I had a fabulous time watching the Academy Awards last night! How many of you did the same? I loved popping in on Facebook and Twitter to see what everyone was thinking.
There was some ranting going ON!
But today it’s all about who stole the show with their looks, what wins were most shocking, and at my place, the FOOD! 😀
Let’s Start the Show!
First things first, Guests, please load up your plates with this year’s Oscar treats! Food included:
- Chilled Green Beans with Lemon and Sea Salt
- Bacon and Blue Cheese Bruschetta
- Crab Nachos
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Sunflower Crackers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Potatoes with Lavender
- Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
- Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders with Mustard and Poppyseed
- Aloo Mater with Rice
AND SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT!
There’s still our annual “Oscar-served” pudding parfaits with strawberries, and Lemon Curd Cake with Raspberry Sauce!
Time to Talk Wardrobe!
What were some of your favorite looks this year? I do wish there had been more color on the Red Carpet this year, but everyone truly looked STUNNING! There wasn’t a single dress I disliked. The ladies who really nailed it though, I think are:
Best Actress Winner, Jennifer Lawrence
She looked amazing and was so charming on the Red Carpet! She looked young, but glamorous and very natural with her make up! I’m thrilled for her! 22 years old, her second nomination, and her first win! She’s also been a phenomenal spokesperson for people with mental illnesses since her shooting of Silver Linings Playbook.
Possibly my favorite dress of them all, I thought Nicole Kidman looked killer! Presenting this year, I thought she had the whole package – a well fitted, gorgeous gown, romantic updo, minimal jewelry but all around great look!!!
I said I loved color, and Kerry Washington’s dress was so elegant and beautiful for spring on the Red Carpet! Her jeweled bodice looked great on her, and I loved the soft, smooth skirt and train of her dress in that bubblegum pink!
Best Actress Nominee, Jessica Chastain
I caught Jessica’s pre-show interview and she picked this dress because it reminded her of Old Hollywood – Marilyn Monroe, and I couldn’t agree more. Critics raved for her look and how the flesh tone dress is stunning on her pale skin with the pops of red from her hair and lips. You know this redhead was a fan! Plus, she took her grandmother as her date, y’all! So cute!
Presenting with Dustin Hoffman, Ms. Theron looked amazing in her chic white gown and I loved the short hair with it! And did you guys catch her dance number with Channing Tatum??!! She reminded me of Julie Andrews in Sound of Music!
And the Oscar Goes To…
Were you pleased with the Oscar wins this year? Here’s a recap of the big ones:
Best Picture: Argo
Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
I was overall VERY pleased with the variety of films recognized this year. I had expected a sweep of either Les Mis or Lincoln, and it wasn’t the case at all! Almost all of the 9 nominated films for Best Picture won in some of the categories. Amour won Best Foreign Film, Zero Dark Thirty won Best Sound Editing; the only film not to receive an Oscar but was nominated for many was Beasts of the Southern Wild. I had high hopes it would take the Best Adapted Screenplay award, but that went to Argo. I’m sure we’ll hear more from the cast and crew of this film in the years to come!
And I have to announce the winner of my Red Carpet Giveaway is…
Memory Making Moments
There were a few call out performances at the Oscars this year, including its theme of Music in the Movies! There were stellar performances from Barbara Streisand during the In Memoriam portion, as well as the ENTIRE cast of Les Miserable joining together on stage for a Les Mis medley!
My favorites were of course – Adele! Taking home the Oscar for Best Original Song, Skyfall, from the James Bond film, Skyfall, she was awesome! And it seemed so fitting with the Academy also recognizing 50 years of Bond movies!
I also loved the performance of my favorite Bond song, Goldfinger, by Dame Shirley Bassey! This video shows the awesome montage of Bond films they made followed by Bassey’s performance. Sing it, sista!
By the by, Joe took a shot of me pre-party start when I wasn’t expecting it, and now we’re calling it my Bond girl shot. What do you think? I believe my Bond girl name would be…Cinema! But who will my James Bond be?!
Just For Fun
What would your Oscar face look like if you just found out you won?
(My friend, Cat, and I – AKA the Sequin Sisters – share some examples!)
Well, you win all the pudding parfait you can eat!
Happy Oscars Everyone!
As I work my way through all the nominees for Best Picture, they keep getting better and better! First, why are there so many? There used to only be 5 or 6 nominees, and the last few years there’s been 10! And second, how will I ever choose my absolute favorite?
