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Laura [userpic]

What a week!

March 20th, 2009 (10:31 pm)

current mood: sympathetic
current song: "Borrowed Angels" - Kristin Chenoweth

This has been quite a week.  I'd like to acknowledge two lives that were prematurely ended this week:  Ron Silver and Natasha Richardson.

It's amazing how people you don't know can reach you in such powerful ways just because you've spent time curled up on the couch or in a dark movie theater watching their work.

To Ron Silver:  Thank you for all you gave on-screen, especially for that wonderful character Bruno Gianelli.  Rest in peace.  You are greatly missed.  Here's a perfect example of his wonderful work.  The words were crafted by the wonderful Aaron Sorkin, but Ron's deliverly is unforgettable.  I can hear these words in my head without watching the clip, but here it is for people who'd like to see it.

And to Natasha Richardson:  Your story ended tragically and much, much too soon.  I loved your work in The Parent Trap and Evening and Cabaret.  My heart breaks for your family:  Your mother, your sister, your husband, and especially for your sons, who are now without their mother.  Rest in peace.  My prayers are with everyone grieving your loss.

And to some members of the press:  I am disgusted.  Let Natasha's family grieve privately.  The retrospectives on Natasha's life are lovely, and we all want to know what's going on, but there's no need to camp outside of her apartment and follow her husband and mother around.  That's all.

Laura [userpic]

Epic Oscar Review 2009

February 23rd, 2009 (08:01 pm)

current mood: content

Disclaimer:  I've inevitably forgotten something amazing about last night that I wanted to mention.  As people remind me in comments about things, I'll probably kick myself and then maybe add to this.

It has been well established (I think) that I love award shows.  I don't entirely understand why, but it probably stems from my creative side and seeing all of these incredible, brilliant, ridiculously talented people in one place.

Last night was Oscar night, which meant I was tucked away in my dorm room at 8:00 ready to enjoy myself.  I was not disappointed.  Overall, it was probably the most enjoyable Oscar night as a whole.

The opening number was fantastic.  Hugh Jackman may not be the most amazing stage performer that's ever lived, but the man has done some serious Broadway and knows how to put on a show.  Let's give him some credit.  I had heard the rumors that Anne Hathaway was joining him for the opening and was thrilled to see that it actually happened.  Anne isn't an actress that I spend a great deal of time gushing over, but she is one of the most talented women out there.  I'll talk more about her when I get to Best Actress.  For now, let me just mention that I loved her dress.  She looked fantastic.  She is definitely one of those classic beauties.

These thoughts are probably not going to be in chronological order because my memory isn't that perfect, but I'll do my best.  I do know that the first award of the night was for Best Supporting Actress, and I was so moved by the format they chose this year for the acting honors.  Wow.  I can only imagine sitting in that audience as a nominee and hearing someone I've admired praise my performance.  I was crying for the nominees.  Of the acting categories, this is the only one that disappointed me.  Having seen neither Vicky Cristina Barcelona nor really any of Penélope Cruz's other work, I can't really speak about her talent.  However, Viola Davis is a powerhouse that came out of nowhere and matched every bit of the strength that Meryl Streep has on screen.  She is nothing short of phenomenal in Doubt, and it saddens me that she was shut out this awards season.  I really think that Oscar should have been hers.

I decided pretty quickly last night that I want to be Dustin Lance Black's friend.  (He wrote the screenplay for Milk.)  In my opinion, his speech was the best of the night.  It was so gracious and his love for his work was so apparent.  It is when writers develop that deep love for their subjects that amazing material is born.  "You are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value...and very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights across this great nation of ours."  There were tears.

There was slight disappointment that John Patrick Shanley lost Best Adapted Screenplay.  Slumdog Millionaire is apparently amazing and, just judging by the graciousness and humility of its creators, it deserves every bit of success it earned last night.  But, I still think Doubt is amazing.

Now, let's talk about the part that made me squeal and grin and act like a fangirl.  The musical is back!

"Something truly remarkable happened this year, something we thought would never happen in our lifetime.  Yes, change has finally come.  Mamma Mia has sold more tickets in the UK than Titanic."

And to Meryl Streep:  "I'm looking forward to Doubt:  The Musical.  Singing and nuns--it's worked before--that's all I'm saying."

The musical number itself was great.  Nice job Hugh Jackman.  I'm usually not a Beyonce fan, but I can't deny she did a great job.  And seeing Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper almost canceled out the horror of anyone from High School Musical making it to the Oscar stage in any capacity.  So, this was probably my second favorite moment of the evening.

Moving on to the tearjerker that was the Best Supporting Actor category.  Heath Ledger's Joker was remarkable and I'm glad his family (especially his daughter) can have this one special award to help them remember his legacy.  Watching his parents and sister accept the Oscar was beautiful.

I didn't pay very close attention to all of the technical/art awards because they're not as fascinating to me, but it seemed pretty Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button-dominated, with a little bit of The Duchess and The Dark Knight mixed in for good measure. 

Congratulations to all of the people involved with Slumdog Millionaire.  I think it was a well deserved Best Picture win.  The score and songs from the film sounded great, so I'm glad the composer took those categories as well.

