the oscars: best supporting actress

February 19, 2017

it's hard for me to get excited about this category.


it is. sorry.

in seventy-seven, beatrice straight won the award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role in network. if you were to ask me what else she's been in, i couldn't tell you. if you were to ask me about her performance in that film, i couldn't tell you. i remember the movie. i remember faye dunaway, william holden, peter finch and robert duvall. if you go to imdb and look at the credits, first-billed only, you'd have to click see full cast to see her name... sixth from the bottom, before the roles mosaic figure, tv technical director, laureen hobbs, hunter's secretary and narrator. i checked her filmography, and the only two films i recognized, after network, of course, were endless love and poltergeist. i've not seen either of those. that's how memorable she is. fifty bucks says you'd never heard of her until you read this post. i'd wager more, but i don't have a job right now, and fifty bucks is a lot of money at the moment.

i remember this scene:

i'd forgotten this one:

and yeah, it shames me to say all that. i call myself a film geek, and i can't recall an oscar-winning performance in a film i'd seen. the other nominees that year were jane alexander in all the president's men, jodie foster in taxi driver, lee grant in voyage of the damned and piper laurie in carrie. 

the following year, maggie smith won for the role diane barrie in california suite. didn't see it. the other nominees were dyan cannon in heaven can wait (did see it; didn't love her in it), penelope milford in coming home, maureen stapleton in interiors and meryl streep in the deer hunter. i didn't see any of those. maybe i should. i probably won't.

streep won the next year for her performance in kramer vs. kramer. the nominees then were jane alexander for her role in the same film, barbara barrie in breaking away, candice bergen in starting over and mariel hemingway in manhattan. same deal. the only one i've seen was kramer vs. kramer ... same deal.

winners in the eighties: mary steenburgen in melvin and howard; maureeen stapleton in reds; jessica lange in tootsie; linda hunt in the year of living dangerously; peggy ashcroft in a passage to india; angelica huston in prizzi's honor; dianne wiest in hannah and her sisters; olympia dukakis (i love her) in moonstruck; geena davis in the accidental tourist; and brenda fricker in my left foot. i've seen three of those.

supporting actress roles i favor from that decade: carrie fisher in the empire strikes back and return of the jedi; jane fonda, lily tomlin and dolly parton in nine to five (it's hard for me to choose who's supporting whom there); ally sheedy in the breakfast club; barbara hershey and bette midler in beaches (same deal); dolly parton, shirley maclaine and olympia dukakis in steel magnolias. none were nominated for these roles. they're memorable parts in films that had great appeal, and i think they were portrayed well.

the nineties: whoopi goldberg in ghost; mercedes ruehl in the fisher king; marisa tomei in my cousin vinny (yay!); anna paquin in the piano; dianne wiest in bullets over broadway; mira sorvino in mighty aphrodite; juliette binoche in the english patient; kim basinger in l.a. confidential; judi dench in shakespeare in love; and angelina jolie in girl, interrupted. i've seen six of those.

supporting actress roles i favor from that decade: laura san giacomo in pretty woman; shirley maclaine in postcards from the edge; mary-louise parker in fried green tomatoes; and gena rowlands or angelina jolie in playing by heart.

the two thousands: marcia gay harden in pollock; jennifer connelly in a beautiful mind; catherine zeta-jones in chicago; renee zellwegger in cold mountain; cate blanchett in the aviator; rachel weisz in the constant gardener; jennifer hudson in dreamgirls; tilda swinton in michael clayton; penelope cruz in vicky cristina barcelona; and mo'nique in precious. i've seen three of those.

supporting actress roles i favor from that decade: anne bancroft in keeping the faith; maggie smith in the harry potter films and divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood; ashley judd and fionnula flanagan in divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood; elizabeth banks in seabiscuit; emma thompson in love actually; diane keaton in the family stone; and laura linney in the nanny diaries.

this decade: melissa leo in the fighter; octavia spencer in the help; anne hathaway in les miserables; lupita nyong'o in twelve years a slave; patricia arquette in boyhood; and alicia vikander in the danish girl. i've seen one.

supporting actress roles i favor from this decade: patricia clarkson in one day; bryce dallas howard in the help; and jessica chastain in lawless.

i can't get excited about this particular category is because i'm not too excited about the films. of one hundred eighty-eight films nominated in the last four decades, i've seen fifty-nine. so about a fourth. a third if you're feeling generous. that's not too bad. that number's higher than i thought it would be, actually.

anyway the nominees this year are:

viola davis for fences
(i can't see how that's not best actress material, but okay...)

naomie harris for moonlight

nicole kidman for lion

octavia spencer for hidden figures
(janelle monae should've been nominated, too)

michelle williams for manchester by the sea

i don't know that i can see fences; i really don't care for denzel washington. but based on the clips i've seen of it, moonlight and manchester by the sea, paired with having seen lion and hidden figures, i'd have to say viola gets this one, that she blows the others' performances out of the water.

the best instances in which the academy got it right: marisa tomei in my cousin vinny; cate blanchett in the aviator; and octavia spencer in the help.

