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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#69 The 2015 Oscars

Read Rocky's review first here.
Dear Rocky,

I completely agree with you that the 2015 Oscars were incredibly impressive.

I had a huge laugh while still on the red carpet at the exchange between mother and daughter, Melanie Griffiths and Dakota Johnson. Did you see it? Melanie was asked if she had seen 50 Shades of Grey and was adamant that she would not. What ensued was a "One day she'll see it" vs "No I won't" argument before Dakota finally said something like "for f#%@ sake" and eye rolled. You have to watch it - such a normal mother/daughter discussion. Here's a link.

Enough can't be said about John Travolta "the creepy uncle" and the innumerable GIFS going around today. Here is my favourite that fits with your quote from Neil Patrick Harris.

I don't feel fully qualified to comment on the winners and losers - I'd only seen 3 of the nominated best films, so bear that in mind. Having said that, I am looking forward to seeing the ones I missed.

I completely love that Eddie Redmayne won. I agree with you that it was a truly physical role and he played it to perfection. What kind eyes he has and such a beautiful smile. I loved his very heartfelt speech. Just brilliant. Did you know he went to Eton with Prince William?

I liked J. K. Simmons speech as well. I haven't seen that film either, but I will. And I will call my mum.

I loved Common's and John Legend's acceptance speech for the Best Song Oscar too, it was really moving, but I didn't find it any less political than Patricia Arquette's. I agree that theirs related to Selma and hers did not relate to Boyhood - but she's not the first person to use the stage to make a point. I have to say it was nice seeing Meryl so animated.

I loved Julianne Moore's acceptance speech too, but I didn't love her performance in Still Alice. I had such high hopes because I ordered the book, yet the movie did not move me until the very last scene and that disappointed me.

Although, I don't know who I would have preferred to win best actress. I did like Reese in Wild and I did like Rosamund in Gone Girl, and of course I loved Felicity in the Theory of Everything - actually, as I write that, I would choose Felicity Jones. I don't know how much of that choice is her acting ability or the character she played. Perhaps both were amazing.

Rocky, did Joan Rivers really have anything to do with making movies Rocky? I missed that whole section but of course would have loved to have seen the part about Robin Williams.

I love Neil Patrick Harris and I adored the opening number with Anna Kendrick and Jack Black. She's incredible. Watch it here.

This is the first year I haven't watched the Oscars from start to finish. I don't know why - they started late and I was tired. I'm going to make a promise for 2016 to start earlier, watching all of the nominated movies before the ceremony and drumming up as much enthusiasm as I can.

To make up for my lacklustre performance this year, here are a few of my favourite moments.

Jennifer Aniston/Reese Witherspoon - so cute!

I just love Jen!

How gorgeous is this friendship.

Thanks for your review Rocky. What will we take on next? Still Alice?


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

#68 Dear Rocky - The Imitation Game

Dear Rocky,

I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan - let's just get that out there. I can't say I have been captivated by Benedict Cumberbatch - but what a name!

This is a true story, an amazing story, about World War II. But that is not the fascinating part for me - although I did have a great history lesson. I love it when that happens.

What fascinated me mainly was the portrayal of this character who is clearly a genius, and obviously on the autism spectrum, lacking all social skills and possessing an inability to read social cues. He seemed oblivious to the impact of his behaviours on others - check. So then, what I found most brilliant were the reactions to him by the other characters. They couldn't read him. They couldn't understand him. They resented him and found him rude and obnoxious. Arrogant.

Flashbacks to school, to the horrendous bullying and torture and to his first love, provide us with all the background and understanding we need. So well done.

And then along she came. I'll leave most of the character names and actors to you - but can I just say, this is the first movie I've ever enjoyed watching Keira Knightly in. They fumbled through their friendship come relationship and highlighted his sexuality. This character not only had to struggle through his genius, his difficulty in living in the world, not to mention surviving World War II, but he also had to cover up his sexuality.

One could be forgiven for lying in the foetal position, rocking back and forth, but instead, Alan Turing cracked the enigma code using a machine named after his first love - Christopher - and won the war. Okay, a few other things happened in between, but that was essentially it. 

Finally, human nature. A story of his time. Rather than be admired for thriving despite all of his adversities, he is persecuted because of his sexuality and treated with hormone therapy. What? Thank goodness for living in 2015.

The end of his life, we read about. Alan Turing killed himself in 1954 after a year of the treatment. It took until 2013 for the Queen to pardon him. Too little, too late.

Is it any wonder this true story made it to the big screen. It tells a tale of the extremes of the human experience and sadly, of intolerance.

What a movie. I'll be interested to see how it fares at the Oscars Rocky. I give it a 9/10. What about you?


You can read Rocky's review here.
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