Oscars 2015 – Recap + Thoughts

Last night, movie awards season came to an end with the 87th annual Academy Awards. It was a really interesting year for film, with a lot of REALLY GOOD movies, but none that really stood out and took hold of frontrunner status. Still a good year, nonetheless.

BEST PICTURE

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman – WINNER
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Before the show itself, there were a lot of people saying that any one of these movies could win. That being said though, Birdman and Boyhood were believed to be the frontrunners, with American Sniper right behind them. Personally, Whiplash was my favourite, but my favourite movie never wins (hello, The Social Network!). I was actually quite proud of myself for actually being able to watch all of this year’s nominees, though they all truly interested me. Well, exception being The Grand Budapest Hotel – I wanted to watch to see what all the fuss was about, but I’ve never been a fan of Wes Anderson’s work. This is what my rankings would’ve looked like: Whiplash, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, Boyhood, Selma, American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel. In the end, Birdman came out victorious, which isn’t all that surprising. Hollywood likes a good movie about itself (makes the entire award just seem kind of on the selfish side, huh?)

BEST ACTOR

  • Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher
  • Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of EverythingWINNER

Much had been said about the Best Actor race, in what was a very competitive year. When the actors who didn’t make the cut could add up to another ballot in and of itself (like Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler, David Oyelowo for Selma), you know it was a hard year. In the end, most bets were placed between Keaton and Redmayne. I think the favourite going in was Keaton, because of his long career, this being his first nomination, and the idea that he probably won’t get another role like this. But Redmayne was absolutely incredible in his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, that when it came down to it, you had to reward his performance.

BEST ACTRESS

  • Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore, Still Alice – WINNER
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

While the Actor race was a tough race to call from top to bottom, the Actress race was pretty much done. As far as the nominations went, the only “surprise” was Cotillard’s inclusion, as some had pegged Jennifer Aniston for her role in Cake to take the fifth slot. But the overall predictability of the nominations highlighted the fact that there really aren’t a lot of GOOD roles for women right now in the industry. The real meaty roles seem to fall on these wonderfully talented women’s male counterparts. That being said, it was without a doubt Julianne Moore’s year to win, after four previous nominations. I was so bummed I didn’t get to see Still Alice premiere at TIFF (scheduling issue, so friends got the tickets), but thankfully managed to squeeze in a screening of it right before the Awards. Moore was incredible, portraying a character diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s, and brought out a scary truth about the disease and how it affects the person and everyone around them.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Robert Duvall, The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash – WINNER

The hype surrounding Simmons and Whiplash was definitely warranted; he was terrifyingly good. I’ve got nothing else.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood – WINNER
  • Laura Dern, Wild
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

To me, it seemed like this category could’ve been filled in many different ways, which is a good and bad thing. The good is that there are roles for women in Hollywood, but on the flip side, most of the time it is in Supporting a male lead. An argument could have been made to put Arquette in Best Actress, but then she wouldn’t have been guaranteed the win. Meryl Streep, as much as a legend that she is, is getting nominated simply for being Meryl Streep. Because if you look at it, we could’ve had Jessica Chastain in the mix for A Most Violent Year, Carmen Ejogo for Selma or longshots like Rene Russo for Nightcrawler and Tilda Swinton for Snowpiercer. Back to Arquette though, I really do think she should’ve been put in lead actress because Boyhood was just as much about her character as a single mom, trying to do right by her kids, as it was about the title boy. Arquette really gave a layered performance that was bolstered by the fact that we get to see her age naturally.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman–WINNER
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

At the beginning of Awards season, there was the possibility of two female directors being nominated: Angelina Jolie for Unbroken and Ava DuVernay for Selma. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out. When looking at the nominees, it was clear that it was going to come down the same way as Best Picture – Birdman or Boyhood. Many, including myself, thought we were once again going to see Director and Picture go to different films (How I wish that happened in 2011. Fincher was robbed that year! I digress). Iñárritu gave the movie a very distinct look, with its seamless transitions that made it seem as though it was one take. But Linklater had such a creative mind to do this film that took 12 years to make, and not just a movie taking place in a 12 year time span. I thought for sure Linklater was going to take it here, with Birdman winning (as it did) Best Picture. I was wrong.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo – WINNER
  • Boyhood, Richard Linklater
  • Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
  • Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy

It’s Original Screenplay, anything could’ve happened. Birdman vs. Boyhood. The Grand Budapest Hotel with Anderson’s off-beat vision. I was hoping for Nightcrawler, but alas, Birdman won.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • American Sniper, Jason Hall
  • The Imitation Game, Graham Moore – WINNER
  • Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten
  • Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

First of all, Whiplash really should’ve been in Original, instead of here, but the Academy has such weird rules. In this case, they made the claim that Chazelle adapted it from his short film, when in fact the short film (essentially a scene from the original screenplay) was made simply as a tool to get the film made. Weird, I tell ya. Anyways, I also can’t believe Gillian Flynn did not get nominated for adapting Gone Girl, her own novel! There were so many ways in which the movie couldn’t have worked, because of how the book was set-up, but Flynn managed to do it brilliantly. As for Moore, who won for The Imitation Game, I certainly feel like he did a great job in bringing the story to life. Because honestly, if you just look at the basic story, the movie could’ve ended up being really boring and pretentious. The outcome was far more thrilling and obviously a little bit Hollywood-ized to get there, but enthralling and intriguing nonetheless. In a lesser year, it probably could’ve made a proper claim for Best Picture.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Big Hero 6 – WINNER
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of Princess Kayuga

The Lego Movie was robbed! Everyone knows that (except the Academy, apparently). I’ll admit though, I hadn’t seen any of the actual nominated movies, soooo I can’t really say much about it.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie
  • “Glory” from Selma – WINNER
  • “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
  • “Lost Stars” from Begin Again

I’ve made my love for Begin Again and “Lost Stars” known over the past year, so of course I was over the moon that it got nominated here! But as much as I love it, there was no way it was winning, since it was up against the emotional powerhouse song that is “Glory.” Plus, considering “Glory” was the last song performed before the award was handed out, and the reaction it received after the performance, it was a done deal.

Ending Thoughts:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but I feel like there’s no winning with the telecast itself. No matter how hard they try, something always seem off. This year’s show was no exception. We’ve seen Neil Patrick Harris host a multitude of other award shows, so we figured he’d be dependable, but some of the bits fell a little flat.

I love me some musical numbers to liven up the show a little, but I say just stick to the Best Original Song nominees. I mean, I only got 2 minutes of “Lost Stars” (which should’ve included a bit of Keira Knightley singing) and Adam was kinda not on his game, though still nice to see the rest of Maroon 5! And I think everyone could’ve used a little bit more “Everything Is Awesome” (Love the Lego Oscars!) But, as has been the case in recent years, extra time has been allotted to a musical performance that adds nothing to the show. The purpose of watching these award shows is to celebrate the past year in film, not honour classic films of years/decades past. So despite Lady Gaga sounding perfectly good singing The Sound of Music, it was a completely unnecessary time filler.

This year’s telecast featured a lot of statements being made within the acceptance speeches, acknowledging that the world we live in is nowhere near perfect. Some people had issue with these “political statements” being made at an award show, but I was happy to hear it. It’s inherent that actors would thank their families and team of people, but to use the opportunity of being up on that stage as a platform for awareness is a really good thing for them to do.

“Comic book movies” are rarely ever recognized at these award shows, but watching the telecast you (meaning me) had to wonder: what’s the ratio of actors who are/have been/will be in comic book movies vs. those who aren’t? Because we had (nominees and presenters): Keaton & Affleck (Batman); Ruffalo & Norton (Hulk); Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson); Cooper (Rocket Raccoon); Stone (Gwen Stacy); Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange); Cotillard (Talia al Ghul); Jones (Felicia in Amazing Spider-Man 2); Chris Evans (Captain America/Human Torch); Scarlett Johannson (Black Widow); Chris Pratt (Star Lord); Zoe Saldana (Gamora); Paltrow (Pepper Potts); Miles Teller (new Mr. Fantastic); Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn in BvS); Jared Leto (Joker in BvS); Kerry Washington (Alicia Masters in Fantastic 4); Idris Elba (Heimdall in Thor); Nicole Kidman (Dr. Meridian in Batman Forever). Phew!

So another Oscars on the books! Any surprises? Still reeling from any snubs? Favourite part of the telecast? Sound off!

