Sunday, January 17, 2010

Best Love Story

Thanks to RuneMissy Dani for her enthusiastic comments about IT HAD TO BE US, the little romantic memoir my husband and I co-wrote under the pseudonyms of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. Here is an excerpt from the e-mail message she sent me last week:

Your life is like the best love story that I have ever read. Your hubby is now ‘in touch with his feelings!’ I can tell that you both have true and long-lasting appreciation and love for each other. I am so touched and hope that one day I can look at my relationship and say that I have the same. Thank you for this wonderful book. I have saved it to my computer to re-read when I need to feel romanced!

RuneMissy Dani, a nature-based believer, hosts “Spell-a-Day” on BlogTalkRadio. Her helpful show airs daily at noon Eastern Time. Archived segments are also available at this link:

The E-Book version of IT HAD TO BE US, published by The Romance Club, won first place in the E-Book category at the 2006 Hollywood Book Festival. For more information, please go to:

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Johnny Depp: Actor of the Decade

I’m delighted with the “People’s Choice” pick of Johnny Depp as Actor of the Decade (2000-2009). Depp definitely deserves this honor. The camera loves him probably more than any other actor, and because of his incredible attention to detail, the diverse – and often bizarre -- characters he portrays come alive on screen with a special vibrancy. My favorite Depp performances during the past ten years can be found in CHOCOLAT, FINDING NEVERLAND, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, SECRET WINDOW, and all three PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies.

CHOCOLAT: Depp, who modeled his character Roux (an intriguing Irish drifter) after ex-Pogues singer Shane MacGowan, may not be in this movie as much as I would like, but he looks and sounds terrific. His musical brogue enchanted me, and I even liked his pony-tail hairdo. Depp’s exciting chemistry with Juliette Binoche also deserves mentioning. They sizzle together on screen. At the film’s London premiere, Binoche described Depp as "My perfect chocolate --- he’s dark, sumptuous, and tasty."

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Depp claims his inspiration for Captain Jack Sparrow came from Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards -- because "Pirates were the rock stars of their day." He also admits throwing a bit of Pepe Le Pew, the cartoon character, into the mix. Depp's extraordinary efforts to create another memorable -- even iconic -- screen character succeeded with flying colors: Jack Sparrow is every bit as unforgettable as Depp's squeamish Ichabod Crane in SLEEPY HOLLOW, released in 1999.

FINDING NEVERLAND: Depp portrays Sir James M. Barrie, creator of PETER PAN, as alternately sad and playful -- but always fascinating. Depp’s understated Scottish accent seems perfect for this character, and his soulful brown eyes register a range of emotions as Barrie faces his loveless marriage, a failed play, a new friendship with an ailing widow and her sons, and the work involved in writing a new play.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO: Playing a greedy, corrupt and downright evil CIA agent, Depp almost steals this action movie from leading man Antonio Banderas. Too bad he doesn't have a sexy outfit or at least one guitar. Depp's weapons? Just clever one-liners, a few silly T-shirts, and an extra arm.

SECRET WINDOW: Depp's portrayal of Mort Rainey, a troubled author, is fascinating to watch. It’s also the talented actor’s very best work to date, in my opinion. The film opens with the Depp’s photogenic face almost completely covering the wide screen -- his dark eyes staring directly at the audience. Fortunately, director David Koepp wisely gives Depp every opportunity to show the inner workings of a mind slowly coming to grips with its own demons. Depp uses little things like unusual voice inflections, worried frowns, intriguing grimaces, even a tattered old bathrobe to cast a spell over viewers and draw us into his confused world.

Congratulations, Johnny!

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Online Critics Love 'The Hurt Locker'

Picking up honors for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, 'The Hurt Locker' ended up a big winner in the OFCS 2009 film awards voting. For the first time, the Online Film Critics Society announced the results on video in a presentation spearheaded by member David Cornelius.

Please go to the following URL to view this nifty two-part video:

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Friday, January 01, 2010

'Inglourious Basterds' Leads OFCS Nominations

Earning eight nominations, Inglourious Basterds becomes leader of the pack in the Online Film Critics Society 2009 movie awards race. The Hurt Locker is a close second with seven nominations, and – in a tie for third place – District 9 and Up in the Air picked up five nominations each. Inglorious Basterds, The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air were nominated for Best Picture, with A Serious Man and Up rounding out the five nominees in that important category.

For a complete list of the nominees in all categories, please go to:

Winners will be announced on January 6, 2010.

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