If I had to put my vote in for one so far, I’d pick Silver Linings Playbook. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards including Best Directing and Writing by David O. Russell, you may recall his work from the previously nominated film, The Fighter, as well as the existential comedy I Heart Huckabees. Silver Linings Playbook stole my heart. If I had to compare it to anything, it reminded me of Zach Braff’s Garden State, because it is a story about finding oneself again after dealing with depression.
In this film, SLP tells the story of Pat Solitano (played by Bradley Cooper – who, if anyone was going to steal an Oscar from Daniel Day-Lewis, it should be this man!). Pat has just been released from a mental institution after a breakdown and diagnosis of bi-polar disorder have overtaken his life. Moving back in with his parents, and facing a restraining order from his ex-wife, he tries to put his life back together. To help him along, comes the most unusual of friends, a girl by the name of Tiffany, who is dealing with her own struggles, but finds a way for them to help each other.
The cast in this movie blew me away! It’s no wonder with all the acting nominations this film received. Bradley Cooper, of course, is nominated and I’m so impressed with his dramatic role. I already adored Jennifer Lawrence, and at only 22 years old, this is her second nomination for Actress in a Leading Role! She was previously nominated for Winter’s Bone. She has already taken the Golden Globe for Lead Actress in a Musical/Comedy genre. I truly hope the “Curse of the Golden Globes” does not take her out of the Oscar running! I would weep!
To round out the supporting cast, we have two additional heavy hitters, the biggest being THE Robert De Niro, playing Pat Sr. and nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He is brilliant as a father who doesn’t know how to communicate to his grown boys beyond watching baseball. And funny! In an entirely different way from Meet the Parents comedy.
My favorite performance of the film goes to Best Supporting Actress nominee Jacki Weaver! This is her second nomination, you may remember her role in Animal Kingdom, which was a violent story of a boy trying to get by in his criminal household. Playing Dolores Solitano, Weaver is the typical mom who is trying to keep everyone together. Keep the peace, and you keep the family kind of mentality. “C’mon, stay! I made crabbysnack and homemades!” I love this woman! She is brilliant. I’m rooting for Weaver to take home an Oscar!
Though he wasn’t nominated, I give nods to Chris Tucker who plays Danny, a friend and recovering drug addict that Pat befriends in the hospital. His performance lent much to the comedic value of the movie. And, I will forever love Tucker who played Ruby Rhod in the sci-fi cult classic, The Fifth Element.
To give you more of the meat of the story, while marketed as a comedy, be aware it’s a dramatic comedy, a dramedy, if you will. But I tend to love those. Sometimes life is so heavy, all you can do to lift yourself up is laugh! Yes, Pat is a man who must deal with a lot. His undiagnosed bi-polar disorder is something he and his family aren’t use to. He must find new ways to control his anger. We see the uphill and downhill battle that is medication. We see him lose control at seemingly harmless circumstances. What helps him is his belief in a “silver lining.”
noun – a sign of hope in an unfortunate or gloomy situation; a bright prospect
His motto for life becomes Excelsior, a latin word meaning “ever upward.” So as much as life became difficult and trying for Pat and his family, his story was a message of hope. The belief that things will always get better, and that those who try to get better, will.
I’m betting each of us has experienced a period, or more, in our lives where life was not what we thought it would be. For me, it was my sophomore year of college. I was living with a girl who I thought was my best friend. A girl I wanted to someday be in my wedding, go get our dream jobs, and laugh about the funny things our kids did. During the school year, I noticed she was depressed. She had gone once or twice to a counseling group, but didn’t or couldn’t connect with the individuals there. I tried to be there for her. I listened to her, offered advice, suggestions for other groups or questions to ask. She wasn’t ready. In the end, it seemed I was caring too much and so her anger came out at me. She would pick fights with me all the time, drawing hurtful things and placing them by my bed. I began avoiding our dorm room altogether. I did it for months. Just going from class to class, hanging out in study areas and sometimes sleeping in a friend’s room. It got so bad I moved out. And shortly after that, I also got dumped by my long distance boyfriend, who I thought I was going to marry. Was I naive? Yes. Was I blaming myself for her behaviors? Yes. It was an awful end to the year. I lost a bunch of weight and didn’t even notice til I went home and my dad and old boss asked me if I was eating ok at school. I lost a bunch of friends in that move because she lived on the same floor with them, so they usually asked her out and didn’t come to see me, when I was one floor down.
