Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe who played Precious—brilliantly!!

Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe who played Precious—brilliantly!!

Queen Latifah, Me and Richard

Queen Latifah, Me and Richard

Richard, Me and Lenny Kravitz

Richard, Me and Lenny Kravitz

We saw “Precious“, the remarkable, powerful film directed by Lee Daniels. It opened the New York Film Festival. I read the book, “Push” —by Sapphire–more than a decade ago and felt it to be one of the most powerful, provocative books ever. The film is very good. I am grateful that it has been made and that Oprah and Tyler Perry have stepped up to help ensure it’s distribution. I wish everyone could see it. I’m thinking back over the years to the (white) men, usually business men, who asked me why my organization did “all these programs for those girls? You’re just rewarding them for their bad behavior.” It has taken time, patience and a great deal of faith to try and prove to them that most of the “girls” weren’t “bad.” They were victims who had been on the receiving end of so much dehumanizing, brutal, cruel behavior, then ignored, cast aside. They needed care and attention not more demonizing. The movie is wonderful in how it subtly shows that hope and confidence can bloom in someone when a little love and attention is sent their way. At least two Oscar worthy performances: Gabourey Sidibe is Precious and stand-up comedian, Mo’Nique, is jaw-dropping as her mother, Mary. Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz are excellent as well. Bravo to all!!!

The next night was went to the opening of Carrie Fisher’sWishful Drinking.” We had a big group—Troy, Simone, Harvey and Daphna Keitel, Pat Mitchell, Kenny Vance, Claudia Potempkin, Annette and Joe Allen, and more. I meant to take pictures but, as often happens when I’m having fun, I forgot to take any. Carrie was hysterical. I’ve seen an earlier version and was surprised to see how well she’s tightened it up and made it resonate for folks who aren’t of Hollywood. Given her uniquely dysfunctional childhood, one reviewer said it is amazing how she makes the audience feel she is just like them. It’s a must see. So is “Precious”.

Daphna, Harvey, Daphna’s mother, Richard, me and Eve Ensler

Daphna, Harvey, Daphna’s mother, Richard, me and Eve Ensler

Daphna and Harvey Keitel

Daphna and Harvey Keitel

Then two more glorious days of great food and much fun with Richard’s friends and mine—we had a reunion party with the cast of “33 Variations” and Moises, the author and director. I’m very moved by the fact that Richard’s friends from childhood, High school and college still love him and stay in touch…same with old girlfriends.

33 Variations cast reunion

33 Variations cast reunion

33 Variations cast reunion

33 Variations cast reunion

Richard signing doo wop with Kenny Vance. Kenny had long been Richard’s friend. They both had singing groups back in the late fifties...Richard’s was The Escorts, Kenny’s was the Planetones...still is...still sounding like dream

Richard signing doo wop with Kenny Vance. Kenny had long been Richard’s friend. They both had singing groups back in the late fifties...Richard’s was The Escorts, Kenny’s was the Planetones...still is...still sounding like dream

Cannot believe that, except for the photo of Richard singing with Kenny Vance, I forgot to take any pictures. Shame on me.

See You Next TIme

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  1. You do so much for “the least of these’ and you never try to sound as though you are better in any way. This is the way Jesus taught His folloewrs to be and I am so proud of you for some reason, even though you are not a relative or anything like that. And, thank you for welcoming me as a “friend” of sorts, even if you never have met me. Mary

  2. Always good to see you two. I have known Richard for many years and I met you, Jane, at Bill Maher’s party. My best friend LeAnn
    worked for Richard and we talked about his closet.
    Good to see you guys having a wonderful life. Both of you deserve it. All my best to you. Keep the pictures coming, love that.
    My twitter name is BigAlPeoplesPal.
    Love, Alison

  3. Jane ya’ll look like happy campers to me.
    Some people just bring out the best in each other.


  4. I want to see Precious even more now!

    Thanks for the heads up! 🙂


  5. Your time in NY sounded like lots of fun, Jane! I haven’t heard about the movie, “Precious”, but it sounds like it is very good!

    I know Carrie Fisher must have been very entertaining in her play, “Wishful Drinking”! I would love to see it! She must be fun to be with, because she seems to have such a GREAT sense of humor!!!!!:)

    What a treat for you to reunite with the cast from your play, “33 Variations”!! What fun to be with your friends once again! I know this was a very special time for you!

    It was nice Richard could be with you too while you were in NY! It was great that he could visit with some of his friends as well as you visiting with some of yours while you there! It’s important to keep in touch with people we care about! Sounds like a fun, exciting trip!!!

  6. I can’t WAIT to see this movie and am so glad that you are giving it a rave review.

  7. Rewarding them for bad behavior?! I think not! Helping is the word. Bad behavior is, say maybe killing someone. That, I would think, is bad behavior. Girls who are uneducated are lead down the wrong path and can find themselves in some uneasy situations. That is where you step in to help. But even before that, you try to prevent it from happening in the first place. That’s what is really needed! It isn’t a reward, its guidance. Much needed guidance.