twenty wishes

why i wanted to read it: i got suckered into buying it because i liked the cover, the blurb on the back made it sound like it was going to be interesting enough and i'd read one of hers before and liked it. also... i was probably depressed that day and needed some hope in my life. i'm pretty sure i picked this up at heb on a whim. also it's a blossom street novel, and i understand those are popular. i figured i should give one a chance.

what i liked: barbie and mark's and lillie and hector's stories were alright.

what sucked: they were alright, compared to the rest of the character's stories. that's not a great compliment. i read more interesting things in my critique group. it's three hundred seventy-nine pages of crap, basically, complete with an exceptionally cheesy epilogue. i hate epilogues. it's a hell of a lot of telling over showing. and the main character? she's not a very likable chick. i don't give a shit if she's happy in the end. spoiler alert: she is. but then, it's predictable as shit, so you know she will be.

having said that: there are SO. MANY. OTHER. BETTER. BOOKS. OUT. THERE. if you've a hankering for a love story, read one from this list (preferably one in the bold type).

the oscars: best director

February 18, 2017

so basically the film awarded best picture typically receives the best director oscar as well. in the past four decades, there have been eight instances wherein that's not been the case:

nineteen eighty-two: chariots of fire was named best picture; its director, hugh hudson, was nominated for an oscar, but the award was given to warren beatty for reds. other nominees that year were: louis malle for atlantic city; mark rydell for on golden pond; and steven spielberg for raiders of the lost ark.

ninety: driving miss daisy won best picture; its director, bruce beresford, was not nominated. that award went to oliver stone for born on the fourth of july (horrible movie. i'd rather get a root canal than watch that again). other nominees were: woody allen for crimes and misdeameanors; kenneth branagh for henry v; jim sheridan for my left foot; and peter weir for dead poets society (robbed again, dammit).

hanks and spielberg on the set of saving private ryan
ninety-nine: shakespeare in love won best picture (again... WHY?); its director, john madden, was nominated, but the award went to steven spielberg for saving private ryan (damn skippy). other nominees were: roberto benigni for life is beautiful; terence malick for the thin red line; and peter weir for the truman show.

two thousand one: gladiator won best picture (BAH); its director, ridley scott, was nominated, but the award went to steven soderbergh for traffic. soderbergh was also nominated for erin brockovich. other nominees were: stephen daldry for billy elliott and ang lee for crouching tiger, hidden dragon.

three: chicago won best picture (BAH); its director, rob marshall, was nominated, but the went to roman polanski for the pianist. other nominees were: pedro almodovar for talk to her; stephen daldry for the hours; and martin scorsese for gangs of new york. peter jackson, who'd been nominated the previous year for the lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring, wasn't nominated for two towers. mayhaps because the academy had already decided the outcome of next year's best director award, which went to jackson for return of the king.

six: crash won best picture; its director, paul haggis, was nominated, but the award went to ang lee for brokeback mountain. other nominees were: george clooney for good night, and good luck; bennet miller for capote; and steven spielberg for munich.

thirteen: argo won best picture; its director, ben affleck, was not nominated. i can't stand that guy, but i kind of feel like he got robbed here. the award went to ang lee (again) for life of pi. other nominees were: michael hanake for amour; david o. russell for silver linings playbook; steven spielberg for lincoln; and benh zeitlin for beasts of the southern wild.

fourteen: twelve years a slave won best picture; its director, steve mcqueen, was nominated, but the award went to alfonso cuaron for gravity. that's probably wrong, too. other nominees were: alexander payne for nebraska; david o. russell for american hustle; and martin scorsese for the wolf of wall street. 

sixteen: spotlight won best picture; its director, tom mccarthy, was nominated, but the award went to alejandro g. inarritu for the revenant. incidentally, inarritu won the previous year for birdman. BLAH on both of those. other nominees were: lenny abrahamson for room; adam mckay for the big short; and george miller for mad max: fury road.

directors who should've been nominated but weren't for these respective works: herbert ross for steel magnolias; robert redford for a river runs through it; jonathan demme for philadelphia; joel schumacher for a time to kill; barry levinson for sleepers; mike newell for donnie brasco; tony scott for spy game; james mangold for walk the line; ron howard for cinderella man; and rob marshall for memoirs of a geisha.

which brings us to our nominees this year:

damien chazelle for la la land
mel gibson for hacksaw ridge
barry jenkins for moonlight
kenneth longergan for manchester by the sea
denis villeneuve for arrival
this excludes denzel washington for fences, david mackenzie for hell or high water, theodore melfi for hidden figures and garth davis for lion.

i've not seen fences or hell or high water, so i can't speak for those directors. i most likely won't watch moonlight, manchster or arrival, so obviously i can't speak for those, either. but i am not pleased that melfi and davis didn't get nominations. i don't know that gibson should've been nominated for hacksaw ridge; it bothers me to say that because much of that film is VERY impressive. hugo weaving does his finest work in it; i was in awe of him, and i've never felt that way about his acting. andrew garfield did very well, too. so that gibson got those performances out of those individuals is wonderful. but... i don't know about the whole of the film being exemplary with regard to directing. and la la land? really? i don't see it. i did not love that movie. yeah, i know. it's a musical, and you're probably saying that's why i don't like it. i'm not opposed to musicals, yall. i'm opposed to mediocre films getting more due than they deserve.

