A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar 2011 Party/Reactions!

It was FINALLY the Oscars last night, the night so many film nerds were waiting for, and I couldn't have spent it at a better party. 

I decorated my apartment and I got all dressed up and had two of my CRAZIEST Oscar friends over to watch and squee with me throughout the ceremony. It was a glorious time. Fun was had by all. I know that a lot of people are giving the ceremony some flack, but you know what? To me, the Oscars is such a beautiful tradition. No matter what, I think it's special and deserves some respect just for being what it is: a chance to see so many of our favorite stars all in one place, dressed up and mingling with each other. It's ok to celebrate that phenomenon and pay it respect  no matter what film you wish had won, or how you wish the awards would have been announced, or who you wish would have been there. It's classic Hollywood being revived once a year, and I like it. A LOT. So that's what Ashlie, Stacy, and I were celebrating last night! Along with rooting for a few of our FAVORITE people/movies.

Yes we EVEN had our very own red carpet! Which Stacy, Ashlie, and I walked when placing our DELICIOUS snacks on the dinner table. Ashlie made all these wonderful things for the party (all her ideas!), and each dish represented one of the 10 Best picture Nominees! Check it out. This may be my favorite part of the entire night... (well.... maybe besides Christian Bale's win! But we'll get to that). BEHOLD:

Look at all the lovely goodies! Firstly, some Oscar shaped cookies. MMMMM.
Irish grilled cheese (complete with ACTUAL imported Dublin cheese) for The Fighter!

Black Swan cupcakes. Complete with a bloody red center!

True Grit balls (fried grits!), and tater tots to represent Mr. Potato Head from toy Story 3.

FAVORITE. Trifles with LAYERS to represent INCEPTION. OH MAH GUH!

Red wine for The Kids Are All Right.

These are the cutest. The outside are Winter's Bone-less chicken nuggets, and the pigs in a blanket are supposed to be for 127 Hours. It's an arm stuck between a two rocks.

English Toffee for The King's Speech.
The food was just amazing! And we had so much fun chomping on it and preparing it (sometimes at the same time) while the red carpet was being covered on E! Ever so often someone we loved would arrive and we'd all drop what we were doing and run in our heels to stand in front of the TV in awe and squee a little bit. Then we'd rush back to the kitchen and try to finish what we were doing before the ceremony began.


Here's what my reaction face would be if I won an Oscar

Here is Stacy's best try at the Helena Bonham Carter

And then.... it was TIME FOR THE SHOW!!!!

The show, overall, for me and my gals, was so much fun! We love Anne Hathaway and James Franco and even though they weren't perfect, they were so much fun and just adorable the entire time. I especially loved Anne's musical number. She needs to be in a musical....tomorrow.

As for the awards, I think last night was one of my favorite Oscars ever. I had seen all 10 best picture nominees and I liked so many of them that I didn't really care which one won Best Picture. Of course, there were two awards that I REALLY needed to go my way, or they had the potential to really ruin my night. One was Best Actress, which I needed to go to Natalie Portman. Thankfully it did, and that sweet little vessel of life got her first Oscar! She accepted the award in her deep purple Rodarte dress and just glowed with emotion. Such a sweet moment.

The other award I needed to go my way (especially because it was early on and could have really messed up the night) was Best Supporting Actor. Christian Bale, as most of you know, if one of my favorite actors. I've loved him going on 7 years, and all Bale-heads feel the same way: that Christian Bale is the most under-rated, under-appreciated, and over-looked actor in the entire world. So when the buzz began for him earlier in the year, I didn't want to get my hopes up. Then he actually got nominated over and over until the Oscars nominated him, too! He had to momentum all season, but getting close people started to doubt. Especially since he lost the BAFTA to Rush of The King's Speech, which was gaining momentum. As they announced the nominees, Ashlie (who loves him just as much as me, if not more) and I were holding hands. We couldn't stand it! They finally announced Christian's name and Ashlie and I completely freaked out. What a victory for him, and for his fans who have always felt he deserves this honor! I think Ashlie even teared up during his speech. It was emotional, haha.

Here's Christian's speech:

And here is Ashlie and I reacting as it's happening:
It was truly a magical moment! And just overall a magical night. And to share it with two people I know care about it as much as I do and won't judge me for getting excited about the little things... that was the best part of all! Now I just can't wait for next year!!

See more pictures from this party here at my blog's facebook page!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Top 5: Favorite Oscar Looks Ever

Gearing up for the BIG DAY, here is a fun little count down to whet your appetite for the red carpet we'll see tomorrow!

