Tuesday, January 24, 2023


In case you haven't seen them yet, here are the nominations for Academy Awards. What are your choices or predictions?

I haven't seen all the nominated films, but I admire Elvis,  All Quiet On The Western Front, and Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front

 Avatar: The Way of Water 

The Banshees of Inisherin 


Everything Everywhere All at Once 

The Fabelmans 


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle of Sadness

Women Talking

Best Director

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh — The Banshees of Inisherin

Todd Field — Tár

Steven Spielberg — The Fabelmans

Ruben Östlund — Triangle of Sadness

Best Actor

Austin Butler — Elvis

Colin Farrell — The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser — The Whale

Paul Mescal — Aftersun

Bill Nighy — Living

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett — Tár

Ana de Armas — Blonde

Michelle Yeoh — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Michelle Williams — The Fabelmans

Andrea Riseborough — To Leslie

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson — The Banshees of Inisherin

Judd Hirsch — The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan — The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Brian Tyree Henry — Causeway

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett — Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Kerry Condon — The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu — Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Hong Chau — The Whale

Best Original Screenplay

Todd Field — Tár

Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg — The Fabelmans

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — Everything Everywhere All at Once

Martin McDonagh — The Banshees of Inisherin

Ruben Östlund — Triangle of Sadness 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie from a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks — Top Gun: Maverick

Kazuo Ishiguro — Living

Rian Johnson — Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Sarah Polley — Women Talking

Edward Berger Ian Stokell Lesley Paterson — All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Cinematography

Empire of Light 



All Quiet on the Western Front 

Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

Best Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin 


Everything Everywhere All at Once 


Top Gun: Maverick

Best Original Song

“Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman

“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

“Naatu Naatu” from RRR

 “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Music (Original Score)

All Quiet on the Western Front 


The Banshees of Inisherin 

Everything Everywhere All at Once 

The Fabelmans

Best Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Avatar: The Way of Water 

The Batman 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Production Design


The Fabelmans 

Avatar: The Way of Water 


All Quiet on the Western Front 

Best Documentary Feature Film

All That Breathes 

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed 

Fire of Love 

A House Made of Splinters 


Best Documentary Short Film

The Elephant Whisperers 


How Do You Measure a Year? 

The Martha Mitchell Effect 

Stranger at the Gate

Best Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio 

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish 

The Sea Beast

Turning Red

Best International Feature Film

Argentina, Argentina, 1985

Belgium, Close

Germany, All Quiet on the Western Front

Ireland, The Quiet Girl

Poland, EO 

Best Live Action Short Film

An Irish Goodbye 


Le Pupille  

Night Ride 

The Red Suitcase 

Best Animated Short Film

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

The Flying Sailor 

Ice Merchants 

My Year of Dicks 

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It 

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front 

Avatar: The Way of Water 

The Batman


Top Gun: Maverick

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Batman 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 


The Whale

Best Costume Design

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 


Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris 


Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Friday, January 20, 2023


 Hello. It is I, Penelope, most adorable doggy in the world. Here I am on my couch, where I rule the living room.

It has been about a million years since Kissmas and I haven't gotten to tell you about my presents from Santa Paws because Mom Mom has been hogging the computer. Her selfishness knows no bounds.

Of course, you already know about one of my gifts––if you had enough sense to pay attention to me before Kissmas. I have my beautiful hoodie costume.

Santa Paws brought the hoodie because he knows I am THE CHOSEN ONE who will star in a new movie about the adorable reindeer who can fly and his friend, the pink polka-dotted elephant. I will play the elephant in this costume, of course, and in the new movie, mine will be the starring role.

Santa Paws also brought something very special for us on Kissmas Eve. 

My big brother Franklin and I each get our very own Bark Box every single month for forever. 

Mom Mom said, YOU get a Bark Box and YOU get a Bark Box. Everybody gets a Bark Box.

She seemed to amuse herself by making this ridiculous statement so I tolerated her silly behavior.

The first Bark Box had yummy treats and some toys. This is my dragon:

My dragon makes squeaky noises. He is funny. I removed one of his ears. I think he wanted me to chew on him a bit.

Mom Mom asked me, Do you want to be a surgeon, Penelope?

Sometimes Mom Mom says the most pointless things.

I cannot be a surgeon. It is my destiny to be a movie star.

Franklin also had a dragon in his Bark Box. If Franklin wants to play Doggy Toy Sneakery, then he can take his dragon outside for Mom Mom to pick up and bring back inside. He is not allowed to touch my dragon. I want my dragon in my house.

All right. I have said what I came to say. Goodbye. That is all.

