Thanks for your feedback yesterday; don’t forget the polls close today at midnight so get your votes in/let your voice be heard/effect change/ etc. Before we get to our final Favorite Movie Actress nominee (who happens to be the youngest of the bunch, BTW) I want to mention the Kennedy Center Honors shindig that took place Sunday night. You know, that’s the uber-prestigious hall of fame-type deal that’s in Washington so it’s got a serious air of respectability and people wear more formal clothing which of course always works for me. Plus there’s usually a President around, so it’s all very swell and highbrow. The whole thing will be televised on December 28th on CBS, and everyone can tune in while they honor Oprah, Merle Haggard, choreographer Bill T. Jones, composer Jerry Herman and Sir Paul McCartney. So today I was reading about it and was stunned to come across controversy concerning the decision to honor Oprah in the first place. As in, there are those who feel Oprah shouldn’t be honored because she’s a talk show host rather than someone who demonstrates “creativity” or makes “creative contributions to the arts”. Really. Really? Fair enough – everyone is entitled to their opinion. Thus here, not that you asked, is mine: this is silly and not a little absurd. Now, one may or may not care for Oprah. One may feel that she’s too powerful, or that she’s not an artist in the traditional sense. To which I say, wrong again. Because to suggest that someone who has completely revolutionized television as we know it, to infer that reinventing a live discussion format is anything but creative, is absolutely ludicrous to me. I don’t even watch her that much, nor have I over the years, but when I do I’m always impressed by her skills – which are not, in my mind, financial skills or statistical skills or marketing skills or any other kind of business-y thing. She may shine in those areas as well (and I’m pretty sure she does). But I would argue that directing a discussion in front of millions of people every day is performing, and that planning a presentation on this kind of scale requires massive creativity, and when you do it better and more incisively than just about anyone else on the planet, you ought to get noticed. And it sure looks like a creative endeavor to me. And why shouldn’t the Kennedy Center recognize Oprah for that? Okay then. (Now aren’t you glad you asked?)
Onto Kristen Stewart, our fifth and final nominee for People’s Choice Favorite Movie Actress. This little dynamo appeared on screen when she was all of about twelve and she’s been astonishing moviegoers ever since. She’s smart, wildly talented and thoroughly unafraid of risk-taking (as evidenced by this year’s choice of movie roles alone). Always on the radar but quietly so, I met Kristen in 2006 when she came for an interview to promote a horror film she’d done called The Messengers (when she must have been all of about 16). Even then I was completely struck by her almost eerie poise and measured demeanor. Really sharp. Nor was she any bigger than a minute. She was one of those soft-spoken kids who obviously had an alarming amount of activity going on upstairs, and I have never forgotten it. Just a few years later Stewart shot into the stratosphere permanently with her role as Bella in The Twilight Saga, and everything changed. She’s now of course a household name, but she’s also likely to have – in spite of her massive tween Twi-fanbase — even broader audiences down the road. Now, for the purposes of today’s poll since she’s made several films, let’s just use two of the Twilights and toss in some of her other roles for variety. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these Kristen Stewart roles is your favorite:
2) Into The Wild
3) Panic Room
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