Trolling the Oscars: Why None of These Movies Deserve to Win Best Picture

Welcome to the internet, where all of my opinions are right. You know what’s so great about being able to log into a CMS account and self-publish my thoughts and ideas? No matter how I actually feel, everything I write online comes across as completely sincere and competent, even when the things I write are neither of those things! It’s a brave new world we’re living in, when tweets can be art and art can be criticized by any person with an idea for a clever hashtag. Naturally, it’s time to harness this power by showing you exactly why none of the nine nominees for Best Picture deserve to win a goddamn thing. Let’s go!

Amour

Oh, come on. You didn’t see Amour. You know how I know this? Because I didn’t see Amour. I didn’t see this movie because I could just call my grandparents and ask them to speak to me in French for two hours. At least the phone call would be free! And hey, maybe I’d get twenty bucks out of it or somewhere, whereas Amour would cost me at least thirteen dollars and bring with it a lot of emotional anxiety. Anyway, this movie should not win, but I kind of wish it would if only so I can quickly take screenshots of midwestern teenagers tweeting about how they don’t know what Amour is. That’s how blogging works!

Argo

Ugh, Argo. Argofuckyourself, indeed, Argo! The major point about Argo was that Ben Affleck can direct a movie, which comes as a surprise to literally no one because he has already directed two movies that people liked a lot. The other reason Argo was made was so Ben Affleck could take off his shirt in another movie. Oh, and you know another thing that sucked about Argo? The fact that none of the women in Argo were allowed to speak to each other on camera. Sorry, Clea Duvall; you get to be in a Big Motion Picture, but you may only open your mouth when in the presence of Victor Garber. And don’t you dare make eye contact with Ben Affleck! 

Beasts of the Southern Wild

I do love a movie with a precocious child as much as the next guy, but how awkward do you feel about the fact that some white people from New York City went down to New Orleans to make a movie about magical negroes? I’m surprised there weren’t any animated bears and foxes floating along the river, or that those giant titular beasts didn’t burst into "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." 

Django Unchained

This one is simple: Django Unchained should not win Best Picture because it is not Jackie Brown and Jackie Brown is the only Quentin Tarantino movie that deserves to win Best Picture. 

Les Misérables

A friend of mine described this movie with the following: "It was like in acting classes when one person started crying and then everyone else in class cried harder and louder and uglier." This is one of the few movies in which everyone was dead at the end and I thought, "You know what? I’m OK with this." That is until the ghost of Anne Hathaway showed up again with that chopped-off hair and sad dress, which made me depressed. I really hate that it’s a known fact that your apperance when you die is what you’ll look like in Heaven. Really sucks for people who get run over by trucks, huh? 

Life of Pi

Spoiler alert: Pi is the tiger, and the tiger is Pi, and the eggman is Paul, I think, and maybe we ought to remake Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band but with 3D CGI, but I’m getting distracted. Life of Pi is a cartoon movie for adults who are still making their way through Oprah’s Book Club.

Lincoln

Oh, I’m sorry, is this category called Best Way to Nap? Lincoln was terrible. Remember how fun TV miniseries used to be? They were long, yes, but they were campy as hell, had a lot of awkward sex not normally seen during primetime, and were stuffed with lots of recognizable people who were not really famous but still possessed a certain level celebrity that you’d still be excited if you saw them on the street. Lincoln was just a really expensive TV-miniseries, but without the sex. Or the fun. And with overwritten dialogue by Tony Kushner. I got a screener of Lincoln, and it’s best uses so far have been as a coaster and as a substitute for Ambien.

Silver Linings Playbook

I can’t for the life of me figure out why people love this movie so much. Is it because we’re so desperate to see Ben Stiller act in a dramatic performance that we could substitute in Bradley Cooper and just go with it? Is it because it’s nice to see Julia Stiles back in action? Is it because of Jacki Weaver saying "crabby snacks and homemades?" Is it because of Dancing With the Stars? Is it because As Good as It Gets was too subtle and we needed a subpar version of that to really hone in the idea of what mental illness is? Or is it because everyone is crazy? If everyone is crazy, no one is crazy. 

Zero Dark Thirty

JUST KIDDING! While you were all being emotionally waterboarded by the rest of what Hollywood had to offer, you guys completely missed the fact that this was the best movie of the year. Jessica Chastain! She could act circles around everyone else on this planet, and she wouldn’t be exhausted because she’s, like, a healthy vegan. And you know she’s on track for world domination. GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE. it doesn’t even matter if this loses to, say, Argo, because Kathryn Bigelow will have her revenge on all of you. Especially you, Ben Affleck. 

