Friday, March 16, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/16/18)

A Tribute to Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s A Wrinkle in Time Sexy Science Marriage

She has very good taste: Chelsea Clinton reveals her all-time favorite books -- and her bad-boy literary crush

Daniel Mallory Ortberg Would Like to Eat Breakfast Like a French Duke ME TOO.

Behind the scenes on the Coronation Street set – a photo essay

LET'S GO: 10 of the best European islands … that you’ve probably never heard of

Want to hear more about my writing process?

DOES anyone want to hear more about my writing process? Honestly, that idea has always seemed weird to me - not that I object to talking about it, but I don't really get why anyone outside my very close friends/family would CARE. (They get the out-of-the-blue texts like "Do you think you could kill someone with [non-weapon object]?", which I'm sure are not startling at all.) But! People talk about writing and read other people's thoughts on writing all the time! I realize that! In theory, I am included in that! And indeed, as I've been more open on places like Twitter about the fact that I'm working on something, people seem to want to hear about it! I am bemused but honored.

At the same time, I've been trying to think of a little something extra to add for my Patreon supporters to show my appreciation and make sure all levels are getting something out of supporting. And... honestly, I kind of miss my Oscar Project Diary that I sent out EVERY DAY for a while. I don't want to commit to something else of that level on an ongoing basis, because it was VERY time-consuming, but I wanted to do SOMETHING.

So... I'm melding these two thoughts into one. Starting this weekend, patrons of any level* will get my Writing Diary posts - an exclusive update on how my novel's going, what I'm thinking about, research I'm doing, things that are stumping me, whatever. It will be informal and conversational, on no strict schedule but we'll say at least a post a week. Usually text, maybe sometimes a picture or, I guess, video (probably not? Why would I make a video.) or... whatever! I'm excited to share this and see how it turns out; I'm hoping it will be both interesting to my readers and helpful for me as far as self-reflection and clarification of thought.

If this sounds interesting to you, head on over to Patreon and sign up, and then watch for your first Writing Diary post this weekend! In it, I will REVEAL what object I was contemplating as an unlikely murder weapon in the text mentioned above.

* Okay, real talk. "Any level" starts at $1 a month. That's exactly $1 for you, no fees or anything. I know some people genuinely do not have a spare $1 in their budget and I will ALWAYS keep the link posts free and open for that reason, but for MOST people who read my blog, I'd like to think that you get at least 3.33 cents a day of value out of it. There are higher levels - if my posts are worth 10 cents a day to you you could sign up at the $3 level, say - and at each level you get an extra piece of content each month. (And they stack, so for example at the $10 level you get the $1, $3, $5, and $10 rewards every month.) Check out the levels and rewards here.

Morning Coffee (3/16/18)

Time for Friday happy links!

ICYMI, yesterday I wrote about why I liked A Wrinkle in Time so much!

Aaaah, great news from my friend Steph! Netflix is making a movie of her YA horror novel There's Someone Inside Your House. (I generally avoid horror but I really loved this one.)

Hahaha: National Trust apologises to Cornish after appearing to endorse putting cream on scones first

7 Books to Read After Seeing Black Panther

Aw, look at today's George Peabody Google doodle!

Ooh, pretty: These L’Occitane Easter Eggs Are Even Better Than Chocolate Eggs

The Amy Poehler/Nick Offerman crafting show is premiering ON MY BIRTHDAY. That's very thoughtful of them.

Perfect: If Jane Austen Got Feedback From Some Guy In A Writing Workshop

I'm not particularly into animated series but this is quite the voice cast.

The Solo movie is doing some kind of promotion with Solo cups and that's HILARIOUS.

