Even at the end of a long work day, we Suburbarazzi talk about things. Y’know, everyday stuff. Socioeconomic development in Uganda. Fluffy bunnies. And movies, I guess.
So when I asked my fellow Suburbarazzo via Facebook chat tonight about today’s appearance by Denzel Washington in Mount Vernon, it segued into a discussion about former Nyack dweller, Russell Crowe.
The conversation below has been edited for clarity and to make us look like we care about capitalization in online conversation. Please note that I made Aman — a stand-up comedian — laugh twice or at least write out the phrase “hahahaha” two times to pretend he was. Either way, I’ll pretend he was in hysterics reading my hilarious words of hilarity.
The chat at one point picked up when Aman told me Washington said he was “really upset” about the Mount Vernon’s school district’s budget woes.
Aman: He was just really heated about the whole subject
Chris: Why does one of the world’s best actors need to be defensive about that, though?
Chris: Maybe he feels guilty, in retrospect, that he donated money to athletics when teaching jobs were later cut
Aman: One thing I give Denzel serious props about, that man seriously knows how to select good movie scripts to act in
Aman: Like whats the last flop movie he was in?
Chris: Absolutely. He’s amazing.
Chris: Even Russell Crowe does “A Good Year” now and then
Aman: Meh, “Master and Commander” I wasn’t a fan of
Chris: My dad likes that flick
Chris: But no one liked “A Good Year”
Aman: Yeah I dont think I saw that one
Chris: I think Russell Crowe attended its premiere, threw his cell phone at the projectionist and walked out the emergency exit door, setting off the fire alarm and sprinklers
Aman: Apparently he’s going to play Bill Hicks in a biopic movie
Chris: I still love that guy though.
Chris: Like, will defend him 100 percent
Aman: Oh I like him too
Chris: That (Bill Hicks movie)’d be good. “The Insider” is one of my favorite movies
Chris: And maybe his best acting performance ever
Aman: Agreed, I do have a soft spot for “Gladiator” though
Chris: Good movie. Not great.
Chris: Although I like that Jay-Z uses his “Is this not why you are here?” speech to open “What More Can I Say?”
(Non-AP photo of Aman Ali and Chris Serico wearing ironic T-shirts featuring puns involving the original Nintendo Entertainment System/Aman Ali and Chris Serico)
This Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST, Ted Mann and I will join TV reporter Karen DePodwin for a live RNN segment about Sunday’s Academy Awards. I’ll be wearing my tux for only the third time since my senior year in college, so the comedic value of that alone might be worth the tune-in. Here’s a preview of one of the topics slated for discussion.
Stars with a connection to the Lower Hudson Valley have done very well for themselves at the Oscars over the years, and 2008 is no exception.
Eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken, a New Rochelle native and North Salem resident, has been nominated three times for his songs from the Disney movie “Enchanted.” He took home his first two trophies for Best Song and Best Score for Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Little Mermaid,Ã¢â‚¬? and his most recent ones were in the same categories for songs from Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pocahontas.Ã¢â‚¬? In total, he’s been nominated for a whopping 18 Oscars, but hasn’t won one since 1996.
First-time nominee and sentimental favorite Ruby Dee, a New Rochelle resident, is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her part in “American Gangster,” starring Mount Vernon native Denzel Washington and former Nyack dweller Russell Crowe — both of whom are Oscar-winners themselves.
LoHud also has at least two representatives in the Best Documentary/Short Subject category, including Ossining High School alumnus Francisco Bello (for “Salim Baba”) and former Croton-on-Hudson resident Cynthia Wade (for “Freeheld”).
After the break, check out a list of some other prominent current and former residents of the Lower Hudson Valley who have won or have been nominated for an Oscar in the last 30 years. Continue reading
Two of the best movies of 2007 (starring local celebs) are out on DVD today.
For my money, I still say “American Gangster” was as good (and enjoyable) as just about any other Best Picture nominee that isn’t named “Juno.” It’s bizarre that New Rochelle resident Rube Dee is the only person to get nominated from the film, especially considering that Mount Vernon native son Denzel Washington was at the top of his game. Anyway, if you didn’t see it in the video, be sure to add it to your Netflix queue.
And the other movie is “Lust Caution,” directed by Larchmont’s Ang Lee. This too was snubbed by the Academy in the best foreign language category. Bunch of prudes, I say.
Thanks to F.O.S. Amy Vernon for the tip.
