It’s that time of the year! As Cannes is currently going, here’s my first stab at predictions for the 89th Academy Awards. Ten years ago, The Departed won in the tightest Best Picture race (prior to the one early this year), Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren steamrolled through critics and televised awards, an Idol reject named Jennifer Hudson took Oscar glory, and an overdue Martin Scorsese finally can call himself an Oscar winner.
This year, we might have Marty coming back again, the birth of a nation, Ang Lee at another shot to a Best Picture win, as well as Meryl Streep getting nod #20, and Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert? Here’s my take on the top six races.
Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl
So I decided to skip my annual movie, TV shows, red carpet looks, and songs lists for this year since I have no time to write them all. Instead, I’ll be posting my favorite moments of 2013 in GIF style. So yes, most of these would be from awards show ceremonies or basically any pop culture event of the year. Okay.
Okay so let’s begin with
five six time Oscar loser a.k.a Albert Nobbs herself Glenn Close. At the Golden Globes last January, Close probably thought that she’s also one of the cool kids when she decided to play drunk after Tina Fey’s signal. You probably have no idea how epic this moment was. I mean I can’t even choose my favorite part. Is it the closing of her eyes to give a more convincing portrayal? Is it when she changed her mind and started to look up the heavens instead to make it even more convincing? Is it her husband’s coy “WTF I think I actually married Alex Forrest” tepid laugh? I guess I have to go with none of the above and choose the closing shot of her looking sideways to see check if people find her stuff funny.
That same night, we’re treated to one of the best (and yes I mean the best) awards show presentations ever. When SNL alums Kristin Wyg and Will Pharrell (as Tina Fey would say it) presented the Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy, I.WAS.DYING. As a refresher, here’s how they described the nominees that night:
(on Emily Blunt’s Salmon Fishing in Yemen): “When the salmon comes out.. and when the bad guy comes…. and the salmon was like.. and you’re in Yemen.”
(on Judi Dench of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel): “That Judi Dench. Where did she come from? Unknown, she used to be a police officer, and this is her fist movie. And when all the marigold comes out.. and it’s on her hair. And on one scene, she looks at the town people and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Jennifer Lawrence of Silver Lings Playbook): “Ugh love Jennifer Lawrence. J.LAW. And then comes the silverrr!! I thought it was an animated film. And all the silver she has collected and they tried to get it away from her and she’s like “NOOO! THAT’S MY COOKBOOK!” and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Maggie Smith of Quartet): “And no one knows what a quartet is. IT IS AMBIGUOUS! And you think you know what it is, but then the guy comes and says “I think I know what a quartet is!” but he doesn’t”
(on Meryl Streep of Hope Springs): “And Meriall Streep. And she’s the sassy sheriff! “I’m Hope Springs!” She comes in a horse and she’s like she looks at the town people and she’s says “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
UGH TYPING THAT WAS A HOOT. I’m laughing again. And everyone in the room was actually entertained. Everyone that is except that creature named Tommy Lee Jones.
Ugh Gramps looked grumpy as hell during that presentation. Guess what TLJ, that was my exact look when you stole that Oscar from Ralph Fiennes and Leonardo di Caprio.
Then we have the Screen Actors Guild Awards where you’re allowed to waste a minute of your life listening to Giuliana Rancic say things like this:
Girl is useless as their manicam. By the way let’s appreciate that the SAG was the only time this award season where Anne Hathaway opened her mouth and said something entertaining that does not involve
a.”a blunt object I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt”,
b. thanking Victor Hugo
c. thinking her Oscar win will stop prostitution.
d. correcting the spelling of her name
It was when Anne presented with co-star Hugh Jackman and they played a banter of how they will describe Les Mis in 2013.
Yes Anne, you crushed it. Speaking of crushed, don’t you love this BFF pic of Nicole Kidman and the lesser Nicole Kidman Naomi Watts at the SAGs? Go Nic, giving some Regina George fierceness.
Prior to her history making releasing an album without anything stint, Beysus graced us all with her presence at the Superbowl. But it wasn’t even her who stole the show. Two words: poor Michelle.
