Sunday, March 2, 2014
& here we are, the final installment in this series! we've come a long way, folks. you've had to endure a week or so of my ramblings, & now the oscars are really around the corner. as in, depending on when you're reading this, they could very well be tonight. here are the best pictures:
12 years a slave
dallas buyers club
the wolf of wall street
who should win/who i want to win: i would love it if either gravity or 12 years a slave won. i've come to believe that best picture winners should be timeless - that is, their themes and messages should still resonate and feel important or relevant (such a redundant phrase, but i can't pick which word to take out, so i'm keeping them all in) 50 years from now. it would be great if the best picture winner encapsulated some aspect of humanity & the human experience. some previous best picture winners have sort of faded, & disappeared (this article touches on that a little more). of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but i feel like 12 years a slave fits quite well the above ideology i actually started believing only five minutes ago. i think her is visually quite impressive & could win some really great design & production awards, as could gravity. american hustle doesn't have those resonant, human-experience-y themes that i think are important (even though the movie's tagline has been "everybody hustles" or something like that & the word "american" in the title implies it as a universal bit of americana), & neither does wolf. captain phillips was awesome, & philomena was a true delight, but they just don't feel...eternal enough, thematically. i feel like i'm not making any sense anymore, even to myself, so i think...ultimately...yes, i've decided, 12 years a slave is what i think should win.
what will win...maybe: for a while there it seemed like the race would be between american hustle, gravity, & 12 years. then american hustle seemed to lose some steam. i read one review that said while 12 years a slave is heartbreaking, gravity is groundbreaking. some years it seems voters skew more towards heartbreaking films - which 12 years certainly is. it's not fun to watch. but it is true that gravity is so beautifully well done in its own way, just like 12 years a slave is. i think ultimately gravity could have the slight edge over 12 years.
is that it?! phew. that seemed like such an anticlimactic ending.
here are a few fun links & articles about the oscars from around the internets. & remember, when you're predicting oscar winners & feel stressed about who & what to choose as the winner in each category, just use the onion's head film critic peter rosenthal's 12-point rosenthal scale (which is hilarious & one of the two links down here i simply insist you must watch).
do the oscars make you mad? will you still watch them anyway?
this onion video: "members of academy can't imagine what would happen if they ever selected wrong best picture."
if you read no other articles i've linked to in this post other than the rosenthal scale one, also read this one: cotton mather, a seventeenth-century puritan minister, reviews this year's batch of best picture nominees. it is HILARIOUS.
a printable oscar ballot so you can keep track of all your picks...if you do that sort of thing?
all right oscars, i'm reading for you. let's do this. happy viewing!
Saturday, March 1, 2014
second-to-last post in this series! are you happy, or sad, that that is the case?..don't answer that. i know that i only will have done five categories by the time this series is over, when really there are a lot more oscar nominee categories to take note of...maybe if i had thought of this series earlier, like a month ago or something, you could have gotten more of my (not so) wise words of wisdom regarding all the notable moving pictures of the silver screen of 2014.
tonight on the chopping block is best actor. i realize the phrase "chopping block" in that previous sentence doesn't quite fit, contextually/make sense. here are the guys:
christian bale in american hustle
bruce dern in nebraska
leonardo dicaprio in the wolf of wall street
chiwetel ejiofor in 12 years a slave
matthew mcconaughey in dallas buyers club
who i think should win/who i kind of want to win: remember the important disclaimer that i've only seen two of the films out of the five nominated here. but! chiwetel ejiofor was just brilliant. he has a way of conveying all sorts of emotion without even saying anything. he's actually sometimes a quiet leading man, an observer of all the horrendous things happening around him, unable to talk back to his masters, silent in the ranks of his fellow slaves. interestingly, at other times he has this incredible strength, like when he beats up paul dano's character, or revolutionizes an aspect at benedict cumberbatch's plantation. & then there are even times he stares directly at the camera, his gaze entering our living rooms as he looks right at the viewer for an extended period of time. it was both unnerving & awesome (read more about his performance, & the movie in general, HERE). but also! i really think leonardo dicaprio is due to win. so even though i hear the wolf is cray, & i have no plans to see it, & ultimately i would be sad if this is the movie he ends up winning for, i do so want him to win. i feel bad for the guy, but also i don't want to feel bad, because i still want to respect him & not pity him. i'll be the first to admit it's a complicated range of emotions.
who will win...maybe: i think this one is going to come down to chiwetel ejoifor vs. matthew mcconaughey, but let's be honest - i think matthew mick-c is going to win this one. he's been pretty unstoppable this entire awards season, & on top of that he's had this entire career renaissance/resurgence that everybody seems to be really enjoying, & i think he's going to ride that wave all the way through sunday's night little cer-cer ("cer-cer" being short for "ceremony" here).