5. Sandra Bullock in 2010
Sandy B looked like the golden statue she won that evening. Perfection.

4. Anne Hathaway in 2009
This was one of the first moments I really saw her as an elegant and grown up woman. This dress helped to define her in the eyes of many as a serious and beautiful actress!

3. Marion Cotillard in 2008
I remember being in AWE of this look. The scales could have come off really weird and ugly... but she carried herself with such grace, she looked GORGEOUS and the Mermaid look showed through. Just beautiful.

2. Michelle Williams in 2006
I remember just drooling all over myself when I saw this look. I couldn't believe how perfectly put together she looked. It was an odd choice, and yet everything worked just WONDERFULLY. I loved this. 

1. Keira Knightley in 2006
No one should be surprised that this is my number one. This year was the best year ever for me (besides 2004 when Return of the King won EVERYTHING and all my favorites were there), because Keira was up for best actress and so she was forced to walk the red carpet in a luscious Chanel dress! She's.... I can't even, you guys... WOW.

Thanks E! Online for this idea. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Movie Review: The Kids Are Alright

This is the 9th of the 10 Best Picture nominees that I've seen (and if 127 Hours is still showing at the Angelika this Saturday, I will see that, too!)!

I was not looking forward to seeing this movie at all. I had only heard bad things about it, plus Mark Ruffalo is nominated instead of Andrew Garfield in the best supporting actor category. However, I realized when I posted that I was about to watch it, that the reason I had heard only bad things about it is that ALL my movie friends are dudes. Suddenly all these lovely lady film nerds retorted and said that it was great and I needed to give it a chance. All the chatter, good and bad, made this movie much more interesting to me, and I couldn't wait to make my own decision.

One of the things I noticed right off the bat is I really loved how the ladies talk to each other and how they work through their relationship. It's so different from how men and women tend to interact with each other in relationships. Even in their differences, they seem to have extra patience with each other.At least at first.

I felt badly for Annette Bening's character. She is so structured and uptight and she doesn't mean to do harm, but she kind of isolates herself without realizing it. I felt like the characters around her weren't giving her the benefit of the doubt, either. Maybe I related to her a little bit and I understood that her picking was out of love, not out of a place of negativity. But because she is such a perfectionist, she drinks. And then when it seems everyone in her entire family is turning away from her, she drinks MORE. Then she tries to fix things and it's too late, and she finds out she's been dealt the ultimate betrayal.

Then, even though he's kind of a horrible person, I felt badly for Mark Ruffalo's character because he obviously is dying to be a father and be a husband, and is desperately trying to cram what already exists into what he wants it to be. It's not working. And it makes him look very sad. He's lived a life that has made him miss that opportunity, and not he's out of luck.

I honestly didn't think Mark Ruffalo was that special in his role. He did one really meaningful scene (his last stitch effort to talk to his daughter), but that was it. I didn't think Julianne Moore was that wonderful, either. I think they were both just fine. I thought Annette Bening's performance was genuine and subtle. I don't think she deserves to win the Oscar. I am still trying to decide if any of them deserve to be nominated at all. But if any of them had to be, I would say Bening deserves the nom.

I thought Mia Wasikaowski was much better in this than she was in Alice in Wonderland. I actually didn't want to punch her in the face the whole time, so it was a big improvement. In fact, I thought she was slightly good... It gives me hope for Jane Eyer.

Overall, the movie wasn't Oscar worthy, but wasn't awful. I actually enjoyed it and did not regret seeing it. It didn't make me cry, but it didn't feel like a waste of time either.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oscar 2011 Thoughts and Predictions

It's awards season! You know what that means: it's basically like my version of the playoffs with the Oscars being the Superbowl.

I have a hard time calling this post a predictions post because I don't claim to know what will happen on February 27th. Nor will I feel it necessary to say "I TOLD YOU SO" if I turn out right. The way I look at the Oscars is more like watching the NBA finals, than anything else. I know who I hope will win, who I want to win, and I desperately cheer for those teams each year regardless of what the experts say. So what I will do in this post is hit the biggest categories, and talk about how I feel about the nominees!

This year has been unique for me, personally. I have never actually seen all of the best picture nominees before, or even come close. Not even when it used to be just 5 nominees. But this year, by next Sunday, I would have seen 9 of the 10! And not only that, I LIKED most all of the ones I've seen! That never happens either! So needless to say, I am pretty invested. I cannot wait for the ceremony!

