Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Vow

Emily scored passes to an early screening of the Vow starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. The movie opens on Valentine's Day and is about a couple dealing with the wife's memory loss after a car accident. The movie is based on true events and you even get to read about the actual couple in the end credits.
The film's marketing points out that Channing Tatum was in Dear John and Rachel McAdams was in the Notebook. Both movies the actors were in previously were based on Nicholas Sparks novels, though the Vow is not based on a Sparks book. Nicholas Sparks based flicks are the most consistently tear-jerking of movies, I made sure that I had tissues in my purse. I did not cry as much as I had predicted I would but I certainly did shed some tears. The story unfolds less predictably than the trailer led me to believe and there were more complicated details involved in the characters' lives.

All in all, not a movie I need to own but it was entertaining and enjoyable. I would watch it again when it makes its way to DVD.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Iron Lady

Meryl Streep's performance as Margaret Thatcher in the Iron Lady is certainly Oscar worthy. She is tremendous. She does not appear to be the front runner for the Oscar at this time but she did win the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. Thatcher was the longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold the position. Her strict conservative policies, hard line against trade unions and staunch opposition to the Soviet Union earned her the nickname the "Iron Lady." The movie is informative but also delves into what it takes to be a person in power and how those around her are affected. Thatcher's husband, Denis Thatcher, is portrayed by Jim Broadbent, his performance is also strong. Seeing this movie made me realize how much I do not know about British history and that much of what I do know is from movies like the King's Speech and the Young Victoria.
The way the film was written and edited in flashbacks told from Thatcher's point of view in the present day makes for an effective story telling device. Aside from the accolades that Streep has received, the movie did not receive strong reviews and it has been reported that Thatcher's children were not pleased with the portrayal. Films depicting real historical figures are often met with controversy so that is not surprising, even expected. I thought the movie was extremely well done and very entertaining. In addition to Streep's acting nomination the movie is nominated for Best Makeup. Not a caricature or an impression, the costuming and makeup allows for Streep to disappear into the role.

And on DVD...
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It stars Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor as father and son. As the son falls in love, he reflects on his father's later life as a widower who comes out of the closet and his battle with terminal cancer. It sounds like tough subject matter but is very whimsical and has a truly unique style. It is a very sweet movie and though I have returned the DVD, I would love to watch it again and may purchase it. Plummer won the Golden Globe and the SAG and is the front runner for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Interesting Oscar movie fact, both Christopher Plummer and Goran Visnjic are both in Beginners and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

The Tree of Life
Brad Pitt is the patriarch and Jessica Chastain is the mother in a 1950s family. The film rotates back and forth between the family in the 50s to Sean Penn as one of the adult sons. I had heard much about the sequence depicting the birth of the universe. Because I had heard so much about it, it had little impact. If you have seen the trailer, you have seen the movie. The movie is 139 minutes of various images as seen in the preview, with no plot. This was a terribly boring movie. I fast forwarded and fell asleep three separate times. In the middle of the day. Pitt and Chastain both have multiple Oscar films this season, Chastain starred in seven films in 2011, including the Help. I much prefer the Help and Pitt in Moneyball, for which each received their acting nods.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 SAG Awards

Tonight was the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Like the Golden Globes, the casts of movies and television shows all sit together at tables during the SAG Awards, creating a fun atmosphere. The cast of the Help were the big winners of the night. They won best picture, Viola Davis won Best Actress and Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress.

Interestingly enough at the Dexter table ex-es and cast mates Michael C Hall and Jennifer Carpenter sat chummily next to each other. For some reason Ben Schwartz, the actor who plays John Ralphio on Parks and Rec, was sitting with the Dexter cast as well. I also saw Scott Bakula in the audience and am not aware of what project brought him to the awards show but I enjoy him. 

Oscar update: the early Oscar front runners in the major categories are: The Artist for Best Picture and Best Director, Viola Davis for Best Actress, Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor and Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress. Before tonight I would have said George Clooney for Best Actor but with Jean Dujardin's win for the Artist, it seems to be a close race.

The ladies of the Help all looked gorgeous. Tina Fey was hilarious as a presenter with John Krasinski and looked fabulous.

