So You Think You Can Dance: Season 14, The Academy part 1

E: Hello out there!  If you’ve been here before you know that I am thrilled through my entire being that this show has returned, and returned to something resembling it’s old format.  Adult dancers for the win!  I guess we’ll see how the All Star format works out (I can already tell that, even with a reduced, coastally-focused 2 city audition schedule, the cuts will still be brutal) but I will take it over nothing any day.  It’s all about the dance!  If nothing else happens this season, I could watch “Brand New” – the spectacular, 100 dancer flash mob that began this episode in true La La Land style – every day for the rest of the summer and that would be enough.

But I’m so glad we’re going to get more.

And, um, I know it’s lame of me to start so late in the season.  Things have been a mite crazy for the last few months here in Sibling World.   Much more than a mite, if I’m being honest.  But the craziness is settling down (fingers crossed) and I really miss writing, so I’m going to try and get back to a more settled schedule.  I did take notes on the audition episodes, in hopes of having the time to blog them; not only did I not have the time then, but I can’t find all my notes now, so I won’t have as encyclopedic a recall of the contestants as usual.  Please excuse me if I forget names!  I will do my best to give you all my oodles of joy in seeing this show return. I hope someone out there is glad I’m back, too. Ready to break this down?

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So That Was Unexpected: Oscar Reactions 2017

E: Um, okay.

Sorry to take so long in my response, but it’s been crazy at work and at home.  Family birthdays, school orientations, religious holidays, huge work events.  You’d laugh if I told you the thing I’ve done this week.  (All wholesome, but a little nutty.)

In general, that Oscar cast was funny and enjoyable.  Jimmy Kimmel was largely terrific.  His monologue was hilarious (Meryl Streep! discrimination!)  I could have done without the mean tweets, and the tour bus gag went on a little long, but it was hilarious.  The music and the opening sizzled.  Most of the categories went the way I thought they would.  I loved the montages of previous winners before all the acting awards, and was heartened/amused to see how fiercely the editors emphasized Oscar winners of color.  I think each montage started that way.  There were a few exciting wins, a few good speeches (emotional, political but not off-puttingly political), some great clothes, great music, a charming host, Hunger Games-like parashutes.  And then there was the weird, wild finish.

No, it was weird enough to keep me up for another few hours Sunday night, baking (because what else do you do when the world goes crazy?).  After a little time to dissect it all, I’d like to run down my thoughts – what I got wrong, what I got right, and why.   Why is the most interesting question of all.

Because seriously. If you made this stuff up, no one would believe you.  But with the rest of the world going crazy, why should the Oscars be any different?

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La La, La La, La La Get your Oscars Here: Predicting the 2017 Oscar Winners

E: Some years, nobody knows what’s going to happen.  Some years, everyone knows.  Some years, you have Crash or Shakespeare in Love or, to a lesser degree, Spotlight: other years, you have Titanic or Schindler’s List. Last year, so much was up for grabs.  But this year? This is one of the years where everybody knows.  This year, the biggest question isn’t who’s going to win Best Picture, but how many Oscars La La Land is going to win. Could it win enough to break the all time record of 11?  It’s not actually possible for it to score a win for each of its fourteen nods (what with two coming in the same category) and is out of contention in at least one other, but a record-breaking 12 isn’t impossible.  A record tying 11 is more achievable, but it’s no sinecure.

There are other good questions to ponder, however, and they’re more interesting than just the attendees clothes and the presenters on camera patter.  How will Jimmy Kimmel, after a successful turn hosting the Emmy’s, do on the trickiest hosting gig in the biz?  It’s not even a question of how late the show will run, but whether it feels like it’s dragging when it does, or if there’s positive momentum building.  There could be a record-setting three African American acting winners this year; is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) eager to make up for last year’s appalling slight of all actors of color, and truly embrace diversity, or will it all come to nothing?  Will the expected political speeches miscalculate, turning off audiences at home, or galvanize the public’s rebellion? Will the In Memoriam segment be the most gut-wrenching of all time?  Do you have enough tissues handy?

Instead of worrying too much, though, let us all take inspiration from La La Land‘s attitude, and enjoy the artistry on display before us.  No, all our favorites won’t win, but it’s fun to watch anyway. Here’s a guide to this year’s top categories, broken down for you with all the insight I can offer. Here’s to the ones that dream! Continue reading

Oscar 2017 Nominations and Reactions

E: Huh.  31 out of 34 predictions correct.  I feel pretty good about that!  I also feel really good about the diversity of this year’s slate – three movies starring African Americans (surely a first), a movie about Indians and India, and three movies with female leads.  (And yes, three out of nine is pathetic, and yet by nominating more than two in an industry where Hollywood refuses to make movies about women and then routinely ignores many of the good ones it does produce, Oscar is operating on high.)

Also?  For La La Land, the view from the top is pretty sweet.  And rarefied. Continue reading

Oscar Nominations, 2017: Predictions

E:  How has this day come already?  There almost seems like there’s too much going on to think about movies.  But hey, by all means.  Let’s have an abrupt focus shift from politics to entertainment as Hollywood picks out what they want us to remember them by, what they consider the best and the brightest lights of the past crazy year.  Tomorrow is nomination morning.

That’s right folks.  Ready for a little Oscar speculation?

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