2014 Emmy Award Winners

If you’re a big TV fan like me, the Emmy Awards can be a big deal. It’s the biggest night for our favourite TV shows and actors. At the same time, it’s also the worst night for TV fans because it’s a reminder of all the egregious snubs and the shows/actors who deserve all the awards but aren’t recognized by the TV Academy. I feel this year, more than ever, I have many more issues with the Emmys and the nominations, which I really should have given its own post but will instead combine it with my predictions.

BUT FIRST, let’s talk about some of the awards that were given out at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend.

  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – Jimmy Fallon, SNL: Well deserved! Loved his episode last season (JT being in the episode might’ve helped a little)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black: It’s a little funny how the Emmy rules work seeing as how half the nominees in this category are from OITNB and I would hardly call them “guests.” Whatever.
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – Joe Morton, Scandal: Papa Pope for the win! My only issue with this category? The fact that John frickin’ Noble didn’t get nominated for Sleepy Hollow. I mean, THAT FINALE and THAT MONOLOGUE. I repeat, HOW did John Noble NOT get nominated?
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series – Allison Janney, Masters of Sex: I don’t watch Masters but really, how can you go wrong with the incredible Allison Janney?
  • Outstanding Choreography – Tabitha & Napoleon D’umo, So You Think You Can Dance: Their fellow nominees were Derek Hough, Travis Wall, Mandy Moore, and Christopher Scott. In all honesty, you couldn’t go wrong with any of them winning. I was pulling for Travis to win though, especially considering Wicked Games was one of the pieces he was nominated for. NappyTabs still deserved the win for the Puttin’ on the Ritz choreo.
  • Outstanding Reality Host – Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night: Jane Lynch is cool, and I love HGN but really? Jane over the INCREDIBLY OVERLOOKED CAT DEELEY???!!! I was upset but ok with Cat losing to Jeff Probst and then Tom Bergeron, but this is just getting ridiculous now.
  • Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama SeriesThe Blacklist: The Blacklist won? For a category that hands down should’ve been given to Arrow, which for some stupid reason wasn’t even nominated?! I had problems in previous years when Nikita wasn’t nominated (and it should’ve!) but Arrow’s season 2 finale should’ve gotten the nod AND win! Total BS!

Now onto the major award winners last night. Let’s me preface all this by saying that I was already displeased with some of the nominations, so how the awards turned out (re: mainly predictable/boring) just made me even more upset.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Louie
  • Modern Family
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Silicon Valley
  • Veep

For the fifth year in a row, Modern Family wins. Like SERIOUSLY?! AGAIN?! It is not as funny as it used to be, and there are other shows from this past season that weren’t even nominated, that were funnier than MF has been lately; I bring your attention to – Parks and Recreation, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Trophy Wife, Enlisted. Yup, I yelled expletives.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

  • Breaking Bad
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men
  • True Detective

Breaking Bad won! Because it was the best thing on TV, hands down. There’s nothing to be mad about (except the Orphan Black snub, and the Parenthood snub but…)
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

  • Louis C.K., Louie
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
  • Ricky Gervais, Derek
  • Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
  • William H. Macy, Shameless
  • Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Admittedly, of all the shows these actors are on, I only watch The Big Bang Theory. But I also have to admit, I wasn’t too thrilled about seeing Jim Parsons win for the third time in this category. Really? Even though I don’t watch, I’ve heard nothing but great things about Louis C.K. and his show Louie – and all he seems to win are the writing awards. I also think it was a shame that Andy Samberg didn’t get nominated for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, especially considering he won the Golden Globe in the category (granted, there’s no direct correlation between the awards, but he won! That should’ve counted for something, no?) Adam Scott should’ve also been nominated for a great season of Parks and Recreation.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

  • Lena Dunham, Girls
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
  • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
  • Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black

I’m not sure who else I wanted to be nominated in the category, but all I know is that I wanted Amy Poehler to win. Alas, it didn’t happen. Because Julia Louis-Dreyfus won AGAIN. I don’t watch Veep, though I’ve heard great things about it, and I’m sure JLD very much deserves the win, but COME ON! How has Amy not won anything, save for the Golden Globe win back in January? Actually, you know what, I know who else I would’ve liked to see get a nod – Malin Akerman for Trophy Wife, who was wonderful in that show, and the always awesome Mindy Kaling for The Mindy Project.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA

  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Woody Harrelson, True Detective
  • Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Tough category guys, though let’s be real, it came down to Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey. An Emmy win for Matthew would’ve really capped off a tremendous year, what with winning an Oscar earlier this year. But it’s Bryan ‘Motherfuckin’ Cranston! For the final season of Breaking Bad! It was a close one indeed. Poor Jon Hamm though, always nominated and never winning – maybe next year? One thing’s for sure, I frickin’ need to see Matthew Rhys nominated for The Americans next year – incredibly overlooked.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

  • Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Kerry Washington, Scandal
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards

TATIANA MASLANY WAS SNUBBED! She plays how many different characters in one show? And does it so well that you forget she is only one actress? HOW DOES SHE NOT GET NOMINATED, LET ALONE WIN???!!!! Proof that I love my spies, Keri Russell for The Americans and Maggie Q for Nikita (even if Maggie was a longshot) deserved nods as well. For a second (a very quick second) I thought maybe Kerry Washington would win, but I figured history wasn’t going to be made on this most predictable of nights. I am happy to see that Julianna Margulies won though, for what was an incredible year on The Good Wife.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY

  • Fred Armisen, Portlandia
  • Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Adam Driver, Girls
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
  • Tony Hale, Veep

Supporting Actor in a Comedy has always been a tough category, especially when all four of the Modern Family guys were nominated. This year the MF stranglehold loosened up a bit, but obviously not enough since Ty Burrell won again, his third win in the category. Ever heard of spreading the love, Emmys? I mean if someone from MF HAD to win, why couldn’t they give it to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who has yet to win? And that doesn’t even get to who else should’ve gotten a nod. Albert Tsai from Trophy Wife (Bertwheels!)? Parker Young from Enlisted? Simon Helberg or Kunal Nayyar from The Big Bang Theory? Danny Pudi from Community? NICK OFFERMAN for Parks and Recreation?! So many possibilities and yet we end with the same result.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

  • Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
  • Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black

At least MF didn’t win? Like I said before, I like Allison Janney and you really can’t go wrong with her winning, I just don’t watch Mom. I wish Marcia Gay Harden had gotten a nod (however much of a long shot it was) for Trophy Wife, because anybody who actually watched the show can attest to how scary good she was as steely Diane.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA

  • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
  • Josh Charles, The Good Wife
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
  • Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
  • Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Aaron Paul completely and utterly deserved the award, despite him not being given all that much (in comparison to previous years) in the too awesome for words final season of Breaking Bad. I think I would’ve liked to see Josh Charles win, because even from what little I caught of The Good Wife, he was pretty awesome. But again, not mad that Aaron Paul won (YEAH BITCH!). Still upset Jordan Gavaris didn’t get nominated for Orphan Black though. Also, it did kind of bug me that Dean Norris didn’t get nominated for his role in Breaking Bad because he did a fantastic job in those early episodes of the season when Hank finds out about Walter and is trying to take him down.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey
  • Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
  • Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Two years in a row for Anna Gunn! It was a nice surprise to see Lena Headey get nominated for Game of Thrones, but without a doubt, Anna Gunn held her own against Bryan Cranston in the final season. May I ask though, what’s with all the Downton Abbey love? Surely there were other actresses who deserved to get nominated? Bellamy Young on Scandal anyone? (Hi Drunk Mellie!) Or the wonderful actresses on Parenthood??!!

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION SERIES

  • The Amazing Race
  • Dancing With the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Top Chef
  • The Voice

Aaaannnndddd we’re back to The Amazing Race winning the category again. I love TAR but maybe it’s about time to pull yourself out of the race? I wanted desperately to see SYTYCD win, just to show Fox a vote of confidence so that they’ll renew the show and not have it be so much on the bubble. Also, what’s up with Survivor not getting nominated? It’s been on a total roll lately.

So there you have it, this year’s Emmy Award winners. More of the same. If you won before, you were than likely to win again! Even if there were some puzzling surprises in last year’s winners, at least there were surprises to keep things interesting! This year was just a whole other level of puzzling madness/blandness with the winners and nominees. One of the good things about this year? Seth Meyers did a good job as host, and bringing along his other funny friends to present and whatnot, at least made for some funny bits between the awards. Also, Sara Bareilles performing “Smile” was a beautiful tribute to those in the industry we lost in the past year.

STEP UP YOUR GAME NEXT YEAR, EMMY AWARDS AND THE TV ACADEMY! None of this, more of the same crap, okay?

Oscars 2013 Winners

Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz

It was an exciting year for movies, which made for an equally exciting awards season that came to an end with Sunday’s Academy Awards. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane hosted the show with great laughs and amazing self-awareness, giving the show a new and fresh feeling that was much-needed by the producers of the show.