coming up next...best picture!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
continuing in a series of my humble, nay, silly even, predictions of what might happen in some of the categories at the oscars this sunday, here are the best supporting actor & best supporting actress ones if you'd like to catch up. for now, i'm halfway (or one-thirds?) watching the bachelor, one-thirds doing some writing for school, & one-thirds writing this blog post. i can't wait for two-thirds of the things i just mentioned to be over, but i'll let you guess which ones those are.
but tonight is best actress. here are the ladies:
amy adams in american hustle
cate blanchett in blue jasmine
sandra bullock in gravity
judi dench in philomena
meryl streep in august: osage county
who i think should win/who i kind of want to win: this is a tough one. i really enjoyed sandra bullock's performance in gravity, with her journey from delicate vulnerability to fighting for her life playing out on this grand backdrop of space. but judi dench in philomena was SO delightful! you just can't help but fall in love with her character & completely immerse yourself in her story. & then cate blanchett in blue jasmine. *sigh* you root for her character (while kind of disliking her at the same time), you totally feel uncomfortable about things her character does & the way she acts, you watch as she falls from rich hamptons socialite to a step above a crazy, wandering-the-streets bag lady...& it's mesmerizing. okay, i talked myself into it! i think cate blanchett should win, & i also kind of want her to win.
who will win...maybe: it seems like it's going to come down to either amy adams or cate blanchett who will take home the little gold man. while i didn't love american hustle, i mean, i thought amy adams was alright. she's won several awards this season for her role already, because let's be honest, american hustle has mostly been such a critical darling. but. i think cate blanchett is going to win. that's what i hope, at least.
photo (<<<that's actually a really great article to read about her performance, as well)
Sunday, February 23, 2014
today, it's all about this guy êêêêêê
benjamin turns 27 today! we've been celebrating all weekend long, which is something i love to do. just ex-teeeennnnnndddd that party as long as possible. on friday we went out for sushi, & saturday night we went & saw the musical cinderella, which is funny, because i all night i was saying, "we're taking you to see cinderella for your birthday!" like he was a five year old girl or something. in actuality, it was coincidental that the cheapest tickets i found happened to be for the night before his birthday, but then we decided to make it kind of for his birthday, but then again, kind of not, because of the whole five year old girl thing.
anyway, i've compiled a list of TWENTY SEVEN reasons why i'm just madly in love with benjamin frandsen. it was simultaneously really easy to make the list...& really hard to make the list. because, how can you possibly outline specific reasons why you love someone? it's so hard to put into words. it just...is what it is! but at the same time, i could sit here for, well, a while listing reasons why i love ben. so this list is both deep & meaningful but also full of silly little reasons. so let's get started!
1. ben is the BEST TEXTER. just the best. he texts interesting things, updates throughout the day, he's funny, he responds quickly, after i leave for work he'll text me within minutes, just to see how i am. he's just a really good texter!
2. ben is a great texter, but he's also really funny about emoji (which is the app that let's you put little pictures in a text). he gets really stressed about sending the perfect/most appropriate text for a given situation, & we'll do little practices where i'll start with something easy & say, "okay, text me an emoji sequence of what you've done today." simple little drills that'll help him become more familiar with emoji. because he also claims that i'm better at emoji because i quote have some emoji pictures that he doesn't have, close quote.
3. i really don't like waking up in the mornings. it's by far the worst part of my day, every day (i'm very dramatic about it, as you can see). ben, sherlock holmes that he is, has somehow deduced this fact (i mean, okay, i may have grumbled about it a time or two while we've been married...) & he helps me wake up every morning & he's really quite sweet about it.
4. one of the things he does to help me wake up is just kind of lightly scratch/massage my back. it's like that whole idea of gradually waking up, instead of being awfully jerked awake by an alarm clock. it makes the entire process much more bearable. :)
5. ben is so faithful about writing an email to his family every week. he plans it into his sundays, & takes it just as seriously as he does his plans to "write that important email" or "complete that school assignment."
5.5. ben really, really cherishes his relationship with his siblings. he thinks about them individually a lot, wonders how they're doing, worries/wonders about how to help them if they need it or how/when to reach out to them.
6. like many of her generation, my grandma (my dad's mom) isn't too huge on the email checking thing, so every few months ben will print out all his weekly family emails he has sent out, pops them in an envelope, & mails them to her.
7. my grandpa, my mom's dad, loves ben. like, nowadays he calls ben more than he calls me. & grandpa loves to chat with ben about his schoolwork, me (they always end up talking about my health? haha), the weather in nyc, sports, & more. ben is really great to take the time to speak with him (grandpa can get chatty :D ) & if ben misses grandpa d's call, he always calls back.
8. i love quoting movies & quizzing people as to what movie the quote is from. ben always plays with me. as in, he takes the time to sit there & legitimately think about what movie it could possibly be from.
