but-so-much-more-149238">Sean Connery</a> all over the world remind us of what a versatile actor he was, starring in films as diverse as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058329/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Marnie</a> and Brian de Palma’s 1987 <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094226/">The Untouchables</a>. But it is the character of James Bond, <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/sean-connery-death-cause-james-bond-007-michael-caine-hated-b1478316.html">which he allegedly came to hate</a>, that film fans will inevitably associate with the rugged features of the Scottish actor who first played the role in Dr. No in 1962.</p> <p>Connery’s Bond embodied the postwar ideal of masculinity, a complex mix of old-fashioned charm and tough virility, loyalty to “Queen and Country”, and relaxed sexual mores. <a href="http://jamesbondmemes.blogspot.com/2012/04/women-want-to-be-with-him-men-want-to.html">Raymond Mortimer</a> wrote at the time, in his review of Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963): “James Bond is what every man would like to be, and what every woman would like between her sheets.”</p> <p>Like his literary incarnation, the cinematic Bond launched by Connery caused disdain and thrilled audiences of both sexes in equal measures. Reviewing Goldfinger, film critic <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=oXxZAAAAMAAJ&amp;q=%E2%80%98The+constantly+lurking+viciousness,+and+the+glamorisation+of+violence+%E2%80%A6+the+carefully+timed+peaks+of+titillation+and+the+skilfully+contrived+sensationalism%E2%80%99&amp;dq=%E2%80%98The+constantly+lurking+viciousness,+and+the+glamorisation+of+violence+%E2%80%A6+the+carefully+timed+peaks+of+titillation+and+the+skilfully+contrived+sensationalism%E2%80%99&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwieiu6wjOHsAhUlQUEAHey1C34Q6AEwAHoECAAQAg">Nina Hibbin</a> remained unimpressed by the Bond formula of “constantly lurking viciousness, and the glamorisation of violence … the carefully timed peaks of titillation and the skilfully contrived sensationalism”. Meantime, the late <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/apr/06/honor-blackman-obituary">Honor Blackman</a>, who played alongside him in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058150/">Goldfinger</a>, described working with Connery as “<a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dbijDwAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT13&amp;dq=romping+about+on+international+locations+with+the+sexiest+man+ever+seen+on+screen&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwiBn_zsiuHsAhVVilwKHe6NAYQQ6AEwAHoECAYQAg#v=onepage&amp;q=romping%20about%20on%20international%20locations%20with%20the%20sexiest%20man%20ever%20seen%20on%20screen&amp;f=false">romping about on international locations with the sexiest man ever seen on screen</a>”.</p> <p>Connery’s Bond may get his Savile Row suit dirty, but he never loses his cool. Ruthless with his enemies, he’s not afraid of hurting many a female villain who threatens the success of his missions. He’s also, of course, an irresistible lover, able to seduce even those, like Pussy Galore, who claim “immunity” to his charms.</p> <p>But is there more to Connery’s Bond than backward machismo and dubious race politics? Here are my top five Connery Bond films, and why you may want to watch them again:</p> <p><strong>1. Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964)</strong></p> <p>A beautiful woman whose spectacular death, and gold-painted lifeless body – remains, for better or worse, one of the most iconic images in the history of the franchise. A squad of female pilots is led by the talented Pussy Galore, whose name is an ironic reference to her sexuality. <em>Goldfinger</em> is a criminal genius, whose plan to make the US gold reserves radioactive in order to increase the value of his own is nothing short of brilliant, and whose laser beam poses a literal threat to <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_James_Bond_Phenomenon.html?id=x9-1QY5boUsC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;source=kp_read_button&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q=laser&amp;f=false">Bond’s virility</a>.</p> <p>A Korean henchman in a lethal bowler hat is a parody of the quintessential Englishness, which trilby-wearing Connery – a proud Scotsman – also “performs”. These manifestations of ambivalent gender and race politics, more recently picked up in Anthony Horowitz’s sequel Bond novel, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/28/new-james-bond-novel-trigger-mortis-pussy-galore-anthony-horowitz">Trigger Mortis</a>, make it, if anything, even more relevant to watch today.</p> <p><strong>2. Dr No (Terence Young, 1962)</strong></p> <p>Set in Ian Fleming’s beloved Jamaica, hints of Sinophobia lurk in the figure of Dr. No, whose Chinese ethnicity is conveyed through the Asian style of the clothes he wears. The first cinematic “Bond Girl” makes a memorable entrance wearing an equally memorable <a href="https://www.tatler.com/article/ursula-andress-dr-no-honey-ryder-bikini-auction-los-angeles">white bikini</a>. But the fact that Honey Ryder also wears a knife around her waist suggests that she’s more than eye-candy.</p> <p>We’re also told she has used a black widow spider to kill an abusive landlord in the past. Just like Dr. No threatens the authority of white British Bond, so Honey represents a challenge to the patriarchal order he represents. She is a new kind of woman, as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2hC8Frhicg&amp;list=PLGiXHXUUO-jMHt4O8nAslNZ5UBHd_cZZ7&amp;index=10">Andress claims</a>, physically strong and ready to take part in the action.