Mae Whitman Is Ready for Taylor Kitsch to Play Her Boyfriend Now I mean, who isn't?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/15/18)

This is fascinating and important and worth your time: The Male Glance

‘Mallory Is Not Gone’: Daniel Mallory Ortberg on Coming Out As Trans

This story of targets banding together to take down a con man is WILD: The Perfect Man Who Wasn't

Why Jhumpa Lahiri loves translating Italy's 'finest living writer'

Women on Trial: British Soldiers’ Wives Tried by Court Martial [during the American Revolution]

Weekly Rec: A Wrinkle in Time

The novel A Wrinkle in Time is important to me - I wrote my college thesis on Madeleine L'Engle's work - and so I was both excited and worried when I heard that it was going to be a big feature film. LUCKILY, my excitement was justified and my worry was unnecessary. This movie was a complete delight; it did a great job of retaining everything important about the novel while updating things to feel contemporary and relevant to today's kids. Ava DuVernay did a great job executing her vision, and the whole cast was great but ESPECIALLY star Storm Reid as Meg.

It's natural to get upset about changes when a book you love is adapted, though I always find it useful to remember that no one is actually taking the original version away from you and you can ignore the adaptation entirely if you wish. But in this case I don't want to ignore it! It's great! I had a few moments of "That's not MY xyz" at the beginning, but then I made a conscious decision to let go and see the movie on its own terms, and I loved it. I especially like that this version has a young black girl saving the world with a white boy as her sidekick - I think that's a great thing for ALL kids to see. (The change that I liked least was the erasure of Meg's brothers Sandy and Dennys, but ah well, I get it.)

There's also been some talk about the movie being less explicitly Christian than the novel. I understand that disappointment if you're going in looking for something that is specific to your own religion, but I actually loved what they did with it in this area: they very much kept the important points of L'Engle's philosophy and theology while diversifying the great thinkers quoted and making L'Engle's outlook accessible to wider variety of kids from all sorts of backgrounds. Jesus is not mentioned by name as he is in the book, but what L'Engle believed is important about Jesus was very much there.

This was a movie that was fun, occasionally scary, intellectually and philosophically interesting, and inspirational, all at once. Go see it, and bring any kids you have around.

Morning Coffee (3/15/18)

“We’re mad that we haven’t been listened to”: students speak on the National School Walkout

Russia threatens retaliation after Britain expels 23 diplomats

With Mike Pompeo at the State Department, Are the Über-Hawks Winning?

The Conor Lamb Model

How Jeff Sessions Is Sneaking Trump Allies Into Key DOJ Positions That Normally Require Senate Confirmation

OH GOOD: Theranos chief executive Elizabeth Holmes charged with massive fraud

Why Is U.S. Health Care So Expensive? Some of the Reasons You’ve Heard Turn Out to Be Myths

!!! Scott Kelly Spent a Year in Space, and Now He Has Different DNA Than His Identical Twin Brother

Uncovering the Secrets of the ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’

Oskar Gröning, the ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz,’ Is Dead at 96

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/14/18)

This series is sad and fascinating: Missouri is a destination wedding spot — for 15-year-old brides

The Times is doing a great new feature called Overlooked, in which they write obituaries for important women they missed. Sylvia Plath!! Charlotte Bronte!

Daniel Mallory Ortberg talks The Toast, The Merry Spinster, and the joys of peanut butter

Modern Humans Survived a Supervolcano That Rained Glass Over South Africa

Neanderthals Painted the World’s Oldest Cave Art

Morning Coffee (3/14/18)

Wow: Pennsylvania House Race, in a District Trump Won by 20 Points, Is Too Close to Call

Trump ousts Tillerson, will replace him as secretary of state with CIA chief Pompeo

ICE Spokesman Resigns, Saying He Could No Longer Spread Falsehoods for Trump Administration

The Senate's Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill Is a Disaster for Basically Everything It Touches

Sad news: Stephen Hawking Dies at 76; His Mind Roamed the Cosmos

!! Man Arrested in 1986 Murder of Massachusetts Teenager

I get why, but SIGH: The Crown Paid Its Queen Elizabeth Less Than Its Prince Philip

Court Rejects Tech Bro Gender Discrimination Suit Against Yahoo

Uh: Greece Suspends Soccer League After Team Owner Invades Field With Gun

This documentary about piano students in Ireland looks great.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/13/18)

This is a powerful piece from Jessica Valenti: My 2lb baby: 'lonely' is the only way to describe raising an ill or disabled child

Just Doing It: A Conversation with Mallory Ortberg

The Downside of Radical Honesty

Ice cream makes everything better—even science

Chekhov, Sakhalin and the Russian Famine of 1891–92

Morning Coffee (3/13/18)

These package bombings in Austin are scary - stay safe, friends! The Austin Statesman is posting updates here.

