Category Archives: Jeanne Talks

Oops – The story as seen from the Academy Awards press room
















What?! What’s going on? How could this happen? What went wrong? WOW! Oh my God!  The F-word flying in the air.

In such a wild lightning bolt of a moment minds explode with a jumble of reactions and parallel narratives. Nervous laughter, adrenaline driven shouts, everyone guessing at an explanation, asking each other for an urgent reality check.

Call outs of “Is this a first? What Oscar mistakes have there been over the years?”

Eyes turn to the TV screen as the craziness continues to play out on the air. How are these people going to handle this beyond-belief moment? Take a look!

A bizarre calamity – some froze and panicked, some did their job and sped to make things right. Protocol and set plans for mistakes – out the window. Anger and bewilderment dominate.

The show goes off the air with a charged mix of joy and bafflement.

The buzz escalates. “What took so long to fix the error? Who caused this mess-up?” – and typical of a room full of reporters to ask, “Is someone going to make a statement?”

I wondered to myself. How would I have responded? Getting a dream of Best Picture snatched away in front of the world has got to be an emotional tsunami

I can only hope I’d be equal to Jordan Horowitz, “La La Land” producer. His grace and poise and out and out goodness superseded what had to be a thud of a let-down.

To quote Stephanie Merry and Lindsay Bever from The Washington Post:

“Amid the confusion, there was one person willing to take charge and explain, even though he had just given an acceptance speech for a career-defining award he did not actually win.

Horowitz marched up to the microphone to make an announcement.

“‘Moonlight won,” he declared.

“Guys, guys, I’m sorry. No. There’s a mistake,” Horowitz added. “‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture.”

“This is not a joke,” he continued.

“Come up here,” he commanded, motioning for the “Moonlight” team to come to the stage and collect the top Oscar that Horowitz briefly thought his film had just won.

While the people in the audience were gasping with surprise, Horowitz — as if to assure them this wasn’t fake news — held up the card just pulled from the correct award envelope, so that the cameras could zoom in.

“I’m going to be really thrilled to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,’” he said.

Horowitz wasn’t just a gracious loser; he became the closest thing the Oscars can get to a folk hero.”

Tom Ford Gave Armie Hammer a Makeover

Armie Hammer and Wife

Talk about perfectly groomed hotties. Armie Hammer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson who co-star in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals” accompanied fashion-designer-turned-film-director Tom Ford to a soiree to hype the dark thriller at Mr. Chow’s. Hammer was wearing perfectly fitting black jeans and a trendy black sweater while Taylor-Johnson wore a neatly tailored dark suit that he showed off from the Tom Ford collection. The young celebs were dressed to kill and I was sure they did it for Ford. The handsome director admitted to me that he cared a lot about how his stars looked, especially Hammer. “When I met him, I told him to lose fifteen pounds for the movie and he did. He was too good looking to have that extra weight. And, of course, the way he looked on film mattered very much. Then Hammer revealed Ford’s control of fashion on the film set. “I’m going to get in trouble for telling you this,” laughed Hammer as he sipped his martini topped with two perfect olives. “When my character is not as suave and fashionable at the start of the movie Tom told me he’d dress me in Brooks Brothers. Then when I got rich and fancy and stylish he put me in all Tom Ford clothes.” Note his Ford suit with his wife at the premiere of “Nocturnal Animals.”
Ford’s fashion sense is all over “Nocturnal Animals” from the sets to the cinematography. But, more important, he delivers a stunning and suspenseful cliffhanger that will leave you limp. It’s way more than the look and feel of the movie that gets you, it’s the powerful story.
By the way Ford was wearing signature black suit, white shirt, collar pin, and tie. Armie swore and Tom affirmed that he dressed like that every day on the set – except the desert scenes where he was in boots, jeans, and a chapeau from his own cowboy hat collection. Ford may be Paris and Madison Avenue now but he’s a Texas boy at heart.

Jeanne Wolf with Tom Ford


The Real Way the Election is Being Rigged

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

“The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” entertained and engaged me. It also thoroughly frightened me by exposing evidence of extreme hanky-panky surrounding efforts to suppress votes.
The approach is clever and appealing – so much that it can take us away from the message. The attention-getting style is fun in the way that “The Big Short” and Michael Moore took on significant subjects with statistics and smirks. The resources and research are very compelling and extremely terrifying. If we know about the dirty tricks and tricksters why isn’t more being done to clean up our voting system?
So, I say, see the film- it will make an impression. But don’t stop there. Pay attention and help shine a light on every horrific plot to deny the dignity and the vote to thousands of people.

Has Ashleigh Banfield Given Up Her Trademark?

