Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

My Favorite Blog

Alright I have this new favorite blog and it’s pretty much the funniest thing ever.  It’s calledStuff White People Like and it’s freaking amazing.  Basically, it’s a blog that makes fun of the ridiculousness that is white people…or more specifically middle class to upper class white people.  It is under the guise of an anthropological study of white people and what makes them tick, and the thing of it is that it’s so completely right on it makes you laugh out loud while saying, I totally do that.  Everything from Outdoor Performance Clothes to Yoga are encompassed in this amazing study of white culture.  

This is everything a blog should be.  It’s funny, irreverent, and completely pointless.  Or is it pointless?  Isn’t it important to point out the ridiculousness of certain subsets of humanity?  Are blogs meant to be pointless?  Are they meant to be serious and interesting all the time?  
I wrote a blog about blogging on the booksoup blog the other day (wow, I think that’s the record for the most usages of the word blog in a single sentence), and I basically came to no conclusions about blogs.  What is the point of blogging?  Is it to make us known as writers, maybe someday we too can win an oscar and wear a leopard print dress and lots of awesome tattoos to Hollywood’s hottest night?  Is it to exist in the world of cyberspace (or whatever term we are using now), and thus exist in the world?  Whatever the reason, blogging does provide much needed entertainment in the infinite blog soup of people talking about their usually mundane lives (and I’m not taking myself out of this equation).  
Again, I am not going to come to any conclusions on blogging, but I will say this: much like film and books and t.v. we need both comedy and drama, both real and ironic blogs, and Stuff White People Like is the best of comedic irony, without being too much like a bad t.v. sitcom.  
Peace, Love, and Blogging about Blogging,
Julia

March 21, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Blogroll, Comedy, Computers, Culture, internet | 1 Comment

P.S.

I forgot to add that the most awesome thing ever was when the Military Personnel with their ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy announced the best short doc category and the lesbians won it.  That maybe more poetic than the stripper turned Oscar winner.   Operative word, Maybe

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Oscars | Leave a comment

And the Oscar Goes to…

So it’s my favorite night of the year and it’s coming to an end.  For me at least, for all those fools that won some big award it’s only just begun.  That’s right, on my way home from my friend’s house, I passed many men and women in fancy attire sliding glamorously out of black SUVs.  I said it last year, and I’ll say it again, it’s the weirdest thing to live in L.A. on Oscar Night.  Really it’s the weirdest thing to live in Hollywood.  