Russia tries to entice voters to polls to prop up Putin's legitimacy

WHAT A SHOCK: Despite Mueller’s Push, House Republicans Declare No Evidence of Collusion

Trump administration broke the law by failing to implement smog rule, federal court rules

After Bragging About Broadcom Jobs, Trump Kills Its Qualcomm Deal Over 'National Security' Risk

James Levine’s Final Act at the Met Ends in Disgrace

Hubert de Givenchy Dies at 91; Fashion Pillar of Romantic Elegance

NASA’s Juno Probe Peers Into Jupiter’s Mysterious Atmosphere and Polar Regions

This sounds interesting: ‘Half the Picture’ Documentary on Female Directors Sells to Gravitas

Huh: Scientology TV Network Sets Launch On DirecTV, Apple, Roku And Amazon

Monday, March 12, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/12/18)

How Egypt's Strongman Is Turning Sports Into Propaganda

Artificial Intelligence Is Now Used to Predict Crime. But Is It Biased?

In Search of Russia's First Inhabitants

This sounds really interesting: The Night Diary author Veera Hiranandani's new YA book explores an overlooked history

Hunter-Gatherer Skulls Mounted on Stakes Reveal Symbolic Ritual Practice

Morning Coffee (3/12/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

Putin: Maybe ‘Ukrainians, Tatars Or Jews’ Meddled In American Election

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ White House spokesman does not deny that Carl Icahn was tipped off

Woman Who Was Forced to Marry Her Rapist at 11 Finally Changes Florida Marriage Law

Humans — Not Bots — Are Largely Responsible for the Proliferation of Fake News

FBI arrests CEO of company selling custom BlackBerrys to gangs ... of course they were BlackBerrys.

Ursula Marvin, Geologist of the Extraterrestrial, Dies at 96

Whoa: RIP Claire's and Thanks for All the Piercings

Good for them: Riverdale's Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes Slam Cosmopolitan Philippines for Photoshopping Their Bodies

Interesting: A24 Buys Horror Spec From ‘Cat Person’ Author

A Tiny Book Written for Dolls, Commissioned by a Queen of England, Is Now for Sale (They certainly write off Vita Sackville-West easily here...)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/9/18)

The case for Black Panther as a 2019 Oscar behemoth

Jessica Morgan (of Go Fug Yourself) is both a pal and a writer I really enjoy, so I'm excited to drive into her top 10 essential movies.

Very important journalism: 13 Of The Most Adorable Pets Owned By Famous Writers

How a Tiny Wisconsin Island Became the World’s Biggest Consumer of Bitters

An Arthurian castle in Slovenia: the history, legends and future of Castle Borl

Weekly Rec: The Romanovs: 1613-1918

Oh hi! After a brief post-Oscars break, normal posting has resumed! So this seems like a good time to remind you that these posts are made possible by my Patreon supporters, and if you enjoy them and want more content, please consider joining in!

Yesterday during the snowstorm I finally finished reading The Romanovs, and if you're at all interested in Russian history I highly recommend it. We mostly hear about a few specific Romanovs - Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, then on to the twentieth century and the whole mythologized Rasputin story - but Montefiore does a masterful job of taking us through the whole dynasty, from the early seventeenth century up through the end in 1918. I found some of the earlier stuff to be particularly interesting, probably because I knew less about it going in. (Someone please write a well-researched historical novel about the early Romanov brideshows!) Montefiore also does better than I expected at helping the reader keep everyone straight, which is impressive since everyone has the same six names and also six different nicknames.

