GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS

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I woke up this morning to news that the nominees for this year’s Golden Globes had been announced. The Golden Globes are great; they’re probably my favorite awards show. Most likely because Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have hosted for the past few years and nothing in the whole world could top that (the only thing that has ever come close is Neil Patrick Harris). I’m sad that this is their final year hosting, but the list of nominees is tremendous and I just want to spend some time talking about that.

Best motion picture — drama

“Boyhood”
“Foxcatcher”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”

Being from a small town in Alabama, we don’t get the limited release features that come around. So, sadly, the only film on this list I’ve seen as of yet is Boyhood, and my God, it was brilliant. I’ve wanted to see Foxcatcher for a few years now, and I think it will be nothing short of a vision. The Imitation Game has been on high buzz since it was released, and I’m highly intrigued by it. I am personally interested in Selma because it was filmed in my home state and takes place in my home state and all of that. Every time I see a commercial for The Theory of Everything I cry, and I love Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne and I just think it will completely destroy my emotions. So, as you can tell, I’m not very qualified to be making picks, but I’m going to do it anyway because I love awards season. And, honestly, the only movie on this list that I think I could even possibly like more than Boyhood is Foxcatcher. So.

Best motion picture — musical or comedy

“Birdman”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“Pride”
“St. Vincent”

OBVIOUSLY I’M GOING TO PICK THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL because Wes Anderson is my all-time favorite and I’m so proud of all the awards he’s been nominated for in this year’s Globes. Could this lead to his first Best Picture nom? Let’s hope so. Birdman has been at the top of my must-see list all year, but it hasn’t made it’s way to podunk Alabama yet. As a musical theater nerd, I’m super excited/nervous about Into The Woods. I fear it won’t be as upsetting/depressing as the original stage play, which is the best part about the stage play. The trailer for Pride looked decent enough (though it was a little heavy on the emotional resolve that inevitably comes in the end) and St. Vincent looks good. Birdman is the likely winner. Again, I’ll make another post when I see more of these films.

Best actress in a motion picture — drama

Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

I have only seen Gone Girl as Rosamund Pike was the perfect Amy Dunne. I’m not even going to go into the others because I haven’t seen them, but I will! You have my word.

Best actor in a motion picture — drama

Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”

I have no comment on any of these because I, unfortunately, haven’t seen any of these. However, I’m shocked that Jack O’Connell didn’t receive a nomination for his performance in Unbroken, which has been heavily talked about. WHERE IS COOK’S NOM, GLOBES?!

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Best actor in a motion picture — musical or comedy

Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Bill Murray, “St. Vincent”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice”
Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”

The resurgence of Michael Keaton makes me happy all over, but man, oh, man I want Ralph Fiennes to win for The Grand Budapest Hotel. I am in favor of all things Wes Anderson, yes, but Fiennes was so hilarious and charming in TGBH and he deserves it.

Best actress in a motion picture — musical or comedy

Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey”
Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars”
Quvenzhane Wallis, “Annie”

Sorry, this new Annie looks awful and I can’t understand why Quvenzhane Wallis was nominated. I cringe at all the television teasers for the movie, and I have nothing against Quvenzhane Wallis! I just have things against unnecessary remakes and… I feel like there had to have been a better candidate for this category. Actually, I KNOW there’s a better candidate for this category and it’s JENNY SLATE FOR OBVIOUS CHILD. I was really crossing my fingers for this nomination, either for her or for director Gillian Robespierre (Obvious Child was her directorial debut! And it was so good! SO GOOD). Jenny Slate is one of my favorite people, and she deserved this.

Best supporting actor in a motion picture

Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

I normally don’t like Ethan Hawke (with the exception of Reality Bites) but I loved him in Boyhood. He was perfect! He didn’t get a whole lot of screen time, but he lit it up whenever he was on screen. Moving on.

Best supporting actress in a motion picture

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”

Okay, Meryl Streep. This is getting out of hand. You know in football when a team gets so far ahead of their opponent that they start to play terribly just so the other team doesn’t feel so bad? I think it’s about time Meryl Streep started doing the same. Like, maybe Meryl should be the next lead in Transformers. Or maybe she could be the romantic lead in the next Adam Sandler film? Y’know what, screw that, those films would probably get Oscar nominations if she was in them. It’s a lose-lose.
The only film I’ve seen in this category, again, is Boyhood, and Patricia Arquette was my favorite part of Boyhood. That scene where she breaks down crying at the kitchen table affected me more than any scene in any movie from this year. So excellent and emotional.

