The Emmys nailed it this year.
Just when I was starting to question my love for award shows, everything was made right. The show was entertaining from start to finish. Everyone handled Trump with class (these days you're obligated to talk about him regardless of where you stand). It wasn't in your face and you didn't forget why we have award shows (to hand out awards, obviously).
Let's start with the fashion. It's been a while since I've taken time to acknowledge the red carpet portion of an award show - usually because I'm too busy stuffing my face with food. This time around, the looks were classic and I wanted the majority of the gowns I saw in my closet ASAP. Can anyone hook me up with a fairy godmother? Nicole Kidman (and her stylist) made a great fashion choice for the first time in forever. Actually, the whole Big Little Lies cast slayed before going on to win all of the awards.
Host Stephen Colbert is an absolute gem. He didn't miss a beat (he never does). He was pulling all the stops, all night long. Musical openings are usually cheesy as hell, but this one wasn't. It was witty, mature and as real as it gets. I can't deal with cheesy openings. They make me want to vomit. His monologue was perfection. Sean Spicer even made a surprise appearance.
Check it out below:
Let's move forward to the moment where I fangirled and almost scared the shit out of my dog. This picture says everything that I can't. Can we have a 9 to 5 reunion at every award show?
Veep won the comedy series awards. Am I the only one that's over that show and JLF? I'm relieved that the show only has one more season so that other shows and people can win.
The Handmaid's Tale won a good chunk of awards including Lead Actress in a Drama Series and Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Ann Dowd was stunned that she won leading her to give the cutest speech. It was pretty surreal to see the show nominated and win as it was filmed not far from me. Perhaps it's time for me to actually watch the show (shocking, I know).
Other shows that had big wins were Saturday Night Live (so pumped for the new season) and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. For a full list of winners, click here.
Cicely Tyson made an appearance to present one of the awards. She received a standing ovation upon walking on stage. I'm not one for feelings, but I felt all of them as she struggled. She was so nervous, but so adorable. Anika Toni Rose came to her rescue, whispering in her ear and making her feel at ease with lots of smiles and giggles.
I hope that the 2017/18 award season doesn't disappoint and will take a note or ten from the Emmys.
Did you tune in? What did you think?
Before award season, there is festival season.
TIFF just wrapped, but there are so many other festivals following in its large footsteps - including the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival. You can check it out from Thursday, September 21st to Sunday, September 24th at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Here are just some of the films you'll see:
As a fan of Salma Hayek Pinault and celebrities in general this one is definitely one I feel the need to see. The synopsis definitely sells it too.
"A bar in uptown Manhattan on the evening of 9/11. The atmosphere is tense with everyone looking for someone to blame for the horrific attack. An older cop tries to calm the situation. Then a surprise visitor enters the bar."
Director: Jim Sheridan
Producer: Rachel Lysaght, Oskar Slingerland
Writer: Lise Hand
Cast: Salma Hayek Pinault, Darren Healy, Tony Doyle
One Night Stand
I have to show some love for both Trish Rainone and Matthew Sauvé as they give killer performances. Learn more about the film by checking out my interview with Matthew here.
"A successful businessman, meets his soul mate during a business trip. Fed up with his dysfunctional marriage he wants to give this unexpected affair a chance. Unfortunately destiny has a different plan."
Director: Wojciech Zielinski
Producer: Elizabeth Zielinski
Writer: Wojciech Zielinski
Cast: Matthew Sauvé, Trish Rainone
Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber
Selling points: true story and girl power. Why wouldn't you watch this?
"Executive produced by Elizabeth Banks, "Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber" examines the achievements of the highest paid silent film director at Universal in 1916, a woman by the name of Lois Weber. It is told through the fictionalized character of a young magazine photographer who hopes to impress her."
Director: Svetlana Cvetko
Producer: David Scott Smith
Writer: Lisa Di Trolio, David Scott Smith
Cast: Anne Brochet, Cristina Rambaldi, Stina Nielsen
It's all in the synopsis. It leaves me curious and wanting more. I was a huge fan of Genelle Williams when she was on Global's "Remedy" so I can only imagine how great she is in this.
