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Taking Home Oscar for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd time

6 Mar

Now that we’re a full week+ removed from the 85th Academy Awards, I wanted to throw up a gratuitous pic of the acting winners, along with some interesting facts about each!

US-OSCARS-PRESS ROOM

Some fun facts abou each of this year’s acting winners:

  • This is the second time in three years Christoph Waltz has taken the best supporting actor statue; both of his winning performances were directed by Quentin Tarantino (Inglorious Bastards). 
  • Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence each took home their first Oscar with their second nominations; Hathaway was nominated in 2008 for Rachel Getting Married, while Lawrence was nominated for best actress for Winter’s Bone in 2010.
  • As for Daniel Day-Lewis, he’s been nominated for Best Actor 5 times and has won 3 of them (My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, Lincoln), which made him the only male actor in history to accomplish this. One more win, and he’d tie Katharine Hepburn as Hollywood’s most Oscar-laden actor.

Also, not sure if you saw this, but JLaw (which is her thing now, apparently?) forgot to thank some VIPs in her acceptance speech: Silver Linings Playbook Director David O. Russell and The Weinstein Company chairman Harvey Weinstein. She released a statement thanking them (which can be seen here), but my favorite part was her closing:

Thank you to both. I will never be able to forgive myself for such a brain fart but I hope that you both can. Obviously it was not on purpose, I couldn’t remember what I had already said and my mind went completely blank–your brain does funny things during the most overwhelming moment of your life!

How can you not love her?!

That’s a Wrap: The 85th Academy Awards

25 Feb

Let me put it out there: last night’s Oscar telecast was fantastic. A little long yes, a tad dry in parts, but overall, I found it to be funny and delightful. I was genuinely surprised that Seth MacFarlane did so well. He was charming and walked the line of cracking jokes at Hollywood’s big players and being respectfully that the he, the dude who voices a vulgar teddy, alien-like baby and talking dog, was hosting the Oscars.

Though there weren’t a ton of surprises, winner wise (see the full list here), there were many moments during the telecast that stood out to me. Here are some quick reactions:

  • I seriously loved Oscars tribute to music, especially the performances from Chicago, Dreamgirls and Les Miserables. What can I say? I love me some musicals. 

  • Singing and dancing by Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Godron Levitt was a definite hightlight, as was the riff on The Sound of Music. The opening monologue parts with William Shatner were not my faves.

Another area in which the show really shined was with the host of wonderful acceptance speeches. Jennifer Lawrence receiving best actress (at the ripe old age of 22, making her the second youngest actress to win the award and the youngest person to have been nominated for Best Actress twice!) really nailed her speech, despite taking a tumble as she walked to accept the award!

jennifer-lawrence-fall.gif

Other speeches that stood out were Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis (surprisingly funny, and also history-making, as DDL is the first actor to win three best actor statues!) and Ben Affleck (not surprisingly emotional and poignant!) taking home best picture for Argo. He’s only the fourth filmmaker to take home best picture without being nominated for best director. Go Ben!

Another one for the history books was Oscar’s first tie since 1995 and only the 6th in Oscar history, when Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty both won for best sound editing!

What were your favorites moments from last night’s telecast? Were you a fan of Seth’s schtick? Sound off in the comments and check back in for more in-depth analysis later this week!

All Roads Lead to Oscar: 2013 Award Tallies

19 Feb

Here we are 5 days from Oscar night. All of the major awards leading up to Oscar Sunday have been handed out, which means we should be in pretty good shape to evaluate the trends and (hopefully!) see who is most likely to win.

OscarThis is definitely an interesting year for the awards. I feel confident in predicting that the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards are locked up (by Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway, respectively), but what about the other acting awards? And REALLY, what about best picture? Argo had been the clear front runner all awards season, but the snub of Ben Affleck in the Directing category throws a wrench in things. After all, the Best Picture winner and Best Director winner usually (but certainly not always) go hand in hand. In the last 10 years, the awards have been uncoupled twice, with Crash and Chicago (both had directors who were at least nominated for the top prize there).