the best instances in which the academy got it right: jonathan demme for the silence of the lambs; steven spielberg for schindler's list and saving private ryan; and peter jackson for the lord of the rings: the return of the king.

the oscars: production design

February 16, 2017

okay. i am plagued since january thirtieth by an incredibly tenacious sinus infection or something that is amazingly resistant to medication, like steroids and amoxicillin and levaquin. what this means is some of the fire and ire that i would normally have for this subject has been refocused on the fact that i feel like hammered shit. i was gonna post on cinematography the other day but couldn't muster up the energy. also, that's actually a really tricky category to tackle. it's so much more than just camera angles and pretty pictures. so i scratched that one. sorry to disappoint. i'm sure you're so, so saddened by this.

seriously, yall, i think i'm dying. it's always a shock to me when i wake up in the morning, more of one that i'm not coughing up the entirety of my insides with every hack. i'm sure you're so, so disgusted by that thought. i am, too. i can't guarantee i'll be ranting as much here has i have been...

production design... once upon a time this was called art direction-set decoration. in seventy-seven, the winner was all the president's men. that film that probably should have won best picture but didn't. the next year it went to... wait for it... star wars: episode iv - a new hope. damn skippy. then it went to heaven can wait, but then the nominees that year were pretty much shit. star trek lost the following year to all that jazz; it should have. the empire strikes back lost the following year to tess; it should not have. same for return of the jedi, which fucking lost to fanny and alexander. show of hands, who even knows that movie?

amadeus, out of africa, a room with a view, the last emperor, dangerous liaisons, batman, dick tracy, bugsy, howard's end, schindler's list... i'm good with these. the madness of king george won over interview with the vampire. nope. not cool. restoration, the english patient, titanic... fine. dandy.  shakespeare in love over saving private ryan or what dreams may come. no. no. no. sleepy hollow... crouching tiger, hidden dragon. fine. fellowship of the ring and the two towers lost to moulin rouge and chicago. BAH. return of the king won, followed by the aviatormemoirs of a geisha, pan's labyrinth, sweeney todd: the demon barber of fleet street. i'm good with those. the dark knight and sherlock holmes lost to the curious case of benjamin button and fucking avatar. alice and wonderland, hugo... lincoln over anna karenina, the hobbit or les miserables... the great gatsby, the grand budapest hotel and mad max: fury road...

which brings us to our nominees for this year:

fantastic beasts and where to find them
hail! caesar
la la land
i want either fantastic beasts or passengers to win.

the best instances in which the academy got it right: star wars: episode iv - a new hope; the lord of the rings: the return of the king; and alice in wonderland.

tuesday topics: four ways you define love

February 14, 2017

so there's probably a thousand ways to do this. i'm going with sharing four instances of kindness that others have shown me that have been a sort of salve in some unpleasant situations.

one. i was sitting at pappadeaux's reading an email from yet another dude who'd decided i wasn't worth knowing on a day that i was feeling a little too susceptible. i'd gotten too quiet, and one of the bartenders noticed. she's gorgeous, this bartender, but more she's incredibly charismatic. she's buoyant and bold and maybe a little brash at times, floats like a butterfly and is probably quite capable of stinging like a bee. i'd pegged her for the sort who steers clear of sappy and sentimental. but she noticed and asked me what was wrong. she was pouring a beer as she did so, so it wasn't like she was still, but her focus on me in that moment was. that she noticed, that she asked when i would've thought concern would've come from one of the other gals tending the bar... i was moved by that, and that paired with the disappointment of yet another rejection... my eyes welled up and i said i couldn't talk about it, that if i did i would cry, and i didn't want to do that today. i packed up my stuff and went for a drive. when i saw her again a couple of days later, i thanked her for asking about me and let her know that i was okay. she'd said she'd been worried about me and was glad to hear that i was alright. 

it's moments like these, when i don't expect kindness to be given, when it's so simple as this... these make quite an impression. 

two. my family had gone to colorado the week of fourth of july one year to spend the holiday with my mother's brothers and their sons. usually after spending too many days with too many people, i get angsty. on the fourth, i'd started to feel a little crowded, but i'd managed to keep it under wraps... until that night. after the fireworks we left my uncle's to go back to the house we were renting for the week. my brother's girlfriend (now wife) had asked me to drive because they were sauced and i was sober. so there's six of us in a small car: my brother's bitching about the way i'm driving; his girl's demanding music; his children are being typical children. too much noise, too much pressure. i lost it. we were almost to the house. it was just a few blocks away. but i'd had enough, so i stopped the car, yelled at my brother that he could drive and that i was walking home. of course he had to argue with me. of course his children are observing all this, and i'm hating that this is a memory i'm making for them and i'm praying that it won't leave too much of a mark. when i get to the house, there's half a dozen relatives gathered in the kitchen; my cousins had come over to play drinking games. all but one of them clear out; my youngest cousin, who is built like a bear, wraps me in a hug and holds on for several minutes. he doesn't say anything. it was exactly what i needed, and i didn't have to ask for it.

three. coincidence is a beautiful thing. the day after i learned that i'd been laid off work (i'd yet to tell anyone), a friend messaged me with this photo:

i very much needed the laugh in that moment and was most grateful to have received it.

