Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 105

The weekly roundup of things that are awesome:

  1. I saw The Wolf of Wall Street over Christmas break (and thought the movie itself was okay but Leo was flat-out great), and I’ve been thinking a lot about all the criticism it’s taking for “glorifying” shady behavior. At first, I was inclined to think the criticism was overblown, but after reading this, I’m less sure: An Open Letter to the Makers of the Wolf of Wall Street.
  2. So many interesting tidbits here: 40 Maps That Will Help You Understand the World.
  3. Here’s Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Golden Globes Opening Monologue. Spoiler alert: it’s perfection.
  4. Disturbing yet accurate: The Cast of HBO’s Girls As American Girl Dolls.
  5. I’ve only lived here for two weeks, but I can already attest to the truth of #15 and #18: 18 Things You’re Only Afraid of If You Live in Geneva.
  6. Because everyone knows Puppy Bowl > Super Bowl: The 2014 Puppy Bowl Lineup Will Tackle Your Heart.
  7. A childhood slumber party was not really a slumber party until we watched this movie: 30 Reasons Now and Then Was a Defining Childhood Movie for Girls.
  8. Pretty accurate (minus the part about Biggby Coffee, which I really don’t think is true): How to Piss Off Someone from Michigan.
  9. Believe it or not, I didn’t just include this list because #26 happens to have been taken by yours truly: 30 Instagram Photos That Will Make You Fall in Love with Ann Arbor.
  10. This is adorable and I love it: Peter Pan Proposes to Wendy Onstage. (However, it does raise a burning question – why are they singing “You Raise Me Up” in a Peter Pan performance?!?)

(Image via Entertainment Weekly)

Mini Movie Reviews: Zero Dark Thirty, Side Effects, and

zero dark thirty, side effects, admission

Zero Dark Thirty: This movie, about the search for Bin Laden, was fascinating and suspenseful. Like almost everything I’ve watched lately, it felt too long, possibly because there are two really compelling parts to this story: the actual search, and then the mission itself. Either of those stories on its own would have made for an interesting movie, but together they were pretty lengthy. Despite that, this movie is quite good – in large part due to Jessica Chastain, who basically stars in every movie nowadays (and not without good reason). As Maya, the CIA agent who ultimately finds Bin Laden, Chastain simultaneously portrays someone who is bad ass enough to stick to her convictions, but who also seems as confused and unsure of herself (and the methods she employs to find the truth) as any ordinary person would be. Grade: A-

Side Effects: I thought I would enjoy this movie more than I actually did; from the previews, I was hoping for some twisted-but-fascinating psychological drama. Instead, I got a movie that was mostly quiet and slow. There was nothing bad about the film per se – it’s well-acted and suggests some thought-provoking questions about modern medicine – but it just underwhelmed me. It also wasn’t too difficult to figure out what the big “twist” at the end was. I kept hoping for some cool reveal but, nope, it turned out pretty much how I suspected it might. Finally, I feel like between this movie and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I’ve now seen Rooney Mara portray the same character twice – the vacant, vulnerable, sullen girl. I hope she does something different for her next role. Grade: B

Admission: Where Tina Fey and Paul Rudd lead, I will follow, but I wish this movie had been better than it was. Admission is pretty much your standard issue romantic comedy, and while I love me some romantic comedies, I wish it had been a bit more inventive or clever than it was. Also, Fey’s character, Portia (who works as an admissions officer at Princeton) does something toward the end of the movie that I found pretty irredeemable, and that sort of turned me off from the film. However, despite Admission’s flaws, watching Paul Rudd be adorable for 1.5 hours is well worth the price of a ticket. Grade: B+

Image Sources: 1 / 2 / 3

Red Carpet: SAG Awards 2013

The SAG Awards are a funny little awards show: they’re televised, but not on a major network; they’re prestigious, but not on the same level as the Oscars. You almost get the sense that the actresses are sort of waiting until the Oscars to break out their big “statement” gowns. As such, the fashions last night were pretty low key – not that that would ever prevent me from talking about them. Of course.

