Theater Adventure: What The Constitution Means To Me

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It’s hard to describe what exactly What the Constitution Means to Me is. It’s an autobiographic play, written and starring by Heidi Schreck, in which she recounts and (sort of) recreates her time as a teenager participating in American Legion constitution speaking contests. It’s a scripted play, though it feels conversational (she breaks the fourth wall constantly, including at one point to tell the audience that the show does have structure). It’s a narrative, or more accurately a few interwoven narratives, but also a philosophical look at what the constitution is and how it actually functions in today’s world.

I knew basically this much about the show before I went in. (I had read this, lovely, piece in The New Yorker.) And I expected it to be an interesting intellectual afternoon of theater, which it was. But, it was also, unexpectedly emotional. Schreck follows the original mandate of the American Legion contest, better than she reports she did at fifteen, and connects the dry, legalistic language of the Fourteenth and Ninth Amendments to the darkest parts of her family’s story. The mock debate becomes a way to talk about the way the Constitution (and the governments built upon it) have failed pretty much every category of people other than the kind of rich, white men who wrote it.

But it didn’t leave me as hopeless as that last paragraph implies, mostly because Schreck calls in reinforcements in the form of a teenage girl who, like her former self, now fills her time with debates. Yesterday, we saw Thursday Williams come out to argue in favor of the constitution, not in a Pollyanna way. I left with a lot more questions than answers (my family had a very interesting dinner conversationbut not despair, which these days can be hard for me to avoid politically.

The show is running at the Helen Hayes Theater at 240 W. 44th St.

Best Picture Baking Project: From Here To Eternity

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Squeezed this month’s in right under the wire. This is the last “F” on my weirdly alphabetized list! And it was super fun! All I knew about the movie before watching was that one iconic scene and the fact that it is set in Hawaii. So I made something I found on the internet called “Hawaiian Dessert” which is very 1950s in that it is constructed out of various premade mixes and definitely not authentically “Hawaiian” at all. But the movie is all about white people so that’s actually probably pretty fitting.

Had I seen this one before? 

Nope. Just this:

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Top 3 observations on this viewing? 

  1. This is the gayest non-explicitly-gay-themed movie I have ever seen. From the first scene, where three men talk about who is the best boxer and bugler available on base, there is a level of homoerotic subtext that is insane. Apparently, some of this is text in the source novel, but obviously they couldn’t be explicit in a 1953 film, but it’s…not subtle.
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Blow, Monty Blow

2. This has an all-star cast. In addition to Lancaster and Kerr, who I knew to expect, there’s Montgomery Clift (whom I have a minor obsession with),Donna Reed (more on her in a bit), Ernest Borgnine (nicknamed “fatso” here even though it’s the thinnest I’ve ever seen him onscreen, and Frank Sinatra. Sinatra actually won an Oscar for this, which allegedly may have been the result of some Mob pressure on Academy members, but also, he does an able enough performance so that may be just a mean rumor.

3. This movie culminated in the Pearl Harbor attacks, but I’ve never seen a “war movie” less interested in the politics, or even mechanics, of war. The Japanese bombers actually feel like an afterthought by the time they arrive. This isn’t necessarily a drawback, the human drama of these men’s lives was compelling enough to me, I almost wish it had ended on December 6th.

What did it beat? Did it deserve to win?

Julius Caesar – Never seen this Marlon Brando vehicle, but I like a Shakespeare adaptation

Roman Holiday – Oh, a classic! I love a love story and this one is a wonderful, messy fairy tale

Shane– Never seen it. It’s a Western I think?

The Robe – Funny story. One time, many years ago, Julia and I went to a bar in Chicago and this was playing on the screens. It took us hours to figure out what movie it was/what could possibly be going on. I remember it looking cheap and ridiculous. I’ve never actually seen it, and honestly don’t plan to, but I’ll have very warm feelings towards it because it will always make me think of giggling all night with one of my favorite people.

Hmmm. The Kathryn Dennett Oscar would probably go to Roman Holiday, but I’m not mad about an Eternity win.

