Best Dressed and Other Fun Things: Oscars Edition

Award shows are great for two reasons: 1) they provide a glimpse into the mind of award winners and losers, 2) the fashion. Last year, I was so upset with the fashion choices that I refused to even create a top 10, but this year the actors and actresses finally brought their “A” game. Few honorable mentions before we get started: 1) Scarlett Johansson looked divine in her emerald Versace dress, unfortunately that neckpiece was a disaster, 2) Zendaya was killing it her Vivienne Westwood gown, 3) snaps for the sultry Jenna Dewan Tatum in Zuhair Murad,  4) America Ferrera dazzled in her Jenny Packham gown, the awkwardness up top held it back from being on the best dressed though.

While the ladies of the night were strutting their stuff like it was New York Fashion Week, the guys were sporting new accessories that aren’t the usual at award shows. You might be curious what I am referencing, but deep down you know that I am talking about the beards. While some of the guys used it to help enhance their looks, others were straight up tripping (I am looking at your weird baby scruff goatee Channing Tatum, and your mess of a beard Matthew McConaughey). Before I start beating a dead horse with beard etiquette, here are the men that got it right.

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All About That Oscars

Here comes my favorite time of the year, Oscars night. While we have gotten to enjoy various awards shows, we finally arrive at the end of awards season. Someone is going to be taking home that little guy we know as Oscar, and I will be home watching it all and enjoying a nice glass of wine. So before we get busy with the 6:00 p.m. (central time) fashion show, lets go over who is going to win it all.

Best Supporting Actor

Who will win: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Who is falling short: Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

J.K. Simmons is owning this awards season. Although Edward Norton delivered an amazing performance, there is no way he is going to be able to crawl up and best Simmons for the grand prize. Simmons deserves this prize; Whiplash was a lackluster film that was boosted by Simmons’ presence. There should be no doubt who is walking home the winner tonight.

Best Supporting Actress

Who will win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Who is falling short: Emma Stone, Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

This one just hurts to write. I never really understood the hype behind Boyhood. Sure, the concept of making a film over 12 years is amazing, but the story and acting itself were just okay. While I think Arquette winning highlights the strengths of motherhood and aging actress in Hollywood, I don’t know how I necessarily feel about her performance. Ultimately, there is no doubt on who will win, and if it allows for more strong roles for older actresses then I am okay with it.

Best Actor

Who will win: Michael Keaton, Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Who is falling short: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

I think this will be the closest nominee race, in the acting category at least. Keaton had currently swept all of the awards, so it will be of little surprise if he takes home the Oscar tonight, but Redmayne delivered a groundbreaking performance as well. Although Redmayne is telling the story of one of the most influential beings alive, I believe Keaton gives a performance that hits close to home.

Best Actress

Who will win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Who is falling short: Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Cotillard might have shocked a lot of people with her nomination, but I think she is the only other nominee giving Moore a run for her money. Moore will win the award tonight, but it is nice to see an unexpected player in the game. Speaking to Moore’s performance, her acting was powerful and moving. I have always been a big fan of hers and I am so glad she is getting the recognition she deserves.

Best Director

Who will win: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Who is falling short: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Both of these projects are of great complexity and the directing behind them is nothing short of brilliance. Although I am not a fan of Boyhood, I can appreciate the time and effort it took to create the film, but I believe Birdman delivered something that was more potent in both storytelling and directing.

Best Picture

Who will win: Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Who is falling short: Boyhood

Boyhood was the front runner since the beginning of awards season, but Birdman kept defying odds and snagging awards no one thought it would. Best picture is an award that honors excellence in all categories: acting, directing, script, editing, etc. On these levels alone, Birdman is something of a masterpiece. I think Boyhood was a great accomplishment, but I don’t think the story or acting are on the same level as a lot of the movies nominated. Boyhood has an old hollywood feel to it, which I think voters will be attracted to, but I think Birdman shows a new form of filmmaking that should be embraced. For me, this is reminiscent of The King’s Speech versus Black Swan/Social Network race, but I hope not because I didn’t like the outcome the first time around.

