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My Thoughts On…

1. You know most of the words to “Trouble” (and half of her songs, even though you REALLY DON’T LISTEN TO THEM, I SWEAR!).

…and it’s not just because of the video my Facebook can’t get enough of:

Also, try this one on for size:

2. She tried to pull a feminism on Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler, the Queens of the Universe.

You just don’t do that, especially not when the Internet is already at your throat for 29850434 other “reasons.” But this is an actual reason. She rains on the Liz Lemon parade, and under an umbrella of Katie Couric and feminism, quoted Couric quoting someone else, saying “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” referring to Fey & Poehler’s crack at her during their (hilarious) stint hosting the Golden Globes. The best part is how much Swift didn’t get it, and how much nobody cared. Read the full story on E! here.

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3. She actually had one of the One Direction boys.

Go ahead, hate on the music, hate on the branding, but the boys from One Direction are cute as really, really, really cute buttons. They’re little stylized, idealized Brits that America can’t get enough of, and dating one is just about as life-threatening as falling at a 1D concert. Seriously, no good comes of being the significant other of in-demand man-boys like Harry Styles and Bieber. Except that you can say you went there. She’s recently been alleged to have spent the night at Ed Sheeran’s… which I feel like is just a weirdly related Brit that I don’t want to deal with just yet. But seriously girl, you didn’t get enough death threats and crazy flak from the Directioners? Pick a less high-profile guy, and STOP TALKING ABOUT EVERYTHING.

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Sidenote: Anyone who hates Swifty because she’s a “slut:” oh, get over it. You wouldn’t bang John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, a Jonas brother in 2008, Conor Kennedy or Taylor Lautner? Just because she doesn’t handle it well doesn’t make her a slut.

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But holy shit, their kids would have some seriously incredible hair.

4. You can only watch her win something so many times before it becomes justification for homicide.

She’s been nominated 185 times, and won 150 times. That’s 150 speeches, a whole lot of which were televised. Her Grammys come from “White Horse,” “Mean,” and “Safe and Sound.” Granted, she writes most of her stuff, so the awards are (sometimes) justified, but when they’re fan-voted, it’s pretty much time to go microwave some popcorn or take a pee break. But I could watch her win that 2009 VMA until the end of time. Mostly because I LOVE imagining the explosion in the control room trying to figure out what the fuck to do.

Watch from 1:18. (Rough quality, but the only link that actually shows the whole thing:)

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5. She’s beautiful.

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And in an interesting, cool way that you don’t really understand. And she’s got those Asian-y eyes you can’t decide whether to envy or despise. And she’s blonde and all cheekbones and smile and ah, fuck it.

Taylor Swift

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6. She’s too easy.

To make fun of.

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7. She’s only 23 and she’s way more rich, famous, and fabulous than most of us will ever be, at 22 or any other time in your life.

We shouldn’t hate her for this, but we do. So girls, stop hating on other girls for no reason. The other nine reasons on this list are still okay, though, so you’re good here. Even when she screws up, she comes out on top. She buys a house next to the Kennedy she was dating, they break up, and she makes a literal million dollar profit on the house-flip. Because she needs a million MORE dollars.

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8. The ending of “22.”

An awesome, fun, shallow-but-so-catchy-and-dancey-that-we-can-ignore-the-lack-of-substance-until-the-end-of-the-song song, “22” is the sixth song off of her newest album, and proves that a quality Swift song is hard to find. I have entirely conditional love for this song: skip the first few lines (especially avoiding her pronunciation of “hipsters”), and the last bit, anything involving the line “You look like bad news, I gotta have you,” and the song’s not bad. Okay, it’s still kind of bad, but it’s fun as hell.

9. She LIVES in high school.

Whether she actually attended high school or not (she did two years in school and one year on tour to earn her diploma) is irrelevant. She uses her PR team to avoid touchy subjects with the press, and recently refused to discuss Harry Styles with Vanity Fair, but “authorized someone to discuss” it with them. Oh, T-Swift. She just makes it harder for herself. #sigh

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As a girl, I can freely watch sappy shit as often as I’d like, and remain socially accepted by using my gender as an excuse. However, I absolutely abuse that power when it comes to watching musical proposal videos. Whether it’s a flash mob or a lip dub, creative proposals get me every time. YouTube has hundreds of different proposal videos, and having all those videos makes it difficult to stand out. Especially when most of them are mediocre, or only really special for the suckers involved. The videos that do stand out, though, seem to have a few things in common.