</p> <p><strong>3. From Russia with Love (Terence Young, 1963)</strong></p> <p>The romantic settings – Istanbul, the Orient Express train journey – and the beautiful co-star, Daniela Bianchi, who plays defecting Soviet spy Tania Romanova, may fool us into thinking that this may be a Cold War “Romeo and Juliet” love story. Tania is, however, less interested in Bond and more attracted to the other tempting luxuries of the West that he may help her achieve.</p> <p>The poisoned blade concealed in the toe of villain Rosa Klebb’s shoe, provides another unforgettable moment in the film franchise, and one that insinuates further doubts about Bond’s invulnerable masculinity. And while at the end of Fleming’s novel, Bond is left for dead, in the film, it is Tania’s quick thinking and good aim that saves his life.</p> <p><strong>4. Thunderball (Terence Young, 1965)</strong></p> <p>Still, according to <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbean/2020/04/18/all-26-james-bond-films-ranked-at-the-box-office/">Forbes</a>, the highest grossing film of the franchise, <em>Thunderball</em> sees Bond in action in the Bahamas, a place which would remain close to Connery’s heart until his death in Nassau on October 31 2020.</p> <p>As the action unfolds around the beautiful island setting, and its treacherous coastline, Bond’s life is threatened by SPECTRE operative Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), and especially Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi), one of the many phenomenal female drivers in the film franchise – and a woman who is confident enough to ridicule his alleged sexual prowess. But it is the leading Bond Girl, Domino Derval (Claudine Auger), who, again, saves Bond’s life by shooting a harpoon at Largo.</p> <p><strong>5. You Only Live Twice (Lewis Gilbert, 1967)</strong></p> <p>We may raise an eyebrow at Bond’s dubious transformation into a Japanese man, the patriarchal attitudes towards women presented as traditional of Japan, not helped by the lukewarm performance by Mie Hama, who plays what has been described as “<a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=auaECgAAQBAJ&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=lisa+funnel+lotus+blossom&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwjHgOmKkOHsAhUJZcAKHf8ZAowQ6AEwAXoECAYQAg#v=onepage&amp;q=lotus&amp;f=false">servile Lotus Blossom</a>” Kissy Suzuki, but there is enough charisma between the other female roles in the film, Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi) and Helga Brandt (Karin Dor), to make up for Kissy’s submissiveness.</p> <p>Both die, the latter in a spectacularly sadistic execution in a piranha pool. But Helga also very nearly mutilates Bond with a surgical scalpel and chucks a lipstick bomb at him before parachuting herself out of the plane she has been flying. A “bombshell” she may be, but not on the terms set by the men who try to control her.</p> <p>Most of us will cringe, today, at the bottom-slapping, the “man-talk” and the colonial attitudes that we see in the early Bond movies. But Connery’s Bond is more nuanced than we think and his white British masculinity is rarely left unchallenged. He was a Bond for his time.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/monica-germana-415866">Monica Germanà</a>, University of Westminster. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/sean-connery-his-five-best-bond-movies-rated-149240">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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“Things were different”: Olivia Newton-John hits back at Grease sexism claims

<p>Olivia Newton-John had addressed backlash surrounding her classic 1979 movie Grease.</p> <p>In the smash hit musical, the Aussie actress plays goody-two-shoes Sandy Olsson who changes who she is at the end of the movie to impress her bad-boy boyfriend, Danny Zuko (played by John Travolta).</p> <p>Despite the final scene being hailed as one of the most iconic movie screen moments, in recent times it’s been classified as sexist.</p> <p>Speaking to The Guardian, Newton-John said critics need to take into account that the movie was filmed during a very different time period.</p> <p>"It's a movie," the 72-year-old told the publication. "It's a story from the Fifties where things were different. Everyone forgets that, at the end, he changes for her, too. There's nothing deep in there about the #MeToo movement.</p> <p>"It's just a girl who loves a guy, and she thinks if she does that, he'll like her. And he thinks if he does that, she'll like him. I think that's pretty real. People do that for each other. It was a fun love story."</p> <p>Back in 2018, when the film celebrated its 40th birthday, Travolta also said he was proud of the film and how it remains a fan favourite with audiences both new and old.</p> <p>"This is a film that's so timeless that keeps on giving to each new generation," he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.etonline.com/john-travolta-shares-his-most-vivid-memories-from-filming-grease-exclusive-104277" target="_blank">ET</a> at the time. "When people watch this, they just get happy. They want to become the characters they're watching. They want to sing along with it, they want to dance, they want to be part of this film. When mutual enthusiasm comes together and creates an environment you can create almost anything and we created Grease."</p>

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