Delighted to be invited to the 12th Annual Concern World Wide Women of Concern Luncheon at The Pierre, I got to meet one of my favorite film stars — Toni Collette — who was honored as its First Global Ambassador for Concern. Among Collette’s many films are two favorites I like to revisit: The 2003 gem “Japanese Story,” and the 2006 — at times “farklempt” nosh — “In Her Shoes” in which Collette — one of two Jewish sisters (Cameron Diaz is the other) — with personal and career issues — discovers she has a still living grandmother named Ella (“Shirley MacLaine”) living in a Catskills-in-perpetual-sunshine resort genre retirement paradise in Florida. Reunited with their feisty grandmother Maclaine and embraced by the retiree entourage, the film ends in a funky, multi-cultural Jewish wedding. If you haven’t tasted this film — rent it!
At the luncheon I asked a bubbly Collette — fit and svelte in a black and white sleeveless polka dot dress — what was it like working with MacLaine. “Bloody brilliant!” she blurted out. “She is so ballsy, so grounded, so honest, so upright. I really like her a lot.” When I commented that “you seem to be attracted to transformational roles,” Ms. Collette — who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in “The Sixth Sense” and won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for “Best Actress in a Comedy Series” for her performance in Showtime’s hit series “The United States of Tara” — shrugged and replied: “Life is change. Embrace it!”
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