Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar Time 2009

Happy, happy, joy, joy. Three cheers for Oscar night!! (Wasn't it WONDERFUL? Love me some Hugh Jackman. But I digress...)

First cheer: I rocked my Oscar pool. Haven't gotten an update as to the winners, but I got 19 out of the 24 categories correct (last year I was an all-time low 13 for 24, and I was 18 for 24 in 2007.)

Second cheer: Anyone mind if I do a dance for Slumdog Millionaire? I LOVED that movie. If you haven't seen it yet, consider this a shove out the door to the multiplex. You'll want to see it in a theater, unless you are so fortunate as to have one of those home theater setups with the wicked surround sound, etc. This is a movie that transports you to India. You won't want to be distracted by neighbors, the phone, or your laundry while you watch on DVD at three in the afternoon.

Third cheer: The GOWNS! This was a prime Oscar year. Very few misses, so I'll get them out of the way right off the bat.

Apologies to the ever-lovely Jessica Biel, but her off-white gown was Not Good. It looked like someone took took care with her hair and makeup. Then, a nasty stylist came in afterward and thought Jessica looked too pretty. In a jealous fit, the stylist wrapped a very fancy bedsheet from the Ritz-Carlton around Jessica, tucked it up with a few folds in the front, and carefully explained (cough-lied-cough) that the sheet-waterfall look was "the latest thing." She then shoved Jessica out the door, stifling a maniacal laugh as JB tripped over the hem getting into the car.

The dress Jessica wore to host the Sci-Tech Awards last week was much better, a multi-colored, but simple strapless number. Though awfully reflective in photos, I bet it looked better in person. And she could walk without tripping on it.

My other Worst Dressed Female for 2009 must go to Whoopi Goldberg. I swear I could see her bra (and part of its contents) peeking out the top while she was presenting. Still, even assuming the girls were tucked away where they belonged, you tell me. I think she could do much better than an ill-fitting, too-low-in-front leopard print.

Of course, I immediately consulted both the E! Fashion Police and my fave Fuggers to see if they agreed. (They did.) But they liked one dress (for the most part) that I just couldn't love. Did you see Heidi Klum in red?

To me, the color worked. The cutout in the back worked. The bow worked. The leg slit worked. The top kind of worked. However, all these things did not work together. It was too much. I say keep the color (Heidi can rock red), keep the back cutouts, keep the leg, but lose the origami top and the butt bow. What do you think?

(Ditto Reese Witherspoon. Either black with the funky cut, or blue with the funky cut. Not all three at once.)

WHEW. So on to all the good stuff (and there was plenty of good stuff!) First, oh, how I loved Angelina Jolie. True, it was black. But it showed off her figure, and didn't look like the matronly swoops of fabric we've seen on her lately.

Other faves: Freida Pinto (fabulous vibrant blue), Best Actress nominee Melissa Leo (great fit, pretty, and the bronze suited her coloring), and Marisa Tomei (funky but classy.) I also LOVED Anne Hathaway's ivory gown, though from certain angles, it seemed loose in the bust, as if someone taller than her could look right down and see everything. However, I doubt too many people are that much taller than Anne Hathaway, especially when she's wearing killer heels.

There were LOADS of great gowns, so it's hard to pick my favorites. But these two topped my list. My  Best Dressed Women were Natalie Portman in her strapless, well-fitted pink and Penelope Cruz in a gorgeous beaded white gown.  I generally don't go for pink, but Natalie Portman's simply rocked. Penelope Cruz's look was a mesh of sultry Sophia Loren and glamorous Grace Kelly.

I'm also going to name a Best Dressed Man this year. Mostly because while I was watching the Oscars, I made my husband come to the TV so I could point out exactly how I think a guy should look on the red carpet.  And I pointed to Robert Downey, Jr.  Even if my husband said something along the lines of, "Um, okay," before going back to whatever he was doing on his computer, I thought his tux, hair, and shoes were spot-on perfect. Downey's wife, Susan, looked amazing, too, in her soft, melon-y orange. (And their happy-to-be-together smiles get them extra bonus points.)

