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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category


Sunday, March 7th, 2010

OK what was up with the Lady in the Purple Dress who hijacked the “Music by Prudence” speech moment? For a second I thought she was going to say, “Beyonce should have won!”

That was even more awkward than the quick-cut to the Coen Brothers after Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin made an “Inglourious Basterds” joke about Christoph Waltz’s character finding a roomful of Jews.

Waltzing off with an Oscar.

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

The transcript of Christoph Waltz’s acceptance speech is below.

It’s confirmed: this is the first time an Oscar winner has used the phrase “uber bingo.”

Oscar and Penélope that’s an über bingo. I always wanted to discover some new continent and I thought I had to go this way, and then I was introduced to Quentin Tarantino, who was putting together an expedition that was equipped by Harvey Weinstein and Lawrence Bender and David Linde, and he put this script in front of me and he said, “This is where we’re going, but we’re going the other way.”
So Brad Pitt helped me on board and Diane Kruger was there Melanie Laurent and Denis Menochet and Bob Richardson and Sally Menke and Adam Schweitzer and Lisa Kasteler. Everybody helped me find a place. Universal and The Weinstein Company and ICM and Quentin, with his unorthodox methods of navigation, this fearless explorer, took this ship across and brought it in with flying colors and that’s why I’m here.

And this is your welcoming embrace and there’s no way I can ever thank you enough, but I can start right now. Thank you.

NPH starts the show…

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

As an awards show host, songster and actor, the gifted Neil Patrick Harris has enjoyed a remarkable run in recent years, and deservedly so. But his opening number tonight was just…OK. Marginally clever lyrics, a forgettable melody, and NPH seemed a little out of breath—-but I guess that means he was actually singing live, which is becoming a novelty these days.

As for the brilliant tandem of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin…their opening monologue was neither outstanding nor historically deadly. There’s no way those two were going to bomb, but I think most of us were hoping for more than a medley of scripted one-liners, some much funnier than others. (Any joke that ends with “get a life” is not much of a joke.)

And now, as is almost always the case with the Oscars, the hosts virtually disappear for the remainder of the broadcast, acting mostly as traffic cops as they introduce the presenters who inevitably stumble a bit as they struggle with the PrompTer.

Oscar pre-show: just painful.

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Kathy Ireland to Gabourey Sidibe: “The entire world is hanging on your every word.”

And: “You’re turning your genius into a dream come true.”

Oh my God, is there a worse half-hour in all of television than the official ABC red carpet pre-show? All those hyperkinetic hosts shouting questions at all those befuddled stars, who can barely get an answer out before host says, “Thanks so much for coming! Thank you! Thanks! Thank you!”

I know how difficult it is to work that red carpet. I did it a few times, and it’s sheer madness. You’re standing behind a plastic hedge, jockeying for position with the guy or gal next to you, the director is barking in your earpiece, you’re trying to come up with SOMETHING interesting to ask a nominee, and here comes someone else and you want to get that person as well….

And it all goes by in a blur.

But by the time the official ABC show kicks in, the hosts have those stars to themselves. You’d think they’d have prepared. Instead we get intros like, “He plays the most famous werewolf in movie history” for that kid from “Twilight.”


And how about Kathy Ireland, who looked fabulous but seemed on the verge of a total meltdown as she shouted her questions at stars half her size. When she was yelling/questioning Zac Efron and then Miley Cyrus, I half-expected her to say, “I’m a COOL MOM.”

Ugh. Let the real show begin. Bring on Alec and Steve!

Sarah smile.

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Seeing George Clooney on the red carpet with his beautiful Italian girlfriend-of-the-moment by his side, I was reminded of my red carpet interview with Clooney two years ago, when he was accompanied by Sarah Larson, his sig-other at the time. Ms. Larson, a Las Vegas restaurant hostess/promotional model, seemed quite nice and was certainly lovely.

Oscars Oscar Insider

But she was not what you would call a showbiz insider, and one assumes that once the romance with Clooney ran its course, she was not getting a lot of invites to Oscar-viewing parties, let alone the Oscars.

