2008 Oscar picks

Yesterday Shane and I went to a Oscar film extravaganza – all five Best Pictures in a row – and even though we skipped out early, we managed to see all five nominated films BEFORE the Oscars. Pretty exciting, right? Anyway, since I won’t get to spend Oscar night with a crew of friends, here are my picks based solely on my opinion and no other research except discussing with Keem and Shane and consulting previous emails from Jimi. Get your Oscar ballot here, and check back as the evening progresses, as I’ll do my best to update with the winners and my comments.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
comments: I loved George Clooney in Michael Clayton, but I think DDL has this sewn up. Bottoms up for everyone if he (or anyone else) says “Bastard in a basket”.
winner: Daniel Day-Lewis, who gave a very nice speech, despite his questionable earrings.
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
comments: If Tommy Lee Jones were nominated for No Country, I would’ve voted for him. I also heart Tom Wilkinson, but Javier Bardem was kind of like the ultimate movie bad guy.
winner: JAVIER BARDEM. I can’t believe he didn’t win anything for The Sea Inside, though.
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose
comments: I’ve heard the field is really strong, but I’ll be upset if Marion Cotillard doesn’t win. She was incredible in La Vie En Rose.
winner: Marion Cotillard, YAY. YAYAYAYAY.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
comments: I’ve heard good things about Amy Ryan, and I like her in The Wire.
winner: Tilda Swinton, who I really like, but I don’t entirely know why she won.
Animated Feature: Ratatouille
comments: I would LOVE for Persepolis to win, but I have more faith in Pixar, and besides, Ratatouille was so good.
winner:Ratatouille, yay! Brad Bird is cute.
Art Direction: Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
comments: Really no idea on this one.
winner: Sweeney Todd
Cinematography: There Will Be Blood
comments: Jimi, don’t let me down here.
winner: There Will Be Blood, incredible.
Costume Design: Atonement
comments: It’s too easy to pick the costume drama, and I thought Atonement was exquisitely costumed.
winner: Elizabeth
Directing: Juno
comments: Really no idea on this one either, but I suspect they’ll reward Jason Reitman. If not, it’ll probably go to the Coens for No Country.
winner: the Coens! They’re funny and small.
Documentary Feature: pass
winner: Taxi to the Dark Side
Documentary Short: pass
winner: Freeheld. This whole announcing from Iraq business is weird.
Film Editing: There Will Be Blood
comments: Can someone tell me what makes good film editing? I can probably tell you what makes bad film editing, but I can’t say anything authoritative on the opposite.
winner: Bourne Ultimatum. Which Shane thought was terrible. Terrible editing, that is. This is live blogging. We’re going for recall, not precision.
Foreign Language Film: pass
winner The Counterfeiters (Austria)
Makeup: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
comments: I would love to see La Vie En Rose win, but Pirates was damned impressive as always.
winner: La Vie En Rose, omg!
Original Score: Atonement
comments: SB and I both really enjoyed the way music and sound was used in Atonement, although Keem would have appreciated the occasional carriage return.
winner: Atonement. Fantastic.
Original Song: “Falling Slowly” – Once
comments: I ❤ Glen Hansard.
winner:”Falling Slowly”. OMG OMG OMG OMG. Did you know that she’s NINETEEN?
Best Picture: Michael Clayton
comments: Of the five, I think this was the strongest film, though each of the others have stand-out elements. It could probably go any way, but I’ll be disappointed if Juno wins, even though I loved the movie.
winner: No Country for Old Men! God job, Coens!
Short Film – Animated: pass
winner: Peter & the Wolf
Short Film – Live Action: pass
winner: Le Mozart des pickpockets
Sound Editing: There Will Be Blood
comments: Stab in the dark here.
winner: Bourne Ultimatum. Shane’s vote: Ummm….Bourne? Shane wins.
Sound Mixing: No Country For Old Men
comments: Oooh, mixing!
winner: Bourne Ultimatum.
Visual Effects: Transformers
comments: This could also go any way. I thought I’d vote for Transformers, though, cos who doesn’t like giant cars?
winner: The Golden Compass. Animated polar bears. What’s not to like?
Adapted Screenplay: No Country For Old Men
comments: I may be a Cormac McCarthy hater, but I’m voting for No Country anyway. Bottoms up if Cormac McCarthy is actually at the ceremony.
winner: No Country for Old Men. Was that Cormac McCarthy? YES, yes it was. Bottoms up!
Original Screenplay: Juno
comments: If Juno wins, it will be well-deserved, and not just the “let’s give the quirky comedy something” type of win.
winner: Diablo Cody for Juno, also winning the award for the most embarrassing outfit and tattoo on the stage

