Friday, February 27, 2009
David Kross, a fantastic German actor, plays the young Michael Berg. One summer when he was 15, he has an affair with Hanna Schmitz (Winslet) who was 36-years-old. Hanna is illiterate, and he reads books to her including The Odyssey and her favorite The Lady with the Little Dog. One day Hanna leaves without notice, and Michael is heartbroken.
Ten years later, Michael sees her again when he is in law school attending a trial of women Nazi S.S. guards. He discovers that Hanna was one of those guards, and she is back in his life. Michael has the power to save Hanna from prison, but he does not.
Ralph Fiennes plays the older Michael. He spent his entire life trying to understand what happened with the woman who he had a relationship with as a teenager. It is a story of love, forgiveness and redemption. You won't leave the theater feeling great, but the story is powerful and the acting is exceptional.
Honestly I'd rather they raise the price a few bucks than have to pay to use the loo. Surely there are people like me who rarely carry cash. If they have to go to the restroom on the plane, are they just out of luck?
I flew Ryanair to Venice and Dublin. Both times the experience was fine for what it cost. It's definitely no frills, and you have to pay for any food and drink or extras. I really hope that O'Leary decides against this ridiculous measure.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I have to admit that I am a fan of his radio-hit song "Crush," but wasn't familiar with his other songs. I'm pretty sure that the screaming girls in the audience knew all of the songs though. The screaming got louder whenever he said the word love - which was a lot.
He mostly sang tunes from his debut self-titled album. He also sang a few of his favorite songs from 2008 including "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles. The crowd went wild when Archuleta sang hometown boy Jason Mraz's hit "I'm Yours." He also pounded out a few notes on the keyboard.
Archuleta's smooth, soulful voice will probably only improve since he's a mere 18-years-old. He genuinely seemed appreciative of his fans. I hope that he stays that way because it is really endearing.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Lucia has the unconditional love of her childhood sweetheart and fiance Dante DiMartino, but she knows that he and his family will want her to give up her career to be a housewife. She breaks off the engagement. Soon after this, she falls in love with a handsome charmer John Talbot. Unfortunately, Talbot turns out to have a few skeletons in the closet.
The story is told as a flashback through Lucia to her neighbor Kit, who refers to her as Aunt Lu. Lucia, Lucia is heartfelt, romantic and occasionally heartbreaking. Trigiani's descriptions of New York City and Italy, particularly Venice, are wonderful and will make you want to pack up and take a trip.
I was especially pleased with the ending of the book. Trigiani is a superb writer; she has the ability to draw you into her characters' lives. I would also highly recommend her first novel Big Stone Gap.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Kate Bosworth looked radiant in this sparkly Alexander McQueen dress she wore to the Vanity Fair party on Sunday. The sheath dress was studded with Swarovski crystals. Reese Witherspoon's and Anne Hathaway's dresses also featured Swarovski bling. Love it!
Monday, February 23, 2009
There is nothing sexier than a man in tuxedo, and these men really knocked it out of park.
-Robert Pattinson. Everyone's favorite vampire looked beyond handsome in his Dolce & Gabanna getup. He presented a montage of romantic films of the year.
-Hugh Jackman. The evening's talented and debonair host wore a three-piece Burberry tuxedo.
-James Franco. The Milk star and presenter looked suave in a Gucci tux and black tie.
-Daniel Craig. Craig could give James Bond a run for his money in that Dolce & Gabanna suit.
-Brad Pitt. The man sure knows how to wear a tux. Pitt was wearing Tom Ford from head to toe.
-Penelope Cruz. The Best Supporting Actress winner's vintage white Pierre Balmain dress was very elegant. She wore it with a 69-carat Chopard necklace.
-Reese Witherspoon. The Best Director presenter's black-and-blue Rodarte gown embellished with Swarovski crystals was daring and different. I like that she took a risk.
-Anne Hathaway. Her sparkly, strapless silver Armani Prive gown was majorly glamorous. The back of the dress was especially pretty.
-Jennifer Aniston. The presenter wore a silver Valentino strapless dress with Jimmy Choo shoes. She worked it even with Brangelina looming in the front row.
-Tina Fey. The funny girl wore a silver sparkly Zac Posen dress. I was happy to see her finally mix things up beyond basic black.
-Beyonce. Her black-and-gold House of Dereon gown looked tight and extremely uncomfortable.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The Academy Awards tonight were by far the best I've ever watched. I think that the new format appeals to a larger audience. It didn't feel like a stuff awards show like it sometimes can.
