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My Awards Show Has a First Name, It’s O-S-C-A-R!

So I watched the Academy Awards, as usual.  Took notes while it was on — and have edited those thoughts with pics and afterthoughts…(the verb tense is usually present, as I typed while I watched. Sorry if that confuses anyone)

What is up with the ruffles, the pink, the HUGE dresses?

 

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Gaga clearly set the trend when she showed up in that periwinkle ball gown to the Golden Globes and the pink feathered gown at Cannes. Hoping she wears something totally different.  A bright, sleek, regal number.

Speaking of sleek…

Clearly, when one wears a slinky dress, the left shoulder look-over is de rigueur. Like all of these dresses — except for the back of the last one. She looks like she has toilet paper stuck to her butt.

Another big trend: gender bending. I noticed the first gal pictured in the slideshow, costume designer Sandy Powell, in the background while someone was interviewing a big star, and just fell in love.  I always think it’s fun to see what the costume designers wear.  They are often so creative — just like their creations.  In this case, Powell’s designs for The Favourite inspired one of the most talked about fashion moments of the night (we’ll chat about that later). Here she looks amazing to me — I would love to wear this look! (BTW: Powell was nominated for both The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns.  This is the third time she has been nominated doubly in the same year).

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So how did the men look?

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Here are a few other standouts, for better and worse:

 

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The red carpet behind them, the celebs sat down for the show.  After that opening,  I got even more excited to go to see Queen this summer! Watching Glenn Close, Queen Latifah and Javier Bardem sing along was so freaking cool. Best opening monologue ever? Looking at Bradley Cooper’s face, I am guessing he was thinking “I cannot compete with this…”

Non-hosts Amy Pohler, Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph were hilarious. I was wondering how political the show would be, and the second joke of the night was about the border wall. I personally have no problem with folks using their 30 seconds of speech time to speak their mind, but I know it drives tons of people nuts.

The more I look at Tina’s dress the more I love it. And the more I look at Maya’s the more I want to use it to cover a couch.

Best Supporting Actress contenders:

Regina King wins (no surprise there). Her toga dress is masterful, and I think it wins best dressed in this category.  My fave actress in this category, Amy Adams, had a terrific look. The other 3? Two were ok, one was awful. You guess which.

Helen Mirren and Jason Momoa? Yes, please. What a great pairing!

ABC's Coverage Of The 91st Annual Academy Awards – Show

Best Documentary: wow! I was sure RBG would win it! Oh dear: that  — does she know we can see right through her dress? Maybe that’s next year’s documentary feature: fashion gone wrong.

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I’ts interesting seeing who the producers chose to introduce each best picture. Some made sense, like Dana Carvey and Mike Myers for Bohemian Rhapsody. But why did Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine introducing Vice? Is it because the movie is about the political machine?

Makeup: Vice won — and should have! But man the people who won sucked at giving their acceptance speech.  Buy them some frickin glasses. Their speech made everyone rethink the decision not to do that award during a commercial.

What the actual F. Melissa McCarthy and Bryan Tyree Henry! I am digging these costume collaborations. Not everyone seemed to get the reference, but the outfits were a mashup of all the nominated movies’ costumes. The bunny cape was from The Favourite (remember I mentioned something about that before?) 4708 (1)

J Lo and Chris Evans.  Very pretty people.  Her dress is her way of saying no one can outshine me! Metallic dresses were a theme this year, too:

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Cinematography — Roma‘s first of (I am betting) several wins.

One of my fave lines of the night: Khaleesi (aka Emilia Clarke)  loaning her dragons to RBG. Fantastic!

Serena Williams introducing A Star is Born.  I am thinking these odd airings are a surprisingly successful way to introduce a modern element more relatable for a younger audience.  Good touch.

I SUCKED this year at guessing the winners! Bohemian Rhapsody for sound editing,  It did make great sense.  But I still think a Quiet Place made better sense. But hey I got Roma right for foreign language film!

Bette Midler singing the song from Mary Poppins Returns.  Song was kind of boring.  Doesn’t make me excited to see the movie (the only one I planned to see this week and didn’t get to).

Charlize Theron and Daniel Craig — she could be Bond.

Best Supporting Actor contenders:

— Mahershala Ali won.  A given, really. But why was he supporting, and Viggo lead? I don’t know. Anyway: Maheshala always seems like such a thoughtful, intelligent person. I dug his outfit, too. Not sure if he was my fave in the category fashion wise — they all looked pretty sharp.