So here’s how my day went.  I got to work at like 8:30 (I traded shifts so I could get off in time to watch the ceremony).  Starting at about 8:35 the celebs started to pour into the bookstore.  John Waters, Randy Quaid, the guy nominated for best animated short, all milling around booksoup looking for books to read in the three hour limo line they have to wait in before getting out on the red carpet.  
Well, needless to say I was antsy and when 4:30 rolled around, I got my pizza and my beer and headed over to my friend Dan’s house to enjoy the festivities.  It must be said that Dan lives on Sunset and La Brea, the Oscars are on Hollywood and Highland.  Basically, he lives about three blocks away.  So as I was driving to his house I saw the good year blimp, a few dozen helicopters an lights lights lights.  
I also said this last year, but what I really love about the Academy Awards is that they remind me of why I love film so much.  This year, being the 80th Anniversary there were film clips of all the actors, actresses, directors and best pictures that came before these 80th ones.  These were my cry moments.  Watching Grace Kelly, Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Barbara Streisand, etc. in their moment of Oscar glory definitely brought more than one tear to my eye.  I thought that those video tributes were great.  
Before I go into highlights I must say that in the days leading up to Oscar I’d been talking with people about how excited I was, many of these people either work in the industry or want to work in the industry (i.e. they are writers who haven’t written anything…or anything good).  And there was one, rather appalling, trait these people had in common.  They all seem to disdain the Academy Awards.  Now this actually seems to permeate throughout many of the people I’ve met who work in and around Hollywood (not the city).  A lot of people who work in the industry seem to fucking hate movies.  Maybe they just like to put on a front, maybe they’re jealous, I don’t know, but I think that a love of film is a must for people who work in film.  Just my opinion, feel free to disagree.  Many of the people that I know hated almost every film that came out this year.  They hated No Country, they hated Juno, they hated There Will Be Blood, and I don’t care what you think of the actual story, but these are great films, they are indicative of great filmmaking.  I mean, whether or not you liked Juno, it combines excellent acting, an excellent script, and excellent direction.  Same goes for No Country For Old Men.  Same goes for Charlie Wilson’s War.  They are all great movies, it’s okay if you don’t like them.  I just never seem to get over the shock that so many people that work in or want to work in a certain industry would find such disdain for very talented people.  
Now the other thing that people were saying about the Academy Awards is that they are self-congratulatory bullshit.  Um, hello, it’s true.  But they are fun to watch.  I guess I have a problem with this too though.   I mean, this is essentially the film industry giving awards to excellence in film.  They also do this in literature, you may have heard of the Pulitzer or the Booker Prize.  So what, because it’s film it’s self-congratulatory.  Because people have more interest in seeing stars than in seeing Denis Johnson, the Oscars are not worth watching.  I’m sorry folks but that’s just the society we live in.  We all love watching the stars, we love watching them in their moment of Oscar Glory (and if you think about it there are only 4 acting awards so why are people so hot and bothered about actors patting each other on the back…actors are a small percentage of the people who vote for the Oscars).  I’m sorry, but again I have no patience.  The Oscars are a tradition, they’ve been around for 80 years now.  Just like teaching awards or world series champions, Oscar winners are (according to the Academy) the best in their profession, it just so happens that people like to watch these awards shows…and really is it surprising that the Awards show for Entertainment is Entertaining. That’s what I thought.
Now, on with the show.  Jon Stewart was amazing and hilarious and political, but not too political.  His joke about whenever a Black man or a Woman is President an asteroid is about to hit the Statue of Liberty, hilarious.  He brought up the writer’s strike, but didn’t alienate anyone, ehem producers, and welcomed everyone to enjoy Oscar night as the proverbial make up sex (though I’m sure later tonight there will be some not-so-proverbial make-up sex).  Katherine Heigel looked amazing, but shouldn’t have been there.  Amy Adams sang beautifully.  Kristen Chenoweth also sang beautifully and I love her so much, she’s so cute, but it was hard for me to watch her sing a Steven Schwartz song that wasn’t from Wicked, but oh well.  
The big upset of the night was Tilda Swinton winning Best Supporting Actress, which even I didn’t see coming.  I was pretty certain they would give it to Amy Ryan or Ruby Dee.  That being said Michael Clayton was the one movie I didn’t see this year so I can’t really talk.  In all honesty, I had the chance, I just didn’t quite care to see it.  
Some highlights of the best moments of the night.  When Marion Cotillard won I was super freaking excited, and, if you saw the looks on all the female actresses faces, they all thought she should’ve won too.  And it’s true.  I finally saw Away From Her last week.  Julie Christie was great, Marion was better.  She absolutely transformed herself.  It’s kind of crazy.  So anyway, exciting.  I loved that Dario Marianelli won for his Atonement score.  The movie is worth watching just for the score and the 5 minute plus oneshot that takes place on the beach in Dunkirk (not to mention it’s kind of good).  I loved that Helen Mirren ‘Knighted’ Daniel Day-Lewis when he won his Best Picture Oscar.  Of course I cried alot when Diablo Cody won.  And let’s take a moment for the poetry here.  The Academy is made up mainly of white men who are older than God.  Diablo Cody used to masturbate in front of people for money.  Thank you very much that’s called beauty.
Also, I love that they kept cutting to Laura Linney whenever a moving moment was happening.  What was that about?  I guess everyone else in the audience had botoxed beforehand so they didn’t have any expressions?  
I was definitely excited, but not shocked that Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis won.  Really, no one could touch them in this race, they were too good.  I also loved that the Coens were finally paid their dues.  They took home three Oscars.  Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture.  I’m sorry, they deserved it.  That movie was fantastic.  I also would like to add that I thought it was really cool that Cormac McCarthy was there.  If you don’t know, he’s normally a recluse.  But apparently he’s only a recluse when not going to the Oscars or the Oprah Winfrey Show, which, in a weird way, I totally respect.  
I loved that they let the lady who one for best song from Once back on the stage after they played her off.  I thought it was really classy of the Academy to let her make her little speech.  I mean, for many people you only win one so you’ve got to grab your moment. 
The most interesting moment to me was in the Best Picture category when Mr. Rudin who is generally known in Hollywood to be completely nuts came off as a really nice guy.  Apparently he’s a nice guy in his personal life, but there are stories of throwing laptops at assistants heads, leaving assistants on the side of the highway and saying you’re fired, walk home, etc. etc.  I always find it fascinating how people can have such a dual personality (this seems especially true in Hollywood).  
All in all it was a great Oscar ceremony.  My only disappointment was that Persepolis lost the Best Animated Feature category. It was amazing and so much better than Ratatouille (yes, I said it).  I loved watching the film actors try and fail to read off of a teleprompter.  I loved watching Diablo have her moment (I’d be lying if I said I always think that maybe someday I’ll have my moment up there on that stage).  Once again, I was reminded of why I love film.  It’s the moments where we truly celebrate how great this particular art can be.  So until next year remember, We’ll Always Have Paris, Good Night and Good Luck, Here’s Looking at You Kid, Hello Gorgeous, I’m ready for my close up Mr. DeMille, I’m Finished.  And if you didn’t like the Oscars then all I can say is Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. 
Peace, Love, and Little Naked Gold Men (who weigh a lot), 
Julia

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Music, Oprah Winfrey, Oscars, Parties | Leave a comment

Ding Dong the Strike is Done!

t’s finally over.  It only cost the city of Los Angeles $2 Billion.  And yes, the strike is done.  Everybody is going back to work, though, due to loss of funds, I gather not everybody is going back to work yet.  Also, I gather that many shows won’t be going back to work until July or August.  The negotiations finally came to a head about a week ago and the writers got a little more money and the producers got a bit of what they wanted…it was like a real life union meeting where things get done.  Now we just have to worry about the Actors who may very well go on strike in June (though they are already in negotiations).  We shall see, but until then, my favorite day of the year is on Sunday.  Sure, awards season has been ruined for the most part, but Sunday is the Oscars.  Hollywood Blvd. is shut down between Highland and La Brea, the red carpet is being laid out as we speak, the bleachers are up already.  And I have Sunday evening off.  

