This week my column for Fanning Out is about some of my favorite favorite celebrities and the amazing things they do in their spare time to help others. I encourage you to read it, especially if you’re like me and you often feel frustrated by all the news coverage of the negative things celebrities do (*cough*Bieber*cough*). There are a lot of celebrities out there who genuinely care about their fans and the world in general, and I think it’s better to focus on the good, rather than the bad.
The column was originally inspired by this tweet from Zachary Levi:
His tweet was a response to this blog on Tumblr. Fans of Levi already know what a great guy he is in real life, and this is just further proof.
A friend of mine brought the tweet, and then the blog, to my attention last week and it just struck me how genuine Levi’s words were. And for a celebrity like him – who I’m sure is not only busy with work, but also with running a business and planning for Nerd HQ 2014 – to take time out to reach out to a fan and let them know he cares is just incredible.
There are so many stars who use their fame and influence for good. Aside from the ones I mentioned in my column, Norman Reedus has sponsored charity auctions for fans with cancer; Christian Bale visited victims of the Aurora shooting in the hospital; after Hurricane Sandy Anson Mount spent a lot of time helping to clean up neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey and the list goes on.
I love seeing the human side of the people that I watch on TV or in movies and I love stories about celebrities who actually care about something other than making more money, getting awards, media attention and whatever else the self-obsessed stars tend to care about. It reminds me that the people I admire are just people too. Sure, they have a much cooler job than me and get to hang out with a lot of other awesome people, but really they’re just like us. At least, stars like Zachary Levi are.
This is the first year I have taken the time to see all the nominees and pay close attention to the Oscar race. I love film, and this has been a fun experience. I think I’ll have to make this an annual tradition from now on. Not only do I actually have an informed opinion about who I would like to see win on Sunday, but I got to see several really good movies I probably wouldn’t have even bothered watching otherwise.
As promised, here are my predictions (or best guesses, anyway) for the winners of the major categories for the 2014 Academy Awards.
Best Supporting Actress
As much as I love Jennifer Lawrence, I thought Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in 12 Years a Slave was incredible and I’d love to see her win the Academy Award. However, I have a feeling voters may lean toward Lawrence. To be honest the only performance I’m ambivalent about in this category would be Sally Hawkins. I’d be happy with anyone else winning – but I have a feeling it will be Lawrence.
Best Supporting Actor
I love Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill, but I honestly don’t think either of them particularly deserve to win this category. Both were entertaining in their roles, but the other three in this category are so much more deserving. Barkhad Abdi was fantastic in Captain Phillips, and I would honestly like to see him win. However, Jared Leto was also excellent and Michael Fassbender was chilling as a cruel slave owner. Of those three I’m going to have to pick Leto for the win.
This is where the choices start getting more difficult. I think Sandra Bullock is the throwaway here. While her performance was powerful, I don’t see it having a chance against the other nominees. I would like to see Meryl Streep or Judi Dench win; I loved both in their nominated roles and they’re equally deserving. However, judging from the praise Cate Blanchett has received for Blue Jasmine I suspect she may end up the winner here.
This is possibly the hardest category. All the actors nominated are deserving of this award. I loved Nebraska and Bruce Dern was wonderful, but I think he is the least likely candidate. I would like to see Chiwetel Eijofor win, but that could be my bias based on the fact that I loved his performance in Serenity. Leonardo DiCaprio gave a terrific performance in Wolf of Wall Street, however I think this will likely come down to Bale or McConaughey and between them I think McConaughey deserves the win.
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Martin Scorsese (Wolf of Wall Street)
I am much less equipped to judge directing than acting, so I wouldn’t trust my judgment in this category. As I’ve said before, I loved Nebraska – it’s one of my favorites among the nominees – but I don’t think it’s going to win any of the big awards. I think David O. Russell or Alfonso Cuarón are the most likely winners in this category. I don’t think Gravity has a chance of winning Best Picture, but I really think Cuarón just might walk away with Best Director.
While each film, even the ones I didn’t enjoy as much as the others, had qualities that I enjoyed the top four films on the above list are my favorites. I know there’s been a lot of talk about American Hustle winning Best Picture, since David O. Rustle didn’t win for Silver Linings Playbook last year, but while I enjoyed the film I just don’t see why it’s an Oscar contender. The plot, though a fun ride, is very difficult to follow and at the end I was wondering what I had just watched. Wolf of Wall Street is just so insane, I really don’t see that one winning. Though I loved Philomena and Nebraska, I don’t think either has a broad enough appeal to come out on top – same for Her, which was probably my least favorite. Captain Phillips was a really good movie, but it just didn’t have that spark that makes it stand out from any other well-made suspenseful film. And as much as I loved the visual effects in Gravity, I just don’t see that one winning either (though as I stated above I think Cuarón has a good chance of winning Best Director). I think the race is really between Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave. I think either of those two deserve more than anyone else in the category, but I think 12 Years a Slave just has something more that Dallas Buyers Club was missing. For that reason I think 12 Years a Slave should win, but will it? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday.