Best line of the night: “I can’t believe a movie about menstruation just won an Oscar!”

First Man won for Visual Effects. I should know better than to bet against a space film.  But seriously: Ready Player One had incredible effects!

So now the moment everyone is really waiting for, and it wasn’t an award. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper took the stage.  And, I loved how they did the Shallow song.  No intro needed. No fanfare. No upstaging anyone else. Evidently that was Bradley’s idea. The whole thing was planned — including the heat. I mean, they are actors. Do they have chemistry? Of course. But are they an item? No.

Spike Lee wins his first ever Oscar.  One of the few truly political moments, but that’s who he is (I am sure there will be people bitching tomorrow about people preaching from the podium. Yawn.)

So happy that Lady Gaga won for best song! And she was so touched! Love it.

Interesting that Barbra Streisand introduced BlacKkKlansman, not A Star is Born. A little bit more politicking, but lowkey.

Best Actor contenders:

No shock Rami Malek wins best Actor. Didn’t know he was dating his costar from the movie! Ok so here’s why I don’t think Rami Malek should’ve won: his portrayal of Freddy Mercury doesn’t seem like a huge stretch from who he is as a person. He also needed someone straighten his darn tie on the red carpet. best dressed in this category? Viggo Mortenson.

Best Actress contenders:

Emily Coleman wins! She was wonderful, and I love how shocked she is. She seems like such a wonderful person and hilarious. Blowing a raspberry at the teleprompter: genius! A lot of people didn’t like her dress, but I think it was pretty cool.  I think all these nominees looked fantastic.  I am torn between Glenn Close and Lady Gaga for best dressed!

Here comes the original pretty woman, looking stun-NING.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts

Best picture…. Green Book! Green Book? Wow! I liked it, but it wasn’t my favorite of all the movies.

The show ends, but the party continues, and so does the fashion! Here are some after-party fashion moments:

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That’s a wrap, folks. Now for me to get caught up on all the stuff on my DVR!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Predilection for Predictions

As you may know, I love a list.  I also love movies, so when the Oscar nominations are announced I print out the official ballot and start my must-see to do list!

I try to watch movies throughout the year that are nomination contenders, but I usually fail a bit.  The top movies are typically released at the end of the year, so it’s tough to get ahead of the game. But my goal is always to see as many nominated movies as possible.  Ultimate goal (never realized!) is to see every movie nominated. At the very least? Every best pic nominee, and it’s a rare year when I don’t meet that requirement.

This year there were 52 movies covering 120 nominations.  I ended up seeing only 16 — but they did cover 75 nominations, so I’ll take it! This year I am pretty sure I will get a lot of predictions wrong, as there are so many close races. In anticipation of the Academy Awards show tonight, here are my thoughts and predictions for some of the awards:

Best Actor:  Willem Defoe, who played Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate, was good, but the movie was not what it could’ve been.  It was hard to watch, as it was pretty much from a “madness” viewpoint. So he’s not a contender, really.  Viggo Mortenson in Green Book played a pretty generic character (ignorantly racist Italian New Yorker hired to drive African American concert pianist around the deep south. Basically a flipped version of Driving Miss Daisy). Bradley Cooper was amazing, but he’s not going to win.  For some reason Hollywood is NOT embracing A Star Is Born.  I think there is something there we mortals just don’t all know.  Maybe Cooper needs to do another amazing job as an actor/director so Rami Malek for Boehmian Rhapsody and Christian Bale for Vice.  Oscar loves rewarding actors for playing real people (four of the last 6 best actor winners covered this territory). I am torn.  I think Bale will win — and should win.  Since seeing the movie I have had to google pictures of Dick Cheney to see the difference between the two.  Malek was brilliant, but let’s be honest: playing Freddie Mercury is all about over acting, which Malek does superbly. So: Christian Bale.

Sound Editing: A Quiet Place.  I mean, it’s a movie that is all about sound. So maybe the sound should get the best actor award?

Documentary: I only saw one, and I think the Academy is as trendy as anything else. So: RBG (see this flick, btw!)