Never fear, my Oscar recap will be emailed out on Monday and I’ll be shedding a tear or two for my men the Coens who are sure to finally be recognized as the ridiculously talented filmmakers they are.  
Peace, Love, and Negotiation,

Julia

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Los Angeles | Leave a comment

The Future has a way of Arriving Unannouced.

So I’ve been avoiding this topic seeing as it’s all sort of up in the air right now, but it has been eating at my brain and I’ve just got to get it out.  The topic is, of course, Oscars.  Now I really don’t know what’s going on with the Oscars, as far as I’ve heard right now they are on.  I know the Academy is trying to barter with the writers to let them happen without a hitch, if this doesn’t work, the Screen Actors Guild will not attend.  That means that there will be no movie stars at the Oscars.  They will still happen and be broadcast, but the presenters will basically be studio big wigs (a.k.a. the ugly people who no one wants to see, but who are in charge of getting movies made).  That’s what I know so far and no, there is no end in sight to the strike.  

But that is not what I want to talk about.  I’ve alluded to this topic before, but really this year there’s no avoiding it.  We need to discuss the fact that the indie film has triumphed at the Oscars.  In fact, this year more than any other, the indie film has triumphed in the box office as well as at the awards ceremonies.  Scrolling through the list of Oscar Nominations, there are maybe a handful of nominations in the big categories (that would be acting, writing, directing, and best picture) that are studio movies.  There are actually four to be exact (Johnny Depp, Best Actor for Sweeney Todd, Ruby Dee, Best Supporting Actress for American Gangster, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Supporting Actor for Charlie Wilson’s War, and Brad Bird for Best Original Screenplay for Ratatoullie).  
The past couple years have seen a big increase on the amount of independent films that have been nominated for Academy Awards (not to mention Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Directors Guild America Awards, etc).  Last year I believe I mentioned that there were an unprecedented amount of nominated indie films, but last year also had The Departed, Dreamgirls, Blood Diamond, etc, all of which were big studio movies.  This year, the only studio movies that had a shot were Charlie Wilson’s War and American Gangster (you know Ridley Scott thought he had the Oscars won, but alas, the times they are a-changing), both of which were good (I especially loved Charlie Wilson’s) it’s just that they weren’t great.  There’s just no competing with No Country For Old Men or There Will Be Blood.  
The big ‘Oscar’ movie this year was supposed to be Atonement.  It’s got everything an Oscar movie is supposed to be.  Sweeping romance, tragedy, a five+ minute steadicam shot through the beaches at Dunkirk (this shot alone is worth the price of admission), and a twist ending that leaves the audience both shocked and thoroughly gut-wrenched.  Atonement was compared to Titanic (which is still tied with All About Eve with the most nominations of all time; 14 to be exact), a decade old Oscar favorite, it was touted as the best picture of the year by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (they give the Golden Globes), but come Oscar nomination time it garnered no nominations for acting or directing.  Now, I personally loved Atonement an think that Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy should have been nominated, but whatever, they wouldn’t have won anyway.  What really matters is that Atonement is an independent film.  Focus Features made it.  They made other indie favorites like Brokeback Mountain, Lost in Translation and Monsoon Wedding.  And this movie was being touted as an Oscar favorite.  
After the Golden Globes I was pretty certain Atonement would sweep for Oscar Nominations, though I didn’t think it would win a lot of them, I was sure it would be nominated in all major categories, but it wasn’t.  That means that films like Michael Clayton and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly made a showing in the big categories.  But the fact of the matter is this is the year where quality movie making finally matters.  It really matters, there aren’t any pity nominations (you know, the we snubbed you so many times we’re going to give it to you this time…hello, Martin Scorsese last year).  There aren’t any token big blockbuster nominations (which have been the staple for pretty much the entire life of the Academy).  This year, more than ever, it’s about quality. 
I’m not arguing that it wasn’t about quality before, it was just about quality and market appeal and money and all that stuff.  But this year too, the independent movie has made a bit of a comeback at the box office.  There’s always one or two indie films that are big hits at the box office, but this year it seems like most of them are holding steady at the box office.  Sure the winner is, hands down, Juno (which has recently surpassed the $100 million mark – pretty good for a film that only took $2 million to make), but No Country, There Will Be Blood, Atonement, and Michael Clayton all made a decent amount of money at the box office.  I think it’s finally getting to the point where America, on the whole appreciates a good film.  
So I’ll digress for just a moment and say that though I’m optimistic I heart a disturbing statistic the other day that stated the average American sees 7 films a year.  I want to know who these people are.  I see 7 films in a month or so.  I’m guessing the people who see 7 a year are the same people that made ‘Night at the Museum’ a huge financial success.  
Anyway, come oscar night there will be many certainties.  Daniel Day-Lewis, Diablo Cody, The Coen Brothers, Javier Bardem will all walk away with a golden statue (or they’ll have it sent to them, depending on what happens with the strike).  Best Picture is up in the air, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Atonement wins that (and I won’t be disappointed – I don’t think it was the Best Picture of the year, but I don’t know if the Academy has changed enough to give it to No Country for Old Men).  One more certainty this year: independent films have finally received the respect they deserve.  
Peace, Love, and Independent Cinema,

