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Nerdy Special List February 2017

February 7, 2017 – 10:07 pm | One Comment

Like many people, I’ve been distressed by what’s going on in DC and have found it hard to focus on reading for pleasure. I also wondered if movie and book reviews are too frivolous to write at …

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Oscars 2017: And the Winner for Biggest Flub Is…

February 27, 2017 – 2:49 am | 4 Comments

Wow. I tuned into the Oscars hoping for at least one surprise and I got it, all right.

In case you’d bailed on the very long show and haven’t heard: the wrong best picture winner was announced (La La Land) and the winners had already come on stage and were in the middle of their speeches when Jordan Horowitz, one of LLL’s producers, announced Moonlight actually won best picture, saying “It’s not a joke,” and raised the correct card to prove it.

My reaction:

Horowitz and the rest of the La La Land crew were incredibly gracious to the Moonlight group, hugging and congratulating them as they came onstage in a daze.

Before they could give their acceptance speeches, however, Warren Beatty explained he was given the best actress card by mistake. To make things momentarily weirder, Emma Stone, who’d won that category, said backstage she was holding the Best Actress card the whole time. Whaaaat?

Turns out there were two cards for each winner. See explanation here. Mystery solved. Or at least some of it. How/why was Beatty given the wrong envelope? Why did Faye Dunaway say La La Land when looking at the wrong card? (She declined to comment when The Hollywood Reporter asked her at the Governors Ball afterward.)

Here’s a clip of the confusing moment:

This closeup, tweeted by ABC News, shows Beatty holding the wrong envelope.

I liked both movies and would’ve been happy with either as the winner. In a way, both did win, for Best Handling of a Mistake Seen by a Billion People.

Now, let’s see…what else happened during the show?

Justin Timberlake opened it with an energetic performance of best-song nominee “Can’t Stop the Feeling” that got everyone up and dancing, which was fun. But little did they know when they sat down that they wouldn’t be getting up again for many, many hours.

Some highlights:

Most delicious surprise: No, I’m not talking about Viggo Mortensen in a tux. That’s no surprise. I’m referring to the free candy and donuts dropping from the ceiling to keep the audience happy and not hungry. I swear, if bag o’ chips had started dropping, I would’ve jumped in my car, driven over to the Dolby Theater, and tried to grab a few.

Funniest disrespect of a celebrity: Host Jimmy Kimmel’s continuing diss of Matt Damon. The actor was announced only as Ben Affleck’s guest when the two came out to present Best Original Screenplay, and then Kimmel tried to play Damon off with music when Damon tried to announce the nominees. His takedown of Damon’s performance in We Bought a Zoo—“his acting is so effortful”—got in some good digs.

Cutest kid in the candy store: Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Hamilton creator was enjoying the heck out of himself, happy and smiling big the whole night, like someone had put all his favorite things in the world in one place and he couldn’t believe his eyes. It was nice to see someone who wasn’t too cool or jaded to be there.

Cutest kid who’s actually a kid: Sunny Pawar. I’m not sure how I feel about Kimmel holding up Pawar Simba-style, but it was adorable how Pawar asked for Mike & Ike candy while that was happening.

Favorite dedication to theater nerds: best song co-winner Benj Pasek (with Justin Paul and Justin Hurwitz for “City of Stars” from La La Land) said, “[My mom] let me quit the JCC soccer league to be in a school musical, so this is dedicated to all the kids who sing in the rain and all the moms who let them.” I hated soccer in high school, too, and was much happier in theater. High five, Benj, and to all the cool moms.

Moments that made me cry: tie between Katherine Johnson, now 98, one of the real-life “Hidden Figures,” coming out on stage; and the In Memoriam segment, with Sara Bareilles singing “Both Sides Now.”

On top of the reel reminding us of so many greats we lost last year (nice touch to have presenter Jennifer Aniston mention Bill Paxton, who died yesterday), that song guts me every time I hear it. And then the segment ends with Carrie Fisher as General Organa saying, “May the Force be with you.” I was gone.

From L: Janelle Monae, NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle, Johnson, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer. Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Best political statements: there were many, done eloquently. It was as simple as Alessandro Bertolazzi, who won best makeup for Suicide Squad, dedicating his Oscar to “all the immigrants.” Or as pointed as best foreign film director Asghar Farhadi, who stayed in Iran to show solidarity with his people being banned from the US, sending someone in his place to read his statement that says, “Dividing the world into the us and our enemies categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war.” I never felt hit over the head or lectured by these remarks. And oh, yeah, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim to win an Oscar.

OK, Mr. PCN is yelling at me from the other room that I have to wrap this up because it’s 1:30 a.m. I’d better move on to the fashion commentary before he cuts me off by playing loud music.

No one’s gown wowed me. Most looked fine but safe. Below are a few who did stand out, for better or worse.