Best animated feature film

“Big Hero 6”
“The Book of Life”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“The Lego Movie”

The Lego Movie. No question. One of the best and most funny movies I’ve seen all year.

Best director

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Oh, Wes Anderson, how I hope you’ll win this! You deserve it! You’re the best, most uniquely original director ever and I love you so much. The hard part here is that a couple of my other favorite directors are nominated- David Fincher and Richard Linklater. But I don’t care, I’m sticking with Wes.

Best screenplay 

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

Do I even have to say who I want to win? WES.

Best original score 

Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”
Antonio Sanchez, “Birdman”
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”

I’m such a huge fan of Reznor and Ross’s collaboration with Fincher, and their score so perfectly summed up the terror of Gone Girl.

Best original song 

“Big Eyes,” from “Big Eyes”
“Glory,” from “Selma”
“Mercy Is,” from “Noah”
“Opportunity,” from “Annie”
“Yellow Flicker Beat,” from “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part I”

I have no input on this category. I love Sia, but I’m torn because she sings that damn song from Annie, a film that I can’t understand why is nominated for anything (I know, I haven’t seen it yet, but I have a strong gut reaction when it comes to these kinda things).

Best foreign language film 

“Force Majeure Turist” (Sweden)
“Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett” (Israel)
“Ida” (Poland/Denmark)
“Leviathan” (Russia)
“Tangerines Mandariinid” (Estonia)

I want to see Ida so bad, and I just saw that it’s on Netflix so I’ll watch it here soon.

TV

Best TV series — drama

“The Affair”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Good Wife”
“House of Cards”

~I don’t watch any of these shows but I know I should~

Best actor in a TV series — drama

Clive Owen, “The Knick”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
James Spader, “The Blacklist”
Dominic West, “The Affair”

~Same thing I said before~

Best actress in a TV series — drama

Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

~I guess I should note that these squiggly lines mean that I’m saying this in a sing song voice~

Best TV series — comedy

“Girls”
“Jane the Virgin”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”
“Transparent”

I’m just so happy that Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory weren’t nominated! Modern Family is the Meryl Streep of television comedy, and The Big Bang Theory is the dog shit that Meryl Streep stepped in. Anyway, Girls is one of my favorites, I’m such a huge, huge fan, and I always root for it. I desperately need to watch Jane the Virgin because I’ve only heard great things about it. OITNB is also one of my favorites, but it doesn’t compare to Girls, and I wasn’t as impressed with Season 2 as I was with Season 1 (I did love it! Just not as much). I’ve watched a few episodes of Silicon Valley and thought it was funny (I love Martin Starr), and Transparent is another need-to-see. Anyway, WHERE IS VEEP?

Best actor in a TV series — comedy

Louis C.K., “Louie”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

LOUIE LOUIE LOUIE LOUIEEEEEE.

Best actress in a TV series — comedy

Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”

Queen JLD deserves this one. Selina Meyer is such a great character and she plays it perfectly. Veep is one of the best!

Best TV movie or mini-series

“Fargo”
“The Missing”
“The Normal Heart”
“Olive Kitteridge”
“True Detective”

True Detective, because there was nothing on television in 2014 that I loved more than True Detective. It’s brilliant.

Best actor in a mini-series or TV movie 

Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective”
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart”
Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”

I am ALWAYS rooting for McConaughey. And, subsequently, True Detective.

Best actress in a mini-series or TV movie

Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honorable Woman”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
Frances O’Connor, “The Missing”
Allison Tolman, “Fargo”

Jessica Lange is THE head bitch in charge, and if she doesn’t win this the world is off its axis or something.

Best supporting actor in a series, mini-series or TV movie

Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”
Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”
Colin Hanks, “Fargo”
Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”

~no comment, ugh, I need to get to watchin’ this stuff~

Best supporting actress in a series, mini-series or TV movie

Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective”
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”

I know I said I’m always rooting for True Detective, but Uzo Aduba is who deserves this. Crazy Eyes is a much better character than Monaghan’s Maggie.

I feel very under-qualified to post my opinions about the Globes, but I have these opinions and I wanted to post them and it’s my blog! So. I will update this once I see more of the films and whatnot.

