The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Archive for February, 2013

Glee recap: I Do (Everybody’s hooking up)

It’s Valentine’s Day! Finn and Rachel meet up at the Lima Bean to have an awkward conversation. Rachel is, of course, super selfish and just wants to talk about herself and Brody. Finn shuts that talk down right away. He’s distraught because he kissed Miss Pillsbury. You know, his former guidance counselor who is about to marry his mentor. Kind of an awkward situation. And he’s the best man in the wedding. Rachel tries to console him, but Finn announces to the whole coffee shop that he’s the worst person in the world. Rachel says he was probably just upset about her and Brody, but Finn awesomely tells her not everything is about her. She tells him to just act supportive.

Finn goes to visit Emma in her office. She’s freaking out over wedding preparations and her OCD is in overdrive. Emma apologizes for not having a pamphlet for Finn, but he should just get over it. Emma asks Finn to just stay away and leave her alone. Will knocks on the door because he’s apparently back in town. Until he showed up, I had almost forgotten he was gone. He really just adds nothing to the show anymore. Anyway, he patronizingly asks how his “nervous little bride” is doing. She’s clearly about to have a nervous breakdown, Will. He says he’ll help her with wedding stuff after glee practice.

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Pretty Little Liars recap: Hot Water (You’ll never want to get in a sauna again)

Previously on PLL: Ezra turned out to be super rich and his mom is pretty much evil. Someone in a Queen of Hearts costume attacked Spencer on Halloween. At some point in time, Ali was on a boat with Cece and Wilden, so he’s obviously her potential babydaddy. Spencer and Toby broke up because he’s trying to ruin her life. Ezra left Rosewood to go meet his son. Hanna saw Paige flirting with some girl at a lesbian club, but it turned out Paige was trying to figure out who was the Queen of Hearts. Mona sent Wren to “help” Spencer during her complete and utter breakdown. Spencer launched herself across a table and tried to strangle Mona in possibly the best scene of the show ever. Aria and Ezra’s brother Wes kissed. Jason fell down an elevator shaft as Emily helplessly watched. Then he was somehow able to get up and walk out of his hospital bed.

The girls are at the coffee shop after it’s closed. Emily just might be taking advantage of her employee privileges. Hanna points out that the NAT Club is now out of Rosewood, so maybe A will back off. Always the pessimist, Spencer thinks A will just focus more on the girls. Emily wants to know why Cece lied about knowing Wilden. Aria’s just pissed that they lost the photo of Ali with Cece and Wilden. Hanna floats the possibility that Cece is Red Coat, or Head A. Hanna notices that Wren texted Spencer wanting to talk about what happened earlier, so naturally, Hanna just blurts out her question. Spencer tries to play it off, but the girls aren’t buying it. The girls want to know if Mona could have sabotaged the elevator, but Spencer tries to convince them there was no way it could have been her. They want to know who Spencer thinks is helping Mona, but she still refuses to tell them about Toby. Spencer is saved by a knock at the door. It’s none other than Wilden. He’s trying to find the girls and wants to know why Jason is “saying things” about him. Hanna blurts out that they know he spent time with Cece and Ali. The girls try to stop her from telling, but Hanna is just such a blurter. Wilden finally leaves, but not before being vaguely threatening toward Hanna.

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Oscars 2013 Liveblog!

7:30 It’s starting! So many lights at once! The theme is apparently Music in Film. This should be good. First joke about Ben Affleck getting snubbed. Seth MacFarlane is actually doing pretty well with the monologue, except for the fact that he made a joke about Rihanna and Chris Brown’s relationship.

7:35 Holy shit, William Shatner just got beamed in. He traveled back in time to stop Seth MacFarlane from destroying the Oscars. Apparently, he ruins the show with a song about all the movies featuring women’s boobs. It’s actually kind of funny. Shatner tells him to sing a song celebrating the Oscars.

7:39 Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron come out to dance while McFarlane sings “The Way You Look Tonight.” My hopes for Tatum’s tear away tux are dashed. Shatner tells him his performance is a little better, but he still sucks because of his reenactment of “Flight” with sock puppets. This is actually kind of awesome. Can we have sock puppet reenactments of all the movies?

7:42 Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt come out to sing and dance “High Hopes” with McFarlane. So much beautiful on the stage.

7:43 McFarlane’s performance is up to mediocre, but Shatner said McFarlane sexually harassed Sally Field in the greenroom with his Flying Nun impersonation.

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Oscar Predictions

And so another awards season comes to a close. This has been arguably one of the most interesting Oscar seasons in recent years. Going into tonight’s ceremony, there are still several races that are too close for predictors to call. It will be nice to have a little mystery during the ceremony, since it’s normally just a night full of honoring the same people that have been awarded for the past five months. Only a handful of accountants know the results now, so let’s take this chance for some last-ditch predictions.

Come back later tonight if you want to join me for the liveblog. The show starts at 7:30 CST.

Best Picture
Nominees: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty
Will Win: Probably Argo, but it could very well be Lincoln or Silver Linings Playbook
Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty. It was the most all-around solid film of the nominees and it’s a real shame it got torpedoed so early on in the race.

Best Director
Nominees: Michael Haneke (Amour), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Will Win: This is another race that is totally wide open. My gut is going with Lee, though.
Should Win: Ben Affleck or Kathryn Bigelow, but the Academy was stupid and didn’t nominate either of them.