8.5. ben absolutely slays with "the princess bride" movie quotes. he knows that movie backwards & forwards. i don't think i've ever gotten one of those past him. he also does amazingly well with the original "star wars," the 3 "indiana jones," & "o brother, where art thou?"
9. when ben is sitting in our front room reading in socks, he sits kind of pigeon-toed & rests his right foot on his left.
10. you know that gigantic feeling of satisfaction you feel when you recommend a book or a band to a friend & they end up loving it? ben is totally the friend that loves stuff you recommend. he's always down to read the books i suggest to him, the ones that have changed my life or have really resonated with me. after he reads a book i've suggested, we'll have a little book club & discuss it. he's also really picked up on a boatload of bands that i've loved, & now we listen to/love them together. & he totally has these new insights that i would never have noticed. just now, we're listening to the avett brothers, & he said, "they sing a lot about weather & the seasons, i've noticed." yep. i don't know if i ever would have noticed that. he's just got a really open, nonjudgmental heart & will listen to/read basically anything.
11. ben keeps me so interested, just, in life. he's always thinking about something funny or interesting & will share it with me. he's got this razor-sharp intellect that i really respect.
12. when we were dating, ben gave me a book called "the whole shay-bang: a compilation of poetry and attempts at poetry to celebrate shayla." it was a little book of poems he wrote about me, printed out, hole-punched, & bound together with string. it's the BEST. there are a good twenty poems in the little book. one is about my eyes, one is about this skirt i used to wear that had these blue lobsters on it...this book is already a precious heirloom.
13. whenever we sit on the couch watching a netflix or show or eating dinner, ben always lets me stretch out & put my legs across his lap.
14. ben's school is some complicated stuff. i have a really hard time understanding the sorts of experiments he does, the content of the papers he writes, etc. but i really want to be a part of it &, you know, know what it is that he does every day. so i ask a lot about what he does, & most of the time it's a repetition of something he's explained to me before, but he's always incredibly patient as he explains (& re-explains) his research & work.
15. ben has a lot of charity (or pity) & laughs at my jokes.
16. ben is so culturally inclined. he loves going to the philharmonic, to concerts & exhibits & so much more. this is especially evident when we travel.
17. ben is a genius. i mean, he's so incredibly smart.
18. when ben is incredibly focused on something, he breathes a certain way. as in, different than he normally breathes. it's hard to describe, but it usually makes itself manifest as he plays the piano or is typing something intense for school.
19. i've been having some evolving thoughts about the way i view & practice my religion (all good things, all good things), & ben is an excellent sounding board & listener as i vocalize my new discoveries & thoughts.
20. ben is a feminist!
21. i love exercising with ben. it's really fun to go on runs together or ride bikes. also, he's really, really good about taking the time to exercise on his own, so that motivates me to get off my behind & go as well.
22. ooh, that benny boy can be stubborn sometimes. gosh it drives me nuts. but he's still cute, while he does it, if that makes sense? man, if he doesn't want to do something, he won't. he doesn't cave in to me if he doesn't think the same way as me - we are able to disagree & have healthy, honest dialogue.
23. so snapchat is that app where you can send photos or short videos to friends, & they only last for a maximum of 10 seconds before they delete forever. several of my siblings & cousins (& ben) have snapchat & we'll send stuff to each other all day long. ben will often save up all of his snapchats & wait until i'm around so we can look at them together. it's often in bed, right before we go to sleep. it's a great part of the day - looking at pictures together from friends or each other.
24. ben has a love of travel, & luckily we're both of the mindset that we'll try & do whatever it takes so that we can have wonderful & inspiring travel experiences together.
25. ben is hilarious & also sometimes pretty buggin when he gets woken up. one time, when we were engaged, ben fell asleep out in the front room, & when my phone suddenly rang, he hopped up IMMEDIATELY & ran, i mean ran, into the hallway & back into the room i shared with my sister? for some reason? & these days, if he's asleep but i can't fall asleep & turn on a small light to read a little more, he'll kind of freak. he'll, like, toss & turn all dramatically (i'm positive that even though he claims he's "asleep," he knows what he's doing :) & pull the pillows over his head, & i'll think, "ooOOooookay homeboy, let's settle down." other times if i get up to go to the bathroom & slip back into bed, he'll quickly sit up ramrod straight or sometimes even rush & rumble & get out of bed & then just stand there until i say, "yep, come back to bed please!" & then i just silently giggle. it's so funny.
26. even though the papers i write for my program are quite long & usually uninteresting to everyone except my professor, ben always painstakingly proofreads the entire thing. every time!