Bechdel Test pass

Yes. Just under the wire, literally the last scene, Kerr and Reed talk about Hawaii and how they may or may not return.

But, the way Donna Reed’s character is portrayed, makes it hard for me to give this a pass. She’s a woman who is, euphemistically, paid for her time at a private men’s club. Until she is reformed by the love of Montgomery Clift, and suddenly her vampy looks (look how dark her hair is!) are transformed into a more traditional Reed image, white dresses and all.

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To be fair, Kerr’s character is given a more complicated back story, but it is rushed through, and so it’s hard to buy her as a real human despite her great chemistry with Lancaster.

But, more importantly, I made a dessert that involved coconut and pineapple, two flavors I really dislike, that I actually enjoyed!

Hawaiian Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 (regular size) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 packages Sugar Free Instant Jello vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 cups cold milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (20oz) can crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix cake batter, water, oil, and eggs according to package instructions
  3. Pour into greased 13in x 9in greased baking pan
  4. Bake 20 min (or what cake box recommends)
  5. Remove from oven and press down on cake to release air
  6. Let cool
  7. In a large bowl, combine pudding mixes, milk, and coconut extract
  8. Beat for 2 minutes
  9. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth
  10. Stir in pineapple
  11. Spread over cooled cake
  12. Whip heavy cream into whipped cream
  13. Spread over pudding layer
  14. Sprinkle with toasted coconut
  15. Place tray in fridge for at least 2 hours (I chilled mine for 22 hours and it was still soft in texture. You can also freeze if you prefer a firmer bar.)

Five Star Book: Chicago by Brian Doyle

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I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. My parents gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago based only on the fact that it was a book and that it was about Chicago, two things I obviously love. But, I have a terrible habit of collecting books and then taking forever to getting around to actually reading them, so it has sat on my “to be read” shelf in two different apartments.

The dead of winter was the perfect time to pick it up, not because when it feels like 8 degrees outside I feel closest to my favorite frozen city, but because Doyle’s book is like a warm burrow of nostalgia for anyone who has loved Chicago and had to leave it. Because, as wonderfully as he captures Chicago’s beautiful idiosyncratic details (both beautiful and tragic) this isn’t really a book about the city. It’s a book about the particular pain of missing Chicago, which is an emotion I am all too familiar with.

“Sometimes, even now, years later and far away, on steel-gray days when the wind whips and I am near large waters, I feel a bolt of what I can only call Chicagoness, and I remember, I remember… what? A certain Chicago of the mind I suppose.”

I made a Google doc of quotes, like this one,  from this book that felt like they were exactly describing my emotions, it is 4 pages long. And I won’t bore you all with each bit of it, mostly because I want you to read it, but also because that would be a very incoherent blog post. I don’t want to leave you with the impression that Doyle, or I, believe Chicago to be perfect. One of the things I connected to most in this was the way he captured the fact that Chicagoans, despite their very vocal civic pride, have their eyes wide open about the bloody sadness that surrounds them. As he puts it, “…you never saw a city so filled with knowing as Chicago…” They probably don’t do enough with that knowing, but who does? 

This isn’t a memoir (though you can tell it may as well be in a lot of ways) and what little plot there is doesn’t always cohere, but it captured the texture of remembering being young and clueless in the city where I was younger and more clueless than I am now, in a way that moved me more than I can really say, so instead I’ll leave you with one more quote:

“But never, among all the cities I have wandered over the years, cities all over the earth, did I feel and smell and sense anything quite like the verb that is Chicago; and always, no matter how many years passed, I could hear and see and touch something inside me that only Chicago has and is, some intricate combination of flat sharp light off the lake grappling with dense light from the plains to the west, the fields to the south, the forests to the north.”

Five Star Book: Educated by Tara Westover

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You’ve probably already had this book recommended to you. I know I saw it on a ton of year end lists and my mom and sister in law both strongly encouraged me to read it. And even if “a memoir of growing up in a family of separatist Mormons” doesn’t feel as aggressively on brand for you as it did for me, let me add my voice to the chorus urging you to give this book a read.