Go poor Michelle!! Put that one day off to good use and appear at the Superbowl.I’m living for her facial reaction. She suddenly got cocky when she realized she did not fall off the mosh pit. YESSS!!
But then again, we’re quickly reminded why she never skyrocketed as a solo artist. I mean not literally a rocket but even Bey can do it.
Anyway, let’s move on to the Grammys a.k.a the first televised exam to see if Taylor Swift knows this song…
or this song…
and this one as well…
and did you know she knew this song too?
Okay we get it Taylor. You know all the songs. But then again who wants to see her do it for a fifth time when you can see Legend Kidman bopping to that Bob Marley tribute?
It wasn’t as epic as her singing Teenage Dream at the Grammys last year but she gets bonus points because Adele is wearing a red doily.
Then there’s also the BAFTA where the only two interesting things we saw were Dame Dench’s O face (and when I say O, I mean Oh my god!) as Javier Bardem falls asleep
and David O. Russell’s reaction when Emmanuelle Riva wins Best Actress.
I was secretly wishing Emmanuelle would say “I beat J.Law” at the podium but then I remembered she doesn’t speak in English. So maybe in French? Anyway, off to the Oscars.
Okay remember when I said a few posts above that Giuliana Rancic is as useless as the manicam? Well I take it back. The Manicam is more useful than Giuliana apparently. I’m pretty sure it made Catherine Zeta Jones upset when Ryan Seacrest denied her to do one. You can clearly see in her eyes she wants to parade her fingers on the manicam. Not good, Ryan!
See even Mr. and Mrs. Keith Urban felt bad for La Zeta.
Aside from that, we saw Lil’ Quvenzhane Wallis proving she’s the man (with a proud Denzel Washington beaming from behind),
a bored Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter
and a tripping Best Actress winner. Whoever put that banana peel there for Anne Hathaway clearly didn’t work
But the best moment happened when Emmanuelle Riva unintentionally takes revenge on David O. Russell upon learning his reaction to her BAFTA Best Actress win.
Be thankful, David. At least Em didn’t squashed your face with a pillow. #justsaying
In April this year, Reese Witherspoon was arrested by the cops but she tried to get herself out of this…
…which only means she ended up in prison with a mugshot. You should have called Elle Woods to save you, Reese.
Taylor Swift won eight Billboard Music Awards in May of this year. But surprisingly, not any of those can match the WIN level of her reactions here:
Meanwhile, Miguel channels his inner Bjorn Barrefors and trains for the Olympics on air
Ouch for that woman whose head was found in between Miguel’s legs.
And as everyone celebrates film over at the Cannes Film Festival, two tiny teeny things clearly doesn’t wanna be there. Julianne Moore’s little toes can’t wait enough to go home instead they’re trying to escape while she’s on the red carpet.
Still on the subject of feet, it’s not cool to talk about North West anymore, so let’s just hope Kim K’s feet some speedy recovery for everything they’ve been through this year:
Yes Debra Messing don’t act too surprised, those are her feet.
Last August 10, two of the biggest popstars go head to head as Lady Gaga releases Applause and Katy Perry releases Roar on the same week. You know it was bound to get messy.
And someone’s coming out on top:
But come the VMAs, it wasn’t even the two of them who became the talk of the town. But before that we saw…
Justin Timberlake joined by four other lessers perform,
Taylor Swift asking her BFF to STFU,
Willow Smith whipping her head back and forth as Jaden Smith tries another shot at “acting”,
Lady Gaga opening the show,
but Katy Perry closing it.. (Ouch Gags! Was that msg for you?)
But it Miley who made the whole thing classic. Even getting a classic rxn from Rih
September also was the end for Breaking Bad. And I think no amount of GIF will give it justice so I’ll just post a photo of Bryan and Aaron because uhm, duh, bitch.
And when the Emmys came, Neil Patrick Harris bombed as host, but no other bombed better than what this guy did:
Then cute Merritt Wever gives one of the best Emmy speeches ever when she said nothing but…
while Julia Louis Dreyfus stays in character in her speech.
Michael Douglas, meanwhile, uses Matt Damon as metaphor in his thank you speech
And though he did not win, Kevin Spacey still scores one in my b0ok after doing this:
And the delight of Oprah pushing people
And last month, Miley Cyrus wins Round 2 of best performance at the American Music Awards when she performs with a huge cat behind her:
As Ariana Grande shows us all how it’s really done just by standing up.