The complete list of winners...
Best Cast, Motion Picture The Help
Best Actress, Motion Picture Viola Davis, The Help
Best Actor, Motion Picture Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Cast, TV Drama Boardwalk Empire
Best Actor, TV Drama Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Best Actress, TV Drama Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Best Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Best Actress, Miniseries or TV Movie Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Best Cast, TV Comedy Modern Family
Best Actress, TV Comedy Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Best Actor, TV Comedy Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Supporting Actor, Motion Picture Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Stunt Ensemble, Film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Stunt Ensemble, TV Game of Thrones

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Oscar Nominations

My immediate reactions this morning were surprise that there are 9 movies nominated for Best Picture and for some of the acting nominations. Pleasant acting surprises: Brad Pitt for Moneyball, Rooney Mara for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids. Hugo leads with the most nominations at 11 total. Also there are only two songs nominated in the Best Song category. I love that Kristen Wiig is nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. I am appalled that Transformers 3 received 3 technical nominations, what is with the lack of love for Harry Potter.

While I like the design of the oscar.go.com website this year, I have a very serious problem with this year's printable ballot. It is a four page list of the nominees, not a one page ballot. If the official Oscar ballot is not published several other websites usually have their own version of a one page ballot so I will use one of those.

Without further ado...

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Actor
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Jim Rash & Nat Faxon, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Animated Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Best Foreign Language Film
Bullhead (Belgium)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)

Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
War Horse

Costume Design
The Artist
Jane Eyre

Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Documentary Short
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Film Editing
The Artist, Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Kevin Tent
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo, Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball, Christopher Tellefsen

Albert Nobbs, Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score)
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams

Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett

Short Film (Animated)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Short Film (Live Action)
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Sound Editing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Sound Mixing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Friday, January 20, 2012

my Oscar ballot stats

As last year was the first Oscar season I had with my blog, I went through my old ballots from all my parties and Entertainment Weekly to get my stats. That is, how many winners I correctly predicted and how many Dave Karger at EW successfully foretold. This is something I am certain that I obsess on and no one else really cares about. That's ok. I like that by adding the info to my blog, it is documented, saved for posterity and I can find it at any time.

Last year Laura and I tied with 17 correct predictions. Dave Karger at Entertainment Weekly correctly estimated 16. I did not improve from my past two years of predicting 19 out of 24 categories correctly. I did however best my Oscar idol, so that's something. For 2012 I have the same goal I had last year, to get more than 19 correct. Doing better than last year will be good too. It will be interesting to see if the new Best Picture rules make it more difficult to make predictions. In 2010 and 2011 there were 10 nominated films for Best Picture. In previous contemporary years, there were 5 nominated movies for Best Picture. This year there will be between 5 and 10 nominated movies for Best Picture. Each film has to receive 5% of the overall number 1 votes. Karger predicts that there will be 7 movies nominated for Best Picture this year: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Tree of Life and War Horse. His conclusion is that if there is an 8th film it will be Moneyball but his hunch is that there will be "the lucky seven." Most categories have 5 nominated films, Best Animated Feature and Best Song have very specific rules and vary from 3 to 5 nominations each year.

My stats:
2011: 17/24 KG; 16/24 DK
2010: 19/24 KG; 19/24 DK -- tie
2009: 19/24 KG; 21/24 DK
2008: 14/24 KG; 15/24 EW
2007: no record saved KG; 12/24 DK
2006: 15/24 KG; 17/24 DK
2005: 15/24 KG; 17/24 EW
2004: the year of my first party, didn't save any ballots; 21/24 DK
--the EW years are times that DK predicted the major categories and other writers reported on/predicted the remaining categories.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Week With Marilyn

This film is based on the book and diaries of Colin Clark. As the opening credits began it struck me that this would be a story about how someone's life crossed paths with Marilyn Monroe, not a Marilyn Monroe biopic. Seems obvious but I think it is what made the movie interesting. Movies based on real life events and public figures that have solid source material are often my favorite. I have continued to enjoy that as a basis for last year's the King's Speech a descendant of the speech therapist provided his notes from the time he worked with the king to the filmmakers.
Newcomer Eddie Redmayne gives a strong and likable performance as Colin Clark. In his first job on a movie set, Colin is the third assistant to the director on the The Prince and the Showgirl, the movie Marilyn Monroe is coming to England to film with first time director Laurence Olivier. Michelle Williams did a fantastic job as Marilyn Monroe. She even sings in a couple of scenes and does so excellently. Her performance is above and beyond a mere impression and seemed very relaxed as she embodied one of the most iconic figures there is. While Colin is certainly the main character and the movie is told from his perspective, the film's success certainly hinges on a believable Marilyn. In a lesser actor's hands even with the best hair and makeup, the movie simply would not have worked.

