Clear eyes, full hearts

20110919-122701.jpg

Didn’t lose.

Advertisements

Hollywood’s biggest night: A delayed live blog

I don’t have the technology (i.e. a laptop) for a live blog, but I did jot down some thoughts…ok, a LOT of thoughts, last night while watching the Oscars. Just pretend you’re reading this on Sunday night.

  • OMG! NPH!
  • Wow, Alex and Steve are actually funny. I can’t believe I’m laughing out loud.
  • George Clooney + long hair = HOT.
  • T- Bone Burnett looks pretty badass.
  • Aw, Coraline should have won best animated film. It kicked ass.
  • Tina Fey looks beautiful!
  • Why are all the men wearing sunglasses?
  • Why is Molly Ringwald at the Oscars? Oh. John Hughes tribute. This is going to be sad.
  • Yep, totally made me cry. His films are so much more than they seem to be. But why no clips from Uncle Buck?
  • Very cool to have successful feature directors talk about their short films. Better way to get the audience to care than nominating 10 for best picture.
  • Nick Park! I love Wallace and Gromit!
  • Why did that woman interrupt the director of the best short doc winner? Worst. Speech. Ever. (Update: You can find out why here. Stay classy, Elinor Burkett.)
  • Why does Ben Stiller always make an ass of himself at award shows? Just say no, Ben.
  • I really wanted to see A Serious Man, but I think it was in theaters for like, a week.
  • Up in the Air is the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. I bet it wins adapted screenplay, but I’d like to see it win best picture.
  • Ooh – it went to Precious. Maybe there’s hope for Up in the Air after all.
  • Morgan Freeman looks underwhelmed to be there.
  • I don’t understand the world’s obsession with Penelope Cruz. She just bugs.
  • Sigourney Weaver has been eaten by her dress.
  • I am SO NOT interested in seeing Precious. There, I said it.
  • Is Edward Scissorhands a horror film?
  • I don’t know enough about sound in film, but it seems like if you win for sound editing, you should also win for mixing. Looks like the academy agrees. The Hurt Locker – 3; Avatar – 1. (Update: At this point in the night, I started rooting for The Hurt Locker to take it.)
  • Elizabeth Banks, I love your dress! Tim Gunn would approve.
  • Damn, The Hurt Locker – 3; Avatar -2.
  • Oh, In Memoriam, my fave. I hope they don’t fuck it up like last year.
  • No, this way isn’t very good either. Too fast and too much info on the screen.
  • Aw, Natasha Richardson.
  • A Commercial for Happy Town. The only reason I’m interested in watching that is for the amazing Amy Acker.
  • These dancers are a lot better than the ones on the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies.
  • Why isn’t the audience on their feet? That was amazing!
  • Avatar gains again. But it is for visual effects, so I’ll give it that. You win this time, Cameron.
  • Ooh! Modern Family commercial just for the Oscars! If anyone hasn’t seen this show, you’re really missing out.
  • Matt Damon was 27 when he won that Oscar? Damn. Now I feel inadequate. About to turn 29, and no Oscar.
  • I know I should see Food, Inc., but then I’d never eat again.
  • Fisher Stevens? What??
  • Woo! The Hurt Locker pulls ahead again in editing.  HL – 4; Avatar – 3.
  • I know it’s going to Jeff Bridges, but I’d love to see George Clooney or Jeremy Renner take home best actor.
  • Nice idea, but these pre-actor speeches are WAY too long.
  • Oh, God. Oprah. We’ll be here forever.
  • Michael Sheen! I love him more than anyone.
  • I really want Meryl Streep to win. She broke my heart in Julie and Julia.
  • I’m still not over Sean Penn beating Mickey Rourke last year.
  • Seriously, who the fuck calls themself Sapphire? Ugh.
  • KATHRYN BIGALOW – WOO! Suck it, Cameron! (But seriously – so deserved – The Hurt Locker is amazing.)
  • There is never a time I’m not happy to see Tom Hanks.
  • Holy crap! The Hurt Locker takes it all! Woooo!!
  • Man, I’m glad I saw The Hurt Locker last night. Good timing, self.
  • Thank you and good night!

Short takes

  • Sorry, Jon Cryer. But REALLY? WTF, Emmy people? If NPH had lost to Rainn Wilson or one of the 30 Rock guys, I’d understand. But John Cryer??  Other than that (and Dexter‘s snub…again) I was pretty okay with the outcome of the Emmys. If Drew Barrymore couldn’t have won for playing Little Edie in Grey Gardens, then Jessica Lange was a good choice. And, obviously, NPH rocked it as host. Can he just host everything now, ever?

