Tuesday 26 February 2013

My Misadventures with the Oscars

      My late-ish thoughts on the 85th Annual Academy Awards.

Fellini, about the Oscars from Fellini on Fellini

- I was not feeling the Oscars till about 1 a.m. last night and then I could not fall asleep due to the excitement. This was a bad thing since I had to give a film studies exam after eight and a half hours and I had officially stopped giving a shit.
- I woke up at 5:30 a.m. after having slept for only two and a half hours give or take. I was going to start studying but I decided to go on Twitter and Tumblr instead and start freaking out over everyone's dresses.

- Favourite dresses were La Chastain and Miss Adams. A goddess and a princess, both redheads.
- Speaking of men, Daniel Day-Lewis and Christoph Waltz were hot stuff in blue and Daniel Radcliffe, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine and George Clooney looked amazing too. Sexy older men ^^

- Kristen Chenowyth was so annoying on the red carpet. Someone tranquilize her.
- Anne Hathaway, why? It will forever be known as the nipple dress. Ask the twitter account.
- So anyways, show starts.
- I can't come to a conclusive opinion on Seth MacFarlane's hosting. It was incredibly offensive most of the time and many jokes fell flat, but his musical stuff and the random jokes in between were pretty funny. I don't hate him though. Just the song "We Saw Your Boobs". Maybe because I did not expect much.

Truer words have not been spoken.

- Tommy Lee Jones laughing!
- Speaking of the good stuff, Charlize "The Goddess" Theron dancing in a flowy gown (with Channing Tatum) followed by a number by Daniel "My Dream Husband Since 2001" Radcliffe and Joseph "Adorbs" Gordon-Levitt (and Seth MacFarlane) were just awesome. I forgive the entire ceremony just for these two things.

- I liked the Flight-sock puppet thing.
- First award of the night, Best Supporting Actor, went rather deservedly to (though not my first choice) Christoph Waltz. He quoted Tarantino. Most successful Tarantino actor ever.

- Did anyone think of Leo?
- Oh Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy = worst presenters ever. Which did not even make sense because they are usually adorable and hilarious but I could not understand what the hell was going on. Paperman and Brave won though, so yaay for animation!
- A number of The Avengers came to present the visual categories. No Chris Hemsworth, ScarJo or Hiddles though. Once again, I must request the Oscars to give Robert Downey Jr. as Oscar for being himself.
- Worst win of the evening- cinematography. For two years now, this award has been given to the wrong person. I mean, Roger Deakins in Skyfall was beyond spectacular. Someone give him 10 or 20 Oscars already.
- Visual effects for Life of Pi made sense because Richard Parker is a beauty (even though I officially want James Bond to kill him now).
- Orchestra kept playing the Jaws theme to make the winners shorten their speech. It was funny the first time with Life of Pi and all. After that, it was plain rude.
- Anna Karenina won Best Costume and Les Mis won Best Make-up. I agree on the first one though I wish Ishioka would have won. The latter is a pointless category because Cloud Atlas was not nominated.
- The James Bond tribute was mainly shit. None of the Bonds even came. However Dame Shirley Bassey was on!
- The direction was all over the place. They cut to De Niro and Bradley Cooper after some black thing and then didn't show reaction shots for any of MacFarlane's jokes. I heard people laughing. Dunno :/
- Documentary was given out. That dude with that awesome accent was awesome.
- The musical tribute- Catherine Zeta-Jones has still got it. Jennifer Hudson got a standing ovation- what? She was just screaming.

      At this point I had to leave to go give my exam. I thought it was a clever decision to leave before Russell Crowe started to sing. Anyways, I was incredibly annoyed throughout the exam and I wrote at breakneck speed and with total disinterest. I should pass but I couldn't care less. Once I finished, I tried checking the results on my phone but the goddamn thing had to die on me then (technology sucks balls) and then I stood like an idiot for fifteen minutes waiting for the traffic flow to change when it wasn't going to for another hour. The ride back home was long and irritating and hot. However, once I was near functional technology again, I was very happy with the results.

- So back to the point I left off. Another good reason to have gone before the Les Mis number-
       WHAT IS AIR?! I could not have concentrated on my exam if I had seen this before. I really liked the entire performance. Even Russell Crowe couldn't ruin it.

