predictably and unjustifiably swept the oscars last night. really? it wasn't THAT good. it was decent. an entertaining, distracting, colourful trifle that glosses over poverty and chemistry between the leads and leaves you the moment you step out of the theatre. it's not the kind of film that wows you. that thrills, excites, engages, challenges. it's as easy to swallow as pablum. but whatevs, the academy has been wrong before (hello: 'shakespeare in love'? 'juno'? 'little miss sunshine'?) giving 'slumdog' the win for sound mixing was egregious. did anyone even NOTICE the sound in 'slumdog'? VERSUS 'THE DARK KNIGHT'?!???? i did pretty well in the oscar pool, losing to my sister by one point (i knew i shouldn't have voted with my heart in the best actor race.) i missed the first part but it seemed to move along at the tidy clip. my sister gets really upset when the audience in the auditorium doesn't clap equally for all the people who get mentioned in the tear-jerker "in memoriam" segment - she kept repeating: "clap equally or at the end! clap equally or at the end!" which is kind of true. don't be dicks about it, just because people have no cultural memory any more (or any memory for that matter.)
now the clothes. kate winslet's dress was interesting in concept and colour, but ended up looking like it lacked polish. reese witherspoon's dress was a mess. i really liked miley cyrus' gown, even though i thought it wore her instead of the other way around. at first i didn't like marisa tomei's, but when i saw all the pleating i changed up my opinion - i do wish it had been more of a colour though, the oyster shade washed her out even though she editorial-posed her heart out on the red carpet. SJP's boobs were wrangled, pushed, and prodded up and out as if their very integrity depended on it. i wasn't a fan of her gown. i loved penelope's vintage balmain number and leslie mann's sequined sheath. i thought there was too little colour, overall and that beyonce needs to learn to tone it down and for the love of all that is tasteful STOP LISTENING TO YOUR MOTHER. viola davis and taraji henson both looked absolutely stunning. halle berry's dress was too busy. frieda pinto's number, i don't care if it's dior, looked cheap and was pretty unflattering, and shame on you for doing that to someone who possesses that radiant of a smile.
the biggest upset was the most obscure japanese foreign film of all time winning over 'THE CLASS'. WHAT! i was never more sure of anything than i was that 'the class' would win that category, considering i think it's head and shoulders above 'the reader' (which i saw this weekend, review to come) and 'the curious case of benjamin button' and 'slumdog'. it's best picture worthy, and to lose to 'departures' whatever that is, was a big shock. they really DO hate the french, eh? film friend D was equally flabbergasted. this morning we shared a little tête-à-tête about it. "i can tell you about the german film, the austrian film, the israeli film and of course the french film, but i don't know a single thing about the japanese one. it's not on ANYONE'S radar" lol! also, i LOVED the judd apatow directed 'pineapple express' bit with my beloved james franco. so funny! there's nothing funnier than people pretending to laugh at serious movies. hell, i used the same bit a few weeks ago when i saw '4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days' so i consider myself in good company.
as a strange aside, philip seymour hoffman showed up wearing the EXACT SAME TOQUE I TRIED TO KNIT FOR MY MOM (twice)! bizarre!
so saturday night my back was all messed up still and it started storming so i didn't go to amit after all...the dotyron was on his way to being deep in his cups and flatly refused to drive back downtown in the increasingly inclement weather conditions. so what did we do instead? the kids piled into the family room, and we looked up videos on youtube from the 'les mis' 10 year anniversary "dream cast" special where instead of the musical being fully staged, the singers stood in costume and sang in into microphones. this was put on in 1995. this means that the latter half of my high school years were spent glorying with my sister and the s-dawg over the magnificence of the performances - it was in heavy rotation because pbs caned it like you wouldn't believe (that and 'riverdance' - i think 'les mis' wins the test of time battle there). anyway, all the cast members are like, THE BEST. so we somehow found versions of all the songs on youtube WITH THE LYRICS PRINTED UNDERNEATH which meant that my saturday night was spent prostrate after a delicious home-cooked meal of: arancini, pasta with rosé sauce, baby spinach lentil salad, veal saltimbocca, and espresso mascarpone icebox cake, doing 'les mis' karaoke with my siblings and the dotytron. it was EPIC. and AMAZING.
here's a sample:
the best thing about the 10th anniversary edition, is that there's a FULL choir, and an orchestra behind them, and the GRAND FINALE features 17 JEAN VALJEANS FROM AROUND THE WORLD PERFORMING 'DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING':
i defy you not to get goosebumps. my family's collective attachment to this is a seminal part of our upbringing. it's one of the reasons why we're so close. also: the JAPANESE JEAN VALJEAN IS CHAIRMAN KAGA FROM 'IRON CHEF'. *MIND EXPLODES X GOOSEBUMPS X INFINITY*
recreating 'les mis' took a lot out of me and the dotytron and we kind of crashed out. we woke up to find that the s-dawg, my outlaw brother, and my sister had found THE NEXT VIRAL YOUTUBE SENSATION and were kind of sitting in a state of awestruck stupefaction. ladies and gentlemen, may i present to you, mr. benjamin lind:
BEST. re-creating ben's uniquely atonal, flat, rendition of the 'license to kill' theme occupied a good portion of the remainder of the weekend. nobody loves fan-video evocations of sincerity more than my family. we're ardent tay zonday fans. we genuinely LOVE this shiz. if you could channel this heart and sincerity into like, policy making, the world would be so much more of an a**-kickingly awesome place. lurve!
okay, i've given you all a lot of gifts tonight. i'm going to call it for the evening and go on my merry way. movie and book reviews are coming in the next couple of days.
tonight my mum had a meeting at mt. sinai so she met me at work and i gave her a tour of the library and she read the newspaper until i was done. from there we moseyed over to tacos el asador and had dinner with the dotytron. that's two el asador meals in 3 days!