27! for the last two months or so we were engaged, ben wrote a little lovey note to me every day & hid it somewhere for me to find. in my shoes, pockets of my backpack, a coat pocket, on the seat of the car...all over :)
if you've made it this far, congratulations! job well done! i would apologize for being a little bit wordy at times, but let's be honest, we should never have expected that not to happen. :) happy birthday ben! i love you crazy amounts!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
the olympics have been such a good time (for everyone except, perhaps, the russians), but lest you forget that the oscars are coming up shortly after they're over...let this post remind you. we're talking oscars on the blog today (again). today's topic? best supporting actor. here are the players:
barkhad abdi in captain phillips
bradley cooper in american hustle
michael fassbender in twelve years a slave
jonah hill in the wolf of wall street
jared leto in dallas buyers club
who i think should win/who i kind of want to win: let me preface this by saying i haven't seen the wolf of wall street (& i don't plan on seeing it...ever) or dallas buyers club (i kind of would like to see it!). so i'm not making as FULLY informed a decision as i would be if i had seen all of them. but. michael fassbender was all sorts of unsettling in twelve years a slave. anytime he's around patsey you're just like, "get away don't touch her oh my gosh." when i experience a reaction that intense to a character on a screen, that's a job well done in my book. plus any way to get michael fassbender on screen MORE is something i would love to have happen a lot, & if he were to win, the camera would be on him as he walked to the stage, & as he's giving as speech, & i could just look at him the entire time. so that would be a good thing.
who will win...maybe: jared leto lost tons of weight & played someone who is transgender & HIV positive. this role screams oscar winner. & with all the accolades he's already received for it, i think this is jared leto's award to lose...& he won't. maybe? i don't know what i'm talking about.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
as if actors didn't receive enough attention & love & pats-on-the-back from their glam squads, designers of all things haute couture, their instagram filters, & fans all across the world, they also dedicate about a month & a half or so to give attention, love, & pats-on-the-back...to each other. we're right in the heart of the 2014 awards season, folks, & the oscars is that proverbial cherry on top...& it's sort of around the corner! the thing is, folks, i'm so irked by the self-congratulatory air of actors & filmmakers in hollywood (whenever someone refers to acting as a "craft" i want to plunge my hand into my pillow & pull out all the stuffing, indiana jones style) but man, we're already planning on holding another oscar party at our house this year & i can't wait to see what ellen degeneres pulls out of her bag of jokes because dang it, this has been an amazing year for female hosts of awards shows. i hate that i get kind of into it all, but i do & i've admitted it, so there it is.
anyway, last year i did a few posts after the oscars aired, about this admittedly amazing bit incorporating the sound of music & christopher plummer that still holds up a year later, & jennifer lawrence's big fall that i've almost forgotten about because she's done a barrel full of omgsocutefunnyshewouldbemybestfriendinreallife stuff since then (don't get me wrong, i do like jennifer lawrence) that her fall now seems like a tiny scratch on the windshield of the career she's seemed to have made out of being the coolest girl on the block (i promise i like her!).
so this year i was thinking of doing a few posts, maybe, of some of the oscar categories & guessing who will win. i'm not an expert, at all, & i'm surprised if anyone is still reading this far into this post. & it's totally just my own tiniest little opinion in the world. but i think it's kind of fun, & i hate myself for thinking that it's fun. first up! best supporting actress. here are the players in this hunger games (see?? if i didn't like jennifer lawrence why would i make reference to the million dollar movie franchise she is the face of??):
sally hawkins in blue jasmine
jennifer lawrence in american hustle
lupita nyong'o in twelve years a slave
julia roberts in august: osage county
june squibb in nebraska
who i think should win/who i kind of want to win: oh gosh, i went & made all these jlaw references while totally forgetting that the post i'm doing features her category, so here we are talking about her even more! oh well, moving on. i haven't seen august or nebraska yet, but honestly, it seems like the race really boils down to jennifer lawrence & lupita nyong'o. each has beat the other at least once this season (while lupita has just been killing it, clothes-wise). but i watched blue jasmine on an airplane, & the whole time i thought, "i wonder if anyone is going to notice cate blanchett's sister from persuasion in this movie because she is SPECTACULAR." so. i kind of want her to win, i think she was great, & she had a really nice reaction to being nominated, but if i'm being honest, i don't think she will end up winning.
who will win....maybe: ooh. so tough. so if it were to come down to being between jennifer lawrence & lupita nyong'o...i loved patsey in twelve years a slave. suffering, powerful, sad, yet somehow still so regal. that entire movie! everything about it! it resonated with me so much more than american hustle did. that moment when all the slaves get pulled out of bed by michael fassbender's crazy character to dance at midnight? patsey was so, so beautiful to me. but ack, the oscars love jennifer lawrence & american hustle has been winning a lot!...but what the hey. she's already got an oscar. i think lupita nyong'o will win!
stay tuned for the next installment in this series that could come tomorrow or, like, next week. who knows?