Triple-threat Hugh Jackman opened with a song and dance montage of the nominated films. Anne Hathaway joined him for a Frost/Nixon duet. Who knew she could sing? Hugh did a great job hosting. I also loved his song-and-dance routine with Beyonce, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried. However, was Miss Beyonce lipsynching? We'll probably never know.
I liked the way they announced the best actor and supporting actor awards. Previous winners including Anthony Hopkins and Shirley MacLaine came out on stage and gave an introduction for each nominee. It made the awards seem more personal, and I know that the actors appreciated it.
Sean Penn and Kate Winslet were the Best Actor and Actress winners. For me it was a toss-up between Mickey Rourke and Sean, but I figured the Academy would give it to Sean. Heath Ledger and Penelope Cruz won for their supporting roles. Heath's family accepted his award on behalf of his daughter which was a tearjerker. Slumdog Millionaire took home a lot of awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Danny Boyle) and Best Song ("Jai Ho").
Hunky Hugh Jackman is hosting the show. Having an actor makes so much more sense to me than the usual comedian types that they have host like Jon Stewart or Ellen Degeneres. I think he'll do a great job. Maybe he will sing and dance for us.
I'm so excited that they decided to shake things up. Ratings haven't been what they used to be, and I think this new format might give them a boost. I can't wait to see what the stars are wearing!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
The opera takes place in the time of Napoleon's reign. Floria Tosca is in love with a handsome painter Mario Cavaradossi. She thinks that he is cheating on her because he uses the likeness of a woman they know for a painting he is creating in a church.
Cesare Angelotti escapes from prison and visits Cavaradossi in the church. He hides him in his villa. The evil Chief of Police Baron Scarpia finds out that he has escaped and comes to look for him. He takes Cavaradossi on suspicion of hiding the prisoner. Scarpia has other motives because he wants Tosca for himself, so he tricks her into thinking that she can save her love by spending one night with him.
The music is absolutely incredible. It's a tragic love story, but it has definitely peaked my interest in operas, and I will be seeing more. Hopefully Puccini's La Boheme will be my next opera adventure.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester made her first NYC Fashion Week appearance at the Proenza Schouler fashion show. I just love to say Proenza Schouler. Some bloggers didn't like this outfit, but I think it's fun and hip. I love the mixing of the green and gold metallics. The David Yurman cocktail ring is fabulous too. I also like Meester's new blunt, eyebrow-skimming bangs.
The mask tradition in Venice dates back to 1268. Carnival was outlawed by the fascist government in the 1930s but was recently revived in the 1980s.
Maskmakers used to hold a special place in Venetian society. If you ever get to beautiful Venice (which is a must-do for anyone), you need to buy a mask. When I was there I bought my mask from Ca' Macana, the shop that made the masks for Eyes Wide Shut. You can also get them on their site, http://www.camacana.com/.
MTV revealed the artwork for New Moon. Loves it! I really like that font; it was used for Twilight too. The font is similar to what was used for Stephanie Meyer's books as well.
How exciting that the movie will be out one year after Twilight hit theaters. New Moon is supposed to start filming on March 23.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Claire Danes wore this lovely Narciso Rodriguez dress to the designer's fashion show on Tuesday night. I am liking the cut of the dress; the lines are flattering. I also like it paired with black opaque tights.
Plus, the newly engaged actress has an adorable fiance, British actor Hugh Dancy (Confessions of a Shopaholic). Maybe that's why she looks so happy. You don't see Ms. Danes smile that big for photogs very often.
Coldplay was snubbed on all four of their nominations at the Brit Awards. That didn't stop the top-selling band from rocking out at the charity Warchild concert last night at O2 Empire Shepherds Bush in London with the Killers and U2's Bono.
Celebs galore came out to the show including Chris Martin's wife Gwyneth Paltrow, Sienna Miller and Courtney Love. Gwyneth is rarely seen with her husband these days. I hope that her showing up to this show means that all is well! Her outfit is interesting. She definitely likes short hemlines. I don't really like the shiny leggings look, but I think the jacket tones them down a bit.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey and Michael Sarver are through to the Top 12 in American Idol. I called two of those. I was hoping that Ricky Braddy would've been the third pick, but I figured that the popular Anoop Desai would get the spot.
I didn't think "roughneck" Michael's version of Gavin Degraw's I Don't Want to Be was that great. Hopefully his voice and stage presence will improve because he seems like a great guy.
