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Friends, have you heard of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings? If not, watch this.  Pretty amazing, right. They opened last night for the Tedeschi Trucks Band and I was blown away. And what an incredible story. Right before the release of their most recent album {in 2013} Give the People What They Want Sharon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and thus the album and coinciding tour was put on hold. Good news, though, she is back and cancer free. Check out the tour schedule for upcoming shows. It’s one you won’t want to miss.

Movie Monday

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Since I didn’t make it to see Trainwreck this weekend, I though I would share my Top 10 Favorite Movies on this movie Monday. So here it goes:

Pretty in Pink – My 80s movie of choice. Always!

The Holiday – My all-time favorite romantic comedy. I just love this film and never tire of Jack Black’s character singing in the Blockbuster isle.

Steel Magnolias – The movie that taught me the importance and power of female relationships and having good girlfriends through the good and bad. And of course my favorite line… “My colors are blush and bashful.”

The Shawshank Redemption – A classic. One of the best films that never received an Oscar either. This film taught me that some things are really worth waiting for.

Chef – Because really, I love any movie that deals with food. And the relationship between father and son here is beautiful.

The Way – The film that showed me that tragedy can lead you to your life’s meaning.

Syriana – A movie that shows just how complicated and complex our world is today. I finally understand all the hype about George Clooney after seeing this film.

It’s Complicated – Jane’s kitchen. Enough said!

Toy Story – My favorite animated film with a delightful storyline as well.

Kissing Jessica Stein – The movie that taught me that sometimes stepping outside of your box is a good thing!

Any of these surprise you? Do share yours as well, dear friends!

Movie Monday

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One of my favorite island events is the Nantucket Film Festival and lucky for me, I was able to sneak home a few weeks back  to enjoy some of the festivities. And while the highlight of the festival was hearing Beau Willimon and Robin Wright discuss House of Cards in my high school auditorium, I was excited to see the Spotlight Film Sleeping with Other People, written and directed by Leslye Headland.

Upon arriving at the Dreamland Theatre, I was greeted by my friend John who said “of course you would be here, you love a good rom-com.” And while he is right that I do tend to the romantic comedies, I would say this film doesn’t exactly fit the bill. Even Leslye describes the films as a “For When Harry Met Sally for *ssholes.” But I must admit, Sleeping with Other People had me laughing throughout and seeing the chemistry between leads Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis was worth every minute. I won’t spoil the end, but let’s just say, it may just fit my storyline wishes after all. Adam Scott, Amanda Peet and Jason Mantzoukas also star in this film opening nationwide September 11. Mark your calendars!

Movie Monday

Words and Pictures
Words and Pictures. The previews looked delightful. Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche as professors at a small prep-school in idyllic Maine. And addressing a most thought-provoking question: what is more vital… the written word or an artistic masterpiece? But somehow, this movie just fell a bit flat for me. The relationships introduced weren’t developed (father/son; ex-lovers; sisters); the storyline itself a bit scattered and the vital question not really addressed till the last five minutes of the film. However, the question is still a powerful one to consider. What do you all think? While a picture is certainly worth a thousand words there are moments when I see a masterpiece that leaves me speechless. I just can’t decide.

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Gwyneth and Chris. Conscious Uncoupling. There seems to be quite a bit of buzz around this couple since news broke last week of their separation. I have a general rule. It’s not my place to comment on someone’s personal endeavors, mishaps and/or beliefs. Life is hard enough we don’t need to add negative energy to the mix. But, I will say this. When I heard Coldplay’s most recent release, my heart broke for both of them. From my listening, it appears Chris was writing his final love letter to his lovely wife. Oh how I wish love was enough for all of us. But for right now, this song is enough for me. I can’t get enough. And you know what… this girl still believes in magic, although I’m sure you would have guessed that. I hope you do too.

Movie Monday

Gloria
I have a working theory I’d like to run by you. The previews for a movie are in direct correlation to the quality of the film. Do you agree? Never has this been more true that with this little gem of a film, Gloria, which I was first introduced to in the movie previews for her.

A chilean film by writer-director Sebastián Lelio, Gloria is the story of a 58-year-old woman living in Santiago, who even though divorced, alone and an empty-nester, has a zest for live that is intoxicating. We see Gloria, beautifully acted by Paulina García, open herself up to love again with a man she meets while on the dance floor. Will he rescue her? You will just have to see the film to find out.

One of my favorite scenes in this film is when Gloria, attending a wedding on her own, comes face to face with a breathtaking peacock in the garden of the hotel and just laughs. A peacock. How strange. But after a little research, I came to find out that peacocks naturally replace their feathers annually making it a symbol of renewal. What a beautiful symbol to a beautiful film.

Gloria is one of those songs I have heard for years but never really listened to the lyrics. Oh how I relate!