  8. THAT explains why I didn’t see you at the Albuquerque balloon fiesta. My eyes were peeled for you, even though I know you only live in New Mexico part-time and not necessarily in that part of NM. (PS. It’s gorgeous.)

  9. Harvey Keitel is one of my all time favorite actors. I wish he would direct. I’ll bet he would be a great director.

    Jane, you look and seem happy and I am happy for you. You deserve it.

  10. Hi Jane,
    Looks like you’re having a great time. Sapphire came to Germany years ago and I had the priviledge of seeing her reading her book. Very powerful.

    Re Carrie Fisher, I had to laugh yesterday. While making a rather large smoothie (I’m trying to lose weight!) I was chopping all the fruit into the mixer and I remembered a scene from Postcards from the Edge where Shirley McLaine did the same thing, only at the end she took out a rather large bottle of Vodka and added it to the mix. Such a funny scene.

    I was in New York about three weeks ago and was saddened that 33 Variations is not playing anymore. I would have gone to see you again. I hope other theatres in Europe buy the rights. I can’t get that set out of my head. Such brilliance.

    All the best

  11. hi Jane
    so glad to see your remarks on Precious
    Sapphire came to Charis many years ago with Push and we had a powerful experience with her.
    love, Linda

  12. I look forward to seeing the film when it opens here. It’s amazing how many look down on others and don’t wish to give them a second chance or a new start. Would any of us be where we are today if we were not given a chance and tossed out like the trash. The green movement is not just about fuel, paper and cans. It should also be about how to inspire and give hope to those society will toss out like the trash. I know from my own school experience that I became interested in theater and film becaus a couple of positive words from teachers. They were not big scenes of praise just tiny words in passing that I latched onto.

  13. Great to share your photos and accounts of wonderful times. I am celebrating President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. Already he is doing so well internationally–so important in the time in which we live, as you know so well. Let’s all raise a glass to this fine honor that our President has rightly declared, honors our country.

    • Perhaps he won the Nobel Peace Prize because the people who decide who wins want to force him to be a warrior for peace, to listen to his military advisors, sure, but then to ask himself what a Nobel Peace winner would do. Probably they wouldn’t send unmanned drones over Afghanistan. Probably they would intelligently and strategically pull out of that country before it made Vietnam look like an easy war.

  14. Sounds like your still enjoying a New York life Jane. The stage is still in you mind , Iam sure.
    I still have a interest in doing a live production of Robert Emmet Sherwood’s “The Petrified Forest” , like your father did in the 50’s. A all star cast , live on TV for a good cause , if you can think of one.

  15. Your support, recognition and assistance to young women is one of the finest uses of your life’s energy. By doing so you impact the current and future generations. I don’t think you can be thanked
    enough for your efforts on their behalf. Please continue to believe in their potential.

  16. This was a great review to read of the film “Precious,” Jane. Thank-you for posting it. I came here from your Twitter, and will definitely return. I planned to go see the film when it opens in wide release. So for New York I believe that is in November. I love Monique and not surprised she did such a great job and Lee Daniels is an amazing director in my opinion. But I hadn’t read the book, think I’ll pick it up now.

    “Wishful drinking,” I suppose is a one woman show? I’ll look it up.

    It was also great to see Harvey Keitel and Eve Ensler out on the town with you. Two people I greatly admire, beside yourself.

    Finally, the work you do with young girls is very important. Instilling confidence and love in a young lady affects her life and everyone near it, for the rest of her life. If she has children, the next generation. All the best with future endeavors Jane. Great to find you blogging.

    • Not just “young girls”, Tanyeno. Young boys, too. We mustn’t forget the boys!!

    • Not just “young girls”, Tanyeno. Young boys, too. We mustn’t forget the boys!!

  17. Carrie is a funny lady, and there is always light and shade with her.

    Sounds like you are having a good time. When are you and Ms Keaton getting together for that movie.

    • Karen, saw Diane last night and she said she is still optimistic the film will get made. Understand, this is a really hard time for Hollywood. Movie making is down 50%since last year. There just doesn’t seem to be the money to fund anything but the most obvious, action blaster or top star-studded venue.

      • How much more star studded does it get than you
        Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton?
        Its insane not to get this movie made!
        Who do we call? write? kick in the butt!

        make it so,

  18. Hi Ms. Fonda,

    From my breakfast nook I can view a lovely sourwood tree in my back yard. I call it my “Vee Tree.” It is remarkable. It is only one tree but to the naked eye it appears to be two trees. It has one root system; however, the base of the trunk splits into a perfect V shape. It is fully grown, with each “trunk extension” approximately 80 feet, or more. As the autumn months approach it is always the first tree in my yard to change colors. At this writing all its leaves are a brilliant crimson. It’s funny, but at times that tree reminds me of you. Well—not your person—but it reminds me of the causes you have espoused, e.g. V-Day. It also brings to mind your involvement with the Vagina Monologues. I know this is a somewhat quirky musing but I hope you will find it entertaining.

