Sunday, 22 February 2009

My Oscar Predictions

From the moment Slumdog Millionaire was nominated, I was rooting for it to win. Then it started winning everything. At this point I am torn - I loved the movie but I kind of want something else to sweep in and upset the apple cart. I would be thrilled if either Milk or The Reader took home the statue. Ah, but then I'd think that Slumdog Millionaire got the shaft so I guess I really do want it to win.

As for the best actress category I have predicted that Kate Winslet will win but Angelina Jolie was amazing in Changeling and part of me would love for her to win. Anne Hathaway was great in Rachel Getting Married and in a different year, I think she would win but she is up against some pretty tough competition here. Meryl Streep was good but I actually think that Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road was better and deserved a second nomination for best actress instead of Meryl Streep.

*edited to add the winners in green where I predicted wrong. This was my best year ever with 19 out of 24 but Lisa still won with 20 out of 24.

Best Picture
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor
Sean Penn

Best Actress
Kate Winslet

Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz

Best Director
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Cinematography
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Editing
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Art Direction
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Costume Design
The Duchess

Best Makeup
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Score
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Song
Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Sound
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Sound Editing
The Dark Knight

Best Visual Effects
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Film
Entre les murs (The Class)

Best Documentary Feature
Man on Wire

Best Documentary Short
The Witness From the Balcony of Room 306
Smile Pinki

Best Animated Short Film
Maison en petits cubes, La

Best Live Action Short Film
Auf der Strecke
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

It's Oscar Day

Tonight is the 81st Annual Academy Awards and as per our usual tradition, my sisters and I will watch them together. We fill out a ballot predicting who will win what and it makes watching that much more exciting. As I mentioned before, I have never won. And I am the one who sees the most Oscar nominated movies and I research the ones I don't see - animated short, live action short, foreign film etc. I read about them, I read reviews of them, I look at stills from them and when I can, I watch clips from them online and yet it never seems to give me a leg up over my sister, Stefanie, who picks based on the name of the film and a gut feeling about which one might win.
This year, I have seen a lot of films and I am not lifting a finger to research the ones I haven't. Well, that isn't entirely true, I have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly and they had an article about the odds of who is likely to win and I used that as a guide for movies I haven't seen.

From the Oscar nom list, this is what I have seen;

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
Rachel Getting Married
Tropic Thunder
The Dark Knight
Revolutionary Road
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
The Duchess
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Iron Man

And because I love writing lists as much as I do I am going to also list the movies I haven't seen (not including the categories for Foreign Language, Documentary, and Short Films);

The Visitor
Frozen River
The Wrestler
In Bruges
Kung Fu Panda

Next up - My Oscar pics!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Oscar party.

The Oscars are coming up this weekend and I am getting excited about them. Ok, mostly what I am getting excited about is the Oscar party that my sisters and I have every year. I call it a party but usually it is just the three of us. We buy or make fantastic food and drink fun drinks and vote on who we think will win. I love having sisters and I love my sisters in particular. The Oscars just give us an excuse to hang out!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Romantic Comedies, Chick Flicks and Oscar nominees

I have a movie addiction. I love movies. I love seeing them in the theatres and I don't really care where they fall on the genre spectrum. So far this year I have seen almost an even mix of critically acclaimed Oscar nods and fluffier than air romantic comedies (here on out referred to as the rom com).

While the fluffier than air rom com might not be as good as the Oscar nods they still leave me feeling good and satisfied. As long as I am entertained, I am happy. Case in point - I highly enjoyed Benjamin Button but I smiled and giggled throughout Confessions of a Shopaholic and left the theater feeling happy.

ST and I saw New In Town last week. We had low expectations of the movie having read reviews that said it was terrible and it definitely wasn't great. But afterwards ST said that she gave the movie an 8 out of 10. That's high praise in our circle, I was generously giving it a 6 out of 10. Then she qualified the 8 saying that the movie itself wasn't an 8 but how it made her feel was an 8. And there you have the mystery of the chick flick. These movies can be terrible yet we get that feeling from them. That fluttery, happy, swoony, tingly feeling.

I read a study once that compared what made that part of the brain fire in both men and women. That feeling that women get watching a great kiss in a romantic movie is the same feeling that men get when they see a good knock out punch in boxing. I wonder if how I feel when watching that punch (not good) is how men feel when watching that kiss. If so, it's no wonder the majority of men avoid chick flicks. I might love a good action movie but any fight scene causes me to turn my head and ignore the beat down.

I have a few men in my life that enjoy the occasional rom com and I love them all the more for it. Often the rom com or chick flick is also a really good movie and men are missing out on the entertainment and fun, not to mention the life lessons about what makes women tick. I have told my best single guy friend that rom coms make great research movies.

The downside to the rom com/chick flick movie is that it keeps us women trapped in the box of waiting for that dreamy, larger-than-life romance that will sweep us off our feet and change our lives. He's Just Not That Into You was the biggest perpetrator of this myth. It tells you that those stories are the exception and not the rule but then goes on to have their characters become the exceptions. Leaving you feeling swoony and good that it very well could just happen to you. That maybe, just maybe, you will be the exception too.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Catching you all up on my activities of late.

I have been sick. I can't actually believe how long this illness has lasted. I am coming up on 3 weeks of being sick although I think by this Thursday I will be perfectly healthy. Right now I still have a residual cough and runny nose. My ears are a little plugged from it but otherwise I feel ok.

It was my birthday this past weekend and despite still feeling a little under the weather, I had a great time. I am a fan of the birthweek but this year it got shortened to a birthweekend. This is fine by me since I don't think I could come up with more ways and more days to celebrate my birthday this year. Although....I am going out for dinner tonight with friends as a mini bday celebration so maybe I am making it last longer than I thought. Hmmmmm, good for me!

In other news, I did book a trip. We (L-Dub, J-Dub, ST and I) are going on a cruise. It's one of the repositioning cruises from LA to Vancouver. We fly to LA and then spend 4 days and 3 fun filled nights cruising back to Vancouver. We did one of these trips from San Fransisco to Vancouver about 15 years ago and it was great fun.

My dad was big on cruises as family vacations when I was growing up so I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel this way a handful of times. The food is incredible, the entertainment is great and there is always so much to do on a ship. Movies, games, karaoke, the casino, the disco, spas, boutiques, lectures and classes, sports, a library, swimming pools, pubs, lounges, bars, Broadway type shows, comedy shows, musicians, parties, restaurants - the list goes on. I am so looking forward to it!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Can't. Stop. Coughing.

Sick. That's what I have been for the past week. I have had the flu and it knocked me on my ass. I haven't been that sick in ages and from what I have heard, all the cool kids are doing it. Seriously though, it seems like a lot of people are getting struck down by this particular illness.

It started last Thursday and today (Wednesday) is the first time I feel some hope that I am getting better. I feel almost well with just a really bad cough. I am hoping it doesn't last too long since this weekend coming up is a big one for me. My birthday is on Sunday and I have things planned for the whole weekend that require me to be well.