Because, yes, it’s about faith, and an unconventional childhood, but it’s really about growing up and learning to define yourself separately from the myths of your family.  Granted, the Westover’s myths are a lot more powerful and dangerous than anyone that I know, but she writes with such clarity and empathy that I think anyone could connect to her story.

What I admire most about the book is her refusal to offer simple answers. Her childhood was undeniably abusive (and reading some of her descriptions may be triggering for some) but she never paints her family as clearly cut villains. (And it would be pretty easy to.) Instead she examines what she learned from her unconventional life and gives credit both to her family for what they did give her and to herself for having the strength to break away.

Best Picture Baking Project: Forrest Gump

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To keep my “actually doing this every month” streak going, I ended up hosting a Best Picture Baking screening the day after this year’s Oscars. (No I have no idea what I will eventually bake for Green Book…thankfully Forrest Gump had a logically built in dessert.)

Had I seen this one before? 

Only about a thousand times on TV over the years. In college when I sat down to watch it (for a class? to avoid watching the thing I was meant to watch for class? Who knows.) I was surprised there were scenes I hadn’t see before, because I felt like I knew this movie back to front from childhood.

Top 3 observations on this viewing? 

  1. Honestly, it holds up. I was a little wary, given our current cultural conversations, that it would come across as dated and cringey (so many Best Pictures do!) but the clearly metaphorical/satirical nature of the story means that while attitudes have changed, the mythical “America” Forrest et. al. are meant to portray/deconstruct is still a dominant narrative in our cultural understanding of our history and ourselves.

Oh, you weren’t expecting critical deconstruction of the metaphorical meaning of Forrest Gump, that’s probably because you take this movie too literally. (*cough* Dad, you’re very wrong about this one *cough*).

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2. All that being said, the reason this won best picture is because of Robert Zemeckis’s technical achievement of putting Tom Hanks into archival footage. And that stuff is still cute to look at, but admittedly a little cheesy.

3. This is not an important point. It’s far from the most important point to even make about her character, but Robin Wright’s hair in this film is perfect in every era, and I want to know what witchcraft Jenny was practicing.

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Every. Era.

What did it beat? Did it deserve to win? 

Four Weddings and a Funeral – One of my all time favorite movies. It’s got some “Richard Curtis thinks American women are sex aliens” issues, but it is a classic and I love it.

Pulp Fiction – The origin of all of my anti-Tarantino bias. I saw parts of this way too young and honestly find it triggering.

Quiz Show – This is an underrated movie, that I always forget about until it’s mentioned, but it’s great!

The Shawshank Redemption – Fun fact: I finally saw this for the first time like a month ago! It’s very good, though I find it very upsetting. I know I am supposed to find it uplifting, but the sad parts stick in my head rather than the ending. This is admittedly my issue not the film’s.

Wow. I feel like given these options I would have assumed a Shawshank victory, but the Academy is going to Academy. I know that my film nerd friends want to say that this is was obviously Pulp Fiction‘s year, but Tarantino is trash. I love that Four Weddings was nominated, that the Academy used to pay attention to romantic comedies, but honestly, I’d give it to Gump. 

Bechdel Test pass?

Nope. But to be fair, I don’t think any men have conversations about anything other than Forrest, except for maybe Bubba talking about shrimp.

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Mama always said that life was like a box of chocolates, and years ago when putting together this original list I found a cake called a “Box of Chocolate Cake” but when I went to look for it again this week the link was broken! So I opened up my copy of How To Cook Everything and made Mark Bittman’s “Chocolate Layer Cake,” and “Chocolate Buttercream” and then bought a box of chocolates and put them on top!

Box of Chocolates Cake

Ingredients for cake

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Ingredients for topping

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cream (plus a little more if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 box of chocolates (Note: I used Ferrero Rocher because it was the only box available at my grocery store which was fun and fancy – and hilarious if you know how unfancy my grocery store is.)

