Friday, November 5, 2010
Here's my pick for the best music video. Keep in mind this is subject to change, but at this moment, on this day, at this hour, I am choosing:
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tier One (Alphabetical)
Jennifer Aniston - It's probably my intense Friends devotion or my belief that she could somehow wow everyone one day if given the right script that leads me to obsess over Miss Aniston.
Penelope Cruz - It's got to be the Spanish accent and the inherent Euro-sexiness.
Andrew Garfield - I've been referring to him as my "new Anna Kendrick" for the awards season, or rather that person who I will cling to during the entire awards season because of their charms, talents, and I just always need somebody to root for (even if they don't usually win, much like Miss Kendrick last year). It's an awards season ritual of mine. In 2007, it was Ellen Page fandom. In 2008, Penelope Cruz. Then Anna and now Andrew.
Neil Patrick Harris - The hottest triple threat ever. He's, like, a 108 threat.
Anna Kendrick - The fast-talking charms of Anna Kendrick make me melt every single time. I could root for her forever.
Nicole Kidman - I have a thing for ridiculously gorgeous and talented actresses with porcelain skin, Amazonian height, delicate features, and Australian accents. What can I say?
Madonna - Nobody has shaped me pop-culturally as much as Madonna has. I made my own Madonna "discovery" in 9th grade. Last year (10th grade), sometime before that "eh" Glee episode devoted to Madge, I became slightly more obsessive and dipped much more extensively into her catalog, but still only scratching the surface of her work and her persona. This past summer, I threw myself completely into Madonna, and now it's October and I still can't get enough. This obsession is here to stay.
(Of course, in the late category, one Katharine Hepburn.)
Tier Two (The people I love but only border on "obsession" with.. alphabetical order.)
Kristin Chenoweth - Pint size fun.
Marion Cotillard - French, and crazy/repressed wife staple.
Courteney Cox - Monica! (And Gale!)
Matthew Fox - One of the few Jack fans out there.
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe! (And Michele!)
Carey Mulligan - So close to tier one that it actually seems unfair that she's in this tier.
Evangeline Lilly - Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate.
Britney Spears - Bitch.
This is off the top of my head. Which celebrities do you just go gaga for? (Perhaps Gaga herself?)
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Best Picture (ranked from most likely to least likely):
Toy Story 3
The Kids Are All Right
The Social Network
The King's Speech
(Tier one above, tier two below)
Love and Other Drugs
Never Let Me Go
We know Toy Story 3 is in if they let Up in last year. Inception I have reservations about, if only because better films may come along, but it definitely captured the zeitgeist this summer, and it is Christopher Nolan's "time." The Academy felt so bad about The Dark Knight snub that they made the field ten-wide. They aren't ignoring Nolan again. The Kids Are All Right has probably had "front-runner" status for awhile (live-action films category) and I don't see any reason why it would lose its heat. The Social Network has gotten very positive early buzz, and its director (David Fincher) has been quite the news item because of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo business. He's safe. The King's Speech is the definition of Oscar bait. Royals, Geoffrey Rush, a true story, and royals. Lots of royals. I've only heard positive things, so I think it can pull off a nomination in a ten-wide field (I mean, An Education did last year and that was certainly less bait-y.)
The Fighter depends on the reviews. With good/great reviews, then the topic (boxer! inspirational!) it's in. Black Swan is probably the most potentially polarizing film on this list, but with ardent supporters (which it seems to have, are they Academy members?) it could break through. Love and Other Drugs feels like that Chocolat nom. waiting to happen. Except Chocolat was in the top 5, so why can't Love and Other Drugs be in the top 10? Never Let Me Go is the film I actually might have the least faith in for Oscar love, but Somewhere also seems iffy, but for different reasons. I give Never Let Me Go the edge because of the cast and that haunting trailer.
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David Fincher, The Social Network
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Mike Leigh, Another Year
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Nolan has the whole "it's his time," as does Aronofsky. Nolan is probably the safer bet because his film has been released, grossed close to $700 million, and permeated pop culture. Black Swan probably won't come anywhere near $700 million (ah, in a perfect world!), but Darren Aronofsky can't be denied this many times.. can he? David Fincher seems to be a no-brainer, but Mike Leigh and David O. Russell are more long shots. Mike Leigh has pulled off this feat before (Vera Drake) where he gets nominated but his film doesn't, and given the warm reception Another Year has received, he might be safer than the film itself. And David O. Russell soars or sinks based on the reviews of The Fighter. Positive, he's probably in, negative, he's probably out.