The tsars are often pretty romanticized, especially Nicholas and Alexandra and their kids at the end, and I thought Montefiore did a much better job than other authors I've read (looking at you, Robert Massie) at explaining how the Romanovs weren't just good people caught up in a terrible fate out of their control - they in fact were REALLY BAD AT THEIR JOBS and made a variety of awful decisions that led directly to their downfall.

This book can be a little slow going at times - it took me over a month to read it, which is pretty rare for me - but it's worth it and some of the stories it contains are WILD. (I do not know why many more people did not die from alcohol poisoning.) It also made me want to read more Russian literature, so I think I'll be tackling War and Peace soon...

Morning Coffee (3/9/18)

Time for some happy Friday links! Just a reminder: If you enjoy these or my other posts, please consider supporting me on Patreon. For as little as $1 a month you can help make sure I can invest the not inconsiderable time required to compile links.

Oooh! Obama in Talks to Provide Shows for Netflix

Eee, cover and excerpt for Holly Black's next book The Wicked King!

Hey knitters, here's the official pattern for Nakia's infinity scarf from Black Panther.

Here's the 2018 longlist for the Women's Prize for Fiction.

Look at this Wrinkle in Time jewelry! I'm sure I'll buy something and am agonizing over what; I'm going to make myself wait until after I see the movie in case that makes a particular design speak to me in a way I might not expect.

Elsewhere in niche jewelry I'm sure I'll buy: LOOK AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM'S ENAMEL PINS.

'Suits' Spinoff With Gina Torres Lands USA Network Series Pickup I'm excited to see her lead a show!

Everyone Has A Book Genre That Matches Their Personality — Here's Yours (This quiz told me I was a mystery novel, so obviously it is correct and accurate in all ways.)

The Original 'My Little Pony' Toys are Back and Making Your Childhood Dreams Come True (I sold mine in a yard sale and VERY MUCH REGRETTED IT.)

Whoa: This Glass-bottom Pool in Honolulu Has the Most Breathtaking Views

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/8/18)

The unwelcome revival of ‘race science’

‘Black Panther’ Is Groundbreaking, But It’s Shuri Who Could Change The World

Acrimony F.C.: M.L.S. Teams and Fan Groups Navigate a Rocky Marriage

"Boy" books vs. "Girl" books: How do we stop the labeling?

Mining Liberty: Daniel Roberdeau’s Quest for Lead on the Pennsylvania Frontier

Morning Coffee (3/8/18)

Sergei Skripal was deliberately poisoned with nerve agent, say police

Jeff Sessions’s lawsuit against California’s “sanctuary” laws, explained

What a shock: Trump Spoke to Witnesses About Matters They Discussed With Special Counsel

Stormy Daniels Is Suing Trump Over A "Hush Agreement" That She Says He Never Signed

And: Trump Lawyer Obtained Restraining Order to Silence Stormy Daniels

Kentucky Senate pulls bill to outlaw child marriage following opposition by conservative group

New report shows lack of progress for women of color in the media

Ooh! Little Women to become multicultural graphic novel for 150th anniversary

Google Researchers Are Learning How Machines Learn

This sounds interesting: Gina Rodriguez to Star in, Produce Netflix Rom-Com ‘Someone Great’

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/7/18)

I am SO EXCITED: Ava DuVernay’s Fiercely Feminine Vision for ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

Blood on the Land in Brazil

Author Maggie Stiefvater put together some interesting numbers and information on how authors really get paid.

Handwalla Bwana’s journey from Kakuma refugee camp to the Seattle Sounders

Trash in the Fjords? Norway Turns to Drones

Morning Coffee (3/7/18)

Oh hey, apparently we just had an earthquake. I didn't consciously feel it but I DID wake up right then! (As I was typing that sentence it suddenly started to snow VERY HARD. Exciting weather day!)

‘They can’t kill us all’: Slovakian journalists defiant after murders

Africa is now home to the world’s largest migrant populations

These people. The Trump Organization Ordered Golf Course Markers With the Presidential Seal. That May Be Illegal.

The GOP is going to war with Trump over … tariffs

Women’s March Leaders Have An Anti-Semitism Problem — Maybe It’s Time To Leave Them Behind

Weinstein Co. Sale Deal Collapses

Wow: Dating App Bumble to Ban Gun Images From User Profile Pictures

Found: A 127-Million-Year-Old Fossil of a Fledgling

Ooh, Lost in Space trailer!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/6/18)

This story on beating the lottery via math is WILD: Jerry and Marge Go Large

The Merchant Ivory: The History of Adaptations That Came Before ‘Call Me By Your Name’

On figure skating: How Do You Judge Je Ne Sais Quoi?

Say It with Noodles: On Learning to Speak the Language of Food

How a Sneak Attack By Norway’s Skiing Soldiers Deprived the Nazis of the Atomic Bomb

Morning Coffee (3/6/18)

North Korea Is Willing to Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons, South Says

Welp: Former Russian spy critically ill in UK 'after exposure to substance'

That was far from the craziest story yesterday! "A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections."

Plus Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg called before grand jury, says he will refuse to go

And then Former Trump campaign aide burns everything down in epic series of cable news interviews

Back in sane news: After Months of Deadlock, Germany’s Merkel Finally Secures a Fourth Term

Eeeee, Mary Poppins Returns teaser trailer! I'M SO EXCITED.

When Stars Were Born: Earliest Starlight’s Effects Are Detected

I LOVE today's Google doodle for Gabriel Garcia Marquez's birthday.

Hmm: Historical Doc With A Hint of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Sold To Global Broadcasters

Monday, March 5, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/5/18)

This piece by Nicole Chung is great: How to Write a Memoir While Grieving

The Instagram Stars Hiding Their Famous, Muslim-Hating Mom, Pamela Geller (And a subsequent update.)

Luca Guadagnino Is Love

Fascinating: The Misunderstood Byzantine Princess and Her Magnum Opus

Photos: The astonishing hidden complexity inside our sleek techie gadgets

Morning Coffee (3/5/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week!

First up: here are all the Oscar winners! I correctly predicted 21 of 24 categories. Not bad!

Progress? Special counsel wants documents on Trump, numerous campaign associates

Mueller’s Focus on Adviser to Emirates Suggests Broader Investigation

Uh... State Dept. Was Granted $120 Million to Fight Russian Meddling. It Has Spent $0.

What a headline: Florida’s senate convened a rare Saturday session to reject taking action on guns

‘Pure madness’: Dark days inside the White House as Trump shocks and rages

A Group of Women Just Bought the Weinstein Company

Bitcoin thirst spurs Icelandic heist—“Grand theft on a scale unseen before”

Wow: Call Me By Someone Else’s Name: Armie Hammer’s Actress Wife Sues Woman Who Impersonated Her To Attend Vanity Fair Party

'Diversity in Romance' report finds decrease in books by authors of color

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Oscar Project 2018: Picks and Predictions!

Well, here we are. It's Oscar weekend! So I guess it's time to tell you what I want to win. For each category, you'll see links to my posts about each nominee, and then my prediction of what will actually win, my preference for what SHOULD win among those nominees, and in some cases my comments on what should have been nominated but wasn't. (Note: I'm 100% convinced that I'm forgetting A LOT of the other things I would have ideally nominated.)

I hope you've enjoyed my Oscar posts. If you'd like to support my work and get more exclusive content, come join me on Patreon!

Best Picture:
The Nominees: Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What Will Win: The Shape of Water, though I keep going back and forth between that and Three Billboards
What Should Win: Call Me By Your Name, Call Me By Your Name, Call Me By Your Name
In a Perfect World... I'd have nominated Wind River and maybe The Florida Project in the place of Three Billboards and The Shape of Water.

Actor in a Leading Role:
The Nominees: Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Get Out, Phantom Thread, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
What Will Win: Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour
What Should Win: I'm torn between Oldman and Timothee Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name.
In a Perfect World... I'd have nominated Jeremy Renner for Wind River in the place of Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Actor in a Supporting Role:
The Nominees: All the Money in the World, The Florida Project, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (twice over)
What Will Win: Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards
What Should Win: Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project
In a Perfect World... I am COMPLETELY FURIOUS that Three Billboards got TWO slots here and Call Me By Your Name got none. I would have nominated both Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg, and Hammer should have won.