Best Actor
Nominees: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight)
Will Win: Day-Lewis. One of the few solid locks of the night.
Should Win: Honestly, my favorite performance this year was John Hawkes in The Sessions. It’s a travesty he wasn’t nominated.

Best Actress
Nominees: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Will Win: It will likely be the phenomenal Lawrence, though it is definitely within the realm of possibility for Riva to pull an upset.
Should Win: Lawrence. She was completely amazing and probably the best performer in a ridiculously talented ensemble.

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Pretty Little Liars recap: What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted (Spencer continues to go cray cray)

Previously on PLL: Spencer found out Toby is on the A Team and started spiraling out of control. Caleb’s uncle might be his dad. Mona called Spencer out for her lack of commitment to the academic decathlon. Ezra cried and then left town to meet his son, so his brother Wes came to stay in the empty apartment. Wilden went to Cape May at some point in his life and caught a big fish. Spencer decided to tell Jason in front of Ali’s new eternal resting place that Ali might have been pregnant when she died and the girls have decided Wilden is the babydaddy. Emily saw someone in a red coat by Ali’s grave the night her body was dug up.

The girls are all worried about Spencer. She hasn’t been showing up to classes. Emily tried to call Toby to find out what happened, but he is not returning her calls. Emily decides to get some cupcakes and show up at Spencer’s house after school. Hanna thinks they might be overreacting a bit and Spencer just needs to work through her pain. Aria thinks Spencer needs a riddle to exercise that part of her brain. They start talking about the possible girl in the red coat and Hanna drops the bomb that she thinks she saw her at her fake interview where the mannequins attacked.

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Film review: Amour

Full disclosure: I saw this film at 10:00 in the morning and I drifted off a few times. John kept elbowing me, so I’m pretty sure I saw most of the film. It was just a bit foggy.

Michael Haneke directs this film, which centers on the relationship between the elderly Georges and Anne. Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) deeply loves  his wife Anne (Academy Award nominee Emmanuelle Riva), but she is slowly losing her grip on reality. The couple are in their mid-eighties and Anne is steadily becoming more and more senile. She will periodically forget who she is, where she is, who her family is, and so on. The film tells the story of Anne’s first attack and how Georges comes to deal with it. Their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) comes to visit, but Georges is hesitant to let her see her mother.

That is pretty much the extent of the plot. The film is not plot-driven at all. In fact, I spent a lot of the time waiting for something to happen. It is a very quiet character study of this elderly couple. And when I say quiet, I mean it is almost silent at times. The score is basically non-existent. That certainly did not help in my quest to stay awake during the movie.

Haneke is an extremely skilled director. His previous film, The White Ribbon, is probably the best foreign film I have ever seen. The problem with Amour is that it is just so dull. This movie is a prime example of why the Academy should have never expanded the Best Picture category to more than five films. There is no way Amour is Best Picture caliber. There’s no denying that it is a good film, in terms of craft, but it is nowhere near the best. I would also argue with Haneke’s nomination for Best Director, especially considering Ben Affleck got snubbed in the year when he should be the winner. Riva does a phenomenal job as Anne. There is no doubt that she deserves the Academy’s nomination for Best Actress, although I would still argue Jennifer Lawrence deserves the actual award.

I wish I had more to say about this film. Its pacing was extremely slow, but it was not a bad movie. It just was dull. There’s nothing wrong with a dull film. I simply do not have much to say about it.

Glee recap: Diva (is a female version of a hustler)

We open on NYADA, where Kurt is getting very aggravated with Rachel’s behavior. Yeah, well, I’ve been annoyed with her for four seasons. Join the freaking club. Apparently, Rachel has been insufferable since she won the Winter Showcase. She takes up all the “free singing” time in class. She doesn’t clean up after herself at home. She completely ignores Kurt at school, in favor of people who just tell her how brilliant she is. She asks Kurt to answer her phone and take a message while she rests her voice. Kurt decides it’s time to take Rachel down a peg. The next day, Rachel wakes Kurt up early with all her vocal exercises. Kurt goes into the kitchen and Rachel asks him to make her some tea because it’s good for her throat. Kurt just about smacks her with the tea kettle, but Rachel says Kurt is being rude. The shit is finally hitting the fan between these two. Kurt says she is completely insufferable and annoying, while Rachel naturally says Kurt is just jealous of her. Rachel says the only reason Kurt got to sing at the showcase is because Carmen knew Kurt is her friend. He challenges Rachel to Midnight Madness, which appears to be NYADA’s version of Fight Club. Rachel reminds him that she beat him in Season 1’s “diva off,” but Kurt finally clues her in to the fact that he threw the note in “Defying Gravity” in order to save his dad from embarrassment. Rachel is shocked and believes Kurt is lying. Apparently, all of Rachel’s confidence was based on winning that. Kurt doesn’t care and says Diva Off Part 2 is on.

Meanwhile, back at McKinley, Emma is freaking out about planning the wedding. She starts confiding in Finn about how stressed she is, while Finn confides about how he’s worried about the upcoming Regionals. Emma gives Finn the idea to have the glee club compete against each other in order to toughen them up. Finn loves the idea and tells Emma she should be their celebrity guest judge.

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