Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Oscar results, blogging, Mercury shrine

Hi again everyone!

So I forgot to post the results of my Oscar picks yesterday, so I better start with that. (You can read more about that in the last post).

Here's how I did:

Best Actor: Chose right! Colin Firth did indeed win Best Actor. I bet Eisenberg was shocked he didn't win. Ha ha.

Best Supporting Actor: Chose wrong. I guess my passion for The King's Speech didn't go as far as I'd like. My pick, Geoffrey Rush, lost this award to Christian Bale for The Fighter, which I guess makes sense as he was a fave pick for the award anyway.

Best Actress: Chose wrong. Poor Annette Bening is award-less again, losing this award to Natalie Portman for Black Swan, just as many others were predicting.

Best Supporting Actress: Chose wrong (on both counts). I had a tie between Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech). Best Supporting Actress went to Melissa Leo for The Fighter, but nobody cares because she botched her speech by accidentially dropping the f-bomb, an Oscars no-no. Though my mom thinks she did it on purpose.

Best Animated Feature Film: Chose wrong. I chose How to Train Your Dragon. But Pixar (and Toy Story 3) won. Of course. They always win. Darn Pixar.

Best Art Direction: Chose right! I kinda knew that would happen; with Alice in Wonderland's amazing sets, there was no way the other nominees had a chance (except maybe Deathly Hallows).

Best Costume Design: Chose right! Again, not surprised. The costume design in Alice in Wonderland was award-worthy all along.

Best Director: Chose right! Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) won. I am very happy about this, especially since David Fincher (director of The Social Network) was the favorite for this award. I'm so glad Tom Hooper won.

Best Film Editing: Chose wrong. I picked The King's Speech. But The Social Network won this one, one of only three Oscars it won. It's a pity, because I thought the editing in The King's Speech was quite good. Eh well.

Best Foreign Language Film: Chose right! In a Better World (a Danish film) did seem like the most interesting one.

Best Original Score: Chose wrong. The Social Network won this one. I am scratching my head as to why it did. (My pick: How to Train Your Dragon).

Best Original Song: Chose right! As I said in the previous post, animated films do well here, and since Toy Story 3 won Best Animated Feature Film, this award was probably expected.

Best Short Film (Animated): Chose wrong. This went to The Lost Thing. Not sure why as I haven't seen that one. The Academy must've just liked it better. (My pick: Pixar's Day & Night).

Best Sound Editing: Chose wrong. This went to Inception, which also won three other Oscars. (My pick: Tron: Legacy, since I didn't notice any great sound editing in Toy Story 3, the one Sound Editing nominee I had seen).

Best Sound Mixing: Chose wrong. Also went to Inception. That movie dominated the sound category, apparently. (My pick: The King's Speech).

Best Visual Effects: Chose wrong. This also went to Inception. I was very surprised that Alice in Wonderland (my pick) didn't win here, but my mom (who has seen Inception) said the visual effects are REALLY impressive in that movie.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chose wrong. This went to The Social Network, and was the only one of the "Big Five" (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Writing/Screenplay) that it won. Seeing as it didn't have The King's Speech to contend with in this category, I guess it was pretty clear that it would win there against its competitors, though 127 Hours would've been a possible contender. (I picked Toy Story 3 for this because the only two films in this category that I'd seen were that one and The Social Network, and I didn't like The Social Network).

Best Original Screenplay: Chose right! This was one of the four awards that The King's Speech won, the most for any one film. Again, not much chance for the competition here imo, except maybe Inception, which did beat out The King's Speech for the Sound Mixing award.

Best Picture: TOTALLY Chose right! While it lost 8 of its nominations, The King's Speech (my pick for this award) won the biggest prize of the night - Best Picture - and that's what matters.The main competition here was between The King's Speech and The Social Network anyway. I am SO glad The Social Network didn't win. That would've just been wrong. And, the Best Picture/Best Director trend I mentioned in the last post was proven once again, since The King's Speech won Best Picture and its director, Tom Hooper, won Best Director. (This generally happens 9 times out of 10).

Awards I didn't make a clear pick on or choose at all:

Best Cinematography: Went to Inception. Inception and The King's Speech were the only films that won four Oscars, but The King's Speech is the one they said "dominated the night" because it won four of the "Big Five" awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay - the one it didn't get was Best Actress, which it wasn't nominated for anyway).