four. buoyant is most assuredly NOT a word i would use to describe me and so often i feel as though my presence isn't all that welcome. i know most of that's depression talking. i haven't really felt like i've mattered much. the other day, a friend from my college days put this bit of lovely on my facebook wall:

how do you show or define love? share with lauren and me!

the oscars: original score

February 12, 2017

so you know those people who're like, there's twenty minutes of previews and then the credits so if we're late, it's not like we'll be missing much. yeah. i'm not one of those people. now i'm not saying i'm a punctual gal. time is very fluid thing with me. more often than not i'm leaving the house at the time i should be arriving at my destination, and it doesn't matter how solid that time is, whether it's a shift for work or a hair appointment at nine a.m. chances are good i'm gonna be late either way.

but movies... no, no, no. my ass needs to be planted in the seat with all my snacks twenty minutes before start time. that's not to say i'm never late to one. i was late to hidden figures yesterday because i decided to do a double feature of that and la la land (one p.m. and a quarter to four p.m.), and this decision was made at twenty 'til one. i was still in my jammies. i brushed my teeth, threw on a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt and ball cap and booked it, made it just in time to catch the last trailer.

and when the theater's done with its announcements about how awesome its sound and visual systems are, when they've politely asked the audience to PLEASE SILENCE YOUR DAMNED CELL PHONES, when the screen goes black... THAT'S MY FAVORITE PART. it's like opening a book. there's the title page, the credits and then the story begins... a whole new world is open to you. only in a movie, that sensation's a thousandfold because there's music; you're swept into the story, immersed in it. the honorable drums and the brass at the beginning of apollo thirteen, the fragile strings and keys at the beginning of chocolat. the simplicity of the notes and how they echo at the start of one day. the opening of for love of the game, of miracle, of donnie brasco. the magic of harry potter and how distinct each film's opening is, even though the same motif runs along the bars.

i'd seen star wars so many times that my mind had begun to expect to hear the opening chords of the main titles after any twentieth century fox production, and there was always a smidgeon of disappointment in my subconscious that i couldn't.

and if you doubt the awesome power music like that has... let me remind of you this bit of badassery:

in nineteen seventy-seven, the oscar went to the omen.  i listened to snippets from each of the nominees, and that one gives me the heebie jeebies, so... it's done it's job.

star wars: episode iv - a new hope won the next year. of course it did.

i'm not sure how midnight express beat superman the next year, but yeah, that happened. my guess is they didn't want to give it to john williams two years in a row.

next year, it should've gone to star trek but went to a little romance instead. then fame beat star wars: episode v - the empire strikes back. okay. i ain't mad. i mean... it's basically the same music, so i can see why, it's just... bluh.

chariots of fire; e.t.: the extra-terrestrial; the right stuff... all amazing.

then in eighty-five, there's a passage to india. over the natural.

it pains me to say it because i LOATHE this film but out of africa totally deserved original score oscar in eighty-six. it's gorgeous music.

the intro to aliens gives me the CHILLS. but you know, that one didn't win best score. round midnight did. and yeah. it's pretty, but after about five minutes of it, i feel like i'm listening to a jazz cd not music made for a film.

i'm not a fan of any of the nominees in eighty-eight. i'm not a fan of the score for the milagro beanfield war, which won the following year. in fact, i hear that music, and i can't turn it off fast enough. the prettiest of the nominees that year was rain man, which is lovely. but then it's han zimmer. he, like john williams, scores some fine shit. i'm not a fan of il postino: the postman, either, and it beat out things by james horner (apollo thirteen and braveheart) and john williams (nixon), as well as the music from sense and sensibility. 

dances with wolves, schindler's listthe english patient, emma, the full monty, life is beautiful, shakespeare in love... if you asked me to hum some of the music from these films, i couldn't do a note.

and then there's disney, and everybody knows how the music goes from most of these: the little mermaidbeauty and the beastaladdin, the lion king, pocahontas.

there's the beauty of saving private ryan which lost to life is beautiful, of chocolat which lost to crouching tiger, hidden dragon. finding neverland won in two thousand five. it's pretty. it's not better than harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban, though, or that written for the village. brokeback mountain won the next year, over pride and prejudice and memoirs of a geisha.

then there's babel, followed by atonement, then slumdog millionaire. i'm good with these. good. not great, because the music from those three movies isn't so distinctive, so memorable. the music should be the thing that lingers long after you've seen the film. it should pop into your head for no reason whatsoever. i'll be standing in an elevator or browsing in a bookstore and all the sudden, notes from city of angels or bed of roses (maybe those movies aren't awesome, but the music's gorgeous), of pride and prejudice or for love of the game or memoirs of a geisha will come to me. and i will remember scenes from those films. i will remember loving them, even the ones that aren't awesome... because there are pieces in them that speak to me, there are moments of excellence. the piece that's most often in my head is called the letter from swing kids:

and then there's up. over sherlock holmes. i'm not okay with that because the music for holmes is inventive and unique.

social network. the artist... meh. same thing. i'm not terribly impressed. and trent reznor did the music for the first of those films; he's a damned fine musician so it's hard for me to say that about his work.