Best Actress: No one knows who Yaitzia Aparicio is, and have never seen her do anything other than Roma, so for all we know she is just being herself.  Melissa McCarthy was great in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but playing such an unsympathetic character, and one who preys on the celebrity of movie stars, will not endear her to the voters. So it’s a three way race. Personally, I would love to see Star’s Lady Gaga win.  She was fantastic.  But she won’t.  Glenn Close is a sentimental favorite — she has never won.  She was the best thing about The Wife, and it wasn’t her best role. Olivia Coleman in The Favourite could steal it from her, if Close and Gaga split their vote.  Coleman was hilarious and sweet and sad and heart breaking. But Oscar likes to throw old folks (ugh) a bone.  So: Glenn Close.

Animated: didn’t see any of them.  But I’m voting for Isle of Dogs  because: Dogs.

Best Supporting Actor: No freaking idea.  This one has good, but not amazing IMO performances.  Maybe Richard Grant in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Maybe Star is Born’s Sam Elliott (again the old-timer’s-paid-his-dues reward). Adam Driver was good in BlackKKlansman, but we won’t remember it tomorrow. Sam Rockwell won last year for a better performance than this turn as Vice’s George Bush. Mahershala Ali DOES have some nuanced moments, and all the oddsmakers say it’s his to lose. So: Mahershala Ali.

Costume Design: Only saw two of them (Black Panther and The Favorite).  I always root for period pieces here, and I am doing it again.  The thing that makes Favourite different from others is that the outfits aren’t exactly accurate; instead, they read like a fashion house collection, with each dress having similar fabrics/colors/etc. A unique, modern twist. So: The Favourite.

Makeup: Vice.  Period.

Best Supporting Actress:  Favourite’s dueling nominees (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) cross each other put. Marona de Tavira in Roma: nope. Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk is the oddsmakers’ favorite, but I was underwhelmed.  My hands downs favorite: Amy Adams in Vice. Her Lynne Cheney was eerie, scary, hateful and sympathetic. So: Amy Adams.

Score: If Beale Street Could Talk. Loved the music, and it really sets the movie’s tone.

Song: Shallow.  Let’s face it: this is the consolation prize for A Star is Born.

Foreign Language: I only saw Roma — and I am giving it the nod. Eager to watch Cold War, though.

Directing: Roma which means...

Best Picture: So I don’t have a favorite here – really.  I would watch almost all of them again.  Black Panther? I don’t get it. It was fine. BlackKKlansman? Cool story, great acting, well done, but I think it’s a one and done.  Green Book? Same thing. I adored The Favorite, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody!!! That leaves Roma, which will win.  Why? Several reasons: Oscar likes to take itself seriously, even if it doesn’t understand why. It can’t choose between the others (and it’s all about sending a message), and Roma is inscrutable enough that no one can argue about its artistic merit. It’s also a Netflix property, and a win here could send a big ass message to the industry that the times they are a-changing. But let’s be honest: this is gonna be like other winners that no one watched again (Ghandi, Chariots of Fire). So: Roma.

Just for giggles, here’s my personal ranking of the 16 movies I watched:

A Star is Born

Bohemian Rhapsody

Vice

The Favourite

RBG

Green Book

A Quiet Place

Ready Player One

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

At Eternity’s Gate

If Beale Street Could Talk

BlacKkKlansman

The Wife

First Man

Roma

Black Panther

And the menu goes to…

I love the Oscars.  In about 30 minutes I will turn on E! and watch the D listers start to arrive, wishing like I do every year that I was on those bleachers watching limos, or better yet strutting down the red carpet to collect my Oscar for best screenplay.  I have blue cheese, prosciutto and strawberries waiting in the fridge. And, like very year, I will root for the ones I want to win, yet be resigned that they probably won’t.

Some of you may remember I am part of a Gourmet Club, and that I recently was looking for suggestions for a “Gourmet Goes to the Movies” menu.  Last weekend we had the dinner, and I wanted to share what we made:

Themed Cocktail – James Bond’s Martini 

Appetizers – Fresh Figs with Ibérico Ham and Goat Cheese, inspired by “Jamon, Jamon” 

Stir-Fried Taiwanese Clams from “Eat, Drink, Man Woman”

 Side Dishes –  Asparagus and Fava Beans with Toasted Almonds (American Beauty’s “pass the effing asparagus” meets teh Silence of the Lamb’s fave side dish)

Ratatouille’s Ratatouille

Main Course – Vinnie’s Prison Tomato Sauce and Pasta from “Goodfellas”