Here are the 8 characteristics of a quality flashmob/musical proposal, and some videos that display them best.

1. If it’s shot well, I’ll probably keep watching.

This guy is kind of a tool, and as you watch, it kind of turns into a self-indulgent music video so he can show off, but it keeps moving. The dancing is well-choreographed, not badly presented, and keeps you entertained! Half the time I forgot I was watching a proposal, especially because whoever shot it decided to practically forget about the girl, but when you hear the song change and she realizes it’s his song… awwww. (Plus, he raps: “They could call us Outkast – Andre!” That’s fucking cute.) Props to the girl for not breaking down with anxiety when the circle of dancers closes in, I feel like that would have been really stressful.

2. If it’s well-choreographed, I’ll probably keep watching.

This one kind of feels like you’re just watching the dance, but it turns itself around.

3. If the music’s good, I’ll probably keep watching.

“We Found Love” and “Marry You” seem to be pretty consistent choices, soundtracking 90% of the flashmob/musical proposals. This proposal is a bit different, using a montage of music, and a different style. The audio is totally shit, but you know the songs, you get the idea. Plus, the shitty audio lets you hear the people, and catching bits of the girl’s “What the hell are you doing?!” and the guy’s “Please, don’t say no… seriously.” And she calls him an idiot. Hilarious.

4. The guy joins in unexpectedly.

The reaction of the girl’s realization that a) this is really happening, b) this is her boyfriend doing this and c) this is really fucking happening, is absolutely the highlight for me. Seeing the absolute shock on their face is one thing, but getting to enjoy part of the show, then jump in and blow her mind all over again because it’s YOU that put this whole awesome shitstorm of love together? Awwwwwwwwwwesome. Especially if his dancing is funny. Cause it ususally is. AND THIS SONG IS PERFECT.

^Out of all of these, this is absolutely my favourite flash mob.

5. If it’s easy to follow, I’ll probably keep watching.

If you can tell me your whole story in a short amount of time, I can follow it, and actually care, rather than hating you, you’re on my good list. This absolutely one of my favourites, it’s just perfectly laid out. It’s not even musical. I just love it.

6. It has a segue. 

THE SUNFLOWERS! So clever. So good. (The rest of the video is pretty hard to follow and poorly shot, I just really like the sunflower bit).

7. If I believe it, I’ll keep watching.

This one isn’t incredible choreography, it’s awkwardly shot at times, but it’s still so fucking cute. Watch who the guy proposing is (the Indian guy, white shirt brown pants), he’s adorable. The roses at the end. The random infusion of Bollywood. The first shot of the girl. The fact that he crip-walks down the aisle. Just so great.

8. This one isn’t a flash mob, it’s just the greatest thing ever. Enjoy.

She is just so precious. Now watch this one:

BONUS: 

9. A Les Mis Flashmob Proposal. Okay, this one is a flash mob at a wedding, not a proposal, but it’s a Les Miserables flash mob. And they’re all talented, somehow. So ignore the little fuck-ups and enjoy, because it’s a great little medley.

10. A Montage of Entertaining Proposals. Serious props to the plane-voiceover-guy. SO awesome. You can’t even hate on the cheerleader, it’s all just too cute. #15 earns a little internal vomit, but the chills I get from #12 make up for it. Number ten is a drive-thru proposal, I think…which is weird…. but NUMBER SEVEN. The face on #5 – hilarious. And number one just makes me want to cry all over the place and I’m writing this on a Greyhound bus so I should probably stop before I scare off the girl next to me.

And the award goes to…

Seth Macfarlane, for Most Entertaining Oscars in a while.

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Whether you liked his jokes or not (about half of them were legitimately funny, the other half were your choice of cheesy, offensive, or inappropriate), it was entertaining. Watching Marky Mark try and interact with Ted onstage… not so much. Here’s a few best/worst moments from the show (including the really stupid, awful Lincoln joke at the beginning):

Read the Worst of the Bad Jokes here,
And read my live-tweeted recap of the awards here.

And ICYMI: The “Jaws” theme music was used to keep the speeches short, rather than the classic orchestral interlude that signals your speech’s end. At first, kind of funny. But honestly, I think it was more disrespectful than entertaining. They used the regular music for Tarantino’s speech, what makes him better than anyone else? (Besides Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and all his Oscars). It just felt tacky to me. What did you think? Let me know @sydney_neilson on Twitter, and read this article discussing the subject here.

Ben Affleck, for Most Unbearably Precious Acceptance Speech. 