Meanwhile, a certain legend named Christina Aguilera is slaying the red carpet fo’sho:
And that’s how you make an exit! Wait let me reiterate
On the other hand, here’s how you make an entrance. An album entrance that is. As Beysus Christ showed us, just drop em ‘off and boom.
Let’s pause this moment and recognize Queen B.
Oh wait, did you know Britney released an album this year? I’m sure even she’s not aware, but I guess she’s raking it in Vegas no so go Brit and
And as Oscar season comes, we’re treated to a whole lot of epic GIFs from contenders like this of J.Law pleading…
or Sandra Bullock in Gravity a.k.a basically whatever you wanna do to your enemy
But to close this off, a legendary performance to close the year happened between Gags and Legend X when they did a duet of Do What U Want on The Voice finale.
Anybody who does not get the ABBA meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane reference is deads to me. Plus, I’d kill to have my head on Legend’s bosoms. Anyway, cheers to a happy 2013 and let’s hope for crazier things this 2014.
Happy New Year everyone!
One thing I like about the Oscar Best Actress lineup this year is that it is inspired. We’re treated to a wide array of female performances that caters to different demographics. On one hand, it’s impossible (no pun intended) to ignore Naomi Watts’ performance in The Impossible as she embraces into the physical requirements of the role of a suffering mother. Then, you also have the subtlety of Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. Her role can be considered as too quiet and passive, but it is through this silence that you can feel the emotional commitment she puts in the role of Maya. Youngest Best Actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis carries Beasts of the Southern Wild with so much charm and appeal that it’s hard not to root for her and see the potential that lies within her acting skills. Silver Linings Playbook‘s Jennifer Lawrence avoids the scenery chewing approach and was also solid in a way that it impresses you and makes you wonder where she tugs all these emotions in her portrayal of Tiffany. Lastly, Emmanuelle Riva of Amour just makes your heart break as she transcends her performance to the viewers, thanks to an effective combination of emotional and physical combination that the role required.
Refreshing isn’t it? Just like this year, these five years stand out as the best of the Best Actress lineup in the 85 years of the Academy.
05. Best Actress 1988
The nominees were:
Glenn Close, “Dangerous Liaisons”
*Jodie Foster, “The Accused”
Melanie Griffith, “Working Girl”
Meryl Streep, “A Cry in the Dark”
Sigourney Weaver, “Gorillas in the Mists”
1988 is definitely a strong year for Best Actress. For once, this is the year where we had a triple tie at the Best Actress Drama category at the Golden Globes with even snubbed Shirlay Maclaine for Madame Sousatzka snubbed for a nomination. With that said, let’s start with probably the “weakest” of the bunch, Melanie Griffith. In Working Girl, Griffith displayed a charming approach to a woman who wanted to matter in a corporate world. In some ways, it is through Griffith’s appeal that carries Tess when the writing starts to get borderline cliche. Glenn Close just gave the performance of a lifetime a year earlier via Fatal Attraction, but that did not stop her in giving back to back tour de force performance when she followed it up with her turn in Dangerous Liaisons. It is quite similar to Watts and Riva this year wherein they were lying on a bed most of the time, but Close’s facial expressions gave justice to an otherwise pretty helpless character. Sigourney Weaver gives a one two punch performance that year both in lead ans supporting, but her more interesting performance is the one for which she was nominated here. As concerned monkey expert Diane Fossey, Weaver made us attached to an otherwise unknown woman and made us care for what she cares about. Cannes Best Actress winner that year was for A Cry in the Dark‘s Meryl Streep. It’s such a shame that she already has two Oscars by the time this movie was released, but it probably ranks as my favorite Meryl Streep performance ever. Beyond nailing the Australian accent perfectly, it is the emotional attachment that Streep carved that made Lindsay Chamberlain not only a sympathetic mother but a real human being. Plus points to anybody who can deliver the line “The dingo killed my baby” with a straight face. Eventually, the winner was Jodie Foster in The Accused. The movie was pretty much an acting vehicle, and Foster was game all the way. For that alone, I commend her. And that probably is what puts her over the edge that year.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Meryl Streep hands down. That would have been a very deserving third Oscar win for her.