I mean, really. And I don’t even think I need to mention Dr. Horrible hijacking the ceremony. Awesomesauce.

  • Speaking of Dexter, I’ve seen the season 4 premiere. Without giving anything away: YOWZA! It’s a doozy, and it’s wonderful, and I’m so glad it’s back. Or will be, officially, on Sunday. Also, note to viewers: This season promises to be creepier than the last two. I got used to being able to watch it alone in the dark. Umm, maybe don’t do that this season. I had to take my teddy bear with me for protection to the kitchen and bathroom after watching it alone, in the dark, in my room, at night.
  • For anyone in the DC area: The National Book Festival is this weekend, on the mall. And before you scoff, let me tell you that both Mr. John Irving and Ms. Judy Blume will be there. I’ll give you ladies a moment to calm down, because JUDY BLUME! I feel like I owe it to my former pre-teen self to go. She did after all, write one of my favorite books of all time.  
  • Glee continues to be fantastic. Did everyone see last night’s episode? I have three words: “Yes, we cane.” Brilliant.
  • Both HIMYM and Big Bang Theory had delightful premiers. And umm…excuse me for a minute while I reveal my inner fangirl: ROBINANDBARNEYOMGSOCUTE! There. Also, I’m still laughing at the emoticon jokes from Big Bang.
  • So, in other words, yay fall TV!

Video of the Day: One of my favorite things ever. Also, I read a rumor that David Hyde Pierce was on the shortlist of people to play Albert in the Birdie revival, and a small part of me died. Honestly, he’s not the right type, physically, and he’s probably a bit too old, but still.  Anyway, this and “Show People” from Curtains are my current go-to songs for a.) getting psyched and b.) making me happy. My favorite part is the terrible dancing combined with the bouncing hair.

Emmys!

Be sure to watch tonight, at 8/7 central on CBS. Last year’s ratings were terrible (as was the show, really, except for Tina Fey’s acceptance speeches), but this year promises to be awesome with host Neil Patrick Harris. Word on the street is, he might do something from the (Emmy winning!) Dr. Horrible! That alone should be reason enough to tune in.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for How I Met Your Mother for best comedy, NPH for supporting actor, Jim Parsons for lead actor, Grey Gardens for miniseries, Drew Barrymore for actress in a miniseries, and my man Michael C. Hall for actor in a drama. But I have a horrible track record with award shows; what I want to win never does. Who knows, maybe this will be the year. (Yes, I say that every year, and yes, I am always wrong.)

Video of the Day: Dr. Horrible in the Emmy houuuuseeee! I don’t really care what song they do, but this is my favorite.

“Valium is my favorite color. How’d you know?”

J_Robert_Spencer_and_Aaron_Tveit_sm

Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing Next to Normal at the Booth Theater in New York. I haven’t written about the show, mostly because I can’t say much without spoiling it for future theater-goers. My friend and I went in knowing very little about the show, and that’s the way to see it.

Here’s what I can tell you: The show is about a woman named Diana struggling with depression and mental illness, and how this affects her family. Her husband just wants things to be normal, loves his wife unconditionally, and is frustrated that she is unable to return to her former self. Her daughter is a perfectionist, eager to get a scholarship to college and flee her family. Her son is, as Diana puts it, “a little shit.” Throughout the show, Diana goes through a variety of treatments; some help, some don’t.

Despite the depressing plot, it’s actually a very funny show. Diana, who knows she is sick, has a sarcastic self-awareness. Likewise, her daughter Natalie has inherited Diana’s quick wit.

It’s also sad, and the most heartbreaking character of all is Diana’s husband, Dan, played to perfection by J. Robert Spencer. There’s been a lot of hoopla about Alice Ripley’s performance. And yeah, she’s very good. I can see why she won the Tony this year. But to me, the real hero in this ensemble is Spencer. I’m not an actor, and I wouldn’t presume to know anything about playing a character struggling with depression. However, it’s one of those roles that garners attention. It’d be easy for the person playing the foil to be cast aside. Spencer does not let this happen. He holds his own against Ripley, and gives one of the best, most convincing performances I’ve ever seen. Watching Dan struggle to keep his family together broke my heart. And, without giving too much away, there is a scene in the second act between Dan and his son, Gabe, that brought me to tears. (See picture above) In fact, I still get teared up listening to it on my iPod.