I only know about one of the movies nominated for Best Foreign Film, but you should check out Entre les murs.  (I think the English translation last night was The Class.)

I'm usually not overly impressed by Sean Penn, but I think the Best Actor Oscar was rightfully his.  He managed to make some points in his speech and be gracious at the same time; he usually has trouble striking a balance.  So, well done.  Milk deserves the recognition.  And AWWWW, Buttercup (aka Robin Wright Penn) was crying.  Also, if anyone wants to explain Mickey Rourke's "comback" to me, that would be great.  I know nothing about him.

ANNNNNND....(drumroll, please)....

We finally come to my very favorite Oscar category:  Best Actress.  This has been an angsty category for me this year.  I was so torn between Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep.  On the one hand, this was Kate Winslet's sixth nomination (and every single one of her nominations has been for truly remarkable work).  On the other hand, Meryl Streep is the Oscar goddess.  She has won two Oscars (one for Best Supporting Actress in 1979 for Kramer vs. Kramer, the other for Best Actress is 1983 for Sophie's Choice).  However, even with her lauded 15 nominations, she has lost 13 times, the last time she won being when she was pregnant with her 25-year-old daughter.  In addition to all that, her work in Doubt was remarkable, even by Meryl Streep standards.

In the end, I'm ecstatic that Kate Winslet won.  She is truly incredible and her Oscar was long overdue.  How can you not be touched by her graciousness (that's a word I've used a lot) and beauty?  Meryl still received her due praise throughout the show, and it's obvious she commands great respect from the Academy.

Let me backtrack a little to say that the tributes to the nominees were really touching.  I thought Anne Hathaway was going to lose it when Shirley MacLaine was talking about her.  Anne has truly become an epitome of grace, talent and genuine humility.  I'm pretty certain she'll have her day on that Oscar stage.

Congratulations to all the winners (and nominees) and thanks to all who worked to make the awards one fabulous show!!

Laura [userpic]

Freudian Slip?

January 17th, 2009 (09:46 pm)

This is hilarious.  But lots of people seem to be basking in the glow of Hillary as SoS.  Cool.

Hillary Clinton's Confirmation Hearing - The Daily Show

Cross-posted to clinton_2008 

Laura [userpic]

Plane emergency lands in the Hudson River.

January 15th, 2009 (11:24 pm)
current song: "The Way We Were" - Barbra Streisand

This is absolutely incredible.  Miracles do happen, apparently through well-trained, skilled US Airways pilots.

Laura [userpic]

Tonys '08!

June 15th, 2008 (11:57 pm)
current song: "Turn Back, O Man" - Godspell

Tony Night is a holiday for me and tonight was no exception.  It's a night full of energy and squeeing; my mom pulls out the eye-rolling and her exasperated voice.  I don't know why she's always so surprised.  I do this every year.

The Best Leading Actress in a Musical Category was a tough one for me this year.  Do I think Patti LuPone deserved to win?  ABSOLUTELY!  She is a Broadway LEGEND with a stunning voice that can reduce me to tears.  Her performance of "Everything's Coming Up Roses" tonight was phenomenal; I was blown away.  However, I'm also a HUGE fan of Kelli O'Hara.  She's such a talented person with such a strong, pure voice; I believe she's the kind of actress Tonys were made for.  This was the third year that she was passed over, and I was sad about that, but I'm convinced she'll have her day.

Kristin Chenoweth presented Best Featured Actress in a Musical.  Hilarious!  "Winning a Tony is a thrill that 'defies gravity.'"  I loved how she hardly let herself finish the joke before she made fun of herself.  Wow.  Love her.  I almost have no words.  "Amazing" will do.  Also, "phenomenal."  I'm so glad that Laura Benanti won the category; besides being thrilled whenever someone named Laura wins a Tony, I think she's wonderful and her speech was so genuine and heartfelt.

Fellow Tony watchers and Broadway lovers, I want to hear your opinion on something.  Personally, I was not a fan of ANY of the nominated musicals tonight.  I was sorely disappointed.  What did you think?  I did, however, LOVE all of the revivals, especially South Pacific and Gypsy.

I was excited to see that Boeing-Boeing took home the Tony for Best Revival of a Play.  I wish I could see it!  :(  Mark Rylance also nabbed Best Leading Actor in a Play.  His speech cracked me up; what was THAT about?  The look on Mary McCormack's face was PRICELESS!  However, I am pretty devastated that Bradley Whitford (aka my boyfriend) did not present a televised award.  NOOOOO!!  But I did catch a couple of glimpses of him, including one awesome close-up.  That will have to do, I suppose.  Yeah, pretty upset.

I enjoyed the RENT tribute, although I thought it was a little rushed.  Loved when everyone started to cheer as soon as Idina started speaking.

Finally, anyone seen August: Osage County?  I'm intrigued.

Thoughts?  Concurring or contrary opinions?

Laura [userpic]

3 Angels Memorial Fund for ACD Research

April 15th, 2008 (06:04 pm)

Have Facebook?

Join the cause page for the 3 Angels Memorial Fund for ACD Research.  Lives shouldn't end before they can start.

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