Emma Stone

Mr. PCN: She looks great on the top half, bottom half is a lampshade.

 

Nicole Kidman

Mr. PCN: Nude woman with doilies.

PCN: It does look in photos like she’s wearing a fancy nude bodysuit, but the beading looked much prettier on TV.

 

Janelle Monae

PCN: So much going on, but she carries it well.

Mr. PCN: Why is she carrying two birdcages?

 

Halle Berry

Mr. PCN: Auditioning for The Wiz.

PCN: Little Orphan Halle gets caught in fishing net.

 

Jessica Biel

Mr. PCN: Cleopatra in space.

PCN: Golden camo, so she can be invisible in a jungle of Oscars.

 

Karlie Kloss

Mr. PCN: Isn’t she a Victoria’s Secret model? She should be wearing wings instead of a cape.

PCN: I just want to know—why is she at the Oscars?

Ginnifer Goodwin

Mr. PCN: Spanish vampire.

 

Leslie Mann

Mr. PCN: I thought Emma Watson is playing Belle.

PCN: I didn’t know IKEA shopping bags could be worn as evening gowns.

 

Isabelle Huppert

 

PCN: My favorite look, elegance crossed with badass. Look at that pose and those dark nails.

Did you watch? What did you think? (See complete list of winners here.)

Photos: Stone–Kevin Mazur/Getty, Huppert–Steve Granitz/Wireimage, all others–Frazer Harrison/Getty

Nerdy Special List January 2017

January 11, 2017 – 6:48 pm | 6 Comments
blood and bone

Since almost half the month has passed, I figured I should get this list up. I’ve been moving slowly due to January rains, days that get dark at 1:00 p.m., and my general tendency to …

Golden Globes 2017: Predictable *and* Surprising

January 9, 2017 – 12:27 am | 5 Comments
streep-nbc

Here we go, the first of one million award shows this season. I always look forward to the Globes because it’s usually the loosest, wackiest award show, with drunk celebs and the Hollywood Foreign Press often choosing …

Movie Review: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

November 16, 2016 – 9:55 pm | One Comment
newt

If you’ve been mourning the fact there are no more Harry Potter movies (for now), the J.K. Rowling-penned Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them should soothe that ache a bit.
It’s about the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander …

Knife-Sharpening Nasty Women

November 9, 2016 – 11:56 pm | 8 Comments
knife

As with millions of people, I have been struggling to process the results of the US election. I wanted to write something about how I was feeling because writing can be healing for me. But my words kept …

Book Review: ESCAPE CLAUSE by John Sandford

November 6, 2016 – 8:58 pm | 6 Comments
escape-clause

After dealing with dognappings in 2014’s Deadline, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers investigates catnappings in Escape Clause, his ninth outing in John Sandford’s Prey spinoff series.
The cats in this case are no …

Nerdy Special List November 2016

November 2, 2016 – 11:25 pm | 3 Comments
andeverymorning

Though some publications have already put out their best of 2016 lists, this year isn’t over yet so we’ll just tell you about our favorite books this month.
Except for Erin, who has a special recommendation. Because of that, she’ll …

Review: GOOD GIRLS REVOLT

November 1, 2016 – 12:13 am | 4 Comments
ggr-just-jane

 
It’s funny. When I started PCN eight years ago, I made TV one of the categories because I occasionally review TV shows, but as I started writing about Good Girls Revolt, I didn’t know how to label …

Book Review: WHERE AM I NOW? by Mara Wilson

October 17, 2016 – 7:36 pm | One Comment
mara-wilson-where-am-i-now

Mara Wilson shot to fame when she was five years old, after playing Robin Williams and Sally Field’s daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire. That led to her stepping into Natalie Wood’s shoes in the remake of …

Squirrels and Kittens and Gators—Oh, My!

October 10, 2016 – 10:48 pm | 10 Comments
kittens

Today is pub day for Laura Benedict‘s The Abandoned Heart, and I’m happy to welcome her back to PCN. She’s the nicest twisted person I know, as evidenced by the creepy post she wrote for me …

Nerdy Special List October 2016

October 9, 2016 – 9:30 pm | 3 Comments
tell-the-truth

Need something to take your mind off all the ugliness in the news these days? How about checking out the books on this month’s Nerdy Special List? Our contributors have diverse and excellent taste so I hope …

Movie Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

October 6, 2016 – 6:44 pm | 8 Comments
gott

Though I was less than impressed with The Girl on the Train in book form, I like the talent associated with the movie, especially Emily Blunt, who plays Rachel, the titular character. So I went …

Nerdy Special List September 2016

September 11, 2016 – 11:04 pm | 4 Comments
daisy-in-chains

I’ve seen many fall-books list in the last couple of weeks, but they all seem to have the same five books on them. Well, WE’RE RECOMMENDING ALL DIFFERENT BOOKS.
(I’m not punchy, just hungry. And tired …

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