Actress in a Leading Role:
The Nominees: I, Tonya, Lady Bird, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What Will Win: Frances McDormand for Three Billboards
What Should Win: Margot Robbie for I, Tonya
In a Perfect World... Daniela Vega should have been nominated for A Fantastic Woman.

Actress in a Supporting Role:
The Nominees:I, Tonya, Lady Bird, Mudbound, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water
What Will Win: Allison Janney for I, Tonya
What Should Win: Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird

Animated Feature Film:
The Nominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, Loving Vincent
What Will Win: Coco
What Should Win: Coco
In a Perfect World... Surely there was SOMETHING better than The Boss Baby to nominate.

The Nominees: Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Mudbound, The Shape of Water
What Will Win: Blade Runner 2049
What Should Win: Dunkirk, though I wouldn't mind seeing the first female cinematography win for Mudbound.
In a Perfect World... I'd have nominated Call Me By Your Name and maybe Phantom Thread.

Costume Design:
The Nominees: Beauty and the Beast, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water, Victoria & Abdul
What Will Win: Phantom Thread
What Should Win: Phantom Thread

The Nominees: Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water
What Will Win: Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water
What Should Win: Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk
In a Perfect World... I'd have nominated Luca Guadagnino for Call Me By Your Name

Documentary (Feature):
The Nominees: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Faces Places, Icarus, Last Men in Aleppo, Strong Island
What Will Win: I'm torn between Icarus and Last Men in Aleppo.
What Should Win: Icarus, though there's no bad option here.

Documentary (Short Subject):
The Nominees: Edith+Eddie, Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Heroin(e), Knife Skills, Traffic Stop
What Will Win: Traffic Stop
What Should Win: Heroin(e)

Film Editing:
The Nominees: Baby Driver, Dunkirk, I, Tonya, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What Will Win: Dunkirk
What Should Win: Dunkirk, though I wouldn't be mad at Baby Driver or I, Tonya.

Foreign Language Film:
The Nominees: A Fantastic Woman, The Insult, Loveless, On Body and Soul, The Square
What Will Win: A Fantastic Woman
What Should Win: A Fantastic Woman

Makeup & Hairstyling:
The Nominees: Darkest Hour, Victoria & Abdul, Wonder
What Will Win: Darkest Hour
What Should Win: Darkest Hour
In a Perfect World... I might have nominated Beauty and the Beast here.

Music (Original Score):
The Nominees: Dunkirk, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What Will Win: The Shape of Water
What Should Win: Phantom Thread
In a Perfect World... I'd have put Call Me By Your Name in the place of Three Billboards.

Music (Original Song):
The Nominees: Call Me By Your Name, Coco, The Greatest Showman, Marshall, Mudbound
What Will Win: "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman
What Should Win: "Mystery of Love" from Call Me By Your Name
In a Perfect World... Well, "Visions of Gideon" was actually the better original Sufjan Stevens song in Call Me By Your Name.

Production Design:
The Nominees: Beauty and the Beast, Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water
What Will Win: The Shape of Water
What Should Win: Blade Runner 2049, though both WWII movies are close seconds for me here.
In a Perfect World... Guess what, I'd put Call Me By Your Name here too.

Short Film (Animated):
The Nominees: Dear Basketball, Garden Party, LOU, Negative Space, Revolting Rhymes: Part I
What Will Win: Dear Basketball
What Should Win: Negative Space

Short Film (Live Action):
The Nominees: DeKalb Elementary, The Eleven O'Clock, My Nephew Emmett, The Silent Child, Watu Wote/All of Us
What Will Win: DeKalb Elementary
What Should Win: My Nephew Emmett or The Silent Child

Sound Editing:
The Nominees: Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
What Will Win: Dunkirk
What Should Win: Dunkirk

Sound Mixing:
The Nominees: Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
What Will Win: Dunkirk
What Should Win: Dunkirk