A run-down of the night’s winners…

BEST PICTURE: Argo 

With the movie picking up pretty much all the precursors leading up to the Oscars, it was nearly a sure thing that it would win the big prize. That, however, didn’t make it any less exciting to see it actually win and getting to hear producer/director/actor Ben Affleck’s incredibly touching speech. And can you believe that it’s been nearly 15 years since Affleck and Matt Damon won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting? He has come such a long way.

ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln 

One of the few locks to win, Daniel Day-Lewis became the first actor to win 3 Oscars in the category. Though I myself could not watch Lincoln in its entirety (I’m just not the right demographic for it), I have to admit that he put in an incredible performance. I suppose there’s something to be said about being really careful in choosing the right roles in the right films.

ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

When I had made my initial comments upon hearing the nominees, I had thought the race would come down to Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts. Of course at the time, I had yet to see Silver Linings. Leading right up to the show, I still believed that it was a really tight race, but I was really happy about Lawrence’s win. For 22, Lawrence really continues to impress us all with just how real she seems and she handled herself wonderfully after her fall up the stairs to collect her award.

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

It was anybody’s guess who would win the award, amongst a group of former winners. In the end, Waltz came out on top for yet another Tarentino role that seemed made for him.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

There was no doubt that Hathaway wasn’t going to win. There’s really nothing else to say about it.

DIRECTOR: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

With Ben Affleck absolutely snubbed in the category, the race ultimately came down to Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg, both great directors. While some believed that Spielberg would add a 3rd Oscar to his collection, I had the sense that Lee would win in the end. Everyone kept on talking about how Lee was able to make a movie based on a book that was deemed unfilmable. If filming the impossible doesn’t get you a win, I don’t what would.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Quentin Tarentino, Django Unchained

For some time, it seemed that Mark Boal’s script for Zero Dark Thirty would win, but having won the award for his The Hurt Locker script just three years ago (against Tarentino’s script for Inglourious Basterds, no less) and continued controversy over the story and the facts, Boal’s chances of winning were diminishing. Tarentino’s penchant for original stories ultimately gave him a win – his first since winning for Pulp Fiction.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Chris Terrio, Argo

With the swell of support for Argo, Terrio’s script based on a Wired magazine article and Tony Mendez’s book “The Master of Disguise” was clearly the favourite to win against David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook script and Tony Kushner’s script for Lincoln.

ORIGINAL SONG: “Skyfall” by Adele and Paul Epworth, Skyfall

It’s Adele. Was there really any doubt that she wouldn’t win?

ORIGINAL SCORE: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Amour

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Brave

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rick Carter and Jim Erickson, Lincoln

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi

COSTUME DESIGN: Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina

FILM EDITING: William Goldberg, Argo

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Searching for Sugar Man

DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Inocente

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Miserables

SOUND MIXING: Andy Nelson, Mark Patterson, and Simon Hayes, Les Miserables

SOUND EDITING: (TIE) Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers, Skyfall; Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty

VISUAL EFFECTS: Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Paperman

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Curfew

Once again, with the great amount of movies in 2012, it was nice to see that wealth was spread, and not just one movie swept. Despite the expected long running time, the overall show was well-produced and provided some great moments. Here’s to hoping that 2013 will provide another great pool of movies by which audiences and critics alike will enjoy.

In the meantime, what were your thoughts on the show? Happy with the winners? How did Seth MacFarlane do as host? Since MacFarlane has already stated that his hosting gig was a one-time thing, who should helm the show next year?

55th Annual Grammy Award Winners + Performers

Music’s biggest night came and went last night, and with no real indication as to who would come out on top, it was an interesting affair to say the least. I’ve made my comments on the nominees, but here’s a rundown of some of the winners and quick thoughts.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • The Black Keys, El Camino
  • fun., Some Nights
  • WINNER: Mumford and Sons, Babel
  • Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
  • Jack White, Blunderbuss

The nominees was a bunch of very solid albums, but I do think Mumford and Sons’ win for their album “Babel” was very much deserved. “Babel” was one of the big successes of 2012, selling 600,000+ copies in its first week of release in September. Critics were fair with the album and without a doubt, Mumford are a part of time in music where real music is once again being appreciated.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

  • The Black Keys, Lonely Boy
  • Kelly Clarkson, (What Doesn’t Kill You) Stronger
  • fun. ft. Janelle Monae, We Are Young
  • WINNER: Gotye ft. Kimbra, Somebody That I Used to Know
  • Frank Ocean, Thinkin’ About You
  • Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

“Somebody That I Used to Know” is a perfectly fine song, but because radio played it to death, I have negative feelings towards it. I really wanted Kelly to win it and thought that fun. would probably take it instead (and I was going to be fine with that), but not so fond of Gotye winning.

