I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Castle on Sunset is not salacious enough. When the topic is the famous Hollywood hotel, the Chateau Marmont, you expect some racy gossip. But if so, you will be sadly disappointed as most of the celebrity stories have been widely told before.
The Chateau was built at the height of 1920s optimism as a homage to a French royal castle. It was finished right before the market crash and the depression began.
The well-researched history of the many owners of the Chateau and its frequent rebranding is the best part of this book. Unfortunately, I was looking for spicy gossip, which is mostly absent. The Castle on Sunset is a serious history. If you are looking for that, you will enjoy this book. However, I wanted more original scoops on celebrities’ lives. 3 stars.
Thanks to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: celebrity, history, Hollywood, May 7 2019
She Wants It is a Hollywood film and television memoir by Jill Soloway. Jill is the writer/director of Amazon’s Transparent. Transparent is based on Jill’s real life.
Jill’s father was depressed and a mostly absent workaholic father during her childhood. After Jill and her sister, Faith, went to college, their parents divorced.
During an early morning phone call, Jill is the first family member to which her father comes out to as trans. Jill’s first thought is this is part of her story and she was going to tell it. If her father can become Carrie London, why can’t she become the film writer/director she always aspired to be?
Jill polished up an old script and it was green-lighted. After post-production is complete and Afternoon Delight is submitted to Sundance, Jill goes with Faith to meet their father for the first time as a woman. When her terminally ill aunt asks her to deliver a card to her father asking him not to dress as a woman at the aunt’s funeral, she begins writing Transparent.
She Wants It is a great memoir of how someone hurtles the obstacles of getting a screenplay developed in Hollywood. It also incorporates a bit about Jill’s life as a wife and mother of two. There are many psychological asides about life and her own journey to understanding the non-binary world. I was expecting more about the real-life childhood experiences of having a trans parent. However, for those looking for a Hollywood memoir, this is a good choice. It just wasn’t what I was looking for and I never felt connected to the author though her personal story is heartfelt. 3 stars.
Thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: Hollywood, memoir, Oct 16 2018