Best Documentary, Feature-Length: Went to Inside Job, the documentary about the recession. Not much of a surprise, I guess.

Best Documentary, Short-Subject: Went to Strangers No More, the film I liked about the school in Israel. Yay!

Best Short Film (Live-Action): Went to God of Love, about the guy who gets the love darts. Not that happy about that.

Best Makeup: A.k.a., the category I didn't care about. It went to The Wolfman.

So I got 7 right and 10 wrong (I counted the tie for Best Supporting Actress as 1 rather than 2), as well as 5 I didn't pick a winner for. Not too bad, I guess.

Total number of awards per movie for the major contenders (aka the Best Picture nominees, because those are the ones people care about, as well as non-Best Picture nominee Alice in Wonderland).

  • The King's Speech: 4 (nominated for 12) 
    • Won: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay.
    • Lost: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing.
  • Inception: 4 (nominated for 8)
    • Won: Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography.
    • Lost: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score.
  • The Social Network: 3 (nominated for 8)
    • Won: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score.
    • Lost: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography.
  • Alice in Wonderland: 2 (nominated for 3)
    • Won: Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design.
    • Lost: Best Visual Effects 
  • The Fighter: 2 (nominated for 7)
    • Note: Despite its disappointing number of wins, The Fighter is the first film to win Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in one year since 1986's Hannah and Her Sisters
    • Won: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress for Melissa Leo.
    • Lost: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams.
    • As strange as it may seem for The Fighter to have two nominees for Best Supporting Actress, this is actually not unheard of; "double" nominations for Best Supporting Actress (i.e., two actresses from the same film) have occurred 22 other times in the history of the Oscars, the earliest instance being in 1939, when both Hattie McDaniel and Olivia de Havilland were nominated for Gone With the Wind. (McDaniel won the award, actually. She played Mammy, the O'Haras' black housemaid in Gone With the Wind, and was the first African-American to win an Academy Award. de Havilland played Melanie Hamilton).
  • Toy Story 3: 2 (nominated for 5)
    • One of the 2 awards Toy Story 3 won was for Best Original Song, for the song "We Belong Together." It was only the third animated film to be nominated for Best Picture (after Beauty and the Beast and Up) and is the first sequel to win Best Animated Feature Film.
    • Won: Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Song
    • Lost: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Editing
  • Black Swan: 1 (nominated for 5)
    • Won: Best Actress (Natalie Portman)
    • Lost: Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Director
  • Films nominated but with no wins: True Grit (10 nominations), 127 Hours (6 nominations), The Kids Are All Right (4 nominations), Winter's Bone (4 nominations).
So the obvious upset is True Grit, which got 10 nominations but didn't win any awards. Black Swan, which only won 1 of the 5 awards it got nominated for, is also a surprise, considering it was a favorite all awards season. The Fighter and The Social Network also did a lot more poorly than anticipated.


Ok, moving on. That's why I don't do those sorts of posts normally. Not here anyway. They're majorly tiring!

I don't know why I did the post on my Oscar picks. I think, in a fit of temporary insanity, I posted on something I thought would bring all these people to my blog, since I was just reading a book on blogging as part of my "research" for my second Writing Project for Dr. Wilson, where I am writing fictional blog posts from the point-of-view of Ayeka from Tenchi Muyo. (I just finished the book today - it was Create Your Own Blog: 6 Easy Projects to Start Blogging Like a Pro by Tris Hussey. It's very good; I highly recommend it). I realize now it was kinda stupid to do that post. Oh well.

Finding books to "consult" on blogging was not as easy as it sounds; while many books have been written on the subject of blogging, most of them were published in 2006, when blogging really went mainstream. And when it comes to researching tech topics, you want to find a book that's as new as possible, since things change constantly in the world of technology. So I'm going with books published within the last couple years (Hussey's book came out in '09), since that's as current as I could find. Fortunately, I was able to find almost all the books I wanted to look at in Kindle format, which made it much more convenient for me to get them and read them. (The exceptions are a few books my school has full electronic access to and one book I got from the school library, The Rough Guide to Blogging, which is circa 2006 but which was highly recommended on Amazon; I looked through it though and there didn't seem to be anything useful in there that I hadn't already read in Tris Hussey's book).