04. Best Actress 2006
The nominees were:
Penelope Cruz, “Volver”
Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal”
*Helen Mirren, “The Queen”
Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada”
Kate Winslet, “Little Children”
2006 is probably known as the year where Helen Mirren steamrolled her way to the Oscars. It was one of the instances where in as early as September, it was already clear on who will win the Best Actress Oscar. While Mirren was every inch deserving, the whole category was such an embarrassment of riches in terms of the nominated performances. Kate Winslet was on her fifth nomination already for Little Children, and she was able to portray the complexities of a suburban housewife who was longing for something that will elicit interaction to her, even if it means having an affair to the one of her neighbors. If there’s one thing I commend about Winslet, it’s her willingness to use her body as a part of her total display of emotions, and it was highlighted here. Meryl Streep was such a hoot in The Devil Wears Prada. In this, she showed another facet to her as an actress, and she avoided Miranda Priestly to be a total caricature which was a total delight to watch. I wasn’t a fan of Penelope Cruz’s English language features, but she was totally in her element in Volver. Despite being a part of a strong huge female ensemble, it is still Cruz whose at the front and center and she totally was up to the challenge. Like Meryl Streep, Judi Dench was able to show another side of her, this time in an unlikable villainous role in Notes on a Scandal. It wasn’t an easy task, mind you, as Dame Dench probably has one of the most endearing performances that it’s hard for someone to not like her. But she did it with so much raw intensity that she totally disappears into the role of a stalking old woman. Lastly, I don’t think there’s any adjectives left that wasn’t use to describe Helen Mirren in The Queen, and she was able to convey the role of the Queen not as a public figure but as a human being, and that’s what makes the performance remarkable and stand the test of time.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Helen Mirren. As much as I think it’s a three way race among her, Dench, and Cruz, she’s just a hair better as she carries the whole film stronger and in a more vital manner.
03. Best Actress 2010
The nominees were:
Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
*Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”
As 2009 ended with a Sandra Bullock win for The Blind Side, the current decade starts strong with these five performances that are arguably better for the other nominations that these actresses got in the past or after this year. Let’s begin with Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone. Sure, she was more charming in Silver Linings Playbook, but the potential was already there way back in her first lead role status. Most of the time, we just follow her journey as Ree finds her father, but she encompasses it in a raw manner that it’s not hard to see the greatness that lies with her acting talents. Annette Bening’s fourth nomination comes from her role as lesbian Nic in The Kids Are All Right. In any other weaker year, I can totally see this performance dominating the awards circuit. In Kids, Bening was devoid of the easy way out with her performance as the “man” in a lesbian relationship. Her Nic was tough but sensitive, possessive but vulnerable, and Bening brings another layer to it effectively. The secret to Blue Valentine was probably the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Williams was totally as giving as Gosling was; shedding away not only her clothes, but also her emotions as she deal with a relationship that at first was ideal, but in the end was complicated. The same sadness was encompassed by Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, though, in her case, it was about a grieving mother who lost her only son. What I like about this performance was that Kidman didn’t make it as a pity party for Becca. She was unlikable,and you can see that, but it was her grieving process that tales center stage, and Nicole was more than aware of that. Lastly, Natalie Portman in Black Swan was probably the role of her lifetime. Her commitment to the role is already an accomplishment, but beyond that, she was more than willing to enter the role that Darren Aronofsky set up for Nina. Admittedly, my favorite part of her performance was the famous “phone call” scene where she told her mother that she passed auditions, but this is a totality body of work that one can be proud of, and Portman was deserving to win this year.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Nicole Kidman. Becca was such an interesting character study devoid of the over the top histrionics that one can expect, and Kidman was the effective means to connect Becca to the viewers.