Top 10 Most Romantic Television Scenes

Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to passion and happiness. You get to spend the day with those you love the most, showing each other grand gestures of romance. More than anything, it is a day to celebrate love. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I complied a list of some of my all times favorite romantic scenes from television. While I couldn’t get everything I wanted in there, here are my top ten favorite scenes. (If you are not caught up on these shows, spoilers below)

Gossip Girl: 1×18 “Much ‘I Do’ About Nothing”

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A lot of people wouldn’t see this picture and think of a happy scene, but it is the one scene that stuck with me during Gossip Girl’s run. I was a Serena (Blake Lively) and Dan (Penn Badgley) shipper from the first episode, but it was their break-up scene that captivated me. I had Death Cab for Cutie’s “Ice is Getting Thinner” on repeat for days and I watched this episode every chance I got. Dan may have chosen to leave Serena, but in this moment it was just the two of them as the world slowly disappeared around them. Norman Buckley is a very talented director, and this will forever be one of my favorite episodes he has ever directed.

Roswell: 2×05 “The End of the World”

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While it is hard to pick a single scene for this episode, I am still not over the ending. Through out the episode, Max (Jason Behr) is trying to win Liz’s heart (Shiri Appleby), but she has to deny him and get him to fall out of love with her to save the world. Dramatic? Sure, but I loved every second of it. Back to the final scene, Liz succeeded in pushing Max into another girl’s arms *her name will never be mentioned here*. As she sits heartbroken, wondering if she did the right thing, she asks Future Max for a dance. As the music plays softly, we see Liz and future Max share a dance before he disappears and the future is rewritten.

Lost: 4×05 “The Constant”

This scene is for my husband. He went through a lost marathon after it had ended, and he made sure I watched every Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) and Penny (Sonya Walger) scene with him, this one being his favorite. When I told him I was compiling this list, this was the one of his two suggestions. It is one of the most beautifully scripted episodes I have ever watched, so there wasn’t much of a fight when he asked for it to be on the list. No matter how complicated love can be, if you truly believe you will always find a way.

Scandal: 2×20 “A Woman Scorned”

Oh, Olivia and Fitz. Every episode had been leading to this moment, the moment where we finally see Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) choose Olivia (Kerry Washington) and it was everything I wanted and more. Plus, I am a sucker for some MoTown, so hearing “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell was all I truly needed. Tony Goldwyn directed the episode, and I think he was able to capture Olivia and Fitz like no one else could/can. Now, it is just waiting game until Vermont.

Vampire Diaries: 5×22 “Home”

I always venture in and out of Vampire Diaries during its season run, but I will never miss a finale. This scene alone is every reason why I won’t. I never fully committed to be a Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) shipper, and at times I still fancied Elena and Stefan (Paul Wesley), but after this episode everything changed. I felt like this scene perfectly captured the sudden shock of lost and the abundance of love all in one scene.

Fringe: 4×15 “A Short Story About Love”

I didn’t watch Fringe on television, but after completing the series on Netflix I wish I had. The writers behind this show perfectly blended science fiction with love (between family and romantic interests), but my favorite thing was how they were always able to bring everything together. While I won’t go into specific, this reunion between Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) will be always be one of the strongest cases for love can conquer all.

Chuck: 3×14 “Chuck Versus the Honeymooners”

I wasn’t expecting to love Chuck as much as I did, and while I wasn’t always happy with how the storylines went, I have no complaints about this episodes. There isn’t a grand romantic gesture, it is simply a shared moment between Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) at the beginning of their relationship. For me, this is truly what is like being with someone you care about it, it is about the little moments.

Office: 5×15 “Stress Relief: Part 2”

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Soulmates seems to be an idea that is mocked nowadays, but The Office captured it perfectly with Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim’s (John Krasinski) relationship. It is told through the little details, and sometimes it is what pushes people to see when something isn’t there. This is what happens with Pam’s parents after Jim talks to her dad about the way he feels about Pam. While there is no simple way of putting it, Pam says it best towards the end of the episode: “When you’re a kid, you assume you’re parents are soulmates. My kids are going to be right about that.”

Pretty Little Liars: 2×16 “Let the Water Hold Me Down”

This is the only scene on this whole list where the two love interests do not directly interact with each other, but I think the context says it all. The relationship between Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) and Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) will always be a point of conflict for people, but I think it is another case of soulmates. No matter what was thrown at them, they always found a way back together. While in recent seasons the writers sacrificed their love story for ratings (unsuccessfully, I might add), I will always cherish the love they shared in season 2.

Parks and Recreation: 4×08 “The World’s Smallest Park”

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The Kiss that truly started the relationship between Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) and Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). While they share many moments together that I cherish, there will always be something about this scene. Maybe it is because my husband and I have watched it about a thousand times (give or take a few), or maybe because there is no other couple that will capture our relationship like Leslie and Ben do. The quirkiness, the intensity, the passion, the happiness; it is all the little things about love bottled into one.