I’ve tallied up the acting, directing and picture category from the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, and the various Guilds (Producer’s, Actor’s and Director’s). Do you think all of the eventual Oscar winners are represented below? See any chance for an upset, or is this race un-upsetable? Leave a comment below!

Best Picture:

  • Argo: Golden Globe (Best Picture, Drama), BAFTA, Producer’s Guild, SAG
  • Les Miserables: Golden Globe (Best Picture, Musical or Drama)

Best Director:

  • Ben Affleck: Golden Globe, Director’s Guild

Best Actor:

  • Daniel Day Lewis: Golden Globe (Best Actor, Drama), SAG, BAFTA
  • Hugh Jackman: Golden Globe (Best Actor, Comedy or Musical)

Best Actress:

  • Jennifer Lawrence: Golden Globe (Best Actress, Comedy or Musical), SAG
  • Jessica Chastain: Golden Globe (Best Actress, Drama)
  • Emmanuelle Riva: BAFTA

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Anne Hathaway: Globes, SAG, BAFTA

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Christoph Walz: Golden Globe, BAFTA
  • Tommy Lee Jones: SAG

It Happened One Night (Winner, 1934/7th Annual Academy Awards)

8 Jun

OK, so three random factoids about this 76 (!) year old movie (besides the fact that it was the first film to win the Big 5 of the Academy Awards):

1) In 1934, the 7th Academy Awards were held at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel (now the Millennium Biltmore). The Biltmore was constructed in 1923, and at the time, was the largest hotel west of the Mississippi. Besides hosting the Oscars 8 times in the 1930’s and 40’s, the Biltmore also hosted me and my friend Alyssa overnight in January! What a storied place =)

2) I just saw Sex and the City 2 this past weekend, and It Happened One Night is the black and white movie that Big and Carrie watch after Anthony and Stanford’s wedding! What are the chances of that?!?

3) In spite of the title, the movie takes place over several nights, which I thought odd.

So, I succeeded in finding a non-depressing winner, horray! Though I had my reservations about watching this, I was more than pleasantly surprised. It didn’t hurt that an actor I was familiar with (Clark Gable, from Gone with the Wind), but I really enjoyed It Happened One Night. An early precursor to today’s romanic comedies, It Happened One Night follows a spoiled rich girl Ellie Andrews, played by Claudette Colbert, who runs away from her rich father to meet up with her new husband, who her dad hates. As she’s on the run, she comes across a recently fired journalist (Gable, as Peter Wayne) who recognizes her from the papers (as she’s been all over them since her father lost here) and offers to help her in exchange for her story.

Of course, funniness ensues, and like every romcom we’re used to seeing in 2010, the two leads fall in love after some serious chance happenings threaten to keep them apart. I’ll let you see the details for yourself, but I definitely thought this was cute and funny.  My favorite part about watching it was definitely seeing the differences between movies then and now. For example, the only kiss in the movie is between Ellie and her at-the-time husband, and it’s very brief. The difference between the strict moral and social conduct back in the 30’s is so different from movies now! Seeing the conduct and dress was also a trip; men in suits and hats and women in buttoned up dresses. The scene from this movie that’s mimicked in Sex and the City occurs when Ellie is trying to flag down a car for a ride, and in doing so, hikes her dress and shows a little leg (which is how Carrie flags down a cab for the girls in Abu Dhabi!)

I thought this was a fun watch, light and fluffy fair from 1934. I was able to stream this one from Netflix, which was super convenient. It’s also out on DVD.

And as for Sex and the City 2 (which I saw with my friends Elisa and Ashley), I thought it was much better than all the reviews said! It was a little long in places, but it was a nice escape to a life most of us won’t ever have. Of course, the designer clothes and wonderful shoes might make me a little biased, but I still miss the show and will probably continue to turn out to see Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte as long as they keep making the movies. SatC2 also marked my first experience at Chunky’s Cinema Pub in the lovely city of Nashua NH, which was a lot of fun, as I’m sure you can tell!

