The late night wars are getting bloodier–and Letterman (thrilled not to be in the middle of it for once) has jumped into the act just as Conan has threatened to jump ship. I’d like to see NBC go down in flames. HOW could they promise Conan five years ago that he could take over the TONIGHT SHOW–which as Letterman points out isn’t the “THE TONIGHT SHOW” if it starts after midnight. Then they’d have to call it “The Morning After Show,” and we all know how unpleasant that can be. It’s as though the geniuses at NBC presumed they could see into the future, control the future, or didn’t care about the future. hmmmm… the last one sounds plausible. They’re all just manipulative, slow-witted, money-grubbing, corporate windbags, and now Conan has turned the tables. I must say, it’s fun to see these overgrown greedy networks squirm….!
That said, I’m still rooting for Jimmy Fallon.
Now onto more important matters. I believe I just saw the Best Actor Oscar-winning performance of the year: Jeff Bridges in CRAZY HEART, just released Friday. He plays an alcoholic, nicotine-addicted, over-the-hill country singer(Bad Blake)who falls for a fetching young journalist, Magggie Gyllenhaal in an incredibly appealing performance. She shows up in his motel room to write a story about him, and ends up helping Bad Blake go good– but not before some real heartbreak. Maggie and Jeff make a surprising and touching pair. Bridges does his own singing, T-Bone Burnett and the late Stephen Bruton wrote original tunes for the film, and it all feels remarkably “lived in.” Bridges is so convincingly broken-down in the part, we can almost hear him creak as the songs blow through him like a dry wind. The supporting cast sneaks up on you: listen to Robert Duvall sing in a funny falsetto, and watch Colin Farrell as Bad’s protege made good, guiltily warble his mentor’s tunes.
If Bridges isn’t even nominated, I may never watch the Oscars again. At least they won’t be on NBC.
–and stay tuned!