02. Best Actress 1995
The nominees were:
*Susan Sarandon, “Dead Man Walking”
Elisabeth Shue, “Leaving Las Vegas”
Sharon Stone, “Casino”
Meryl Streep, “The Bridges of Madison County”
Emma Thompson, “Sense and Sensibility”
1995 was considered as the greatest year for lead female performers during that decade. While this line up is strong, think of these non-nominated performances during that year: Nicole Kidman in To Die For, Kathy Bates in Dolores Clairborne, Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, Toni Collette in Muriel’s Wedding, Julianne Moore in Safe and son on and so forth. Anyway enough about the snubees, let’s begin. Emma Thompson’s safest niche is probably British period pieces. And just like her winning performance in Howards End, her performance in Sense and Sensibility connects easily to viewers not solely because of the familiarity of the novel, but because of how she makes her presence felt in it. With that said though, I like her screenwriting credits for this movie better than her acting in it. Sharon Stone can be considered as a borderline supporting in Casino, but her role as Ginger stands out in this film that’s dominated by the men. Stone wasn’t able to match her performance int his and has been a Hollywood joke for years now, but this is always a good reminder of the talents that she had. Meryl Streep. Can you ever get tired of her? I surely don’t. If she mastered the Aussie accent in A Cry in the Dark, here she went all Italian. And once again, she nailed it. Streep has this habit of rising over the material, and while most of the time, that’s not a good thing, in The Bridges of Madison County, it’s the opposite. This makes you fell more for her Francesca, and the breakdown at the near end of the deal sealed the deal for me. It’s quite sad when people connect Leaving Las Vegas as solely the Nicolas Cage show, because Elisabeth Shue was darn fantastic in it. On the outside, Shue can easily be summed up as a hooker with a heart, but her performance is a straight connection to the viewers that it’s just spectacular to watch her in it. I can even go as far as saying that she steals the show for me. Lastly, Susan Sarandon wins after four failed attempts for Dead Man Walking. In it, she gives a devoted performance as Sister Mary Prejean to Sean Penn’s character, and she does not rely to histrionics but focused to the bigger picture of a nun committed to help.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Elisabeth Shue. It’s not really hard to vote for this one. She was simply magnificent.
01. Best Actress 1950
The nominees were:
Anne Baxter, “All About Eve”
Bette Davis, “All About Eve”
*Judy Holliday, “Born Yesterday”
Eleanor Parker, “Caged”
Gloria Swanson, “Sunset Boulevard”
And we’ve finally reached the best line-up at the history of this category at the Oscars. This is probably one of the years where I change my personal winner every single time. There’s something to commend about all these performances that makes them not only iconic, but as a representation of acting masterclass. Let’s begin with the least familiar performance of the bunch. Eleanor Parker probably wasn’t as remembered as the other names or movies like her co-nominees, but Caged is an underrated gem that shows Parker’s versatility as an actress. Her ability to convey multiple emotions from her audience is a testament of how this performance should always be remembered. Then we have the All About Eve actresses. On the left corner, we have Anne Baxter in the role of an inspired up and coming actress Eve. Her role required her to do a lot, and while I see some flaws here and there with her approach of the character; nevertheless, she made her mark with it instead of the other way around. Then we have the fabulous Bette Davis in a comeback memorable performance as an aging actress that lives with the threat of her age being a detriment to her fame. Davis fires one liners like no other, one after the other, and it was just fantastic to watch her do that right in front of our eyes. Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard was another “diva” that was such a joy to watch. It was commendable to see Swanson stretch herself to all the demands to her character, and she displays each of them with such panache that’s inevitable to ignore. But the Oscar that year went to none other than Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday. Academy rarely rewards comedic performances that’s why it’s such fun when you see actors get rewarded for them. Holliday never relied on baity scenes, but instead focus on creating a whole picture that stands on its own rather than several clips to justify her performance.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Gloria Swanson. One of the performances that I’d probably recommend to every aspiring actor/actress. How she effectively answers these different needs of the character is uh-mah-zing.
That’s it! What are some of your favorite Best Actress line-ups? Who would you have chosen as your personal winners in these set of nominees? Pipe them in below!
And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
For this day, we’d continue with our year end lists here at Tit for Tat. Today’s theme will be fashion. Among all the thousands of red carpets look that we’ve seen this year, I divided my list into two parts: one is for the short and the cocktail dresses while the second part will be for long gowns. Here are 18 of the best red carpet looks of the year that involved women in short and cocktail dresses.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl