This Is Me

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Diana’s Top Films of 2013 - In One Sentence

In no particular order here are my favorite films of 2013 with a very brief description of each. In case you haven’t heard of them all click the title to link to a trailer. It just might be one you’ll like too! 

Short Term 12

This film feels like someone pushing away a hug, even though they really want and need it. 

The Way Way Back

Allison Janney + Sam Rockwell + Faxon & Rash = Summertime Fun

her

A love letter to the way love makes you feel - invincible and complete.

Out of the Furnace

What life looks like when you make the wrong choices again and again, even though you learn from each one and keep making them. 

Captain Phillips

"Tom Hanks" is lost in Paul Greengrass’s engrossing visual storytelling.

Now You See Me

The most fun I had in the theater in 2013, thanks in part to the amazing trick which opens the movie and had me hooked.

12 Years a Slave

This heartbreaking film is the most imperative of the year. 

Spring Breakers

I thought about this movie after it was over more than any other this year.

American Hustle

Even funnier on the second viewing everything about it is brilliant, not just the science oven scene. 

I haven’t seen every film of the year yet, so I’ll save one slot for what I hope will be at least one more “Top Film of 2013” and round out a Top 10.

Filed under Top Ten Films of 2013 Favoriter movies movies Captain Phillips American Hustle Paul Greengrass Spring Breakers 12 Years a Slave Tom Hanks Out of the Furnance Christian Bale Short Term 12 Brie Larson The Way Way Back Allison Janney Nat Faxon Jim Rash Sam Rockwell her Joaquin Phoenix Now You See Me Magic Tricks

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Sadly, summer is coming to an end. Sure, it technically lasts for another month, but realistically once schools start up again the summer feels over. I’ll enjoy the longer days as much as I can, while I have them. I must admit that I spent a lot of this summer inside movie theaters. I love movies and we see a LOT of them. 
With that in mind, I feel confident highly recommending The Way Way Back which is probably still in theaters, if you look closely. This coming of age story set in a beach town where a water park becomes the safe haven for a teenage boy, is even better than I wanted it to be. I’ve wanted a few movies this summer to be great, and they weren’t (I’m talking about you Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now) so this one is all that much more worthy of spreading the word about!
The main character, played by Liam James, goes through a slow transition, discovering that he isn’t the “3” his mom’s boyfriend thinks he is. Maybe he’s the “6” he rates himself, or maybe a lot more. He decides that speaking up, having a voice, might make trouble, but deciding what you speak up for is how you become YOU. 
Allison Janney's performance is Oscar worthy. I truly hope to see her nominated, if for nothing more than her opening scene which nearly steals the movie. Later is it Sam Rockwell, in a contained performance that grabs you. Often overly excited on screen, it probably took all the effort of co-directors Jim Rash and Nat Faxon to reign him in, and it is a job well done by all three. Rockwell is best when smoldering, not a raging fire, and here he plays the supporting role with great skill. That being said, it is hard to single out any performances in a terrific cast. We’ll likely see Rash and Faxon nominated for a screenplay Oscar again, if all goes well this year. I am eager to see what the future holds for this talented duo. 
Check out The Way Way Back trailer and do yourself a favor - see this movie before the summer ends. 

Sadly, summer is coming to an end. Sure, it technically lasts for another month, but realistically once schools start up again the summer feels over. I’ll enjoy the longer days as much as I can, while I have them. I must admit that I spent a lot of this summer inside movie theaters. I love movies and we see a LOT of them. 

With that in mind, I feel confident highly recommending The Way Way Back which is probably still in theaters, if you look closely. This coming of age story set in a beach town where a water park becomes the safe haven for a teenage boy, is even better than I wanted it to be. I’ve wanted a few movies this summer to be great, and they weren’t (I’m talking about you Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now) so this one is all that much more worthy of spreading the word about!

The main character, played by Liam James, goes through a slow transition, discovering that he isn’t the “3” his mom’s boyfriend thinks he is. Maybe he’s the “6” he rates himself, or maybe a lot more. He decides that speaking up, having a voice, might make trouble, but deciding what you speak up for is how you become YOU. 

Allison Janney's performance is Oscar worthy. I truly hope to see her nominated, if for nothing more than her opening scene which nearly steals the movie. Later is it Sam Rockwell, in a contained performance that grabs you. Often overly excited on screen, it probably took all the effort of co-directors Jim Rash and Nat Faxon to reign him in, and it is a job well done by all three. Rockwell is best when smoldering, not a raging fire, and here he plays the supporting role with great skill. That being said, it is hard to single out any performances in a terrific cast. We’ll likely see Rash and Faxon nominated for a screenplay Oscar again, if all goes well this year. I am eager to see what the future holds for this talented duo. 

