The Revenant

Let’s start with the nominations. This film is nominated for 12 Academy Awards and deserving of all of them: Best Picture, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Supporting Actor for Tom Hardy, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.

The Revenant should truly be experienced in the theater. The beauty and scope of the cinematography will lose so much on a smaller screen, so I beg you to get to a movie theater while it’s still playing! I don’t know if it will take Best Picture (it’s neck and neck with Spotlight), but I really think this will finally be Leo’s year. He’s always brilliant, and my favorite actor, actually, but this was a physically and emotionally brutal performance, beyond anything he’s done in the past. Tom Hardy is excellent also, which is no surprise. This is his first nomination, and I’m sure there are plenty to come. “That bear scene” is as intense as you can imagine, despite being digital, but there were so many other moments where I also thought, “How in the hell did they film that?!?!”. I didn’t appreciate Birdman, but I am in awe of how Alejandro G. Inarritu brought this survival story to life in these conditions, and filmed it all in natural light! It’s breathtaking, and violent, and exhausting, and should not be missed.

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Oscar Party Ideas: Week 1- Food & Drink

Popcorn is always a hit, and these vintage red and white boxes are a fun way to serve it. (You can usually find these in your local grocery store or party stores.) Get creative with seasonings and such via Pinterest boards, and stock up on a variety of $1 movie theater candy boxes for something sweet. Depending on how big you want to go, you can also do a full meal or potluck with Oscar-themed food. Think “shrimp on the barbie” for Mad Max, a traditional Irish dish for Brooklyn, or Philly cheesesteaks for Creed. (Maybe not bison liver, though. Sorry, Leo.) Champagne is always a classic for the night, but you can also do a soda and sparkling water bar for those who don’t wish to indulge.

More to come…

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Recent midseason premieres:

You, Me and the Apocalypse: This new NBC dramedy is a bit too oddball for me. I couldn’t get into the pilot, despite my love for Jenna Fischer and Megan Mullaly (who looks shockingly different with blonde hair, btw).

The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: Worth every ounce of hype. Fantastic performances–I can already see the awards for Sarah Paulson and Courtney B.Vance. I really enjoyed Ryan Murphy’s direction and the amazing attention to detail of the sets and locations. Even if you think you don’t want to relive this trial, give it a chance and at least watch the pilot. This is just good TV, plain and simple.

Grease: Live: Tons of fun, with a stand out performance from Vanessa Hudgens. This is going to be a game-changer for live musicals, now that they’ve expanded the size and use of sets. The Wiz Live! was a step up in terms of talent, but this took it to a whole other level. If you missed it, you can still catch it on Hulu or Fox.com.

Dater’s Handbook: Hallmark Channel is running their annual Countdown to Valentine’s Day with new movies playing every Saturday night at 9/8c, along with other favorites over the weekends. (Their weekday schedule is the normal sitcom reruns, etc.) Not my favorite holiday, but I do love any excuse to watch sappy Hallmark movies. One of the better ones they’re showing right now is Dater’s Handbook, starring Meghan Markle (Suits) and Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected). Yes, it’s predictable, but the acting is much more natural than most.

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