argo should've won when life of pi did. the book thief should've won when gravity did. grand budapest hotel over the imitation game. the hateful eight over sicario. 

which brings us to this year's nominees:

i want lion to win this one. and erin, i'll be going to see that one tomorrow, lady, so that should make you happy.

best instances in which the academy got it right: star wars: episode iv - a new hope; out of africa; the lord of the rings.

the oscars: visual effects

February 11, 2017

now we get to the good stuff. best achievement in visual effects. thank god for industrial light and magic and their mad, mad skills. thank god for the guys who can make superman fly, the t-1000 shape-shift and dinosaurs wreak havoc.

nineteen seventy-eight... and the oscar goes to star wars: episode iv - a new hope. damn right it does. of course, the only other nominee was close encounters of the third kind. here we go again with the slim pickings. but still... star wars would've blasted the competition to the outer rim.

seventy-nine. superman. the only nominee. but still... it's SUPERMAN.

eighty. alien. can i just say how happy i am that star trek lost? (i'll be happy for that franchise later because it took decades... and j.j. abrams to get me to love the enterprise and its crew.) also... somebody made a REALLY DISGUSTING AND VILE CREATURE come out of john hurt's chest.

that's SO, SO, SO gross. and then it got to be BIG AND NASTY AND SKEERY AS SHIT. i can't watch it, captain. i don't have the power.

eighty-one. star wars: episode v - empire strikes back. here. watch this pretty.

return of the jedi wins, too, by the way. so do the indiana jones movies. aliens gets another one. 

i don't like forrest gump and babe, but they deserve their oscars here. bah. actually, i can't really bitch about any of the winners, which disappoints me because i do like to bitch. :]

so the nominees this year are:

deepwater horizon
doctor strange
the jungle book
kubo and the two strings
rogue one: a star wars story
do i really need to tell you which one i want to win?

the best instances in which the academy got it right: the star wars saga; the lord of the rings (i bet you thought i could go a whole post without mentioning them.); jurassic park (i'd rather watch alien than see that one again; those velociraptors SCARE THE SHIT out of me).

the twelve days of dash and lily

February 10, 2017

why i wanted to read it: because i'd read dash and lily's book of dares.

what i liked: there'd been no room in my toy soldier heart for lily, but she'd forced herself in anyway. and she'd brought christmas with her.

now don't get me wrong -- it still struck me as pretty bogus to pay lip service to generosity at the end of every year only to go all generosity amnesiac once the calendar page turned. the reason lily wore it well is because she wore it all year round. and now i was able to see it in other people, too... i saw this perpetual generosity in the way some of the couples looked at each other, and a lot in the way that most of the parents (even the exasperated ones) looked at their children. i saw pieces of lily everywhere now. i'd just seen fewer of them in lily (page 6).

i knew that if there was anyone in this room who could handle my jackass father, it was mrs. basil e. i wouldn't need to say a word of explanation to her -- from her perch on lily's sofa, she would've already taken in the situation with a knowledge approaching omniscience. i knew she didn't suffer fools gladly, but she'd gladly make a fool suffer...

"so," mrs. basil e. said, eyeing him with both curiosity and a desire to kill a cat, "you're the rapscallion's father."

my father straightened up a little at that. "guilty as charged. or at least that's the story his mother told me."

"oh -- and you're rakish as well! i've often found it helpful to have a shovel around when you're dealing with a rake."

"i'm not sure i follow."

"and i, sir, am not very sure you lead. but no matter" (page 38).

"good lord, i know when i'm not wanted," my father huffed. "i'll see you in the morning, dashiell."

"he loves you," leeza said once he was gone. 

"you shouldn't be the one telling me that," i replied.

"i know."

while she went out to to the closet to get some new sheets, i texted lily with the invitation to breakfast. it was late, so i wasn't expecting her to be up. but she responded right away, excited.

"lily's on board for gingerbread pancakes," i told leeza when she returned. then i took the sheets out of her arms; i could make my own bed.

"lovely!" she said with compensatory cheer. "is there anything else i can do for you before i head to bed?"

tell me why you're married to my father, i didn't say. tell me that when i make mistakes they're going to be my mistakes, not his mistakes (page 174).

"how do you get good at this whole dating thing?" i asked boomer. part of me couldn't believe i was asking him this. but a bigger part of me really wanted to know. 

"i don't think i'm good at it," boomer told me. "but when i'm with sofia i'm not really thinking about whether or not i'm good at it, which is what makes it good. then i go home and worry. but then i'm back with her and it's good again. i think that's what dating is" (pages 198-199).

what sucked: i was bored pretty much through the entirety of this book.

having said that: the ending of the first book annoyed me. the ending of this one was better. maybe i like dash. maybe i like lily. but i don't love reading about them.

the oscars: makeup

February 9, 2017

so somebody did that to ian mcdiarmid's face for the star wars saga, but that's not worthy of recognition.

and someone transformed john hurt into joseph merrick in the elephant man, but that's not worthy of acclaim, either.

now i'm not saying either of these films should've been winners with regard to make-up (ahem... they should've been... think of all the cool things they did with leia's hair!), but don't you think they should've at least been nominated? i mean, it's not like there were already too many nominees and one or two more would've looked ridiculous.

