Culture Popby Kara Rota
- Wilson's World Series Beard- I mean bid
- Emma Donoghue reads an excerpt of 'Room' at the Irish Arts Center
- Stephen Colbert testifies before Congress on the plight of migrant workers
- Five Books to Read This Fall
- Season 4 of Mad Men wins over new fans and nostalgic viewers alike
I was lucky enough to write the cover story for our February/March 2010 issue of Irish America magazine, which meant interviewing Brendan Fraser, the star of "Extraordinary Measures," as well as John and Aileen Crowley, upon whose real life the film is based.
I saw "Extraordinary Measures," also starring Harrison Ford and Keri Russell, at a screening on December 17. I didn't have much of an idea of what to expect: the thing about a press screening is that you have the opportunity to see the film before reading reviews, without seeing the trailers or magazine ads or subway posters that have since sprung up everywhere.
I did know that the screenplay was based on the story of John Crowley, one of Irish America's Business 100 honorees, and his family. When two of John's children were diagnosed with Pompe disease, John and his wife Aileen risked everything to take up the cause, raising money for research and founding a start-up that eventually joined up with a larger pharmaceutical corporation, which developed a treatment for Pompe that John credits with having saved his children's lives.
The 67th annual Golden Globe Awards aired this past Sunday, with the big winners of the night James Cameron's Avatar (which I still haven't seen, but at this point, how could it not be overrated?), the quirky not-so-cult TV hit, Fox's Glee, and a handful of umbrella designers. Refusing to let the rain dampen their spirits, the stars were out gloating, graciously accepting and, for some, hiding disappointment on the red carpet and at awards parties afterwards. And a solid handful of those stars were Irish.
Glee, winner of the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy TV series, owes its creation to Irish Catholic-born Ryan Murphy, who acquired at least part of his knowledge of the school music circuit to choir practice as a Catholic school kid from first through eighth grade. Another of the three creators, Ian Brennan, is also Irish-American. Jane Lynch scored a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance as the glee club's arch-nemesis in the show.
The not-so-Irish Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Golden Globe for her portrayal of the much-more-Irish Leanne Tuohy in Blindside, while Drew Barrymore won Best Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Grey Gardens (bonus Irish-American points for the show's Kennedy connections.) We can also boast both the Best Actor winners for Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and TV series - Musical or Comedy: Robert Downey Jr. for Sherlock Holmes and Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock (one of NBC's bright spots this season).
Irishcentral.com reported this morning that Lindsay Lohan's official sex tape is about to be released on the Internet, filmed by a waiter at a chain restaurant. Which obviously begs the question: which one? (Fingers crossed for Applebee's!) Lindsay's spokespeople seem most concerned that its unauthorized release will overshadow her recently
filmed documentary about child trafficking in India. I wouldn't be too worried-- at 47 seconds, I'd say as video footage goes it's hardly Youtube-worthy. Hustler disagrees, as it's reportedly offering £100,000 for it--approximately $163,000. Dear Hustler: how about sending that money to Haiti instead?
In other naked Irish celebrity news, heartthrob-turned-
I should preface this by saying that it's very recently I've brought myself to care at all about the grand world of sports. The great American pastime was ruined for me as a small child growing up in New Jersey, when I went to a Phillies game with my dad and spent the whole time trying to catch fly balls (I didn't much see the point of attending any event that you couldn't go home with a souvenir). When one finally, miraculously, landed between my row and the row behind us, the surrounding audience of middle-aged, beer-bellied men decided that the prized baseball ought to be given to the boy sitting behind me: talk about early memories of developing feminism. Baseball, I decided then and there, was a dirty, unfair game. I pouted and ignored sports altogether for approximately the next thirteen years.
All this changed when I turned 21, graduated college, moved into Manhattan and discovered the wide world of bars and the cable TVs that play nonstop in them. I attended my second baseball game in October and was amazed to find that it combined things I love wholeheartedly (Big-screen televisions! The outdoors! Roller-coaster heights! Beer and hot dogs!) into an undeniably fun experience. I was hooked. I followed the baseball season with bated breath right up until the heartbreaking World Series loss of my beloved Phillies to the despicably over-funded Yankees (sorry, New York)-- and luckily, the football season and cutthroat competitive spirit of the office football pool were there to comfort me.
Neil Patrick Harris.
Sure, episode 100 of the series, now in its fifth season, might contain an exciting guest appearance from OC alum Rachel Bilson (possibly, maybe, perhaps, but probably not The Mother herself). Okay, Marshall (Jason Segal) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan)'s successful long-term relationship with its minor conflicts (episode 94: Marshall learns why it's important to put your dishes immediately in the sink!) is adorable. I guess some of the show's audience must be dying to find out if Robin (Cobie Smulders) ever breaks out of her wee-hours public-access morning news show and into real journalism. And oh, there's that main character guy (Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby) that nobody seems to like all that much--even his kids in the opening scenes seem pretty disinterested in finding out who their mother is.