Sometimes you ask for guest posts, sometimes they fall into your lap as a gift from devoted readers! The following falls in the latter category, brought to us by the ever enthusiastic mse! Enjoy!
I’m a huge Coldplay geek in addition to being an enthusiastic Tribute, and I know I’m not alone. I’m not gonna use words like ‘OMG I’m the biggest fan of the band ever’ because yeah, I don’t even have an authentic lyric sheet handwritten by Chris Martin and we all know that that’s the only sign of a true fan – well that and the ability to rotate air. Alas as it turns out you can become one now by entering this contest here, so good luck! Tell me when you learned how to ventilate so I can give you a call on a warmer than usual autumn day.
Back to our topic, as you can guess I was obviously very excited when I learned that Coldplay is going to contribute to the Catching Fire soundtrack, and was eagerly anticipating the release of the song. By that time we already had the lyrics Chris shared via Twitter and we all brushed up on our Greek mythology and knew that the title ‘Atlas’ referred to the Titan who was sentenced to literally carry the world on his shoulders. But we still needed the song itself to truly appreciate the power of that metaphor , and as it turns out, we also needed a beautifully designed lyrics video to get fully obsessed.
I know that saying that this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is a gross overreaction but guys, THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING THAT I’VE SEEN. EVER.
Okay, so let’s first talk about the song itself. Now, this is probably going to be a subjective opinion, but I totally had a flashback of the Coldplay’s first album, Parachutes while listening to it. For those of you who are not as obsessed with the band as the rest of us, here’s some recap:
Coldplay had 5 big studio albums out in the last 13 years, and while they all had a very Coldplay-ish sound, they also had their distinguished characteristics that made the songs on a specific album stand out and separate them from the music on any of the others.
For example A Rush Of Blood To The Head had this very clean, sleek sound with lots of piano. That album probably also has the most memorable melodies, because the songs were just simply great – the intro to Clocks is possibly the most recognizable Coldplay melody ever, even though it really is nothing special from a musical stand point (although it might make your hands pretty sore by the end if you attempt to actually play it on your piano at home, especially if you have such a horrible wrist movement like me). On the other hand, Viva la Vida or Death and All Of His Friends was this epic journey that I personally like to refer to as the “Coldplay opera” . There’s a very complex sonority to it, the songs don’t always follow a typical structure, and this is that one album that you feel like you just have to listen to from beginning to end.
Atlas however… Atlas feels like modern day Coldplay Parachutes song to me. There’s a bit of back to basic feel to it, yes, but that’s not just it. Parachutes was a very early album for the band, they didn’t use a whole lot of fancy electronic stuff back then, but there was also some naivety and some interesting dissonant melodies which you might notice in Atlas as well. Basically: Parachutes is the angsty teenager of Coldplay albums. Or at least as angsty and teenagery as Coldplay can get.
Now, I’m not saying that Atlas is a definite addition to that album, and there’s a lot of maturity and a more modern sound in this song. Actually I’d say that it’s more like a blend between Parachutes and Viva la Vida, which also had a revolutionary theme beside all the things I mentioned before. And now that I think about it, it might actually be more of a Viva la Vida song after all. But the dissonance in that piano melody gives it a sense of unrest, there’s a clear underlying anxiety – until the chorus resolves it all by promising that it’ll ‘carry your world’ and also ‘all your hurt’.
I also think that this structure, the way the song makes a translation from angsty to something more hopeful and uplifting, makes Atlas a perfect first credits song. I’m mentioning this not just because the choice of a first credits song is important in the sense that it contributes to the whole impression a movie has left on you – but because in addition to being a Coldplay geek and a Hunger Games fan I’m also someone who’s very interested in movie awards and Oscars and all that jazz.
Of course you might ask now, what does this all has to do with the Oscars? Here’s the thing: some of the most prestigious film award ceremonies have a category called “Original Song” to them, however the definition of what can be considered part of that is kind of fuzzy. The Globes are more flexible with all this as you can expect, however the Oscars have this crazy rule that only songs that were playing during the movie or as a first credit song can contend. RUDE! That means if I put 51 songs at the end of my movie only one of those will be considered. Pfft! (This is also the reason why Safe & Sound was never going to get an Original Song nomination at the Oscars, in case you didn’t know.)