Visual Effects:
The Nominees: Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kong: Skull Island, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, War for the Planet of the Apes
What Will Win: Blade Runner 2049
What Should Win: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
The Nominees: Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Logan, Molly's Game, Mudbound
What Will Win: Call Me By Your Name (This is the only category for which I'm letting myself hope.)
What Should Win: Call Me By Your Name

Writing (Original Screenplay):
The Nominees: The Big Sick, Get Out, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What Will Win: Get Out, though this is the category I'm having the most trouble predicting. I wouldn't be at all surprised by anything except The Big Sick here.
What Should Win: Anything but Three Billboards.

Morning Coffee (3/3/18)

ICYMI, yesterday's Oscar Posts: Watu Wote/All of Us and Marshall

Check back this afternoon for my master Oscar post with all my picks and predictions!

Everything seems fine! Putin’s ‘Invincible’ Missile Is Aimed at U.S. Vulnerabilities

Steve Bannon in Rome to 'support far-right candidate' in Italian election Of course he is.

This is terrible: Tammy Duckworth faces predicament in Senate over maternity leave

WHAT A WEIRD COINCIDENCE: Trump confidant dumped millions in steel-related stock last week

What a shock: Video game companies unaware of Trump’s summit on video game violence

Hahaha of course: Trump’s Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize Was Apparently Forged. Twice.

Good for her: Aly Raisman files lawsuit against US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics

Uh... La La Land, We Mean Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway Will Announce Best Picture

This cut-off makes a lot of sense to me: Defining generations: Where Millennials end and post-Millennials begin

This Case Has Everything: Doppelgängers, Stolen Identity, Poison, Cheesecake

Friday, March 2, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/2/18)

Behind The Scenes On The Magical Set Of A Wrinkle In Time

Everybody Is Fine: Talking with Jasmine Guillory

Heh, this is fun: I Wore Adidas Tracksuits for a Week Like Armie Hammer

Whoa: How Knot Analysis Can Reveal the Perpetrator of a Crime

Victorian giants and mountain nymphs: when photography became art

Oscar Project 2018: Loveless

Movie: Loveless

Well, here it is, the one Oscar-nominated movie I couldn't see. (It hasn't opened anywhere in New England.) It's the Russian nominee and it looks interesting!

Availability: In a very few theaters, but more soon.

Nominated In:
Foreign Language Film

Catch up on all my Oscar Project posts.

Oscar Project 2018: Marshall

Movie: Marshall

This movie is about future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall as an NAACP lawyer during WWII, focusing on a case in which he defends a black man accused of raping his white employer. I feel like this didn't make much of a splash when it came out, but I really enjoyed it - and, of course, it seems ALL TOO RELEVANT right now/still/always. Chadwick Boseman is great in the title role.

Availability: Available for rental or purchase.

Nominated In:
Music (Original Song): Uh, sure. The song had nothing at all to do with why I liked the movie in general, but it was good!

Catch up on all my Oscar Project posts.

Oscar Project 2018: Watu Wote/All of Us

Movie: Watu Wote/All of Us

This short film was about the tensions between Christians and Muslims in Kenya, culminating in a terrorist attack on a bus. It was very well done, building tension extremely well and creating interesting characters in a short time. It was also surprisingly nuanced and packed a lot in without feeling preachy. Not easy to watch, but definitely worthwhile both as art and for its message.

Availability: Find out how to see the shorts here.

Nominated In:
Short Film (Live Action): Yes! Definitely deserves the nomination.

Catch up on all my Oscar Project posts.

Morning Coffee (3/2/18)

WE MADE IT TO FRIDAY. Time for happy links!

ICYMI, yesterday's Oscar Project posts: My Nephew Emmett, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Big Sick

Oh good: Last Men in Aleppo producer gets last-minute visa to attend Oscars

I AM EXCITED: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery unveils new gameplay trailer

Aah, Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing Captain America!

This looks so good: ‘Final Portrait’ Trailer: Geoffrey Rush Paints Armie Hammer

Whoa, I've never seen a full list of what's in the Oscar gift bag before. It's . . . a lot.