Initially it was mildly distracting to me that Kenneth Branagh does not remotely resemble Laurence Olivier. I do not know much about Olivier so I can not comment on how accurately his portrayal was. He was interesting as a character in the film. The supporting cast was very strong. I do not care much for Dame Judi Dench but as Dame Sybil Thorndike I absolutely did. It was one of her infamously brief roles in an Oscar bait movie, usually the main thing I dislike about her. Her character was so delightfully sweet, that she won me over. Julia Ormond was charming as Olivier's wife, Vivien Leigh. I was surprised by the casting of Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller, but he pulled it off. Kudos to Emma Watson for scoring such a good first gig after Harry Potter.

My Week With Marilyn was a good movie but the Oscar attention it receives will be based on the strong acting performances, mainly and quite possibly only Michelle Williams. It was well paced and well written. And at only 99 minutes it was short compared to some of the lengthier award season movies.

Next up, The Iron Lady.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 Golden Globes

Much has been made of Ricky Gervais' return as host since his controversial turn last year. Gervais had poked particular fun at the movie the Tourist and its stars, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. As Depp appeared on stage as the first presenter of this year's show, immediately following Gervais' opening remarks, things seemed less controversial and more, Hollywood's A list is in on the joke.

I correctly predicted that Kate Winslet would win for Mildred Pierce in the best actress for a miniseries or tv movie category. Is there anyone who does not think that she is great? I mean really. Same deal with Claire Danes. She is three for three at the Golden Globes -- this year for Heartland, last year for Temple Grandin and originally for My So-Called Life. And another one, Meryl Streep. She needs to work on her acceptance speech should the opportunity arise at the Oscars, but she is the best.

I love that the Artist won for Best Score -- it has an amazing and necessary score. The man who accepted the award was very emotional and opened with, "I'm sorry, I'm French." So sweet. Nice counter, Madonna saying "um" repeatedly and saying that she is not French and has no excuse when accepting for Best Song. Then she got all Madonna-y and said "my film" probably ten times. I was only made aware of W.E., the movie the song is from, last night. Her appearance on British talk show Graham Norton was mainly focused on the movie. Of course my knowledge of the historical figures whose story it tells, Henry VIII and Wallis Simpson, comes mainly from last year's Best Picture winner, the King's Speech.

I could listen to Brad Pitt talk all day. His introduction of the nominated film Ides of March was especially nice because in turn, George Clooney announced Pitt's nominated movie, Moneyball.

Seth Rogan had fellow presenter for Best Actress in a movie, comedy or musical, Kate Beckinsale, in fits of laughter by saying that he was currently trying to conceal a massive erection. He even raised his eyebrows when she composed herself and was naming the nominees, restarting her laughter. Then I cried at the beautiful speech Michelle Williams gave when accepting the Best Actress award for My Week With Marilyn. That category was what's best about awards shows, the commingling of crass humor and class acts. Something much more frequently achieved at the Golden Globes, where actors sit at round tables with their costars and openly drink.

A blink and you missed it moment, when Eric Stonestreet's nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the television category was announced, his costar on Modern Family Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who was not nominated, all in good fun, held up a sign saying WHATEVER.

Right in tune with last night's SNL sketch of the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais continued to bring his pint of beer with him to the podium throughout the show. Later he switched to a wine glass (it still frothed like beer). Then Madonna presented Best Foreign Film like a sketch of herself, saying she grew up watching films. No one can talk about things common in the human experience and claim to be the only, special person to do them like Madonna. But she did zing Gervais right back after his "just like a virgin" intro by saying he should come back and do something about it and that she had not kissed a girl on tv in a few years. It was a bit much considering that by that point in the show, Gervais had shown he was all bark and no bite. I would love to know what exactly he said about Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek. The bleep seemed awfully long nor could I spot any profanities by reading his lips. Same goes for whatever Jean Dujardin said after winning Best Actor for the Artist.

