Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Oscar predictions.

I love movie stars (films, food and football are my entire life), but I won’t be staying up tonight for this dross. The dressing up box mafia preaching about politics at the BAFTAs was cringe AF and I won’t be subjecting myself to a bunch of millionaires lecturing me again, in addition to the yawn-tastic Blah Blah Land love-in.



Film
Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Moonlight
Who might win: In the infinitesimal chance LLL doesn’t walk away with this, Moonlight has about a 0.0007% chance of an upset.
Who should have been nominated: A United Kingdom was ineligible, so Zootopia and er, Café Society. Honestly, it’s way better than Blah Blah Land! The stars in it actually had chemistry! The closing shot of the dreamy looks on Eisenberg & Stewart's faces was far more resonant and moving than that cliched, hackneyed 'what if' montage at the end of LLL.

Director
Who will win: Damien Chazelle for La La Land
Who should win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Who might win: Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea. Although the odds of Damien Chazelle losing this is even slimmer than LLL not taking Best Picture. He’s got this sewn up. 
Who should have been nominated: Ken Loach for I, Daniel Blake. Although had he won, he would have just taken the opportunity to hector the audience about what terrible people they were and how he knows better than all of us had he won, so on second thoughts…

Actor
Who will win: Creepy Affleck for Manchester by the Sea
Who should win: Honestly, I wasn’t enamoured with any of the three performances I've watched (Washington, Affleck, Gosling), but if I were to judge them on quality of the acting, Denzel owns this.
Who might win: Denzel Washington for Fences
Who should have been nominated: Chris Pine for Hell or High Water and Jesse Eisenberg for Café Society (JE will have to make do with the Razzie he won yesterday instead)

Actress


Who will win: Emma Stone for La La Land
Who should win: So once, I was on a date with insufferable clown who kept acting like he was the authority on The Wolf of Wall Street (even though he hadn't seen it). I'm afraid I'm now going to be a massive hypocrite and emulate said clown and say Isabelle Huppert, despite not having seen Elle. Because she’s a brilliant actress who’s long overdue, and everyone’s been raving about her icy portrayal of a complex character. 

(and also because I'm hella salty towards Yellowface and the overrated film she was in).

Who might win: Isabelle Huppert for Elle
Who should have been nominated: Amy Adams for Arrival(!!!!) and Emily Blunt for The Girl on the Train. Note: I haven’t seen Aquarius or 20th Century Women.

Supporting Actor
Who will win: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Who should win: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Who might win: Unfortunately, Dev Patel is going to run Ali close for this Oscar. I think the balance is currently 51/49 in Ali’s favour, but it's so finely judged right now I wouldn’t be surprised if I checked the results tomorrow morning to see Patel has won. I’d be devastated, but not surprised.
Who should have been nominated: Trevante Rhodes for Moonlight (stunning performance and my favourite of the year by far) and Alden Ehrenreich for Hail, Caesar!

Supporting Actress


Who will win: Viola Davis for Fences
Who should win: Viola Davis for Fences. Knockout performance, despite the clunkiness of Denzel Washington’s slightly vain direction doing her no favours. Plus she's a screen queen who never phones it in (see: Suicide Squad) who's well overdue.
Who might win: Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea
Who should have been nominated: Lily Gladstone for Certain Women and Hayley Squires for I, Daniel Blake.

Original Screenplay
Who will win: Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
Who should win: Taylor Sheridan for Hell or High Water
Who might win: Damien Chazelle for La La Land 
Who should have been nominated: Jared Bush and Phil Johnston for Zootopia, and the Paedo for Café Society. But he's a paedo so who cares.

Adapted Screenplay
Who will win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Who should win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Who might win: Eric Heisserer’s slow-burning, cerebral script for Arrival has a fair bit of awards momentum, but if anyone’s going to trump Moonlight it’ll be Lion’s script due to the sheer brazenness of the Weinstein Company’s campaign. Just remember how hard they and Felicia Vikander campaigned for her fraudulent category Oscar last year. And Felicia saw the gold, so. 

