^Photo I took last summer during low-tide on a Tampa beach.
OH MY STARS.
The Academy Awards are tomorrow night! This is my superbowl, for those of you who don't know. I watch every single award show before it like it is a playoff game, wake up early the month before every year to be shocked at who did and did not get nominated; if my wallet allows, I try to see every film nominated for Best Picture. And every year like tonight, when the night before rolls around, I cannot believe it's finally come, Oscar-eve. Actually, I once did a week-long blogging of my predictions, expectations and film spotlights. Maybe next year when things aren't as hectic and I (hopefully) won't be moving, I'll be able to do that again. (Been planning to, but crap-in-life gets in the way, haha.)
Even though I've only seen about 1/3 or 1/2 the films and performances, here are my thoughts on the brilliant nominees:
Actress in a Supporting Role
Who will win: Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire
Who should win: Anna Kendrick for Up In The Air
Explanation: Haven't seen 'Precious' yet, but hear that her performance is amazing; I have no doubts. BUT! I did see 'Up In The Air' and loved everything but the ending, including Miss Kendrick's performance. If Mo'Nique didn't have the lock on this award, I think it's fair to say Anna Kendrick was a front-runner.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Who will win: Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds
Who should win: Christoph Waltz for Inglorious Basterds
Explanation: If you have not seen Inglorious Basterds, I most certainly recommend it. Christoph Waltz's performance is top-notch and BEYOND brilliant. You know how there are some villians that you can and do fall in love with? That's 'the Jew hunter'; he's a creepy, odd guy that you love to hate and applaud his torture at the end of the film.
Actress in a Leading Role
Who will win: Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side
Who should win: Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia
Explanation: Sandy Bullock is adorable, super-sweet and funny as hell. But no matter how many nominations she has under her belt, Meryl Streep deserves this nom and award. Her portrayal of Julia Child is amazing, so cute and funny that you almost fall out of your chair from laughing so much. 'Julie & Julia' was one of my favorite films of all last year and I wish there was a whole movie just for the stories of Mrs & Mr Child, for they were perfectly fantastic and endearing. No, I have not seen 'The Blind Side' but have heard other than Bullock's performance, it's just another run-of-the-mill football weepie, sorry guys.
Actor in a Leading Role
Who will win: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
Who should win: George Clooney for Up In The Air AND Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker
Explanation: While I totally think Jeff deserves it, he is amazing and looks like a loveable 'ol teddy bear, my favorites that were nominated were the two you see above. Rent both films and you'll see why. ('Up In The Air' is out two days after the ceremony, the 9th.)
Who will win: AVATAR
Who should win: AVATAR
Who will win: The Young Victoria
Who should win: The Young Victoria
Explanation: I didn't get a chance to see this period-piece in theaters unfortunately, but just by the trailer and tv-spots, you can tell this is well deserved. Period pieces are some of my most favorite kinds of films to watch and the costumes are always amazing; and they almost always win the Oscar for Best Costume Design. Sofia Coppola's 'Marie Antoinette' won in '07 and I was so thrilled because that's one of my favorite films of all time, not to mention some of the best costumes in film history.
Animated Feature Film
Who will win: Up
Who should win: Up & Coraline
Explanation: 'Up' and 'Coraline' should tie, but 'Up' is the stand-out and favorite of the year, so it'll take the cake. Both movies are awesome in their own very different ways and think that it's unfair for such a great, interesting movie like 'Coraline' gets overlooked because Disney/Pixar has so much power. Once again, I ADORED, absolutely fell in love with 'Up' and it is my favorite animated Disney film ever, but I like to cheer for the underdog.
Who will win: Avatar
Who should win: Inglorious Basterds
Explanation: If you've seen IB, you know how awesome the editing is; maybe even perfect. Avatar, the brilliant monster, is three hours long; I think they need to go back and shave off some tree-killing and creepy skinny legged humans footage.
Who will win: Avatar
Who should win: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Explanation: Yes, HP6 is nominated and like the last 3 HP films, the cinematography is STUNNING, stunning, stunning. Avatar is animated with motion-capture, not shot outdoors with actors in real costumes and gorgeous settings/backdrops. Not saying I don't love Avatar, I just don't think it deserves the tech-awards it's going to get.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Who will win: Up In The Air
Who should win: Up In The Air
Explanation: What can I say, I love me some Jason Reitman films.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Who will win: The Hurt Locker
Who should win: Up
Explanation: While I was moved by the story of 'The Hurt Locker', I think 'Up' is much more of an original screenplay and definitely deserves to win. You've all seen it, right? So you know how original it is, right? Exactly. The whole story of 'Up' was amazing and is probably one of, if not the most, original story I've seen in 5 years.
Who will win: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Who should win: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Explanation: A part of me reallllllllllllly wants Mr. James Cameron to win his second, very well-deserved Academy Award, but Kathryn Bigelow actually DESERVES it. She is only the fourth, FOURTH, woman to be nominated and the only woman to ever win the Director's Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures; crazy awesome/amazing, right? I look up to her for pioneering the way for women filmmakers and cannot wait to see what her follow-up to 'The Hurt Locker' will be.
