Ready for another tortured turn from Adam Driver?

A man with long hair in the foreground with shadowy figures behind him.
Adam Driver stars in “Annette.”
(Kris Dewitte / Amazon )

I’m all in on summer corn and the idea of celebrating National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day year-round. But, even as a Dodger fan, I’m not sure about the whole “Astroisk” moniker (I bet my pal Justin Chang could have come up with a better pun), though I can get behind the sentiment.

Oh, and final Emmy voting is around the corner. If “The Crown” wins for drama series, does it merit an asterisk because the pandemic delayed the third season of “Succession”? (Spoiler: I’ll be writing about that in a couple of weeks.)

Golden Globes pulled back from the brink?

NBC won’t be televising the Golden Globes this year, meaning they’re probably not going to happen. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. isn’t surrendering in the wake of a Times investigation that brought to light allegations of financial and ethical lapses and pointed out that none of the HFPA’s then-87 members was Black,

A majority of the group’s 84 members voted this week for a slate of proposed bylaws intended to overhaul the organization, expand membership with a focus on diversity and restore its credibility within the entertainment industry, Times writer Stacy Perman reports.


“The vote is seen as a significant step to pull one of Hollywood’s highest-profile awards shows — the Golden Globes — back from the brink of possible extinction,” Perman writes. “The bylaws are expected to codify reforms involving core issues including governance and membership, as well as policies concerning Golden Globes voting, members’ conduct, compensation, ethics and a host of perks — including the prohibition of gifts from studios and others.”

But, for many, it remains questionable whether the group can possibly change its ethically compromised ways.

“There are a lot of issues: members paying themselves, bad behavior issues,” a studio exec told The Times. “It’s great they are addressing the acceptance of gifts, but what about all of the bad behavior and demands for special treatment and vetting membership? Until we can see the whole plan and evaluate it, then we can see how to move forward.”

On a remote screen, Chloe Zhao accepts the motion picture directing award for 'Nomadland' at the Golden Globes.
Chloé Zhao accepts the motion picture directing award for “Nomadland” at the 2021 Golden Globes.

$900 million is better than a locker full of awards

“South Park” hasn’t exactly been an Emmys juggernaut in its 23 seasons on the air, though I doubt creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker care. But maybe that will change (not their apathy but the show’s awards potential) with news Thursday that the two signed a $900 million deal that will ensure 14 “South Park” movies air on ViacomCBS’ fledgling Paramount+ subscription service.

Given the dire state of made-for-TV movies these days, perhaps one (all?) of these 14 movies might earn an Emmy nomination or three. If “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” could wrangle an Oscar nomination for original song (how “Blame Canada” lost to that Phil Collins’ “Tarzan” noodle is a travesty for another time), then I have to believe they can make a run at the Emmys. And if not ... again, what more validation do you need beyond $900 million?

Trey Stone and Matt Parker at the opening of their stage musical "The Book of Mormon" in Australia.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker probably made a buck or two from “The Book of Mormon” too.
(Getty Images)

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Adam Driver sings, rages and burns in ‘Annette’

I noted a few weeks back in my review of the Sparks documentary “The Sparks Brothers” that musicians Ron and Russell Mael would be heard from again soon in “Annette,” the Leos Carax movie sporting an original story, music and songs by the band. That day has arrived as “Annette” is playing in theaters (it will be streaming on Amazon Prime in two weeks) and, to come full circle on this newsletter, my colleague Justin Chang was pretty taken by this entrancingly weird movie and, in particular, star Adam Driver’s performance.

“You can see why the filmmakers love Driver, as so many filmmakers do,” Justin writes. “He’s the rare actor capable of shouldering Sparks’ knack for unsettling, sometimes inscrutable comedy as well as Carax’s career-long devotion to tragic romantics. At times he looks as dangerously tortured as Kylo Ren, and when he dons Henry’s hooded robe or motorcycle helmet you could almost swear he’s channeling that intergalactic villain, this time engaged in star wars of a different kind.”


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