The Oscar nominations were announced early this morning. As is true every year, there are obvious selections in popular categories, as well as obvious snubs (Tom Hanks anyone?).
Two points today:
1. Back in 2006, my family and I saw a Broadway show called “Three Days of Rain” starring Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd. I know what you’re thinking: who was in charge of casting? If only there could have been some quality “name” actors, right?
The story took place in an intimate apartment setting, but featured larger than life personalities. This dynamic pushed the limits of storytelling to a place that left us and the audience in an awe. We were able to escape into this world of, well, rain and a will for the father of Roberts and Rudd’s characters.
The play was great and one I will never forget, especially when Julia Roberts waved to me from her black Escalade passing us by on the street outside the theater!
2. American Hustle and Gravity dominated this morning’s party with an astonishing 10 nominations…each.
Having seen Gravity, it’s not surprising this Space thriller and drama with the beautiful and talented Sandra Bullock has garnered a tremendous amount of respect and potential for glory come next month’s golden ceremony. In terms of cinematography, it’s virtually incomparable this year. Admittedly, I have not seen American Hustle yet, but will definitely venture to a theater near me as soon as possible. The latter film features a couple of my favorite actors (plus today’s Lois Lane) and it looks like a fun and wild ride with a top-notch cast.
There are other good movies in Best Picture category, but these two seem to rise above the rest.
Regarding Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, it’s a bit surreal to see Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts listed…and in the same year no less. Not surprising, but just surreal that brings a smile to my face and those of my family’s who were in attendance that wonderful night in New York City (it could be argued that Paul Rudd should have received a Best Supporting Actor nod for 2013s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but…).
Regardless, talk about “Three Stars of the Future.”
American Hustle is an exciting, elaborate portrayal of political corruption, with some ties to real life events. It features an outstanding cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. Even though I have not seen it (coupled with the fact I predict I will likely really enjoy it when I do), it does seem to strike the right tone for what has transpired in 2013 (and the past few years before) in politics with our trusted “leaders.”
Conversely, Gravity has more weight to it by the fact that it ties to what most Americans (and people around the world) are facing each day: uncertainty, financial and personal struggles and feelings of isolation for how to continue with heartbreak and such frustrating prospects for improvements in the job market. The plot/story, characters, symbolism and visual imagery is absolutely stunning and provides a powerful narrative that connects with so many viewers all around the world in 2013.
Memorable movies tend to speak to a generation. Or, in Gravity’s case, more than one generation. Both movies represent us in starkly different ways, but which one do we ultimately want to celebrate and remember at this point in history?
If the choice for Best Picture comes down to celebrating an American hustle or a story of personal enlightenment and new-found strength in an environment of the seemingly impossible, the American people and those around the world may want something with a little more gravity to it.
The 2014 Golden Globes once again had its fair share of memorable moments (both good and bad), mostly based on who you were cheering for to win, of course. There is usually buzz for the show at the beginning and the end of the 3-hour production, with the opening monologue as the main attraction.
Last night, there were a few jokes that fell flat from BFF co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but there were also a few comedic jabs that rose to the occasion…even to the brink of outer space hilarity.
Despite the fact the below clip is brought to us from NBC, please turn the volume way up! Two of the best jokes are right off the top, one of which includes Lake Como’s most famous resident. But be sure to stay tuned a couple minutes in for a fun shout-out to Matthew McConaughey.
2. -4. -20.
Bottom line: It is crazy cold outside!
Interestingly, the temperature readings sync perfectly with the approval rating for such cold weather.
Living in the Midwest typically does not conjure up thoughts of Antarctic-caliber winds, negative temperatures (with and without wind chill readings) or cell chilling cold (it’s beyond bone chilling at this point). Even though it’s the Winter season, there’s usually a limit (or floor, actually) to how cold the weather will drop to on any given day. It can be freezing, but tolerable. Or, to put it another way, it can be livable. Life goes on, just with an extra scarf or sweater. There are infinite examples of frigid days and/or seasons in the Midwest, but having to scrape ice from the outside and inside of one’s car just to achieve minimal driving visibility is new, frustrating territory.
Thankfully, this portal into the lifestyle of the paralyzingly cold and miserable is temporary and limited to only a couple days. However, it does provoke a curiosity about the limits of what’s possible. As unbearable as this recent trip through Mother Nature’s anomalous and unforgiving cold spell has been, it makes you think, for a split second anyways, if there is anything to explore extensively or more extensively in the many environments and locations that support this degree of cold weather for long periods of time.
Is there something spectacular and life-altering to explore in below zero terrains that we have yet to even contemplate? Is there any technology that can be developed to somehow capture this ever present cold weather/wind for a personal or societal advantage?
Strangely enough, the beginning of the movie Gravity comes to mind. There is a description on the screen about how literally unlivable Space is without special equipment for humans. And without extraordinary achievements and understanding of scientific principles and technology, protective gear and necessary rope connections, humans would never have the means to explore Space beyond a nightly gaze at an infinite array of stars. But it all has to start with a crazy idea. Incredibly, it’s actually surprisingly difficult to imagine a world where we aren’t actively in Space for various missions.
Unbelievable only until it happens. And from that point on, the sky is literally the limit.
Unfortunately for most everybody, this spirit of inquisitiveness lasts as long as our body heat after walking outside in -7 (or -20 with wind chill) degree weather. One day though, someone daringly insane will show us all what we have been missing all these Winters. There may even be a discovery that could transform how humans act and interact with Mother Nature during the coldest of days and months.
For now, I’m content with my life decision to not live my life as an Eskimo.
However, hopefully someone will be creative enough to see a seemingly impossible vision through the transparent, bone chilling cold.
If so, we would live in a crazy cold world indeed.