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Adele may have been predictably precious winning Best Song, and Anne Hathaway lived a dream come true with Best Supporting Actress, but Affleck’s barely-held-together finale speech (accepting the Oscar for Best Picture) was just beautiful. Watching him care so much… Argo is clearly his baby, he worked damn hard on it, and now he’s got the Oscar to prove it. “Work harder than you think you possibly can,” he said, using his speech as a bit of a pep talk for the future. Although, it wasn’t until he mentioned his wife and kids that he got really choked up. Argo is the fourth film in 85 years to snag Best Picture without a Best Director nod.

“I want to thank them and I want to thank what they taught me, which is that you have to work harder than you think you possibly can. You can’t hold grudges. It’s hard but you can’t hold grudges. And it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that’s going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get up. Violet, Sam and Sera, this is for you.”

Read Affleck’s full speech transcribed here.

Honorary Mention for “It came true!” from Anne Hathaway, and “You’re all amazing!” from Adele.

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Sandra Bullock, for this:

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Robert Downey Jr & Chris Evans (A TIE, HOW SCANDALOUS!) for Best Dressed Avenger.

They may have missed their shot at an Oscar this year, but they did not disappoint. Chris Evans looked sexy and classic, while Robert Downey Jr mixed it up a bit, and just generally looks more delicious than most people. Mark Ruffalo suited up, Jeremy Renner was polished as hell, and Samuel L. Jackson wore a velvet-y looking blazer that just reminded me how confused he makes me.

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Jennifer Lawrence, for Most Lovably Awkward, Fabulous, Entertaining Winner.

Seriously, J.Law can do NO wrong. She killed it in Silver Linings. She fell on her ass. She admitted to shots before the show (watch the press conference video below). She called out Emma Stone on the red carpet, “Your ass is mine, Stone!” She’s absolutely hilarious and real, and now she gets to continue taking over the world, as Academy Award Winner, Jennifer Lawrence, who fell on her way to the stage. The Oscars turn everyone with a Twitter account into a judgemental shitstorm, and I don’t think there’s been one negative word about this girl. The only thing better than watching her fall, is watching the boys react:

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YES.

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ALL HAIL THE PRINCESS OF GENOVIA AND KATNISS!

“I’m sorry, I did a shot before I…. I’m sorry, Jesus…”
DYING.

Quvenzhané Wallis, for Cutest, Youngest, whatever.

She just needs some kind of award. LOOK AT HER! Did you SEE Beasts of the Southern Wild? Plus, she was just cast as Annie, in a new big-screen Sony adaptation of the long running musical. Awesome.

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And check out Buzzfeed’s list of the 22 Most Adorable Quvenzhane Wallis Moments from the Oscars here.

Jane Fonda, for Best Aged Person Ever.

Yeah, Halle Berry looked amazing, but seriously. Jane Fonda is SEVENTY-FIVE years old. 75. She was born in 1937. She was alive during the actual Sound of Music plot line. She was born the same year that artificial sweetener was invented. And she’s been awesome every day since.

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Quentin Tarantino, for Being Fucking Awesome. Seriously, even if you hate Tarantino’s movies, he’s seriously awesome. He just does not give a fuck. His speech basically thanked himself (“And man, did I do it!”), but he did call 2013 “the writers’ year,” and he may just be right. Peace out!

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Possibly one of my favourite photos of all time.

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CHARLIZE.

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Kristen Stewart, for Worst Guest/Presenter/Person Ever.

She just looked so unhappy, so forced, and so disheveled. It’s the goddamn Academy Awards, people work their entire lives for this shit, and she can’t be bothered to brush her hair? I just don’t understand who forces her to go to these things… that can’t be the face of a voluntary attendee. The only person that could have possibly looked unhappier was Joaquin Phoenix.

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“We Saw Your Boobs,” for Best Original Performance.

As far as the songs written for the show, this was definitely the best. Clever and funny without being rude or offensive (the “Losers” song at the end, a little iffy…), the song called out all the audience members that have (or have not) stripped down on-camera. Total props to director of the night’s show, Don Mischer, for timing his shots perfectly, grabbing a great reaction from Jennifer Lawrence during the song:

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But the best line?

“And Kate Winslet in “Heavenly Creatures” and “Jude”
And “Hamlet” and “Titanic”
And “Iris” and “Little Children”
And “The Reader”
And whatever you’re shooting right now.
We saw your boobs!”

Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow, for Greatest Red Carpet Couple. I just feel like they’re the best.