At any rate, though, this "research" should help me as a blogger on any blogs I start in the future and maybe even on this blog. Technically, this is the only real blog I have on the net; my only other one is the updates blog for Myu Corner. I can't figure out how to integrate that blog into the site itself, or how to do that with any site, actually. In Tris Hussey's book, it sounds like you can do it with a self-hosted Wordpress installation, which is what I have through GoDaddy. But I still don't know how to actually do it. Before the Myu Corner blog, I did have a couple "blog sites," like my lame attempt to do a blog-within-a-blog for my personal site, and a couple small Wordpress sites I had - one a personal site called The Walden Chronicler's Tower and the other a fansite for the PotterCast Acting Troupe. But they're all gone now.

This blog, though, was my first and is my preferred one, even if the "Edit HTML" function isn't the best (it tends to do annoying things like add DIV tags where they don't need to be and stuff). Since December 2004, this blog has been my place to turn to when I need to get something off my chest that I can't talk about with other people for some reason, even my parents. It's like a replacement for the diary I once kept, first in that little Hello Kitty diary I wrote in from age 8 to around age 11, and then in some isolated Word documents. Sure, it's public, but my blog is so unknown that I don't think privacy is a huge issue, and plus I blog under a pseudonym. Up until I revealed my real name on Facebook, I pretty much always used an alias online, generally Lara Larame or Misty Waterflower, because I was uncomfortable using my real name online. In fact, when I first signed up for Facebook, it was under the name "Lara Larame." I only changed to my real name when I realized that my friends list was made up entirely of people who knew me or had known me in real life. To this day, I use an alias a lot online, or if I use my real name I use my first name only. (The exception to this is my writing site, which uses my first and last name, but that is because the site is for promoting my writing). In fact, many people who know me via social media such as YouTube only learn my real name when they have to e-mail me for some reason (since e-mails from my main address show my first and last name...I must have it set up that way). Weird, I know. But it makes me feel more comfortable, and I'm sure it makes my parents feel more comfortable too.

Anyway, these books will likely inspire me to create other blogs - and not just ones to show site updates. Many people have topical blogs, such as Brad from, who has a blog devoted to his Starbucks mug collection, or my friend Elly, who started a cooking blog. I'm not sure what I'd do a blog about, technology maybe.

Oh duh I do have a writing blog too. But that's for my writing, a persona I try to keep separate from my everyday persona.

Man I'm tired. School has been tiring lately, and I've had to get up early pretty much every day for work or school, especially school now that I'm meeting Tara from Chi Alpha (Christian group on campus) on Tuesday mornings to do this Bible study called Springboard, a Bible study developed by Chi Alpha that's specifically for graduating seniors about to move from college to the "real world." At least I don't have to work before school this week.

My schoolwork - mostly lots of reading, including dry, rather boring theory articles for Cultural Studies -doesn't leave much time for things I want to do, like work on my websites. I either spend my free time doing schoolwork or I'm so tired when I get home that I don't feel like doing fun things like website stuff. I either sit around restless or end up watching TV, either by myself or with my parents - in which case I end up watching one of their shows, like Pretty Little Liars or Say Yes to the Dress. I don't quite understand why my parents are interested in a teen-Desperate Housewives show like Pretty Little Liars, but the show is strangely enticing to me, maybe because it's a mystery story. I find myself following it - a little sidebar interview in TV Guide (a magazine I often look at while waiting to clock in at work) with Ian Harding, who plays this teacher named Ezra in Pretty Little Liars that main character Aria is romantically involved with, even caught my eye - and with each episode I see I find myself hating "A" more and more (and yet, also been impressed by A's cleverness). I have no idea who "A" is myself, though I like to think it's Alison, except that she's dead. The interview with Harding suggested the possibility that Ezra might be "A," which would be an interesting twist. (Harding himself thought it was an interesting idea). It could be that blind girl Jenna too, an idea that's been toyed with in recent episodes (and the episode preview for the next episode revealed that Caleb, Hanna's love interest, was paid by Jenna to spy on her).

Ok, my eyes are burning. I should go to bed. I was going to write about reviving my Sailor Mercury shrine, but I'm too tired. Good night.

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