Friday, April 12, 2024

Jane Fonda Rocks “The Newsroom” With Oscar Sized Performance


Last night’s HBO drama “The Newsroom” got a jolt of electricity–at last. It came from two time Oscar winner Jane Fonda, who gave an Oscar worthy performance and stole the entire season in one fell swoop. Fonda plays ACN owner Leona Lansing, and is used sparingly by show creator Aaron Sorkin. She’s nominated for an Emmy from last season (and deserves to win, hands down).

Last night Fonda appeared in the final, surprising scene of a very busy episode that revealed the entire Genoa story– how ACN was duped by producer Jerry Dantana and a congressman (excellent work by Frank Wood) who blamed his son’s death on being fired from his internship. When Charlie (Sam Waterston) and Will (Jeff Daniels) go to Leona to resign, Fonda surprises them. First of all, she looks like a million bucks. Second, she’s a little buzzed from a dinner for the Tribeca Film Festival. She refuses their resignations, and makes a speech that is absolutely phenomenal. The entire episode ends with Fonda in a cold cut that’s like a cold wet wash cloth in the face. It’s just wonderful. HBO has no clip from the show, so you’ll have to watch the whole thing or skip to the end.

If you want to see lightning strike through a scene, then this is it. Why Fonda doesn’t get a “special guest star” credit up front when she’s on perplexes me. “The Newsroom” needs her. The show can be very whiny otherwise….

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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