Kidman, Clooney aim to curtail rambunctiousness of paparazzi

The Baltimore Sun

Nicole Kidman scored last week with her testimony before an Australian court, telling of her terror at being chased by lensmen in Sydney. Because Ms. Kidman is a star of some rectitude, wildly popular as a person of ethics and taste, her testimony carried some weight.

Then George Clooney, her American heavyweight opposite, talked to Entertainment Weekly about Hollywood paparazzi nearly causing accidents in his neighborhood. He said wisely, "They're not trying to catch me doing something stupid; they're trying to create me doing something stupid." He defended Britney Spears as someone who is being driven half mad by the paparazzi. And then there is always and forever the example of Princess Diana.

About Thanksgiving

How could it be anything but terrific if, in the span of four days, one saw the Radio City Music Hall 75th anniversary show of the incredible Rockettes and then, also the Disney movie Enchanted?

To put it simply, the Rockettes are starring onstage this year. Their 75-year history is examined, and they do their stuff in number after number. The first 15 minutes opening this show is one of the most thrilling things I've ever sat through. Santa's 3-D arrival over Manhattan has been pumped up to the max. The curtain then rises just a bit to show only the Rockettes' legs with their reindeer hooves jingling on display. And it wasn't just kids screaming in the audience, but gangs of grown-up fans. And they've kept my favorite, the toppling of the toy soldiers, dressed in the same costumes designed for them years ago by none other than Vincente Minnelli!

And, to go off the deep Disney end, I was skeptical at first about the movie Enchanted, which I knew started in cartoon mode and moved its magic characters to New York. Now all I can say is don't you dare miss it!

This is a movie on a par with The Wizard of Oz, though the only famous book behind it is Grimm's Fairy Tales, as depicted by Walt Disney for years and years. So, applause to headman Bob Iger who ended the years of Disney sanitizing and allowed his creative people to let a little realistic, cynical but heartfelt sunshine in, and kudos to screenwriter Bill Kelly for his imaginative work.

I stopped watching Grey's Anatomy after the writers went off the tracks and so I liked Patrick Dempsey but hadn't lost my mind over him. Now I have! He is such a human and appealing presence in Enchanted that you just can't resist him. An old-fashioned leading man with depth and character, not just a good-looking lump. Everybody and everything in this movie is wonderful, including Susan Sarandon as the wicked witch. You will feel transported unless you're an old crank. And I know you're not.


Oh my! It happened in Uganda. The wife of the new prime minister of Great Britain, Sarah Brown, put one leg behind the other and dipped at both knees to welcome Prince Charles' wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. Bowing to a member of the royal family is a mark of respect, but the previous wife of the P.M., Cherie Blair, refused to do that even for the queen. So times may be reverting, at least that's the way it looked at the First Ladies' Commonwealth lunch in Kampala.

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