There are two movies in "Jackie." One of these movies is just OK. The other is exceptional. The first one keeps undermining the second.
NEW YORK -- Woody Allen was filming his new movie down around the corner of Broadway and 19th Street the other day, and he was under a certain amount of pressure. One of his stars, Mia Farrow, was pregnant and was playing a pregnant woman, and now the doctor was speculating that she might deliver before she was finished with the role. His editor, Sandy Morse, was also pregnant, and might deliver at any moment.
There's a benefit at Second City for Comic Relief, the stand-up's favorite charity, and word is all over the room that Martin Short is going to sit on on the 11 p.m. improvisational set. Nobody budges when the lights go up after the early show, and there is a certain buzz in the room. These guest appearances by famous former Second Citians have become a tradition over the years, a promise that if others who once labored in wretched anonymity made it onto "Saturday Night Live," there is hope for us all.
LOS ANGELES -- Down here in the bad part of town, a man named Big Ed runs a bar named Big Ed's, which pretty much sums up the way he sees things. A lot of the regulars live upstairs in low-rent rooms, and come downstairs to drink when the bar is open. When the bar is closed, they go upstairs and wait for it to open again.
LOS ANGELES -- Someday someone is going to write a scholarly book about the films of Clint Eastwood, and go plumbing about down there in the depths of his psyche, looking for clues. There may be some interesting discoveries. It's a tricky business, analyzing the obsessions and longings of most movie stars, because they don't generate their own movies; examine their careers and what you'll really discover is what their directors thought about them. The late Cary Grant, for example, remains an enigma despite all of the words written about him; he buried his original self so deep inside that he was even able to joke about how he became the characters that he played.
Everyone knows that Cary Grant was the most charming man in the history of the movies, but charm alone did not make him a star, and indeed he rarely offered only charm in a performance. There was always something underneath, a quiet reserve, a certain coldness, a feeling that he was evaluating his leading ladies even as he romanced them - and that dual nature is what made him so important in so many different kinds of films. He brought comedy to thrillers, danger to romance, and even a certain poignancy to slapstick farce. He always gave us more than we bargained for.
LOS ANGELES -- All right, now, we already know how Catherine Hicks felt about that tender little romantic moment in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," the one where she shares a gentle kiss with Adm. James T. Kirk and after he says "Beam me up, Scotty," she leaps into his arms and travels with him to the 23rd century.
Most people who are on the road all the time seem to be running from something. Willie Nelson seems to be looking for it. One of his best friends says Willie can't be happy for long unless he's going somewhere -- by plane, car, train, bus, foot; it doesn't matter, just as long as he's in motion. One recent rainy day, Willie flew out of Austin, Texas, and spent some time in Chicago, and later that night laid his head to rest in New York City.
PROVINCETOWN, Mass. -- Not far down the street there has been a bloody fist fight, two men pounding each other senseless over a woman, blood on the sidewalk, the police involved, but Norman Mailer hardly hears of it, he is so engrossed in the movie he is directing.
NEW YORK"For years, all I had were a bed, a desk and a chair," Tom Cruise said. "When I was making a movie, they put me in hotel rooms. Between jobs, I moved back into my apartment, and my lifestyle dropped considerably."
If you want to understand David Lynch, maybe the place to start is with his paintings. He paints in a style he describes as "bad primitive art," and says that one of his paintings works if you feel the desire to sink your teeth into it.