The 2016 Oscar nominations came out today, and it’s all very exciting. I came up with a hypothesis for figuring out the winners before the show, which I’m testing with the Best Actress category.
First, this years nominees:
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
In the past few years, the actor who ended up winning the Oscar tended to win the Golden Globe and/or SAG award. I went back and looked at the past winners for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama and Best Actress in a Comedy, and sure enough the Golden Globe winning actress from either the drama or comedy category ended up winning the Oscar (most often it was the drama category). The only four exceptions were 1981, 1995, 1996, and 2001 where the winner was a nominee in either category but did not win the Golden Globe. Still, this pattern held together for the past fifteen years, which makes me conclude the winner is either going to be Brie Larson (who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama) or Jennifer Lawrence (who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy).
Given the fact Larson was nominated for the SAG award and will most likely win it as Lawrence was not nominated, I feel Brie Larson will win the Oscar (which is exciting because I’ve sort of been a fan of hers since the early 2000s…long story). That’s my early prediction based on logic and spotting patterns in the Academy’s voting history. The only movie I saw of the five nominees was Joy, which I thought was fantastic and that Jennifer Lawrence totally deserves the Oscar. I thought she was better in Joy than in Silver Linings Playbook, which she won the Oscar.
Anyway, it’s probably too soon to call it, but I thought it was interesting that the pattern of winners went all the way back to 1980 (it probably went further, but I gave up checking).
If you’re having a long day, are stressed out, or just tired, watch the clips below. They’re various recent interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and she just makes you laugh. When I was studying for finals or exams, I (as well as a lot of people I went to school with) would take like a fifteen minute study break just search on YouTube “Jennifer Lawrence funny moments.” She’s just a down to earth person and she doesn’t take herself seriously.
Anyway, I saw these clips and they made me laugh…thought I’d share the wealth.
I found this video clip where Jennifer Lawrence pranks her interviewer with the help of Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and a fan. At first I thought it was quite entertaining because the interviewer was originally planning on pranking Jennifer Lawrence but she got him back.
However, I started watching it again and, not to ruin it, I started wondering how it was not all staged. I mean, these two guys (I must admit, I’m not familiar with their work) claim to be YouTube pranksters and they’re posting a video of them getting pranked. So, how could they film a prank on themselves without them knowing? What’s more, when she storms out at the end, she has to take out her earpiece that Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth were using to communicate with her. If the interviewer really didn’t know she was pranking him, wouldn’t he wonder why she was wearing an earpiece?
I guess the moral of the story is not to read into things and just enjoy a comical video.
THE TRAILER I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR IS FINALLY HERE! They finally released the trailer for the new biopic Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Bradley Cooper, directed by David O. Russell. Literally, add Amy Adams and we’ve got the cast from American Hustle. Watch it:
The reason I’m so excited is not just because I’m a fan of Jennifer Lawrence, especially her work with David O. Russell, but this movie was actually filmed right in my neighborhood last winter. In fact, the weather was so awful at that time (we had three blizzards in one week…tons of snow and no place to put it), they actually had to stop shooting Joy. There’s actually a picture of Jennifer Lawrence walking around Boston during a blizzard in a huge winter jacket giving the finger, which I’m assuming was towards the paparazzi following her, but somehow my local news station took it as her giving the finger to the snow…Anyway, being in the atmosphere where this film was made on top of being a fan of Jennifer Lawrence has made me really excited to see this movie. Plus, I heard Lawrence talk previously in interviews for the second Hunger Games movie about how David O. Russell had texted her the night before asking if she wanted to do a movie about the woman who made the miracle mop, and it’s just kind of funny that it has finally happened.
My favorite part of the trailer was at the end how she shot the gun and said “My name is Joy by the way.”
I remember last year I kept hearing a remix on the radio of Gotye’s song “Somebody I Used to Know,” and I was obsessed with it. After extensive googling, I found that it was DJ Mike D who was behind the amazing remake. Since then, I’ve heard his remakes of Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart a Break” and Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” on the radio.
I decided to check out DJ Mike D’s soundcloud, and my God, I think I found heaven. This person is so talented in keeping the original integrity of the song, but enhancing them or making them more interesting to listen to. In fact, I think his remake of “All of Me” by John Legend is better than the dance remix that they play on the radio:
And I don’t know why Jennifer Lawrence says she can’t sing (actually, she says she’s a tone-deaf Amy Winehouse who has bronchitis), because I think her voice is great in “The Hanging Tree.” Listen to DJ Mike D’s remix, it’s phenomenal:
I’m going to leave you with a couple more remakes done by the talented DJ Mike D… At the moment I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much remixes I need to listen to…
P.S. I think he really improved T. Swift’s song “22;” the faster tempo really translate better to celebratory nature of the song. I must warn you though, once you listen to this version, you will not enjoy the original as much:
Over my winter break, I had decided to go see American Hustle with my siblings. As a broke college student, I probably go to the movies like once or twice a year; it’s just easier and cheaper for me to wait for the DVD release and borrow it from the library to watch. I was so pumped to see American Hustle because it was filmed around the Boston area – basically my backyard. I remember when they were filming it, there was a breaking news on the local news stations saying they spotted Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale dressed in ’70s attire; as it turns out, they were filming the final scene of AmericanHustle where they are picking up their son at school. Also, I had seen this clip on youtube where Jennifer Lawrence blew up a microwave (or as they call it, a “science oven”):
But then my friend tweeted that American Hustlewas a big disappointment and “JLaw” was the only good part. This shocked me. Do I go see this movie? Or do I save my money? What to do?! I asked her to clarify, and she said JLaw had a dance/singalong number that was worth the ten bucks (if this sounds familiar, I wrote a similar post reviewing American Hustle that you can read here). That dance/singalong was set to “Live and Let Die” by Wings, and since seeing American Hustle, I’ve just been obsessed with this song.