SONG OF THE YEAR

  • Ed Sheeran, The A-Team
  • Miguel, Adorn
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe
  • Kelly Clarkson, (What Doesn’t Kill You) Stronger
  • WINNER: fun., We Are Young

Again, I figured “We Are Young” would win, but was really hoping for “Stronger” to take it.

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • Alabama Shakes
  • WINNER: fun.
  • Hunter Hayes
  • The Lumineers
  • Frank Ocean

I honestly thought it would’ve been great if Frank Ocean had won. However, considering the track record of R&B/rap/hip-hop acts winning the category, chances were slim. Not so surprised by fun.’s win.

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

  • WINNER: Adele, Set Fire to the Rain [Live]
  • Kelly Clarkson, (What Doesn’t Kill You) Stronger
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe
  • Katy Perry, Wide Awake
  • Rihanna, Where Have You Been

The only 2 possible winners in my book were Adele and Kelly. Kelly’s had a spectacular year, so I was really hoping for her to take the win, but I am perfectly happy with Adele winning.

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

  • Florence + the Machine, Shake It Out
  • fun., We Are Young
  • WINNER: Gotye ft. Kimbra, Somebody That I Used to Know
  • LMFAO, Sexy and I Know It
  • Maroon 5 ft. Wiz Khalifa, Payphone

Of course I was pulling for Maroon 5 to win, but alas, Gotye ended up the winner. At least LMFAO didn’t win.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

  • WINNER: Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
  • Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials
  • fun., Some Nights
  • Maroon 5, Overexposed
  • P!nk, The Truth About Love

I hate the idea that I would vote against Maroon 5 winning, but in this case, I had to give it to Kelly. I have been listening to Stronger ever since it came out, and I’m still not tired of it. So call me super excited when I heard Kelly’s name called out as the winner for this amazing album.

Other notable winners:

  • BEST RAP PERFORMANCE/BEST RAP SONG – Jay-Z & Kanye West, N****s in Paris
  • BEST RAP ALBUM – Drake, Take Care
  • BEST COUNTRY SONG/BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE – Carrie Underwood, Blown Away
  • BEST COMEDY ALBUM – Jimmy Fallon, Blow Your Pants Off
  • BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM – Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

PERFORMANCES

Let’s talk about the performances, shall we? To me, this year’s telecast was one of the best in recent memory. Overall, almost all the performances were incredible, really bringing back the musicianship of it all.

Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Taylor opened up the show, with some sort of circus/Wonderland theme. Vocals were on the iffy side.

Ed Sheeran & Sir Elton John, The A-Team: I still contend that Ed Sheeran should’ve been nominated for more awards, but it was certainly a treat to have Sir Elton John perform alongside Ed on this track. This performance really kicked off the show.

fun., Carry On: Nothing says “this is a live performance!” like bringing out the rain machine.

Miranda Lambert & Dierks Bentley, Over You/Home: What should have seemed like a no-brainer in the duet department, the set up for this pairing felt a little off somehow. Although I still don’t understand how Miranda got snubbed for that wonderful song of hers that she co-wrote with Blake Shelton.

Miguel & Wiz Khalifa, Adorn: I had no idea who Miguel when nominations were announced, but the short performance of this song got me intrigued. I have to say though, how hilarious is it that after they performed, they were giving the award for Best Country Solo Performance? Can we say random?!

Mumford and Sons, I Will Wait: These guys are a no-fuss bunch, and simply bring the music.

Justin Timberlake, Suit & Tie/Pusher Love Girl: This was the highly anticipated performance of the night, and JT did not disappoint. Starting off with his new single, the telecast turned the performance to black+white, giving the song the extra amount of class. I haven’t made my thoughts known on the new single, so here’s what I have to say about it – with its retro/throwback vibe, while still sounding current, it may not have been what people expected from JT, but it’s exactly what radio needs right now. Jay-Z came up for his verse, and JT subsequently followed with a new track off of “The 20/20 Experience” (out March 19th!). Highlight of the night, hands down (says the biased JT fan).