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Although, the ridiculous attractiveness between Ketih Urban and Nicole Kidman is a little unbelievable.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe, for Most Adorable Dancing Pair. Yeah, Charlize Theron looked fucking incredible, and Channing Tatum danced her around the stage with his usually classy-as-fuck sexiness, but HARRY POTTER DANCED WITH JGL.

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Sally Field, for Being a Boss. She arrived with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and ditched the heels in minutes. She’s just so cute.

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& Ang Lee, for double fisting his Best Director Oscar and an In-N-Out Burger. Seriously.

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And for those that missed it, a quick recap of everything else:

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Within the first 30 seconds, we get to see Robert Downey Jr. Mmm.
  • The supremely well-timed Sound of Music joke. PERFECT!
  • Samuel L. Jackson’s badass velvet blazer
  • Daniel Day-Lewis is actually funny! And nothing makes an Oscar more satisfying than being awarded by Meryl Streep.
  • Somehow, every sound editor styled their hair the same. Silver linings in more ways than one.
  • Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy = hilarious, as expected
  • Paperman won!
  • Jamie Foxx wore a sparkly bowtie and Kerry Washington looked unbelieeeeeevable
  • Chicago moved back onto the stage, led by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and it was awesome.
  • A tie! I guess that’s a highlight. It confused a lot of people.
  • Lots of jewish jokes that were actually funny.
  • Richard Gere and Queen Latifah.
  • Jack Nicholson strolling out casually, closing the Oscars way, way later than necessary.
  • The Obamas prove, once again, that their family is the most unbelievably cool First Family on the planet. Can we keep them forever?

THE LOWLIGHTS:

  • Marky Mark and Ted. Just trying too hard.
  • The whole Captain Kirk thing. The future/past bit was good, using the headlines and such, but it just went on too long, and was a little too self-indulgent for me. Seemed like an excuse to throw in something Macfarlane-y, which just isn’t suited to the show.
  • Not enough Robert Downey Jr.
  • And why wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio there, even a little bit?
  • The Onion tweeted during the show “”Everyone else seems afraid t say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c—, right?” Seriously? She’s NINE years old. They deleted the tweet pretty quick, they’ve apologized and all that, but the internet never forgets. Read more here.
  • Renee Zellwegger.
  • I thought I escaped “I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” when we left the 00s… please, keep it there. It’s really incredible and I love JHud, don’t get me wrong, but damn, this song needs to go away for a decade or so.
  • 50 Years of Bond and we only get one performance and a montage? Shirley Bassey was badass, but I just expected more.

GOLD-FINGAAAAA!

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My overall verdict: 8.4/10.

Good host, solid audience, great films this year. Too offensive, inappropriate, and outlandish at times, but to be expected from MacFarlane. Theme = awesome. I need to see Django again. I love Naomi Watts. I love embellishments. I love montages. I love Bond. I love movies.

Read the full list of nominees and winners here.

Also, if you feel the need to watch the show again (the longest show since Hugh Jackman started the musical craze in 2009), you can watch the full thing, legally (if you live in the States), online, on the Oscars website, here.

Now, watch everyone be beautiful together:

Photos and GIFs courtesy of Tumblr & The Huffington Post.

Sunday, February 24th 2013.
6:45 pm, EST.
It begins.

And the #Oscar livetweets begin. #redcarpet

I just love Jennifer Lawrence. #dior #flawless

“Why can’t Tina and Amy host everything?” #questionoftheyear #oscars2013

The #Oscars have a theme. And it’s Music in Film. I think I just came. #oscars2013

I love seeing how short Daniel Radcliffe is. And I love seeing him dance. And I love JGL. And I love everything ever.

Paul Rudd improves everything.

I wonder how dramatically the viewer percentage is going to drop because of #thewalkingdead.

Life of Pi was absolutely incredible. Best use of 3D ever.

@IAMQUVENZHANE is the most precious thing ever. #welcometothegunshow

Using the Jaws music to get you off stage… A little funny, a little disrespectful… yeah, sounds like Seth Macfarlane’s show.

I’ve actually gotten all my #Oscar predictions right so far!