Those kids were cute on the Tony Awards, and I’m dying to see Billy Elliot, but Spencer was seriously robbed this year. He should have won.

And really, that’s all I can say about the show. Everyone should go see it. It’s heavy, but not in-your-face. It will make you think. It will move you. But, much like Rent (also directed by Michael Greif), it leaves the audience feeling hopeful, and ready to live life to the fullest. (Cliche? Maybe. But it’s true.)

Oh yeah, and the music is incredible. I can’t get the score out of my head.

Here’s a little taste – here is one of my favorite songs from the first act. 

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go listen to the cast recording for the second time today.

Emmy Nominations: The Good, The Bad and The Snubbed

Well, folks, the 2009 Emmy nominations came out yesterday, and as usual, there’s the expected (30 Rock), the unexpected (Jim Parsons!), the ridiculously snubbed (FNL, and though I’ve never seen it, Battlestar) and the mercifully snubbed (suck it, Piven!)

Believe it or not, I’m mostly ok with this list. There are some egregious snubs, which I’ll get to in a sec, but there’s also some unexpected delights.

The bad:

– It is ludicrous that Connie Britton didn’t get an nomination – and after switching over to supporting actress, even! I know that FNL is an off-the-beaten-path kind of show that shoots in Texas and not in Hollywood, and it’s probably off the radar for a lot of voters. But after seeing episode 4 of this season, in which Tami and Eric debate buying a new house, I don’t know how she could possibly have been left off the list. (This clip is, maddeningly, not available online, so here’s another great scene from this season.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

– Also oddly snubbed? Amy Ryan for outstanding guest actress on The Office. I’ll give them the Tina Fey SNL nom, but Christine Baranski and Jennifer Aniston over Amy Ryan? I love them all, but Ryan was the clear pick, here. Anyone who can make Michael Scott a human being with feelings deserves some acclaim.

– While I love Rainn Wilson, I would have rather seen The Office nomination go to John Krasinski. Or better yet, skip The Office all together and give it to Jason Segal for HIMYM. If you must include Rainn Wilson, fine, but what’s up with Kevin Dillon? Granted, I haven’t watched Entourage in years, but from everything I’ve read, the show is a distant memory of its former self. While we’re on HIMYM, no love for Cobie Smulders or Alyson Hannigan? Really?

– I kind of can’t believe the Beau Bridges nomination. It was a nice episode (yes, I watch Desperate Housewives. Shut up.) but not Emmy-worthy. Ditto with Steve Martin. If it’s protocol to honor guest stars from 30 Rock, why not give a shout out to Dean Winters, who plays the always  hilarious “Beeper King” Dennis Duffy? All together now, “Sub-way He-ro!”

– I have no real gripes about the drama nominations, mostly because I don’t watch many of the nominated shows. However, I was definitely bummed the supporting cast of Dexter didn’t get any recognition. Sure, Michael C. Hall is the best part of the show, but it has an extraordinary supporting cast. Were I in charge, I would have recognized Julie Benz as Rita and Lauren Velez as Lt. Laguerta.

The good:
– NPH! And no Piven to upset! This is his year, right? RIGHT?

– Jim Parsons! I only discovered The Big Bang Theory this year, but Sheldon is by far my favorite character. Dude makes the show.

Dr. Horrible! Wait, what? Yes, it’s true. They made up some new category, and I don’t fully understand the title (“Outstanding Special Class – Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs”….what?) but I’m thrilled the little Internet TV Sensation That Could is getting some major recognition. That’s good for Joss, for the Internet, AND for all the filmmakers out there who are trying to make it without studio backing.

HIMYM for best comedy! Even if it doesn’t win (and we all know it’ll go to 30 Rock) I’m glad it’s being recognized, because it truly is outstanding.

– All the Grey Gardens nominations. They were inevitable, but still, SO deserved. I don’t know how the academy will pick between Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Hopefully, if they can’t decide, both ladies will take home a statue, instead of canceling each other out. I tried to find some clips for those who didn’t catch the film, but nothing really gave it justice. It’s out on DVD now; go rent it. If you get through the ending without crying buckets, you’re as soulless as Dexter Morgan.

My picks for the major nominations.