I find “Live and Let Die” to be infectious and rather frantic. The energy makes you want to get up and dance or run or something. The intense level of energy that comes from that orchestral/horn melody is unrivaled; I have yet to hear such a frantic/panicked/intense song. Take a listen to this panicked-feeling melody (e.g. 0:46):
Anyway, “Live and Let Die” has been on repeat today and has inspired me as a musician/songwriter, plus it was motivating to listen whilst running on the treadmill. In honor of that, and the fact American Hustle is coming out on DVD in six days (March 18th!), “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.
I found the clip of JLaw’s dance/singalong, enjoy!:
I probably enjoyed American Hustle more than I thought I would, and apparently I’ve been obsessed with it because I can’t stop talking about it. The thing is, the story line is a bit confusing as it is told in flashbacks and in a non-sequential order. There were periods when I was watching it and didn’t understand how something was legal or what was going on. But at the end, it all makes sense and clicks, which perhaps is why I liked it. Or perhaps it was because they filmed the movie in locations around where I live, so I got a kick seeing my home on the big screen.
The film tells the story of two con artists, played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams, who are forced by an FBI agent, played by Bradley Cooper, to basically con or set up to arrest corrupt politicians and mobsters, notably a mayor played by Jeremy Renner. Bale, Adams, and Cooper’s characters create a rather elaborate and difficult-to-manage sting operation to catch Renner’s character, among other politicians, that almost comes to a crashing end when Bale’s character’s crazy wife, played by Jennifer Lawrence, unknowingly starts telling the mobsters and politicians about the sting operation.
The thing that really enthralls me about this movie is the fact that the tag line is “everybody hustles to survive,” and when you watch the movie, you realize everyone really is hustling each other; you really don’t know who is the one who has the power. At some points you feel Bradley Cooper’s character is controlling everyone, then it seems Amy Adam’s character is in charge, other times you think it really is Christian Bale, or perhaps Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve been dying to discuss this with people, but everyone I’ve talked to hasn’t seen the film! So I made a poll to see who you think had the power in American Hustle.
Personally, I feel Amy Adams’ character is the one who holds all the cards. She holds two identities, and flawlessly slides between her usual American accent to a perfect British accent (which is why I think she deserves the Academy Award, but she’ll probably lose to Cate Blanchett because Blanchett has been winning all the other major film awards). Because she slides in between the two accents and identities, some confusion is caused because you’re not sure if she’s the British woman or the American. This isn’t done to annoy the audience, it’s done to show how complex a person/con artist Adams’ character really is. You find out at the end (SPOILER ALERT) that she’s really an American pretending to be British as part of her con with Bale. However, she keeps up the British act to convince Cooper to like her/fall in love with her. While Cooper was intending to put Bale and Adams away in jail after using them (I assume, he made it appear like he’d let them go free, but I got the feeling he wasn’t so altruistic), you could tell he was becoming hooked on Adams. I don’t think the sting operation could’ve ended the way it did if Adams’ character wasn’t in the lead as I think she was; there was a scene towards the beginning where Adams wanted Bale to hustle Cooper and not trust him with the sting (which he didn’t seem too keen on), so Adams said she do it by herself.
If you haven’t seen American Hustle, you really should (it comes out on dvd March 18th!). I had a friend who saw this movie in theaters before I did and she seemed not to like it as much. As I was planning on seeing it, I asked her if I should’ve waited until the dvd release and not waste the extra money on the movie ticket. Her response was simply and effective, “No, there’s a JLaw singalong/dance along number that’s worth the $10,” and she could not be more right.
But it’s not just the JLaw singalong/dance along number that makes the movie. This is a movie that makes you think about the characters and their situations, and really forces you to make some of your own conclusions. You have to get involved in the sting operation and hang in when things don’t make sense because they will at the end. While this movie is categorized as a comedy, it’s kind of like David O. Russell’s last movie, Silver Linings Playbook: while it held some funny moments, it wasn’t roll around on the floor crying type of comedy (although, I felt American Hustle was funnier than Silver Linings Playbook). All the main actors did incredible work, each deserving an Oscar (especially Adams and Lawrence). Personally, I felt Jennifer Lawrence stole the show; I couldn’t wait for another one of her scenes because she just left me laughing (honestly, if she doesn’t get the Academy Award for this performance…I won’t be happy). There was one scene in particular where Lawrence’s “boyfriend” attempts to kill Bale (her character’s husband) and after Bale confronts Lawrence, she ends the scene saying “honestly, why can’t you be happy for me?”
If none of this interests you, you should still see American Hustle just to experience the fact that in one movie all the characters are really and truly hustling each other (and half the time you don’t realize it).
"Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." – JK Rowling