This Bond montage could go on forever I would not be mad about it #50YearsofBond

Kerry Washington’s cheekbones are inspiring. #oscars

If anyone deserves to win something from Zero Dark Thirty, it’s Jessica Chastain, not Kathryn Bigelow. #opinion #isaidit

Fun fact: Sugar Man was partly shot on an iPhone. Director ran out of money for Super8 film and used a vintage cam app. #oscars #random

SING TO ME TRAVOLTA. No, wait, don’t. #takemeback

CHICAGO TRIBUTE THIS IS REAL LIFE IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE FILM BUT IT’S ONSTAGE AGAIN BRB #OSCARS #allthatjazz

Cahterine Zeta-Jones is what everyone ever should aspire to be.

SHOW ME MORE BEHIND THE SCENES #controlroom #please

This is the #Oscars, Ted needs to leave. It’s not working, and it’s making me not like Marky Mark. #opinion #sadtweet

That Sound of Music joke just made up for Ted’s appearance, well done. #catchup #oscars

Unsurprising but totally satisfying. #OscarForAnne #LesMiserables

Am I the only person not excited for Adele? #bestwritingalready #leggo

I love looking forward to the GIFs of tomorrow. #modernhappiness #oscars

Jennifer Lawrence needs to win so we can watch her try and form an acceptance speech in front of this crowd. #loveher #bestactress

For every teenager wondering why they recognize the name Marvin Hamlisch.. Superbad. #lol #justsoyouknow #youlooklikeayoungmarvinhamlisch*

*Yeah, this isn’t right. That quote is from Role Models, I just got too excited and mixed it up. Whoops!

My undying hatred for Renee Zellwegger cannot stop my burning love of Chicago. #contradiction #oscars

Tarantino may have basically just thanked himself, but I’m totally cool with it. #DjangoUnchained #oscars2013 #thewritersyear

Guys, Jane Fonda is 75.

Ang Lee wins Best Director, and I get to chalk up another victory on my #Oscar poll! #LifeOfPi

YES YES YES MY LOVE*

*When Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress.

NOTHING WILL EVER TOP THIS man i love Jennifer Lawrence way too much*

*When Jennifer Lawrence fell on the way to accept Best Actress.

Jennifer Lawrence is awk in a way that makes you want to be her best friend. K Stew is awk in a way that makes you want to murder-suicide.

The only thing better than winning an Oscar is winning an Oscar from Meryl Streep. #bestactor #oscars2013

When the Obamas are done with politics, can they have their own TV show? I just love their family. #idwatchthat #keepingupwiththeobamas

Argo fuck yourself ❤ #bestpicture #OSCARS

Django: Unchained

poster1 What You Know: Jamie Foxx and Leo DiCap star in Tarantino’s maybe-racist bloody Western, of some sort. It’s on a lot of billboards, looks pretty badass.
What You’ve Heard: It’s pretty badass. Lots of blood.
What You Need to Know: Yeah, it’s pretty badass. Blood and badassery in the way that only Tarantino can, and for over two and a half hours. The soundtrack is full of surprises, and totally awesome. Every song punched you in the face, with Rick Ross, John Legend, and other artists making appearances at perfect moments. Bomb soundtrack aside, Django is not for the faint of heart. Violence has always been a trademark of Tarantino, and Django is no exception. I’m not usually a squirmy person; I can handle blood and gore, modern desensitization and all that… but damn, Django, you violent. Man vs man, dog vs man, man vs woman, guns and knives and teeth and nails, Tarantino holds nothing back. Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t either – he may look like an ancient desert turtle, but his vocal chords are still kicking. If you’ve heard about “that awesome German guy,” that would be Christoph Waltz, one of the absolute best performances in the movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is a strange breath of calm in the film, as the sadistic plantation owner of “Candyland.”

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If you’re still not sold, watch the movie knowing that eventually, randomly, when you least expect it…

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Watch the trailer here:

And a little taste of the soundtrack, two of my favourite tracks:

Zero Dark Thirty

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What You Know: Bin Laden on the big screen?
What You’ve Heard: It’s ….long.
What You Need to Know: It’s one of those movies you go into like “THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME and informative!” Then you get there, the movie starts, and yeah, it’s kind of awesome, you get a look behind the scenes of all the Bin Laden efforts, the U.S. military, it’s all pretty cool. But it’s not two hours and 45 minutes cool. It drags. It lags. It lasted too long. I actually expected more, but it was still a good movie. Definitely worth seeing to make your own call. Jessica Chastain is awesome though, I feel like that’s pretty indisputable, whether the movie flowed as a whole or not. However, Kathryn Bigelow (the film’s director) upset the Oscars in 2009 with The Hurt Locker‘s win, beating Avatar, and it seems possible again. Girl power!