More predictions in the coming days. What are your thoughts on my predictions so far?
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Eat Pray Love - B (Tied for number 10 on the former list) A solid Julia Roberts vehicle, but doesn't scratch the surface of the psychological problems and inner journey author Elizabeth Gilbert took to emerge a new woman.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World - A- (Number 9) A smart and eye-poppingly fresh take on a graphic novel I never had the fortune of reading. Cera is stellar as he tries to play against type as a womanizer, and the supporting cast (Culkin, Kendrick, etc.) is killer.Inception - B+ (Number 3) A big concept that isn't always as stable as Nolan would want it to be, but can't-miss-cinema nonetheless. Cotillard is radiant in her ever-growing niche of an abused wife, Mal.
The Kids Are All Right - A (Number 2) A film I went into with high expectations, and it didn't disappoint at all. Career best work from Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, and Josh Hutcherson. It treats what could have been trivial plot points with unmatched sincerity and originality.
And now to revise the list.. the previous list looked like:
10. Never Let Me Go / Eat, Pray, Love
9. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
8. My Own Love Song
7. How Do You Know
6. The Social Network
4. Rabbit Hole
2. The Kids Are All Right
1. Love and Other Drugs
And the new list looks like:
10. 127 Hours
9. Fair Game
8. How Do You Know
5. Love and Other Drugs
4. Rabbit Hole
3. Black Swan
2. The Social Network
1. Never Let Me Go
Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments, please!
Friday, August 27, 2010
I haven't seen either movie (no HBO!), but they were both supposed to be pretty good. Susan has the edge here because Catherine and Julia probably play second and third fiddle to Claire Danes, who the movie (presumably) showcases. And while You Don't Know Jack presumably showcases Al Pacino, we all know what Susan Sarandon can do in limited roles. Also, she's been nominated for multiple Emmys before and she has never won, and these kinds of things do factor in (unless you're, say, Richard Burton at the Oscars). She's been a revered, hard working actress for decades now.. surely an Emmy cannot be that hard to take?
And the "G" and the "T" shouldn't be that hard for her to win, either. Her stage work on Broadway is limited. Granted she didn't get a Tony nomination for last season's Exit the King, it's not much to fret over. If supplied with the proper vehicle, a Tony could be hers in no time. And winning a Grammy means doing an audiobook (easier if it's for the kiddies). So, by Sunday, Susan should be halfway through her EGOT.
What do you think of Susan's chances at the Emmys? Please be kind, we're big fans over here.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Black Swan may or may not be a major Oscar contender.. You can never tell with Darren Aronofsky. It's probably obvious that, if the ten-wide field had existed, The Wrestler would have been included in the line-up, but it's harder to say if Requiem for a Dream would have made it on Oscar's short(but a little bit longer)list of 10 nominees. I mean, Chocolat was in their top five, so...
What do you think of the trailer? I haven't really been looking forward to this, but due to the "eh" trailer of Love and Other Drugs (previously named my "Most Anticipated of 2010") and this much more awesome and intriguing trailer for Black Swan (missing from my most anticipated list), I'm sad that this wasn't previously on my radar! I'm looking forward to it now (Ballerinas! Natalie! Insanity! Mila!?), are you?
Monday, August 16, 2010
And number 1 is...
1. Ray of Light, Ray of Light
Yes, this is the song that beat Like a Prayer. Its charms are boundless. Every day in the shower I always sing Ray of Light at the top of my lungs. And then when I'm out of the shower, it continues. It starts out so calmly, "Zephyr in the sky at night, I wonder, do my tears of mourning, sink beneath the sun?" And then it's off! Who doesn't have the urge to sing along with Madonna at the top of their lungs when she's singing "And I feel! Like I just got home!" "Quicker than a ray of light!"
And the music video is perfect for this song. Zero controversy (sorry, Like a Prayer), and eye-catching.
It's my favorite Madonna song. Hell, it's my favorite song by anyone.