Danny's version of Mariah Carey's Hero was heartfelt and hard to resist. It's quite obvious that all four judges love him (along with the rest of America). Sadly, his wife passed away four weeks before his audition.
Alexis's version of Aretha Franklin's Never Loved a Man was soulful and powerful. I liked her outfit last night, but her straw fedora-jean skirt-vest combo tonight was atrocious.
Michael and Danny both should rethink their shirt choices. The busy patterns aren't flattering and distract from their singing. I would love to see Danny in a Banana Republic cardigan and dark jeans; and Michael would look great in something dressier (i.e. a shirt and tie).
I love Kristen Bell's fresh, springy dress. It makes me tired of this cold winter weather. Bell wore the Jill Stuart dress to the designer's fashion show. She wore a Revolve Clothing cardigan over it, which was no doubt needed for the chilly NYC weather. The nude Stuart Weitzman pumps are great for elongating the legs. I'm so excited that pointy-toed shoes are back.
I just recently found out that Bell is the narrator for Gossip Girl. Who knew? I want that job. I have the "you know you love me, XOXO" down-pat.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
In honor of Barbie's 50th anniversary, she got her very own Fall Fashion Week runway show in New York. Fifty American designers including Vera Wang, Marchesa and Tommy Hilfiger created looks for the collection.
Rachel Roy designed the look pictured based off the first Barbie created in 1959. Other designs included gorgeous dresses, casual looks and swimsuits. Edgy, futuristic Barbiewear was also shown.
Herve Leger by Max Azria, the bandage dress king, showed his ready-to-wear collection during New York Fashion Week on Sunday. The models sported variations of the bandage dresses we have seen on so many celebs including Kate Winslet, Victoria Beckham and Megan Fox.
The models were wearing bushy ponytails and super-high strappy heels and boots causing two of them to topple over. Ouch!
The dresses are very flattering and retail around $1,500. Herve Leger's Web site says, "The body-shaping cut of each item, characterized by the aptly named 'bandage dress,' sculpts the woman's body to perfection." I really need one of these babies. It's too bad I couldn't get one when gilt.com had them for ridiculously low prices.
Supermodel Kate Moss is on the cover of this week's New York Magazine. Her photo shoot by Bert Stern is reminiscent of a similar shoot done by Stern of Marilyn Monroe in 1962. Moss's accompanying article by Amy Larocca says that at 35 she is a woman now.
Moss claims that she isn't pregnant with rocker boyfriend Jamie Hince's baby, although recent photos of her growing belly would suggest otherwise.
Moss's line for Topshop is finally arriving stateside in New York this spring. I can't wait! Those Brits are so lucky to have Topshop at their disposal. The store's chic and affordable clothes will surely take America by storm - think Forever 21 but better quality.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Lindsay Lohan is shrinking by the minute. Every time we see Lohan she is skinnier! What is going on with her? She was in NYC for fall fashion week. Here she's with Brit designer Matthew Williamson. He is opening a new store in Manhattan's meatpacking district. Williamson designs such beautiful, feminine clothes.
Lily Allen released her sophomore album It's Not Me, It's You last week. I am really digging it. I loved her first album Alright Still, and her latest effort doesn't disappoint. Her songs are pretty typical Lily - upbeat, cheeky and crass. I like that she sings with a distinct British accent.
Her first single "The Fear" is fantastic. I love the line, "I'm not a saint, and I'm not a sinner. Everything's cool as long as I'm getting thinner." Allen has had to deal with the paparazzi and the pressures of fame, like all celebrities, and that is apparent in this song.
Her song "Him" about God is silly and somewhat blasphemous. She asks if God has ever tried cocaine or tried to evade taxes. I always skip that one on the album. The rest of her songs are catchy and fun. She talks about watching "tele" with a guy she likes in "Who'd Have Known" and "Chinese."
You can download the entire album on Amazon.com for $3.99. That's quite a deal!
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's relationship appears to be doing just fine. Midway through Marc's Valentine's Day concert at Madison Square Garden, his wife walked on stage with their twins Max and Emme.
People caused a ruckus after J.Lo didn't wear her wedding ring with her dress to the Golden Globes. She later said, "Every time I'm not wearing my ring, people think I'm getting divorced. Divorce is not, and never was, an option." She explained that her bling just didn't go with the Marchesa dress. Good for them; I hope it all works out.
Alright, now onto those shoes. J.Lo was her usual diva self in some to-die-for Christian Louboutin heels and a black sparkly one-shoulder dress.