Gloria, you’re always on the run now
Running after somebody, you gotta get him somehow
I think you’ve got to slow down before you start to blow it
I think you’re headed for a breakdown, so be careful not to show it

You really don’t remember, was it something that he said?
Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?
Gloria, don’t you think you’re fallin’?
If everybody wants you, why isn’t anybody callin’?
You don’t have to answer
Leave them hangin’ on the line, oh-oh-oh, calling Gloria
Gloria (Gloria), I think they got your number (Gloria)
I think they got the alias (Gloria) that you’ve been living under (Gloria)
But you really don’t remember, was it something that they said?
Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?

Blown Away


Friends. Please don’t worry. I am safe and sound in my island home but let me tell you the winds on this little island of mine are insane. 76 mph wind gusts and rising. I was, however, blown away by the voice of Sam Smith and his rendition of “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston featured in last week’s Grey’s Anatomy (snow days are a perfect excuse to stay in bed and catch up on some TV). Truth be told, I’ve always loved the music on Grey’s and admit that a few of their soundtracks (I won’t admit how many) are in my music library. Quick sidebar… how do I get the job of picking songs to accompany my favorite TV shows and movies. I know I would just excel at it!

Ok. Back to Sam. The more I read about this London-born singer/songwriter, the more I realized why I am drawn to his lyrics. “I’ve never been in a relationship before. When I was writing this album, I really delved into that fact. I delved into how I fell in love with someone who didn’t love me back last year. I really went inside myself and I wanted to write an album for lonely people, because I don’t think there’s been enough music out there that talks about unrequited love.” Oh Sam… we certainly share quite a bit in common.

Lucky for us, Sam is the musical guest this weekend on Saturday Night Live. My DVR is all set. And his first album “In the Lonely Hour” is releasing May 26.

Take a listen and let me know what you think!

Movie Monday

Gravity
I did a very Hollywood thing when I was out in L.A. I saw my very first theatre movie in 3D. Gravity. The story line quite simple but the craft of creating this film simply mind-blowing. I see why the team won the Academy Award for best visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing, cinematography, film editing and the big one, best director.

And although the story line was simple its one that I think is relevant for many of us. I’ve been feeling a bit lost. A bit beat up. And Sandra Bullock’s character struggled with the same emotions. A single mom who lost her daughter, she got lost in her work. Her work and long drives. I won’t admit how many miles I’ve put on my car since moving home but promise you, its been quite a few. But faced with adversity, she finds the courage and strength to hold on and not let go. And you know what, choosing life and to actually live it, a very good thing.

George Clooney does provide a bit of comedic relief and while I don’t swoon over him as many girls do, I did enjoy his performance.

What do you think… did you enjoy this movie? Only one left on the Academy list to watch… Nebraska.

My Picks

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Drum roll, please! Truth be told, I still need to see Captain Phillips, Gravity and Nebraska. I have 3 days left. I can do this. But based on my personal viewings and just a little bit of research, I am quite confident with my 2014 Oscar picks.

And the award goes to…

Best Picture12 Years a Slave

Beset Actor – Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress – Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Best Supporting Actor – Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Supporting Actress – Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Best Director – Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

Best Adapted Screenplay – Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope (Philomena)

Best Original Screenplay – Spike Jonze (her)

Best Foreign Film – Italy, The Great Beauty

Best Documentary Feature20 Feet from Stardom
*A feature at one of my favorite island events… Nantucket Film Festival.

Best Animated FeatureFrozen

And there you have it. What do you think. Agree with my picks? If I wasn’t traveling Sunday night, I would most certainly be hosting an Oscar party and you’d all be invited. Check out what Emily over at Cupcakes and Cashmere is doing for her Oscar party. Love it!

Movie Monday

Dallas Buyers Club
Six days till the Oscars… can’t wait! her has certainly been my front-runner this awards season. That was until Dallas Buyers Club. Based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 and given 30 days to live, this movie just blew me away. What a performance by Matthew McConaughey. Not only his physical transformation (he lost nearly 40 pounds) but the depth of his performance. A far cry from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

In reading a few reviews this morning, I was shocked to learn that this film has not only been making its way around Hollywood since the 90’s but almost didn’t happen. Craig Borten, the screenwriter who came up with the idea for the film, said “Everyone was afraid of it.” But Mr. Borten didn’t give up. He interviewed Ron for several hours and wrote and rewrote the script close to 50 times. The film was originally set to be filmed in Canada, but when financing fell through, production began in Louisiana.

This is a story about survival. As Ron says “At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end.” In his quest to find the best medicine he can, he uncovers the hypocrisy that exists between the drug companies and the Food and Drug Administration and sets out to import the right drugs from around the globe, first starting in Mexico. Not only does he want to improve his own life, but the lives of everyone affected by this tragic disease. His friendship with Rayon, played by Jared Leto, is one of the most touching. Overall, superb acting by all in this film, including Jennifer Garner.

2557. Watch this must see film and you’ll know what this number is!