News Nuggets: Singing the praises of Tony frontrunner ‘Once’

Tina Fey is rooting for Julianne Moore to win an Emmy as Sarah Palin: “Tina Fey owes Sarah Palin; after all, it was Fey’s spot-on impersonation of the former Republican vice presidential candidate that helped earn her an Emmy for ‘Saturday Night Live‘ in 2009. But this year, while Fey will almost certainly be up for television’s top award again for her show ‘30 Rock,’ it’s quite likely that another actress will get a nod for her Palin posturing. And Fey couldn’t be happier for Julianne Moore, who nails Palin in the HBO movie ‘Game Change.’ ‘She’s fantastic! She is so good,’ says Fey in a broad conversation with The Envelope. ‘I thought she was unbelievable — she really did things with that role.'” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Will awards magic happen twice for “Once“? “… when the stage version of “Once” was announced, the prospect scared me. The movie was small and fragile; it was a love story without a love scene, and it had great songs that didn’t fall at the point in the narrative where a Broadway audience would want them … Broadway folks, I figured, would want to make things bigger … And sometimes, it seems, logic takes a holiday; sometimes the small, intimate and delicate can flourish in the unlikeliest of places. It was certainly flourishing on the stage of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater when I saw the show.” THE WRAP

Once” stands out in a disappointing season for musicals: ‘Leap of Faith,’ a missed opportunity for a more substantial look at the role of faith in Red State America, and ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It,’ a genial but wholly artificial construct that feels more like a desire to exploit a great song catalog than a show with a coherent artistic purpose, have about as much chance of winning a Tony on Sunday as the NBC comedy ‘Smash‘ has of achieving belated verisimilitude. But all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the state of the musical — a form, it should be noted, that has survived far leaner years than this one — should not detract from the formidable and underappreciated achievement of ‘Once,’ a musical that displays significantly more originality and breathtaking artistry than last year’s winner, ‘The Book of Mormon,’ a hit so potent and popular it also will be featured on this year’s Tony Awards.” TIMES-PICAYUNE

Shirley MacLaine receives the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: “And as the sun set on a crisp Los Angeles evening last night, Lot 15 added another milestone to its time line: the presentation and celebration of the American Film Institute’s 40th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award, to Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine … [Meryl Streep] — a past recipient herself — presented the award to MacLaine, recounting memories from their time spent filming ‘Postcards from the Edge’ and a trip to Las Vegas to see MacLaine in her one-woman show. ‘There are some actors that are absolutely indelible,’ said Streep. ‘We fall early and we fall hard for them. And we follow them for the rest of their lives. And that’s our Shirl. That’s you, babe,’ she said as she introduced her friend.” VANITY FAIR

New pictures released for potential Oscar contender “Anna Karenina“: “Directors never seem to tire of dressing [Keira Knightley] up in the old fashioned way. ‘Anna Karenina’ is shortlisted as a potential Oscar contender, which only means it adds up to Oscar catnip by all accounts: pretty white people in a period film with heavy subject matter. Or you could say Joe Wright (‘Atonement’), plus Tom Stoppard doing the adaptation, plus Knightley and Jude Law=Oscar in one way or another. Let’s start with Best Picture, but you could probably add Best Actress, Costume, Art Direction without breaking  a sweat. The Oscar game is just too easy sometimes. So this only has to not screw up to be one of the remaining contenders.” AWARDS DAILY

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