February 28, 2017

best of 2016: movies/oscars 2017

So I completely forgot to write up a post all about my favorite Oscar movies/movies in general of 2016/Oscar predictions/thoughts on Oscar nominees in the days leading up to the 2017 Oscars and now they are over and literally everyone is tired of talking about them by now. Except for me. Because I live for this shit and will talk about this with you for the rest of the year if you want. So this is just a record for me, I guess.

I watched a total of 29 movies from the 2016 movie season. I tried my best to watch all nine Best Picture Nominees in particular, but alas, I fell short. I only semi-count Fences in this tally because we had it playing in the background as we were cleaning up around the apartment the other day but I'll be honest, I maybe listened to/watched only a third of the movie. So I guess that puts my total to 29.333 movies! I ranked them from least favorite to favorite too because why not.

29. Masterminds: So stupid but it looked promising because Kirsten, Zach, and Owen, and Jason. Also I felt like I had to watch it because the original release date was August 7, 2015 which was my wedding day and Drew and I joked about sneaking over to the theater to watch it after dinner. So we told ourselves that when it did finally come out we'd watch it together. Tell us we're cute.

28. Nocturnal Animals: It's hard for me to say anything really great about this movie. I will say I was very impressed by the performances by Amy, Jake, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The movie as a whole just made me feel icky and I wouldn't recommend it to most.

27. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping: I wasn't expecting much but what I certainly was not expecting was how much I enjoyed the catchy songs in this?? The rest was pretty typical Lonely Island humor.

26. Ghostbusters: I had such high hopes for this because it has allll the funny ladies but alas, I was not impressed. Reboots are almost always duds in comparison to the original and this was no exception.

25. Hell or High Water:  Sorry Academy, but I was boooored during this Best Picture Nominee. I was gritting my teeth throughout most of it because the country music soundtrack was slowly killing my soul.

24. Finding Dory: The only truly memorable thing that came out of this was BABY DORY OMG. Second place only to little Sunny Pawar aka Saroo Brierly in terms of cutest characters to come out of the 2016 movie season.

23. Hacksaw Ridge: First half of this movie was so cheesy I couldn't even handle it. Also why aren't we talking about how awkward Andrew Garfield is as an actor?? I could not for the life of me take him seriously. Second half of this movie was gory and intense and powerful and moving. So incredible that it was based on a true story! Desmond Doss is a true American Hero <3

22. Florence Foster Jenkins: Bow down to Queen Meryl because she can do no wrong. As *over-rated* as she may be, she was a hoot in this movie. Such a tender and sweet love story. I'd like to think that my husband thinks I'm the best singer in the world too.

21. The Jungle Book: Is it normal to be attracted to so many CGI animals because of the voices behind them? Probably not. But I stand by my statement.

20. The Nice Guys: I will watch anything with Ryan Gosling. His presence was my only reason to watch this. Something needs to be said about this man's comedic timing!! Very funny alongside Russell Crowe. 

19. Hail, Caesar!: A very good time! This was my pick for Production Design because how fun were all of those old Hollywood movie sets?! 

18. Manchester By The Sea: I called Casey Affleck winning for this one. Definitely well deserved but he's also a gross human so I was actually rooting for Denzel to win this one. Sometimes I'm just sick of white males winning everything YA KNOW?? The movie itself was just sadness and grief x 100 with a tremendously talented cast.

17. Queen of Katwe: Such a typical Disney happy ending movie with not as much drama as I was expecting, but I loved the setting. Oh, and Lupita Nyong'o is my queen forever. Let's take a moment of silence to remember her red carpet Nairobi blue Cinderella moment at the 2014 Academy Awards. Thank you. The end.

16. Moana: Who else almost shed tears when Lin-Manuel Miranda was thiiiiis close to being crowned the youngest EGOT recipient in history but then was robbed by one of my least favorite songs from La La Land? Just me? Okay. I definitely listened to the Moana soundtrack on repeat in the days leading up to Oscar Sunday. Also Auli'i Cravalho is a precious gem her performance was the most darling thing of the night. Second only to Sunny Pawar, of course.

15. The Edge of Seventeen: Critics were calling this movie the next Mean Girls/Breakfast Club/Heathers classic of this generation, but didn't think it was THAT good. Funny, yes. But not sacred. I did think Hailee was perfectly cast for this role and I LOL'd quite a bit.

14. Rogue One: Enjoyed this far more than Episode 7. Also hiiiii Diego Luna, you dreamboat you <3

13. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Would I be me if a screenplay WRITTEN by J.K. Rowling wasn't a favorite of mine?? Eddie is so sweet and so pure and I am very excited for the next four chapters of this saga that takes me back to the wizarding world that I love and missed so much.

12. Hidden Figures: BLACK. GIRL. MAGIC. 

11. Lion: Do you ever cry watching someone so cute??? Because I did. Multiple times. I literally want to steal Sunny Pawar I cannot even handle little face and little voice. He is this year's Jacob Tremblay only 1000X more darling. Also. Dev Patel truly Longbottomed. Damn. I weep thinking about the fact that this movie is based on a beautiful and miraculously true story <3

10. Arrival: This movie just makes you go whaaaaa?? I love movies that make you think and want to discuss with everyone who watched it with you. From previews this looked like another sci-fi post-apocalyptic alien movie but it was so so much more than that! Also the music by Jóhann Jóhannsson was incredible.