in nineteen eighty-two, these were the nominees for best achievement in makeup and hairstyling:

an american werewolf in london
yep. that's it. TWO. the werewolf won. it probably should've. but nominating only two films seems pretty damned lazy.

in eighty-four, none were nominated. NONE. in four instances there've been only two nominees. in ninety-nine, there were four. otherwise, it seems there can be only three.

i take issue with the iron lady winning over harry potter and the deathly hallows in two thousand eleven and with the grand budapest hotel beating guardians of the galaxy in fourteen. i take issue with the slim pickings. given the nominees and the lack of choice, i'm forced to say the academy seems to be pretty fair with regard to selecting winners here.

but yall, it's basically the same damned people getting the prize. rick baker's got seven oscars: an american werewolf in london; harry and the hendersons; ed wood; the nutty professor; men in black; how the grinch stole christmas; the wolfman. greg cannom and ve neill each have one for mrs. doubtfire; cannom's got two for bram stoker's dracula and the curious case of benjamin button, and neill has two for beetlejuice and ed wood. david leroy anderson has oscars for the nutty professor and men in black. yolanda toussieng won for mrs. doubtfire and ed wood. michelle burke's got oscars for quest of fire and bram stoker's dracula. didn't i mention most of those films already? YES, yes i did. mark coulier's got those oscars for iron lady and budapest. BAH. and then there's richard taylor who has two for lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring and return of the king. YAY.

films that weren't nominated that maybe should've been: labyrinththe princess bridesleepwalkersinterview with the vampirebatman foreversevenstar wars: episode i - the phantom menacesleepy hollowfight clubx-menking arthurmemoirs of a geishaserenitythirty days of nightblack swanthe hunger gamesdeadpoolmiss peregrine's home for peculiar childrenhacksaw ridge...

which brings us to this year's meager crop of contenders:

a man called ove
star trek beyond
suicide squad
i want star trek to win, but it's probably going to be suicide squad. i can't quite figure out why that first one's even an option. somebody made ryan reynold's ugly as fuck, but let's not give that any consideration. let's go for this ove dude, instead. (and here's where i piss off everyone, right?)

the best instances in which the academy got it right: mask; mrs. doubtfirethe lord of the rings.

three things

February 8, 2017

three things i'd never give up: my love for fiction, film and football; bread and butter; profanity

three favorite vegetables: green bell peppers; green beans; broccoli

three shows i watched faithfully from beginning to end: the west wing; ncis; the unusuals

three places i want to visit inside the united states: hawaii; nashville, tennessee; boston, massachusetts

three places i want to visit outside the united states: austria, ireland, greece

three things i always have with me: freckles; scars; sinus pressure

three things that are always in my car: music; papers; pens

three most recent phone calls were to/from: i don't have my phone on me at the moment. i'll come back to this one.

three books i read and loved in college: daring to dream, holding the dream and finding the dream by nora roberts

three most often used makeup products: clinique's breeze beyond perfecting foundation and concealer, black high impact mascara and surprise lipstick

three things that make me laugh: 

three things that make me cry: loneliness; madness; powerlessness

three things i frequently forget: to moisturize; to empty the pool's skimmer basket; to use my inside voice

three errands i love to run: putting things in the mail; grabbing food; picking up books for my parents

three restaurants i want to try: the breakfast klub; the grove; yard house

three famous people i'd like to meet: jenny lawson; rainbow rowell; ellen degeneres

three famous people i'd like to avoid: matthew mcconaughey; ethan hawke; ben affleck

three things i recommend: schedule an appointment with dr. devin pettiet or dr. shawn mchone at tomball chiropractic spine and rehab center; the noon cross fit class at lyft athletics; the hot turkey melt at tony's italian delicatessen. but that's local stuff... handwritten letters; care packages; the bloggess' second annual booksgiving

three books i loved in the elementary/junior high days: a wrinkle in time by madeline l'engle; beezus and ramona by beverly cleary; tales of a fourth grade nothing by judy blume

three things i always look forward to: summer in utah; the start of football season; food

three things i always dread: sleeping when i'm home alone; madness; first dates

erin did this three thing the other day; she borrowed it from steph, who did it in october and november.

the oscars: costume design

February 7, 2017

here's another category about which i generally don't care, but i understand how vital costumes are in bringing a story to life so...

nineteen seventy-seven. the oscar goes to... star wars. hooray! i'm down with that. i'm down with it going to all that jazz two years later, chariots of fire two years after that, ghandi in the next and amadeus two years later. i'm down with the last emperor, dangerous liaisons and henry v getting it in eighty-seven, eight and nine, respectively. in fact, yall... i'm good with most of the winners on this one, even when moulin rouge won instead of lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring. yes, even then.

maybe it's because i just got home from bible study. maybe it's because i care less about this category than others. or maybe it's because the academy actually made good choices with regard to this particular category... but i don't have much to say about this one... except that i'm not too impressed with the nominees this year.

fantastic beasts and where to find them
florence foster jenkins
la la land
i think the least deserving films in this category are allied and la la land. i'd say florence foster jenkins should win it. i want jackie to win, but that's probably just because i love that woman's sense of style.

