Tag Archives: Tom Hanks

Artists celebrated in gold for painting across the big screen

Oscar Night is here, tomorrow night, and I’m really excited. I explained our weird, vicarious night of glamour before, along with the first reviews of movies my husband and I had seen. Now we’ve finished viewing the final movie during our extended Oscar nominated viewing party. Philomena brought  an end to our viewing parties.

Alas, all good things must come to an end; the ultimate party signifies the finality of it all. We’ve got a great menu planned. I’ll be locked in by the time the stars hit the red carpet on the E channel, and I’m thrilled Ellen is hosting. (Effin Artist: I like Ellen too. What’s not to like. I’ve seen her show like 20 times and she makes me smile all 20 times. That’s an art in this cynical day and age, believe me).

All in all, a good year for Oscar nominated features. (EA: Good but not great. Better than ‘The Artist’ year, but pales to Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Bennie Button, Frost/Nixon, et. al THAT was a great year). Our Oscar ballots are in. Here are my winners. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION (Effin Artist: Let’s not kid ourselves, when it comes to skin care, ’80s trivia, music and Oscar movies, the Bride is anything but humble. Mine are duly noted as well so their will be no doubt come Monday who won… just saying…):

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Best Picture: 

  • The Bride: will win: 12 years a slave; should win: 12 years a slave
  • EA: will win: Gravity; should win: American Hustle

Best Director

  • The Bride: will win: Steve McQueen; should win: David O Russell
  • EA: will win: Alfonso Cuaron; should win: David O Russell (if twice in two years you get all four of your top actors nominated, you’re the best director… hands down).

Best Actor

  • The Bride: will win: Matthew McConaughey; should win: Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • EA: will win: Matthew McConaughey;  should win: Leonardo DiCaprio, (but really Jimmy Dugan for Captain Phillips. He got robbed. Did you see him in this movie? Academy??? Hello???)

Best Actress

  • The Bride: will win: Cate Blanchett; should win: Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep (I know..I know, I should pick one or the other, but I can’t here. They were both amazing in their roles…IMHO!)
  • EA: will win: Amy Adams;  should win: Meryl Streep (this woman is a legend… just amazing)

Best Supporting Actor

  • The Bride: will win: Jared Leto; should win: Jared Leto
  • EA: no contest, Leto (though Jonah Hill deserves a surprising honorable mention).

Best Supporting Actress

  • The Bride: will win:  Lupita N’yong’o; should win: Jennifer Lawrence
  • EA: Lawrence both

Best Original Screenplay

  • The Bride: will win: Her; should win: Her
  • EA: will win:  American Hustle; should win: American Hustle (See above about all four top actors. It’s great, truly artistic writing to have such compelling characters). 

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Bride: will win: 12 Years a slave; should win: The Wolf of Wall Street
  • EA: will win: 12 years a slave; should win: Philomena

Best Animated

  • The Bride: will win: Frozen; should win: Frozen
  • EA: Yeah, is there anyone else nominated?

Normally I don’t subscribe to the elitism that exists in Hollywood. I prefer less complicated, non-fussy ways to live my life, But one night a year, I allow myself the indulgence, and I admit I go overboard. I watch the red carpet arrivals and strain to view every last detail of the star (hoof to head as the hubby says … EA: I don’t think it really applies in this context dear…). I want to see the mani-cam, and I want the full 360 turn to view every angle of the gown. I want to know which stars Rachel Zoe styled this year.

Okay, you got me…this is my dirty little secret (really not much of a secret… we all know this about you. Come to the light!). Am I ashamed? You think I would be but I’m not. I allow this in my life for one day because I know after all of the awards have been given out, the red carpets rolled up and taken away I will wake up just a little more thankful for where I’m at in my life. Maybe I don’t walk the red carpet in Hollywood, but my husband rolls out the red carpet for me in many ways through out the day.

Be thankful for what you have in your life, embrace it all and if you indulge now and again in whatever you deem extraordinary don’t be ashamed of it. More than likely you deserve it.

If you wish to indulge a guilty pleasure, submit your favorite picks in the reply screen below! (Yeah, call your shot now. Monday, any “I knew it!” will be thoroughly mocked if not).

And if you missed this year’s nominated movies, well, plan ahead next time. We’ll be back again next year, that’s for sure!