Julia

February 4, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movie Reviews, Movies, Oscars | Leave a comment

Los Angeles Caucus

Ah, it’s election time again.  Time for the ceaseless advertisements in newspapers, on television, on huge billboards all over the city.  That’s right folks, it’s election time in L.A.
Oh wait, you thought I was talking politics.  No no, we don’t really like politics in L.A.  Sure we pretend to care.  We go out and buy hybrid Lexus SUVs when Al Gore tells us to.  We love what excellent stories are coming out of the cocked up Bush Administration (wait until he’s gone, there will be 8 trillion movies about what a fucking disaster that was).  But really, here in L.A., we could give a fuck about politics.  We don’t care about Iowa or New Hampshire because right now we’re having our own election coverage.  It’s awards season and it’s time to vote.  Now, it’s been a year since my last golden globe/oscar recaps and I still have yet to be allowed into the vote…patience dear friends, patience.  However, living in L.A. means I’m inundated with advertisements telling me how fucking fantastic every single film that is out right now is.  I’m pretty sure Juno, No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Atonement, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Sweeney Todd are all the best movies of the year, as stated by every movie reviewer that has ever lived.

I never quite got how reviewers call every movie the best movie of the year.  Do you just not have discerning taste because I can pick which one I liked the best and I’ve seen all of them?  Is it the campaign funds?  Are the studios paying the critics (they’re certainly not paying the writers) to call every movie the best movie of the year (even the ones that are unbearable)?  What is up with that?

In my opinion there was only one best movie of the year and it was Juno, but I also know how people in Hollywood feel about comedies (the same way people in Washington feel about Hilary): How nice that it’s there, now we’re going to give this award to something that’s a little different (read: No Country for Old Men and Barack).

Now, like our Presidential races, we in Hollywood are having some set backs and some uncharted territory.  You might be aware that there’s a writers strike going on.  In fact, you might be aware that your favorite television shows are done, if not they’ve only got one or two episodes left.  I know, I know, you’re devastated that you won’t see what’s happening on House for the rest of the year…that’s right, they’re not coming back until next season and even then, we might be behind.  But what you may not know is that this is going to affect the awards shows.  I’m completely heartbroken.  Basically, the WGA agreed not to picket the Golden Globes if NBC didn’t air it on National Television.  NBC said that it has the right to film the Golden Globes and if they go on, they will film it and put it on T.V.  As of right now, the Golden Globes are set to go on.  What the hell does this mean?  It means that there will be a bunch of nobodies at the Golden Globes (I’m expecting my invitation any day…this might be the only year I get to go).  All the actors, who are in sympathy with the writers, will not be attending.  Plus, they can’t write anything for the Globes because they can’t use WGA writers.  So basically it will go something like this.  The nominees for best picture drama are __________________.    And the Globe goes to ____________________.   How thrilling.  The oscars will be the same way.  I’m trying to make it through this hard time but it hurts me deeply.

So yes, it could be that there is no Christmas for Julia this year.  No speeches that make me cry.  No watching Diablo Cody say something awesome about being a stripper in Minnesota (cold, don’t try it is what I gather) and winning an Academy Award (pretty sure she’ll be the first in history).  But perhaps the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will make some sort of deal with the WGA and be able to show the Oscars.  If Letterman did it, then the Academy should be able to, right?  I’m grasping for straws.  Shit.

Okay, well, I guess I’ll get to it.  Julia’s 2007 Award predictions:

Best Original Screenplay:
Diablo Cody for Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men

Best Director:
Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men, or
Tim Burton for Sweeny Todd
(neither of these folks has an Oscar or a Globe for this so I’m thinking it’s one or the others year)

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men, though I could see an upset as
Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (he was absolutely amazing in it).

Best Supporting Actress
There aren’t many stellar performances this year.  I could see it going to
Saoirse Ronan for Atonement but I could also see it going to a big hitter like
Cate Blanchett for I’m Not There or
Julia Roberts for Charlie Wilson’s War

Best Actor
It’s a toss up between
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (he’s so good, it’s unreal), but it could be the year that the Academy finally pulls it’s head out of it’s ass and gives it to
Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd…they do love giving awards to musicals (hello Catherine Zeta-Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Hudson, etc)

Best Actress
This is actually one of the hardest to call.  In my opinion they should throw it at
Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose.  No words can describe how good she is.  However, I could see the Academy giving it to
Kiera Knightly for Atonement to try and solidify her as a true leading lady (too bad she can’t seem to shake the period pieces).  I could also see them throwing it to
Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart because America has forgotten that she already has a fucking award and she sure as hell doesn’t deserve one for this movie, but it’s a political thing…who says we don’t care about politics?  Oh wait, me 😛  I could also see
Ellen Page for Juno upsetting this race.  I personally would be happy but Marion deserves it by far.  It’s just I don’t know if the Academy is going to give it to a French lady in a foreign movie (that’s only happened like two times, Roberto Benigni and someone else).

