The Big Bad Oscar Post

Guys!  Are you prepared for Oscar Sunday?  Did you listen to a billion podcasts and read every award prediction article you could find?  Did you have many deep (sometimes testy) discussions about Get Out with your significant other?  Did you rank and re-rank the Best Picture nominees, then give up because you couldn’t fully decide what you liked and didn’t like?  Same, same.

As we’re mere hours away from one of my favorite events of the year (a list that also includes Great American Beer Fest, Thanksgiving and Rockies Opening Day), I have some serious thoughts to share in the form of a “Who I Want to Win vs. Who Will Win” list.  Here we go!

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Best Picture

Who I Want to Win: This category is, by far, the hardest for me to pin down.  I would LOVE for Lady Bird to win because come one, it was a perfect film!  But I sort of get the feeling that it has no chance.  I also want to take this opportunity to say The Disaster Artist was hands-down the most fun I had at the movie theater this year.  What an honest-to-God shame that it wasn’t (couldn’t?) at least be nominated.

Who I Think Will Win: Begrudgingly, The Shape of Water.  For all its beauty and all its underlying messages about being an outsider, I just thought this movie was so under-developed.  I left the theater knowing next to nothing about so many of the main characters, with so many unanswered questions and mainly with the feeling that I had seen this exact plot play out in Splash, which, for the record, I liked a lot more!  Also, please consider this my plea to let Octavia Spencer play a different character in her next film.  She deserves better.

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Actor in a Leading Role

Who I Want to Win: Not to play devil’s advocate because I guess Gary Oldman is deserving but kind of loved Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name.  That final stare scene was masterful.  I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was great too!

Who I Think Will Win: Gary Oldman, the end.  It feels traitorous to criticize the actor who played Sirius Black but I mostly feel confused on how to judge his performance in Darkest Hour.  Am I supposed to think his portrayal of Winston Churchill is uncanny?  Because here’s the thing… I have literally NO IDEA what Winston Churchill was like.  I’ll just assume this is all over my head since everyone else seems to think it was such a powerhouse performance.

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Actress in a Leading Role

Who I Want to Win:  What an incredible category!  They’re all so worthy of winning.  Saoirse Ronan is so relatable, Margot Robbie is both fierce and vulnerable, Sally Hawkins does not speak a word but somehow evokes such emotion, Meryl Streep is well, Meryl Streep and Frances McDormand is a force of nature.

Who I Think Will Win:  And for that reason, I think Frances McDormand will take home the win.  Her character is so flawed, so angry, so human and she takes this persona on with 100% commitment.  It’s truly incredible.  That little speech she gives to the priest when she comes home to find him at her kitchen table is epic.

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Actor in a Supporting Role

Who I Want to Win:  Is it too late to give this to Michael Stuhlbarg?  Between his heroic attempt to save the fish man in The Shape of Water to his brief but vital role in The Post and most importantly, that incredibly moving speech at the end of Call Me By Your Name, he had a killer year.  Alas, he’s not nominated so I’m going with Willem Dafoe on this one.  His portrayal of a hard-shelled but ultimately protective and kind-hearted motel manager was truly wonderful.

Who I Think Will Win: If every other award show is any indication, Sam Rockwell is no doubt taking this one home.

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Actress in a Supporting Role

Who I Want to Win: Okay, I thought Allison Janney was incredible but then I heard some good points being made about how A) the role was written with her in mind and B) she’s sort of good at playing this role already and it really detracted from the difficulty and made me favor Laurie Metcalf, who played such a complicated character in such a convincing and captivating way.

Who I Think Will Win: Allison Janney will win this one though and I won’t be entirely mad.

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Yes, there are many many other awards but I think I addressed all the heavy hitters, plus hi, I still don’t know the difference between sound editing and sound mixing or what film editing or production design mean, so let’s not hear my thoughts on those please.  Mostly, please tell me what you think will win Best Picture and what snacks you’re making to get you through all the boring speeches and references to last year’s La La Land/Moonlight debacle.  I’m planning on Buffalo Wing Popcorn 🙂

Happy Oscar Sunday!