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Respect must be paid: The best of Jimmy Dugan

We are deep into our Oscar viewing leading up to the Big Gold Statue Night, which is right up there with the Super Bowl (especially with my 49ers, again, a play short… they were never short under Sourdough Joe… sigh) Columbus Day and The Fourth of July as the most underrated holiday celebrations (I sense a new list coming).

As The Bride explained, The Big Gold Statue Night is a must on the calendar. It has as much lead up, preparation and planning (I mean you have to watch the movies!) as the lead up to  Christmas.

This year I’d like to see a Effin Artist lifetime achievement award to the greatest actor of our generation, Jimmy Dugan. What other great baseball player and championship women’s league manager, could also win back-to-back Oscars for best actor?!

Now Sean Penn has to be in the conversation of true Effin Artistry, with a range from Harvey Milk to Sam to Jeff Spiccoli. He’s number two. And as for the Daniel Day-Lewis sycophants, he is on the list, but he doesn’t make the final cut. He acts in rolls tailor-made for Oscars. But where’s the humor? Where’s the surprises? No, he may lead the Oscar awards, but he doesn’t match Jimmy Dugan.

Jimmy Dugan is our generation’s sage. Who else could come up with such dynamic wisdom as both:

AND

Brilliant. Just brilliant. I’m rendered speechless by Jimmy Dugan. I assume he spoke a bit weird (as shown in this clip) later in life because of all the alcohol.

If that wasn’t enough Jimmy Dugan was also a war hero:

And the work on this movie was so far ahead of its time it still seems current. At the very least it shows how far we’ve come as a society in just twenty years.

And if you’re still not convinced, just allow two packed minutes of simple comedic artistry wash over you:

Amazing stuff! I can’t chronicle all the wisdom here… but where else would you get,

“Perhaps you chastised her too vehemently…”

“Did anyone tell you you look like a penis with a little hat on it.”

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Genuis. Jimmy Dugan, a man for the ages and first winner of the Effin Artist Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ramping up for Oscar’s Effin Artist moments

I adore the Academy Awards. That beautiful gold god named Oscar signifies something we’re after here — a genuine Ah-Ha Effin Artist moment.

In the past, my husband and I considered it a tradition of having date nights leading up to the Academy Awards. We’d enjoy a few cocktails prior to viewing that year’s Oscar-nominated movies. It served as a connection for us. At the time we were living the fast paced urban lifestyle in San Francisco. I took the train to and from my nine-to-five soul-sucking corporate job, leaving little time for my husband. This gave us a night to look forward to, a break in the routine.

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Our escape into Hollywood’s idea of “normal” was fun, and the opportunity that my husband and I had to see a movie and have intelligent dialogue about the movie was a boost to our relationship. It created another way for us to bond. Turns out that we shared opinions on most of the movies we viewed, which was surprising.

Fast forward a few years. Our fast-paced, urban lifestyle has been replaced by a slower paced, DIY-infused, sobriety-enhanced existence, in a very small mountain town.  Life’s dramas and dilemmas pressed pause on our Oscar love affair. Until now. We dusted off the old tradition and kicked it into high gear again. We have lost time to make up, so let’s do it fast. Our happy hour study hall has been replaced with the quiet, calm of our local coffee shop. We’re making our way through the movies, but with the big night coming up in a month (A month!!) we need to get fully up to speed.

Here’s what we’ve seen so far:

American Hustle – Does David O. Russell know how to put an Oscar-worthy cast together? For two years in a row now his top four are ALL nominated. And then there is Jeremy Renner’s role, which is also great. Deep, deep characters in this film. My husband says it’s the mark of a great writer to have such depth in the characters. Though, I don’t really think the movie will win best picture. I DO, for the most part think all of the actors up for Oscars are worthy of their nominations.

Wolf of Wall Street – Great movie. Leo definitely was worthy of his Oscar nomination, but did you check out Jonah Hill’s performance? He’s a contender for the award in my mind. Who would have thought the guy from Super Bad would have two academy award nomination’s?

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12 Years a Slave – How does one call this a “good” movie? At the end of this movie I was emotionally drained. It took every ounce of energy to get through it for me. It’s a very important movie to be made. The story needed to be told. But ugh… not a joyride, that’s for sure. In many ways, I feel that Chiwetel Ejiofor should win the award, but I doubt that Matthew McConaughey will let him take it away. Speaking of Matthew McConaughey…

Dallas Buyers Club was strong, very strong. I was unaware of the story. Matthew was great. Jared Leto was amazing! He seems like a lock in the supporting actor category.