Elisa and I enjoying Chunky's!

Up next—I’m on a mission to find the Hurt Locker at  Redbox and see what took down Avatar! Check back soon =)

Fun facts (courtesy of IMDB and Wikipedia)

  • In 1993, It Happened One Night was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
  • On December 15, 1996, Clark Gable’s Oscar was auctioned off to Steven Spielberg for $607,500
  • Neither star of the film was the first choice for their roles, and both were said to have thought the movie was a stinked during filming
  • Estimated budget: $325,000 (roughly the equivalent of $5,316,926.14 in 2010!)

Shakespeare in Love (Winner, 1998/71st Annual Academy Awards)

28 Apr

So before I had the idea to blog my way through the winners of the best picture academy award, I thought it would be fun to try and watch all the best picture winners.  My boyfriend gave me an awesome reaction with “That sounds stupid, I don’t want to watch a bunch of old movies.” I promptly ignored this, and our adventure began.  Out of the 82 best picture winners, I’d seen 18.  Of the remaining 64, I plan to borrow from friends, use Netflix and request movies from my local library to complete the list.

In no particular order, we decided to start with Shakespeare in Love. I kind of just found out about Joseph Fiennes, thanks to my new favorite show FlashForward. For those of you also living in the dark, he’s super hot and does a mean Will Shakespeare.  Besides being the 1998 best picture, Gwyneth Paltrow took home the best actress statue and Dame Judi Dench won for best supporting actress. Besides all the award wins, SiL has a bunch of people that will immediately send you to IMDB, saying things like “Is that Captain Barbosa? (yes, Geoffrey Rush), “Is that Dolores Umbridge? (yes, Imelda Staunton), plus Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and Ben Affleck (!) in supporting roles.

After wading through the star-studded cast (I wonder if this will be a recurrence in these Oscar winners?), the plot shines after you become acclimated to ye olde English dialogue.  The main story follows William Shakespeare in the writing of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ from his begining writer’s block, through his forbidden affair with Viola (the superb Gwyneth) that inspires much of the play.  Will is originally supposed to be writing a comedy, “Romeo and Ethel, the Pirates Daughter,” which eventually evolves into the dramatic story that is mirrored by the movie’s plot.

Viola, a fan of Shakespeare’s plays, secretly poses as a man and auditions and wins the main role of Romeo (women weren’t permitted to act on the stage in the 1600’s, hence the disguise).  After some absurdity during which no one, including Will who is already pursuing Viola, can tell “Thomas Kent” is actually Viola, even though it’s pretty clear he’s a woman, the two begin a love affair during which they quote significant amounts of poetry (take note boys—though a bit of poetry may be good, the amount here is a little intense for most of us gals) and sneal around a lot more then you’d think possible for the times, especially since Viola seems to be under lock and key by her nurse and future husband.

Without giving anything away, the ending is quasi predictable—their secret affair is exposed and their love follows a Romeo and Juliet-type course (no daggers or poison involved.

Did SiL deserve the Oscar in ’98? Eh, this isn’t as clear cut as I think I’ll see with some years, but from a field that included Saving Private Ryan and Elizabeth, I think SiL was a deserving pick—if only because the comedic elements it contained made this more romcomish and widely appealing, making this a significantly more lighthearted pick than its dramatic counterparts.

Fun facts (courtesy of IMDB and Wikipedia)

  • Technically a comedy, Shakespeare in Love was the first comedy to win the Best Picture award since Annie Hall (1977).
  • Counting this film’s win for best picture, it has the most Oscars ever won (7) without winning the best director award.
  • Ben Affleck took a part in this film to be near then-girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • Budget: $25 million. Gross revenue: $289.3 million worldwide