9. Swiss Army Man: One of the most disturbing/unique/hilarious/tender movie of the year. This is a true masterpiece and the best way to describe it is that is literally like nothing I have ever seen. Just wow. Also the most eccentric music by Andy Hull and Robert Mcdowell.

8. Zootopia: I've said this so many times but this was by far the most socially relevant movie of the year. I especially loved the fact that so many parent bloggers complained about the liberal propaganda and brainwashing behind the message of love and the dangers of discrimination and police brutality?? For kids and adults of all ages?? 

7. Everybody Wants Some!!: AHH this movie was SUCH a good time!!! Highly underrated and the perfect pick me up movie. 

6. Jackie: Natty P was my hopeful pick for Best Actress. She was absolutely stunning as Jackie O. and it is a real tragedy that this movie didn't win for Costume Design because helloooooo anything with Jackie O. should automatically win every fashion-related award. This film was so gorgeous, with the music and cinematography making it so hauntingly beautiful to watch. Absolutely loved.

5. La La Land: We all have our opinions about this movie because we all saw it. Here's where I stand: all in all, I really did enjoy it. Truly a breath of fresh air and a love letter to old movie musicals and the perfect escape that we needed in these troubling times. BUT no, I do not think it deserved all 14 Oscar nominations. The only nominations I had issues with: Production Design (they are walking around L.A. for two hours??), Costume Design (they are wearing normal clothes?? So Emma wore some different bright colored dresses...groundbreaking.), TWO nominations for Best Song (I'm sorry but have you ever heard of SING STREET?? ROBBED. ROBBED. ROBBED), and lastly (and most controversially), Best Actor and Actress. *GASP*. Sorry, but if you're going to pronounce this movie as the best movie musical since the 1940s then those leads better be triple freaking threats. I love Emma and RyGos as much as the next person, but in order to deserve those nominations I expect the people in those roles to be not only be talented actors, but also outstanding dancers and singers. If you really wanted to make this a movie musical, you would have found those kind of people. That is just my two cents! Don't @ me, don't hurt me.

4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Please just do yourself a favor and watch this. I can't tell you how much I laughed in the theater. It is the best time! So quotable too. I need to watch every Taika Waititi movie in existence now and I'm mad that I still haven't.

3. 20th Century Women: OOF I loved this movie so so much. First of all I am obsessed with Greta Gerwig in everything. But when you combine her with Elle Fanning and Annette Benning? Pure magic. I also happened to watch this movie on what I remember as International Women's March Day (January 21st, 2017), so I was pretty high off of girl power all day and it was the best.

2. Moonlight: My pick for Best Picture and I am THRILLED that it came to fruition. I saw several tweets that really resonated with me after the Best Picture announcement snafu. One of which went along the lines of 'a black film won best picture and no slavery or maids were involved in making the film.' LIKE YES, THANK YOU. I am just so happy that a compelling and beautiful story such as this took home the big one. It gives me hope for more marginalized stories to be told. Watching this made me feel so much for the characters and for the people who live this reality everyday. A masterpiece!

1. Sing Street: This is now the third separate time I have blogged about this movie and I am not sorry. I think I have told every single person I know at some point to watch this because I love it that much! To me, this movie has nothing wrong with it. There are so many things that I love in one place! As mentioned before, this was ROBBED of any music related nominations because the original songs could quite literally be mistaken for 80s classic singles. This is the only movie from this year I have watched more than once because it just makes me feel so good and I find myself smiling so much as I watch it. A new all-time favorite for sure. 

P.S. Although I did not win the Oscar Prediction Contest hosted by Wallaroo (I tied for 4th place apparently), I like to think that I won Best Tweet of the night. One day when my children groan and tell me I'm not as funny as I think I am, I will show them this picture:

P.P.S. Who else thought that this red carpet was the best you've seen in YEARS?? I had so many favorites I felt the need to also include them here.

Wow that was so long I'm not sure what you're still doing here if you actually did read through all of that. Happy Oscars hysteria hangover day! It has been a treat.

February 5, 2017

no hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here

February 4th, 2017. Another weekend, another march. Has it really only been 15 days? 

Saturday was a sunny, warm, and beautiful day in Salt Lake City. The perfect conditions to march with thousands of other Utahns. This was the first march I was able to attend in the series of marches over the past two weekends. I desperately wanted to attend the march in Park City on what should now be considered a holiday (International Women's March Day, January 21st...who's with me?!), but unfortunately the snowy weather was so bad I couldn't make it up to Park City to participate. I am so glad I had the opportunity to come out for this one though! Although we got to the party a little late (hence the sparse crowds in some of these pictures), I still managed to hear some inspiring speeches, read some truly hilariously clever signs, meet some lovely people, and feel an overwhelming sense of love and community with my fellow Americans. 
See more at: #utahmarchforrefugees