 Dessert – Apple Strudel with Vanilla-scented Whipped Cream – from Inglorious Basterds

We struggled a bit, as neither fresh figs nor fava beans were in season, but we managed.  Everything was delish, and people seemed to have a ball as always. I kicked off the night with the classic party game where you put a famous person’s name on someone’s back and they have to guess who they are.  All the people were actors who had only won one Academy Award.  I also created a playlist on Spotify of music from the movies.  I did not include “Let it Go.” (https://open.spotify.com/user/donni14/playlist/5JEADwOUEtnGm8PPAn4foQ)

But that was last week, and tonight is, well, The Big Night.  Every year I endeavor to see every movie nominated, but I have of course never done that (some year!).  So my next goal is all the movies represented in the big 6 (plus costume design if I can — I love that one!). This year I fell short, but did pretty well.  Here are my predictions:

Best Actor: Gary Oldman, in Darkest Hour (didn’t see Denzel in Roman J. Israel, Esq; it’s languishing on my DVR).  Oldman was soooo good.  Seriously not recognizable, which is why I think this pic will also win for Makeup.  My second choice was Timothee Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name.  Between this and his excellent work in Lady Bird, this kid is going places (and I would totally be crushing on him if I were a teenager)

Best Actress: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Did not see I, Tonya yet, which is crushing me.  Went prom dress shopping yesterday instead and celebrated at a surprise party too much last night to get out of pjs today…) McDormand is like a working class Meryl Streep: when she is at the top of her game she is freaking unbeatable.  I love that she wants to share the wealth, as she said after winning the SAG award: “This is really great and I thank you, but there’s a lot of young ones comin’ up and they need doorstops too. Let’s think about that.”  Who would be my second pick? NOt sure — maybe Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water.  For not speaking, she sure said a lot.

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards (didn’t see All The Money in the World). I mean, Rockwell was awesome.  His transition from a hateful buffoonery to tortured hero was amazeballs. I think his performance was more nuanced than McDormand’s. Some say Christopher Plummer might get it for All the Money; personally, I don’t think Hollywood wants to give him a chance to thank Kevin Spacey for being a creep and giving up the role. It’s gonna be butt clenching enough with the Weinstein-sized elephant in the room.

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, I Tonya (haven’t seen Mudbound).  Yeah, I haven’t watched this film, but the buzz cannot be denied.  This is so often won by a pretty young thing — this year’s nominees range from 47 (Mary J Blige) to 62 (Laurie Metcalf).  Holla! If the night seems extra hot, blame it on some sexy heat flashes! (I can say that because I turn 50 next month.  But that’s another blog). So yeah: Janney, a first time acting nominee at this year’s Oscars, is gonna win.

Director: Jordan Peele, Get Out.  I’ve seen all of these.  I think the fact that Peele was able to take essentially a thriller and make it a movie worthy of the Academy’s biggest nod is amazing. Second choice? Guillermo de Toro for Shape of Water.

Best Picture: Three Billboards.  Hands down.  It just works on every level. Go see it.

What do I think of the other best pic noms?

Call Me By Your Name: beautiful, poignant, sad and joyful.  My fave moment is near the end, when the dad tells his son to feel all his emotions.  I wish I was that great a parent.

Darkest Hour: an acting movie.  Totally worth seeing, but not a Best Pic.

Dunkirk: intense.  As the mom of a sailor, devastating and horrifying and I swear I aged watching those boys die.

Get Out: my husband’s fave — but my son hated it. Weird.  I thought it was great, but not a best pic.

Lady Bird:  I will be re-watching this one with my daughter.  I sobbed.  If yo are the mom of a teenage girl, for the love of God watch this with her and keep a handful of tissues handy.  Only thing that bugged me was how she disparaged my alma mater, UC Davis.  Go Aggies!

Phantom Thread: beautiful, disturbing.  Almost threw mushroom omelets on the Gourmet menu for this movie, but just couldn’t.  Kind of like why I said no to peaches in honor of Call Me By Your Name.

The Post: I love history pics, and it was great.  But it was not a best pic.

The Shape of Water: gorgeous, sad, lovely, sweet.  Great story for now and any time.  A contender for Best Pic for sure.

Oh? and Phantom Thread should get the Best Costume nod.  I mean, it’s a movie about fashion.  Duh.

Gotta go: I hear Ryan interviewing folks on the red carpet.  See you at the movies!

 

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