Friday, January 13, 2023

"I'm not sitting here as some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette" -- Hillary Clinton

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Tammy Wynette's life was the stuff country songs are made of. She experienced multiple marriages, multiple lovers, gave birth to four daughters, attained country music superstardom, dealt with a husband's alcoholism, a kidnapping that might have been faked, addiction to prescription painkillers, and posthumously there was a missing will, and a wrongful death suit.

Born Virginia Wynette Pugh on May 5, 1942, her father died when she was nine months old. Her mother sent her to live with her grandparents in a shack without electricity or indoor plumbing. She grew up picking cotton in Mississippi while dreaming of becoming a singer.  

As a teen, she sang with a friend and even got paid for it at times. High school friends described her as precocious when it came to men and dating. Her mother stopped her first high-school attempt at marriage, but soon she planned marriage to a man who instead remarried his ex-wife. So Wynette married his brother instead. The brother was Euple (I am not making this up: EUPLE) Byrd. The marriage lasted from 1960 to 1965 and produced three daughters. Although Wynette had attended beauty school, she had bigger plans than working as a cosmetologist.

She and the children moved to Nashville in 1966, where she met and married a musician/songwriter named Don Chapel. She got her first recording contract that year and her stage name was changed from Wynette Byrd to Tammy Wynette because someone thought she looked like a Tammy. She and Chapel performed together, and her hunger for stardom increased. 

Country music "belonged" to men. With hard work and talent, Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton slowly but surely turned country into a women's game as well. Wynette had her first chart success in 1967, but her income from singing was small, and the marriage to Chapel wasn't going well. Chapel took nude photos of her and passed them around to other men. Later, he used the photos as leverage against her. Wynette's 1967 marriage to Chapel was annulled in 1968 and true stardom came to her with Stand By Your Man, I Don't Wanna Play House, and D-I-V-O-R-C-E. It was the beginning of 30 million records sold worldwide.

And she met country star George Jones, her idol.

Wynette and Jones had a passionate relationship. They married in 1968. Their duets added to her success and fame, and kept his career alive as his stardom faded because his thirst for alcohol could not be quenched.

Wynette gave birth to their daughter, Tamala Georgette, in 1970. The birth led to an emergency hysterectomy––the beginning of health problems and pain that stayed with Wynette for the rest of her life. Scar tissue constantly formed in her body. She had approximately three dozen surgeries to remove it. It also affected her gall bladder. She began taking prescription pain medications and became addicted.

Marriage to Jones was violent and difficult. One year at Christmas, Jones attacked Wynette and chased her around their house with a rifle. As portrayed in George & Tammy, he fired shots at her and destroyed the Christmas decorations and some of the gifts. When she hid his car keys to stop him from driving drunk, he rode to town on the lawn mower to get his alcohol. He didn't show up for recording dates and performances. Although their touring bus proclaimed them Mr. and Mrs. Country Music and they were referred to in the country music world as President & First Lady, Jones became known derisively as No Show Jones. 

Wynette filed for divorce in 1973. She and Jones reconciled. After a fight, she filed for divorce again. The marriage ended in 1975. Her addiction did not.

Without Jones, Wynette had to develop her own stage show. Her career remained strong, although she hated it when audience members shouted, Where's Jones? She had some high profile relationships, including Burt Reynolds. At times, she recorded with Jones and  performed with him. But in 1976, Wynette married Michael Tomlin. The marriage was annulled later that year.

The following description of events occurs in George & Tammy It is not verifiable fact. Wynette finds nasty graffiti on her front door and becomes fearful. Wynette thinks Jones is behind it, but it's really songwriter George Richey, who wants Wynette to depend on him for safety and security. When Richey's wife, a friend of Wynette's, threatens to tell Wynette what Richey is doing, he beats her. Wynette also doesn't like to inject her dugs. Richey takes over the injections.

Wynette and Richey married in 1978. He became her full-time manager. Her daughters alleged that Richey forced Wynette to perform when she was sick, gave her drugs when she said no, or, alternately, withheld medication from her when she wanted it. She began missing concerts.

In 1978, Wynette reported she had been abducted from the parking lot of a mall by a man hiding in the backseat of her car who strangled her with pantyhose and beat her. Rumors flew that George Jones was behind the attack. Her daughters alleged she staged the kidnapping to cover up for a severe beating she received from Richey.

Although Wynette entered the Betty Ford Center for treatment of her drug addiction, she became ill while she was there and had surgery to remove part of her stomach. Her  addiction continued.

On April 6, 1998, Tammy Wynette died at the age of 55. A blood clot went to her heart. She also had powerful pain meds in her blood. Richey claimed they had been sleeping on adjacent couches all day in the living room of their home and when he awoke in the evening, she had passed away.

