It Ain't Easy Being Kathie Lee
My mom loves Kathie Lee. She remembers her from her days as the featured singer on Name That Tune. In fact, Kathie Lee's biggest fan base are the middle-aged women who, for some reason, look past the tabloid headlines, the gossip, and the bad press to support her. I'm not sure what the attraction is. They seem to honestly like (i.e., buy) the girl-next-door image and the peachy-cheeked smile.
Kathie Lee leaves that image behind in her upcoming E! Entertainment Television original movie Spinning Out of Control. She plays a viperous actress named Amanda Berkeley, a successful star of the fictional television series Whaddaya Want Mom? But behind the bright smile lurks a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
This isn't Kathie Lee's first foray into drama. She made a critically praised Broadway appearance in the Stephen Sondheim musical revue Putting It Together in 1999, playing an alcoholic woman who recounts the events that left her bitter and lonely. It would seem that experience would have prepared her for the role of Amanda Berkeley. Unfortunately, Spinning Out of Control is no Sondheim musical.
While it's somewhat enjoyable to watch Kathie Lee play against type as a sloppy, pill-popping, barf-on-her-shoes drunk, her character generates absolutely no sympathy. Kathie Lee's Amanda Berkeley bolts from the gate spitting and snarling, so when she's perched herself on the ledge of Times Square's Trinatron ready to jump, I'm thinking, "Go ahead!"
Robin Givens has a useless role as an actress who signs with manager Marty Levine (Howie Mandel), and Mandel runs himself ragged for Berkeley, cleaning up one PR spill after the next. As a breakout movie for Kathie Lee, Spinning Out of Control misses the mark. But if you're looking for some trashy trifle to burn away a couple of hours, tune in. Spinning Out of Control premieres Sunday, 3/18, 8pm. Check local listings for encore presentations.
You won't see Joan or Melissa Rivers on the red carpet at the 16th Annual Independent Spirit Awards. First of all, there is no red carpet, unless you count the rosy hue the sunset casts on the sands of the Santa Monica beach where this proudly unglamorous awards show takes place. Of all the awards shows, this is by far my favorite. Irreverent, untainted by Hollywood glitz, open to a wider circle of filmmakers -- most notably, women and people of color -- and hell, just a lot more fun, the ISA is one of the last bastions of indie spirit. Tom Hanks can leave his tux at the dry cleaners.
That's the Independent Spirit
Some of the major award categories and nominees include:
For a complete list of nominees, go to www.ifpwest.org. The Independent Spirit Awards air live on Saturday, 3/24, 4pm, on the Independent Film Channel. Rebroadcast of the ceremony is at 9pm on Bravo and 10:15pm on IFC.
For those more interested in mainstream fare, The 73rd Annual Academy Awards Show will air Sunday, 3/25, 7pm, on ABC. In preparation for the big event, the E! Network will feature a week's worth of pre- and post-Oscar programming. Highlights include: Inside the Academy Awards, Monday (3/19)-Thursday (3/22), at 9pm. The 30-minute programs feature profiles of nominees Russell Crowe, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, and Tom Hanks. Inside the Academy Awards Roundtable features a discussion with E! media mavens and industry insiders who make their predictions, Friday, 3/23, 9pm. Countdown to the Red Carpet offers a peek at all the last-minute details necessary to launch the big event, starting at 11am and lasting until the event itself on Oscar day (3/25). The 2001 Academy Awards Post-Show airs immediately following the ceremony. Fashionistas Melissa and Joan Rivers offer comments on the best and worst dressed of the evening on their Academy Awards Fashion Review, Saturday, 3/31, 2pm. Check local listings to confirm air times and for encore presentations.
All Things Oscar
E-mail Belinda Acosta at firstname.lastname@example.org