Malibu Seen: Film Favorites

Actor Rob Lowe joins the opposition to the academy's latest category.

First came Oscars-so-white, then came Oscars-so-diverse, now comes Oscars-so-neutral?

In an effort to boost sagging ratings, and dubbed the “Superhero Oscar,” popular flicks now have their own category.

Oscar audiences plunged to an all-time low this year.

Heck, we’ve got De Niro and Hoffman, so why not “Black Panther” or “Wonder Woman?”

The decision was slammed by many, including Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member Rob Lowe, who tweeted, “The film business passed away today with the announcement of the ‘popular’ film Oscar. It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent poles and vertical integration.”

Others denounced it as a “fake Oscar.”

Even though blockbusters like “Titanic” have gotten top honors, lately the categories have been dominated by smaller films.

Former studio exec Bill Mechanic put out a scathing announcement to members of the press along with his resignation to the board of governors saying that the field of nominees and winners has become so narrow that the “Oscars feel like they should be handed out in a tent.”

In its response, the board of governors said it embraces “broad-based consideration of excellence in all films.” So what’s so wrong with seeing a win for a film the average Joe actually saw?

Blockbusters, fan favorites, hits, popular entries. Wait a minute! Hold on! Isn’t that called the People’s Choice Awards?


Yes or No: Julia Roberts won the real deal as best actress in 2001’s “Erin Brokovich.” Could more be in store? The red carpet favorite is calling the shots and staring in a new movie called “Little Bee.”

She’s even throwing in her own dough to make this little film a big contender. And you can’t accuse the 50-year-old beauty all fluff. The new film takes place during the oil conflict in the Niger Delta and she believes her new project will be Oscar worthy. The film is based on a teenage asylum seeker from Nigeria who meets Julia’s character, a magazine editor. So don’t be surprised if you see matching Oscars on Ms. Roberts’ mantel.


So where where you on Saturday night? No, not Nobu, with its overflowing parking lot of cute little Porsches and oversized Escalades, not the joint next door with its Ferraris and Bentleys. Nope, the high rolling Forbes-listers like Eli Broad—who could give a fig about seeing or being seen—head for Mr. Chow and can be found in a quiet little corner all to themselves. The restaurant, which started out in London, is marking its 50th anniversary with branches including Beverly Hills, Malibu and more. Mr. Chow’s relaxed atmosphere serves up outstanding drunken fish, pork pot-stickers and Chinese delicacies galore in a quiet relaxed atmosphere (listen up breakfast, lunch and dinner dives with loud acoustics and louder bus staff). You’ll pay a pretty penny to chow down at Mr. Chow’s, but the experience is transporting—especially when you consider the noise levels at many Malibu eateries, which sound like they are literally  throwing buckets of metal silverware on the floor. If I want to hear the sound of broken dishes, I’ll go to Taverna Tony, where they at least offer music and belly dancing. So, how about a little Chinese tonight? Happy anniversary!