Check out The Way Way Back trailer and do yourself a favor - see this movie before the summer ends. 

Filed under Jim Rash Nat Faxon The Way Way Back Movies Coming of Age Story Sam Rockwell Great Films Fox Searchlight Liam James Fruitvale Station The Spectacular Now Allison Janney

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The Oscars!

This Is Me readers are surely curious about my thoughts on the upcoming Oscars. Who wouldn’t be? I am a film lover with access to PGA screeners - and I have opinions! My favorite movie of 2012 was Django Unchained.



If you want to know what I thought of the other films and performances you can read all of my thoughts in two posts on Girl Around Town. Click HERE for Part One with my thoughts about one overlooked film. And click HERE for Part Two to find out what movie I felt was the most over-rated of the year. Comment on the Girl Around Town website or Facebook page if you have any thoughts about my bets for 2012 winners. 

I wish everyone the very best Oscar night this Sunday!

Filed under Academy Awards Oscars movies Django Unchained Girl Around Town

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Golden Globes - Beautiful Dresses - Diana’s Top Three

I love to admire and comment on the dresses as they come down the red carpet at awards shows. This usually consists of me dreaming I could fit into one of the most amazing of the many gorgeous gowns, then almost immediately thanking my lucky stars I don’t have to starve myself for weeks to look amazing on the red carpet, only to potentially get destroyed by online bloggers the next morning. I then return to the desire to have an amazing trainer to whip me into shape, my handsome husband in a tuxedo by my side and borrow millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. This is quickly followed by immense relief that I am not half naked walking around outside during the coldest winter on record in Los Angeles*.

Most of the ladies were rocking HITS in the carpet last night, but here are my three favorite:

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                                                   Stacy Keibler

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                                                   Claire Danes

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                                              Kate Hudson

*It is likely not the coldest winter on record here or anywhere in Southern California. I am a total wimp who should never be allowed to return to her hometown of Chicago after making the above statement, though it has been pretty chilly here in Hollywood the past few days and I felt for those ladies on the red carpet since they likely weren’t warmed by flasks of whiskey or heat lamps.

**Photos courtesy of FabSugar.

Filed under Claire Danes George Clooney Homeland Stacy Keibler golden globes awards shows Kate Hudson movies

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I love the book World War Z. It isn’t just a book about zombies, it is a book about society and the little pockets of America and how people in various situations might handle all hell breaking loose.

I was never really excited to hear that a movie version was being made, though it seemed inevitable after the book became popular and so many celebrities with production companies read it. I took in a class in college called “Novel Into Film” where we read books, watched the film version, then trashed the movie version in almost every case.

I know that a book told in chapters person by person with the only common thread being the interviewer they were all talking to would need to be drastically modified for the screen. But this trailer for the Roland Emmerich action movie version of World War Z seems to bear very little resemblance to the book. I actually enjoy Emmerich’s movies like Independence Day and truly (inexplicably) love The Day After Tomorrow.

The filmmakers have until Summer 2013 to sort out this movie which has been riddled with troubles and required re-shoots, and create a trailer that will connect with people who loved the book. Hopefully it will appeal to fans of the novel, as well as fans of kick ass summer action blockbusters. Since I am both this could be a slam dunk. While we wait and see how the film comes out maybe I’ll read the book again!

Filed under Max Brooks World War Z brad pitt movies zombies Roland Emmerich books book adaptations

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Last night we had the pleasure of attending a screening of the upcoming film Flight. I was eager to see this movie mostly because I knew it was going to include a fantastic plane crash - the kind of horrible thing you would hate to see in real life but is amazing to experience through a fictitious film. I didn’t really know what the rest of the story was about, and I was in for a surprise when much of this rare adult drama backed by a major motion picture studio was about battling alcohol and drug abuse. 

I won’t get into the film too much so those of you out there who want to see it will enjoy the story without any spoilers, but I will say that during the post-screening Q&A with two of the producers I learned a fun fact about film-making I didn’t already know despite my years working on clearances and product approvals. When dealing with something like alcoholism the companies which create beer, wine and liquor will not take issue with you using their brands - as long as no single brand is highlighted more than the others. Logically it makes sense and on-screen it is almost easier to believe an alcoholic who will drink anything, anywhere, anytime since that’s sadly genuine behavior. So, while understandably no airline wanted to be featured in Flight every brand of alcohol get a cameo.

Filed under Robert Zemekis Flight movies Denzel Washington