It was an incredibly hurtful time. Even though the move was difficult, it was for the best. I was able to focus on school and earned some great opportunities working with literary journals. I joined the women’s student organization that I would later lead as president. And six months after all the drama, I met the wonderful man I’m still with today, 6 1/2 years later.
I thoroughly loved this film. I am hoping that it earns many awards. It is incredibly well written, and exceptionally well acted. I think Pat’s story is one all of us can relate to. And each of us is responsible for finding our own silver lining. And who knows, we could also be the silver lining for someone we least expect.
Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook yet? Do you want to?
Share with us a time you felt set back in life. What was your silver lining? Are you feeling down right now? Let me be your silver lining! I wish nothing but hope and excitement for life for each of you! Ever upwards, friends! Say it with me, “Excelsior!”
First up! The winners of two recent blog giveaways! Winning the copy of Jody Hedlund’s new book The Doctor’s Lady is Justine! And the winner from the Life List Club Milestone Party and receiver of an iTunes Gift Card and blog swap is Bethany Wiggins! Congratulations Ladies!!
I did it. I saw The Hunger Games movie. My weekend was a little more fulfilling knowing I had the inside scoop on all things Katniss Everdeen!
Katniss played by 2010 Oscar nominee (for her role in Winter’s Bone) Jennifer Lawrence, was amazing as the renegade heroine. I really thought Lawrence did an awesome job embodying Katniss’ struggles throughout the competition. Her leading men, Gale, played by Aussie actor Liam Hemsworth and Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson were also good pics for their role.
Now for the Guts:
The fact is I am an adamant proponent of seeing the film first! I know, I know, many of you are gasping for air right now. But that’s the way I do it. I see the film, and then if I really like it, it makes me want to read the book.
Here’s why: When you see the film and then read the book, you like the changes, it’s exciting, you learn more, the characters are developed. But do it in reverse, and you come out disappointed, because the book is always better!
So what did I think of the film version of The Hunger Games? I liked it a lot! I really did. However, it’s incredibly difficult to fit as much backstory and symbolism and characters as are in the book into a 2+ hour movie. They did a great job! But I came out thinking the book is so much better.
The Pros of the Games:
1. Effie Trinket’s Make Up – I will make this look happen, just you wait!
2. The Arena – Great set work using the woods and intense shots during the fire scene and battles. *Note: try to avoid sitting too close to the screen, the theater was packed when we went and we got a little motion sickness.
3. The Romance – For those of you speculating that this is just another Twilight, stop! The love triangle may be there, but it isn’t presented in a puppy love, mopey teenager kind of way. It’s life or death with the cameras watching!
Who will she choose?
The Cons of the Games:
1. Where’s the Mockingjay? – For people who haven’t read the book, it won’t be a big deal. But I was saddened by how little explanation or meaning went into the story of the mockingjay. My guess is we’re in for some serious flashbacks/backstory come time for the sequels.
2. President Snow – I adore Donald Sutherland, who plays the evil dictator Snow. However, he’s almost too laid back as Snow and while he’s creepy, he’s just not as creepy as he is in the book.
Overall, given the time limits I’m sure they had, they put together a good movie with some great actors, Jennifer Lawrence in particular. I’d watch it again! I recommend you see it! But know, you’re gonna like the book more!
Can’t Get Enough Hunger Games?
Holley Maher was Freshly Pressed for her post The Embarrassing Side Effects of Having Just Read “The Hunger Games”
My review of the book and author research can be found at The Hunger Games: Best Lack of Sleep You Ever Had.
Ellie Ann Soderstrom offers us a critical look at the writing of The Hunger Games.
AND, you know what else? There’s a little heated battle going on about the question of plagiarism because Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games bares striking similarities to Japanese novel Battle Royale. Maggie’s Bookshelf shares more information about the similarities here. Check it out! It’s an interesting discussion. I’m leaning towards the “not plagiarism” viewpoint, because if you’re going to point out Battle Royale, we may as well also toss Lord of the Flies and A Most Dangerous Game in there as well. Or any dystopian novel where the theme is about corruption of power.
But that’s just my opinion. Tell me what YOU think!
And, it wouldn’t be a movie post without a trailer! This video has all 4 trailers of the Games on it!