Best Dressed:

best dressed

  • Naomi Watts: Simple but striking – I think the beading on the front is gorgeous, and I love her hair. Props to her for being my only repeat Best Dressed from the Globes (a very prestigious distinction, obviously).
  • Marion Cotillard: Leave it to everyone’s favorite French import to be one of the only women to make a daring fashion choice last night. I adore this look from head to toe; big bows are always a risky choice, but this one looks just right. I also love the fullness of her train, and her hair is straight up awesome.
  • Jennifer Garner: Seeing them side-by-side made me realize that Garner’s dress is basically the gold version of Naomi Watts’s. I suppose that means I could fault them both for being boring, but instead I’m going to argue that they’re equally awesome. Same comments as Watts: simple but stunning, great beading, lovely hair.

Honorable Mentionshonorable mentions

  • Amanda Seyfried: There were a lot of basic black and navy gowns on the red carpet last night; I was bored with most of them but not with Seyfried’s. I think it’s the train that saves her here, plus I love the funky necklace and the side-swept hair.
  • Viola Davis: She looks amazing in every color I’ve ever seen her wear, but I think this is a particularly good one for her. There’s nothing revelatory about the design of this gown – it’s your standard Grecian-inspired dress – but she’s making it work.
  • Tina Fey: The perfect combination of quirky meets intellectual meets retro glam. I love her belt – it adds just the right amount of visual interest to the gown.

Worst Dressed: worst dressed

  • Jane Lynch: Kicking of my trio of worst dressed nominees (who coincidentally all wore black) is Jane Lynch, wearing a gown with a very unfortunate top half. Are those metal studs dotting her gown? Ugh.
  • Sigourney Weaver: Another tragic top half: it looks like a black sheet is just pinned to the front of her body, making her appear completely flat and boxy. Just totally unflattering.
  • Julie Bowen: It’s baffling to me that someone as beautiful as Bowen consistently makes such odd fashion choices. Here, her violation is choosing a leather gown with funky shoulders – it just makes for a weird look.

Miscellaneous Fashion Awards of Note:

field, chastain, dockery

  • Best Color: As I mentioned, there was a flood of navy and black gowns at the SAGs last night, so it was nice to see such a gorgeous shade of purple on Sally Field. The dress itself is also quite beautiful; all awards season long, she’s done a fantastic job of dressing in a way that’s age appropriate but not matronly.
  • Best Matching Dress & Hair Combo: I loved the color of Jessica Chastain’s gown, and as I was looking at the photo, it suddenly dawned on me why: it complements her red hair so well. Overall, this look is a winner – but, is it me, or is her dress just a bit too tight?
  • Best Gothic Glamour: I don’t think the striking black gown and heavy dark makeup combo would work for everyone, but Michelle Dockery is pulling it off. However, is she flashing some side boob? How very un-Lady Mary of her.

jones, lawrence, hathaway

  • Best Risk-Taker: If there is one person who is consistently bold with her fashion choices, it’s January Jones. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t – and tonight, I think her look fell somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. The black strap around her neck is throwing me off here, and her hair is just a bit too much. But props to her for always experimenting with her look.
  • Most Boring: I’m not ever sure what to say about Jennifer Lawrence’s dress. She looks great, but in a very safe way. With that neckline, she needed more of a statement necklace, or something to give this look a little pizzazz. Really glad she won, though.
  • Most Disappointing: I’m still waiting for Anne Hathaway to have her knockout fashion moment this awards season; she disappointed me at the Globes and she disappointed me here too. I was annoyed by the sheer netting on top, but when I realized she was wearing a sheer overlay skirt too, this look became irredeemable. You better pull through at the Oscars, Annie.

kemper, shipka, pare

  • Most Unnecessary Bow: Remember a few paragraphs back when I said that, while Marion Cotillard’s looked nice, bows were a risky proposition? Well, Ellie Kemper illustrates why: her side bow distracts from what is otherwise a perfectly lovely gown.
  • Most Adorable: I love Kiernan Shipka – this gown is just too cute. She’s like Sally Field, but on the opposite end of the spectrum: someone who dresses appropriately for her age, while managing not to look too childish.
  • Best Retro Glam: Whenever I see Best Dressed lists after an award show, Jessica Pare is almost never on them; she seems to fly under the radar a bit. I love her, however – she seems to pull retro fashion inspiration from her own show, and that works for her.

michelle, byrne, cuoco

  • Most In Need of a Tanning Intervention: Dear Lea Michele, please lay off on the spray tanner – it’s not your friend. As for your dress: I like the color, but overall it’s a bit too plain.
  • Silliest Princess: I’m not sure what to make of Rose Byrne’s dress; it almost seems like a combination of a childish princess and a 1920s garden party attendee. Something about this gown just rubs me the wrong way. I also wish that the ruffles were only on top; the fact that they trail all the way down the dress is driving me crazy and seems like overkill.
  • Worst Hair: This is a perfectly passable dress, but Kaley Cuoco’s hair is just inexplicable – it manages both to look too puffy and too flat at the same time. And while I’m on board overall with the recent trend toward bangs (you get ‘em, FLOTUS), I don’t thing bangs are Cuoco’s friend.

fischer, bledel, danes

  • Personal Best: I have never been a fan of Jenna Fischer’s red carpet choices (I think she tends to dress way too conservatively), but this is a real high point for her. She’s dressed modestly, but she doesn’t look frumpy, she looks sleek.
  • Most Disconcerting Couple: Rory Gilmore is dating Pete Campbell in real life?!? I can barely get over this fact, but I will say that I liked Alexis Bledel’s dress – it’s a good color choice for her. Also, Kaley Cuoco, take note: this is how bangs are done.
  • Worst Makeup: I’m ambivalent about Claire Danes’s dress, but the makeup she’s sporting is just plain wrong. More specifically, her lips resemble the color of Kate Winslet’s after she spent hours floating in icy waters (and hogging that damn door) after the Titanic sank.

Did you watch the SAG Awards? And if you did, who wore your favorite looks?

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 57

leo

The weekly roundup of internet awesomeness:

  1. David Sedaris comes out with a new book in April. Can’t wait!
  2. 25 Handy Words That Simply Don’t Exist in English. My favorite is #1, because I could use it so, so frequently.
  3. Awesome prank: the drive-thru “ghost.” I love the employee who immediately decided to Instagram the moment.
  4. These are on point: Honest Titles for Oscar Nominated Movies.
  5. When my best friend sent me a link to this article, it pretty much made my week: The 26 Most Puzzling Pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio. So, so, so many gems.
  6. And another great Buzzfeed compilation: The 25 Most Embarrassing Destiny’s Child Coordinated Looks.
  7. Prabal Gurung is making a collection for Target. AHHHHH. It’s Jason Wu madness all over again.
  8. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler killed it at the Globes, further reinforcing my belief that we should all try to be more like them in all facets of life.
  9. If you posed the question, “If Laura were a character from Friends, who would she be?” to the people who know me best, I guarantee what everyone would answer: Chandler. Hands down. Thus, I love this article: Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Chandler Bing.
  10. Who’s getting excited for Game of Thrones season 3? (Me). In preparation, let’s listen to the GoT kids beat box the show’s theme song. They are all adorable.