What are your thoughts on Ray of Light? The countdown? What are your favorite Madonna songs? Agree/disagree with me? Please, stop thinking it and write it down in the comments!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
4. Like a Virgin, Like a Virgin
3. Material Girl, Like a Virgin
2. Like a Prayer, Like a Prayer
What's that you say? You thought Like a Prayer was going to be number 1!? Well, anybody reading a Madonna countdown expects Like a Prayer to be named her greatest song, but there's one more that I very narrowly love more.
And Material Girl is my favorite Madonna music video. Like a Virgin's music video isn't so great, but the song is just so catchy and iconic.
What are your thoughts on these songs? The countdown? Any guesses for what song is number 1? Sound off, in the comments below!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Even anti-Madonna people (blasphemy!) have to agree that Borderline is a solid song. And it's probably the song of hers that never gets old, in terms of listening to over and over again consecutively. Love it! That's why it's number 5.
What are your thoughts on Borderline? The countdown? Madonna?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Don't even get me started on that horrendous, jaw-droppingly bad Sue Sylvester cover version of Vogue that is going to win Jane Lynch her one-note Emmy. Instead, let's focus on the positive. This song is the ultimate feel-good song. My friend and I once agreed that it should play over the credits of every movie, just because it'll allow you to leave feeling good inside even if what you just saw was Precious, Terms of Endearment, A Nightmare on Elm Street, or anything else just shy of "feel good."And the name dropping of all the celebrities? Currently my ringtone... It's probably Madonna's best song for singing along in your bedroom (with the door hopefully closed!). And for these reasons, it lands at spot number 6 on this countdown.
What are your thoughts on Vogue and its ability to make anybody feel amazing?
Monday, August 9, 2010
8. Human Nature, Bedtime Stories
Did I say something true? Did I have a point of view? Did I talk about sex? Did I talk about you? Yes to all of the above! And when you say "yes" to all of the above, you get Human Nature.
7. Frozen, Ray of Light
I wasn't a huge fan of Frozen the first time I heard it. And I don't think many people are, it takes a few times listening to it to understand why it's so amazing. It's the song that gets better and better with repeat listening, and that's why it earns spot 7 (ask me tomorrow and maybe even higher) on this list.
Happy Birthday Anna Kendrick, winner of the 2009 ATF Award for Best Supporting Actress, comedic and dramatic actress extraordinaire, song and dance gal, and fun media personality.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
9. Papa Don't Preach, True Blue
Surprisingly politically right for Madonna, Papa Don't Preach made it's way onto the list because of those almost haunting notes at the beginning, followed by a very solid Madonna song. I think, though everybody may not end up accidentally pregnant, it's a very easy song to relate to. "Mom/dad, I'm in trouble, I need help. Not a lesson."
And that's what earns Papa Don't Preach its spot on this list. What are your thoughts on Madonna's pregnancy anthem?
Friday, August 6, 2010
Of course there are many, many, many honorable mentions, but I narrowed it down to five.
The runners-up (in chronological order...)
Deeper and Deeper, Erotica
Hung Up, Confessions on a Dance Floor
She's Not Me, Hard Candy
10. Cherish, Like a Prayer, and True Blue, True Blue
Yes, I realize that I already have a tie! You might be asking me, "Why not put one of these in the honorable mentions?" But it's because these songs are so equally feel good, that it's hard to choose which one would make the list and which one wouldn't make the cut. Just listen to Cherish...
It's so sweet. But not to be outdone, here's 1986's True Blue...
These songs are like sugar in song form. That's pretty much all I can say to describe them. Who ever thought a song describing Sean Penn would be so cute? "True blue, baby, I love you."
What are your thoughts on any of the aforementioned Madonna songs?
Thursday, August 5, 2010
And, to be honest, Harriet Andersson's portrayal of a cancer-stricken woman is more unsettling than any horror movie could ever be. How anybody could go there (the breathing, the confused looks of "I don't want to die, or live like this," the constant melancholy) in acting? And how can a director possibly push an actor to those frighteningly realistic places?
The red, the close-ups of each sister (and, of course, loyal, loyal Anna), it's all so memorable and... creepy. But once again not bad creepy. The good kind of creepy.
Have you seen Cries and Whispers? If not, did this encourage or discourage you to see it? I mean, I am trying to recommend it but it's hard to flat out say "you'll love it!"
