When I was giving Hollywood film reviews a few columns back I neglected to mention that the wonderous actress Jeannie Berlin is featured in Woody Allen's latest flicker Cafe Society. What a grossepoint oversight that was on my part. Ms. Berlin is the daughter of comedienne and film director Elaine May, and Jeannie starred in May's brilliant 1972 film The Heartbreak Kid along with Charles Grodin and Cybil Shephard. Another one of her 1970s films Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York directed by Sidney J. Furie is a hoot of the period. She took a long repreive from acting but I am glad to welcome her back on the big screen.
Also forgot to give my womanly take on the latest Meryl Streep film Florence Foster Jenkins about the New York society maven and klipklack soprano. I have never been a part of the Streep cult. The only thing of hers that I've ever liked was a PBS film version of Wendy Wasserstein's Uncommon Women & Others from the late 1970s. Her co-star Hugh Grant continues to play his greatest role as Divine Browns bewildered Sloan Ranger sex partner. The real breakthrough in this film is dweeby Simon Helberg who was one of my former students ages ago, and is really divoon here. Mr. Helberg is already the ensemble star of some longrunning TV situation comedy where his talents are wasted in dumb TVland shtick. In Jenkins his prissy mannerisms convey everything of a proper fagula of the 1940s—think Billy DeWolfe crossed with Taylor Mead with an expressive protean Wally Cox facecal.
Baby Diaper Joel Gibb of the Hidden Cameras invited me to his latest concert at Music & Frieden in the Wrangle Kiez. He was debuting his brilliantine new album Home on Native Land which is of the Lonesome Dove style thematically. His band members were also appropriately dressed matching Mr. Gibb in his Nudie rodeo tailored goldenen suit. The Honky Tonk Bisquit Queen, My Darling Clementine, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon spirit was permeating the venue and the Berlin audience a notoriously tough crowd were sighing and swooning to Gibbs Cimarron paced shit kicking hoedown.
Mr. Gibb was in fine voice,looking high wide and handsome in the matinee idol spotlight. I was very impressed with his banjo player a new arrival to Berlin from Nashville, and his high holy drummer Teutonic Tomas who is the most talented dynamic skin pounder on the seven planets with a radiant personality, a mighty sweet smelling bubble buttkiss, powerful muscles throbbing from his fingertips down to those sexy feet and twinkle toes.