Lincoln

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What You Know: The poster is grey. Kind of looks like Saw if you’re not paying attention.
What You’ve Heard: Nothing too exciting.
What You Need to Know: Now, as someone who knows little but the basics about American history, I went into Lincoln knowing very little backstory. It’s interesting to see, especially because Lincoln isn’t a President that got to experience a legitimate media frenzy, so the public isn’t as familiar with Lincoln as a character, a husband, a father. I definitely had to make myself watch this one: 147 minutes of a lethargic-looking film about a President isn’t usually my first choice. However, it’s very different than I expected. Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Abraham Lincoln is smooth, subtle, and uniform, but cleverly investing. In the film, Lincoln’s goal is to abolish slavery, and he must find the votes from Congress to pass the amendment. But it’s a balancing act: if the law is passed before the civil war is over, the returning Southern states will not pass the law. But obviously, peace would save lives, so he wants the war to end. So Daniel Day-Lewis spends the majority of the movie having snappy, sassy conversations with other old, similarly-bearded politicians in dismal offices, telling them clever stories and tales to convince them to vote to pass the amendment. It’s definitely justified in its award nominations – directing and film structure, amazing. It’s a damn well made film (thanks, Spielberg), but it’s definitely a bit of a snooze. A well-crafted, soon-to-be-Oscar-winning-snooze. A classy nap. A long, classy nap.

Silver Linings Playbook

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What You Know: Bradley Cooper, Hunger Games girl, lots of nominations.
What You’ve Heard: Pretty positive reviews, funny, worth it.
What You Need to Know is all right here. It’s a great book turned into a pretty great movie, with an amazing cast and writers and everything is just great. Granted, romantic dramedys don’t usually fare well as contender’s for Best Picture, but there’s just something about Silver Linings. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper both hold nominations for Best Actor/Actress as well, in addition to Russell’s directorial nomination and Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver’s supporting actor/actress noms, so my hopes are high, and I just can’t wait for all that beautiful to be sitting together at one table.

Amour

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What You Know: …I got nothing.
What You’ve Heard: … nope.
What You Need to Know: A French film about death and old age (you’re still reading? Thanks!), it’s impressive that a film nominated for Best Foreign Language film made it to the big leagues for Best Picture. Also, the film’s lead actress snagged a Best Actress nom, making her the oldest ever in the category (at a solid 85 years). With the youngest nominee ever at 9 years old, the battle of the ages will be interesting.

Life of Pi

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What You Know: It was a book, right? And there’s a tiger, and a foreign kid on a boat.
What You’ve Heard: It’s been compared to Avatar, so that’s something.
What You Need to Know: Two words: earth porn. For an adaptation of a book deemed “unfilmable,” it was pretty fucking awesome. Avatar is long and intense and exotic and and cool, but man, Life of Pi is beautiful. Like, sitting-in-the-theatre-jaw-dropped-wide-eyes for a little over two hours (which I just had to Google, because when I saw it in theatres, I didn’t notice or care about how long it was). All the reviews and hype about the film has cited it as this epic, groundbreaking, exhilarating, incredible, unexpected masterpiece, and honestly, it is. The 3D is used entirely to enhance your experience with the film, not throw cheap gags in your face just to make you flinch.

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The characters in the film (mostly animal) are entertaining as hell, as they all develop personality and grow along with Pi. It’s a serious movie you don’t have to feel inappropriate laughing at; it’s funny, too! With clever little lines and hilarious moments (the evolution of Pi’s name, for one), you don’t get bored, and the captivating scenery and unbelievable cinematography never let you down. All in all, it’s an amazing film that entertains the eyes while lifting your spirits. I can’t help comparing it to a blend of Avatar’s exotic beauty, the spirit of Finding Nemo (just keep swimming!), and the animalistic sense of serenity reminiscent of Water For Elephants. But comparing Life of Pi to anything doesn’t do it justice. It’s really like nothing I’ve seen before, and it’s something you should definitely catch in theatres before it’s gone – I’m definitely not one to recommend 3D, but I’m doing it now. The preview doesn’t even do it justice, but enjoy:

Les Misérables

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What You Know: Musical! Singing. Wolverine singing. And… Anne Hathaway’s haircut
What You’ve Heard: Apparently it’s a big deal. Epic and such.
What You Need to Know: I saw Les Mis in one of the Cineplex VIP Cinemas that you’re allowed to drink in. Sure, my drink was a little pricey, but I used my Scene points to buy the ticket, and having a delicious egg nog cradled in my lap made sobbing through “I Dreamed a Dream” a little more emotionally bearable. I knew Hugh Jackman could sing, we’ve all seen him start the singing trend at the Oscars a few years back, and I personally think the video of Jackman calling out an audience member for cell phone use during his Broadway show is one of the funniest things ever (if you haven’t seen it, find it below under the preview). Jackman was solid, Anne Hathway impressed, but I just don’t know what to do with Russell Crowe. I don’t even think he was bad, I just don’t know what to do with it. Again, the movie was a little longer than it needed to be, but considering how long the play is, the film had to be pretty long to not piss off 28 years of theatre fans. It’s a sung-through musical, so the whole movie is sung, without a word spoken. Considering I didn’t realize this until AFTER I left the theatre, I don’t think it’s that big of a change from a regular musical, but if you’re not a fan of musicals, Les Mis might be a bit of a stretch (especially getting used to Wolverine as Jean Valjean). However, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham-Carter’s onscreen rendition of “Master of the House” is exhaustingly entertaining, and Eddie Redmayne is a delicious little surprise, and definitely grows on you.

Also check out some hilarious Les Mis memes here.

Argo

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What You Know: Ben Affleck. Politics?
What You’ve Heard: Won some stuff, sounds pretty good.
What You Need to Know: It’s like watching everyone you ever thought was awesome… be awesome. And it’s based on actual (now-declassified) events. Ben Affleck teams up with Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and the foul-mouthed grandfather from Little Miss Sunshine (Alan Arkin) to come together and execute a plan to save six Americans who were taken from the U.S. Embassy in 1980 Iran. If seeing Walter White with hair and no moustache isn’t enough to invest you in the film, its sharp, sassy attitude will sell you. It’s Ben Affleck all the way, smart and biting without being torturously boring. With Victor Garber (Callahan from Legally Blonde) as the Canadian ambassador, and Tate Donovan as one of the escapees, every role is cast to perfection (maybe why it won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble?). The story is awesome, a political thriller with a hint of documentary: the escapees have to pose as a film crew and attempt to cross the border without getting caught. It’s an awesome story of countries and governments working together, and it’s especially awesome because Canada comes out on top (even if the film downplays our involvement/glorifies the Americans, there is a true story behind the Affleck movie, and it’s cool as hell). #winnawinnamaplesyrup

Beasts of the Southern Wild

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What You Know: Nothing.
What You’ve Heard: Nothing. Wait, is this where the little girl nominated comes from?
What You Need to Know: AHH. The little girl is so cute and so clever. The movie is a beautiful, cultural, entertaining, SUCCINCT piece of film. It doesn’t drag on longer than necessary, boasting a modest 91 minute runtime. I feel like every movie I’ve seen lately has lasted about 40 minutes longer than usual, and even the good ones take a lot out of you. BOTSW was just long enough, 91 minutes of pure heart. Both leads (the young girl, Hushpuppy, and her father, Wink) had no previous acting experience, and brought sincerity and realism to the roles. Quvenzhané Wallis, the young girl, impressed the casting agents with her lungs: burping on command, and an impressive scream. Dwight Henry, who plays her father in the film, was a modest bakery/cafe owner in New Orleans at the time of casting. The tight-knit crew had built a relationship with him over time, and finally got him to read for the part. He couldn’t resist, after realizing the realism he could bring to the role (Wink’s issues in the film stem from natural disaster, which Henry experienced firsthand in Hurricane Katrina), and was cast immediately. And damn. The whole film is fuelled by imagination and emotion, and narrated by young Hushpuppy, giving it a sense of innocence and naivety. She threatens her father with “eating birthday cake all over [his] grave,” and discusses “the universe getting busted.” Her story is an inspiration, and this is definitely a film you won’t soon forget. Also, the only nominee to come out before October! Released in October, this little girl’s big movie stuck.

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Don’t usually watch award shows? This year, the Oscars are hosted by Seth Macfarlane (creator and voice actor for Family Guy, Ted, etc), so you know that at the very least, you’ll be entertained by his opening monologue. Especially considering his past with hosting: “How do you prepare for a night like this? Personally, I smoked a lot of pot and don’t give a shit about this show. So I’m kind of a perfect host for this show, or for the Oscars” (quoted from his opening monologue at the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump). So, I’m excited. Plus, look how adorable he is:

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“Fun” fact: Macfarlane had a ticket to be on one of the planes that crashed in the 9/11 tragedy. Missed his plane by 10 minutes. Hangovers, not always a bad thing.