And last but not least,
Best Picture
This is hard to call.  Personally I think it will be
No Country for Old Men, but I could see
There Will Be Blood taking it.
I could see Juno upsetting, but I doubt it.  Also, I could see
Sweeney Todd upsetting, but I doubt it.
This race is down to No Country and There Will be Blood.
Personally I think No Country was the better of the two, but I could see either one taking it.

Alright kids, well, until next time, Barack the Vote.

Peace, Love, and Happy Campaigning,
Julia

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Awards Shows, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movie Reviews, Movies, Musicals, Oscars, Politics | Leave a comment

No Country for Bad Taste.

So I saw No Country for Old Men last night for the second time.  As before, it was fantastic, but this time I saw it with a bunch of people.  Now, I get that people have different tastes in film, in art, etc, but I respect some of those differences and (if we’re going to be honest) I judge for some of those differences.  That’s right.  Now I don’t judge on the big things, but I’ll tell you the truth.  If someone thinks a film like American Beauty is a piece of crap, I lose some respect.  There are very few things that are like this, but recently I’ve found a new one.  It’s No Country for Old Men.I get that it’s not a typical film.  But that’s really what makes it so awesome.  It’s really not a typical Coen Brothers film, and even though I love the Coen Brothers, that’s another thing that makes the movie so awesome.

So here’s the real deal.  A bunch of the people I saw the movie with said ‘what’s the point?’  No Country doesn’t really make it’s point like most movies do.  I mean, the underlying theme of the film is really truly underlying.  And everyone sort of zones out during Tommy Lee Jones’ final speech because they don’t know it’s his final speech, but that is where the whole point of the movie is.  I mean, it’s a movie about how an older generation becomes obsolete.  Yeah, it’s not happy.  Yeah, it’s almost taboo.  But you know what, like American Beauty, it’s a film that outlines an inherent truth, that at a certain point (this was even more true for Vietnam Vets in the ’80s) the older ways of functioning within a particular area of society out grow the older members of that same social demographic.

I think why I take such offense to people who don’t like the film is that, much like the book, which was also amazingly brilliant, the point is not splayed out, not spoon fed.  You don’t know much about the characters, just that they’re interesting, and you want to know more.  You don’t know who the real villains are, just that they are omnipresent.  I love that you have to work for the film to make sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fun movie.  I mean, you all know that my favorite movie is Clueless.  On the other hand, I also like when I have to work a little bit for a movie.  You know, like when art actually makes you think…I mean, isn’t that kind of the point?

I have to say the other reason I get really peeved is that many of the people that hated this movie are the ones that say they don’t want movies that are too realistic.  I mean, why do you need to see real life on screen, isn’t real life depressing enough?  I don’t know, I really don’t know what to think about that.  I really don’t know how to react to that kind of logic.  I mean, that’s like saying that the Mona Lisa should have never been painted, the statue of David never been made because we all know what real people look like.  And I’m sorry that’s just not a good argument.  I get that there are times for the realistic movies and times for the fantasy.  And as I have said before I’m a big fan of romantic comedies, which are complete fantasy.  I also see the importance of art being honest and real.

So here’s the deal.  See the movie, like, don’t like, just don’t tell me there’s not a point to it.  And do me a favor.  Read the book and see what an amazing adaptation the film is.  Then watch as the Coen Brothers win Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture…and watch Javier Bardem win Best Actor.

Peace, Love, and Chigurh,

Julia

December 9, 2007 Posted by | Awards Shows, Books, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Movie Reviews, Movies, Politics | 2 Comments

My Biggest Secret

Ok,
So this is what happens when I have more than an eight hour period
where I’m not working and that period doesn’t have to contain some
number of hours of sleep.  I’m letting you all in on one of my deep
dark secrets.

So when people first meet me, before they get to know me, as you all
do, I apparently come off as a complete bitch.  This may have
something to do with my extreme shyness (thank you mom) which wears
off when I start to get comfortable (thank you dad).

Now, I’m not the kind of person that cries during a movie.  There
aren’t many that bring me to tears and for t.v. it’s even worse.
Grey’s Anatomy is the only show in the past god knows how many years
to make me cry on a regular basis.  And has, in fact, been known to,
especially with this George’s dad dying storyline, render me a totally
blubbering puddle of girl.  Last week, I actually ended up sobbing in
a fetal position on my bed, rocking myself as if someone had beat me
with a 2×4.

That being said, I actually am not brought to tears very often in a
movie, while reading a book, watching a t.v. show, anything.  Call it
unhealthy, but I don’t really like to show emotion.  I see it as a
sign of weakness.