Christmas 2017

There are no words to describe Christmas 2017.  Except for, you know, all these words 🙂

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I talked to so many people about Christmas falling on a Monday and consensus was that it kind of rocked.  We got to have our normal Friday and Saturday before Christmas activities commenced on Sunday, which meant Friday night fettuccine & The Holiday.  Every year when we watch this movie and it gets to the part where Jack Black and Kate Winslet make “Christmas Eve Fettuccine” I’m struck with a strong feeling of jealousy.  I needa be eating a bowl full of creamy noodles too!  We tried out this Bon Appétit version that claims fettuccine should NEVER EVER be made with cream and it was good but I think I prefer the tried and true recipe of my childhood that absolutely uses heavy cream.

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Saturday started with Whole Grain Gingerbread Waffles, then a manicure for me.  I think this might be my favorite color I’ve ever gotten!  It’s called “Demi” and it’s lovely.  Also thankful for a moment of peaceful self indulgence because the rest of the day was sort of nuts.

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Back at home: Christmas Day prep!  Joey and I tag-teamed a giant bowl of Puppy Chow, I mixed a giant bowl of roll dough, we made a giant trip to the grocery store then broke for lunch of a giant salad for me and giant sandwich for him.  Do I sense a theme?

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With renewed energy, I set out to make Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, which rose like a dream.  I don’t know if you can fully tell from the photo just how tall they were but Joey and I found it really amusing.  We also wrapped all our presents and I wanted them to be all cute and classy looking so I ordered red wrapping paper and Baker’s Twine on Amazon last week.  I loved how they all looked under the tree!  By this point, we had finished watching Love Actually (our very last Christmas movie on the list!) and I felt like this had been a marathon day, so I was ready to pass out but Joey insisted on putting together a gingerbread house.  I saw the finished product the next morning and almost cried over how cute that gumdrop fence and candy snowman were!

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Christmas Go Time means keeping your wits about you by fully taking in the beauty of a quiet snowy morning and a little morning time Child’s Pose.  Please don’t ask how I took that photo though 🙂

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Lori fell sick on Christmas Eve Eve and wasn’t able to join us for our breakfast and movie tradition.  I was seriously so sad that our fearless Christmas Eve leader wasn’t with us 😦  We forged on without her and had breakfast at The Pig & the Sprout — we were seriously the only party there, just like last year! — walked around the Tattered Cover for a bit, then saw Lady Bird at the Sie.  Yes, I saw it again and I had forgotten just how many funny parts there are!  I think I appreciated it even more the second time around.

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We had a few hours between the movie and Christmas Eve dinner so we did a little bit of food prep — including a corn casserole that I seriously scaled back on in the cream cheese/shredded cheese/butter department — and picked up our turkey from a very crowded Union Station Whole Foods and hey, I even gave myself some introvert time, reading in our room before we left for the evening.

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What can I say about Christmas Eve except that the butterball soup was as delicious as ever, the gift exchange was interesting as ever — I brought a Bob Ross mug that paints itself when you add hot liquid — and there was an actual fluffy puppy in our midst.  I think there was a collective moment when we all thought “I want a puppy for Christmas!”  I particularly enjoyed when he walked around on the table between dinner and game time 🙂

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Look, I know I can be sort of a control freak/over-planner sometimes but obsessive plotting and list-making all paid off Christmas Day when our kitchen time felt easy and breezy and fun.  The sky-high cinnamon rolls were a hit and I was honestly so happy with how all the food turned out!  Last year we made way too much but we’re learning year by year and I think we nailed portions/amount of dishes this year.  Joey rocked the turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes and I think the rolls, corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, Brussels sprout salad and cranberry sauce all turned out great.  Spending the day in the kitchen with Joey, watching Steve iron napkins into Christmas trees and listening to Christmas Vacation in the background made my heart so happy ♥

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We all got to hang out and exchange gifts before Joey and I had to head out.  Made it to my parents’ and proceeded to open presents and cheers margaritas before dinner.  Mom made the best spread of beef tenderloin, stuffing (!!!), pureed parsnips and Brussels sprouts.  Felt so nice and cozy and relaxed and it was just the best way to end the best day.  I went to bed feeling positively smitten with life.  P.S. We missed you, Chad and Lori!

Unpictured: Gifts galore — including, but not limited to, a Kate Spade purse, a Vitamix, a “Grow Your Own Therapist” toy that I can’t stop laughing about, a Snitch fidget spinner, tickets to The King and I, beautiful bamboo kitchen utensils, an “I am freaking cold” sweatshirt and many other things that I feel so unworthy of.  All you gift givers are the absolute best.  I cannot thank you enough for spoiling me so!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, remembered to put BOTH your contacts in the morning (I sure didn’t…) and are feeling ready to end this year on a good note 🙂