Ashleigh Banfield Glasses vs No Glasses

OK, it’s not like Budweiser changing its name to America, if only briefly, but when you have product identification you have to be careful about messing with the brand.
Am I the only one who noticed that Ashleigh Banfield just returned from her 3 week vacation to anchor “Legal View” on CNN ditching what has set her apart from almost every cable TV anchor, maybe all of them (I haven’t done a survey.) Ashleigh wasn’t wearing her glasses. The specs she’s worn throughout her career were missing. I did a double-take, which is not to say that she didn’t look great. Actually, she looked just as hot to me with the glasses.
I did some research on Google. Check out every image of Ashleigh and she’s got those glasses on and check out all the women who want to know what brand and style she’s wearing. Clearly, they’re ready to take a stand themselves against “men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.” It’s like Ashleigh was striking a blow for everyone who just wanted to forget the bloody contacts and be up front about whatever they need to see more clearly.
I guess you could call it a bold move. I love Ashleigh’s style and I’m always ready for her to surprise us with her take on a major story. So I’ll be trying to concentrate on what she’s saying. But I keep wondering… frame or frameless?




Listening well will save you time.

Listening gives you a direct line to what’s really going on.
Listening keeps you in touch with people in your life and your work.
Listening joins other #ProductivityHacks as a way to optimize time.

—-Jane Fonda accepted the American Film Institute’s honor by pronouncing, “It’s more important to be interested than interesting.”

—-Pope Francis speaks to all of us when he cautions that we must learn before we teach. “Today’s world stands in great need of witnesses, not so much of teachers but rather of witnesses.”

The first step is learning how to become a better listener. This means avoiding what I call the “Bite Your Lip” mentality. Observe yourself when you just shut-up and let the other guy “have his say.” You nod your head and make listening motions and noises but you’re really just biding your time until the other person stops talking. You’re waiting to jump in with your own two cents worth –that’s not real listening.
Perhaps you consider yourself a good listener because you stifle your emotions and stay silent. Wrong! The usual pattern for that kind of listening is that you’ll be quiet until you can’t take it anymore, and then you’ll unload with a torrent of words. Or you’ll walk away with no more connection or comprehension than when you started. Sound familiar? Too close to home?
You may be surprised as you begin to pay attention to your own listening style. Don’t be dismayed if you discover how out-of-the-habit you are of really zoning in. Consider how often you don’t take into account the body-language and inflection of the person who’s doing the talking. Think about what a face reveals—yours and theirs.
We all complain about the lack of time. The substitute for that is “Quality Time.” If you want to escalate the impression of time with quality see what happens when you focus on the other person you haven’t had enough time for and truly listen. In an intense personal conversation or a crucial conference listening is as important as your prepared agenda.

—-Talk about paying attention, I’ve often quoted Maya Angelou who said, “When people tell you about themselves believe them.”

If you let your intuition pick up “tells” it may force you to stop and consider before you partner-up or take action. Think of the time you could save by really having a grasp of what someone is trying to tell you the first time around. There are so many misunderstandings that can be avoided if you are listening with concentration and interjecting questions that clear up the other person’s position . Truly listening will dictate a more precise and appropriate response.

There is an evergreen belief that men and women don’t really listen to each other. We all might pay more attention if we realized that listening is sexy.

—- Christina Hendrix from Mad Men gave me romantic advice: “I think communication is really hearing the other person. Sometimes our first inclination is to say “no,” and protect our own ideas or opinions. It’s important to say “yes” more often and to really listen to why someone wants to do something or really, really hear each other.”

“This executive really listens!” is a compliment often given with a note of surprise. Individuals so often feel that they don’t have access to the people “at the top” or the people they really need access to. In an organization or a family, deliberate times of attentive listening can go a long way to relieve that frustration. You can set the atmosphere that encourages feedback. You need to create the feeling of safety, extreme interest and even fun. You will find that “lending your ears” pays off.
Don’t worry, you won’t spend all of your day in irrelevant chatter because you’ve learned to be a good listener. You can cut a phone call short more effectively if the caller knows you’ve truly paid attention to the brief encounter. You can hasten meetings when the participants get the idea that their comments are being regarded and there will follow up.

—-George Clooney greets press and fans like long-time buddies. He says, “Hey, how are you?” He holds eye contact while he gets bits of news, often from people he doesn’t even know. Then he graciously—memorably, speedily—goes on to the next person!”

If you work on becoming an involved, curious and motivated listener, you will be astounded at the response you get. Simply paying active attention, to ideas, motives, arguments, protestations of affection, and declarations of feelings will put you way ahead of the efficiency game.