Not that she’s any less of a person because of that. I’m just saying–it must be weird to be on the other side of the red carpet for a brief period of time, and now you’re back home, watching the Oscars on TV, and 2008 seems like a long time ago. It’s almost like a reverse, bittersweet version of “Notting Hill.”

And the Oscars go to…

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

HOLLYWOOD–Greetings from the Academy Awards and the seemingly ENDLESS “pre-game” coverage, which consists of fashion analysis, nominees saying they’re just trying to breathe and soak it all in, and last-minute speculation about how the 10-picture wrinkle will change the voting process.

And when it’s all said and done, the winners will be Mo’Nique, Christoph Waltz, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock…

At this point it looks like this will be the most predictable Academy Awards in recent memory in the acting categories. If there’s an upset, that’s be great fun, but I just don’t see it happening. There’s still a lot of suspense in the Best Picture category, with “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” as the co-favorites.

The sun just broke through the clouds, and many of the biggest stars have already arrived and are working the red carpet. More updates to come…

Oscar predictions: all 24 categories.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

And the worst performance in the history of history is…

Monday, March 1st, 2010

When Twitter was young…

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010




Two years ago, when Twitter was young, I opened an account and tried Tweeting from the Independent Spirit Awards and the Oscars. Not that I even knew what to call it back then. Read from the bottom up…

More gold love for the Coen bros. Well deserved. 10:44 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

None of the four acting winners is an American. That’s probably a first… 10:41 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

I talked with Diablo and her brother at the Spirit Awards after party yesterday. It’s obvious family means the world to her… 10:29 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

That tattoo makes Amy Winehouse look like a wimp. 10:26 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Diablo! Score one for suburban Lemont. 10:25 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Class move by Stewart to bring Marketa back out so she could say her thank you’s. 9:59 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

“Falling Slowly” — awesome. 9:50 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Backstage, Marion C. says she wanted to marry Peter Sellers when she was a little girl. 9:42 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Raise your hand if you remember Marion Cotillard was in “Big Fish” and “A Good Year.” 9:41 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

I’ll be backstage shortly and I’ll keep you posted!! 7:12 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

The last stragglers are making their way into the theater. 7:12 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Katherine Heigl: 27 dresses, and 27 feet tall. 7:05 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

I have a $100 Oscar pool bet with Clooney. I’m favored. 7:04 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Gary Busey: scary. 7:03 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Heidi Klum: apparently not from here. 5:18 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Glamour!!! LOL 4:47 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

I have about 18 inches of real estate, behind a plastic hedge. 4:47 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Early arrivals include Lisa Rinna and her lips. And Lou Gossett Jr. 4:43 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

On the red carpet now. I can’t leave my perch for the next three hours. 4:42 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

I just gave an interview to Poland’s largest daily newspaer. Fortunately the reporter’s English was way better than my Polish. 2:28 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

They used giant vacuum machines to dry the red carpet. So we won’t have to retitle the show “There Will be Mud.” 2:16 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Speaking of performances: Hillary Clinton mocking Barack Obama makes her seem cynical, bitter and desperate. 1:39 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Gil Cates says the opening 90 seconds tonight will be earth-shattering. It’s always dangerous to make such promises. 1:38 PM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

They’re going to keep the tent up over the red carpet. A soggy Tilda Swinton just wouldn’t do. 9:36 AM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

We’re about eight hours away from the Oscars, and there’s a steady rain falling. 9:33 AM Feb 24th, 2008 from txt

Casey Affleck: definitely taller than Ellen Page. 10:58 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are sitting on a sofa next to a pillow with Bardem’s pic on it . 10:10 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

I’m now at the Miramax party. They have pillows emblazoned with images from their films. 10:09 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

Samantha Ronson is the DJ at the after-party at Shutters on the Beach. 6:46 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

‘Juno’ was the big winner at the Spirit Awards. Best pic and best actress for Ellen Page… 6:27 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

Cate Blanchett won the Spirit Award for supporting actress and dedicated it to the late Heath Ledger… 4:47 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