For a full list of the TV nominees, check out our sister blog, Remote Access, or for film nominees, go to the SAG site. But here, in short, are the locals you’ll be rooting for:
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
ANGELINA JOLIE / Mariane Pearl Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬Å“A Mighty HeartÃ¢â‚¬? (Paramount Vantage): Jolie grew up in Sneden’s Landing
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
AMERICAN GANGSTER (Universal Pictures): Denzel Washington is a Mount Vernon native and Russell Crowe lived in Nyack while filming the movie.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Kevin Kline / Jacques Ã¢â‚¬â€œ As You Like It (HBO): Kline lives (or at least used to live) in Garrison with Phoebe Cates.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Ellen Burstyn / Posey Benetto Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Mitch AlbomÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s For One More Day (ABC): Burstyn lives in Nyack
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Glenn Close / Patty Hewes Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Damages (FX): Lives in Bedford
Edie Falco / Carmela Soprano Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Sopranos (HBO): Attended SUNY Purchase
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin / Jack Donaghy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 30 Rock (NBC): Brother of Bedford’s Billy Baldwin and Upper Grandview’s Stephen
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Vanessa Williams / Wilhelmina Slater Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ugly Betty (ABC): Grew up in Millwood, currently lives in Chappaqua
(Nominations ceremony photo with President Alan Rosenberg, left, and actors Jeanne Tripplehorn, center, and Terrence Howard on Thurs., Dec 20 — AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Palisades native and “Heroes” hottie Hayden Panettiere was Ms. Golden Globe today, given the honors of doling out the nominations alongside “Smokin’ Aces” star Ryan Reynolds and director Quentin Tarantino. Sadly, her show was totally shut out of every category. Ouch!
Fortunately, plenty of other LoHudders fared better.
Here’s a quick scorecard of which of the nominations have strong ties to the Lower Hudson Valley. In other words, all things being equal, these are the guys and gals to root for:
BEST MOTION PICTURE Ã¢â‚¬â€œ DRAMA
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ AMERICAN GANGSTER: Stars Mount Vernon native Denzel Washington and filmed while Russell Crowe was living in Nyack
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ THE GREAT DEBATERS: Directed by and starring Denzel
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ MICHAEL CLAYTON: Stars Mamaroneck native (and former Winged Foot caddy) Michael O’Keefe, aka Noonan from “Caddyshack,” in a supporting role; features an early scene with George Clooney in Westchester, trying to put out a legal fire for an executive who has just gotten into a car accident.
ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE Ã¢â‚¬â€œ DRAMA
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ ANGELINA JOLIE Ã¢â‚¬â€œ A MIGHTY HEART: Raised in Sneden’s Landing
The rest of the nominations are after the break …
Just because Mount Vernon native Denzel Washington always plays such phenomenal villains in the movies doesn’t mean he’s a baddie in real life. In fact, quite the opposite. One example: For the premiere of his upcoming crime drama “American Gangster” on October 19, AllHipHop reports that he arranged for all the proceeds to be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of America.
You may remember that Washington is a huge advocate for the B&G Clubs — in particular the Mount Vernon chapter, which he grew up with — and has been the group’s national spokesperson for the past 15 years.
If you haven’t seen the movie’s trailer yet, be sure to check it out (YouTube link). It appears to be Washington’s best bad-guy part yet, with him playing a 1970’s crime lord who smuggles heroin in the coffins of American soldiers returning from Vietnam. And Russell Crowe plays the detective trying to take him down. The movie goes wide on November 2.
Fun fact: Russell Crowe lived over in Nyack, at the Pretty Penny estate, while the movie was filming locally.
The home has had a long string of famous owners. From the first occupent, Broadway actress Helen Hayes, to later owners like Rosie O’Donnell. When word got out last year that it was on the market for about $7 million, my fingers were crossed that Russell Crowe would swoop in. He rented the house last summer while filming the Ridley Scott flick “American Gangster” in and around Rockland.
But, alas, a story in yesterday’s Journal News confirms that Crowe won’t be the future owner of Pretty Penny. However, the current owner, W. Graham Arader, tantalizingly says that one of the offers he’s received is from another “very famous person.”
One famous person it’s safe to assume it’s not is Alex Rodriguez, who just bought a $25 million estate in Greenwich, as reported by the NY Post on Monday. No idea who else is in the market right now, but whoever the mystery bidder is, be sure to ask for the “Rosie discount.” That would be the 60 percent off deal she got when she bought the property back in 1996, paying just $770,000 of the $1.9 million asking price.
Nyack’s $6.9 million ‘Pretty Penny’ has another famous suitor
(TJN file photo/Sheila Bunin)