Before I start talking about Philomena, for anyone interested in my full review of Dallas Buyers Club it is now up on Curiata.com. And if you’re not following Curiata.com yet on Twitter or Facebook you should be. You can find more reviews from the Curiata.com staff here.
Philomena is a beautifully human story of loss and forgiveness. As a teenager, Philomena was sent to live in a convent when she became pregnant and then had to work off her debt to nuns. Her son Anthony was then adopted to an American couple. Philomena keeps silent for 50 years before opening up to her daughter, who then shares the story to a former reporter, Martin. From there Martin and Philomena embark on a journey to find her son.
Judi Dench’s performance in this film is absolutely wonderful. I’m used to seeing her as strong, confident women – such as M in the James Bond films – so the role of Philomena was a definite contrast. However, she completely embraces the role and becomes Philomena. I had been rooting for Meryl Streep to win the Best Actress category, but now I think Judi Dench deserves the award as well. I’m not sure Philomena has a chance at Best Picture, but I would love to see it win something.
Favorite Moment: There were a lot of great moments in this film. One of my favorites was Philomena’s enthusiasm for the hotel’s breakfast bar. I also loved listening to her describe the novel she had just finished to Martin.
1. 12 Years a Slave
4. Dallas Buyers Club
6. Captain Phillips
7. American Hustle
8. The Wolf of Wall Street
Stay tuned later this week for my predictions for the winners of the main categories!
If you know me at all, you may know that I love television and I dream of becoming a writer. I would love to become one of those writer’s whose day job is to write about television, because really that’s just the best of both worlds. You have an excuse to watch all the great television being produced and you get to meet all kinds of interesting people in the process.
Last week part of that dream came true, or at least it was the first step. I had the opportunity to interview Meredith Averill, the creator of the CW Network’s new sci-fi drama, Star-Crossed for the online magazine Curiata.com. Averill has formerly worked on The Good Wife as well as Happy Town and Life on Mars. I’m really excited about this opportunity and I’m excited to be able to share this interview with everyone.
So, head over to Curiata.com to read our exclusive interview with Meredith Averill then make sure to watch Star-Crossed at 8 p.m. on the CW. The show also stars Aimee Teegarden from Friday Night Lights and 90210‘s Matt Lanter.
While you’re at Curiata.com check out some of our other pieces. I recently started a weekly column for all things worth fanning out over; there’s a wine column, articles on Batman, movie reviews – a wide range of material and we’re just getting started. So be sure to bookmark the page and follow us on Twitter (@CuriataDotCom). You can also Like our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all our posts!
Or, as I like to think of it, One Month Left Until Veronica Mars Returns Day – otherwise known as Friday.
I could write an incredibly long drawn out post about why this holiday is a ridiculously trumped up holiday designed to help greeting card and candy companies make a profit (as if they don’t do well enough on Halloween, Christmas and Easter). Or, how you should be demonstrating your love for your significant other (if you have one) all year long and not just one day marked out on a calendar. However, I decided since others have already done this so well I would just share their posts with you.
First, a post from Curiata.com, which may seem a little self-serving since I write for them, but I did not write this post and I think all my issues with the holiday fairly well. Plus, you know, I want to promote the site.
The second, a post from The Bloggess. I realize some of you who read my blog may not approve of the language in the title of the post, but I loved the sentiment expressed in the post itself – love yourself, whether you have anyone to share the day with or not.
And lastly, because I love him and this video can always make me smile, here’s some dancing John Barrowman for you:
So whether you’re single or not, whether you have plans or not, try to enjoy the day.
And for my fellow Marshmallows – One Month.
Good morning readers!
I’m excited to announce that starting today I will be writing a weekly for Curiata.com titled ‘Fanning Out.’ Topics will include all the books, movies, TV shows etc. us fangirls (and fanboys) love. Click Here to read the debut!
Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook and follow @CuriataDotCom on Twitter! There’s lots of good stuff coming to the site, including a profile on Meredith Averill, the creator of the new CW show, Star-Crossed, premiering Monday!