(Sidebar: The Weinstein Company are really trying to make that wannabe Leonardo DiCaprio, Dane DeYawn happen. Just check out this (unintentionally) hilarious trailer to Tulip Fever, which stars DeHaan and their girl Felicia:) 

Who should have been nominated: Liu Zhenyun for Someone to Talk To and Whit Stillman for Love and Friendship

Editing
Who will win: Hacksaw Ridge. The vast majority of my predictions are copy+paste jobs from Nathaniel’s blog, but I disagree with him that LLL has this locked up. Hacksaw Ridge won the BAFTA in this category and seems to have ‘more’ editing in the in-your-face meaning of the word, so I’ve gone for that for my prediction. 

Plus, this category, in recent years, has thrown up a few surprises, particularly The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s win in this category, meaning Editing is no long an automatic vote for the film Academy voters enjoyed the most.

(Obviously, I’m just deluded and refuse to accept a LLL sweep).

Who should win: Moonlight
Who might win: La La Land


Score
Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Jackie
Who might win: Passengers, because the fact that Thomas Newman (who's haunting scores for Finding Nemo, The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty and Road to Perdition are part of the reason I persevered with the violin when the going got hard) doesn't have an Oscar but Jennifer Lawrence does is a bit *clown music*. But I think LLL's got a tight grip on this, so he'll have to keep waiting for his Oscar.

Song
Who will win: 'Shitty of Stars', La La Land despite the fact that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone's duet of it hurt my ears even more than the Boston accents in Manchester by the Sea did
Who should win: 'How Far I'll Go' from Moana
Who might win: there’s a chance that due to Blah Blah Land having two bland songs in this category ('Audition' being the other), they might split the vote, with some people voting for 'Shitty of Stars', and the others voting for 'Yawndition', there’s a glimmer of hope that Moana might be the beneficiary. I would love this.
Who should have been nominated: ‘Never Give Up’ by Sia, for Lion. It played over the closing credits whilst set to footage of the real Saroo’s journey and that in itself was more poignant than the majority of the movie.

I most certainly would not have nominated Shakira's song in Zootopia, which despite me loving both the film and the singer, was one of the most saccharine songs ever, and downright irresponsible in its suggestion that 'I wanna try everything I wanna try even though I could fail'. I daresay parents of children who decide to try to fly off the top of a building wouldn't be quite as fond of such a lyric.

Cinematography
Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Moonlight
Who might win: Lion

Sound
Who will win: La La Land
Who should win: Arrival
Who might win: Hacksaw Ridge
Who should have been nominated: Kubo and the Two Strings

Sound Editing
Who will win: Hacksaw Ridge
Who should win: Anyone other than La La Land. I couldn't hear what they were mumbling half the time!
Who might win: La La Land
Who should have been nominated: Kubo and the Two Strings

Animated Film
Who will win: Zootopia
Who should win: Zootopia, although I love Kubo and the Two Strings, too. Both are 8.5/10s in my book and in my current top 6 of 2016.
Who might win: Kubo and the Two Strings. The surprise BAFTA win will definitely give their producers some hope, but ultimately, I think Zootopia’s charm is too strong.
Who should have been nominated: Nothing I can think of. Certainly not that over-long and over-convoluted Your Name, or that phoned in, disappointing sequel, Finding Dory. And DEFINITELY not that unbelievably unfunny, wannabe edgy Sausage Party. #ByeFelicia

Documentary Feature
Who will win: The 13th
Who should win: Haven’t seen any of them.
Who might win: OJ: Made in America

Foreign Film
Who will win: The Salesman. London Trafalgar Square is actually hosting a screening of this film today at 4:30pm, which I was intending on going to, but unfortunately I have some freelance programming work that needs to be done, so guttingly, I’m sitting this one out.
Who should win: Haven’t seen any of them.
Who might win: Toni Erdmann.
Who should have been nominated: Julieta

Makeup and Hair
Who will win: Star Trek Beyond
Who should win: Don’t care
Who might win: Suicide Squad
Who should have been nominated: A bit random, but I would go with Moonlight, for how they transformed Naomie Harris (who is 40 in real life but looks younger than Emma Stone, 28 #JustSaying) from the sleek Moneypenny we’re used to seeing, to a haggard druggie.