- Chris Pine! I wish he would have presented with Benedict Cumberbatch though.
- Ugh Ted and Jew jokes. Anyways, aren't the computer generated stuff on the Oscars totally awkward for the audience?
- ZOMG TIE!! Skyfall :)
- Did anyone else think that all the Zero Dark Thirty clips were huge spoilers for the people who haven't seen it yet?
- Question- what if someone had a proper fear of sharks? What would the Jaws theme do to them? I think Fassy is terrified of the film.
- Christopher Plummer is brilliance. "Pick someone your own size." Haha. Also, wasn't Amy Adams just terrifying in The Master? I was happy at Anne Hathaway's reaction. It was genuine. Also, "It came true" is one of the best openings to an Oscar speech ever.
- Popcorn ladies are here again!
- Oh those lucky bitch college students. Man, Hugh Jackman and George Clooney were in that crowd.
- Sandra Bullock's hair accessory was gorgeous. Just saying. Happy Argo won editing. Also, Silver Linings Playbook had terrible editing. Why was it nominated?
- I love that Jennifer Lawrence introduced Adele. She's a huge fan, as she said in the Jimmy Kimmel interview.
- Adele is so perfect. All these people got to see her perform live! :P She was actually singing also, and not screaming. Although, apparently screaming ensures a standing ovation. Really people?
- Nicole Kidman is such a class act. She's a genuine fangirl. Tarantino looked really pissed though.

- Daniel Radcliffe presented with Kristen Stewart. I didn't realise she was on crutches (through no fault of my own). They played the Harry Potter music. Thanks for remembering after 10 fucking years, Academy.
- Salma Hayek's introduction was so funny. As was Meryl Streep's later on.
- George Clooney is lovely. He presented In Memorium. I cried. Nora Ephron :( Also Barbara Streisand was really good.
- Chicago crew came to give the music awards. RICHARD GERE! Life of Pi won Best Original Score and "Skyfall" won Best original Song. Oh god, I love Adele.
"I want to thank my man."

Twitter Haneke is the best.

- Best Screenplays were next. Argo got Adapted and Chris Terrio's speech was very nice. And then Quentin Tarantino won Original. YAAAYYY! Django Unchained isn't the greatest but the man definitely is. Last year Woody Allen won this award. Two years, two movie gods.
- He and Charlize are neighbours :O
- Poor Leo. Of course he is not there.

- Oh Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas came to present Best Director. I would love for Fonda to introduce me. She's so theatrical, it's great!
- Yaay Ang Lee won! He seems like the sweetest man who ever lived. He said some of the funniest things. Re: the cast- "I can't waste time talking about them" and about thanking his lawyers- "I have to do that." Also, NAMASTE DUDE!
Ang Lee and DDL are the nicest people ever.

- Jean Dujardin is a cutie. YAYAYAYAY JLAW! And she fell, but it was okay because Jean Dujardin, Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper all ran to her rescue. And her speech was really endearing given the circumstances. "Happy Birthday Emmanuelle!"

- Btw, Hugh Jackman = perfect man.

- Did Meryl Streep even look at the envelope? Also, Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars everybody-
So much pain.

- Daniel Day-Lewis is the first man ever to get three Best Actor Oscars, and though I did not care for his Lincoln performance (the voice annoyed me too much), it could not have happened to a better man and actor. His jokes were brilliant. Next film should be a comedy with Meryl, amirite?

- Jack Nicholson is boss. And woah, Michelle Obama! Anyways, yaaaayyyy for Argo! 

Ben Affleck's speech was the best. I was watching his and bezzie Matt's Good Will Hunting win yesterday and this is another classic. My favourite part was him thanking the lovely Jennifer Garner, "I want to thank my wife, who I don’t normally associate with Iran, but I want to thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases. It’s good. It is work, but it’s the best kind of work and there’s no one I’d rather work with." George Clooney was just the classiest man throughout.

- The final song was nice.

        And there you have it. The winners were pretty good and the hosting was somehow still tolerable and ZOMG DANRAD AND ENJOLRAS!

Sunday 24 February 2013

"I like the way you die, boy."- MY FAVOURITE FILMS OF 2012

        Oscars is tomorrow/today people (depends on your time zone)! What better time to finally post my list of favourite 2012 films? Enjoy.

Honourable mentions- Frankenweenie for showing us the awesomeness that Tim Burton is still capable of, Your Sister's Sister for being just so simple and lovely, Killer Joe for being just the opposite in all its perfect creepiness.

The Dark Knight Rises (Dir: Christopher Nolan)

I have my issues with this film, but it is still one helluva action bonanza with a lot of things to say. The cast is excellent, and this is probably the best ending to the Dark Knight trilogy one could ask for.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dir: Behn Zeitlin)

After having watched this film, I just was at a loss of words. Not so much as just being blown away but because I had nothing to compare it to. I have never seen anything of this sort. It's a modern fairytale. It's a commentary. It kind of glorifies poverty. All I know was that I loved whatever had transpired and that Quvénzhane Wallis is a tiny goddess.

Looper (Dir: Rian Johnson)

One of my best experiences in the cinemas all year. I could feel myself gaping at moments. Takes the used-up time-travel plot and twists it to give us something new and memorable. Great performances as well.