Out of the 5 nominated in this category, I have seen 3 of their performances (sorry James Franco, and Javier Bardem). True Grit was so much fun, and I really enjoyed it, and one of the main reasons was Jeff Bridges. His Rooster was one of my favorite characters of the year. Then there is Jesse Eisenberg, who played Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. I've been watching him for a while (my favorite role of his being Zombieland until recently, haha!) and have always liked him. His performance this year made me love him! Very excited to see more of him in the future! Lastly, there is Colin Firth, who played King Henry VI in The King's Speech. I wanted him to win before I saw the movie just because I adore this man. But then I saw this movie and I knew not only did I want him to win, he deserves to win. There is no doubt in my mind that he will take home the trophy next week, and I am excited for that to happen for him.

Out of these 5 performances, sadly I have only seen three. I REALLY wanted to see Nicole in The Rabbit Hole, but that movie came and left The Angelika so fast I didn't get a chance to! By the end of this week I will have seen The Kids Are Alright, but from what I've been told by my friends, Benning will still not be my front runner. Now I didn't really connect with Winter's Bone overall, so Jennifer Lawrence isn't really on my personal radar, but I thought Michelle Williams was great in Blue Valentine. However, the OBVIOUS winner HAS to be Natalie Portman. I saw Black Swan twice and both times I just sat in awe of her performance. It was really something special.

I've seen 4 of the 5 nominees in this category. As for Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, honestly, it didn't even occur to me that they could be nominated, let alone that they would be. Let alone that Melissa Leo would be the one winning over and over again... their performances just didn't hit me. I just saw The Fighter again today, and they stood out a little more this time around, but still. I don't feel like either of them deserve the Oscar, although Leo will probably get it. My favorite of this list is Hailee Steinfield from True Grit. Watching this young girl act with likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon and hold her own, even steal focus in some shots... it was just great! Something you don't see often, especially from a 14 year old. If she doesn't win, I'd love to see Helena Bonham Carter get it for The King's Speech.

Did ya see what I did thur? I saved this acting category for last because it's my FAVORITE performance of the year! I've seen 4 of the 5, and by the end of this week I will have seen all 5 of these performances (and I am sure that I will still feel that Andrew Garfield should have been nominated instead of Mark Ruffalo), but I don't even really need to talk about them. Because no matter WHAT, I want Christian Bale to win! Not only does he deserve it, he's been completely under appreciated his entire career. His performance in The Fighter has FINALLY gotten him recognized. Seeing him at all these awards shows this year has surprised me in how gratifying it feels. I feel vindicated, for some reason, after all these years of loving him, knowing he's FINALLY getting the recognition he deserves. And there is NO OTHER performance all year that deserves this award more than his. If he doesn't win it, you guys can bet that I will be off in the world somewhere, trying to keep myself from setting the Academy on fire.

Everyone is saying that at this point The King's Speech is definitely going to win Best Picture, which is so interesting because earlier in the race, The Social Network was the show to beat. I feel like even Black Swan was the front runner for like a week sometime back in December or something. This season has seen lots of twists and turns, and despite predictions and patterns, I doubt the ceremony will be as predictable as it usually is. The only two movies of the 10 I have not seen are 127 Hours and The Kids Are Alright (I'll watch this one this week), so omitting those, here is the list of nominees in order of what I want most to win!

  • 8. Toy Story 3 - Wasn't a fan. It was just over hyped too much. I honestly think they should not have nominated this one and given a nom to a better film like Blue Valentine or The Rabbit Hole.
  • 7. Winter's Bone - Good. I didn't connect with it, I really just saw this out of obligation, but I didn't hate it.
  • 6. True Grit - Loved this one, will buy it on DVD, but I don't think it deserves best pictures. Some are saying it could be an upset because it has second most noms this year, at 10, but I don't want that to happen. I've seen better. 
  • 5. Inception - Adored this movie. LOVE the director. I am surprised that this is only number 5 on my list.... but that just goes to show how great this year in movies has been!
  • 4. The Fighter - After seeing this for a 2nd time today, I have to say I love it much more than I did before. I think that it's powerful and I wouldn't mind if it got BP! Even though I don't think there is any way it will.
  • 3. The King's Speech - This is the juggernaut 12-nom film that will more than likely take this honor. I loved this movie so much, and I won't be upset if it wins, even if it's not my #1. It was a truly wonderful film in every way. 
  • 2. Black Swan - Mesmerizing and haunting and upsetting and AWESOME. Absolutely LOVED this film. Dark horse??? Well, I still want it to win. 
  • 1. The Social Network - I went into this film wanting to hate it, expecting to hate it, and now here I sit with it being my #1 pick to win BP. I've watched it around 6 times, and every time I like it more and more. I want it to UPSET The King's Speech and surprise everyone!