elements of a nice weekend

– Red Ink, a soft grassy sheep’s cheese, Appenzeller cheese, and jamón ibérico (!!!!!!). The jamón was a birthday gift from Shane, and oh what a gift it was. We have a bit more in the fridge, and I plan to savor it at some point this week. Some girls get chocolate for their birthdays – me, I get expensive Spanish ham.
– brunch at the Corcoran, which wasn’t all that exciting in and of itself, but it was a very nice atmosphere and I enjoyed the souffle.
– the always reliable veggie options at the Hut.

– one more opportunity to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit at the Corcoran. Our memberships paid off today when we didn’t have to wait in line for the sold out show. The galleries were packed with people, so the exhibit lacked some of the intensity of our first visit, but I’m awfully glad we went again.
– staying in to watch Helvetica and Paris, je t’aime, two very different films but both quite good.

home life:
– our new sofa arrived on Saturday and promptly exerted its dominance over our living room. I showed it who’s boss by taking a nap on it later.
– meeting a new friend at the Arlington Animal Shelter. She can’t possibly replace Sid in our hearts or memories, but she will Basil on his toes and the two of us in stitches. We’re hoping to bring her home in a few days, once she’s healed from her spaying and they’ve made sure that no one is going to come claim her.
– lots of quality time with SB. The last few weeks have been very hard, and very tiring, and it was wonderful to have a lot of lazy downtime together.

Briefly (again, yes, I know)

– Week one (of three) of 719 Miles Apart is drawing to a close, and I’m surprisingly OK. I was a bit of a basket case the afternoon SB left, but I’ve been so damned busy since then that I haven’t had much chance to wallow.

– Kim and I went to see The Invasion tonight. We didn’t mean to, but it just kind of happened. It was a perfectly adequate suspense-y movie, though I would have been OK with less vomit.

– Tomorrow I’m hopefully going to test drive a Honda Fit, which we may be buying in the next two weeks.

– I had a really awful doctor’s appointment last week, but the test results came back negative, so that’s one less thing to worry about in the short term. You didn’t think I’d pass up an opportunity to talk about my cervix, did you?

– I’ve officially moved out of Basil Estates – again, thought I’d be more sad than I actually am. In so many ways I’m just looking straight forward at this point.

– More than a little sad that I didn’t get to say goodnight to SB tonight.


– Tonight we were starving after the gym and so resorted to ordering empanadas from Manolo’s Pizza and Empanadas. Between the two of us, we tried the following: San Telmo Jamon, San Telmo Carne, Cheese & Corn, Roasted Chicken (2), and Mushroom Thyme. All were excellent in different ways, and we’re looking forward to trying other options.

– It’s incredibly wonderful to come home from work at 5pm and not have to do anything school-related. I should be working on my presentation for next week’s interview, but not YET.

– Sid has been exceptionally talkative. We suspect that it is because we (Basil too) keep sitting in her spot.

– Tonight we played putt putt with Jimi and Karin, who has just returned from Colorado. I’m TERRIBLE at putt putt but had a delightful time nonetheless. It makes me sad that we started hanging out with the two of them so late in the game.

– This weekend we went to TWO movies: The Bourne Ultimatum and Stardust. Ahh, delicious air conditioning.

– Shane is on the phone with his mom, which means that we are not playing Lego Star Wars, which makes me sad.

vacation update!

Exciting adventures:

Breakfast in the sun

Kasey’s going away party

Showering outside at Mel’s Memorial Day party.

Going to a Cubs game with Shane and some long-missed Chicago friends (Heather is sad because she can’t have cotton candy).

Shane is growing a beard in a bad beard contest. I don’t think it’s so bad.

Things I have read in the last month:

Things I have watched in the last month:

  • Shopgirl
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Hustle & Flow
  • Prime
  • Hero
  • The End of the Affair
  • Wonderfalls – 1 DVD
  • 24 – last 4 episodes of this season
  • Twin Peaks – beginning of season 2
  • The X-Files – end of season 1

Friends that are moving/moving away:

  • Kasey to Philadelphia – already gone
  • Sam & Brian to a new! house! in Champaign
  • Sarah & Greg to a house! (albeit rented) in Champaign
  • Nicole to Texas – this weekend
  • Erin & Ben to St Louis – June 10
  • Karin to Philadelphia – June 17th-ish
  • Ryan to St Louis and Americorps – end of the summer?
  • Angie & Chris to parts unknown – TBA

It’s been a lovely summer already.