Directions for Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of 2 9in layer cake pans, sprinkle with flour
  3. Melt the chocolate in a small double boiler
  4. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  5. Using an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth
  6. Gradually add the sugar
  7. Beat until light and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes)
  8. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time
  9. Add the vanilla
  10. Add the chocolate
  11. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  12. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture a little at a time, alternating with the milk
  13. Stir until smooth, no longer
  14. Whip the egg whites until they hold soft peaks
  15. Use a rubber spatula to fold them gently and completely into the batter
  16. Pour into the prepared cake pans
  17. Bake for 30 minutes (or until a knife comes out of the center clean)
  18. Cool in their pans for 5 minutes
  19. Turn out of pans to complete cooling

Directions for Decoration

  1. Melt the chocolate in a small double boiler
  2. Remove from heat and still until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer cream the butter
  4. Gradually mix in half of the sugar, alternating with the cream a tablespoon at a time
  5. Mix in the chocolate
  6. Return to alternating sugar and cream until all sugar is added, mixing completely after each addition
  7. Stir in the vanilla
  8. Move one cooled cake layer onto serving plate
  9. Cover top of tier with frosting
  10. Add second tier on top and cover whole cake with remaining frosting
  11. Decorate the top of iced cake with chocolates

Award Show Round Up: Oscars 2019

You know, the fact that Green Book won Best Picture, was an unpleasant surprise at the end of the night, but let’s not let that leave a bad taste in our mouths. In general, last night’s show was pleasant and fun and there were some wonderful, history making winners.

(For the record, I do not hate Green Book, but it was pretty clearly a strange choice for best movie of the year. But…at least it wasn’t Vice.) Anyway, on to better things.

For the most part I didn’t find the lack of host to be a lack at all. There are few better ways to open anything than this song:


(Also it was fun to watch which stars were really rocking out in the crowd.)

And these ladies did a great job kicking off the awards presentations:

(If we are going to return to hosts next year – not that we need to – these 3 should do that.)

Another good way to start anything: GIVE REGINA KING AN OSCAR!!!!

Everything about the costume awards presentation was epic (especially the historic winner):

Keep the good Black Panther feelings flowing for the Production Design ground breaker:

(Also I saw a tweet last night asking if the director didn’t know where Ryan Coogler was sitting or something? Why were they never cutting to him?)

I’m going to go out of order here, but like, Alfonso Cuaron got to give a lot of speeches last night, and I liked all of them. (I only wish he also got to give the final one, but we can’t everything):


(Also love how much Angela and Javier relished rolling that R.)
“There are no waves there is only the Ocean,” is also a great philosophy for looking at art.

I also LOVE that Guillermo was there to present this to Alfonso, their friendship has always made me really happy and that hug was wonderful.

Mahershela Ali is a class act who I am always happy to see get lauded, but he’s holding Richard’s Oscar:

I didn’t see Buster Scruggs but I liked our little Western moment last night:

This was a fun moment:

But my favorite duo of presenters are these awards dorks:

My first tears of the night:

And then the second:

(Sorry about the captions, the Academy was better about uploading speeches this year, but not performances for some reason…) And yes, I see all your tweets about how their chemistry is incendiary. But to quote Katey Rich, “In this house we respect Irina Shayk!”

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER SPIKE LEE LADIES AND GENTLEMAN!:

The least surprising win of the night (totally deserved of course):

And the most. Look, I love Olivia, I really really do, but what does Glenn have to do? Kill and skin a horse?

(Also – I know his speech wasn’t perfect and he should have thanked Freddie more directly, but I love Rami and I especially love that he and Lucy Boynton are in love and so this speech warmed my heart a lot):

This blog is a Peter Farrelly free zone, so I will not be posting the video of Best Picture. So, let’s move onto fashion. It was a night of a lot of fluffy pink (like a lot) of fluffy pink, but there were a lot of great gowns!

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Constance Wu in custom Versace (Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

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Yalitza Aparicio in Rodarte (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Regina King in Oscar de la Renta (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Glenn Close in Carolina Herrera (Photo Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/LA Times)

Give this woman a fucking Oscar.

