Thursday, April 18, 2024

Film Critics Throw in the Towel, Wendell Pierce Stock Keeps Rising, Oscars Hire Crisis Team that Resigned from Golden Globes


It’s been a busy week in the movie world.

Two highly regarded film critics announced that they’re stepping down or moving on to other things. A.O. “Tony” Scott, my favorite New York Times film reviewer, is joining the New York Times Book Review as their lead guy. No more daily movie reviews in the Times. This is very sad. Tony was the absolutely clearest Times reviewer who more often than not “got it.” I will miss, and I’ll bet filmmakers who counted on his intelligence will, too…Meantime, Alfonso Duralde of The Wrap is ankling his post to finish a book. He promises something “big” after that. Who knows? Maybe he’ll take Tony’s place at the Times next fall…

Wendell Pierce is just coming off an acclaimed run on Broadway as Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman.” He should win a Tony for his work. Tomorrow at the NAACP Image Awards, Pierce is up for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series, and Dramatic Special in the No Equal Entertainment production of “Don’t Hang Up.” In “Don’t Hang Up,” Pierce plays Chris Daniels, a man who receives a call that his daughter has been kidnapped. The kidnappers demand that he completes a series of different missions to get her back, including one crucial direction to not hang up the phone….

Last year, pr maven Ken Sunshine, whose firm is Sunshine Sachs et al, gave up representing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association when the Golden Globes became mired in scandal. Last week the Motion Picture Academy announced it had hired a “crisis” team for the Oscars in case anything like last year’s Will Smith slap might happen. It’s unlikely, but just in case it seems like Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis is on the game. They’re the right people to have in line. The Oscars are ready! But probably putting the nominees back in theater seats, and not at tables (as they were last year) will minimize the possibilities of people wandering about…

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.

Read more

In Other News