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Crying and laughing with the Spielbergs

Have you ever fallen in love with someone at the exact same time they fall in love with you? (I’m talking about people here, not dogs. Because I fall in love with dogs – and they fall in love with me, because that’s what they do – almost daily.) It is, I understand, if snow on the beach, a rare occurrence…unless you happen to be in California this week. Than, it’s coming… it’s coming

I’m Glenn Whipp, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter, and the guy who might try all 19 of these cafes that are making LA a world-class coffee destination this weekend because A) I need the caffeine and B) it’s terribly cold outside!

Laughing and Tearing with the Spielbergs

Steven Spielberg and his sisters – Anne, Sue and Nancy – sing along on ‘My Girl’. And not just singing, mind you. They’ve pretty much mastered the choreography, their arms and feet move to Temptations’ classic Motown beat, and they love harmonizing so much it seems obvious this must be their favorite family song…until the next song on the playlist starts playing the opening drum beat of the Ronettes’ classic “Be My Baby” and within seconds the siblings are singing the “ho-oh-oh-oh” chorus at the top of their lungs.

We’re in a booth The Milky Way, the restaurant in West Los Angeles that the Spielbergs’ mother, Leah Adler, opened in 1977 with her second husband, Bernie, is an eatery that the family still owns and operates today. “Mama was part of that harmony until she was 96 years old,” Steven tells me, just before begging his sisters to break out some of the melodies they used to sing together on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. They oblige. After all, he is the big brother. “I would be in trouble if I was born last,” says Steven. The women do not dispute this.

The Spielbergs haven’t seen each other since the AFI Fest premiere of “The Fabelmans,” Steven’s tender account of his filmmaking origin story wrapped up in an empathetic look at the complex relationship between his decent father and unfulfilled artist mother. . Steven thought the event was three weeks ago. Anne, the eldest sister, straightens him out: “No, that was November, Steve” – ​​the sisters still call him Steve, as they always have – “and it’s February now.”

We sat down for a long talk about family, forgiveness, and how “The Fabelmans” brought the siblings closer. You may not be surprised to learn that about 20 minutes into our conversation, a friend of the family walked over to the table and quietly placed a tissue box in the middle. Laughter and tears. That’s the story of just about every family, and the Spielbergs are no exception. “Who else knows your whole being and does not condemn you for it?” says Sue, to which her brother adds: “And call bull – on you.”

The Spielbergs team up at the Milky Way restaurant in Los Angeles.

(Devin Oktar Yalkin / For The Times)

Road to the best picture Oscar

Back in the day, part of the fun of watching the Oscars through this medium that we called “TV” was dissecting the early awards that were given out on the show and figuring out how they created a story and maybe predict which movie won the awards. would win. last price.

These days it’s a battle to get all the prizes on the air, and many viewers pay more attention to the body language and forced smiles of those present than to the prizes themselves. If Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were guaranteed to reprise their Grammys audience act at the Oscars, ratings would skyrocket. Could the film academy buyers make this possible by offering them a lifetime supply of Dunkin’ donuts? Maybe… but let’s be honest: J. Lo probably hasn’t eaten an apple fritter in decades. (Hey… more for Ben!)

But the Oscar clues are still there for those who care enough to pay attention. What prizes must the top contenders for best photo win to score that top prize? Grab a cruller and let’s see!

a kaleidoscopic illustration of Oscar footage

What will win the Best Picture Oscar on March 12? Much depends on the awards presented earlier in the evening.

(Photo illustration by Nicole Vas/Los Angeles Times; Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

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How ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ has changed in more than 90 years

The original “All Quiet on the Western Front,” released in 1930, was the third-ever Best Picture Oscar winner.

“I love that movie,” Edward Berger, who directed the most recent adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel, told Times contributor Chris Vognar. “But when I watched it, I realized that the screenwriters had read the same scenes and sometimes used the same scenes that I used in my screenplay. I had to take a deep breath and put it down and just think about it for a second and find my own way back into it and just say, ‘No, this is our very subjective interpretation of that story.’”

Chris compared the two versions of the film in a thoughtful essay, exploring their styles and tones in how they approached Remarque’s novel. As the new movie won Best Picture at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, Berger’s ideas have clearly resonated with award season voters. It still earned nine Oscar nominations. I don’t see how it can win best picture, but it probably has a better chance than ‘Tár’, a movie I highlighted in that column I mentioned in the previous entry. So consider this my mea culpa, as well as an early congratulations on the Oscars it will win for international feature film and cinematography. (“Tár” is a much better movie though.)

Director Edward Berger and cinematographer James Friend on the set of "No news from the Western Front."

Director Edward Berger and cinematographer James Friend on the set of ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’.

(Reiner Bass/Netflix)