Friday, 29 January 2010

I'm not sure why I like this shoot so much. Maybe it's the stunning make-up. Maybe it's the stunning clothes. Maybe it's the beautiful lighting. Or maybe it's the way it looks like a Marionette puppet at a wedding. Either way, I think it's gorgeous. Et tu?










Photographer: Sølve Sundsbø
Model: Coco Rocha
Magazine: Numero

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

let's talk

There are times when there are essays and translations and classes and tutes and ten thousand books and you decide you can't be assed and shove them to one side and then realise you still have to tidy up your room and cook for yourself...and you can't cook half the Iranian food you want to 'cos kitchen facilities are ridiculously limited and you're fed up of English food and miss the 'rents and everything is just, in the wise words of Phoebe Buffay, floopy.



Weirdly enough, Coldplay quite helps at times like this. Strange, huh?

Oh brother I can't, I can't get through
I've been trying hard to reach you, cause I don't know what to do
Oh brother I can't believe it's true
I'm so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you
Oh I wanna talk to you
You can take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done

Are you lost or incomplete?
Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?
Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak
And they're talking it to me

So you take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done
Do something that's never been done

So you don't know where you're going, and you wanna talk
And you feel like you're going where you've been before
You tell anyone who'll listen but you feel ignored
Nothing's really making any sense at all
Let's talk, let's talk
Let's talk, let's talk

Heard this song today while studying in a café and just had time to scribble in the future where will I be on my hand before the song passed and my attention wandered back to my book. Now, I realise how perfectly suited to my mood it is - I feel somehow comforted.

Oh, by the way, I'm in Oxford right? Amazing university, student-town, one of the most academic places in the world? So why is it so fricking hard to find a book in a library? Had a craving to try a Madeleine l'Engle book today but there are none, except in the Bodleian, a reference-only library. Although actually, spending this Saturday in a 400 year-old library reading in peace sounds rather lovely :)

Monday, 25 January 2010

Nine

Given my intense love for Chicago, I walked into Nine with high expectations, yet also with slight trepidation given the sudden wave of negative reviews over the past few weeks. Luckily however, I wasn't disappointed - I found Nine to be an incredibly entertaining film that acheived, more or less, what it tried to.



I should start by pointing out that I love Chicago more. Chicago is in my top whatever list of films, it struck a chord the very first time I watched it and I've loved it since. Nine didn't reach the perfection that Chicago created, but in my opinion it did very well, mainly because of it's incredibly strong cast. Honestly, it's almost ridiculous how good the cast is. Daniel Day Lewis, supported and often surpassed by Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Fergie, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson and Sofia Loren. Out of this amazing list of Oscar winners and nominees, Marion Cotillard stood out the most to me. Playing the part of his wife, she touchingly and sensitively portrayed a frustrated and sensitive woman, once her husband's muse and lover, and now shoved aside to one corner to simply play the part of wife. Cotillard played her character with elegance and dignity, yet also incredibly passionately, especially in her musical numbers where she shows both her anger and conflictingly, he continuing love for her husband despite his many mistakes and faults.



Aside from Cotiallard, the performance that most impressed me, somewhat surprisingly, was Fergie's. Her role as the prostitute from Guido's (Day Lewis) youth is small, yet she completely steals the scene she is in and belts out the iconic song "Be Italian" with almost exactly the same energy and passion Catherine Zeta Jones played Velma Kelly. I'm quite surprised she didn't receive any recognition for her role. The rest of the cast are very good too, Day Lewis sometimes fades slightly among so many talented women, but through no fault of his own, he plays his part well. Sofia Loren is regal and beautiful (as always) and Judi Dench can do no wrong. Cruz's performance was very good, but not as good as last year's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and again, among so many other talented women, she didn't impress me particularly. Kate Hudson and Nicole Kidman were to me rather supefluous. I'm not particularly enamoured of either actress and I thought their roles seemed quite extra - Hudson in particular, while she acted well, seemed just too much, and I didn't like the modern feel of her dance sequence (Cinema Italiano), her character didn't feel like it fitted into the film, whereas Fergie's character, while perhaps more irrelevant to the plot line, fitted perfectly with the tone.



The rest of the film worked well too. While the script didn't particularly leap out during the film, I loved the exploration of themes such as love, fidelity, obsession, art and life, and featured a wonderful ending scene. The music was naturally brilliant, although none of the songs were as amazing as Chicago's soundtrack, and the art direction was beautiful. Like his previous film, Rob Marshall used dream sequences to transfer the action from real life to a film set (whereas Chicago used theatre setting) emphasising the importance of the film studio for Guido. I also loved the marriage between past and future, often Guido's younger self would be running in the background, even interacting with the older Guido himself. The marriage between realism and surrealism, love and anger, art and practicality and young and old kept the film multi layered and original.



The film wasn't without flaws. As said before, some characters were superfluous, and at times it seemed to suffer from lack of direction, although perhaps this was purposefully created to mirror Guido's lost character, either way, it was by no means a perfect film. But it was certainly entertaining, and featured some stunning performances in an otherwise very good film. Would definitely recommend it if you're planning to visit le cinéma.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Bafta Nominations

As usual, what I think will win in italics, although as the list goes on this will start tending towards what I think ought to win.

Best Film

Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Precious
An Education
Up in the Air

Quite predictable as Bafta goes. They usually squeeze a British film in that other awards may ignore in terms of Best Picture, in this case I'm glad they did - I loved An Education and thought it was one of the best films of the year. Where is Invictus though?? Given the fact it got NO nominations, I'm gonna assume it just wasn't eligible, I'm sure it would have been nominated otherwise. I'm going for Up in the Air as I don't think the Baftas will award the glitzy Avatar that highly, and probably won't give it to An Education as it was quite small and not awfully recent.



Outstanding British Film

An Education
Fish Tank
Moon
Nowhere Boy
In the Loop

Eek, this is quite a close race. All of these films have done well!! I'd like An Education to win (actually I'd like it to win Best Picture) but I think In the Loop will. Possibly Fishtank...

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer

Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock and David Pearson - directors and producers of Mugabe and the White African
Eran Creevy - writer/director of Shifty
Stuart Hazeldine - writer/director on Exam
Duncan Jones - director of Moon
Sam Taylor-Wood - director of Nowhere Boy

I have literally no idea. Nowhere Boy has been getting a lot of praise??

Best Director

James Cameron - Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Neill Blomkamp - District 9
Lone Scherfig - An Education
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Am so so surprised to see District 9 up there...I think it's a close race between Bigelow and Cameron, while I loved Avatar, I think The Hurt Locker will get it for that extra gritty edge.

Original Screenplay

The Hurt Locker
The Hangover
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up

Oh my gosh, Pixar got nominated for Screenplay!! Good times...oh my lord The Hangover got nominated, truly bad times...I think the Hurt Locker will get it, but something keeps saying Up, Up! So I'm gonna go with fantasy and say Up :) And by the way, why isn't 500 Days of Summer nominated for anything? Not Best Picture, fine OK, but I think it had one of the best scripts of the year.



Adapted Screenplay

District 9
An Education
In the Loop
Precious
Up in the Air

Again, District 9? Really? And An Education must get it!

Film not in the English Language

Broken Embraces
Coco Avant Chanel
Let the Right One In
A Prophet
The White Ribbon

Again, close race. But Let The Right One In will probably get it...

Animated Film

Coraline
The Fantastic Mr Fox
Up

Um, yeah, Up. Which is a wee bit of a shame 'cos I thought Coraline was fantastic.

Leading Actor

Jeff Bridges - A Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Andy Serkis - Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

Andy Serkis :) Not that I've seen the movie but it makes me happy that the slightly underrated Serkis got a nomination. But I think and hope Colin Firth will get it, him or Jeff Bridges, seeing as he won Golden Globe...I really hope Firth does though, it's been a long time in the waiting...

Leading Actress

Carey Mulligan - An Education
Audrey Tautou - Coco Avant Chanel
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Saoirse Ronan - The Lovely Bones
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

OH MY GOD SAOIRSE RONAN HAS BEEN NOMINATED. I don't care if the film's not meant to be good, I LOVE her. So much. So much that I want her to kind of win. But she won't. Meryl is lovely but again, Julie and Julia wasn't that amazing! I also desperately want Carey to win...I think it's between her and Gabourey, given that it's the Baftas, Carey may just get it...



Supporting Actor

Alec Baldwin - It's Complicated
Christian McKay - Me and Orson Welles
Alfred Molina - An Education
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Um, Cristoph Waltz. From what I hear it's a cert.

Supporting Actress

Mo'Nique - Precious
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
Anne-Marie Duff - Nowhere Boy
Kristin Scott Thomas - Nowhere Boy

Hmmn, the fact the two Up In The Air girls are against each other doesn't really bode well I don't think....the votes will probably be split. Same goes for Nowhere Boy, chances are Mo'Nique will get it. Then again, voters do love Kristin Scott Thomas...

Music

Avatar
Crazy Heart
Fantastic Mr Fox
Up
Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll

It's so depressing that I haven't heard any of these!! I did love Leona Lewis' song off of Avatar, but as a music based film, Crazy Heart will probably - deservedly - get it.



Cinematography

Avatar
The Hurt Locker
District 9
The Road
Inglourious Basterds

I'm sorry, but Avatar, if nothing else, was visually gorgeous.

