gratitude-a-thon day 1061: the big sick

 

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Awesome movie alert! The Big SickThe Big Sick has been getting over the top reviews for months. I was practically loitering outslide the movies theater waiting for its arrival. Of course, I was also afraid that all those reviews would predispose me to thinking the movie was going to be better than it was. I mean, the reviews are like fake, they’re so positive.  What film could possibly live up to that kind of fabulosity? There’s always the danger with such whoo hoo pre-release chatter that you’ll exit the theater angry and disappointed, having eaten more popcorn than you wanted to because the movie wasn’t delivering.

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BUT. NO. UH UH. NOT. The Big Sick is everything it’s been called. The story is kind of basic–a romantic comedy with a couple of twists–boy meets girl, girl is wrong color, boy’s parents want to arrange his marriage, girl gets sick, and well, I’ll just stop there. This movie is really funny, with great acting and superb timing (so good to see Holly Hunter, who is not aging, like AT ALL. And damn, if Ray Romano isn’t an underrated actor, and I’ve never liked Zoey Kazan, but she actually could not be cuter, and I’d never seen Kumail Nanjiani, but he’s amazing).  Nanjiani and his real life wife, Emily V. Gordon wrote the story, because it’s their story–the story of how they met and fell in love. Maybe that’s why it feels so real.

This movie is a lot of fun and reminds you of the power of love, and what a good, good thing that is.

gratitude-a-thon day 636: melissa mccarthy is a certified movie star

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Do you want to laugh? Do you want to get a good laugh? Then call in sick, do not pass go, do not collect $200 and head to the movie Spy right now. I am telling you that I laughed for the full length of the movie. Melissa McCarthy killed it. Plus, while it’s a sort of an absurd movie, she grounds it in a reality that’s just enough to keep you believing. I admit to thinking it might have a giggle or two in it, but it was an all out festival of guffaws.

I am also buoyed by the fact that this woman, who is by all assessments is not a stick thin model type was the lead, and is pulling in audiences in big numbers. This is hopeful.

Get dressed, brush your teeth if you feel like it (I mean who is going to be at a Monday matinee), get in the car and hit the early show. I’m telling you, it’s worth every second of your time.

gratitude-a thon day 554: red carpet ready

 

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Get out your scorecards, and your best pajamas, IT’S THE ACADEMY AWARDS! Night of a thousand stars, a dozen bad dresses, a host who will be judged by his ability to keep us awake until the end. I love this show, with its crimson catwalk. I love it, I tell you. I don’t even care that it’s snowing (again) today. It’s the freaking Academy Awards!

I am a movie addict. I am a film fanatic. Like Peter Sellers as Chance the gardener in Being There said, “I like to watch.” Truth. Whether it’s in my den, with blankets and pillows, and dimmed lights, or in my bed with the comfort of my Sealy Posturpedic foam topped mattress, Riley by my side, With my husband, or my sister (two other major movie people), or whoever will indulge me, I’m always ready to go to the movies. Of course, the best place to be a viewer is at the actual movie theater. Big screen, salty popcorn, PREVIEWS. And my favorite of those theaters is the Super Lux in Chestnut Hill, where you can eat a real (and pretty decent) meal, served to you by a waitress, have yourself a cocktail, and munch on unlimited popcorn, WHILE YOU RECLINE YOUR SUPER PADDED SEAT. This is my idea of a retirement home.

Anywho, let’s make some picks, shall we?

Best Picture

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

 

Birdman_poster-3I’ve seen them all this year, which isn’t usually the case, so I’m feeling adequately informed enough to say that I think Birman should win, but Boyhood might win. Birdman captured me. There was an immediacy to the camera work, that engaged me from the second it started. I thought this movie was film at its very best. Edward Norton was dynamic and gave a powerful performance. Emma Stone was a standout. And Michael Keaton was the perfect guy for this role (I mean, it so beautifully mimics his real life). This wasn’t just a story of a movie star looking for legitimacy, it was everyone’s story of looking for legitimacy.

 

the-theory-of-everything-eddie-redmayne-2-300x336Best Actor

Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

I think this is the biggest and most competitive category of the night. Every one of these performances was stellar, and in my opinion in every case, better than the movie itself. But I think one performance stands above the rest, and that’s Eddie Redmayne’s turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. His ability to give us a full picture of a man losing control of his body and voice, but keeping his brain, and sense of humor, was not just the theory of everything, it was everything.

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Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

I haven’t seen Two Days One Night, or Still Alice, but I’m going to go with Juianne Moore, because I have heard buzz that she is spectacular. I just have a feeing she’ll be the one on the stage. But from the movies I did see, I would give it to Felicity Jones. I think she was brilliant.

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Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash

Damn, this is a tie for me between Edward Norton and JK Simmons, with Simmons edging Norton out because I feel like he had more screen time. Kind of amazing Simmons is in the BSA category, since his role was pretty large. Both these performances were one for the books.

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Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

I liked Boyhood fine. I didn’t love it, but I do recognize that making a movie over 12 years is not only a really cool and innovative idea, but also probably pretty hard. I think Patricia Arquette will walk away with the little gold man, but I would probably give it to Emma Stone.

 

alejandro_gonzalez_inarritu_a_pBest Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

No question marks for me here, I would flat out give it to Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birman. This felt the most innovative and interesting directing to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if Richard Linklater took the prize though, working on a film for 12 years is a pretty Oscar-worthy accomplishment.

Lastly, my friend Melanie posted this on my FB wall yesterday. Pretty cool, right? As you can imagine, I will be watching the red carpet carefully for my who-really-cares-what-I-think fashion review tomorrow. And now, on with the show (only 9 more hours until the carpet, I’ve got to do my hair).