Other things to look forward to at this year’s show:

  • James Bond tribute, for the franchise’s 50th Anniversary
  • 85th anniversary of the Oscars themselves
  • Mila Kunis (always)
  • Whatever Angelina’s wearing (another leg meme in the works?)
  • Bradley Cooper (mmmmm..)
  • Will Best Actress go to the adorable 9-year-old, the powerful 85-year-old, 22-year-old J.Law, gritty Chastain, or Naomi Watts (for The Impossible)?
  • Anne Hathway (she’s a frontrunner to win for Supporting Actress, and her speeches are always entertaining. She’s just so cute, especially with her latest haircut.)
  • Red carpet preshows (just have it on in the background and absorb some fashion. Enjoy the beautiful people looking even more beautiful than usual. Or, more entertainingly, the beautiful people looking ridiculous). #OSCARs2013
  • Seth Macfarlane is set to close the show with Kristen Chenoweth and a musical number. Awesome.

The Oscars air at 8pm on ABC, Sunday February 24th. Red carpet and pre-shows air basically all day beforehand, flick on your TV and find it for yourself.

Follow Seth Macfarlane on Twitter here.
Follow the Academy for Oscar updates on Twitter here.
Follow me on Twitter here.

1. Getting your period when you really need it. Whether it’s a week before your big birthday weekend or a vacation you’ve been waiting all year for, getting your period ahead of time means having one less thing to worry about. Suddenly, traveling, going out, dressing up, and stripping down are easier, more convenient, less stressful, and all-in-all, much more enjoyable. On the other hand, waiting for a period in the midst of a pregnancy scare (whether big or small) makes you appreciate the monthly little devil you never knew you would miss. Nothing is worse than having to deal with your period at an inconvenient time, except the inconveniences that come when it’s late.

2. The perks of being a bra wearer. Bras are one of those things that only women can fully comprehend. Switching from a back- to front-clasp bra is like switching a man’s iPhone from English to 汉字/漢. The entertainment factor in trying to stay in the moment while he fumbles with the clasp like it’s a straightjacket, or Pandora’s freaking box, is priceless. Practically a representation of woman itself, the bra is strong, supportive, comes in a million different shapes, sizes, and colors, and (like women’s ability to multitask) are multifunctional as pockets, wallets, pillows, and more. When we’re not complaining about them, we’re taking advantage of them.

3. Successfully completing a proper ponytail on the first try. The amount of time I spend redoing a ponytail/braid/other, only to give up and flick on my straightener to fix whatever was the problem in the first place… is unpleasant. Lady high-fives all around to those who can properly toss their hair back on the first try. On a related note:

4. Taking down a ponytail and not having “the bump.” You know. Well done, girl.

5. Getting goosebumps in the winter and not giving a damn because your legs are hairy anyway. Whether it’s a myth or not, getting goosebumps and feeling your hair follicles prickle after a fresh shave is one of the most frustrating lady-problems. But for at least one period in the winter, we have the satisfaction of wearing pants for long enough that our leg hair grows out, and goosebumps make little difference. Freedom to shiver and freeze in the winter without having to concern yourself with the prickling climbing up your ankles is priceless.

6. Hating and loving everything about your half of the gender species. Periods, babies, boy troubles, bras, boobs, skirts, thongs, high heels, moisturizer, jewelry, men, sewing, assumptions, douchebags, freckles, yoga pants, ponytails, bobby pins, there’s a million upsides and a million downsides, and a million opportunities in each.

7. Going out and knowing you look great. Showering, drying and doing hair, putting together your outfit, your face, your plans, and seeing that a) it paid off, and b) it’s over. The satisfaction of being DONE getting ready, and getting to actually show off what you’ve been preparing is incomparable to anything else. Whether it took you ten minutes or a few hours, the satisfaction is all the same.

8. Being able to basically do… whatever we want. We are free to settle into girly movies (every girl has a spot in her heart for guilty pleasure classics like Bring It On, Dirty Dancing, The Notebook) with the carefree knowledge that nobody will judge us. Trashy music from Ke$ha can be your secret – or not-so-secret – anthem, and we can stand our ground: this music was made for us. Gay clubs, straight clubs, unless it’s a specific men’s only night, we’re pretty much welcome anywhere. Being a girl definitely has its downfalls, pressures, dangers, and curveballs, but there’s so much fun to be had, I can’t imagine being anything else. Plus, I feel like growing a penis at this stage in my life would just be like, super inconvenient.