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Melissa McCarthy in Brandon Maxwell (Photo Credit: Getty/Steve Granitz)

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Helen Mirren in Schiaparelli Haute Couture (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Nielson Barnard)

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Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton (Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

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Lucy Boynton in Rodarte (Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

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Danai Gurira in Brock Collection (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

 

And the Nominees Are 2019: Final Round

Happy Oscars Week! I did not do as much catch up as I hoped…but I did finally see The Wife and a couple of British documentaries ( but not the one that will most likely win.) Here are my thoughts:

 

They Shall Not Grow Old

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Firstly, as a technical achievement this film is a marvel. As an archivist, I applaud Peter Jackson and his team’s innovation in bringing 100 year old filmstrips into the 21st century so those captured on them feel remarkably alive. The use of oral history along with the images does a lot to personalize WWI, which is one of those events that can feel etched in stone, a landmark rather than an experience had by actual humans.

That all being said, this was very hard to watch, the reality of war is grimy and gross and longtime readers will know those are not words that describe art I love. So, instead I’ll say, I appreciate this film and the intent of its creators, but I can’t go further than that.

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McQueen

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Before we started watching this I told my boyfriend that all I knew about Alexander McQueen was that he was twisted, but then would turn around and design a gorgeous gown for a royal wedding. And, this documentary confirmed that impression, but also gave a wonderful view into his background and world without ever feeling exploitative. He was an artist that worked in a commercial medium and the tension of that, along with the after effects of trauma led him to a dark place. Remarkably, this movie manages to tell this story, and show his legendarily dark runway presentations without ever making me viscerally uncomfortable. Which isn’t to say that it sugar coats, because it doesn’t. It’s just a humane look at a successful but sad man. And it’s beautiful. (Though I admit, if I were to ever somehow become filthy rich, I would want of his sell-out Givenchy collection more than any of his revolutionary self-branded output, but I think that’s an issue with me.

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The Wife

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Glenn Close is a legend and deserves an Oscar. I just want to say that up front, and I’m totally fine with that Oscar being for this performance.

The movie as a whole has some issues. The score, for one, is overly dramatic and deployed strangely throughout the film to heighten tension (I guess?), but actually it just undercuts the realism of Close and co-star Jonathan Pryce‘s performances. (Overly dramatic could also describe Max Irons‘s whole character, which is disappointing since I’ve loved him since The White Queen, but this movie allows him no swagger.) Also, for a movie with with characters that spend a lot of time discussing the woodeness of dialogue, there are come clunky sections here.

All that being said, when director Björn Runge allows the camera to linger on Glenn’s face she is masterful and I was totally compelled.

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Sad Motivation Playlist

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Sometimes I get weird thematic ideas for playlists, and this week inspired by Brandi Carlile’s Grammy performance (see below), I put together this mix of songs that are uplifting but also sad. Because, apparently that’s a genre I like a lot.

As always, the mix is available here on Apple Music.

The Joke – Brandi Carlile

She Used To Be Mine- Sara Bareilles

Little Me- Little Mix

Rainbow- Kacey Musgraves

Sign of the Times- Harry Styles

(This was going to be an all female mix, but then I couldn’t help myself…)

Not Ready To Make Nice- Dixie Chicks

Praying- Kesha

Golden- Kelly Hogan

GIRL- Maren Morris

Long Live- Taylor Swift

Award Show Round Up: BAFTAs 2019

Once again the British Academy scheduled their awards on the same night as the Grammys, so sorry you won’t get a crazy fashion countdown from me. But, there was a lovely, very British, awards night that I enjoyed last night. But, BBC America – why did you start the rebroadcast at 9 this year instead of 8?!?! I need to sleep. And all you were showing before the show was The Godfather, for the 3rd time that day!

