Kelsey Grammer knows how to work a room

Kelsey Grammer has a new comedy coming out on FX called ‘Partners.’ It’s an odd-coupling of Kelsey and Martin Lawrence and the chemistry of opposites works for me. Their on screen personalities highlight the contrasts from the start but I can point out some real life proof that the two are truly very different. Fox had a big posh party for the TV critics. The notoriously shy and private Martin came, posed for red carpet cameras as proof he was there then went right down to the parking garage, got in his car, and left. All the while, Grammer charmed reporters at the SoHo House for hours!

You MUST see Robin Wright in ‘The Congress’

Robin Wright in ‘House of Cards’ (left) and in ‘The Congress’ (right)

Robin Wright is truly like no other actress. She’s tough, daring, and fragile all at once. Her nuanced performance as Claire on “House of Cards” extends far beyond her outward ruthlessness. What makes her so effective is that there’s a woman with feelings under those cool Armani jackets. Now she’s in a movie like no other movie I’ve ever seen called “The Congress.” She plays an actress in her forties who is no longer castable or bankable. She shows her allure, she displays her vast insecurities, and she acts the hell out of a part that most actresses would run from fast – then she lets herself be animated in a way that certainly doesn’t remind you of “Princess Bride.” I am impressed and enchanted.  With her unique talent, she can play a convincing “has been” but she will never be one.

Colin Firth is my biggest crush!

Suave and genteel Colin Firth plays a cranky, rude, doubting Englishman like nobody can! It was so much fun for me to see him all pushy and sure of himself in “Magic in the Moonlight.” When I got to talk to Colin after the first L.A. screening of the new Woody Allen movie he was laughing at his own performance. He told me, “This one really was fun. I just had the best time.” Of course the pompous magician he plays is fooled and foiled by Emma Stone’s pretty young thing psychic. It’s always a cute gal throwing those tough cases off course, isn’t it? The movie had me in a smiley trance, which was a needed respite from the current steady diet of grim and frightening news. Its silly magic worked on me and so did Colin – convincingly waving his arms and making an elephant disappear!

RIP James Garner

Jeanne and James Garner

James Garner loved acting and audiences loved him. “Rockford Files” fit him because he was the first TV detective who also played the comedy. He told me, “My wife thinks I’m a curmudgeon. I’m just a grouch with a sense of humor about everything!” On screen he was likable and believable no matter what he played. In person, I found him to be wise and low-key funny. He was one of our great acting artists, but he’d laugh to be described in that fancy way. He’ll always be thought of as “Maverick” and I know that he wouldn’t want it any other way.

CLIVE OWEN TAKES ON JULIETTE BINOCHE IN A FIGHT TO THE FINISH

Clive and Juliette sizzle in “Words and Pictures.” He’s a brilliant alcoholic English teacher and she’s a famous artist with a life-threatening disease. They go head-to-head over whether what’s written or painted has more power.