Parker Posey is wearing a white rain coat indoors and eating popcorn. Her life is an independent movie. 3:30 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

Had a nice chat with Diablo Cody, who wrote “Juno.” She’s a grad of Benet Academy in Lisle. 2:59 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

I’m at the Independent Spirit Awards. 2:56 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

ed carpet. 12:56 PM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

I’ll be on the red carpet with the Fox News Channel at 11:30 CST this morning. 11:11 AM Feb 23rd, 2008 from txt

It’s 50 degrees in LA. They’re talking about how “cold” it might be for the Oscars. From a Chicago perspective, that’s just hilarious. 8:19 PM Feb 22nd, 2008 from txt

My interview with Clooney airs on WLS-TV this Sunday at 4pm. 2:41 PM Feb 22nd, 2008 from txt

I like mine better 🙂 2:40 PM Feb 22nd, 2008 from txt

Now I see his Oscar picks in Time magazine. 2:40 PM Feb 22nd, 2008 from txt

Last week George Clooney asked me if “No Country” was going to win Best Picture. 2:40 PM Feb 22nd, 2008 from txt

Hello Oscar fans! Stay tuned for dispatches from Hollywood. 9:43 AM Feb 22nd, 2008 from txt

Who you callin’ asshole, asshole!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

We all know celebrities live charmed lives, but that doesn’t mean there are drawbacks that accompany the great stuff, whether it’s dealing with paparazzi trailing your every move as you pick up your dry cleaning, fans pestering you for autographs while you’re in the restroom—-or doing a grueling publicity tour for your movie. I’ve been a reporter at junkets where an actor will sit for 30, 40, even 50 interviews in a single day, trying to sound peppy and engaged as one entertainment journalist after another asks the same questions. (“What was it like to work with Co-Star A?” “What’s your next project?” “Did you do any research for this role?” “What was it like to work with Director B?”)

Even more soul-sucking than the in-person junketeer experience is the satellite interview tour. You sit in a small, hot room with the lights bearing down on you, staring into the black hole of a camera lens while fielding questions from the hosts of “Good Morning Topeka!” and, “How’s it Goin’ Cincinnati!”

I’ve been the interview subject on a few of those tours, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for what these people go through. (Again, I know: they’re millionaires. They wanted to be famous. They asked for this. Still doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.) After about two hours, you’ve lost all track of who you’re talking to, which jokes you’ve already used, what your middle name is. You just can’t wait for it to end.

Mel Gibson was doing one of those tours recently to promote “Edge of Darkness,” and his plasma-screened image appeared alongside WGN-TV’s Dean Richards, who kept bringing up Gibson’s well-documented troubles.

Celebrities hate it when you bring up their well-documented troubles. Their publicists REALLY hate it when you bring up their well-documented troubles. Sometimes they’ll cut the interview short and usher you out of the room if you dare bring up the DUI or the messy divorce or the battery charge.

In this case, Gibson tried to deflect Richards’ queries, but Dean-o kept hammering away at him before ending the interview with a mention of Gibson’s movie. After they said goodbye, but with Gibson still on-camera and with his mike on, we hear a one-word comment: “Asshole.”

Gibson says he was directing the comment at his publicist, who supposedly was making faces at him. There is a moment near the very end when you see Gibson’s eyes dart offscreen, as if distracted. But I don’t know—-seems to me he’s calling Richards an asshole.

I don’t know Dean very well, but he’s always been nice to me. I’ve been a guest on WGN-TV a few times with him, and he’s always professional, courteous and fun to work with. (He’s also got great pipes. If you watch Cubs baseball or other programming on superstation on WGN-TV, you hear him doing voice-overs all the time.)

Does he push it a little bit with Gibson? Absolutely. But it’s better than the usual suck-up interview where the questioner doesn’t dare mention the elephant in the room. That said, I can see why Gibson would mutter “Asshole,” at the end of that exchange. The guy fucked up big-time four years ago, but one can understand it if he said, “That’s it, I’m done, I’m not talking about this shit in public for the rest of my life.”

We all gotta learn to let things go, whether it’s our mistakes or somebody else’s.

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