Finally, I must mention Heath Ledger's win. He was a phenomenal, multi-dimensional Joker, and I think he'd have won the Oscar regardless of the attention his unfortunate, way-too-early passing brought to his performance. Valerie (the Oscar-loving, Heath-obsessed character from Royally Jacked and its sequels) would have been doing the biggest happy dance of all.

So what do you think? Who was a hit? Who missed? (And though I won't post it here, did you get a look at Sharon Stone's R-rated see-through dress?! Google it if not. It would have been wonderful if it wasn't transparent. But as is, I howled with laughter.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Things Afoot

For years after seeing Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, my friends would utter the line, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K..." whenever odd events popped up in groups. Well, today's not so much filled with odd events, per se, but it's definitely a day in which there are Things Afoot. Things Bill and Ted would deem "Most Excellent!"

Okay, that was a hokey intro. But you know what I mean. It is a HAPPY day!

First: Survivor starts up again tonight! (Collective YAY!) I'm participating in Fantasy Survivor (you can sign up on the CBS site, right here, if you're interested.) However, I will warn you that I plan to win.

Second: I've raved about Alyson Noël's books since I read her first one, FAKING 19. This week, her newest, EVERMORE, is on the New York Times List. If you haven't read her stuff yet, you must must must grab this book. And, frankly, everything else Alyson has written. (Collective YAY for Alyson!)

Third: Yesterday I was perusing the aisles at my local Barnes & Noble and, lo and behold, there's also gorgeous display for my good friend Cynthia Leitich Smith's newest release, ETERNAL. ETERNAL takes place in the same wacky, paranormal version of Austin, TX, as Cynthia's last novel, TANTALIZE. I wasn't expecting to see ETERNAL for another week or thereabouts, so it was truly a happy find. (Collective YAY for Cynthia!)

Go. Read. Watch. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who Wants To Know A Secret?

Today, a reading recommendation! If you're a fan of books where every character harbors a secret, you MUST check out author Micol Ostow's latest series, The Bradford Novels. The first book, Golden Girl, is in stores now, and the other books will be out in the next few months.

This series--set at a fictional school called Bradford Prep--is doubly fun because there's a slew of online content. There's an entire site following the day-to-day events at Bradford Prep that's similar to a site a real high school would have (though there are added blogs by the main characters that give you further insights into events from the books.) Plus, there's a huge blog event (where I'm today's guest!)

Be sure to let me know what you think of Golden Girl. (And if you want more Micol while you're waiting for the next Bradford Novel, check out her other books, such as Crush du Jour and Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

The "Bale"-Out

Anyone catch the news of Christian Bale's on-set tirade against the lighting director who accidentally walked into a scene while it was being filmed? Yeowtch. Both at what he actually said (calling it a "rant" would be like calling a hurricane a "rainstorm") and at the length to which he said it.

(If you want to read more about it, go here for MSNBC.com's take. Of course, TMZ has the actual audio.)

The gist of it was that Bale couldn't focus/get into the head of his character with the lighting guy walking through. While I can certainly see that it'd be annoying ('cause you'd have to re-shoot the scene, for one), I wonder what would happen to ME if I pulled that while I was sitting in my office, mid-scene, and someone walked in?

I mean, I've got the dog barking at the UPS truck or my husband asking something vitally important like, "Hey, where's the peanut butter?" about every three minutes while I'm working. And I have to be in the head of my characters, too. It's annoying to get interrupted--as an author, it could mean losing that incredibly witty bit of dialogue I just imagined--but it's life. (And just for the record, the peanut butter is where it ALWAYS is, because I am just that kind of an organized neat freak. If the peanut butter's out of place, it's because my husband put it out of place. So asking me where it is doesn't solve his problem.)

Thing is, I'm a huge fan of Christian Bale's work. One of my all-time fave movies is 1987's Empire of the Sun , which he starred in when he was only thirteen. (Grab it from Netflix if you've never seen it. It also stars John Malkovich and Joe Pantoliano. I promise you'll love it.) And I thought Bale was amazing in 3:10 To Yuma. So I was glad to see that he made a public apology today. And I think he meant it.

What do you think? Excusable? Inexcusable? What would happen if you threw a fit like that at work? Have you ever thrown a fit like that at work? (I think my husband would tell me to slowly move away from the computer while he removed all sharp objects from the room. And he'd make sure he found the peanut butter before I did.)