Also, tomorrow begins a new brief feature.. "The Ten Days of Madonna," where I'll give you my ten favorite Madonna singles up until her 52nd birthday, August 16th!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I've been thinking of how great cameos can be. To the attentive viewer, cameos can be those few moments when the viewer feels that he or she is in on the joke the director is going at. Here's a clip of one my favorite cameos, Francis Ford Coppola in his own movie, Apocalypse Now.
What are some of your favorite cameos? I wouldn't be surprised to see some Alfred Hitchcock mentions, because he just always pops up in his own films.
Monday, August 2, 2010
A Show That Disappointed Me - Glee
An Episode I've Watched More Than Five Times - "The One with the Red Sweater," Friends
Favorite Childhood Show - Arthur
Favorite Male Character(s) - Charlie Pace, Lost, Chandler Bing, Friends
Favorite Female Character(s) - Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Phoebe Buffay, Friends, Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock, Juliet Burke, Lost
Guilty Pleasure Show - Desperate Housewives
Favorite TV Movie - Grey Gardens
Favorite Title Sequence - Friends
Best TV Ensemble - Friends, Lost
Favorite Kiss - Claire and Charlie's first kiss, Lost
Favorite Relationship - Monica and Chandler, Friends, Charlie and Claire, Lost, Jack and Kate, Lost
Favorite Series Finale - Friends
Most Annoying Character - Mike Delfino, Desperate Housewives, Michael, Lost, Nikki and Paolo, Lost
Best Quote - "Don't tell me what I can't do!" "Live together, die alone." - Lost
A Show I Plan on Watching - Mr. Sunshine
OMG Wtf? Season Finale - "Exodus," Lost
Best Pilot Episode - Lost
First TV Show Obsession - Survivor
Current TV Show Obsession - Cougar Town, The Office, 30 Rock
Saddest Character Death -
Charlie, Juliet, Lost
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Not to sound like a broken record, but...
And here's one that might surprise you more frequent readers...
Yes, my favorite drama and my favorite series of all time (Friends!). I did not think I would like either, having seen an episode here or there and not thinking they were either funny (in the case of Friends) or worthwhile (in the cast of Lost). Boy am I glad I decided to revisit both!
Monday, July 26, 2010
If you haven't watched Lost and are planning on watching it, then do not watch the following scene. It's a spoiler and it's from the season 5 finale, "The Incident." The scene is so emotional and important.
Here's a less spoiler-filled favorite scene.. the beginning of Desperate Housewives. It's stumbled a bit recently, but it would be very hard to regain the magic of this opening scene for anyone.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
No, that video does not mean this blog is over. I just totally love that scene!
I'm sorry my posts are so arbitrary. Would you guys like more order or do you like my random musings more?
If you would like me to get organized, sound off! But if you like the way my blog is not (a total mess), sound off in the comments, also! If you have something you've just been dying to say to/ask me, you can also go for it!
Thanks to all of the support throughout my first blogging year. You all know who you are, and your support for this blog has meant the world to me. I love all of your blogs and they inspire me a lot. I'm sorry that this got a little emotional and drawn out, but the blogging community has been so accepting so I just wanted to say thanks!
Here's to hundreds of more toasts!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Congratulations, Matthew Fox! I'm a huge Jack fan though most other Lost fans seem to dislike Mr. Shephard.
It's okay, Courteney Cox Arquette. You're only doing some of your best comedic work carrying the bulk of Cougar Town on your own back. Maybe next year you'll get some Emmy love!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Outstanding Supporting Actor - Drama
Naveen Andrews, Lost
Michael Emerson, Lost
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Martin Short, Damages
John Slattery, Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Rose Byrne, Damages
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Chloe Sevigny, Big Love
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy
Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Jane Lynch, Glee
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Lead Actor - Drama
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Ray Romano, Men of a Certain Age
Outstanding Lead Actress - Drama
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Harigtay, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Outstanding Lead Actor - Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy
Toni Collette, The United States of Tara
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Mary Louise Parker, Weeds
Outstanding Drama Series
The Good Wife
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
How I Met Your Mother
Anyway, let's start with Day 7 of the Television Meme - My Least Favorite Episode of My Favorite Show
I shared some favorites today, so I'll do today similarly and list some least favorites.
The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line
Season 4 is honestly probably my least favorite season, despite some great episodes and lines (Michael Flatley, lord of the dance!). This episode has the utterly boring Kathy story line, and Joey and Chandler bickering over such a boring girl. This episode is sort of a snooze. Sorry, fans of TOW Chandler Crosses The Line!