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Big Love
Damages
Dexter
House
Lost
Mad Men
Dexter, all the way. Granted, I don’t watch the other shows, so I am biased. But Dexter has been captivating from episode 1. Any show that can turn a killer’s confession into a marriage proposal (see below) is top notch in my book.

BEST ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Again, I’m going with Dexter, though I realize Michael C. Hall probably won’t win. I’ve heard great things about all these guys. But it takes a lot of skill to turn a serial killer into a lovable, even funny, character, while still being scary as hell. And Hall gets extra props this year for dealing treading the line between “family man” and “psychopath.” (Though he is at his most fun when he returns to his crazy killing roots.)

BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
I don’t watch any of these shows, and have no opinion.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Rose Byrne, Damages
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Hope Davis, In Treatment
Cherry Jones, 24
Ditto – though I did just see Cherry Jones on a theater panel, where she was wonderful. But again, I don’t watch these shows.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men
Well, duh. NPH! I tried to find some of his best stuff from season 4, but HIMYM is also noticeably absent from YouTube. However, I think this pretty much says it all:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
William Shatner, Boston Legal
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
William Hurt, Damages
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men
Again, no opinion.

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Entourage
Family Guy
Flight Of The Conchords

How I Met Your Mother
The Office
30 Rock
This is a tough one. The Office saw a resurgence this year with the Michael Scott Paper Company plot line and Amy Ryan. 30 Rock is always amazing, and lest we forget, they had a Mamma Mia this year! However, I’m going to go with HIMYM, because it’s been deserving of a nomination since season 1, and 30 Rock and The Office have had their days in the sun.

BEST ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Jemaine Clement, Flight Of The Conchords
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Charlie Sheen, Two And A Half Men
I love Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell. But I’m going with Jim Parsons, because, as I said before, he makes the show. But really, I’d be happy if any of those 3 men won. Just as long as it’s not Tony Shaloub or Charlie Sheen.

BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures Of Old Christine
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Show
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States Of Tara
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Sorry haters, I’ve gotta go with Tina Fey. I hear MLP is amazing, I love Toni Collette, and Christina Applegate was hilarious as Rachel’s sister on Friends. But Tina Fey makes me laugh week after week. Also, what single gal my age doesn’t want to be Liz Lemon, just a little? In celebration of awkward, nerdy girls everywhere, here’s the best of Liz Lemon, as stated by…some person on YouTube with lots of time.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

I have no real favorite here, but it’d be nice to see Kristin Chenoweth win for Pushing Daisies. I liked the show a lot – not as much as some fans, but a lot. However, for me it wasn’t Ned and Chuck. I was all about Olive Snook. (And also, the idea of Olive and Ned. Shh. Tell no one.)

The only thing I’ll say about the reality categories is I hope American Idol wins. Just because…look at the impact it has every year. I love Project Runway as much as the next person, (and would be thrilled if it won) but I think AI deserves some Emmy love.

And in terms of Variety or Talk Show…I am torn between Colbert and Stewart. Jon Stewart had Hall and Oats. But Colbert had Cookie Monster. Decisions, decisions.

So what are your thoughts? Did I get anything wrong? Are there any shows I don’t watch that I should? (Besides Mad Men. I already know. Oh, and Lost, because the reality is, I’m never going to watch that show. Sorry, Internet.)

For a full list of nominations, including best title sequence (do they still have those), best cinematography for a single camera show, and best lackey, go here.

Two for two

This is old news by now, but I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and say: YAY! NPH is hosting the Emmys! Also, it appears I am quite predictable. On the day this was announced, I got not one but TWO texts from people delivering the news. What can I say? I am what I am…. That’s Popeye. (Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference.)

I’m excited about this, but I also hope it doesn’t hurt his chances of a nomination and/or a win. Anyone who watches HIMYM knows he’s at least worthy of a nomination. And IMO, a win, but so far the Emmy people haven’t agreed. But what do they know? They give Jeremy Piven awards just for breathing. And Martin Sheen didn’t win in all the 7 years The West Wing was on the air. And have they never watched Dexter? Why diss Michael C. Hall ever year, and not even recognize Dexter‘s amazing supporting cast? And don’t even get me STARTED on Friday Night Lights.

Even so, I love the show and watch ever year. (And every year, I’m disappointed.) At least this year will have a good host.

Video of the Day:

In honor of the news, here’s one of my favorite NPH clips. Makes me laugh every time.