So yep, Atlas being the first credits song and the song of a universally well-liked popular band and this being their first ever contribution to a movie’s soundtrack increases the chances for an Academy Award shout out about 500%.
“But… why do we always have to bring up the Oscars?” I’m sorry, but this is what happens when your lead actor is an effing double Oscar nominee and a fresh Best Actress winner. People are probably gonna talk about the movie’s Oscar chances in costumes and hair and make-up and visuals and music and all that as we approach award season, so get used to it. And wouldn’t it be just plain cool to read the words “Nominated for X Oscars” on Catching Fire’s IMDb page? Don’t lie to me, you wanna see that just as much as I do.
Before I’d finish this up, we need to talk about that lyrics video though. Because that is just abso-freaking-lutely STUNNING. That’s not just a lyrics video guys, that qualifies as an actual music video if you ask me, and those animations… Wow. It’s simple but effective, and the whole constellation concept is really clever, because obviously there’s no cooler archery symbol than the Sagittarius itself, but it also gives off a sort of mythologic vibe which is obviously a reference to the lyrics themselves and the inspiration behind them.
I also spent a lot of time thinking about the meaning behind the 7 lines that start off and finish the video, and I’m kind of convinced that it refers to the 7 members of Peeta and Katniss’ alliance: Finnick, Mags, Beetee, Wiress, Johanna and Katniss and Peeta themselves. Of course that doesn’t include people like Woof or even the morphlings who were obviously supposed to have been part of that alliance but I stand by my theory.
Now excuse me, but I gotta get back to listening to this song for the 1002th time,
The day after the Oscars, interviews with Jennifer Lawrence being adorable/funny/clever swept the interwebs and were gif’d, shared, blogged about, and tweeted. One interview in particular was a favorite of many, and that was her interview with George Stephanopoulos that Jack Nicholson crashed.
We all love that interview because it represents what we love about Jennifer in the first place.
1) Veteran actors like and respect her.
Jack Nicholson came up to her even though they’d never met before. We all know Jennifer is talented, but so do her peers and role models. Donald Sutherland has sung her praises, but so have many in Hollywood as well. We like that our Katniss has so much talent and is well known for being a terrific actress.
2) Jennifer shows off her natural charm.
Her responses to Jack’s semi-creepy-but-it’s-Jack-Nicholson-so-it’s-sorta-okay comments were taken in stride. She even shoots back with her ‘new girlfriend’ comment. Yes, Jennifer says what’s on her mind, even when it’s mildly inappropriate or TMI, but we like that. It’s what makes her charming.
3) Her inability to hold in her ‘wow I just met Jack Nicholson’ feelings makes her relatable.
A big reason why we love Jennifer Lawrence is because we can relate to her. How many times have we said we want to be her best friend? It means that she has kept herself grounded and at our level, even though we are just common-folk to some more snooty and pretentious actors out there.
4) It was an honest moment.
Her surprise at seeing Mr. Nicholson come up to her and then coming back felt very honest. There has been some backlash about certain actresses being fake or insincere this awards season, but the crashed interview captured a genuine couldn’t-have-made-this-up-if-you-tried moment.
Jennifer has had an amazing awards season, and we’re confident she hasn’t peaked (Seriously, why would you ask her that after she just won the Oscar?). Here’s to more moments like this in the future!
Excuse us for a moment, but… OMG OMG OMG JENNIFER LAWRENCE JUST WON AN OSCAR!!1!11! SHE IS OUR KATNISS EVERDEEN AND SHE IS SUPER TALENTED AND NOW SHE IS AN ACADEMY AWARD WINNER!!!!1!1! HOLY FUCKBALLS, THAT. JUST. HAPPENED!!!!