"A chance encounter between a diverse young doctor and an old stock Canadian turns dangerous."
Director: Daniel Benoit
Producer: Erika Thoen, Amulya Garithoti
Writer: Yasmin Pindolia
Cast: Genelle Williams, John Corbett, Trenna Keating
I think we could all use a little comedy in our lives as the above films are all dramas. There's nothing like some good old relationship drama.
"The night Brandon plans on proposing to his girlfriend of seven years, he finds out the dark and hilarious truth about her past."
Director: Danny Turkiewicz
Producer: Dylan Roast
Writer: Danny Turkiewicz
For the full festival program, click here.
For the first part of my collaboration with the Lincoln Alexander Centre, I introduced you to the venue itself. Now, it's time to learn what you're in for when you go there.
I chatted with Elaine Brown Spencer, producer of the stage show SAVED, coming to the Lincoln Alexander Centre this Saturday, September 16th. Check out our Q&A below:
What inspired SAVED?
This play is based on themes of my book Private Pain In Public Pews. The story focuses on the after math of the Terry-Tia infamous “failed relationship” and Terry’s relentless focus to get his life back on track. But with some unexpected news that Tia gets from her Doctor, it sparks more questions than answers that may affect Terry’s life forever. Meanwhile the hilarious foundational members Mother Blair & Sis Betty schools a new zealous Minister of how to be “SAVED” which all comes full circle.
How do you hope the audience will feel while watching the show?
SAVED is a heartfelt drama of love and redemption with comedic moments of wisdom, intrigue and good ole fashioned Gospel Music. The audience will experience a lot of fun, music, laughter and much reflection on what life in the pews may look like.
Take a look at the trailer below, and visit Kaleo Production or call 905-865-1027 for tickets.
This book will change your life. I'm not trying to push anything on you or saying that because Ken Baker is one of the nicest guys ever as well as one of the people in the entertainment industry that I look up to. The Ken Commandments came into my life during a time where I was struggling.
I felt like 90% of the book was based on my life. All of the feelings that Ken described he felt ahead of his search for God in Hollywood, I was feeling. I know that "God" can trigger a lot of thoughts and feelings leading to some heated conversations. When I chatted with Ken, I had asked him if he thought that religion was more taboo than sex. He said in a way yes; there are many types of religions and beliefs - but they all align in some way.
He would know that because he explored all of the religions and spiritual practices including Christianity, Scientology and Atheism. Ken also started meditating - which I feel everyone is doing these days. I started using the Headspace app after I read Kate Hudson's book Pretty Happy (review coming soon). I asked him what the big deal was and his answer made perfect sense: "There are different types of meditation. Celebrities are aware of themselves."
If you're not looking to embark on a spiritual journey, you'll still want to read the book. Especially if you're an entertainment news junkie like myself. The chapter names are priceless and there are a handful of stories featuring the famous family we all love to hate - the Kardashians. Some of the chapter names that stood out to me the most were "Thou Shall Have No False Idols Before The Kardashians", "Study The Book of Howard Stern", and "What's Good For The Gwyneth Is Good For The Gander".
It took me a few days to get through and probably would have taken me longer if I didn't have to prepare for an interview with Ken. It made me stop and think about everything I've ever stood for. What do I believe in now? What do I want to believe in?
The book will hit stores next week, but be sure to order a copy here.
Last night, ahead of her concert at the ACC in Toronto, Lady Gaga released the trailer for her Netflix doc Gaga: Five Foot Two. It will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival tomorrow and will be released on Netflix September 22nd.
The teaser shows her like we've never seen her before. She's extremely vulnerable as camera capture key moments in her life - both personally and professionally. I love when celebrities let their guard down and allow fans to see them for who they truly are behind-the-scenes. It's what makes us realize that they're human too. They struggle with the same things we do. They have their good days, and then they have their bad days.
Lady Gaga will be sharing everything from her trips to Walmart to doctors visits to performing the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Check out the trailer below and learn more about the doc here.