Talaash (Dir: Reema Kagti)

The big secret at the end had already been spoiled for me when I went to watch it. Still, I was quite surprised at it and how well-handled it was. It might not work for everyone, but the shady 70s thriller feel, a social commentary on prostitution in big cities and one gorgeous performance by Kareena Kapoor makes it a winner in my eyes.

The Deep Blue Sea (Dir: Terence Davies)

This film haunts you with its melancholic beauty. As much as I love the period settings and the cinematography, it is the cast of actors led by Rachel Weisz that really seals the deal for me.

Les Misérables (Dir: Tom Hooper)

I did not want to like this film, but I did. A lot. I loved most of the singing (ugh Russell Crowe!) and the settings and the story. The performances by Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway too were excellent. It's just a very pretty film.

The Cabin in the Woods (Dir: Drew Goddard)

What an awesome, crazy film. One of the funniest, most original movies of the year that both mocks and embraces the horror genre. Has some of the greatest scenes and characters too.

Brave (Dir: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell)

Pixar is back on form with this completely unique princess tale that most magically focuses on the relationship between a girl and her mother and is not about some silly prince or glass slippers or anything of that sort. Princess Merida is too awesome for that. Also, absolutely gorgeous animation.

Holy Motors (Dir: Leos Carax)

I desperately need to rewatch this film to fully form some opinion on what the hell this film is about. In spite of that, I had just such a great time watching all of the mysterious Mr. Oscar's adventures and Denis Lavant's performance is fantastic.

Magic Mike (Dir: Steven Soderbergh)

OBJECTIFY ALL MEN! Also, thank you Mr. Soderbergh. More films like this should be made, and not just for all that. Could not stop smiling throughout its running time though.

Bachelorette (Dir: Leslye Headland)

It's just one of those films that I end up loving more than others. I thought it was really smart and bitchy and was a very interesting insight into the lives and minds of these women. Brilliant cast!

Moonrise Kingdom (Dir: Wes Anderson)

I have to find some other word to describe it other than 'magical' but I always end up with it or synonyms thereof. It is stunningly shot and designed, has a story about the magic of growing up and that first love, and it's just so funny and sweet.

Argo (Dir: Ben Affleck)

Definitely the best made movie of the year. It is entertaining, smart, thrilling, uplifting. A cool period piece that is more about a situation than any political stands. I would be very happy if this won Best Film at the Oscars.

English Vinglish (Dir: Gauri Shinde)

I was so blown away by the simplicity and the brilliance of this film. A film that I personally relate to being an Indian girl. It is incredibly well-made and balanced and I love all the messages that this film gives. I wish all Indian films could be as smart and socially aware and well-acted as this.

Ruby Sparks (Dir: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris)

An adorable romcom that is also about the creative process and the inner workings of a male mind. It also breaks open the "manic pixie girl" mould. And I love Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Dir: Steven Chbosky)

I don't think any film this year has made me so simultaneously happy and sad. I turned 20 last year and I have been feeling so lousy about my life so far and here comes a movie about beautiful young people and feeling infinite and whatnot. Just makes me wish I could go back to being 16 and really do it right this time round.

Skyfall (Dir: Sam Mendes)

Oh gorgeousity! I could have never fathomed being this in love with an action film's look, but here we are. It is also a fantastically made film with a great story line and very memorable performances. Bond has never been better in my eyes.

Django Unchained (Dir: Quentin Tarantino)

It's not flawless, but it is very close to being so. Tarantino tackling slavery seems like such an absurd idea, but god, did he pull it off! It's brutal, it's honest, it's spectacular to look at. Added to that the quintessential Tarantino elements of killer dialogues, magnificent violence and unforgettable characters.

Cloud Atlas (Dir: The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer)

Pure entertainment and ambition. All the stories, all the lives, all the genres- it is just marvelous. It should have been impossible to pull off, but with a running time that clocks to nearly three hours, it is one of the most engaging and inspiring films of the year.

The Avengers (Dir: Joss Whedon) and Silver Linings Playbook (Dir: David O. Russell)

Speaking of impossible stuff, I just could not choose between the two. While I am a bigger fan of The Avengers, a film I have been raving about ever since I saw it, the Bollywood spirit in me cannot allow a romcom like Silver Linings Playbook, that is about real people and ends with a dance number, to place anywhere but at the top. I have enjoyed and loved these two movies. The characters, the chemistry, the performances, the highly unlikely chances of either being this fucking good(!), and the final acts, all have led to me choosing both The Avengers and Silver Linings Playbook as my number 1 movies of the year.

       So there you have it. These are all my end-of-year lists.

       What did you think?