What are your opinions on the Globes this year? Who do you think got snubbed? Jenny Slate did!!!!!

Let’s talk about it.

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THE BRILLIANCE OF BOYHOOD

Boyhood is extraordinary. It’s heartwarming (that scene where Patricia Arquette says, “I just thought it would be better!” made me teary eyed in a major way), sometimes painful to watch (Marco Perella’s Professor Bill Welbrock is quite possibly the baddest movie villain of the year), and perfectly timed (the 12 years isn’t overwhelming or boring, it’s a perfect portrait of a life). It’s the most beautiful cinematic adventure I’ve ever taken, and I just want to talk about how great it is.

First of all, Richard Linklater (Dazed and ConfusedA Scanner DarklySlacker, The “Before” Trilogy) filmed the same people for twelve years. That’s the line that’s used to captivate you. It works, I mean, c’mon, no one has ever done that (I hear your “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE 7-UP DOCUMENTARIES! Those don’t count, y’all, he checks back in with those people every seven years, which is what Linklater did with his Before Trilogy, so shut your pie holes, that’s not the same thing). It was a twelve year long process. They would film for intervals of time every year for twelve years. It’s a film that shows the actual timeline of one family’s life: son Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane), daughter Samantha (Lorelai Linklater), mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette), & father Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke). Something that is absolutely brilliant, in my opinion, is that Linklater would mold the story around certain aspects of Ellar Coltrane’s life at the present time. So, I’ve hypothesized that Mason’s interests in arrowheads and photography and the like really stem from Ellar Coltrane’s interests at the moments when they were filming. It’s extremely honest and true to the times, as is evidenced by the absolutely terrific soundtrack. The film opens with Coldplay’s ultra-2000s song “Yellow”, and then shortly thereafter, the character of Samantha is singing Britney Spears’ “Oops… I Did It Again”. Brilliant. I can’t get over how much I loved it. There’s a scene early on where Olivia is reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to Mason and Samantha, and later on in the film you see them attend a book release party for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Little things like that warmed my heart like no other movie ever has.

I have some questions though, and these are what I’m really here to get down to business about:

01. Does anyone else find it absolutely bonkers that Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke look so eerily similar? It’s NUTS. Because 5 year old Coltrane only looks slightly like Hawke, but the older he gets, ESPECIALLY 18 year old Coltrane, the more he looks like Hawke. It blew my mind before I even went to see the movie (this film has been on my radar for a long time. I’m so happy that I was finally able to see it tonight).

02. POTENTIAL SPOILER: When 8 year old Mason gets his haircut and goes to school, a girl named Nicole passes him a note that says, “I think your hair looks kewl”. When he moves into his dorm in college, he meets a girl named Nicole who, to me, looked similar to that girl that passed him the note! I could be wildly off, and the idea that she looked like the girl from before could just be my brain playing tricks on me hoping for a connection, but does anyone else know if this is a proven theory? There’s only one person credited as Nicole. Help! I’m so curious about this.

03. SPOILER?: An interesting tidbit from an interview with Simon Crook of Empire Film: “Still, we can’t resist asking… Sequel, then? ‘What, if we just kept going?’ Linklater looks horrified, puffs out his cheeks. ‘Well, he’s gonna be in his freshman year of college now, so I know what Mason’s life will be for the next few years. But after that?’ He pauses, has a little Linkthink and starts laughing. ‘You know, I was just thinking: wouldn’t it be great if Mason left college, got on a train, and met this girl in Europe…'” Did Mason grow up to be Jesse, Ethan Hawke’s character in Linklater’s Before Trilogy?? That’s what Linklater muses could happen.

I truly don’t have anything left to say about this film, and this is a very jumbled and unorganized blog post because I’m just so excited about this movie. It’s excellent, plain and simple. Just go see it immediately.

Boyhood is in theaters now, and is expected to be released on blu-ray and DVD in November of 2014.

It is also rumored to be released through the Criterion Collection (as it should be).

