Monday, February 28, 2011


And I watched it live. Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo actually swore- the f word, no less, but I barely registered it. The show was quite a snooze- I perked up when Javier came up as a nominee and also a presenter, but that was pretty much that. So, on to what really got my attention.
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Can Berry do no wrong? Apart from having one of the FEW faces on earth that can rock a haircut like that, she also manages to look like a sort of human tiramisu with diamonds. Gosh, even though the back was a bit frou-frou with the frothy lace, my jaw dropped. I even forgot my hope that she would wear something in a jewel color from Versace. Oh well. Marchesa it was, and I shall be quite happy with it. (I love how fiercely determined the bald gent in the background is about looking away from Halle- protecting his jaw, no doubt.)

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And this here is the most stylish alien ever to visit our planet. Givenchy and their weird purple creations! (Zoe Saldana last year in that confused pond overgrowth thing). What is up with that arch on this bodice? Is it the doorway to a Moroccan villa? I am equally confounded by the spots of yellow around the neck. What gives, Blanchett? Aside from your hair, which is unequalled in its buttery perfection, I am baffled, puzzled, vexed, stymied, and quite frankly, disappointed. Next exhibit!

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And THAT is how you do purple! Mila Kunis stole my heart in this delicate lacy lilac, especially as I saw how it looked in the sunlight and when she moved. Despite (or maybe because of) being contrary to her heavily-cultivated 'dark and brooding' image, this Elie Saab dress stood out.

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Here is Reese in her divinely classic snow-edged Armani Prive. It kills me how she is the very definition of sassy here: confidence, a high-wattage smile, big emerald earrings and that HAIR. It, in its magnificent and towering glory, has ceased to be mere hair and is now HAIR- and I kinda liked it. Many may have panned her for the very fact that it is HAIR, but not I.

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But this new girl- Jennifer Lawrence- also with  glorious golden hair (not HAIR, though) -did no one tell her that her dress was almost identical to what Scarlett Johansson wore a few years ago to some awards show or the other? This Clavin Klein sheath, though, paled just a tad in comparison with Scarlett's version. Sad, because Jennifer is such a knockout in her own right.

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 This picture doesn't do this gown justice- Anne Hathaway and her enduring partnership with Armani Prive works out a bit better than her partnership with James Franco, I'm sorry to say. I just loved the way this deep sapphire dress shimmered like a Blue Morpho butterfly, but one with red lips and wavy chestnut locks, har har. In the end, she will be remembered (by me, of course) only for this dress at the 2011 Oscars.
(All images from Reuters)
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Sunday, February 20, 2011


It has been a relief to note that there are a few travel shows out there that do attempt to go beyond the bright-eyed, borderline overenthusiastic shilling that many travel shows often reduce to. The other night I caught Ian Wright in his new outing- Invite Mr. Wright- in Spain. Now, while I didn't watch the whole thing, what I did see was enough to bring joy to my heart. SPAIN. IAN WRIGHT. Pardon the shouting, but what's not to like? Sure enough, the Spaniards put on quite the show. The culmination was a performance in a magnificent church by a group of white clad Gypsy artists. Poor Wrightey had no choice but to admit that he was close to tears, and so was I.
Then there was an older chap on a show called Market Value where he traipses around in various markets. So he was in Istanbul, and who does he meet with but an ancient old charmer with a white beard and a fantastic accent, who happens to be a gramophone repair man. That's right. Oh my. Charm, vintage musical instruments, vintage crusty old man, exotic market- it was all quite wonderful.
My faith in television is slowly being restored.
Top: Topkapı Palace - Hagia Sophia - Sultan Ah...Image via Wikipedia
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Watched: Dhobi Ghat

Kiran Rao's debut has been described as 'sparkling'- and I quite agree. Both in terms of freshness and simplicity, like a good glass of white wine.  The movie itself, devoid of the pointless intermission, fits neatly into an afternoon and doesn't leave you with that heavy feeling of having given up an unretrievable 3 hours of your life.

On to the story- there is not much of that, in the strictest sense that we are used to. What it does have is characters, the city, and relationships. Interestingly, each of the four main characters has a relationship with the camera, and this acts as a kind of narrative thread. Main character one is Shai Eduljee, a nice, wealthy US-born girl who is in Mumbai for a project. She runs into main character two- grouchy Arun, a renowned painter who's just moved houses. Here he comes across a bunch of videotapes recorded by the young former occupant of his flat-she is character three. And the dhobi who happens to work for both Arun and Shai is character four- Munna.

All four, needless to say, become involved in the others' lives. In the backdrop, Dhobi Ghat is a visual journey of the famous Bombay in its many-armed splendor. Shots of the monsoon, chawl life, Marine Drive and haunting visuals of blue-lit night locals- all float past in a sort of dreamy roll-call. The performances are sweet and well fleshed out, with touches not normally seen in Hindi cinema. I was particularly impressed by Monica Dogra (Shai) and the dishy Pratiek as Munna.

All in all, I very much appreciated the director's eye, the light yet substantial story-telling, the haunting music score and the fine performances. Way to go, Kiran Rao. Please give us more!
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