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Nothing Bonds People Like Depression: A New Clip from ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Last week we saw a second trailer for David O. Russell’s wonderful new drama, Silver Linings Playbook. The new preview gave us a better look into the heart of the film, focusing on the comedic aspect—just one of the many dimensions Russell has built into the story to give it a tremendous amount of life and ethos. Following last week’s trailer, the a new clip has been released, featuring a scene from a dinner party thrown by Julia Stiles with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as the guests of honor. The two discuss their prescription med intake, showing the initial spark that bonds them together—the realization that they’re both different than everyone they know, almost as if they both in on a secret joke. We get a sense of Russell’s brilliant way of crafting chemistry between people as well as his affinity for strained familial situations on edge. 

I saw the film about two weeks and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. There was something about it, although far removed from my own life, that felt deeply relatable and hit on a real guttural level. The characters—all dealing with their own anxieties and disorders—weren’t sketches of a person scrapped together (as so many films dealing with mental illness are wont  to do) rather, they were all everyday people trying to deal with problems beyond their grasp that stemmed from something real. Not only that, but there were consequences for their actions. The film also managed to subtly show the point in illness, treatment, and recover when you have the clarity and consciousness to recognize your behavior and your faults/flaws but still don’t have the power to control them and the shame, guilt, self-hatred that comes with that and perpetuates it. No one was looking to be “cured,” just simply finding ways to cope and make a life that had meaning from the pieces they lost and the things they gained in return. And that was wonderful to see played out in such an entertaining way that didn’t try to beat you over the head but really employed the use to subtext to allow you to enter these character’s psyche’s, as well as their hearts.

The long synopsis goes as follows:

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Pat Solatano has lost everything—his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet – and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.

Check out the new clip.

 

Julia Stiles Should Definitely Join Twitter

We reported a couple of weeks ago that Julia Stiles had joined–and what terrible at using–Twitter. We felt a little bad the next day when the twitter username had been deleted. We didn’t mean to hurt her feelings! But apparently it was a @FakeJuliaStiles; the real Stiles took to her blog to claim that she didn’t really join Twitter at all.

For the record, I do not, and probably never will, have a Twitter account. So whoever this “realjuliastiles” is, can suck a robotic dick. And stop emailing friends of mine pretending to be me. The real rub is when other blogs, which are gossip pages feigning some sort of authority, pick up stories that have no merit. The problem with the almighty internet is that there is no accountability.

Can a sister get some accountability?!

Oh dear: Jules is right (if it’s REALLY HER!). We admit that we were too excited about the idea that the seemingly intelligent Stiles would have been so, well, technologically challenged to notice that the account was not verified; one assumed that having Mia Farrow tweet at the account was verification enough! You have to admit; the idea of Julia Stiles being on Twitter is about as surprising as her in The Bourne Identity (were we the only ones to shout, “Hey, Julia Stiles! What’re you doing here?!” when she showed up alongside Matt Damon’s biceps and exploding foreign compact cars?). But with gems like “suck a robotic dick,” maybe Stiles should consider a Twitter account after all! We’d re-tweet that!

Julia Stiles Does Not Understand Twitter

Twitter is a pretty tough thing to grasp for Your Mom and celebrities. Seriously: we have a theory in which Twitter is ultimate litmus test for intelligence. If you can’t manage to write a single sentence coherently, you’re really in trouble. So why are so many famous people, including Columbia University graduate Julia Stiles, so incapable of understanding how Twitter works?

Stiles joined Twitter this afternoon and has been pretty busy so far. Like most celebrities who use Twitter, she has spent the bulk of her updates communicating with other famous people. Perhaps this is how celebrities want us to see them: it’s one big club of bold-faced names, chattin’ it up because they are all such great friends. But not the kind of friends who can just email each other privately or text? In any case, Stiles immediately asked Mia Farrow for advice on how to work this contraption: “Mia-Is this private? I think I need to take some kind of twitter tutorial! How does this whole following&followers thing work? &what’s FF,” she tweeted without actually including Farrow’s Twitter handle. And then she said hey to Joel Madden, Gennifer Goodwin, Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, and Vanessa Carlton. (What a weird / amazing book club they could all form!)

“Guys, it’s my first day please be gentle/kind! I am trying!” she wrote this afternoon, so we’ll try to take it easy on her. At least she’s not outsourcing her Twitter account to some publicist’s intern or an assistant. But GET IT TOGETHER, girl!