Now the one thing that brings me to tears every single time I watch
one is the Awards show.  It doesn’t really matter what awards show,
but I always cry at awards shows.  I cried at least twice during the
Golden Globes this year.  I cried when Reese won the Academy Award
last year.  I cried at the Katherine Hepburn memorial at the Academy
Awards a few years ago.  When all the people in the audience give a
standing ovation, I really loose it.  It’s just the most embarrassing
thing ever.

Well, I’m sure none of you watched the SAG Awards last night.  (SAG =
Screen Actors Guild).  But they were last night and they were ok.  As
far as Awards shows go, they’re not the most scintillating, but I like
them.  Basically, I like SAG because the actors vote for other actors
and who better to judge than people who do the same thing for a
living.

SAG’s are unpredictable because they are the least political of all
the awards shows.  The SAG awards are based on great acting, not
wanting to get back at David Geffen or whatever politics are behind
the Oscar Nominations.

So, last night’s SAG awards, though there was no big political
speeches (as has been known to happen in the Academy Awards) had some
nice moments.  Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) calling
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), America the Beautiful was an especially
cute moment.  And Annie Hathaway helping Dick Van Dyke give Julie
Andrews the Lifetime Achievement award was a great moment.  Not to
mention, the Mary Tyler Moore Show cast getting together on stage to
give the award for Best Ensemble Cast in a Comedy (went to the Office,
all you fans) was fantastic, and standing ovation made my eyes a
little wet.  My favorite part of that is seeing all of today’s T.V.
and Movie stars completely wide-eyed and star-struck.  I love seeing
stars get star-struck, it makes them real.

Of course, my favorite moments were when Chandra Wilson (Dr. Bailey
from Grey’s Anatomy) won for Best Supporting Actress.  And of Course
the entire Grey’s Anatomy cast for Best Ensemble Drama.  See this is
where I love the SAG awards, and where the Academy Fails.  Acting is
all about the Collaboration.  And I love the Ensemble awards.

Now, the moment that really actually left me in tears was the last
award, which is for Best Ensemble in a Film.  It went to LITTLE MISS
SUNSHINE.  If you haven’t seen it, please join us in 2007 and go to
Blockbuster or put it at the number 1 spot on your Netflix Queue
because it was, in my opinion, the best film of last year.  It’s an
absolutely perfect movie.  There’s not one thing wrong with it.  But,
I know that the academy threw the film a bone by giving it
nominations, and I’m pretty sure that it’s not really going to win any
academy awards (even though it deserves them).

So yes that’s right, when they announced that as the winner, I got
choked up and teared up.

And that, my friends, is a secret not too many people know.  I’m
pretty sure I’ve been able to hide it for all these years.  Don’t you
feel special for being in the know now.

Peace, Love, and Great Acting,

Julia

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Awards Shows, Grey's Anatomy, Hollywood, Movies, Oscars, Television | 1 Comment

The British Invasion Part…How Many Is It Now?

Well folks last night was the night for old country.  That’s right, in
case you missed it, the Golden Globes were last night and man were
they great.

The trend seemed to be Brits take all.  Hugh Laurie for House, Helen
Mirren for Elizabeth I and The Queen (I think it’s kind of awesome
that she won for playing both Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II, but that’s
the history geek in me coming out to play with my inner film geek).
Emily Blunt, Jeremy Irons, Sascha Baron Cohen, among others, all took
home little golden statutes, so to my Brits…I salute you.  About
damn time you all came and swept an American awards show, you
definitely deserve it more than we do.

For those of you who didn’t watch it (and I know who you are and there
will be hell to pay when you go to purgatory), here are my highlights
from the 2007 Golden Globes, live from the Bevely Hilton.

Can I just say Meryl Streep is a class act?  Her speech was awesome
awesome awesome.  She thanked the ladies in her category for taking
the great roles for women that there have been this year and making
going to the movies a worthwhile endeavor.  She was beautiful, she’s
the master, and starting today I will bow down and pray to her picture
once a day.  That’s all.

I have to give a little shout out to my employer PARAMOUNT PICTURES
who swept both best picture categories.  That’s right folks,
Paramount’s back in the game.  Babel took home best picture-drama and
Dreamgirls took Best Picture – Comedy or Musical.

Thank the lord that Martin Scorcese won his Globe…Oscar here we come.

Warren Beatty was incoherent (a side effect of the fact that actors
are given Champagne throughout the ceremony, I’m sure) but Tom Hanks
was charming as all hell as he was introducing him.

America Ferrera of Ugly Betty definitely made me cry (which is hard to
do).  She’s the sweetest little thing I ever did see and she’s like my
age which is amazing.  I absolutely love that the show is inspiring
girls to get past the importance of beauty bullshit and just be real,
deep, passionate, and loving people.  Way to go Betty!!!!!

Now the last shout out I have to give is to ABC.  The mid to late 90’s
was the reign of Must See TV on NBC, but the mid-2000’s are all ABC
folks.  ABC swept the major tv categories with Ugly Betty earning the
best comedy and my friends at GREY’S ANATOMY winning best drama.