Maroon 5 & Alicia Keys, Daylight/Girl on Fire: I’m a little taken aback by how well these two songs meshed together. The way they changed up the songs to suit each other, made me like the songs more. I want this version of Daylight that M5 performed here, to be how they perform it on tour. To be honest, I was never a big fan of Girl on Fire, but I enjoyed this version.

Rihanna ft. Mikky Echo, Stay: Usually one for a dance spectacle, Rihanna surprised with the performance of her new single, a ballad that showed off her vocals in a way we hadn’t seen.

Black Keys, Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lonely Boy: There was so much going on the wardrobe front, but with such a lively performance, nothing mattered but the music.

Kelly Clarkson, Tennessee Waltz/Natural Woman: Kelly paid tribute to Lifetime Achievement honorees, Patti Page and Carole King. With the latter song, I got total Idol flashbacks to when Kelly had performed it back then, and as always, she KILLED the vocals.

Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna, Damien Marley and Ziggy Marley, Locked Out of Heaven/Walking On The Moon/Could You Be Loved: It’s hard to imagine that Bob Marley never won a Grammy, but he has made an indelible mark on music today. It was certainly fun to hear Bruno Mars’ hit song segway oh so perfectly into The Police song, but then getting Damien & Ziggy Marley to come out with Rihanna and completely giving tribute to Bob Marley was a moment that the Grammys are made for.

The Lumineers, Ho Hey: Everyone’s new favourite song. Though to be honest, their performance was a little too short for my liking.

Jack White, Love Interruption/Freedom at 21: I still haven’t taken a listen to Blunderbuss, but will certainly have to now. I liked the two different sounds we heard for each of his songs, and it definitely got me interested.

Carrie Underwood, Blown Away/Two Black Cadillacs: It was a big night for the 2 biggest stars to come out of the Idol Machine. I’ve really come to enjoy Carrie’s music, but I thought she sounded a little under-the-weather here. I mean, we’ve heard Carrie perform numerous times before and know she’s great, so this felt a little disappointing. And that dress! I actually don’t know what to think about it, though it seemed a little distracting.

Levon Helm Tribute, The Weight: Amongst the artists who contributed to this tribute were Sir Elton John, Zac Brown, T-Bone Burnett, Mumford and Sons, Mavis Staples, and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. It was an uplifting tribute and certain proof of real musicianship.

Frank Ocean, Forrest Gump: This was interesting…I’ve listened to Channel Orange and thought that it was an interesting album to say the least. Though I do agree with a lot of people in wondering why he didn’t opt to perform his breakthrough song “Thinkin Bout You” instead, which would’ve gotten more people on board with his music.

LL Cool J, Chuck D, Z-Trip, Tom Morello, and Travis Barker, Whaddup/No Sleep Till Brooklyn: LL Cool J as host, jumped into a performer mode to close out the show, performing a new song and following up with a the Beastie Boys song as tribute to the late Adam Yauch. The timing felt off, with the performance coming on after a commercial break, after the last award of the night was given out.

53rd Grammy Award Winners

Better late than never right? So the biggest night in music came and went, and two days later, I’m still not entirely sure how I felt about it. I mean I love the Grammys – I love award shows in general – but this year’s show just seemed like such a mix bag, not just with the actual winners but the performances as well.

WINNERS

Album of the Year: Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs” – Shocker! Their win was surprising for two reasons. First, they beat Eminem and Lady Antebellum. I was almost certain Eminem was gonna take it, and then with the night Lady A was having, I thought maybe they were gonna sweep it all. Second, Arcade Fire didn’t even win in the Best Alternative Album category (that went to The Black Keys). Through the years that I’ve actually followed the Grammys, the AOTY winner didn’t win in their own category?

Record of the Year/Song of the Year: Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” – They totally deserved it. I’ve said this many times before, but I fell in love with this song when they performed it at last year’s Grammys. One year later, I’m still not tired of it! (Except for maybe the dance remix that our local radio station insists on playing – that’s just annoying). Also, I totally called that Lady A would win ROTY purely because they were up against 4 hip-hop/rap songs which were all amazing, and it would’ve been hard to choose one.