Dolly Parton likes to give away books. She just donated her 100 millionth.

L’Occitane’s 2018 Solidarity Balm Helps Support Women In Achieving Their Professional Dreams (a. this is a good cause and b. I didn't know you could buy LITERALLY ANYTHING from L'Occitane for $6.)

Someone go and report back! Domesday Book is coming to the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition

Heh: Even Oprah Has to Spell Her Name at Starbucks

Yes, sure, I'll try rosé hard cider.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Afternoon Tea (3/1/18)

Aw, this is great: Mal Ortberg’s Creepy New Book is Coming Out and Mal Is Too

How a secretive, unknown smartphone app became the center of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown

Women in Cryptocurrencies Push Back Against ‘Blockchain Bros’

Ooh, import digitization project here: See Rare Images Depicting Life, Work at the White House

Ancient Cave Drawings and Early Human Language Linked in New Study

Oscar Project 2018: The Big Sick

Movie: The Big Sick

I kept putting off watching this for some reason - I guess because I knew the main character was a comedian? - but that was a mistake because IT WAS GREAT. It's a culture clash rom-com in which the stakes get much bigger when half of the couple becomes unexpectedly very ill, and it was a total delight to watch - hilarious and heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once.

Availability: Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Nominated In:
Writing (Original Screenplay): Yes! This was wonderfully written; what could have easily seemed cheesy or weepy was smart and funny and real instead.

Catch up on all my Oscar Project posts.

Oscar Project 2018: War for the Planet of the Apes

Movie: War for the Planet of the Apes

I watched this whole trilogy, because I am not a person who can just watch a third movie in isolation, and they're another great example of "I think this is probably effective at what it's trying to do, but I'm not into it." (I did like two and three better than one, though; all the humans in one made such constantly terrible decisions that I just wanted the apes to take over already.) I also apparently have ape face blindness, so I found these a little hard to follow. But, you know, they were fine! Far from the worst movies I've ever seen! If you like this kind of thing you'll probably like them!

Availability: Available for rental or purchase.

Nominated In:
Visual Effects: Sure! They were impressive.

Catch up on all my Oscar Project posts.

Oscar Project 2018: My Nephew Emmett

Movie: My Nephew Emmett

This short film tells the story of the murder of Emmett Till from the point of view of the uncle he was visiting. (He was a black teenager who was lynched in 1955 because a white woman said he offended her; here are the basics of the case.) This is obviously an extremely important incident, both in general and at this moment in our country, and this is a beautiful, heartbreaking film that definitely does it justice and creates a moving narrative while illuminating the horrors of racism and white supremacist violence. Highly recommended.

Availability: Find out how to see the shorts here.

Nominated In:
Short Film (Live Action): Yes. This is probably my pick for this category.

Catch up on all my Oscar Project posts.

Morning Coffee (3/1/18)

Happy March! I have a NEW Patreon reward for all $3+ patrons... an exclusive themed list of recommendations each month! If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon - honestly, these posts take a lot of time to put together, and with Patreon for as little as $1 a month you can make sure I get paid for that time AND you get fun extra content. Win/win, I hope!

ICYMI, yesterday's Oscar Project posts: The Silent Child, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Faces Places

This is not good! NSA Director Testifies Trump Has So Far Refused to Protect American Democracy From Future Russian Interference

Very normal: Trump aides keep folders documenting criticism by fellow Republicans

Hope Hicks to Leave Post as White House Communications Director

Progress... Walmart and Dick’s Raise Minimum Age for Gun Buyers to 21

Wow: Inside the Russian effort to fuel American secessionists

Anti-Semitic Incidents Surged 57 Percent in 2017, Report Finds

Must Tech Firms Provide Data Held Abroad? Justices Struggle to Apply 1986 Law

Good for her: Meghan Markle pledges to 'shine a light' on women's rights

Aaah, look at the cover reveal for Nicole Chung's book!

I love this headline (but the story is cool too): Electric wave engulfs brain at first blush of consciousness