Tag Archives: Oscar love

Oscar Wrap-up (2015)

In case anyone was wondering why I didn't write up my usual, probing, insightful, film geek review of the Academy Awards this year, fear not. I did write one. It's just not posted here.

I don't remember if I've ever mentioned it here or not, but, I've been writing a weekly entertainment column called the APEX Hollywood Shortlist for the APEX Editor's Blog since November. The Shortlist covers weekly box office figures, award season news, the latest film festival news from around the world, you know, pretty much anything to do with movies. And honestly, it's kind of my dream gig. Crazy fun! And though I still cover the hell out of the aviation and inflight entertainment realm for APEX, Runway Girl Network and Aircraft Interiors, the Shortlist has been my bread and butter lately. So, check out my full Oscar night wrap-up at the link below and enjoy!

APEX Academy Awards Wrap-up (2015)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Movie Stuff, TV Stuff, Writing Stuff

Oscar Party Food (2015)

This year we had our smallest Oscar party ever with just three partygoers in attendance. Actually, if you count the Barbie and Monster High dolls Greta plopped down in chairs near the TV there were actually seven. Either way, it was probably my favorite Oscar party ever.

We had Oscar nominee crafts for Greta, loads of fun Oscar nominee-themed candy (my favorite were the Nerds Rope for The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game and the Whoppers for all the historical innaccuracies in the Best Picture nominees!) and a big bowl of taco salad to support all of the Mexican and Latino nominees this year.

That said, I must admit that we both loathed Best Picture winner Birdman with a passion. Oy, talk qbout art with a capital “A”…so annoying. And that score, my God, it was such a struggle sitting through that crap. And we watched it at home too! I can't even fathom seeing Birdman in an actual theatre. Yikes…

The worst thing is that if what Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu said about good luck charms actually working is true, I fear that our taco salad may have had a hand in bringing that lunatic three Oscars last night. Guess we should have followed our first instinct and gone with all kid-themed food for Boyhood. Oh well…there's always next year.

Oh, and by the way, Nerds Rope are ahmazing! So yummy! And they seemed to work a little magic last night for the nerd movies too, so, hooray for Nerds!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Food, Movie Stuff

Oscar Nominees 2015

OK, let’s just start with the biggest upset of the morning, no LEGO Movie Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature? What the hell?! To steal a line that has been tweeting around the internet all morning: everything is NOT awesome. Seriously, even the Best Original Song nomination for the film’s crazy-addictive “Everything is Awesome” can’t numb the pain of losing out on what many considered to be sure bet for Best Animated Feature. Wow…still totally shocked.

Also very disappointed to see Nightcrawler’s Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo overlooked in the acting categories. They both deserved serious consideration for their stellar work in the film, but, I am thrilled to see it score a Best Original Screenplay nod for writer/director Dan Gilroy. Nightcrawler was one of my favorite films last year and I’m definitely rooting for Gilroy to take home the gold, so, rock on, dude!

If I had one major gripe — aside from the two mentioned above — it’s that the Academy showered so much love and so many nominations on movies that, in my mind, were just OK. I mean, seriously, Whiplash and Foxcatcher for Best Picture? Yikes…

And while I’m delighted to see J.K. Simmons finally getting some Oscar love for his kick-ass turn in Whiplash, I gotta say, the rest of the movie is completely overrated. A total “actors movie” with a lot of showy stuff going on but not much else. Same thing with Foxcatcher. Again, very happy to see Steve Carrell finally snare a richly-deserved Best Actor nod, but, beyond the acting the movie was a mess and the fact that it scored Best Adapted Screenplay and Director nods is completely flabbergasting. Wow…

On the plus side, I actually yelped out loud (OK, more like screamed) when Laura Dern’s name was read in the Best Supporting Actress category. She gave an absolutely transcendent performance in Wild and if you ask me, this is her time to shine. She was the heart and soul of the film and literally lit up the screen with her powerful, soulful work. I think she was my favorite nomination this morning. Very excited for her!

I’m also totally stoked to see Boyhood continuing it’s climb to the top in a very chaotic award season. This movie has haunted me more than any other this year and I’m hoping it wins everything it’s nominated for. And yes, I know that means Patricia Arquette would beat Laura Dern in the Best Supporting Actress race, but, hey, there’s room for more than badass mother performance, so, I’m hoping for a tie!

Another cool surprise was the Best Original Song nomination for “Lost Stars” from another one of my favorite films last year, Begin Again. That movie was amazing and even if they didn’t get nominated for their performances in the film, I’m gonna pretend that Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo’s Oscar nominations this morning — for The Imitation Game and Foxcatcher, respectively — were for that movie instead. Either way, glad the stodgy old Academy remembered this lovely film.

And speaking of memory (I know, nice transition here, sorry) I am so excited to see Julianne Moore in the Best Actress race for her career-best work in Still Alice. That movie devastated me and her performance is definitely the stuff Oscar gold is made of. And if you ask me, it’s about freaking time Moore takes home an Academy Award. No one even came close to her this year…she’s probably the one sure bet this season and she deserves everything she gets. Rock on, red!

And even though Guardians of the Galaxy missed out on a Best Picture nomination, it did score a Writers Guild of America nomination last week and picked up two Oscar nods this morning as well. One for Best Visual Effects, (go, Groot!) and one for Best Make-up and Hairstyling (go, Gamora!) so, I’m not complaining. On a related note, it was very cool to see something other than stuffy English period films in the Best Costume Design category with Maleficent and Inherent Vice picking up surprise and totally deserving nominations. Rock on, crazy Maleficent horns!