Visual Effects
Who will win: The Jungle Book
Who should win: Kubo and the Two Strings, hands down. Those origami battles were astonishing.
Who might win: Inception with A-levels, aka Doctor Strange
Who should have been nominated: Not Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad's distractingly bad effects, that’s for sure. I’m just surprised the Academy voters didn’t honour La La Land here, seeing as they seem to be giving out nominations to that Hollywood-fellating movie like smarties.

Production Design

Who will win: Unfortunately, La La Land
Who should win: Arrival
Who might win: Fantastic Oscar-Beggers and Where to Find Them
Who should have been nominated: Love and Friendship and Jackie

Costume
Who will win: I refuse to believe LLL will take this for some suits & skinny ties and Emma Stone’s colourful dresses. That would be one of the most egregious and lazy wins in Oscar history. I refuse to believe it and am refusing to predict it, even though it probably will. But I’m stubbornly predicting Jackie
Who should win: Jackie
Who might win: La La Land
Who should have been nominated: Café Society and Love and Friendship

I don’t predict short films, so I make that 8 wins for La La Land, which is excessive, to say the least, but given that they actually could win 13 (ties aren’t possible under this preferential ballot system), I’ll cut my losses and take 8. No more, please!

And if Mahershala loses to Dev Patel, then the Weinstein Company will have done their worst. As misdirected penance, I will write a scathing review of Tulip Fever on my blog (although let’s be real, it stars Dane DeYawn and Felicia Vikander. I was totally planning on doing that regardless). That'll teach them.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ranked: the 2017 Best Picture nominees (part 2)

Part 1, aka the three I disliked the most, were discussed here. Now for 5-1, ranging from 'I quite enjoyed with, with reservations' to 'I absolutely bloody loved it'.

05. Lion


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I’m so Thirsty (You already know).

When I’m not whining about how terrible the music in La La Land was (the only thing flatter than Emma Stone’s singing is her chest. #IWentThere), I like to sample a wide range of food and drink. My brother, graciously, shares this passion, so when he was back home over the Christmas holidays we basically raised Tesco and just bought whatever drinks we thought looked pretty.

Here be photos of and brief thoughts on said buys!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Ranked: the 2017 Best Picture nominees

I refuse to watch Hacksaw Ridge because it looks like an absolute chore (and I despise Mel Gibson), so here be my rankings, from least favourite to favourite, of the 8 films nominated for Best Picture that I have seen. I’ll list the three most Bye Felicia ones today, and give the better five later this week.

08. Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan’s bleak-fest has Casey Affleck in a domain he’s completely unfamiliar with: Boston. He plays a reclusive handyman, Lee Chandler, who is made legal guardian of his nephew Patrick after Patrick’s father dies, forcing him to revisit painful memories in his Massachusetts hometown of Manchester.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

OOTD: Honourary American.

What I wore to get tipsy in ULU with my American friends:

Earrings: Monsoon Accessorize
Glasses: Red or Dead
T-shirt: Oasis
Cardigan: Primark
Skirt (not photographed): Oasis

Bonus picture: with a UCL Snapchat filter



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ranking of 2017 Best Supporting Actor nominees.

I love analysing the Oscar categories and if it were up to me, I would have analysed all of them between the announcement of the nominations and the Oscar ceremony next Sunday. However, this was sadly unfeasible due to the fact that I live in the UK and tricky UK release dates meant I hadn’t seen a bunch of the nominated films.

I’ve only now watched enough films to analyse one category, Supporting Actor, and in terms of discussing the nominees, I’m deferring to Nathaniel’s method on the Supporting Actress Smackdown of a discrete score out 5, as opposed to my more convoluted grading system, where sometimes there wasn’t much in it between two performances, yet I gave one a B+ and the other an A-, which seemed a tad spurious.

