Tao Downtown is where the New York Film Critics Circle will do its work. Sniffed as the leading alternative to the Oscars, it kicks off the awards marathon. Announced last week, their masterminds called this season’s picks “unpredictable.” They always say that. But they claim they succeeded with “a minimum of punches”. They never say that.
Won, unsurprisingly, as best film: “The Irishman”. Scorsese blew out Best Director. That goes to Benny and Josh Safdie for “Uncut Gems.” His star Adam Sandler, who heard whispers that he might win something, didn’t.
And best actress: Lupita Nyong’o for “Us”. Antonio Banderas scored Best Actor for “Pain and Glory.” Scenario: Once upon a time in . . . Hollywood” (yuck!). Supporting Actress: Laura Dern, for “Marriage Story” and “Little Women.” Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”.
Oscarwise, it’s mumbled “Marriage Story’s” Noah Baumbach wins Best Director.
The choice of litter film
More Scorsese. While hunting Mob-types, his casting agency uses a cigar bar. Actually two. Carnegie Club of West 56th and Club Macanudo of East 63rd.
Heather Washburn, an assistant on “The Irishman,” used to throw cocktails at Carnegie and says, “Scorsese likes real people. Her casting director came to Carnegie. These guys came in and she said, ” This place is a goldmine!” We saw maybe 75 guys there and at Macanudo. Ten got parts. Some were extras. Paper distributor Steven Maglio, who became “Mobster No. 2 — Curtain Shop” in the film, says, “Me and two friends read the roles after we were seen.” Teamster Nicholas Chrysan, who plays Pete the Greek: “The casting director saw me smoking a cigar, drinking whiskey and said, ‘You’d be awesome in this movie.’ Then I’m in. She actually thought I came dressed for the part. I said, ‘No, those are the clothes I’m wearing. I’m Nicky Suits.’ Not an intimate group, this ‘Irish’ cast. The list was 470 undistinguished guys. Maybe that’s why it’s 3 ¹/₂ hours. Most of that is the rolling credits.
Gossip on the pie
Mario’s restaurant on Arthur Ave. celebrated its 100th season. In the private space upstairs, Scorsese inhaled pizza, pasta and parmesan cheese. Stories like Pesci’s acting career also started when De Niro discovered him. Back then, the now-famous Pesci wasn’t getting awards – he was getting tables. He was a butler in a neighborhood restaurant.
Jewelry on parade
While Barneys has everything on sale, they’re also trying to unload piled-up expensive stuff. To charge more shekels ahead of unemployment checks, officials reached out to Bergdorfs to see if this cute little boutique might be interested in buying some of their heavy jewelry. So far they haven’t.
Cleaning, aisle 9
Broadway’s “Slava’s Snowshow” is absolutely delicious – if you don’t mind being bombarded with paper, balloons, water, snowflakes and clowns walking or sitting on top of you. So how is the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, covered in white paper after each performance, cleaned after each performance? Leaf blowers.
My huge thanks to editor Adam Rathe and writer Sadie Stein of Town & Country magazine online. Their long and beloved story about me came out last week, including photos taken so long ago they were probably daguerreotypes. The photo had to hide under a black balaclava. How old were some of these photos? Please, I always wore short sleeves.
Adam Schiff’s few friends want to give him a Christmas present. Something he really needs. But they are perplexed trying to figure out how to wrap up a conscience.
Spit only in New York, children, only in New York.