the best instances in which the academy got it right: star wars, the lord of the rings: return of the king and memoirs of a geisha.

tuesday topics: five strengths

February 6, 2017

one. high tolerance for pain. the fourth surgery i had was on my left knee to repair wonky ligaments and tendons. it involved slicing a bit of the bone in my calf, screwing the fragmented piece onto a different spot and cutting and reattaching the tendon to it, then taking some lasers to the ligaments in my knee. good times. surgery doesn't scare me, and the pain? meh. they give you drugs. lots and lots of drugs... like morphine and vicodin. that said... the first words i said to my father when i came to were daddy, whatever could i have been thinking of? 

i walked around for god knows how long with an abscess the size of my thumbnail in my lower jaw. when it finally began hurting, i medicated it with advil and orajel. a couple of years later i got another one, right next door to where the first one was. didn't feel it. didn't know it was there. in both instances i had to have a tooth yanked out. good times.

two. compassion. i don't like seeing people hurt. their pain hurts me more than mine does.

three. communication skills. i'm better with the written word than i am with the spoken one, but... you put me behind a cash register and tell me to sell some memberships or open some charge accounts or establish some gift registries, i can have a customer signing on the dotted line in seconds. you need five hundred words on why juvenile batten disease is some wicked, wicked shit? i'm your girl.

four. generosity. i like giving. you need ten bucks to get you some food because you're starving and your bank account's overdrawn? i feel you. here's a twenty. go get you some grub.

five. tenacity. i started hearing how i didn't matter at age eight. ridicule was a relentless tide that battered the jagged, brittle bones of my body for more than three decades. i'm softer in places because of it. i'm stronger in others.

share yours with lauren and me!

the oscars: original song

so there are some two dozen oscar categories. one that is typically the biggest disappointment to me is original song. not because of who wins but because the nominees are generally pathetic. sometimes it's like asking me to pick between two bowls of utterly contemptible food: snot-and-squash souffle or pissed-on pureed peas. other times it's like choosing between a plain and dry hamburger from mcdonald's and a whiskey river barbecue burger from red robin.

in eighty-three, the award could've gone to one of two works sung by barbra streisand in the film yentl, but instead the prize went to flashdance... what a feeling. i'm sorry. what???

the next year, i just called to say i love you from the woman in red won. okay. that's a pretty song. but then there's against all odds from the film by the same name, and that song still manages to give me chills. 

the year after that... say you, say me. that one's pretty, too. but separate lives is so much better.

take my breath away from top gun won in eighty-six. but maybe that one should've gone to somewhere out there from an american tail or glory of love from the karate kid, part two. but really, i'm not in love with any of those.

two thousand one. if i didn't have you from monsters, inc. no. that one should've gone to may it be from lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring.

and before you come at me with yes, but this is from the gal who was pissed off that lotr didn't get three best picture oscars. i can be unbiased, yall. two thousand three. into the west from return of the king won that year. it absolutely should NOT have done so. you will be my ain true love from cold mountain should have.

four. al otro lado del rio from the motorcyle diaries over learn to be lonely from phantom of the opera.

which brings me to the first of many years in which i LOATHE. EVERY. SINGLE. NOMINEE.

five. it's hard out there for a pimp from hustle and flow; in the deep from crash; travelin thru from transamerica. of all the films released that year, the academy felt that only three contained music worthy of an oscar, and THESE ARE THE SONGS? what the fuck. the next year, again the nominees are from three films, and three of those songs are in the same film. i need to wake up from an inconvenient truth won, when the award should've gone to listen from dreamgirls. the next year's another of only three nominees, two of which are from the same film; jai ho from slumdog millionaire won. 

ten. we belong together from toy story three. i prefer coming home from country strong.
eleven. man or muppet from the muppets beat the only other nominee, real in rio from rio. they both suck.
twelve. skyfall from the film by the same name won. everybody needs a best friend from ted should have.
thirteen. let it go from frozen won. happy from despicable me two should have.

fifteen. writing's on the wall from spectre won. that award should've gone to 'til it happens to you from the hunting ground. 

this year, the nominees are: audition (the fools who dream) and city of stars from la la land; can't stop the feeling from trolls; how far i'll go from moana; and the empty chair from jim: the james foley story. i'm guessing one from la la land will take the prize, but i don't much care who wins.

the best instances in which the academy got it right: streets of philadelphia from philadelphia; my heart will go on from titanic; lose yourself from eight mile.

the oscars: best picture

February 5, 2017

about a week or so ago, my film challenge friend and fellow blogger christina wrote a post about this year's best picture nominees. i used to love the oscars. when i was a terribly troubled, antisocial runt of a gal, i'd spend that sunday night watching all these gorgeous folks in their gorgeous attire sitting in that gorgeous theater celebrating all the gorgeous work they'd done, and my geeky, writer self would be crafting my acceptance speech for best original screenplay that i was certain to win when i turned into that swan my father kept saying i'd eventually be.

now this terribly troubled, antisocial lump of a gal with no grace whatsoever (sorry, pop) but a damned fine group of friends (YAY) abhors the oscars. why? because they're shit. and for the next few weeks, i'm going to post a whole bunch on why i think that is. for the sake of my sanity, we're sticking to the past four decades for these...

