Amanda Gates
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A Musings - February 2013

It's almost Oscar time! I did this last year, and I did fairly well, actually. (Meryl was a surprise, but I suppose, honestly, she shouldn't have been.) Here are my thoughts again. Long story short, it's Lincoln's year, unless its hype ends up working against it.

Best Picture

Will win: Lincoln.

Dark Horse: Argo. Or it got the Golden Globe as the next best thing.

Best Director

Will win: Steven Spielberg.

Dark Horse: Michael Haneke for Amour. Amour seems like a film Oscar voters would love, so maybe they’d give the director this over Best Picture.

Best Actor

Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis. People have just raved about his performance and he’s one of those actors (kind of like Meryl) who you just don't want to be up against.

Dark Horse: I really don’t think it’s another man’s game at all, but I’ll say Denzel.

Best Actress

I said this last year, but the actress categories are always filled with talent that in the end, who cares who wins -- they all rock.

Will win: Hmmm, I was going in thinking Jessica Chastain until Jennifer Lawrence started taking home all the awards leading up to this, so I’ll go with Lawrence.

Dark Horse: Emmanuelle Riva. Like I said last year, the Oscars love to give away an award or two to foreign-born actors (plus, they give so much better acceptance speeches).

Supporting Actor

I’m going out on a limb here, because wow, this is a close race. All good performances, all past winners. Could be anybody.

Will win: Alan Arkin, because he’s my favorite of the bunch.

Dark Horse: Tommy Lee Jones. He’s doing financial planning/retirement commercials, so maybe another Oscar is needed?

Supporting Actress

Will win: I think it’s Anne Hathaway’s year.

Dark Horse: Sally Field, because that would be cool.

Animated Film

Will win: Brave, because it’s just prettier than the rest.

Dark Horse: Wreck-It Ralph has been getting some praise as of late.

Foreign Language Film

Will win: Amour. If it can be nominated for both Best Picture and this, then it will probably win this one.

Dark Horse: I don’t have one; not familiar with the rest.

Original Score

Will win: Does John Williams’ stuff just start to sound the same after more than 20 Spielberg films? I’ll go with Mychael Danna for Life of Pi.

Dark Horse: Thomas Newman for Skyfall.

Original Song

Will win: Adele. Obviously. She wins everything she’s up for and this will be no different. Her speech will be charmingly lovely, too, I assume.

Dark Horse: Not even going to bother.

Adapted Screenplay

Will win: Lincoln. I would love to see Kushner win an Oscar. I've been a fan ever since I had to thoroughly study Angels in America in college drama class.

Dark Horse: Argo, so it can at least win something? Silver Linings Playbook might be worthy of the “at least give it something” award here, too.

Original Screenplay

Will win: Only because I think Django and Zero Dark Thirty might be too controversial to win for writing, I’ll say Moonrise Kingdom.

Dark Horse: Flight. People seemed to really like this movie.

What are your thoughts? Did you have a favorite of the nominees?

Posted: Thu, 02/14/2013 - 11:02 | Comments: 1

I had read lots of good things about this book, and now seemed like the perfect time to read it as I'm in her position right now - toddler boy, baby on the way. She was funny, thoughtful, a bit crazy at times, but so many things she wrote stuck with me.

Not really spoilers, just some quotes I loved:

On parenting fears

“It’s so simple now: I don’t want Ben to die, and I’m afraid that he will…I can’t believe there will be yet another baby to fret over. Can I survive so much worry? Whenever they interview anyone who lives to be a hundred, the secret is always revealed to be a life without stress. At this rate, I’ll be lucky to make it to 35.”

On pregnancy book she would write

“Who are these women so big and so into it? In my pregnancy book there will be a picture of a 10-foot pole in that section. In my pregnancy book there will be practical advice—like how to throw up quietly in public, and how to maximize the nutritional value of Fritos, and how not to punch anybody in the face, even when you feel like you’ve been injected with some crazy rage hormone. And how to sleep with two babies—one three, and one not yet born—lying on top of you on the couch.”

On toddlers

“What happens to this singularity of focus when the new baby comes? As it is, I’m so exhausted from so much feeling, so much negotiating, so much explaining of every single thing.”

On labor (it’s like she can read my mind)

“I confess that I’m so happy this time not to be consumed with the minutiae of the birth, like whether or not to get drugs. With your first baby, you think this is actually an important decision. Only later do you realize that a) You understand nothing about labor until it’s happening to you, and b) The birth is just the first tiny town—barely a black dot—on the enormous, complicated road map that is the rest of your life as a parent. Mistaking the birth for the main event is like thinking that the floral arrangements at your wedding will somehow determine the quality of your marriage.”

On the second baby

“The Buddhists describe life as a river: stand in one spot to watch the water rush by, and it will be always the same, always different. When the first baby comes, it’s like the sudden boil of the rapids: froth and sound, terror and thrill-a-second joy. The second one feels more like a gentle bend in the water’s path. A gentle bend with a boulder or two to keep you on your toes.”

On worrying

“When we got home, I watched Ben and Birdy sleep, and these waves of love crashed over me, and it was deeply pleasurable, but also entirely overwhelming. My dad has assured me that it will never get any better, this life of worry. Poor guy. He had anticipated that maybe having grandchildren would help him worry less, but it turns out, they are just more and more people for him to add to his roster of concern.”

On love

“Sometimes I wonder whether I would have done this—this becoming a parent—if I had known. You know, known about this love that’s like heartbreak. Mostly, and obviously, I think: Of course. Don’t be silly. But sometimes my love for these children feels almost like an affliction—like my heart is in the fist of a beast, and I am utterly helpless.”

Posted: Tue, 02/05/2013 - 16:29 | Comments: 1