The One With the Ride Along
I'm not a huge fan of Gary, though he does have some awesome Phoebe scenes. But this episode, where Joey, Chandler, and Ross go for a ride with Gary shows the lack of chemsitry between Gary and the male leads (totally unlike Paul Rudd, who brought the hilarity out in all of the cast members). Also- boring subplot in the seemingly endless Ross/Emily story.
Lastly, all clip-show episodes are boring. Sorry, but they are.
Okay I have an upcoming TV related post on the Emmys... stay tuned...
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
It's hard to choose just one episode, so in the following arbitrary order are some of my favorite episodes of Friends:
The One in Barbados
There's so much to love here. Though I'm not a huge fan of Joey/Rachel, I still love the way Joey and Charlie fell apart, and Charlie/Ross Rachel/Joey came together. And Monica's whole hair things show how good actors can make silly stories in pure comedy gold. And how could I forget David? Poor Hank Azaria. His David was just never destined to be with Phoebe!
The One Where Everybody Finds Out
Oh how the writers must have had a tough time figuring this out. She knows we know they know we know? I know they know we know they know? It's never confusing figuring out who knows what, and to that the writers deserve a standing ovation. And, naturally, Kudrow steals the show with the help of Perry's Chandler.
The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel
Season 6 is one of the most consistent seasons, and TOW Ross Hugs Rachel is just one of the many examples of the amazing consistency and hilarity of the season. Whether it's stupid gags (Monica's gross cookies) or balancing comedy and heart (Ross loving Rachel, Chandler and Monica's huge step forward), Friends always succeeds in making the audience wish that their friends were this sixsome. (Sixsome is so not a word.)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
So I'm going back to the meme (in a not-so-cheerful-way) with...
A Show I Hate
Seinfeld sucks. I'm sorry. Jerry Seinfeld's acting, Michael Richards' pre-racism over-the-top "kookiness," George Costanza; Everything that isn't named "Julia Louis-Dreyfus" is pure garbage on this show.
Whenever I try to watch Seinfeld (which is not something that happens often), there are always punchlines like "You have a lot to learn about pancakes." Blah. I'm sorry to the millions of Seinfeld fans, but this show is crap.
Monday, June 21, 2010
So much has been written about my favorite show: Friends.
I'm not sure what's left to say. It's the go-to show for me whenever I'm feeling anything. Sad, happy, in need of a laugh, tired, angry, excited. 236 episodes of some great comedy. Well, some episodes do misfire a tad (The One with Russ), but when it's good (which is about 200+ of these episodes) it's really good (The One with the Red Sweater). I was too young to watch the series during its incredibly successful, 10-year run on the now-failing NBC. But I found the show in reruns, and now I own all ten seasons on DVD and regularly (very, very regularly) watch them.
Some random musings:
-Season 6 is the best. No wait, Season 9. No wait, Season 5. I can't choose!
-My mind changes on the order of my favorite characters all the time. I posted it on Andrew's blog a little while ago, but I don't remember that order. The order as of today: Phoebe, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, Ross.
-I usually can't bring myself to watch the final episode because it makes me cry. There, I said it!
One day I might rank all of these episodes, is there demand for that though? Sound off in the comments if there is! Also, what are your thoughts on Friends?
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Because I'm often so disappointed with Glee (or at least the second half of season 1), I'm going to have to choose the show of yesterday's meme: Cougar Town. I think I pretty much summed up my thoughts on its quick pacing and how it is full of heart. So, for today, here are some pictures:
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Cougar Town, Courteney Cox Arquette's return to network television, got off to a shaky start. The first handful of episodes were struggling to find that balance between comedy and sentiment, raunchiness and clean one-liners, much like Cox's character was trying to find a balance between single mother and dating divorcee. But in the second half of the first season, the show became one of the funniest shows on the major networks.
Cox is a gifted comedienne (uh, Monica!) and here she is able to finally burst into the spotlight. On Friends she was an ensemble player (as they all were), and here she gets to be the comedy-star we knew she could be. If the name turns you off, just please give it a try. It has a heart, and it has found its stride.