Now the only thing left to do is to just sit and see what happens! I know what I want to happen, but either way, it will be a fun ride! Awards season is always my favorite time of the year.

100th post: 1 Year Blog-aversary!

One year ago this weekend I created this entertainment blog! And it just so happened perfectly that my 100th post would also happen on the one year marker!! (I'm going to pretend that's why I haven't blogged as much in the last few weeks. So that I could hit this mark perfectly, haha!)

In honor of this AWESOME year and how AWESOME my followers have been, I wanted to do something AWESOME.

But anything I think to do makes me feel like it would be self-important or lame. SO I am just going to do the same thing I was planning on doing anyways this weekend, my Oscar post. It's a week from tomorrow (Sunday February 27th!) and I haven't actually said what I hope will happen there. So tonight, I shall.

I love you, followers! Thanks for the last year and I can't wait for a whole other year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Top 5: Memorable Fashion of the BAFTAs/Grammy weekend

This weekend was BUSY. Not only were the Grammys on Sunday, so were the BAFTAs. It was fun, and I thought I'd have a lot more fashion stuff to deal with, but turns out it's not as much as usual. So instead of doing a top 5 list of both worst and best looks, I am just doing one list of most memorable looks from both shows. Let's go!

5.Florence Welch at the Grammys in Givenchy Haute Couture
This girl is one of my FAVORITES. And she has such a weird sense of style that this weird dress works on her so well! GREAT choice! I love it. The feather and swan details on it actually make me think of her CD cover. Perfect.

4. Selena Gomez at the Grammys in J. Mendel
Dear LORD this girl has grown up nicely. She looks SUPER hot. This is classy but sexy and a great way to say "Hey, I'm a woman now" without being half naked with a python draped across your shoulders. Hair sleek, make up perfect, jewelry and accessories spot-on. Not to mention the gold in the dress makes her skin tone glow. Goddess.

3.Rhianna at the Grammys in Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture
  So basically she is naked with lots of tufts of fur tied around her. SKANK. I don't understand why she feels the need to show off every part of her body. She is sexy and beautiful, but she RUINS it by being so slutty. STOP TRYING SO HARD.

2.Emma Watson at the BAFTAs in Valentino
Emma looked SO stunning in this. It's hard to look elegant with such a spunky hair cut because it usually comes off as too harsh, but she is able to pull it off regardless. The ruffle detail around the shoulders is nice, and the ruffles around the bottom balance it out nicely. Her shoes are awesome, too! Her make up makes her look like an angel. Just beautiful.

1. Nicole Kidman at the Grammys in Jean Paul Gaultie
I audibly gasped when I saw her on the screen. She is looking more beautiful and more relaxed than she has in YEARS and I am SO excited! Her skin is perfect and creamy, her hair color is the best shade of strawberry blond, and her face is showing emotion! No more botox, hooray! And that dress really fits her and looks wonderful around her tall, slender curves. She is just the most beautiful thing that has happened all weekend. ♥

Honorable mention: Lady Gaga in an alien egg aparatus. This was just kind of ridiculous. I've been all about her weirdness in the last year or so, but this was just too much, and then the pay off wasn't good enough. So much hype, over the top... just not... worth it. I was not into it this time.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Zealand or bust.

My friends and I are planning a trip to New Zealand, but since it's so expensive we know it'll take a few years (decades). So to make it more fun to save, we made NZ Jars to stick our savings in, like in Up!


A kiwi, get it?

My favorite hobbit, Sam and a caption from Flight of the Conchords: "New Zealand-Why not?"

Bret and Jemaine! And Legolas.

Rocky painted a hobbit door on my jar for me!

NZ map!


She's an artist so her's is the coolest!

I love the hobbits and the caption: "New Zealand -Don't expect too much- You'll love it!" Gotta love Flight of the Conchords.

And a ship on "silver glass." And yes that is a sheep and llama riding in it. Her theme was Valinor from LotR!


Her name in Elvish and scenery from NZ!

Rocky painted the tree of Gondor on it!

NZ Flag! Love it.


Rocky painted this waterfall. This is the Rivendel themed jar.

Flight of the Conchords dancing across a NZ plain!