OK, rant over, Joanna Lumley’s opening was uncomfortable and the crowd was silent, which was not a great way to start the night, but the first few awards of the night going to the supremely British The Favourite, got us back on track. Regina was somehow not nominated for Best Supporting Actress, but since she wasn’t nominated, I’ll take a win for Rachel:

EE Rising Star speeches are usually bombastic affairs, but Leticia Wright went much more humble, and religious with hers, but I liked her humility:

And really appreciated Andy Serkis and Danai Gurira’s celebration for her later in the show. (Which I can’t find a clip of right now, but trust me it was cute. There was a dance.)

I would have given Best Adapted Screenplay to Barry Jenkins for Beale Street but I like to see Spike Lee win things. And also, liked to see that the good Brits in the Royal Albert Hall didn’t know what to do with the Brooklyn shout out at the end:
Also, I’m pretty sure he photobombed the Duke of Cambridge, which I love.

Bradley Cooper finally got to give a speech! And yes, it was partly, because Gaga was at the Grammy’s, but whatever:

(Sorry this is such bas quality, BAFTA was weirdly selective about what categories they uploaded.)

Mahersehla Ali is a lovely human, but he is holding Richard E. Grant’s award:

Roma won a lot of awards, which meant Alfonso got to give a lot of speeches. My favorite speech was his first for Cinematography, but there is no clip of that on YouTube so here’s his producer being great:

Rami gives a good speech:

Also please note at the beginning of this video 2 things:
1. He and Lucy Boynton are the cutest couple in Hollywood right now.
2. Spike Lee is so pumped for him!

I still haven’t seen The Wife but I was pulling for Gwen, but Olivia Colman was the most delightful winner of the evening:

One of the things I really love about the BAFTAs is the way their Lifetime Achievement Award (“The Fellowship”) is awarded more broadly than to just actors and famous directors. Like, last night they gave it to Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoonemaker, who is a legend, and it was very cool to see her honored:

(This is a shortened version of her speech. She told a cool story about editing Cate Blanchett in The Aviator but the BAFTA social media team is strange and cut it.)

Best Picture went to Roma which I guess makes it the Oscar front runner, as much as we have one this year, which is great!

It was a relatively hum-drum fashion night (all the fun designers were focused on the Grammy’s I bet), but here were my favorites:

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Regina King in Versace (Photo Credit: Anthony Harvey/BAFTA/REX/Shutterstock)

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Michelle Yeoh in Elie Saab (Photo Credit: David Fisher/BAFTA/REX/Shutterstock)

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Olivia Colman in Emilia Wickstead (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (Photo Credit: Getty/Samir Hussein)

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Elizabeth Debicki in Armani Privé (Photo Credit: Getty)

Also – she didn’t attend the main show, because she and her boyfriend (and star of like 4 awards season movies) Joe Alwyn don’t walk carpets together, but this picture on her Instagram is too pretty not to share:

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Taylor Swift in Stella McCartney (Photo Credit: Instagram)

 

Music For Your Weekend

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As always if you want to listen to this playlist on Apple Music, you can click here!

Carolina – Harry Styles

Happy Birthday Mr. Styles!

TROUBLE – Parov Stela feat. Nikki Wiliams

Wedding in Finistère – Jens Lekman

Come On-A-My House – Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra feat. Imelda May

Did you know Jeff Goldblum is a jazz pianist? I didn’t until today, when something from his album came up on my “For You” on Apple Music.

Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy

(Just in case you need a cry this weekend…)

Call My Name – I’m With Her

Thunder Road – I’m With Her

Did you know there is a charity album of ukulele covers of Bruce Springsteen songs? Well, now you do.

Carry On With Me – Júníus Meyvant

The Tide – Niall Horan feat. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra

It’s not surprising to anyone who knows me/follows my Instagram and saw the trek my boyfriend and I took last fall to Niall play in deep Jersey, so I was pretty excited to see today that he released a new version of his album Flicker today with the backing of the Irish TV station RTÉ’s in house orchestra. The original album is lovely, but we thought he and his band were much better live than in studio and I think these versions of these songs show a part of why.

Where Do Broken Hearts Go – One Direction 

Since we now have two former members of One Direction on this list, let’s end it with a classic. Have a great weekend!