I loved Angelina Jolie's white satin dress with red accents -- her bright ruby lipstick tied it all together beautifully. Red was the color of the night. George Clooney's date Stacy Keibler wore a beautiful red dress (guess that lucky witch is going to get to go to the Oscars too). The architecture of Nicole Kidman's dress was exquisite. Claire Danes dress was unconventional, but I really enjoyed the style. Reese Witherspoon also rocked red and she looked hot. The deep jewel tones of the dress Emma Stone wore were fantastic. Not exactly a fashion comment, but I love seeing Leonard DiCaprio with his blonde Great Gatsby locks. Nice. One final fashion shout out to the ladies of Modern Family. The Dunphy daughters looked gorgeous and Mama Dunphy, Julie Bowen, had amazing hair, a very old Hollywood do. Sofia Vergara was hilarious during Modern Family's acceptance of the Best Comedy tv show award. Her bilingual speech with series co-creator Steve Levitan was hilarious.
Jolie in Atelier Versace
J Mendel
Zac Posen
L to R: Sofia Vergara's blue Vera Wang, tv sisters Sarah Nyland and Ariel Winter both wore Dolce and Gabbana, and Julie Bowen in Reem Arca  
What this all means for the Oscars...
First off, it should be noted that the nomination ballots for the Oscars were due Friday at 5pm Pacific Standard time. The Globes can provide a good indication of what the industry is thinking and what names and films we will hear when the nominees are announced on Tuesday the 24th of January. It is my observation over the years that the winners in the doubled acting categories (comedy or musical and drama) do not always predict the Oscar winners, but they often make nominations a guarantee. It did strike me as interesting that the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was only nominated for actress Rooney Mara and score. This may mean that there is less Oscar momentum for TGWTDT. The Descendants and the Artist were the big winners in the film categories, further adding to their Oscar liklihood. It makes for such a fun Oscar season when the top picks are such likeable movies. Years filled with dreary films are rough.

The winners:
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Best Miniseries or TV Movie: Downton Abbey
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Best Actor in a TV Series (Drama): Kelsey Grammer, Boss
Best TV Series (Drama): Homeland
Best Original Score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Best Original Song: “Masterpiece,” W.E.
Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Idris Elba, Luther
Best Actress in a Movie (Comedy or Musical): Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Best Animated Movie: The Adventures of Tintin
Best Screenplay: Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Best Foreign Language Movie: A Separation (Iran)
Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama): Claire Danes, Homeland
Best Actor in a TV Series (Comedy or Musical): Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best TV Series (Comedy or Musical): Modern Family
Best Actor in a Movie (Comedy or Musical): Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Actress in a Movie (Drama): Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical): The Artist
Best Actor in a Movie (Drama): George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Picture (Drama): The Descendants

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I was very apprehensive about seeing this movie. In the end I am glad I saw it. I had read about the violence in the books and I know how squeamish I am. Katy was the perfect person to see the movie with because we had the same qualms but were motivated to see it. The insanity of the Bridgeport theater that led to us seeing a later showing and getting drinks, that helped too. Both of us also agreed before and after that we can not handle reading the books. The images as you read are far more detailed and elaborate in your mind than a movie. I love to read and reading a book before seeing a movie is better in that as a reader you picture the characters and scenes, not as the cast or sets in a film adaptation; reading is much more limitless. Books always have more and that's just not the kind of more I can handle, I need the limits with the type of subject matter that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo deals with. I am happy to report neither of us had bad dreams last night. Whew. There is disturbing violence and sexual assault but thankfully in the two and a half hour plus movie those scenes are a small part.
The plotting and pace in director David Fincher's film are solid. The elaborate story and mystery are well executed. Trent Reznor is Fincher's go to musician these days and he and Atticus Ross create damn good scores. In a style similar to that of last year's Social Network, an excellent score overall. I do appreciate a quality score. The interpretation of In the Hall of the Mountain King during the scene of the Winklevoss' crew race in England, still a standout for me.

As far as the Oscar chances go for this movie, I think it will receive multiple nominations but will not win in major categories. Fincher is consistently recognized by the Academy and Reznor won Best Score last year for the Social Network (deservedly) and a repeat seems unlikely. The acting of Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara is solid but not Oscar worthy nor do I think they will receive nominations. Mara is on the short list for Best Actress but Craig is not on that list for Best Actor.

In case you missed it, the trailer for the Oscar show, is fantastic. Billy Crystal and other A-listers partnered with Funny or Die to make the promo.

The Descendants

This is my favorite movie of Oscar season. Knowing what other movies are out there to see, I imagine this will remain the case. There is always at least one gem of a movie I did not know much about before and really love so I have that to look forward to, not sure what it will be. As far as the big dogs go, Best Picture and acting contenders, the Descendants is it.