Friday, February 13, 2009
The Twilight Director's Diaries edition of EW hits stands on February 20. First of all, the photo on the cover alone is enough to make you want to buy it. Holy gorgeousness! It's also filled with Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke's personal notes about the movie from her book Twilight: Director's Notebook out on March 17. There are sketches, production notes, photos, wardrobe info and much more.
We learn from Hardwicke's diary that she originally wanted Edward Cullen to have long hair. They put extensions on Robert Pattinson, but he hated them. Thus originating Edward's sexy trademark locks. I can't wait to read Hardwicke's notes and juicy details about the filming of the movie.
Jessica Simpson announced the 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards nominees along with fellow blonds Julianne Hough, Kellie Pickler and LeAnn Rimes. I think she looks great. I like the chignon - I'm sure it's courtesy of her hairdresser BFF Ken Paves. The all-black outfit is flattering, and her accessory choices are on-point with the long, layered necklaces and Bochic earrings.
Brad Paisley led the nominations with six. The awards will air on April 5 from Vegas on CBS.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The strangest part of the interview was when he couldn't remember his costar Gwyneth Paltrow's name! Letterman told him that he appears to be "taking some time off tonight." Unbelievable.
I like the cover - it's simple and tasteful. She looks classy as usual, but appears to be ready to get down to first lady business.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I can't wait for my March issue of Bazaar to arrive. Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick, 21, is featured in a spread with the much older supermodel Helena Christensen, 40. They almost smooch in this photo. Ugh, why don't more men dress like Chuck Bass?
The March issue also features Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover. What more could you want? Ed and SJP, love it!
Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto hasn't missed a fashion mark yet. She wore this fabulous Chanel cocktail dress with strappy black Jimmy Choos to the ELLE Style Awards last night. She was named Best Actress at the ceremony. Pinto's elegant style is helped by the fact that she always chooses pieces that are classy yet modern.
Each character is miserable in his or her own way. Gyllenhaal plays Yelena who is married to the elderly, self-centered professor Aleksandr. She falls for the doctor Astrov played by Sarsgaard. Gyllenhaal plays Yelena quite well. She has the extreme boredom of an idle life down pat. It's interesting to see the real-life couple interact onstage.
The title character Uncle Vanya is played by O'Hare. He too is in love with Yelena. I don't think he did Vanya justice. I was on the front row, and he kept spitting profusely, which was very distracting since I was worried it was going to land on me.
Gummer, who is Meryl Streep's daughter, plays Sonya. She does an excellent job. Sonya is in love with Astrov, but he does not love her because he is taken by Yelena's beauty.
The play is sad and the recurring theme is the despondency of wasted lives.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Jessica Biel wore this gorgeous strapless Oscar de la Renta dress to host the Sci-Tech Oscars. I just love the colorful brocade. She accessorized with Martin Katz diamonds. What in the world are the Sci-Tech Oscars you ask? They honor the more technical side of movies that most people don't understand.Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Studios, won the Oscar for lifetime achievement in computer animation. Excerpts of this will air on the Oscars on February 22.
Monday, February 9, 2009
I think he looks great though. I'm sure he's enjoyed the time away from the craziness.
Gennifer Goodwin plays a naive girl looking for love. She goes out with Kevin Connolly who brushes her off because he is in love with someone else. Justin Long's character befriends her and gives her some much-needed straightforward advice on love.
Bradley Cooper is married to Jennifer Connelly, but he falls for Scarlett Johansson. It was pretty hilarious because every time Scarlett would come onscreen the women in the audience would openly profess their disgust for her (ahem, for her character).
Drew Barrymore plays a girl who is tired of meeting people on the Internet and wants to find a real person to date. Then there's Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston who have been together for 7 years, and he still hasn't married her.
It's a heart-warming movie, and you'll leave the theater with a smile. There's something to be said for that with the likes of Revolutionary Road, Milk, Doubt, The Wrestler and The Reader in theaters.
Black and yellow was seemed to be the color scheme of choice. I loved Emma Watson's Temperley London gown. Thandie Newton wore a gorgeous black-and-gold vintage strapless gown. I hate to say this, but I really liked Angelina Jolie's Armani Prive strapless dress.
-Katy Perry. I actually liked her Basil Soda bubblegum-pink gown. It was very glam and a big change from her usual hotpants outfits (like the fruity get-up she performed in).
The Grammys were interesting last night. I loved Radiohead's performance of "15 Step," which was featured in the movie Twilight. The USC marching band performed with them, and it was hot!