So without further ado, my rankings of the nominated performances, from worst to best…

05. Dev Patel as ‘Saroo’ in Lion (**/*****)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Product reviews: BLUEBERRY BODY BUTTER AND PEACH BODY SCRUB (The Body Shop)

Post-Christmas sales, I treatment myself to two Body Shop items to make my daily showering routine a teensy bit more exciting. They were the blueberry butter and the peach body scrub, pictured below, both 200ml in quantity.

One aspect of both products that I can't fault is the design of the containers. I love the colours and the simplistic use of just one fruit on the front. After I've finished the products, I'mma keep the containers to store my jewellery!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Pious BAFTA grandstanding is exactly why I won't be watching the Oscars this year.

I didn't do too well in my BAFTA predictions, although at least I beat my performance last year, where I barely got anything right (as it was on Valentines Day last year, I took it as a sign that Carol would win the categories it deserved to win. That delusion).

Fantastic Virtue-Signallers and Where to Find Them. I heard JK Rowling is retrospectively writing yet another Harry Potter spin-off, about Professor McGonagall's uncharted secret past, where she had a Chinese girlfriend. Emma Stone is favourite to get the role of said Chinese girlfriend. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Product review: TWO PAIRS OF TIGHTS (Calzedonia)

Just before Christmas, I picked up two pairs of tights in the Calzedonia sale, pictured below:



The sparkly pair with the larger polka dots were originally £16, half price to £8, and the matte pair with the smaller dots were also half price, £5.50 from £11.

The original RRP of these two are quite a bit more than I usually spend on hosiery, although this is reflected in their elegant, fun yet classy design. For example, I generally don’t wear sparkly or patterned tights (even just polka dots) if I’m wearing a skirt or a dress with a print on it, at the risk of ‘over-decorating’ the outfit and making it seem like there’s too much going on. Yet I wore the £8 Calzedonia pair with a black skirt with quite intricate floral print on it, and somehow, the outfit didn’t look too busy. [Check out said OOTD].

I think the fact that my T-shirt was plain helped counterbalance all the designs and spots on my legs; were I wearing a full dress with that floral print, I probably wouldn’t have worn the tights. But I dug how that outfit looked and will be experimenting with similar looks in the future!

Another area where these tights being more expensive than my usual was reflected in the quality was how wonderfully thick they were! Whilst they may not look particularly thick, such as a pair of woolly tights, they protected my legs valiantly against the blistering winter cold. I do have quite a few pairs of thick tights, but they tend to be less glamorous woolly ones, rather than particularly Vogue, so I love that these two are both functional as well as fashionable.

I do have a minor gripe at both pairs of tights, which is a criticism that can probably apply to the vast majority of heavier hosiery, and that’s that over the course of the day, or if you walk for quite some distance over a period of time, the tights well tend to ride towards the soles of your feet, so you have to hitch them up now and then, a bit of a pain.

Overall, though, I’m really glad I bought these tights because they jazzed up my winter attire considerably. Having good experiences with them, I’m now not so shy to spend a little more on hosiery, so, watch this space!

Grade: A-

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All my product reviews are listed here.

BAFTA predictions.

I'm seeing Fences later, and then immediately after the winners of the BAFTAs will be available online. I will have to avoid the internet for 2 hours until 9pm so I can watch them 'live' on the BBC and check how I fared in my predictions, swoon at the fit celebrities and their wardrobe and bask in the general movie love!

Even though I expect La La Land to sweep comfortably tonight, a film I am very 'meh' about, I'm still looking forward to the BAFTAs tonight; following movie awards in the 2006 season and rooting for Brokeback Mountain was the reason I started this blog, after all. 

I heard on the grapevine that Isabelle Huppert (who wasn't nominated for Elle, which was ineligible due to British release dates, but was eligible but not nominated for Things to Come) will be presenting Best Actress. That is some very cheeky/brazen campaigning from Sony, worthy of the character Michèle Leblanc! If Leonardo DiCaprio or Felicia Vikander had pulled such a move last year, I would have cringed at dat thirst, but as it's La Reine Isabelle, I dig her audacity.