Amendment to yesterday's "Never should have been canceled" meme: Lisa Kudrow's The Comeback. That show should still be on today. Valerie Cherish is a character for the ages. Along with Arrested Development, this show is a comedic gem that should still grace the airwaves.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Highlights may include (but are not limited to):
-Thoughts on the recently named Tony Award winning play, Red
-Thoughts on the recently named Tony Award winning musical revival, La Cage Aux Folles
So onto Day 1 of the Meme...
A Show That Should Have Never Been Canceled
Arrested Development was a cerebral little nugget of a show. My favorite character would have to be Portia de Rossi's dimwitted Lindsay, but legitimately everybody in the awesome ensemble gives her a run for her money. Hilarious guest stars (Henry Winkler! Charlize Theron! Liza Minnelli!) actually seemed to add to the show and were able to understand the series' beautiful, totally odd way of thinking. There were only three seasons (with the possibility of a movie that seems to never be happening), and each one is equally quirky. If you haven't seen it, some of the episodes are available on Hulu, but I totally recommend buying all three seasons blindly. You will not be disappointed.
What are your thoughts on Arrested Development?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I'd like to focus on two of the most confusing snubs of the decade...
Ewan for Best Actor, and Baz Luhrmann for Best Director. A film as big as Moulin Rouge! depends on two things: the acting, and the skill of a director. (All I can say is thank god Nicole got her nomination!)
In a film filled with ridiculously lavish and crazy, over-the-top production numbers, how are you supposed to keep the film's central message (it's a love story!) clear? If you're Baz Luhrmann, you make sure you get Ewan McGregor. Take the scene below...
Even as Ewan and Nicole spin high up in the clouds, they make sure that the message doesn't get lost in the crazy, over-produced (in a good way) musical number. It also helps that Ewan's voice has that sensual, masculine touch of rogue-ness and the face of a Shakespearean paramour. He's the spark that ignites Nicole's flame (there's a metaphor of worth in there somewhere... look harder!).
Baz, in the tradition of Cecil B. DeMille, keeps everything big. But what Baz also does is keep the realism true in spite of the theatricality. Take a look at this...
Notice the intimacy of a huge scene. Nicole's "I love you, 'til the end of time," is more touching than it would have been between just the two of them in a room. By staging the song "Come What May" in the Duke's production, Baz makes the love of these two seem as huge as the production itself. I'm sure we can all realize that, despite its grandeur, it's one of the most touching and intimate portrayals of love ever captured on screen. Baz knows how to make it big and small, all at the same time.
I hope that made sense. It's hard to explain the greatness of Moulin Rouge! without contradicting oneself a thousand times over.
So there you have it, my favorite (and the best) musical.
Friday, May 28, 2010
9. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
8. My Own Love Song *
7. How Do You Know
6. The Social Network
4. Rabbit Hole
2. The Kids Are All Right
1. Love and Other Drugs
*Don't judge me!
What are your most anticipated movies? Agree/disagree with my list? Sound off!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I saw Chita Rivera's one-woman show, Chita Rivera: My Broadway, and I thought I'd share some musings.
-Chita referred to Jerome Robbins (West Side Story choreographer) quite endearingly, which is interesting seeing as people (in)famously talk about how hard he is to work with.
-Chita talked about Catherine Zeta Jones, who we all know played Velma Kelly in the film version of Chicago (and, which you should know, Chita cameo'd in! And just in case you weren't sure of the connection because you're not Broadway-oriented, Chita originated the role of Velma Kelly in the original, Bob Fosse-helmed production of Chicago). Chita says she told Catherine that she could "keep her Oscar" as long as Chita could keep "her vamp" from All That Jazz.
-Chita called Rob Marshall an "up and coming director" and referenced his recent movie, Nine. She played Judi Dench's part in the 2003 Broadway revival, which netted Chita a Tony Award nomination.
-Chita paid a lot of tribue to Kander & Ebb, the duo behind Chita-musicals like Chicago, The Rink, and The Kiss of the Spider Woman. She says she's hoping to bring their latest (The Visit) to Broadway this year!
-At 77, Chita is still so full of life. She can kick higher than some twenty-somethings and certainly has an amazing screen presence.
-Chita also paid tribute to fellow famed dancer, the late Gwen Verdon. She did a touching "Nowadays" tribute to her deceased friend.
and all that jazz!
I also saw the new Broadway revival of Promises, Promises. I'm running out of time, but let's just say...
-Katie Finneran for the win!