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Blue Jasmine. I liked it. Cate Blanchett was utterly amazing. What a way to end a picture, though. My husband called it a cop out. (“I hate this whole ‘I don’t need to write an ending pretentious crap,” he said as the credits rolled. “I blame the Sopranos!” He’s still mad about that ending. “Art my ass. End the story. That’s your job!” and on and on… he makes me smile.) Anyway, I’m not so sure…

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Captain Phillips: Tom Hanks continues to amaze. Do you know from 1994 to 2004 he had more award nominations and was only one of two actors to win back-to-back best actor awards? Can you name the two movies? Reply in the comments below! I love me my trivia. Don’t cheat and Google it. The movie was very suspenseful, and my husband, who thinks Tom Hanks is the best actor of our generation, topping both Sean Penn and Daniel Day-Lewis, says he got robbed not getting a nomination (“Jimmy Dugan got robbed!” he said when the credits rolled. Actually I think my husband believes Tom Hanks really is Jimmy Dugan, so maybe he thinks Jimmy Dugan is the best actor of our generation. I get confused). See it for yourself to decide.

Due up – Gravity, August: Osage County, Philomena, Her, Nebraska

Getting lost in the Hollywood fantasy world is sometimes fun. It makes me feel like the problems in my small world are just that. Small. Yes, it sucks that I can’t find a job, and my federal unemployment benefits were cut off, BUT, still..it could be worse…I could be told that I have 30 days to live, or my husband could be gone from suicide, and I could still be drinking my problems away, and talking to voices (out loud) that pop into my head…..Wait…I do the latter. Scratch this one! See how the Oscars make me so… dra-ma-tic!?

If there’s a point to any of this, it’s that I can find pleasure in something as meaningless as a Hollywood story. Sometimes I think just getting lost for those two hours does my mind a world of good. Turning off the problems for a bit is healthy. It might even help to give a new perspective on things.

At the end of the Oscar nominated viewing we have a celebration. We make a wonderful meal, get dressed up a bit, watch the awards (it’s a party even if its just the two of us, or even better if others come) and celebrate with the winners. We fill out our ballots (will win, should win) and see who does better. This year we’re offering a special DIY award for family members who submit the winning ballot. It’s all a way to connect and celebrate one form of art in our culture.

Besides, someday when my husband is nominated for best screenplay, I’ll be practiced up and ready for the red carpet! Besides, those that play along now will earn a place in the limo that night for sure!

Stay tuned for more Oscar updates as it gets closer including the menu and our ballots. 

Try it yourself, create your own Oscar worthy party, complete your ballots of the year’s best, and just get lost for awhile.

It’s the hard that makes it great

If you saw Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own you’ll likely recall this line. Sobering up for the women’s baseball championship, caught up in the team as it battles for a place in history, Hanks character Jimmy Dugan tells his best player Dottie that she shouldn’t leave to go home to conventional life as a farmer’s wife.  She would miss it he predicts. Dottie shakes her head and says that it was all just too hard. Dugan’s line has stayed with me all these years.

“Of course it’s hard. If it wasn’t everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.

How often I have thought this to myself as I struggled with whatever life doled out in that moment. It helped me develop a pit-bull’s bite of tenacity once I get involved in something. Even when I should be discouraged, I tend to grit my way through, the mantra in my head, “if it was easy, everyone would do it… it’s the hard that makes it great.

One of our Christmas presents this year fell into this category. We wanted to make those trendy signs we’d seen in all the boutiques, with big words painted on rough wood. Typical of me, I wanted really rough wood. I wanted recycled wood. I wanted to make signs and reclaim something off a scrap pile at the same time.

 

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I made it much harder than it had to be.

This is not one of those tutorials on how to make signs. Those all start with the cheery encouragement of how easy it is to make the signs. Not this one. It’s EFFin hard.

I choose a dark background paint that made it much harder to make the letters more visible.

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After making my stencils (I chose an elaborate script and a Serif font instead of wide blocky letters that would have been much easier to paint), we couldn’t successfully transfer them to the rough, ridged wood. I ended up carving the words in with an razor blade for about eight long hours leading up to Christmas. My bride then had to paint those letters, another eight hours.

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But when the kids unwrapped them, each one with a different part of our favorite family poem “Desiderata,” which has hung on our wall since they were small, it was well… great.

And that made it all worth it. Because it’s the hard that makes it great.

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