Thumbs up to New Zealand; Ashlie, Rocky, Melissa, and me

Friday, February 4, 2011

Movie/Book Review: The Lovely Bones

In this last week, when school has been perpetually called off day after day for a grand total of 4 days in a row, I've made a discovery that many others have already made. I may have come late to the party, but at least I made it. On Wednesday morning I woke up at 7:30 am and made coffee and turned on the TV looking for something to occupy the beginning of my day. On one of the movie channels, the movie The Lovely Bones had just began, and since it had been on my list forever, but I hadn't gotten around to seriously watching it, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Nearing the end of the film, I was brought to tears. The images on screen were beautiful, the story was tragic, and it awakened something in me that hasn't really stirred in a long time. I marched right across the street in the ice and snow to Hastings to buy the book. When I returned, I began reading, and here I sit almost 3 days later to the hour, having just finished it.

At first I wasn't sure I wanted to review this one. This one would be mine, just for me. My snow day book. But the more I thought about it and the more my friends asked what I thought, I decided that the only way to really understand how I felt about it would be to write it out. I was actually really thankful that I saw the movie before I read the book. Had it been reversed, I may have fallen in line with most people who saw the movie after and hated the movie. There were many things different in the film than in book, but having read it after, I can appreciate all those changes without feeling robbed or without having my expectations fall flat.

As I began the book, it seemed such a strange idea to have a dead girl narrate a story about her own death, her own life, and whatever went on after it was taken from her. I was so interested to see how Alice Sebold was going to bring this story all the way through to the end. Unlike the standard 1st person, 3rd person, 3rd person omniscient, this perspective fell in that category that was more like 1st person omniscient. We were seeing things from Suzie's perspective with her feelings and memories, but she could also see all things, even others' thoughts and feelings. Even what her murderer was up to and all his secrets. In this way, this may have been one of the most uniquely told stories I've ever read.

The writing was so beautiful. This book dealt with some issues that are not easy to deal with and yet she wrote about them with such ease. So eloquent and effortless. So of course, this made it that much easier to read. Especially for me, and English teacher and a wannabe-writer. She masters the craft of writing so well, I can only hope to ever write something half as beautiful one day.

The story itself is a tragedy that, somehow, Sebold is able to portray with hope and eventually joy. The book is hard to read sometimes because it is so heavy. A young girl is murdered. We spend nearly all our time with the people who loved her, grieving. However, in the end, Sebold is able to show that eventually time can help to heal. Pain like this may never go away, but it eventually can be bearable. Running away does not make things go away; you have to face them. And, she shows that sometimes, a tragedy destroys life but can also create and make a person who they are supposed to become if they can rise to it.

This story is not about catching the bad guy. It's about being hit with loss and learning to deal with and accept it. It's about learning to let go and the importance in being able to do so, and then to move on. And also, it's about having faith in something more than what we see. Whether it's in an emotion, heaven, a God, spirits, or faith in your own strength. Strength to not let yourself slip below the rip-tide brought on by unexpected events.

The accepting and moving on themes of this book are what hit me the hardest. I can say that these two things are hardest for me to deal with in my own life. Regardless of if it's a death or just a natural check-point of life showing that we all grow up and change from what we were, it's hard for me to accept it and move past it. I have clung to things in my past for much longer than I should. Most recently, it's been the camaraderie and closeness of me and all my cousins. I haven't wanted to accept that we all grow up, move on, get our own priorities and lives, and slowly slip away from each other. It's what naturally happens when we go from children to adults. However, I've been clinging to what I've always known and had with them, and tried to keep us there.

But accepting and moving on isn't a bad thing. It's a beautiful thing. And new chapters of our lives are beginning. It won't be what I've always known, but it will be something new and just as beautiful. This book pointed me to this issue inside myself. This one and many others. The fact that this can happen is fundamentally why I love literature. If a book can make you find something true in your life, then it has achieved what it exists to do.

With all of that being said, it's no surprise that I truly adored this book. And I love the movie for pushing me into reading this book. I warn anyone who loves the book and wants to see it adapted exactly, you will not enjoy the movie. You'll have to go in it with an open mind and heart, otherwise, you will be disappointed. BUT, although the book and movie are very different, they are both beautiful in their own ways. While Sebold's artistic utensil is her gorgeous metaphors and phrasing, Peter Jackson's is his visual effects and framing. Both achieve the same tone and emotion, just in different ways.

I said at the beginning of this entry that this would help me better understand how I feel about this book, and it has achieved just that. I hope that I can encourage anyone who hasn't read the book yet to give it a look, and perhaps if you haven't seen the movie you can give that a chance, too.