Tag Archives: Academy Awards

On being brave

lionI almost didn’t see Lion.

From the trailer, I could tell the movie had the dreaded Disney structure:

Child has a beloved family. 

Child is ripped from his beloved family within the first five minutes.

Child spends the rest of the movie looking for his beloved family.

Let’s face it — that story line is hard enough to watch when little cartoon characters are involved; I wasn’t sure I could stomach it with real people.

And I wasn’t altogether wrong.

But this true story — and the actors who portray it — are so compelling, I couldn’t have looked way if I had wanted to.  It is heartbreaking and life-affirming, all at the same time.

And I hope, in the course of my life, I can be one-tenth as brave as that little boy.

 

 

 

 

 

Golden moments

I am looking forward to tonight’s Oscar broadcast for three reasons.

oscars_2015_nph1. Neil Patrick Harris.

2. This awards season desperately needs a surprise winner. In any category.

Please, Academy, be the organization that flabbergasts me with a shocking turn of events, shaking me out of this year’s numbing sameness.

3. Much like the Super Bowl, the Oscars commercials are increasingly becoming an event unto themselves. I am particularly excited to see a new ad by Stonyfield Yogurt,  where woman actually admit to not liking Greek yogurt.

I knew I wasn’t the only one out there.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Honesty and innuendo?  Sign me up!

 

Because I can

EW_NPHEntertainment Weekly and photographer Robert Trachentenberg turned host Neil Patrick Harris ‘golden’ in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards telecast.

We know he already was.

They also shot NPH in a variety of poses with the coveted statuette…which can mean only one thing.

PHOTOBOMB

 

NPH_KISSNeil — the twins might be watching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

neil patrick harris oscarsNeil — your Oscar is so…tall!

(My apologies to the Academy.)

 

 

 

 

My eyes thank you

A Most Violent Year, starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, garnered no Oscar love this year.

The Best Actor and Actress categories runneth over, so in a way, it’s understandable.

But the brilliant costume designers who put Isaac in this black turtleneck sweater and camel hair coat —
A Most Violent Year 2Hand them the statue, damn it.

Was even more lethal on the big screen.

Easy A-ward

Dear Academy voters:

Emma Stone Oscar Please give the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to our gal Emma Stone.

I know her category is filled with amazing actresses who delivered performances equally worthy of the award…

But I think Emma’s acceptance speech would be one for the books.

Just take a gander at the statement she released upon hearing she was nominated:

Well, this is surreal. I am completely knocked out. Thank you to the Academy for this incredible honor. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of Birdman and can’t believe it came to this. I am so f–king excited. Are you allowed to say f–k when you’re making a statement for the Oscars? I’m just really f–king excited.” (via E!).

BOOM (figuratively dropping the microphone)

Cold justice

I was lucky enough to catch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on HBO over dinner tonight.

eternal sunshine

Such a wonderfully inventive story, and perhaps Jim Carrey’s most powerful and controlled performance.

As I watched, I questioned yet again why he didn’t win an Oscar…or even get nominated.  So I used the Google machine to remind me — who did take the prize in 2005?

The Oscar nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role were:

  • Don Cheadle in “Hotel Rwanda”
  • Johnny Depp in “Finding Neverland”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Aviator”
  • Clint Eastwood in “Million Dollar Baby”
  • Jamie Foxx in “Ray”

Foxx took home the prize; it was no shock.  His portrayal of the musical legend was spot-on. He sang and played the piano, too.  I wasn’t a fan of the film, but of him, yes.

I concede defeat.

But I would argue that Carrey’s performance deserves to be on that list as much if not more than Leo.  Or Johnny.  In fact, the list would be stronger for it.

Isn’t it funny how quickly you can become bitter about something that happened 10 years ago?

(Imagine how Jim must feel.)

Stop and go

Now that the Oscars are behind us, we can turn our attention to movies that we’d never expect to see in contention…

But in some cases, might enjoy more.

liam non-stopThis week’s entry?

Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson as a washed up air marshal on an international flight that is taken hostage via text message moments after take-off .

(Apparently the writers are fans of Pretty Little Liars.)

Not surprisingly, the conceit works here as well, as Liam battles blindly — every passenger and crew member a potential ally and/or enemy.  And if you’re a frequent flier like me, the scenes of airline passengers in peril — well, they’ll have you twisting in your seat a bit.

While this movie may not be Oscar bait, the script certainly drew its fair share of award-winning actors.

corey stoll non-stopWatch House of Cards on Netflix?  Why look, there’s Representative Peter Russo, who did you-know-what in Season 1 with a little help from Francis Underwood.

Wonder what is he plotting with those two gentleman?  Gonna have to see the movie and find out.

Julieanne non-stop And look who decided to sit next to Liam in business class — Oscar-nominated actress Julianne Moore.

She’s wearing heavy, horn-rimmed glasses and a scary-looking scar, but she’s not fooling anybody.

Or is she?
michelle non-stopAnd is that Michelle Dockery — Lady Mary from Downton Abbey — playing the part of a working class flight attendant? You know it.

Watch her serve drinks! Follow orders! Be manhandled!

lupita-nyongo- non-stopEven Lupita Nyonga, who is probably still grasping her brand-spanking new Best Supporting Actress Oscar, pops up from time to time on-screen.

This, my friends, is entertainment at its best.

No surprise

I watched the entire Oscars telecast last night, so I am sleepy today, but not because I was up late —

Because it was so BORING.

Where were the surprise winners? The endearing, incomprehensible speeches from dumbfounded winners? And no, I don’t count the garbled speech of presenters — like John Travolta and Harrison Ford — who can’t read a teleprompter.

I don’t watch awards shows to see actors deliver their lines. (That’s why I go to the movies.) I want some spontaneity. Some mistakes. Some signs of life and humanity.

Thank goodness Benedict Cumberbatch and I had some fun on the red carpet before the big snoozefest began.

benedict-cumberbatch-u2-lg

For the boys

Today’s blog is dedicated to guys — actors all — who deserve a little extra love today.

Tom HanksOscar Isaacrobert redford2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tom Hanks. Oscar Isaac. Robert Redford — all denied Best Actor Oscar nods by the Academy.

Now, I could be talked down on Isaac if the Academy didn’t pretty much ignore Inside Llewyn Davis, save a couple of technical awards.  I mean, it didn’t even get nominated for its musical score.

And while Captain Phillips did get six other nods, how can you justify not nominating Hanks?

Did they watch the final scene??

And Redford?  He was the entire movie All Is Lost. Period. What more do you want?

Apparently anything by Martin Scorsese…and I do mean, anything.

On a more somber note, I want to pay tribute to Russell Johnson — the original and best nerd crush of my generation, who left the world today…

The Professor
We’ll miss you, Professor.

Do I look older?

Director Alexander Payne and I have never seen eye to eye.

Since his movie Election (which I did like), the rest of his filmsSideways, Cedar Rapids, The Descendants — just don’t speak to me.

I doubt he’s losing sleep over it.

NEBRASKAThat didn’t stop me from getting excited to see his latest awards magnet Nebraska, starring Bruce Dern and Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte.

It seemed to have it all.

The two leading men, of course.  The black-and-white look, which seemed perfect for this road trip film.  Great trailers, too.

Tragically, Alex has led me astray yet again.

In the film, the car trip takes three or four days.  I would swear the movie — advertised as 1 hour 54 minutes — is actually that long.  It is slow…so very slow.

The driving sequences are slow.  The conversations are slow.  There’s a couple of fights scenes, and their fists look like they are in slow motion even though they’re not.

I really enjoyed three scenes in the movie. And the performances are wonderful — especially June Squibb, who plays Bruce Dern’s kick of a wife.   But there are long stretches of your life…

..that you will never get back.