The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

And the winner is … Bedford, New York!

By JOHN ROCHE
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS

Bedford resident Glenn Close is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role as the title character in “Albert Nobbs.”

 

If you’re planning on hosting an Oscar night party in Bedford, five of your neighbors have a pretty good reason for not being able to make it: they’re each nominated for Academy Awards.

That’s right — five of the Academy Award nominees announced on Tuesday hail from Bedford.

OK, technically four, but Peter Linz of Katonah performed the Oscar-nominated song “Man or Muppet” in “The Muppets,” which the longtime puppeteer himself called “a nomination by association.”

A pair of documentary makers who live in town each snared their first Academy Award nominations. Joe Berlinger was nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category for “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” the
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS

Bedford native and 2003 Fox Lane High School graduate Rooney Mara snared an Academy Award nomination this week for her leading role in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

 
third film in a trilogy that chronicles the story of three men jailed then eventually released on charges they murdered three young boys in West Memphis, Tennessee.

Filmmaker James Spione, who put together the powerful documentary “Incident in New Baghdad” in his in-home studio in Katonah, was nominated in the Best Documentary Short Subject category.

And then there were the Hollywood bigwigs, who will compete against not only each other but also against category favorite Meryl Streep when the awards are handed out on Feb. 26. Bedford native and Fox Lane High School graduate Rooney Mara, who stars as the title character in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” will go head to head against another Bedfordite, Glenn Close, in the Best Actress category. This is the sixth nomination for Ms. Close, who portrays a woman living in the 19th-century pretending to be a male in the film “Albert Nobbs.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF MORNINGLIGHT FILMS

James Spione of Katonah is up for an Oscar for his short documentary “Incident in New Baghdad.”

 
Mr. Spione, whose film tells the story of a U.S. Army infantryman and how his life was dramatically changed in a controversial 2007 aerial assault in which journalists and civilians were killed during the Iraq war, watched the nominations on television with his wife and their 5-year-old son in their Sunnyridge Road home on Jan. 24.

“We were watching the TV broadcast, like everyone else,” Mr. Spione said Wednesday. “What I didn’t realize is that they only announce the major categories on television. When that ended, I yelled, ‘Wait, what about all the other categories?’ I jumped on the computer to find the rest of the nominations, and there was my film. It’s been very exciting, very cool.”

As he and his wife celebrated the news, one of their two sons, 5-year-old Galileo, interrupted to share the details of the art project he is working on in school. “It was perfect, really,” Mr. Spione said. “I was so excited about the nomination, but I was excited to hear about what Galileo had to tell me, too. Talk about staying grounded. It was wonderful.”

Mr. Berlinger and his family are in Park City, Utah, where his new documentary about musician Paul Simon, “Under African Skies,” is being featured at the Sundance Film Festival. 

BOB RICHMAN PHOTO

Filmmaker Joe Berlinger of Bedford, pictured above right with one of the “West Memphis Three,” Damien Echols, center, and co-director Bruce Sinofsky, is nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category for “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.”

 
“I woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning on Tuesday, and I couldn’t get back to sleep because of the excitement and nerves,” Mr. Berlinger explained. “I was told that if we did get a nomination, I’d get a call at 6:30 a.m., when they’re announced. When 6:30 came, my wife and kids and I were all in a big king-size bed in the place we’re staying in during the festival, and we’re all waiting for the phone to ring. But it didn’t ring. Not at 6:30, not at 6:35, not at 6:40. So I told them that I guess I didn’t get the nomination.”

When he texted his publicist, however, she told him that only about a dozen categories had been announced, and that others, including the documentaries, were still to come. “Within five minutes, she called to tell me that we got the nomination,” Mr. Berlinger said by phone Tuesday night. “It was an incredible feeling, especially after having thought we didn’t get it, and especially being able to share the moment with my family.” 

PHOTO COURTESY OF PETER LINZ

Katonah puppeteer Peter Linz performed the Oscar-nominated song “Man or Muppet” as the character Walter in the film “The Muppets.”

 
Mr. Linz, who had a leading role in “The Muppets” film this past year, wasn’t even thinking about the Oscar nominations as he rode the train from Katonah into Manhattan Tuesday morning. “I got a call from one of my closest friends from “Sesame Street,” who congratulated me and told me the song had been nominated,” Mr. Linz said. “Hearing that, and hearing the news on speakerphone from fellow Sesame Muppeteers, was really wonderful. My name isn’t on the nomination, but I’m looking at it as a nomination by association, since my character of Walter performed the song. It’s really exciting.”

Mr. Linz called his wife, Marlene, to share the news, but their children, Aria, Mica and Jonah, learned about the song’s nomination when they heard an answering machine message from The Record-Review after they got home from school.

“I’m so happy for Bret McKenzie, who wrote this really wonderful song,” Mr. Linz said. “I’m thrilled, but I’m just as thrilled when I think about the possibility that Jason Segal and I might be invited to perform the song during the Oscars. How cool would that be?”

The song has a 50/50 chance of winning, since the only other nomination is the tune “Real in Rio” from the animated film “Rio.”

The fact that “Rio” was produced by Blue Sky Studios, co-founded by his Katonah neighbor and friend, Oscar-winning director Chris Wedge, is also a thrill for Mr. Linz.

“No matter which song wins the Academy Award, it’ll be a celebration in our neighborhood,” he said.

Ms. Mara, 26, who graduated from Fox Lane in 2003, only acted in one theatrical production in high school, playing Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet.” Growing up in Bedford along with her older sister, Kate, also an actress, and their brothers Daniel and Conor, Ms. Mara is the great-granddaughter of two titans in professional football, New York Giants founder Tim Mara and Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr.

In a statement released through her publicist, Ms. Mara said, “I am humbled and deeply honored to be included amongst a group of women whom I admire and respect so much. I am quite aware that I would not be in this position without David Fincher, Cean Chaffin, and an incredibly supportive cast and crew. We all worked extremely hard to make the film, and I’m very grateful our efforts were recognized.”

Although Ms. Close has been nominated a half-dozen times, she has yet to win one of the highly coveted gold statues.

Ms. Close, whose portrayal of a woman disguising herself for years as a male Irish servant in “Albert Nobbs,” splits her time between Manhattan and an estate in Bedford. She said in a statement Tuesday that this year’s Oscar nomination “might be my sixth, but it feels like my first.”
Mr. Berlinger shared a story about a moment that took place when “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” premiered at the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center.

The trilogy of documentaries and the widespread attention the films brought to the case led to the release of “The West Memphis Three,” a trio of friends who were convicted as teenagers of three murders that took place in 1993.

Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin served 18 years of the life sentences they received before they were released based on new evidence that cleared them, and Damien Echols was freed from death row last year, largely because of the attention to the case brought on by the films made by Mr. Berlinger and his co-director, Bruce Sinofsky.

All three men joined the directors at the premiere, and they received a 10-minute standing ovation after the documentary was shown. “There I was standing beside a guy I helped get off death row and two men I helped get released from prison who had been serving life sentences, and the crowd just kept going with the standing ovation,” Mr. Berlinger said. “My wife told me, ‘Hey, that moment is your Oscar,’ and she was right. That’s not to say it’s not incredibly exciting to get an actual Academy Award nomination, but having that moment with those guys and a chance to win an Oscar is pretty amazing.”    


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

 

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

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Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center;
    294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center;
    280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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January 27, 2012