(Image via Buzzfeed)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 56

edith with googly eyes

This week’s roundup of all that is awesome on the internets:

  1. The 50 Funniest Tweets of 2012. So, so good.
  2. I wish more people watched Happy Endings. Maybe this Happy Endings’ Happy Wordplay video will convince you to do just that.
  3. I marathon watched Homeland over my break (which I’m still on, grad school for the win!), and this article is on point: The Stages of Getting Addicted to Homeland. The Carrie/Brody relationship is when I began to become disenchanted with the show too, but nonetheless it’s still completely addictive and I understand why everyone’s hooked (including myself). And Saul is just the best, so naturally this line from the article was my favorite: “Love Saul. Think Saul is the best character on TV and you want to nuzzle in his beard.”
  4. I know this video is kind of old, but I’ve had the link in my inbox forever and just got around to watching now – and it was as amazing as I thought it would be: Look at This Instagram.
  5. Even though I don’t think I’m quite fancy enough to pull off a list like this, I still love Kate Spade’s list of New Year’s Resolutions.
  6. I’m sure there will be many more Downton-related tumblrs over the course of the season, so here’s to the first of many: Edith with Googly Eyes. As per usual, poor Edith.
  7. This sounds fascinating: Frida Kahlo’s closet, which was locked for 58 years, is now on display. Who wants to go to Mexico City with me?
  8. My excitement over Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes is no secret. In preparation for the awesomeness of tomorrow night, you should probably review their best onscreen moments together.
  9. Vogue UK’s study of Kate Middleton’s style. I want everything in her wardrobe.
  10. Celebrities Read Mean Tweets About Themselves. Lots of gems here, but I liked the Christina Applegate one the best.

(Image via Edith with Googly Eyes)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 55

tinkerbell tailor solider spy

The first awesome list of the new year:

  1. The Mindy Project started a bit slow, but it’s definitely become one of my favorite shows – and it should be one of yours, too. In case you need convincing: 15 Reasons to Let The Mindy Project into Your Heart.
  2. This article is awesome: 22 Terrible Things That Must End in 2013. Of course, I will never quit Instagramming my food, but all the other things on the list should definitely go.
  3. Singer Woody Guthrie’s 1942 list of New Year’s Resolutions (or “New Years Rulin’s,” in his words) is so charming. Numbers 15, 31, and 33 make me happy.
  4. I cannot wait to watch this year’s Golden Globes. This is why. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler make everything better.
  5. Simple but brilliant: 40 Tricks You Must Know for a Much Better 2013.
  6. I have been mildly (or, perhaps, majorly) obsessed with Eddie Redmayne since watching Les Mis on Christmas day. I find him good looking in a super unconventional way, and apparently I’m not the only one: Is Eddie Redmayne Hot? (Spoiler alert: the conclusion is “yes”).
  7. The movies of 2012, all mashed up together. I’m a sucker for stuff like this.
  8. How have I never seen this before?! Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt dancing to “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?”
  9. Are you feeling sad? Look at This Fucking Puppy. Makes everything better.
  10. This gives me chills: The Letter M.

(Image via Buzzfeed)

Things That Are Awesome, Vol. 48

The weekly-ish roundup of awesome internet finds:

  1. In celebration of PBS, home of Downton Abbey, Rick Steves, Sesame Street, and plenty of other quality programming I both enjoyed as a child and enjoy now.
  2. This will go down in history as one of the best decisions ever: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the Golden Globes. I can’t even.
  3. Speaking of which, here are 17 Other Things Amy Poehler and Tina Fey Should Run.
  4. This is incredibly cool: Date Stamp Art. Simple, but brilliant.
  5. One thing I always hear about Homeland is that people love to watch because Claire Danes is an epic crier. This seems like an odd detail to fixate on, but after looking at this board on Pinterest, I guess it’s true.
  6. If This Post Makes You Laugh, Then You’re a Terrible Person. These are all great, but for some reason number 8 (pictured above) just killed me.
  7. These pictures of Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward make me smile. You can just tell how in love they were.
  8. The 200 Greatest Arrested Development Quotes. Man, what a brilliant show.
  9. I love a good “Call Your Girlfriend” cover, and this one – by girls who are 8 and 12! – is excellent. Plus, they’re on Nashville which is an equally excellent show that everyone should be watching. Get on it.
  10. And finally, this tweet, via Rebel Wilson, made me laugh out loud:

(Image via Buzzfeed)