89th Academy Awards. Oscar Talk.

Although I rarely ever watch the actual broadcast, I always make an effort to watch as many of the Academy Awards nominees as possible which can be difficult for the smaller, limited releases and foreign films.

If you haven’t seen these movies yet, there might be spoilers so this is fair warning.

I’m proud to say that this year I watched all of the Best Picture nominees. These are just some random thoughts I have on the films:

  • Arrival It had great visuals and an interesting premise that really made you think but I’m sorry to say I didn’t really feel all that invested in the characters aside from Louise (Amy Adams). I really couldn’t have cared less about Jeremy Renner in the movie.
  • Fences I know that Fences is originally a play and when you watch the film it feels and looks like someone took a camera and filmed the stage play. It reminded me a lot of the 1966 stage to film adaptation of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor which I suppose isn’t a bad thing.
  • Hacksaw Ridge I liked it although there were a few heavy-handed moments that took me right out of the film, like the Jesus allegory towards the end of the film or the slo-mo of Andrew Garfield standing up and running back into the fray which is such an action flick cliche. Plus, Andrew Garfield’s character literally carrying all of his injured comrades off the battlefield, even if it’s based on a true story, reminded me way too much of the Vietnam War sequence in the movie Forrest Gump.
  • Hell or High Water If I had to pick a favorite film from the Best Picture category, this would be it. A lot of this year’s films feel pretentious and preachy to me but the story here’s very straightforward and well-told about a man trying to give his sons a better life through some very questionable means.
  • Hidden Figures I didn’t really enjoy this movie. I liked Taraji P. Henson and Olivia Spencer in this movie but Janelle Monae was so annoying I wanted to smack her every time she was on screen, the film felt so preachy, and the ending was so disappointing. In the final act of the movie they set up this whole man versus machine scenario where they call in Taraji P. Henson’s math genius character to double check the IBM supercomputer’s math. It felt like they were building up to Taraji delivering a smackdown to the computer and being the savior of the space mission but in the end she just confirmed the computer had given the correct answer. It was a bummer of a note to end on, especially in a film that’s supposed to be about the empowerment of women and people of color. Apparently, machines do it better and faster.
  • La La Land I was looking forward to this film so much because of all the hype surrounding it, despite the fact that I don’t really care for musicals, but once I saw it I was like, “oh, that’s it? That’s what all the fuss was about?” It’s a nice film but I don’t think it’s Best Picture worthy.
  • Lion I loved the entire first act of the film that centered on the young Saroo. The story and characters were really engaging but once the film shifted to the older Saroo played by Dev Patel it lost me. Adult Saroo’s such a douche to his family and girlfriend that I had a hard time sympathizing with him and the search for his birth family.
  • Manchester by the Sea This was such a depressing, slice of life movie and not in a heart wrenching, sob my eyes out kind of way because I love a good tearjerker. No, it’s depressing because of Casey Affleck’s character who’s just really dour, sulky and anti-social for the entirety of the film. I was dry eyed the whole way through but bored out of my mind.
  • Moonlight Although I would like it if Hell or High Water won, I think Moonlight has a better chance with voters and that it’s more deserving compared to La La Land which everyone is saying is going to win. It’s a very compelling three-act story about Chiron, a shy and quiet boy who grows up in an abusive home with his drug addict mother and follows him from his teens into adulthood. Janelle Monae is much more likable in this film than in Hidden Figures.

Is anyone else a fan of Honest Trailers? They’re usually good for a laugh. I don’t always agree with them but they happened to post a trailer for the Oscars right after I finished watching this year’s nominees and they sum up some of my own thoughts on the films, especially for La La Land:

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Target President’s Day Shoe Haul. Gucci Princetown Slipper Dupe.

For President’s Day target.com ran a 25% off promo on shoes, clothing and accessories, so I decided to scoop up a few shoes I’d had my eyes on. I ordered:

  • Merona Kona Backless Mule Loafers (reg. $22.99, $17.24 with discount) Tons of brands have come out with dupes of the Gucci Princetown Leather Slippers and although I like the look of the originals I’m not willing to spend $595 on a pair, especially not on a very trendy shoe that’ll probably be “out” in a season or two. The Merona shoes offer a similar look at a very reasonable price. The faux leather doesn’t look cheap and the shoes are surprisingly comfortable on the feet. The inside of the shoe is padded, including the part that covers the top of the foot, and the sole is rubberized, so it’s non-slip on floors and is extremely comfortable to walk in. Highly recommend if you’ve been lusting after the Gucci shoes. I suggest going at least a half size up. I went a half size up and there’s only 2-3 mm between my heel and the edge of the shoe, so I probably could’ve gone a whole size up with no problems.
  • Mossimo Loretta Sneakers (reg. $16.99, $12.74 with discount) I’m a huge fan of slip-ons. Besides my Converse Chucks, they’re what I live in most of the year and I couldn’t resist the cute, nautical navy/ivory stripes of these.
  • Merona Bambi Loafers (reg. $22.99, $17.24 with discount) I’ve been hunting for a pair of loafers for awhile and when I saw these I was intrigued. Pointed toe shoes seem to be “in” right now, I own zero pointy shoes but love flats and loafers, so I thought this was a good way to try some. The one review for the Bambi Loafers on target.com said that these run small but I was a bit skeptical, so I bought the Black in an 8.5 and the Blush in 9. The 9 ended up being way too big and while the 8.5 was an okay fit I probably could’ve gotten away with an 8. However, I thought the shoes felt stiff, the interior didn’t have enough cushioning, and the sides of the shoe bowed outward too much whenever I took a step so they didn’t feel secure on my feet. Plus, I don’t think the pointed toe look is for me. I have flat feet that are just a tiny bit wider than average but not a true wide, and the combo of long, pointed toes and wider feet made my feet look enormous. I’ll stick to round and almond toe shoes, thank you very much. Needless to say, I returned both the Blush (although I really loved the color on my skin tone) and Black Bambi Loafers.
  • Merona Dorothy Suede Loafers (on clearance for $12.48, excluded from sale) I’m bummed that the Black and Chestnut colors of this shoe sold out before I spotted them but glad that I managed to at least get the Green and Tan (which in reality is more of a bone color). Sizes were limited so I got them both in a size 8W instead of my usual 8. I was worried that they would be too wide but they actually fit like a regular on me which means that the regular sizes probably run narrow. The shoes are genuine leather with a rubber sole, are super comfortable on the feet, and I love the shape of the toe which is neither too rounded nor too pointed. Love!

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette – Shimmer Strobing

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette – Shimmer Strobing

I recently purchased two new Physicians Formula palettes. The first being the Matte Sculpting palette that I reviewed yesterday and the second being the Shimmer Strobing palette that I’ll swatch and review today. The palettes go for a pricey $16.29 (0.30 oz/9 g) each at CVS.

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Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette – Matte Sculpting

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette – Matte Sculpting

I picked up the new Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contour Palette in Matte Sculpting over the weekend. With its hefty $16.29 (9 g/0.30 oz) price tag at CVS, it’s perhaps the single most expensive makeup item I’ve every purchased from the drugstore. Thankfully, I was able to use coupons and store rewards to bring the cost down to something I could more easily stomach.

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