I am very cold, and more tired than I think I even realize. It was – an odd weekend. I’m really scatterbrained tonight, and I want to make sense of things here, but it’s just not happening. Instead, some highlights:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events on Friday with Shawn – much better than I expected (feared?) – imbued with a lushness I can’t really describe.
  • The creepiest email I have ever received, period.
  • A Yule brunch at Mel’s, where I was the odd man out but had a lovely time anyway. Mimosas + cute kittens + good food + nice people = a v nice afternoon.
  • Carnet de Voyage, read in its entirety at work over the last two days – I can’t tell you precisely why it moved me so deeply. I wish I could.
  • Bar-hopping, pool, and video photo hunt with the Aroma crew – so good to just be out with friends – even if I am the worst pool player ever, I did kick some serious ass at photo hunt.
  • Writing $500 in checks for bills, which should bring my debt to zero (my paycheck too).
  • Buying preserved lemons for dinner, and being regarded as if I had a second head.
  • Two hours of chess with Dave – and still making more in tips during those two hours ($4 each) than Nicolette and I did during our six hour Tuesday night shift ($3.65 each).
  • Nearly totally melting down before dinner as things weren’t turning out right – then having the Lebanese lemon chicken from Jamie’s Kitchen turn out to be the best thing I’ve made or tasted in a long time.I hope the winter days are treating you kindly, my dears.
  • There was a great booming storm last night, the kind that will wake you from a dead sleep. I wanted to sit up and watch it, but my sleep had been weird already – to bed at 11:30, back up at midnight until 12:45, then the sneaking suspicion that someone was in my apartment, only to remember the uneven bookcase and the way it shifts without provocation.

    Last night was $1 sushi at Kamakura. We sat on the floor in the coatroom reading our books as what seemed like half of C-U crowded in – then had our $12 worth of super tasty sushi. What a great idea! $1 sushi should be every day – or at least once a month.

    A few movies of last – last night was Vertigo. I haven’t seen many Hitchcock films, but it was immediately apparent that the references to this one are everywhere. Over the weekend I finished Frida, which was very good, and we watched Pitch Black, which afforded Vin Diesel the chance to speak some amazing lines and generally display his hotness.

    This weekend was Sara‘s sangria party. By the time I got there the sangria was all but gone, but it seemed like everyone had a terrific time. I had some sangria-soaked grapes and did some bouncy dancing, which is always a good time. Shawn looked majorly hot, but then I’m a little biased. 🙂

    Mainly right now I’m feeling a little isolated – like I’m wrapped in a big thick layer of blankets or insulation – and this layer is cutting me off from being able to really know what I need or want. So if I seem a little distant or odd these days, that’s a big part of it.

    thoughts on stuff

    A lot of things on my mind that I can’t seem to really wrap words around, so here’s a small list:

  • I read today that despite the spread of nuclear power, in 1984 only 13% of our nation’s power came from nuclear plants. That made me wonder if electricity is cheaper in this area because of the concentration of nuclear plants in the northern Illinois region. No real point to that pondering – just wondering.
  • I wonder what the new Manchurian Candidate will be like. Shawn and I watched the original spread out over last night and today (because, yes, I fell asleep). I found it disturbingly visionary, and just generally great, despite Frank Sinatra’s excessing sweating.
  • I finished Chuck Palahniuk‘s Stranger than Fiction, which included observations from his research as well as personal essays and portraits of various people (including Juliette Lewis and Marilyn Manson). More to come on the book club page, but suffice to say that this book was thoughtful and odd – and ultimately proves that he can do the wonderfully introspective just as well as the hella crazy.
  • I really think Alan Lightman’s Dance for Two is a lot of what Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything wanted to be.
  • I think I’ve worked out my position on death. It’s somewhat similar to my position on heights. I understand death and its eventuality as a concept, and am fine with that, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for it personally. On the other hand, though, I wonder at the industry we’ve made of prolonging life at all costs.
  • This morning I read in bed while Shawn slept for a while. The reading lamp shone on his blond hair, and it was like all kinds of cliches – a pool of gold, radiating a holy light, etc. It just made me smile.