I WATCHED: PALO ALTO

When James Franco’s collection of short stories, Palo Alto Stories, came out in 2009, I bought it. I read the first story, Halloween, and felt that it was reminiscent of the UK show Skins, which is a show that I love (it’s on Netflix, you should watch it, but only watch the UK version. Trust me. Don’t even consider starting the US MTV remake, it’s appalling.). I didn’t finish the book, which is a problem I have, starting things and not finishing them. At any rate, the movie came out in the height of the pretentious James Franco phase (which may not even be a phase, at this point? I don’t know. I keep telling myself it is because I’m a Franco-fan. At least I think I am. I could just be a Franco-fan by proxy because I’m an enormous Judd Apatow fan and he’s part of that crew, but I don’t know. All’s I know is I’ll defend Franco. As you’ll see. In this blog post.) I got around to watching the film adaptation of Palo Alto Stories, titled just Palo Alto, tonight, and I was so pleasantly surprised. I was really expecting it to be just the a film that reeked of pseudo-intellectual bullshit, but it wasn’t that. It was very raw and it offered a pretty harrowing view of fictional California teenagers, though I think I can say that there’s more than probably some acute truth in the depiction of privileged west coast teens. They smoke, they drink, they make huge mistakes to which their parents inflict no real consequences on them. This is something that baffles me. I know there are people in this world whose parents have no response of authority or guidance when their child does something that is so clearly wrong. For instance, when Teddy, played by Val Kilmer’s son Jack Kilmer, is the perpetrator of a hit and run whilst driving under the influence, he receives no punishment from his parents, not even a slap on the wrist. I get that this is a film and that it’s fictional, but there are people like that in this world! Parents who don’t care what their children do. That’s foreign to me, because my parents couldn’t possibly care anymore than they do about me and my behavior/reputation. I’m so thankful for that because that’s the kind of upbringing all children deserve, and I think it’s why I know right from wrong and how to carry myself.  But I digress. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing film. Director Gia Coppola, niece of Sofia Coppola, is understandably influenced by the films of her familial predecessor. Palo Alto is enormously evocative of The Virgin Suicides. Even so far as literally in some scenes, you can see that Emma Roberts’ character April has a Virgin Suicides poster on the wall of her bedroom. It’s dreamy in the same way that Sofia’s films are dreamy. Very muted color scheme, which makes every scene feel somehow simultaneously warm and cold. Palo Alto has been compared to Harmony Korine’s Kids and Gummo, but I didn’t get that vibe. The shock factor wasn’t there, and I think that’s the whole motivation behind Korine’s films. The only similarities between Korine and Palo Alto, in my opinion, was the unflinching depictions of misspent youth.

Apart from Emma Roberts’ stunning performance as the vulnerable April, who falls prey to the seemingly charming but ultimately presumptuous Mr. B, played by James Franco, the star and most alluring character is Nat Wolff’s Fred. His energy radiated on screen and despite his extreme self destructive and threatening presence. He’s violently selfish and narcissistic. The whole time I was watching the film, I wanted to know more about Fred. Is he on a steady drug cocktail that leaves him aggressively frantic or is there something wrong with him? What is he drinking out of that flower vase that still has flowers in it- WHY is he drinking out of that flower vase that still has flowers in it? He has no backstory, and I love that. I think an interesting turn the movie could have taken would have been to further develop Fred as more of a main character. Then again, maybe the reason I was so drawn to Fred was because he was such an elusive character; here one scene, gone the next. Perhaps, if the film would have followed that character arc more closely, we would have discovered he was a psychopath. He shows no remorse toward his habit for destruction, a habit that annihilates not only his surroundings but the people he holds close to him, and he shows no remorse. He shows the signs for a psychopath or sociopath, conclusively putting his character in a box and leaving him in a position where the viewer would be less enchanted by him. Fred was more interesting than Teddy. I was uninterested in Teddy’s story immediately after his arrest. While Teddy’s story became less and less interesting, Fred’s became more complex and interesting, and I’m left now wondering what became of Fred. The film concludes with a powerful scene of Fred racing the wrong way down a street screaming “I’m not Bob”, a mantra described earlier in the film that encourages one to turn away from death and not walk into it, arms open. It’s a powerful scene, and really solidified my opinion that Fred was the most entertaining, interesting, most perfectly underdeveloped and unpredictable character.

LET’S TALK ABOUT MILEY CYRUS’S VISUAL ART

As someone with an art degree, I take art very seriously. I also try to take an objective view of the art that I see. Lots of celebrities have ventured into the art world, Jay-Z, Shia LaBeouf, George W. Bush, and, of course, James Franco, to name a few, have tried their hand at visual art. Not a single one of those celebrities have elicited such a negative response toward their artwork like the controversial Miley Cyrus.

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