-Sean Hayes can play straight! (Take that, Newsweek!)
-Kristin Chenoweth was so snubbed! (And I'm not just saying that because I met her at the stagedoor!)
-Based on The Apartment, it really benefits from such a cute, funny, and touching book.
Check it out if you can!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The Tony Nominations are here! And the list for some of these categories almost looks like an Oscar shortlist, doesn't it? For example...
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Jude Law, Hamlet
Alfred Molina, Red
Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge
Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane
Denzel Washington, Fences
Apparently Denzel is the frontrunner here, but wouldn't we all love the Tony Awards if they decided to give an award to Christopher Walken? He'd be halfway to an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony)!
Speaking of the EGOT, Catherine Zeta Jones is nominated for her performance in A Little Night Music. Since she already has the "O," arguably the hardest letter to obtain in the much coveted EGOT, wouldn't it be nice to add a "T"? We all know Emmys are easy to nab, providing you're not her. And she has a wonderful voice, so she could win a Grammy with that, or record a children's album. Gwyneth Paltrow tried that last year I believe. She didn't win.
In other movie related news, Laura Linney nabbed a nomination for her lead-actressing in the play Time Stands Still. She's somebody else that the Triple Crown (Oscar, Emmy, Tony) seems somewhat obtainable for. Or is that just wishful thinking? Do you think Oscar will ever fully embrace Linney? Emmy might (again) for her upcoming Showtime Series with Gabourey Sidibe, The Big C.
ScarJo is also nominated for her work in A View from the Bridge. She's flirted with Oscar before but has not been nominated, which is weird considering Oscar loves pretty young faces.
What say you? Anyone in mind not on the Tony shortlist that you hope to see Triple Crown and maybe, just maybe EGOT one day? Any reactions to the nominations? Predictions? Have you seen any of the shows? Sound off below!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
1. A lot of movies can make me cry. For example: Moulin Rouge!, Forrest Gump, A League of Their Own, West Side Story...
2. I still honestly believe Anna Kendrick should have won the Academy Award over Mo'Nique. That seems to be a lost battle, no? Hopefully one day Anna Kendrick's performance in Up in the Air will get the recognition it deserves.
3. Johnny Depp doesn't excite me as much as he does others. He's given performances I like (hell, some of them I even love) but hearing his name on a cast list doesn't make me want to see the movie any more (or any less for that matter).
4. Musicals rock. I honestly think that Rob Marshall's Chicago was something of a masterpiece - something Bob Fosse would have been proud of. Spontaneously breaking out into song (to further the plot) is amazing. Why don't more movies do it?
5. Kate Winslet kind of bores me. I really enjoyed her in Little Children, but aside from that none of her performances ever wow me, and I've seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The same goes for Meryl Streep. I love her work in Adaptation. But outside of that film, I don't get the big deal. She sure is charming off screen, but I don't always understand the fuss. I also liked her in Kramer Vs. Kramer, but I'm not a huge fan of her "calculated" work in Sophie's Choice.
6. I'm anticipating Burlesque. That is all.
7. I think Zoolander is hysterical. I mean, orange mocha frappucinos? What could be better! I don't think Meet the Parents is as funny. It's just one of those things I suppose.
8. I consider Jurassic Park to be Spielberg's masterpiece. I hate E.T. with a passion, and his other films just can't beat the fact that in Jurassic Park he brought dinosaurs to life. Those things are freaking awesome. I hope the fourth installment in the series happens, and I hope Keira Knightley is still attached.
9. The first Katharine Hepburn movie (fav. actress) I saw was Woman of the Year, which I don't even particularly like. Who knows how I developed an obsession for her?
10. I think The Lion King is Disney's greatest product. If you don't believe me, watch for yourself.
Gwyneth claims she dropped out in order to spend time with her family (she's married to Coldplay's Chris Martin, you know).
So what's a Paltrow to do? Her career is hardly enviable, with her last big "meaty" role in 2005's underperforming Proof.
Advice: Television. It may seem below you, Oscar winning actress Gwyneth, but I just don't see you snatching these good dramatic parts that we all know you can do. Why wait for something good to fall into your lap again? The roles are few and far between for women of a certain age (you'll be 38 soon!) and we all know that TV is a comfort zone for actresses who get the cold shoulder from the silver screen (Sally Field, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, and this summer Laura Linney).