Speaking of Inherent Vice, even though I only liked the first hour of the film (which is perfect!) and it descended into total madness in the second half, I have to admit I am glad to see writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Knowing Oscar voters, who have a rich history of rewarding people for the wrong movies, Anderson, who should have won for Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, will finally win an Oscar for his work here.

The bad news is that two really deserving writers got totally shut out in Anderson’s Adapted Screenplay category. Novelist Nick Hornby’s script for Wild was incredible and deeply moving. And though I haven’t seen it yet, Gilian Flynn’s adaptation of her novel Gone Girl is supposed to be pretty badass too. Sadly, their slots got taken by the likes of total groaners like Foxcatcher and Whiplash instead. Oy…makes me want to groan again.

And finally, even though Bradley Cooper knocked Jake Gyllenhaal out of the Best Actor race, Cooper gave one of the best male performances of the year in American Sniper and I was really glad to see the film pick up so many nods this year. It’s a really great flick with a, pardon my French, fucking doozy of an ending. Amazing!

OK, that’s all for now. You can find a complete list of this year’s nominees here. And, as always, I’m dying to hear what you guys think of this year’s crop of nominees, so, comment away!

2 Comments

Filed under Daddy stuff, Date Night Movie, Movie Stuff, Music, TV Stuff, Writing Stuff

Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)

It’s official, amigos, the golden age of Hollywood glamour is gone forever with the passing of Lauren “Betty” Bacall today at the age of 89. Truly one of a kind, Bacall’s smoldering beauty lit up the screen for over 70 years but the thing she’ll probably most be remembered for is her voice. Oh, that voice!

I think my favorite Lauren Bacall movie is probably Key Largo, but I will always have a soft spot for that big ball of convulated craziness that is The Big Sleep. Even Raymond Chandler (who wrote the novel) used to joke that he couldn’t make heads or tails of that story. But when you’ve got a 19-year old Lauren Bacall making her screen debut opposite Humphrey-flicking-Bogart, who cares?! A true classic in every sense of the word!

I’m just glad old Betty finally got an Oscar before she died too. It might not have been the one she was hoping for — Bacall’s Best Supporting Actress loss to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient in 1996 is still considered one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history — but Bacall did take home a richly-deserved honorary Academy Award in 2009. So, rock on classy lady…and please give my regards to Bogey!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Movie Stuff

Oscar Nominations 2014

I know I’m a week late with my coverage of this year’s Oscar nominations, but, trust me, it’s been one hell of a week. Took a road trip to Northern California over the weekend and then came home to all kinds of insanity, so, please forgive me.

That said, this year’s crop of movies is fantastic! Although we have yet to see several of the Best Picture nominees, we did manage to watch screeners of most of the heavy hitters this season over the holidays — and I saw and loved both American Hustle and Gravity last week on the big screen — so, we’re catching up.

AMERICAN HUSTLE movie poster

And while I’m pleased with almost all the nominees (except for the two acting nods for the overcooked melodrama of August: Osage County, which just might go on record as my least favorite Meryl Streep movie ever) the most exciting thing for me is that two of my all-time-favorite writer/directors of all time, Spike Jonze and Alfonso Cuarón, are finally getting some richly-deserved Oscar love from the Academy.

True, they’ve both been nominated before, but, never have they dominated the race as much as they do this year with their groundbreaking work on Gravity and Her. My dream outcome this year would be for Cuarón to take the directing Oscar for Gravity and for Jonze to take the screenplay award for Her. But, either way, I’m just happy they’re both in the running.

Speaking of writer/directors I love, I was very pleased to see David O. Russell returning to his goofy, idiosyncratic roots with the very cool American Hustle. The movie is big, messy and funny as hell and is probably Jonze’s stiffest competition in the Best Original Screenplay category, but, I loved it.

HER movie poster (2014)

GRAVITY movie poster (2014)

Also very glad to see Cate Blanchett snare a Best Actress nod and Woody Allen score his record 16th screenplay nomination for Blue Jasmine. But, my favorite nominee of all is probably Sally Hawkins who scored her first Oscar nomination for playing Blanchett’s sister in Jasmine. Blanchett deserves every award she’s won for the movie, but, without Hawkins beautifully-nuanced work to balance her performance out, Jasmine wouldn’t be nearly as good. Seriously, Hawkins is fantastic!

I also loved the fact that Nebraska scored so many major nods (go, June Squibb!) and that Frozen scored a Best Animated Film and song nomination for the epic “Let it Go.” We listen to that song daily in the car (I think I actually like it more than Greta does!) so, I’m dying to see which of the two versions will be performed at the Oscars: the rocking radio cut by Demi Lovato or the soaring Idina Menzel version from the movie. They’re both awesome, so, as long as they don’t roll out some other cheeseball to sing all the nominated songs, I’m cool.

BLUE JASMINE poster (2014)

BLUE JASMINE poster (2014)

Oh, and finally, in a year that has seen female employment rates in the industry drop to a 27 year low, I think it’s really cool that a female producer scored not one, but two Best Picture nominations this year. So, kudos to producer Megan Ellison for her fine work on Her and American Hustle.

To see a full list of all of this year’s contenders, click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Daddy stuff, Movie Stuff, TV Stuff, Writing Stuff