    Today I was browsing through my October issue of Southern Living magazine and discovered the “Lady Jane” tulip on page 81. Are you familiar with it? According to the magazine, the pink and white blooms are elegantly shaped. If the bulbs are planted now they will bloom in late March. That tulip reminded of a paragraph from your memoir stating you were known as “Lady Jayne” during your childhood. Hope all is well with you.

    Chris in ATL
    P.S. Did you know “Fun with Dick and Jane” has been released on DVD?

  19. You were wonderful in 33 Variations but I guess that is old news. I did send you an ASK JANE message to see if you could clarify you position on Israel —but I have read more and I think I understand it now.

    I did write to tell you that you have a profound effect on my early years when you spoke at my Temple on the UES of Manhattan in 1979 with your then husband Tom Hayden. You had just made JULIA, and were promoting your economic redistribution political plan—so topical now.

    I taped your speach —your hand clutched the hand of the Rabbi who Bar Mitzvahed me—. I kept that mini-cassette for many years—until I went away to college–and as mothers tend to do–stuff is thrown away.

    A thought I would share…

    Peter B.
    New York, NY

  20. Jane,
    Thanks for making the comment about helping young boys. There is truly an epidemic of young boys between 14 and 23 (per information from my local police force) who get into trouble and end up incarcerated. Just last week I was told of a 19 year old from a good family who participated in the armed robbery of a restaurant. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail a few weeks ago. He will likely serve that entire time or slightly less. What does the future hold for him? I don’t hear too many happy endings after young men or women have served time.

  21. Hi Jane,
    Having been an admirer [or should that be “fan”?] of yours [and your dad, Henry] for many years it’s nice to have accidentally stumbled upon this website during a lazy day web surfing.

    All I wished to say is “Thank you” for making this world a better place.

    Tom [UK]

  22. This is a change of pace comment. I would like to thank you for a recommendation you made in either your book or your blog for Ted Turner’s Montana Steakhouse. My husband, adult daughter, and I were in Atlanta last weekend. The reason for us being there was for a rigorous test to help our daughter advance in her career.

    It did not come out the way we hoped it would. To make matters worse, our hotel, a place of good repute, seemed to be the center of a hooker convention. And, we searched all weekend in four directions to find food.

    All in all, it was a miserable trip. The one bright spot was going to Mr. Turner’s Steakhouse (the one on Peachtree in Midtown). We had so many unhappy meals while in Atlanta that I suggested on Saturday night that we might try Ted Turner’s Steakhouse.

    My husband asked, “What do you know about this?” I told him, “I know that Jane Fonda recommended it.” He said, “Aren’t they divorced now?” “So much the better,” I answered. “She’s got no reason to try to send business his way. So it must be a decent place.”

    It more than fulfilled our expectations. The food was great, the service impeccable, and it wasn’t particularly expensive. All of us had the beef filet, but we varied on our vegetable selection and there wasn’t an untasty thing on our plates.

    This meal wound up being the highlight of our trip to Atlanta and took the edge off of a very bad day.

    My thanks to you. You see, your services are philanthropic in many ways. And please, when you speak to Mr. Turner again, thank him for us.

  23. Hi Jane!
    I know it has been a while since I have responded to one of your blogs, but I see you have been just as busy as I have. I saw the trailer for Precious not too long ago, and as much as it does bring issues to light, I couldn’t stop thinking about the problem of racial stereotypes still in the movie industry. Obviously, I have to see this movie before making a judgment, but I have noticed in the past decade how progressive the Oscars have been in recognizing African American contributions to film. Do you think that one of the actors in this movie will get the Golden Boy?

  24. Can’t wait to see “Precious”. Have you seen “Inglourious Basterds”? Christoph Waltz definitely deserves an Oscar.You’re great actress.


    Hrvoje Domić

  25. jane i love you i m from saudi arabia

  26. Jane, I have “rediscovered” you recently. I connect so well with your life at this stage. So glad you found romance again! Hard to come by, later in life (as I am too.) But grand-kids and old school friends are a wonderful asset to have and keep me energized. Can’t talk much about your acting career but relate more to other facets of your life. Keep up the good work and stay young as you always have.

  27. Dear Jane, I just want to know, what do you think of Barbra’s new album? Isn’t it great?!

  28. Can’t wait to see “Precious”. I wanted to ask you something. How was it to work with Maximilian Schell in “Julia”? That movie was amazing.

  29. I love to see Precious even more now!

    Thanks again

    cyprus car

  30. Lenny Kravitz is luscious!

  31. Jane, I am thirty six year old man who recently remembered my first sexual sensation / arousal was when I saw your body underneath that pink nightgown you wore in the 1980s movie 9 to 5. You have the hottest body ever and to a nine year old boy that image from that movie might as well been porn.

  32. 12. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

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