2013-01-31 / Entertainment

Hello From Hollywood

The Road to the Oscars & a Golden Girl Turns 91
BY J. ROBERTS

A RGO TOOK HOME two major pre-Oscar prizes last weekend, cementing its front-runner status in the race for a Best Picture Oscar, something many considered it relinquished to Lincoln a few months ago. On Saturday evening, the Producers Guild of America handed the Ben Affleck-directed film its top prize at its awards ceremony, besting Lincoln and Les Miserables, two strong contenders. Then on Sunday, the Screen Actors Guild selected the cast of Argo as its Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture, an award equivalent to Best Picture. With its triumphant and surprising win at the Golden Globes earlier in the month where it knocked out Lincoln, Argo seems to be the film to beat. And it all may be thanks to the Academy for snubbing Ben Affleck by not giving him an Oscar nomination for directing. The producers, who have also chosen the Best Picture Oscar winner for the past five years, may have given the film a careful post-snub look. The actors may not have the same matching record as the producers, but clearly took notice of a film that had about 150 speaking parts, reinforcing how much actors love to see many acting opportunities in a film and awarding films with big casts. The actors represent the largest voting block in the Academy and that can influence the inevitable Best Picture winner. How the tides have changed. Lincoln may have received two individual acting trophies – Daniel Day Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones for lead and supporting actor respectively – but its momentum has clearly stalled. The directors hand out their awards on Sunday evening, with Golden-Globe winner Affleck competing with Lincoln’s Steven Spielberg who has won the DGA prize three times for the last time this season. O

N TUESDAY evening, NBC rolls out the red carpet for America’s most beloved golden girl, Betty White, in celebration of her 91st birthday in a one-hour special titled Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday. Last year’s 90-minute 90th birthday special was such a hit, nabbing two Emmy nominations, the network decided to honor the funny lady one more time. Joining the show this year is Sean Hayes, White’s Hot in Cleveland boss and her Cleveland costars, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. NBC star and best-selling recording artist Blake Shelton croons for the birthday girl and another comedy icon, Lily Tomlin, shows up to pay homage too. Zachary Levi, who proposed to Betty on her 90th birthday, returns with a status update on their relationship. There are also appearances by Kate Flannery (The Office), Larry King, Vicki Lawrence with “Mama” from Mama’s Family and Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family). A handful of other stars sent their pre-taped best wishes, including Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Katie Couric, Whoopi Goldberg and Sarah Silverman. Clips from White’s 80-year career will be highlighted, from her many appearances on talk shows over years (Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, David Letterman, Jay Leno and, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa) to her most memorable film and TV roles, from her early days on Life with Elizabeth (1953), The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and as host on Saturday Night Live in 2010 to her current shows, Hot in Cleveland and Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. White, who turned 91 on January 17th, shows up for her party, but not as you’d expect. She recently had a bout with the flu and was unable to attend the taping, so NBC sent the cameras to her to watch from afar.

Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday airs on February 5, 2013 at 8pm EST.

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