Clooney is fantastic as Hawaiian native, attorney and self-described "back-up" parent. The movie deals with very difficult and emotional issues yet is laugh out funny throughout. The movie was directed and written by Alexander Payne (Sideways, Election). Fun fact, Payne is one of very few directors who has final cut over his films.
Shailene Woodley gives a breakout performance as Clooney's eldest, rebellious daughter. Judy Greer is phenomenal in the most serious role I have seen her in (redeems a year when she was cast as the wife/ex-wife of Ashton Kutcher's man-child character on Two and a Half Men. You're better than that Judy!). Matthew Lillard is also seen in his most dramatic role to date -- Shaggy did good. Nick Krause rounds out a strong supporting cast as Clooney's oldest daughter's friend Sid. Beau Bridges also has a brief but significant role.

The movie was filmed on location in Hawaii and is beautiful. Much of the movie takes place in Oahu. I was lucky enough to stay on Oahu for two weeks the summer before my senior year of high school. I was also lucky enough to really experience Hawaiian life by staying at the home of my friend's grandfather, not at a resort, not in Honolulu or Waikiki. My tourist-y activities were limited, and wonderfully, to one day. The culture as portrayed in the movie is strikingly accurate.

An excellent, excellent movie all around.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Oscar ballots mailed out

Things are officially getting real. The ballots to nearly 6,000 Academy members have been mailed. One of my wildest dreams is still to be a member, not just to vote but to get my hands on all of those screener DVDs. Oscar guru Dave Karger at Entertainment Weekly updated his lists of the movies most likely to be nominated shortly before New Years and after the ballots were mailed out December 27th. 

Thus far I have seen, The Artist, The Descendants, J Edgar, Moneyball, Ides of March, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Bridesmaids, Harry Potter and Young Adult. These movies are some of the most likely to be nominated. It is fun at this point in the process when it seems possible that movies like Bridesmaids and Young Adult could receive some Oscar love. Realistically it is not likely. I will be very enthusiastic about any nominations but for comedies the award is just being nominated. The Descendants is by far my favorite at this point and I am very pleased that along with the Artist, they are the two movies near the top of the most lists. I am struggling for motivation to see Hugo and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I have absolutely no desire to see War Horse. I am very excited to see Iron Lady, Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher though it is not yet playing in Portland. My Week With Marylin is only at Fox Tower but I suspect it will be expanding to say Bridgeport soon. I also plan to rent Beginners, Drive, Tree of Life and Melancholia. We shall see what becomes official when the nominations are announced Tuesday, January 24th.

I am writing this with the Rose Bowl on in the background. Every time they mention Badger Montee Ball, I think that they are referring to Moneyball with Brad Pitt. Go Ducks!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Eve

The timing of seeing NYE Friday December 30, the night before celebrating New Years was perfect. Anne and I saw the movie in Sherwood in a packed theater. I was fairly impressed with the longevity of the movie's run, it was released December 9th. Garry Marshall has become The director of the celebrity ensemble rom com. The how-many-celebs-can-they-get-in-one-flick sub genre. There actually were more actors than the trailer even showed. Several well known actors delivered one line in one scene. Marshall also directed Valentine's Day and Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Biel appear in both. I was not excited for Valentine's Day when it came out, though I did enjoy it after encouragement to see it. I was much more enthused for NYE. The review that there were too many characters and little time with each that Anne shared with me before the movie started served as a warning that helped me to enjoy the movie more. I am a strong believer in the idea that if you hear something negative about a movie, it can often lead to enjoying it more than you would have without the bad review. If you are looking for a light and fun movie and you are a fan of these types of movies, you will enjoy New Years Eve. It actually did not even seem like that much of a romantic comedy to me. Clearly it is but I was more concerned with what was going to happen to some of the characters than if certain couples were going to get together. Those were a given with this type of movie.
Moments that stick out: Kutcher's character does not like New Years and has a line about why and how New Years Eve is amateur night. I turned to Anne and said, that is what Cupcake ALWAYS says about New Years!! There is another scene that I can make no specific comments about but as soon as it happened, I knew I would reflect favorably upon this movie no matter what. If and when you have seen the movie, please lets talk and savor that together.

Snow White with Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen was one of the trailers before NYE. Looks fantastic and Roberts seems to be hilarious and amazing in the role. I think I may actually like her for real now (she has always seemed somewhat non genuine to me, a quality that tends to be my main reason for not liking an actor).

Celebrating New Years Day the Katie Way, I will be meeting Emily for George Clooney's the Descendants tonight.