Now, ABC holds a special little place in my heart because of the fact
that I got to work my first press tour for them on Sunday and I have
to say it was possibly the freaking coolest experience of my life.
For those of you who don’t know a press tour is where all the press
comes out to grill different shows and network people about the
upcoming lineup.

We started out at 7 am on Sunday Morning at the Ritz Carlton in
Pasadena.  My job was to get the cast of LOST to their interviews on
time.  I met Josh Holloway (Sawyer) and Daniel Dae Kim.  Ran into
Matthew Fox (a.k.a. Charlie from Party of Five).  Rubbed shoulders
with Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan, and follwed around the
Producers of Lost for an hour and a half.  It was great.

The last panel that went in front of the reporters was of the Show
Runners (the people who created and now run these shows).  Mark Cherry
(Desperate Housewives) and Shonda Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy) were my favs,
but all of the creators were extremely interesting.  One of my
favorite things that was said in the conference came from Mark Cherry
who said that the funniest note he ever got from Standards and
Practices (the censors) was from the first episode of Desperate
Housewives when Mrs. Soliz (Eva Longoria) and her 17 year old gardener
(Jesse Metcalf) are laying in a post-coital glow and she is smoking.
The note read ‘does she have to be smoking?’  To that Mark Cherry
responded, ‘so you’re ok with the statutory rape, but you’d rather she
not smoke?’  I thought it was awesome and just so spot on about how
absurd the censors are (thank you Janet Jackson for that).

My day however, turned into the most memorable day of my life when we
were designated as the sign holders to direct people to the big ABC
party that was happening after the press conference.  I was standing
near the check in so everyone who went to the party had to come by me.
 That means that I got to mingle with my heroes, my idols, and the
people I love to hate.  The biggest thrills of the night came from the
Grey’s Anatomy cast.  McSteamy is hotter in person than he is on film.
 Kate Walsh (a.k.a. Addison Montgomery-Shepard) is my favorite
character and she was sweet as hell.  Dr. Baily (Chandra Wilson) is so
little and has the cutest kid ever.  Isaiah Washington (Dr. Burke)
held a door open for me.  Sally Field may be 2 feet tall.  Calista
Flockhart still looks like she needs a sandwich.  America Ferrera is
sooooo cute.

But really I was Mesmerized by Jennifer Westfeldt.  Now I know none of
you know who she is, but she wrote one of my favorite movies of all
time…Kissing Jessica Stein, and she was awesome.

And that’s just breaking the surface.  Needless to say it’s been a
great two days between the ABC tour and the Golden Globes.  I feel
like you men feel after watching all those ridiculous bowl games you
insist on watching.

Peace, Love, and Great T.V.,

Julia

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Awards Shows, Brits, Hollywood, Movies, Television | Leave a comment

The Envelope Please.

I know what you’re thinking…two emails in one week (I only worked 8
hours today as opposed to the 12 I worked on Monday and the 16 I
worked on Tuesday).  And yes it’s true, but as I was sitting here,
watching Almost Famous for the 8 gajillionth time I realized that I
forgot to spread my joy at the season that is well upon us now.  No,
it’s not Christmas, nor is it joy for Hannukah, Kwaanza, Ramadan, or
any other holiday that we experience at this time of year.  No, this
is my favorite time of year because…wait for it, wait for
it…that’s right folks, awards season is upon us.  The Golden Globe
nominations are out.  Oscar voting is starting and with it comes
Julia’s Predictions for the 2007 Awards season.

My overall theme for this awards season is that this year will be the
year that the Academy recognizes the people that should have won
oscars long ago, but were overlooked due to politics.

That being said here they are, my predictions:

For the Golden Globes

Best Picture Drama – This could really go any way.  Bobby won’t win
and I don’t think Babel should (but it might).  My vote lies with The
Departed or The Queen, but this one’s a toss up.

Best Picture Comedy or Musical – Dreamgirls is going to take this one.
 The only upset could come from Little Miss Sunshine.  I highly doubt
Thank You for Smoking will win (though it’s awesome).  And there is
absolutely no way in hell the Hollywood Foriegn Press will give the
Devil Wears Prada or Borat an award for best picture.

Best Actor Drama – Like I said, giving awards to people who should
have won (in 1993 for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?).  Leo’s going to
take this one folks.  He’s nominated for Blood Diamond and the
Departed.  I’m not sure which one will win (probably Departed) but
Leo’s got this one wrapped up for sure.

Best Actress Drama – This is another toss up.  I’d assume Kate Winslet
for little Children since they’ve been snubbing her for years, but
Helen Mirren for The Queen could easily take it.

Best Actor Comedy or Musical – This is all Aaron Eckhart.  He carried
Thank You for Smoking and the only reason that movie worked (and it
worked so well) was because of him.  The only upset could come from
Will Ferrell in Stranger than Fiction (it’s great, go see it) and only
because the Foreign Press would want to recognize him as an actual
actor (though they probably won’t).