Who will win: The Hurt Locker OR Avatar
Who should win: The Hurt Locker OR Avatar
Explanation: Oh my cheesecake, this is so hard. I am not going to say either because it really is a 50/50 toss-up. Half of the critics and predictors say THL, other half says Avatar; it is soooo confusing and difficult to pick just one. Can it please be a tie, oh please oh please? I loved THL, I adored Avatar, for the first time in years I really want two films to win and there not be an upset. For days, weeks and months I could talk about the amazing-ness of both, they're equally amazing and so different, it's crazy-wonderful. You can bet your bottom dollar I will be on the very edge of my seat come the end of the ceremony when it's announced what the Best Picture of the year 2009 is. <3
Tell me, which one is your favorite?
To completely change the subject, haha, I LOVE this song & the beat/music; and haven't been able to get it out of my head all week:
Outgoing mail for the past week:
Response to a reader who was beyond sweet and sent me a lovely & funny missive.
Small parcel to Miss Micaela, cause she's awesome:
Reply to Carolee from Paris calendar and used some old movie-ticket stubs as a small decoration:
Response to Passion using 'Chinese Seal' rubber stamps.
Postcard I got awhile back for Bee but never sent, from Disney World:
Reply to the lovely April:
Fun airmail envelope containing my reply-letter to M. There's just something about airmail envelopes that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever you hold one. I'm Lauren, and I'm a mail-geek.
Stamp-envelope for Miss I:
Incoming for the past week & a half:
Wonderful and funny letter from Kaylyn:
A postcard from Miss Jennie Hinchcliff!
Little postcard from Bee (sorry about the flash-spot).
One of the best letters I've received in the past few months coming from Sir Chris:
Cool orange envelope from a 'We Love Mail' member in Brazil:
Alice In Wonderland was visually STUNNING. I adore wonderful production design and costume design, therefore I was in a visual wonderland, if you pardon the pun. The Tim Burton film has been getting fair/lukewarm reviews on part of it's lack of actual story telling. By the first 15 minutes in, you already get the whole story. Basically, this is what happens in the live-action sequel:
Alice has returned.
She's the right Alice, even if she keeps saying otherwise.
The calendar-like scroll says she'll defeat a dragon.
We know it will happen.
Alice continues to say it's not possible, even if she wanted to.
There's a red queen and there is a white queen.
They are sisters and the big-headed one wants to be ruler because...
Well, she just wants to be, okay?!
The mad hatter is the best character and you want the whole film to be at the tea-party.
Alice shrinks and grows and shrinks and grows.
Someone finally gets what we keep hearing of 'off with their head'.
Oh, it's the dragon, we knew that!
I mean...it's really amazing visually & costume-wise and Johnny Depp is the obvious highlight of the whole thing. Loved it? Maybe after a second screening. Right now I'm just trying to soak it all in, two days after seeing it. As I said before, I ADORE costumes and this is what I wrote in my journal:
The costumes! Oh my goodness, the Mad Hatter's costume! It was brilliant! I loved the fact that he really made hats. The spools of thread like a sash around his chest...so cute! And the thimbles on his fingers which you really had to look for, so so awesome! Alice's outfits were really neat and adorable in their own unique funky way. I would totally buy her Mad Hatter dress and probably the Red Queen dress too. Anne Hathaway's White Queen gown was really pretty too. It was kind of plain if you just glanced at it, but in the close-up shots you could see the lovely detail of her boddess/corset, like all the little sparkly-ness of it, beautiful.
And I go on to talk about Johnny Depp forever in the review I wrote down right after seeing it. Seriously, I could not help but smile or giggle or both whenever the Mad Hatter spoke or did something. And, by chance...
'Do you know why a raven is like a writing desk?'
Ohhhh my gosh, so adorable. The whole relationship between Alice and him was perfection and I loved that Johnny Depp portrayed the Hatter just like he said as if 'they were like brother and sister'. That's exactly how I'd put it.
The film is totally worth at least one viewing, if not two. 3D is not worth it. I'm lucky I know people at my theater and got to get 3D for free, so to speak, and see if it'd be worth it to see it again, in IMAX 3D; but it's not, so don't spend the money. I am interested though, to see if you can just see it in IMAX and not both IMAX & 3D, you know? When the last and only film you've ever seen in 3D is Avatar, nothing compares; at least not for me. Anyway, to end on a good note, really, do you know why a raven is like a writing desk?
So! Answer the above questions in the comments and PLEASE, PLEASE tune in to the 82nd Academy Awards tomorrow evening at 8/7c; it would mean a lot to me to have more young viewers, people of my generation, watching the best awards ceremony honoring the people who entertain us and keep us thinking, laughing, crying and smiling. If you watch the whole ceremony, as I do, you'll learn a lot too, about the hundreds and thousands of people it takes to make a two-hour film, not just the famous faces and names. And on Monday I'll post my favorite moments and you can too!