*cough* We mean, not that we’re that surprised. We explained our high hopes after seeing Silver Linings Playbook and her steady string of wins beforehand, but nothing is guaranteed until it happens and IT DID. If ever you stumble across this in an alternate universe where you find yourself on Hunger Games humor blogs: CONGRATULATIONS, JENNIFER!
Also, before the fandom snobs come out to say “So what? She didn’t win for The Hunger Games. Why is the fandom making a big deal out of it?” Just leave the party (aka this blog) NOW. You are uninvited, because you clearly don’t get it, man! Jennifer is the core of the films and we support her in all her endeavors because she’s whip smart, grounded, and doing all she can to make great films… We even forgive her for House at the End of the Street!
But before the Oscar was even won, fans were all a-Twitter about what could happen if she did…
DUN DUN DUUNNNNNN! THE DREADED OSCAR CURSE!
Yes, the curse in which talented actors win an Academy Award and then go on to take a professional cliff dive into ridiculously bad film choices that make audiences wince, with the occasional decent but not-very-worthwhile role thrown in there. Halle Berry, Marisa Tomei, Adrien Brody, and Cuba Gooding Jr. are popular examples of the phenomenon at work. Will Jennifer Lawrence be next?
To help riddle this out, we’ve created a list of what could happen to Jen’s career:
1. Catching Fire, Mockingjay: Part 1, and Mockingjay: Part 2 could all bomb critically despite intense popularity, thus truly making it the next Twilight.
2. Beloved Hollywood directing icon in the making, David O. Russell, could turn Jennifer’s other upcoming films, The Ends of the Earth and an untitled Abscam film, into utter disasters.
3. After receiving almost every script she qualifies for a role in, she picks all the most tired, oldest concepts and roles that she can easily phone in.
4. She quits acting to pursue a career in crab fishing or cattle ranching, never to be seen in Hollywood again.
5. She makes her upcoming films. They are released and most likely get good receptions from both audiences and critics. She makes more movies, some of which probably miss the mark, but she tries to make smart film choices and acts the hell out of them either way. She gets plenty more opportunity for recognition over the next several years.
We might be straight up craaaaaaazy, but we’re gonna go with #5!
For every “Oscar curse” recipient, there are others who have won in multiple occasions or even been well-received throughout their careers without a slew of extra nominations. Daniel Day-Lewis won his third Lead Actor award tonight and it’s not coincidence– the man has talent and he took on challenging, risky roles that paid off over the course of a long career. He’s astounding but he’s not superhuman, so why should we expect other winners like Jennifer to fail?
We Trip Every Day! Talk About Us Instead, Media!
The Girl With The Pearl
The Oscars are just hours away now, and as Jennifer Lawrence is up for Best Actress for a second time, I’ve just gotta cross my fingers for her. I’ve been rooting for Jennifer and the film itself since I first saw it last November (I’ve seen it at least 4 times since, the latest was a trip to the movies last night), and a lot has happened since then.
Silver Linings Playbook and Jennifer have since achieved several awards and nominations, Jennifer having most recently won an Independent Spirit Award. Jennifer has also won a Golden Globe, which the acceptance speech for it got her some negative attention from people who didn’t get the joke (still judging you if you took that seriously, just saying), and she appeared on Saturday Night Live to mixed reviews. Toss in bouts of the flu and pneumonia and more Catching Fire filming, and it’s evident it’s been a crazy couple of months for her.
I’ve seen several of the Oscar movies since and have felt that Jennifer’s performance still wins it for me. Do the Oscar voters agree with me? We’ll see Sunday night. And remember, it’s okay if she doesn’t win. Seriously, no need to be sore if it isn’t Jennifer who wins. I mean, we don’t want to see anyone bad-mouthing a 9 year old for winning. I know it’s cliche, but it really is an honor just to be nominated. And remember to ignore those pesky catfight rumors. But hey, we’ve still got high hopes.
High apple-pie-in-the-sky hopes
Black Friday this year meant getting a great deal on a TV for myself and taking a trip down to my local AMC to watch Silver Linings Playbook. You don’t understand, guys. I’ve been waiting for this movie since those pap shots of her filming the jogging scenes a year ago that led to me IMDb-ing the movie to find out that she’s playing a character with my name*. As a Tiffany, you don’t really get many great onscreen namesakes. For some reason, the name is usually a punchline for a joke about a ditzy girl, never an actual main character with substance.