Actress Comedy or Musical – This is where we make up for not giving
Annette Benning control of the known universe (or a naked man statue)
for being spot on perfect in American Beauty.  I’ve said it before and
I’ll say it again.  Hilary Swank was great, Annette Benning was
absolutely perfect.  She’ll win for Running with Scissors but it won’t
be for her actual performance in that movie.

Supporting Actor – I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think it
should go to Ben Affleck.  He upstaged everyone in Hollywoodland
(including Diane Lane, Adrien Brody, and Bob Hoskins among others).
He was fantastic and he should win.  But he won’t.  It’ll go to Jack
Nicholson for Departed or Brad Pitt for Babel (completely undeserved,
that movie was not that good).

Supporting Actress – This is Jennifer Hudson’s.  She’s the lead
actress in Dreamgirls, but Beyonce is in the movie (though not much –
thank god) so they’ve put Hudson as Supporting.  Good news all around
because Beyonce will lose and Hudson will win.  Beyonce can sing, but
it ends there.  Hudson can sing and act (at the same time no less).
She’s got this one.  By the way, the movie is worth seeing just for
her.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of her the whole time.  This is
Hudson’s category.

Best Director – This is Scorcese’s, but not for the Departed.  This
award will go to Scorcese for Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Casino, Cape
Fear, Raging Bull, Alice doesn’t live here anymore, and Mean Streets.

Golden Globes do T.V. also…here they are:

Best Drama – Should go to Grey’s Anatomy, but probably won’t.  I’d
guess Big Love (lord knows they love HBO shows) or 24.

Best Comedy – Entourage, Ugly Betty or Weeds.  They might give this to
Betty to show support, but Entourage should win.

Actor Comedy – It’s between Steve Carrell for the Office and Tony
Shaloub for Monk.  Could go to either one (I don’t watch either
because I pretty much think that comedies on Network Television no
longer work.  Comedies pretty much have to be on HBO to be funny
anymore).

Actress Comedy – I’d say this is between America Ferrera for Ugly
Betty and Mary-Louise Parker for Weeds.  They’re both great, but I’ll
bet they give it to America Ferrera to show support for Betty.  Plus,
Mary-Louise won it last year against all the ladies from Wysteria
Lane.  (that was a great T.V. moment, when she didn’t think she was
going to win, drank too much champagne and had to give her acceptance
speech totall blitzed.  This is why you watch the Golden Globes…they
feed the actor alcohol through the whole thing…very entertaining.)

Best Actress Drama – I think Ellen Pompeo should win for Grey’s
Anatomy and her only real competition is Edie Falco for the Sopranos
(they might give it to her because it’s the last year).

Best Actor Drama – This is really really up for grabs.  I’d guess that
they won’t give it to Kiefer Sutherland again for 24, but it’s
entirely possible.  Patrick Dempsey is certainly McDreamy, but Grey’s
Anatomy is a show that’s really going to have to earn it’s wins (like
the actors in Friends), Dexter and Big Love were both HUGE for
Showtime and HBO (respectively) so it could go to Michael Hall or Bill
Paxton.  And Hugh Laurie is much beloved in House (though I suggest
renting Black Adder because it’s hilarious and he’s hilarious).  I
love the McDreamy so I’m rooting for my man Patrick on this one.  His
hair is just too good to not have a Golden Globe to go with it.

Supporting Actor for T.V. – Jeremy Piven for Entourage or Justin Kirk
for Weeds.  I’d guess Jeremy Piven since he just won a well deserved
emmy.  He’s spot on…that’s what agents are really like
people…fucking smarmy bastards.

Supporting Actress T.V. – I am wishing, hoping and praying that Sarah
Paulson wins for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  It’s an absolute
tragedy that it was overlooked in all the other categories because
it’s the best new show on T.V. (it might actually be the best show on
t.v.)  Katherine Heigel from Grey’s has a good chance, but Elizabeth
Perkins may be unbeatable for her perfomance in Weeds.  She’s just
fucking brilliant and such a heinous cow on that show.  It’s awesome.

Ok, well those are my Globe predictions.  I have high hopes.  As for
the Oscars, we’ll wait and see, but I’ll tell you this.  Leonardo
DiCaprio will win an Oscar.  Annette Benning will win an Oscar
(finally).  Martin Scorcese will win an Oscar (they should give him
like 5).

And for those of you who don’t watch T.V. or, like my mother, think
it’s all crap, I’ll only say this.  Rent Season 1 of Grey’s Anatomy.
Rent Season 1 of Weeds.  Rent Entourage.  AND WATCH STUDIO 60 ON THE
SUNSET STRIP.  I guarantee they will change your mind.  They’re better
than most movies.

And remember, ‘never take it seriously.  If you never take it
seriously, you never get hurt.  If you never get hurt, you always have
fun.  And if you ever get lonely…you just go to the record store and
visit your friends’ – Penny Lane, Almost Famous.

Love, Peace, and good fucking entertainment.  Happy Awards Season (and
Happy Holidays),

Julia

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Awards Shows, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Oscars, Television | Leave a comment