Best New Artist: Esperanza Spalding – I’m sorry, but who are you? I’m happy Beiber didn’t win, but I was pulling for Drake all the way!

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” – I was hoping for Sara Bareilles to win, but with Gaga nominated, I knew it wasn’t happening. Sara’s Grammy win will come one day.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are” – I feel conflicted with Bruno Mars’ win. On the one side, he totally deserves it. It’s a great song. On the other side, now that he’s won a Grammy, he’s not eligible for Best New Artist next year.

Best Pop Performance by a Duo/Group: Train, “Hey Soul Sister (Live)” – I admit it, I’m biased, I wanted Maroon 5 to win. I always want my favs to win, so sue me. But “Hey Soul Sister” was undeniably EVERYWHERE in the past year or two so I guess they deserved to win. I’m gonna call it now though, Maroon 5 will at the very least be nominated next year for “Never Gonna Leave This Bed” (but then again, that’s me being biased.)

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals: Herbie Hancock and others, “Imagine” – I knew it! Throw a handful of artists together on one song, and nobody else stands a chance.

Best Pop Vocal Album: Lady Gaga, “The Fame Monster” – Was it really that much of a surprise? Nope.

Best Rock Album: Muse, “The Resistance” – Awesome album. Granted, that was the only album nominated in the category that I actually listened to.

Best Rap Album: Eminem, “Recovery” – At least Eminem won this one. He really should’ve won more Grammys though. Shame.

Best Urban/Alternative Performance: Cee-Lo Green, “Fuck You” – Happy he won something for this song. Although the one thing I’ve got to say is how hilarious it was seeing how they handled the song title. The Grammys had to go the long route and call it “The song otherwise known as Forget You”. Too funny.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” – It really was between this song and “Love the Way You Lie”. Don’t think there’s much else to say about it.

PERFORMANCES

Aretha Franklin Tribute – Not sure how I felt about it, which should’ve been an indication of how the rest of the night went. On paper, it should’ve been CRAZY AMAZING with all the voices involved (Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, and Florence Welch). But with everyone trying to outdo one another with the vocal runs, it just seemed like overkill.

Lady Gaga – I’m not a Gaga fan so I really could’ve cared less. But “Born This Way” with its completely obvious similarities to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” and “Vogue” were so distracting.

B.o.B., Bruno Mars, and Janelle Monae – Their performance was, without a doubt, one of the best of the night. I definitely love it when artists change up their songs for award shows or televised performances because it gives us a fresher take on songs we hear all the time on radio.

Lady Antebellum – Some people may not have liked their stripped-down set, but it was a nice contrast to the flash of some of the other performances.

Cee-Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the Muppets – It was just a great performance!  I kinda noticed when Gwyneth didn’t sing part of a line while she was getting up to stand on the piano, but hey, she got up on the piano with KILLER HEELS! Why there is some hate towards Gwyneth is unbelievable. She’s mad talented.

Eminem, Dr. Dre, with Rihanna, Adam Levine, and Skylar Grey – First thing’s first, I got totally excited when the Grammys announced that Adam was performing with Eminem and Dre. I mean how random but awesome is that?! Consider me disappointed when Adam was relegated to just accompanying Rihanna on “Love the Way You Lie (Part II).” I mean what a wasted opportunity. It reminds me of a few years back when John Mayer and John Legend only accompanied Alicia Keys and Fergie, on their respective songs. Anyways, the rest of the performance was awesome – like how could it not?

Katy Perry – I applaud her for starting off with “Not Like the Movies” but then she went into “Teenage Dream” which wasn’t really all that spectacular. We’ve heard her do this before. She could’ve changed it up a little. Heck, all she really needed to do was bring in Darren Criss.

Rihanna & Drake – Uhmmm, why did Rihanna get to perform twice? Rihanna was really only nominated for “Love the Way You Lie” (I know she was nominated and won for “Only Girl” but that was for Best Dance Recording…) and she got to perform it. I didn’t really see a need for her to come out again and perform “What’s My Name?”. They should’ve just let Drake do his own performance. Or you know, give Esperanza Spalding a chance to perform (outside of the Grammy Jazz Ensemble thing), so people would’ve sort of known who she was when she won?

So that’s all I’ve got. Here’s hoping next year’s show is better. Oh, and also, maybe let’s get a couple more awards handed out DURING the show? It is called the Grammy AWARDS, not Grammy CONCERT. Just puttin’ it out there.