Donna Murphy is celebrating her 59th birthday today. She has had a variety of screen roles in her career. She has been a regular on the short-lived series What About Joan? (on ABC) and Hack (on CBS), and more recently on PBS’s Mercy Street; she also won a Daytime Emmy for an episode of HBO’s Lifestories: Families in Crisis. On the big screen, she is known for playing Anij, Captain Picard’s love interest, in Star Trek: Insurrection, and Rosalie Octavius in Spider-Man 2. Many people have heard (if not seen) her as the voice of Mother Gothel in Tangled.
Murphy is, however, first and foremost a stage actress, primarily in musical theater. She made her Broadway debut at just 20 in the original production of They’re Playing Our Song. She is a five-time Tony nominee, with two wins for Best Lead Actress in a Musical—for the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, and as Anna Leonowens in the 1996 revival of The King and I. Most recently she was Bette Midler’s alternate in the title role of the recent revival of Hello, Dolly!, while her other notable roles include Lotte Lenya in the original production of LoveMusik, and Ruth Sherwood in the 2003 revival of Wonderful Town.
Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz celebrates her 47th birthday today. She began working in British television in the early nineties, but didn’t really become well known until she starred in 1999’s The Mummy in the role of Evie Carnahan. In the first half of the 2000s she starred in movies such as Enemy at the Gates, About a Boy, Runaway Jury, and others. In 2005, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Tessa Quayle in The Constant Gardener:
It’s a sure sign of our sputtering patriarchy that this has often been treated as the second most important award of the night. The traditional structure of year after year of ceremonies placed it after Best Actress and just before Best Picture on the schedule more often than not. The later the presentation of the award, the more important it is. Then last year, with what I remember to be a complete absence of fanfare, all of a sudden Eddie Redmayne was up on stage accepting his award while Best Actress still hadn’t been given out. I haven’t read any particular explanation for the change…if one was even needed. The first thing that springs to mind is that they knew who the winners were going to be and decided to give Michael Keaton a few minutes between losing for Best Actor and going up on stage as an important part of the Best Picture troupe. Or perhaps they just predicted it? Longtime favorite Julianne Moore winning at last for Still Alice certainly made for a more satisfying storyline late in the show. I’m not sure what the order of presentation will be this year, but I’d like to suggest a pre-arranged cycle in which each is given first in alternating years.
Of course, this is the one of the two that has more heat this year.
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Directed by Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olson
Godzilla is an anomaly, there have been few (arguably less than two) actually good Godzilla movies ever. You can argue that the cheesefests of Godzilla playing volleyball with other monsters and the one where they danced are fun in their own right, but calling them masterpieces of cinema is a stretch. At the very least they are the paragon of Kaiju movies, which with Pacific Rim in mind, have never really caught on in the west. But the fan-love and expectations placed across this film are so seemingly incongruous with the actual quality of Godzilla films over the last 50+ years. Lets not even get started on Roland Emmerich’s take.