I could totally see Gwyneth doing some sort of Desperate Housewives series, but not network television. Take Desperate Housewives and turn it over to HBO or Showtime, and I think we have our first Paltrow-success since... since Shakespeare in Love perhaps!
What do you think? Should Gwyneth turn to the small screen, or should she keep trying to find that next big role in cinema?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Lady Gaga. Everyone calls her the "next Madonna," and we all know that Madonna has had an interesting film career, filled with successes (Dick Tracy, Despearetly Seeking Susan, Evita) and flops (Swept Away).
So my question to you, reader(s), is: Will Lady Gaga turn to the silver screen, and if she does how successful will she be? Do you think she could be a good cross-breed of successful multi-platinum pop-icon and actress?
Share your thoughts in the comments!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
For the 1930s, the big performane is (or seems to be)...
Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind
(with the possibilities of Luise Rainer in The Good Earth or Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night)
For the 1940s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story
(with the possibilities of Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress or Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity)
For the 1950s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire
(with the possibilities of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard or Judy Garland in A Star is Born)
For the 1960s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(with the possibilities of Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter or in Long Day's Journey Into Night)
For the 1970s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Diane Keaton in Annie Hall
(with the possibilities of Jane Fonda in Klute or Liza Minnelli in Cabaret)
For the 1980s, the big performance is pretty undisputed...
Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice
(with us non-Streepies the possibilities of Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond or Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction or Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys)
For the 1990s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Holly Hunter in The Piano
(with the possibilities of Frances McDormand in Fargo or Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry)
But what are the "big" or "landmark" performances of the 2000s? Most would agree that Charlize Theron takes the cake with her work in Monster, but in 20 years will it still hold up? That's what the other performances seem to have in common. They've managed to stay the test of time and have become loved. They're almost always on those "Best of..." lists when it comes to naming superb actresses. So here are some other suggestions for those big performances of the 2000s, the ones that will age splendidly.
Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge!
Renee Zellweger in Nurse Betty
Penelope Cruz in Volver
Carey Mulligan in An Education
Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger
Amy Adams in Enchanted
Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven
Tilda Swinton in Julia
Which performance(s) do you think should be remembered as the landmark performance of the last decade?
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
2. The Incredibles
3. Monsters Inc.
5. Finding Nemo
6. Toy Story
7. A Bug's Life
9. Toy Story 2
What are your Pixar rankings?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I think Marion's is the type of performance that grows over time. I think Mo'Nique's is the complete opposite. Everyone was so blown away by Mo'Nique's "powerhouse" performance the second they saw it. In five years time, I wonder if it will pack the same emotional punch that everybody thought it did.
This is where Marion's strengths lie. There's no way that her performance as Luisa Contini will decay as Mo'Nique's might. It may just be the dynamics of Nine vs. Precious, but I truly believe it's something more. Mo'Nique came out of nowhere with Precious. As soon as people saw the film in Sundance there was buzz. The more people saw it, the more intense the buzz grew. It was a comedienne/talk-show host who was giving one hell of a dramatic performance. Marion, on the other hand, was set to be in one of the baitiest Oscar movies of the season: Nine. When Nine failed to take off with audiences and critics, nearly everything connected to it (save Penelope) was left behind in the dust. It was seen as an all-around disappointment because expectations were soooooooooooooooo high.
See the difference? Precious became a surprise hit. Nine became a surprise critical and Oscar failure. Mo'Nique was on the upswing of Precious, and Marion was brought down with Nine. It was expectations that let Mo'Nique soar, and it was expectations that let Marion's chances of a second Oscar nomination plummet. But when we look back in five years and regard Nine as a "total mess," won't Marion's performance seem more impressive? And when we look back in five years and expect the second-coming of Christ from Mo'Nique, won't we all be disappointed? It's the momentum of the season that can help an actress get nominated. Not to defy Mo'Nique's speech, but there is more to winning an Academy Award than just the performance, like it or not. It wasn't about the "politics" so much as the momentum-The Precious momentum carried her, not the other way around.
In 2015, let's all revisit Precious and Nine, and pay close attention to Mo'Nique and Marion. I'd be surprised if people still hailed Mo'Nique as they do now. Marion's lack of an Oscar nomination will probably be on some of those "worst snubs" lists.
What are your thoughts? Which performance do you think will be better in five years' time?