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Archive for February, 2011

Oscar Reviews

A break from the normal Monday programming to do a little Oscar recap. First, most importantly, the fashions.

Here’s who I thought were the best dressed stars:

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Jennifer Lawrence (best actress nominee for Winter’s Bone). Maybe she could have used a necklace or earrings but overall I love this look. The color is great, her hair, though casual, works perfectly, and she is just gorgeous.

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Hailee Steinfeld (best support actress nominee for True Grit). I think this is totally age-appropriate for her, but still classy and stunning. I especially love the headband and how the dress isn’t full-length.

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Mila Kunis. I think she’s completely amazing overall and I love her complete look. The color of this dress, the cut, the details are all perfect. I pretty much want to be her.

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Cate Blanchett. This dress just slightly edges out Mila Kunis’ for my favorite of the night. I love the cut-out on the top, the beading (especially the yellow beads), the pleating, and even the slightly-odd sleeves. I think the whole look is great.

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Annette Benning (best actress nominee for The Kids Are All Right). I don’t quite know why I like this, but I do. I think it works well for her and is just rather pretty overall.

And the worst:

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Amy Adams (best supporting actress nominee for The Fighter). I want to like this, but I think the dress coming all the way up to her neck combined with the cap sleeves and her hair being down is just too much. I think the cut and color is great, but I wish it was lower-cut on top or she wore her hair up.

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Reese Witherspoon. I’ll start by saying that I think her hair is great. It’s a good hairstyle for her and it’s fun. But the dress is just so generic. I can picture a high school girl wearing it to the prom and what it really reminds me of, and I don’t know why, is a Playboy bunny (like the 1950s ones).

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Gwyneth Paltrow. A big part of why I dislike this dress is how the color combines with her really yellow hair and bad bronzer. I wouldn’t be a big fan of color on its own and I don’t care for the cut, but I think it would be passable on someone with different coloring.

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Nicole Kidman (best actress nominee for The Rabbit Hole). Looking at this the morning after I don’t hate it as much as I did last night, but I still don’t like it. I don’t like white dresses that much to begin with I think the kind of kimono look of this one just doesn’t work.

On the whole I thought most people looked good, even the worst dressed ones I listed here weren’t offensive or truly terrible.

The show though, with Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosting, was way too long and way too strange. I hate how they do the kind of homages to old movies, why is that necessary? I felt like the past few years wasn’t that bad in terms of the excess stuff, but this year wasn’t good.

And how did I do in my office pool? I didn’t win, but I think I held my own pretty well. The only “bigger” award pick I got wrong was original screenplay. My strategy of following the individual guild or society picks worked pretty well. I only missed adapted screenplay, costume design, art direction, makeup, and sound mixing.

Ok, that doesn’t sound so great. But I did get adapted screenplay, best director, cinematography, film editing, original score, sound editing, and visual effects. And I was one of only two people to correctly predict best director.

What did you think?

(All pictures from Daylife.)

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the-kids-are-all-right-poster-tf.org-free-2010

If you hadn’t noticed I’m trying to squeeze in as many movies as I can before the Oscars tomorrow night. Unlike a lot of “arty” “smart” movies I was completely able to relate to and enjoy The Kids Are All Right (even though I’ve never been in any situations similar to that of the movie’s characters). For a movie about two lesbian mothers and their children’s sperm donor father I think the film was very mainstream. I thought the two actors who played the kids were great (even if I had a difficult time believing the boy was 15 years old) and Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo were all perfectly cast. The Kids Are All Right is the perfect movie to see if you want to see a smart, well-done, thought-provoking film that doesn’t terrify you (Black Swan) or leave you depressed and saddened about America (Winter’s Bone).

(Poster source.)

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Oscar Predictions

As you can probably tell from my movie reviews I’m a big movie fan. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve seen every film that’s been nominated for best picture except for The King’s Speech (and Toy Story but I don’t count that).