Editing

Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Up in the Air

Ummmm...je ne sais pas.

Production Design

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Avatar
District 9
Inglourious Basterds
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Ah, it probably won't get it, but Imaginarium was pretty :)

Costume

Bright Star
Coco Avant Chanel
The Young Victoria
An Education
A Single Man

Oooh, period costumes, just what I like :D Love love loved the costumes in An Education, but The Young Victoria ought to get it.

Sound

Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Star Trek
9

Keine Ahnung...



Special Visual Effects

Avatar
District 9
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Star Trek

Harry Potter. Visual Effects. Um, Ok. *is unimpressed*

Make-up and hair

Coco Avant Chanel
An Education
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nine
The Young Victoria

Having seen Nine yesterday and really enjoyed it, I'm quite sad this is the one nomination it got. Perhaps it wasn't the best film ever but it had some strong performances. To make up for the snobbery I'll say it'll win this, even though it probably won't. And I doubt my opinions will comfort Rob Marshall anyway.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Golden Globes

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Avatar
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
The Hurt Locker
Up in the Air

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

The Hangover
(500) Days of Summer
It's Complicated
Julie & Julia
Nine

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Tobey Maguire, Brothers
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
George Clooney, Up in the Air

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man
Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine
Matt Damon, The Informant

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Julia Roberts, Duplicity
Meryl Streep, It's Complicated
Marion Cotillard, Nine
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Matt Damon, Invictus
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Julianne Moore, A Single Man
Penélope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air

Best Director - Motion Picture
James Cameron, Avatar
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Clint Eastwood, Invictus
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

Up in the Air - Jason Reitman; Sheldon Turner
District 9 - Neill Blomkamp; Terri Tatchell
Inglourious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino
It's Complicated - Nancy Meyers
The Hurt Locker - Mark Boal

Best Original Score - Motion Picture

Up - Michael Giacchino
A Single Man - Abel Korzeniowski
Avatar - James Horner
The Informant! - Marvin Hamlisch
Where the Wild Things Are - Carter Burwell; Karen Orzolek

Best Foreign Language Film

Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte
Baarìa
La nana
Los abrazos rotos
Un prophète

Best Animated Feature Film

Up
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog

Thoughts? Well, I quite enjoyed Avatar, and given that I haven't seen many of the other best drama flicks, I'm OK with the fact it won. Not sure it deserved director though, that may have been the hype...The Hangover most certainly did not deserve Best Comedy, 500 Days of Summer should have got that. Would quite have like Joseph Gordon Levitt to get Best Actor, but I have a lot of love for RDJ, so it's all good. Carey Mulligan should have won for Best Dramatic Actress, and something tells me Meryl Streep got her Globe because she's, well, Meryl Streep. Other than that, all good I guess...haven't seen a lot of these so can't fully judge. Something tells me though that after all the fuss last year of The Dark Knight not really getting any awards apart from Best Supporting Actor, they're now handing out the awards this year to all the popular light films and ignoring the, well, better ones. Which sucks.


I love him so!!!

Am going to see Nine on Wednesday. So excited!!

Got my first essay title of term today. So not excited!!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

42. Rear Window (1954)




Collections in 12 hours. Bugger. Also the boys went out to eat today but as a bid to stay healthy I stayed in with the girls and ate healthy stuff...still, seeing the girls again was so much fun.

Right, revision. :)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Monday, 11 January 2010

I know. I know. I am so ashamed. What's more, I'm going back to Oxford on Wednesday, where I have a lovely set of Collections (mock exams) awaiting me, and on a slightly more cheerful note, a lovely set of friends to spend a great time with. I guess in a way that is the problem, when I started this blog, I was here in little old Luton, finishing off Sixth Form which, not meaning to brag, I found relatively easy. Now I go to University, an incredibly hard university in which I'm nowhere near the top of my class anymore, and any free time I have is usually spent popping down to a friend's room, seeing as they live 20 seconds away as opposed to half an hour. Still, one must have priorities. THIS BLOG IS HIGH ON THAT LIST I SWEAR. It's one of my New Year's Resolutions to keep it up, along with the slightly more generic losing weight one. seeing as I will most definitely fail on the latter, this blog should be safe :)
Anyway, Christmas is over which is a pity - I spent mine in Germany watching Harry Potter and Tom Hank's films auf Deutsch and half heartedly doing my reading for the coming term. One movie I made sure I watched while I was in England was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I love this film - it's childish, or perhaps more accurately childlike, but at the same time so sweet and magical. And some of the Harry Potter kids should really take acting lessons from the Narnia kids. Jeesh. So, as I love it so, here's a wee picspam for you all. It's just so pretty!























*sigh* look at that colour palette! And the clothes - the little dresses and cardigans - so pretty :)