let's start with best picture, shall we? you know what won best picture forty years ago?

rocky. the contenders? all the presidents men, network, taxi driver and bound for glory. i'm not familiar with the last one. i've seen the others though, and you can bet your ass they're more deserving of the title. now. i'm not knocking rocky. it's a good movie, full of hope and determination and spirit. i dig it. but it's NOT BEST PICTURE MATERIAL.

of course, this is also the era that gave us star wars, superman, alien, raiders of the lost ark and e.t.: the extra-terrestrial. it pains me to say this, but the pickings were kind of slim, and please don't read that as my knocking those films, except for alien, of course. i watched that one once. no way in hell will i do it again. the others, though, i like'm just as much as the next person. but if you look at the films released between seventy-seven and eighty-two, not a lot of caliber there. i'm pretty sure empire strikes back should've gotten a nomination (not a win) for best picture because that is HANDS DOWN the best of the star wars saga, and if e.t.: the extra-terrestrial can get a nomination, so can empire; the rest of'm don't deserve acclaim, but that one did for sure... anyway... highest grossing film of that year. just saying.

out of africa won instead of the color purple in eighty-five; driving miss daisy over dead poets society in eighty-nine; forrest gump instead of the shawshank redemption in ninety-four. braveheart over apollo thirteen in ninety-five.

the film seven was worthy of some attention, i think, because of its story and the efforts the crew took to tell it (the acting's not the best, by any stretch, so when i say crew, i'm talking about the folks who get the sets dressed and ready to go). and before you say that movie wasn't even nominated for an oscar that year; it was, for best film editing (not a category i'm going to play with for this series, by the way... there's only so much effort i can put into this thing, and too much digging into oscar history could result in some seriously elevated stress levels). you know what else was nominated for best picture that year? jerry maguire. if that movie could snag a best pic nom, then seven probably should've gotten one, too. you know what won best picture in ninety-six? the english patient. UTTER CRAP. THREE FUCKING HOURS OF POORLY-PORTRAYED, POORLY-CONSTRUCTED CRAP.

ninety-seven: titanic. that one should've gone to good will hunting.
ninety-eight: shakespeare in love. that one should've gone to saving private ryan.
two thousand: gladiator. SERIOUSLY? that movie's SHIT. erin brockovich should've won that one.

and then we come to tolkien. to peter jackson's masterpiece production of the lord of the rings trilogy.

two thousand one. a beautiful mind. that movie's NOT shit. that movie is, pardon the pun, beautiful. incredibly deserving of a nomination. but when you put it next to lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring... NO. just no. the only oscar fellowship won that it shouldn't have was best score (which is a category i'm going to play with... eventually).

two. this is where christina and i have a disagreement. chicago won best picture that year. chicago. over gangs of new york, the hours, the pianist... and the lord of the rings: the two towers. the last of those should've been the winner. and before yall come at me with how no film should rack up that many oscars... the english patient won nine. NINE too many.

three. the lord of the rings: the return of the king. finally, the academy got their heads out of their asses.

nine. the hurt locker. that one snagged nine nominations and won six awards, including best picture. also shit. not worthy of a single nomination. and yall, i love jeremy renner. and many, MANY of my relatives have served. so i'm not knocking the film's premise or content. it's good. it's not oscar material, though. by ANY stretch. ten films were nominated that year for best picture. my vote was for inglorious basterds or precious.

fourteen. birdman or (the unexpected virtue of ignorance). over american sniper. over the imitation game. over the theory of everything.

so many films that are so worthy of best picture nominations but didn't get them... stand by me, steel magnolias, a river runs through it, philadelphia, tombstone, a time to kill, murder in the first, sleepers, dangerous minds, donnie brasco, spy game, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, walk the line, cinderella man, serenity, memoirs of a geisha, five hundred days of summer, the lincoln lawyer, lawless, lone survivor, the finest hours...

so many films that are so UNWORTHY of best picture nominations but DID get them (not to be confused with not good, though i can certainly do without a few of these)... broadcast news, moonstruck, working girl, ghost, beauty and the beast, four weddings and a funeral, babe, moulin rouge, lost in translation, finding neverland, little miss sunshine, atonement, juno, the blind side, an education, black swan, the social network, the descendants, hugo, moneyball, lincoln, silver linings playbook, captain phillips, philomena, the martian...

which brings us to this year...

and the nominees are: arrival, fences, hacksaw ridge, hell or high water, hidden figures, la la land, lion, manchester by the sea and moonlight. i've seen THREE of those: hacksaw ridge; hidden pictures; and la la land. the first and the third are good, but i wouldn't say they're best picture good. hidden figures, though, that one's AMAZING. i've heard really good things about lion. i was interested in manchester by the sea... until i learned how miserable that film has left people; that casey affleck does a fantastic job, but it's horribly, HORRIBLY depressing. i don't need more of that in my life, thanks. i'd heard good things about hell or high water. arrival, fences, la la land, moonlight? unh, no thank you. i've NO desire to see those. they may very well be worthy, but no.

ones that should've been nominated: loving. fantastic beasts and where to find them and deepwater horizon.

the best instances in which the academy got it right: return of the king, the silence of the lambs and schindler's list.