So, without further ado, the predictions!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Magic Lantern Festival at Chiswick House and Gardens 2017.

I adored the display so much last year that I went again this year!

The lanterns this year were different in flavour from last year's, so here be some photos of the gorgeousness!


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Restaurant review: HISAR MEZE BAR (Orpington)


I took my friend Joy here last month for her 26th as a birthday present, before we watched La La Land together. I'm glad to say the restaurant was significantly better than the movie, which epitomises the song, 'Is that all there is?'


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Film review: JOURNEY TO THE WEST 2: THE DEMONS STRIKE BACK [西遊伏妖篇] (Tsiu Hark, 2017)

When we first came to England, my family didn’t have that much money and so despite loving films, TV and all things multimedia from a young age, I didn’t actually own that many VHSes. One of the few videos I did possess were episodes of 西游记 [Journey to the West], taped off the TV.

An extremely popular Chinese children’s novel, it’s had many adaptations, from TV show to film to plays. Even though I recognise that, were I to watch said episodes now, I would pick up on its low production value, campy acting and all-too-convenient deus ex machinas at the end of almost every episode, I loved that show as a kid, and I still regard the concept of it with fondness.

For that reason, when I clocked that the Chinese cinema-friendly Odeon Panton Street were screening Journey to the West 2, I leapt at the chance to see it, despite not having known about Journey to the West 1’s existence. I knew the general construct pretty well (a Buddhist monk, accompanied by three disciples possessing magical powers, the most prominent being monkey Sun Wukong, carries out his life calling to capture demons), so figured I’d be able to follow the plot despite not having seen the first.



Saturday, February 04, 2017

Café review: FERNANDEZ & WELLS (Somerset House)


Fernandez & Wells is the café situated directly adjacent to where the Somerset House ice rink presently is. Given the attraction of the ice rink in the winter and the outdoor cinema in the Summer, Fernandez & Wells is guaranteed plenty of visitors which might explain the negligent running of the place.

Of the beverages offered, which include all of the standard hot drinks, my attention was drawn to the lemonades advertised near the tills, almost exclusively because of the funky packaging it came in (pictured above).

When I sat down to eat, I was horrified to discover that the only table that was free still had debris from the previous customer strewn across the table. This is absolutely unacceptable and inexcusable. Given how popular the café is (I visited December last year), the management really should have had the foresight to hire extra staff. If they were charing £3+ for the crap pictured above passing it off as a cake, God knows they could afford an extra pair of hands.

During my unpleasant time in F&W, I clocked two waitresses, both stood behind the till. This would have been fine if they were serving different customers too expedite the transaction process, but only one was serving; the other was gaffing about with the display. And the woman serving me had evidently never been told about the concept of 'service with a smile'.

Overall, considering how much they had the temerity to charge for a drink and cake, F&W didn't even try to give their customers an experience deserving of what they paid for it. Wild horses couldn't drag me back to this dive; insalubrious café society.

Grade: E

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This is my first café review. For my bar and restaurant reviews, click here.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Mild 12s.

I spotted this arrangement in my local charity shop a few weeks ago, and greatly applaud the craftsmanship to arrange the films by BBFC rating!


Whilst perusing charity stores and DVD exchange shops, I noticed this on the back of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air DVD boxsets:


What was noteworthy about these two were that they flagged 'mild sex references', yet 12s are usually 12s due to moderate reasons! Bizarre.

Because I'm a stickler for random BBFC trivia, here are more 12s with mild reasons flagged in the short insight. I will update as and when I come across new ones.


I've also nerded out to 15s which had no strong components, post here.

Bar review: THE BIG CHILL HOUSE (King’s Cross)

Before testing out that disappointing Groupon deal last Saturday, I killed some time at The Big Chill House. I’d also been here just before Christmas after pizza with a few of my friends from my Masters, so my impressions on this place are probably better-informed than most of the places I review on my blog, where I write about them having only been there once.