Wynette had allegedly made out a handwritten will that included trusts for her daughters and designations of her personal belongings to her daughters. In George & Tammy, Georgette sees the will and so does George Jones. 

Richey said he couldn't find the will. He inherited everything. Richey remarried and when he died, his widow sold many of Wynette's personal effects. In 1999, Wynette's daughters filed a wrongful death lawsuit again Richey, Wynette's doctor, and a company that delivered prescription paid meds to her home. The doctor said he had told Richey to take Wynette to a hospital not long before she died. Yet Wynette's daughters dropped Richey from the suit. What remained of the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, January 11, 2023


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I don't care about George Jones.

I don't care about Tammy Wynette. 

I don't even care about country music, other than Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton.

So why do I love George & Tammy?

Michael Shannon as George Jones and Jessica Chastain as Tammy Wynette.

These two are magnetic.

This six-part series (2022, Rated TV-MA, streams on Showtime) is based on the 2013 memoir The Three of Us: Growing Up With Tammy and George by their daughter, Georgette Jones. 

The series has its flaws. The supporting cast is nothing to write home about. Steve Zahn plays Tammy's evil manager and last husband, George Richey. Nothing special about his performance, and he looks kind of dumb in a wig and fake beard.
Things also happen awfully fast. During the first episode, Tammy is an unknown singer married to another man. She meets George Jones. By the end of that episode, George declares his love for Tammy and they run off together.

I read a couple of reviews that said the two leads were great, though, and it's true. I've never been a Michael Shannon fan, but I like him now. I wasn't a Jessica Chastain fan until I saw The Eyes of Tammy Faye, for which she won the Best Actress Oscar. She was riveting in that role.

To say that George Jones and Tammy Wynette had a complicated relationship is an understatement. They were very successful performers, separately and as a duo, but their working association and personal lives were severely damaged by Jones' alcoholism and, later, Wynette's addiction to prescription pain medication.

I also read that much of what is portrayed is based on verifiable facts, while some events may or may not have happened, and are probably as a loving daughter saw them.

Shannon and Chastain do their own singing. I don't know if they do justice to George and Tammy since I'm not familiar with their voices. I only know I loved the series because of the two actors and the story of a loving relationship gone wrong.

Infinities of love,
 Janie Junebug

Friday, January 6, 2023


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I watched an excellent documentary recently: Adrienne, the story of the late actress, screenwriter, and director Adrienne Shelly, as told by her widower, Andy Ostroy (2021, Rated TV-MA, streams on HBO Max). 

Shelley wanted to be an actress from the time she was very young, according to her mother and childhood friends, who describe her early success. As a young woman, she became known for her roles in some indie films, but her greatest success came after her death in 2006.

I love Waitress (2007) and have watched it several times.

Shelley had decided that if she wanted to be a success, she would need to create her own material. She wrote Waitress while she was pregnant with her daughter, Sophie, in 2003.

Shelly then directed the movie and played one of the roles. The movie is funny and sad and sweet. Little Sophie has a cameo at the end.

Perhaps the most poignant parts of the documentary are a teenage Sophie's words about the mother she can't remember.

Before her death, Shelly knew the film had been accepted by the Sundance Film Festival.

Ostroy tells the story of Shelly's death himself. After he found Shelly's body, the police assumed Shelly had committed suicide. At Ostroy's insistence, police carried out an investigation leading to the discovery of her killer.

The only part of the documentary that I didn't care for was Ostroy's meeting with the killer.  The film strays into self-indulgence at that point.

Overall, however, Ostroy creates a loving tribute to Adrienne Shelly and preserves her memory for their daughter. Adrienne is as luminous as the woman herself.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, January 5, 2023


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

The fine folks who usually live on my mantel apologize for not yet updating you on their holiday location and the events they attended.

They remain sequestered in a special spot. They are laughing so hard at Kevin McCarthy and the GOP's inability to elect a speaker that they find it difficult to do anything else.

This shit never happened with Nancy Pelosi.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, January 3, 2023


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today marks the two-year point since the attack. I haven't cried nearly as much as I did a year ago, so I think that's progress. The restraining order remains in place.

Sadly, some of the medical bills have gone to collections because companies wouldn't accept or were not bound by the law in Florida, or the companies wouldn't accept the Victim Compensation Fund settlement. They are not large sums, but I will not pay them. They aren't my responsibility.

When healthcare providers asked how I broke my jaw, my answer was always, I didn't break it. It was broken for me.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sunday, January 1, 2023


Franklin, Penelope, The Mantel Gang, and I 
wish you
a very 
Happy New Year!