There’s another girl named Maggie in my office and for the past 3 years we’ve done an Oscar Pool for the office. This year we had our highest participation ever! Twenty-nine people are playing, up from 20 last year (we have about 100 people in our office).

I thought it would be fun to post my picks (for the main categories) on here and to see what anyone else is thinking.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Original Screenplay: Inception, Christopher Nolan
Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin

I always struggle with what to pick for the less obvious categories. Sound mixing vs. sound editing? I really don’t know. But this year I came up with a strategy. I read somewhere that although the Academy is made up of 30,000 (ish) people they all don’t vote on every award. Apparently there are different branches for actors, directors, technical people, etc. and you can only vote on awards that fall under your branch.

Therefore the best predictor of who will win a specific category isn’t all previous awards, like the Golden Globes or whatever, but the awards given out by the different organizations, like the Director’s Guild, Screen Actor’s Guild, cinematographer’s society, etc..

When I was filling out my ballot on Friday morning I spent some time Googling these different organizations and I made my picks based on their awards. Most people who entered the pool picked David Fincher to win for Best Director, but the DGA picked Tom Hooper so I picked Tom Hooper.

We’ll see how it goes…

Any other predictions out there?

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The Decembrists – “Here I Dreamt I was an Architect”

Claude Pelouse – “Perfect Daydream”

The Bird and the Bee – “Man”

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Aveda Product Review

This past weekend, while at my parents’ house, we went to visit my grandparents. I was told we needed to be at my grandparents’ at 1pm so I assumed we would leave around 12:30. I had been lazy and, thinking I still had time, around 11:55 I still hadn’t showered or gotten ready.

Around noon my dad asked if I was ready and said we were leaving soon. Oops. I knew I could forgo a shower, but what to do with my hair?

Then I remembered a free sample I had received from Aveda (I’m part of their rewards program and often receive offers for samples), something called Be Curly Style Prep that was supposed to reactive curls so you don’t need to completely restyle your hair.

Since there were no instructions on the sample I just used my hands to make my hair wet, put some of the Be Curly Style Prep on my hands, and ran it through my hair, attempting to scrunch it into curls.

This is right after I put it on:

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And this is later on in the day:

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(Before trying to style my hair I had had it up in a ponytail.)

Overall I was pretty happy with the results. I don’t think the result was as good as when I style my hair from scratch (I use Aveda’s Be Curly Curl Enhancer and their Confixor), but it was a simple, easy, and acceptable quick fix. And I am always happy when I find a product that actually gives my very, very fine hair style rather than just weighing it down.

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Wednesday Workouts

Little bit of a different format this week…

Sunday
Plan: Brisk walk.
Actual: Rest day.

Monday
Plan: 40 min. hard elliptical workout
Actual: 40 min. hard elliptical workout

Tuesday
Plan: Elliptical before class (PM), Step & Sculpt class (PM), Ab class (PM)
Actual: 10 mins. hard stairmill, Step & Sculpt class, Ab class

Wednesday
Plan: Treadmill before class (PM), Bootcamp class (PM)
Actual: Elliptical 20 mins, Bootcamp class

Thursday
Plan: Elliptical speed workout (AM)
Actual: 40 mins. hard elliptical workout

Friday
Plan: Hard elliptical workout (AM)
Actual:

Saturday
Plan: Step & Sculpt class (AM)
Actual:

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When Winter’s Bone first started I thought it was going to be one of those awful movies where no one speaks and nothing happens. Thankfully, although speaking was kept to a minimum, a lot happened and it’s all worth seeing. The performance by Jennifer Lawrence is outstanding and the rest of the cast is stellar. The movie is a look at part of America I know nothing about and, honestly, have a difficult time realizing even exists. All of the best-picture nominees that I’ve seen have been worth seeing, but Winter’s Bone is unique, intriguing, and absolutely a must-see.

(Poster source.)

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