Another Reason to Love TV: Julia Stiles on ‘Dexter’

I stopped watching Dexter after its terrible third season, but I’ve heard the fourth, with John Lithgow, was great, and I may have to catch up so I can watch the fifth season, which will feature guest appearances from the lovely and talented Julia Stiles. I’ll admit to a slight crush—I once hung out with Stiles through mutual friends in a San Juan bar, and I was quite taken by her. She was very smart, and very beautiful, and put very good songs on the jukebox. She was nice, and tried to help me interpret a weird dream I’d had about a baby dying or something. I think she was taking a Freud class. She also had a very tall boyfriend and “no interest in me.” It will be fun to watch her flirt with Dexter, and then for him to kill her. Check out the clip below to see Stiles discuss her new role, among other things.

The National’s Saturday Night Live

This report comes a bit late, but I just cannot get The National’s Saturday night performance and their newest album, High Violet, out of my head. The most intriguing thing about Saturday night’s sold-out “ZYNC from American Express Presents The National to Benefit Red Hot” at BAM was knowing that it was the grand finale for a week of music festivities at the National’s pop-up lower Manhattan venue called the High Violet Annex, adjacent to the Other Music record store. They impressively performed just before their highly anticipated BAM show (which sold out in record time) and brought a bus load of ticketless fans—literally, a busload— with them from Manhattan to the Brooklyn venue. I take that back. The most intriguing thing about the show was the fact that big-time director DA Pennebaker shot the show and streamed it live on Youtube. Or maybe the thing that really bowled me over was the fact that Sufjan Stevens joined them on stage. Or maybe it was the fact that Julia Stiles was right in front of me.

No, really that wasn’t it at all. The thing about the performance, aside from the fact that there was 14 people on stage, or that there was an awesome short documentary introducing the band before they took to the stage with “Mistaken For Strangers,” was that they were perfect. Intermittent band members Padma Newsome and Thomas Bartlett both performed with the band (they usually alternate this position) along with Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Perry and the aforementioned Stevens. It was an all-star game and the National was magic, fitted with dapper suits and glasses of white wine as their stage drink of choice. Matt Berninger was on—his disposition wildly moving from amiable stage man to impassioned: thrashing about in fits. His voice was pitch-perfect to the point that I thought I was listening to my iTunes, especially when he turned to his trademark crowd-walking, jumping down from the stage to blaze through the fans, standing on audience chairs—that weren’t being used anyway—and jumping from aisle to aisle.

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After the show, I skipped the ZYNC-sponsered private party held at the historical Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower due to prior engagement and I am SUPERPISSED I did. The National was just hanging out, genuinely chill and content, Berninger drinking his wine, glad to be back to his home in Ditmas following a Euro tour, getting cozy with a slew of talented band kids (Arcade Fire, Beirut) and yes, Julia Stiles as well. Beforehand I got to chat with the ZYNC people who were all music lovers and not ‘all business all the time,’ so I know it would’ve been awesome and not awk. I’m not one to carry around regrets but this was not a party to have missed. Someone please tell me it sucked. The video of Berninger’s walk through the crowd below.

Homeless Chic Comes Full Circle

Months ago Erin Wasson proclaimed Venice Beach’s homeless population to be a great resource for sartorial inspiration. Not surprisingly, the model-turned-stylist-turned-designer caught significant flack for her comments (not to mention inspiring Julia Stiles recent eco-friendly fashion line spoof). But it seems Wasson’s controversial comments weren’t all hot air. Italian Vogue has followed suit, showcasing a homeless chic-inspired cover for its September issue. Meanwhile Elle just hired a homeless internin a move that’s garnering a lot of positive press coverage. Now Scott Schuman (a.k.a. The Sartorialist) is weighing in on the matter.

Schuman posted a photo of a surprisingly stylish homeless man on his heavily trafficked blog today with the title, “Not Giving Up, NYC.” The photo comes with a fair bit of commentary: Schuman muses, “I don’t usually shoot homeless people. I don’t find it romantic or appealing like a lot of street photographers, and if you asked homeless people they are probably not to happy about their situation either.” However, in this particular situation, Schuman says, “In my quick shot I had noticed his pale blue boots, what I hadn’t noticed at first were the matching blue socks, blue trimmed gloves, and blue framed glasses. This shot isn’t about fashion — but about someone who, while down on his luck, hasn’t lost his need to communicate and express himself through style.” Intentionally about fashion or not, the photo can’t be assessed without analyzing the man in question’s outfit — one (aside from color coordinating) noteworthy for its use of layering. The man in question has cut-off jean shorts layered over heavy black pants, and a collared shirt peeking out of a knit pullover visible underneath his navy blazer, which he’s wearing open. The outfit (save for the gloves) could just as easily be spotted on guys and girls strutting down Bedford Avenue (except in the case of the latter the cut-offs would probably be sitting atop black leggings or tights). In other words, for better or worse, homeless people’s penchant for layering is as timely a sartorial trend as any. Even if a large group of people think saying so is un-PC.