I also liked the "Swagger Like Us" performance that started off with very pregnant M.I.A. singing "Paper Planes." Her bathing suit outfit was a bit out of control, but I thought the men (T.I., Jay-Z, Kanye and Lil Wayne) looked handsome in their tuxes.
Another memorable performances was my grandma's beloved Neil Diamond singing "Sweet Caroline." I'm pretty sure I saw T.I. dancing in his seat. I also loved the Jonas Brothers performance of "Superstition" with Stevie Wonder. They're adorable and super-talented.
I liked Sugarland's performance of "Stay" followed by a cameo in Adele's "Chasing Pavements" (winner of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance). It was an unexpected combo, but it worked. I was happy that Adele won Best New Artist.
Chris Brown and Rihanna were no-shows after he allegedly assaulted her with a deadly weapon. What theee? It's so tragic; I thought they were such a sweet couple.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss went home with Album and Record of the Year for Raising Sand and "Please Read the Letter" respectively.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Phelps apologized for his behavior. "I will say that with the mistakes that I've made in my life, I've learned from them...It's definitely not what I wanted, and it's clearly not what my mom wanted," he told The Sun.
Kellogg's has dropped him from their endorsement deal. He still has Visa, Speedo, Omega and PureSports sponsoring him.
I'm a firm believer in Luke 12:48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." Yes, he's young, but he has so many people who look up to him. People make mistakes, but doing something as simple as abstaining from illegal drugs shouldn't be too much for him to handle. Also, smoking the gonga can't be great for his swimming.
Ashton Kutcher spoke out to defend Phelps via Twitter, "Go ask your 20-year-old kid what they did last weekend." Umm, no. Every 20-year-old kid does NOT smoke marijuana. Grow up.
I have a feeling that this will be like Kate Moss's cocaine scandal. Hopefully Phelps will learn from his mistakes, and he'll end up back on top.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Sprouse originally worked with Jacobs in 2001 to create graffiti-inspired Louis Vuitton it-bags that sold out everywhere. Model Agyness Deyn is pictured here with the Graffiti Green Speedy bag. Madonna has also been seen carrying one of these.
You can purchase yours at eluxury.com. These babies are obviously not very recession-friendly. I'm obsessed with the Graffiti Pink Keepall bag, but at $1,500 I'm going to have to keep dreaming about it.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Jennifer Connelly wore a green, sequined Balmain dress. I admired her bold choice, but she is looking scarily thin lately. Scarlett Johansson wore a strapless mermaid Oscar de la Renta floral gown. She also is sporting a new darker 'do. I liked Drew Barrymore's two-toned Lanvin cocktail dress. Jennifer Aniston kept it casual in a black Burberry pantsuit and ponytail.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It sounds to me like he might have a case of the green-eyed monster. Last time I checked, people weren't exactly comparing King to Faulkner or Hemingway. Regardless of his opinion, any author who is able to reach so many millions of people is a successful writer. To me a "good" writer is one whose writing causes you to become lost in the story that they are telling. It's interesting that this terrible writing has been translated into 37 different languages and sold over 40 million copies.
Neeson plays Bryan, a retired CIA agent who has moved to be closer to his 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). This was a stretch considering she is 25, but whatever. Kim goes to Paris with her annoying friend Amanda. Unbeknownst to her father, they're going to follow U2 around Europe. Not surprisingly, they are abducted by a group of Albanians running a sex trade the very day that they arrive in the City of Lights.
Bryan's love for his daughter is sweet and genuine. He's in prime fighting shape and has a special set of CIA skills that give him an advantage against the pondscum he's dealing with.
I enjoyed Taken. It was entertaining and suspenseful. Interestingly, this film was released in France a year ago.
Oh man. Christian Bale's tirade was caught on audio while filming last July on the set of Terminator: Salvation. RevoLucian put together this hilarious remix.
Apparently a director of photography walked into the shot while he was filming a scene. Is that really any reason to go nuts and treat someone like dirt? This makes me wonder what really happened when his mom and sister called the cops on him last year.
I met Bale in London in 2005. He seemed like a nice guy. What the heck happened? I hope he enrolls in some anger management classes pronto!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Jennifer Hudson gave her first performance tonight since the tragic death of her mother, brother and nephew last October. Her performance of the National Anthem at Superbowl XLIII was stellar. It must have been so hard for her. She nailed it though. She looked lovely in a black military style jacket, black skinny pants and heels.