Season 19 of Top Chef, filmed last fall in and around Houston, premieres tomorrow night. My pre-premiere favorite is Sarah Welch, who was born in my hometown of Ann Arbor and is the executive chef at Marrow in Detroit.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards were held Sunday evening. The results threw the Oscar race into further disarray, especially in the Best Supporting Actor category, where Golden Globe winner Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) lost to CODA‘s Troy Kotsur (the first deaf actor to win a SAG!). CODA‘s cast also took home the night’s top prize. Will Smith and Jessica Chastain earned the lead acting honors for their performances in King Richard and The Eyes of Tammy Faye, respectively. As expected, Ariana DeBose took home the supporting female award for her turn in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. On the television side, Squid Game, Succession and Ted Lasso were the big winners. And Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dame Helen Mirren.
The Sound of Music premiered on this day in 1965 on its way to becoming a five-time Oscar winner and one of the most beloved movies of all time. Adapted from the Rodgers & Hammerstein stage musical, The Sound of Music received wildly mixed reviews from the critics. Moviegoers, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough. Not only was The Sound of Music the highest-grossing film of 1965, it is in the all-time top ten when you adjust for inflation (just over $1.4 billion at 2019 prices). The American Film Institute (AFI) listed the film as the fourth-greatest movie musical ever (for the record, one through three are Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story and The Wizard of Oz).
On this day in 1977, Bette Davis became the first woman to receive the AFI Life Achievement Award.
Porky Pig made his film debut on this day in 1935 with the Merrie Melodies short, I Haven’t Got a Hat.
Joni Mitchell’s third album, Ladies of the Canyon, was released on this day in 1970.
Rolling Stone has given us the first look at Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna in Roku’s “Weird Al” Yankovic biopic, which I assume will recreate the genesis of “Like a Surgeon”. By the way, Yankovic will be portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe and Rainn Wilson will co-star as Yankovic’s mentor Dr. Demento.
Speaking of Madonna, she will be co-writing (with Diablo Cody) and directing a biopic about her own music career. Apparently, Madonna had her heart set on Florence Pugh for the role (a casting decision I support 100%), but other actresses have been auditioning for the part so Pugh likely turned it down or wasn’t available. Among the actresses who have auditioned are Ozark‘s Julia Garner and Euphoria‘s Sydney Sweeney and Barbie Ferreira. I think any of them would be lovely in the role. I also think this movie is probably going to be a train wreck but I’m absolutely still going to see it.
And finally, today would have been Lou Reed’s 80th birthday, and now I’m off to listen to some Velvet Underground.