And all the Oscar buzz surrounding Jennifer Lawrence and her portrayal of Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook has got me even more excited. She’s already an Academy Award nominee for her role as Rhee in Winter’s Bone, and though nominations don’t get announced until January, it seems like all anyone can talk about for the Best Actress category is Jennifer. And let’s not forget the Golden Globe and SAG awards, nominations for which will be announced in a couple weeks.
If Jennifer wins a major award for Silver Linings Playbook, pre-Catching Fire release, it can mean even more attention and credibility to the film and to the rest of the franchise. Hunger Games fans already like stressing they’ve got an Oscar nominee heading their series, what’s it going to mean if she becomes an Oscar winner? While it’s still beyond me that the teen franchise stigma still plagues us even after the release of The Hunger Games, anything to chip away at it and give more cred to the series is welcome in my book.
Do I think she deserves it? The thing that impressed me the most about Jennifer’s portrayal of Tiffany is while Jennifer seems drawn to female characters with a lot of depth (yes, please Hollywood give us more of those!), she was still a unique character. While the media wants to pin Jennifer as being the “strong female” actress, when you look at it, they’re not all cookie cut-outs of the same role.
So here’s to hoping that the enigma that is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets it, and let’s all cross our fingers for Jennifer.
This Tiffany approves
*Jennifer also played “Tiff” in Garden Party
Hmm, seems that another little bit of news got a little over shadowed last week by the amazing, stupendous, sparkly, yet also a little dark and twisty (just the way we like it), full length trailer! Lionsgate – wait for it – is trying to get its paws on the illustrious Simon Beaufoy (we’ll tell you who he is in a minute!) For what? Why dear, lovely readerly people, to take the first crack at writing the full length script to Catching Fire, that’s what. So, since today is the two-year mark exactly until Catching Fire is slated to be released – it’s all the more fitting to wax philosophic and/or gush over Mr Beaufoy, as well as give props to Lionsgate, Ross and Collins for seeking out someone of his caliber to adapt their – well, baby.
Seriously, Simon Beaufoy?! No really, we simply must gush over the fact that they want to get this guy on board, ‘cause he’s the real deal where it comes to screenplay writing! What’s he done, okay – chronologically (we’ll only name films people would be more likely to have seen), The Full Monty, Blow Dry, Slumdog Millionaire – which he won an Oscar for (eeeee!), 127 Hours, and next up he penned the screenplay to the anticipated Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Can we get ‘hell yeah’? ‘Cause this is exciting news!
Now, some may be asking why isn’t Collins and Ross taking the helm on this one? Simple, Ross is hell-a busy working on post production on The Hunger Games, and Collins – well no idea what she’s doing, but we’re sure it’s awesome, new series maybe (crossing fingers on that one). Bottom line, Beaufoy gets on board to take the first crack, and Ross and Collins will tweak it to their liking once all things are said and done – and we collectively will jump up and down like crazy people. No, really – we will.
Can we just say it? If they get someone as reputable to pen the first screenplay of what some consider to be the best book in the series (to some it’s The Empire Strikes Back of the series, really), it means that Lionsgate has even more stock invested in the series – because they’re going for quality choice people! Remember way back about a year or so ago when Lionsgate had so and so write the screenplay, we all know the one – yep, the one that changed key elements to the story and scared the shit out of us all? Those were dark days, were they not? Anyway, can’t fault them for wanting to hire a Yorkshire boy (Beaufoy is from Yorkshire)! This gives us über amounts of hope for the future of the series, because they’re no longer shooting for defunct TV writers (not Collins, she’s far from defunct – she’s a freakin’ successful novelist), but more Oscar worthy as well as Oscar bestowed people. A lot of hope is behind this series adaptation, and that hope is in a form of confidence – let’s, er… hope it all comes to fruition.
Our little series that could has come a long way, hasn’t it?
Them There Eyes