Oscars 2016: Best Supporting Actress

Alicia-Vikander-The-Danish-Girl, Oscars, Alicia-Vikander, Academy-Awards, Academy-Awards-2016, Trueheartgal

The countdown to the Oscars is on, and I am so excited for the fashion, (Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda and Charlize Theron never disappoint, and now we can add Lupita Wyong’o, and Alicia Vikander to that list of style champions), the clips of classic movies, the Red Carpet glamour, the awkward moments, Chris Rock as host, the whole shebang.

This year, the Actress in a Supporting Role Nominees are:

Jennifer Jason Leigh in her Oscar nominated role in The Hateful Eight, Jennifer-Jason-Leigh, Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards-2016, Trueheartgal

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

I didn’t see. Wouldn’t see it. Didn’t want to see it. I heard enough about the level of violence, and as much as I hate to avoid a nominated performance, I don’t want to see that much violence. In The New York Times’ A. O. Scott’s review of the film, he says that Jason Leigh’s character, Daisy, is a “scapegoat and punching bag” – ’nuff said.

Rooney Mara as Therese in her Oscar nominated role in Carol. Oscars, Oscars-2016, Academy-Awards, Academy-Awards-2016, Best-Supporting-Actress, Spotlight, Trueheartgal

Rooney Mara, Carol

This is a lusciously filmed movie set in the early 1950’s about Therese, a young aspiring photographer, working in a fine department store during the  Christmas season, who meets Carol, a sophisticated, wealthy, beautiful married woman. The two share a deep connection and quickly fall in love with each other, something that could prove disastrous in that era. My problem with this performance is that I never believed it. I didn’t believe these two women –  Therese, played by Mara Rooney, and Carol, played by Cate Blanchett – shared any real connection, or understanding or passion. The dialogue is sparse and the drama is understated, and I know the movie is attempting to show us how the lovers were forced to conceal their feelings, but it was so concealed for me as to make it opaque.

Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer in the movie Spotlight. Rachel-McAdams, Spotlight, Oscars, Best-Supporting-Actress, Academy-Awards, Trueheartgal

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

This quiet, but powerful movie is basically a solid procedural, showing the Boston Globe’s team of investigative journalists, the “Spotlight” team, doing the slow dogged work of uncovering the Catholic church’s knowledge of and mishandling of scores of sexual abuse cases by priests. McAdams plays Sacha, a member of the Spotlight team who in addition to doing the tedious work of pouring over documents, also uses her keen listening skills to interview many of the now-grown male, often blue-collar victims. Sacha is also a Catholic from Boston, who still takes her grandmother to church every Sunday. Her performance made me believe in and root for this curious, smart, tenacious, professional journalist.

Alicia-Vikander-The-Danish-Girl, Oscars, Alicia-Vikander, Academy-Awards, Academy-Awards-2016, Trueheartgal

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Based on a true story, artist Einar Wegener (played by last year’s best actor Academy Award winner, Eddie Redmayne) undergoes one of the first-ever sex-change operations with support from his loving wife and fellow-artist, Alicia Vikander’s Gerda. Her performance is beautiful. She shows the anger Gerda feels as she has to sublimate her own desires and the pain she suffers as she learns to set her husband free to pursue the life he feels he was born to live. I felt Vikander’s performance grounded this film. She is earthy, sensual, angry, loving, sad, terrified and strong.

Kate-Winslet-in-Oscar-nominated-role-in-Steve-Jobs, Oscars, Kate-Winslet, Steve-Jobs, Academy-Awards-2016, Academy-Awards, Trueheartgal

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Marketing guru at Apple and Next, Joanna Hoffman, played by Kate Winslet, was also one of Steve Jobs’ confidants and one of the very few who could speak her truth to his power. The films tells the story of the hypothetical run up to three product launches over several years, so the scenes are pressure cookers of emotions and deadlines. Winslet is flawless, as always. Huffman grew up in Poland and the Soviet Union, and she nails a believable Eastern European accent. She is exasperated by Jobs (played by the fantastic Michael Fassbender) and his inability to compromise either in his close personal relationships, or in his desire to change the world, but she loves him and his unique genius. Winslet and Fassbender are electric together and she gives her character the brilliance, compassion, rage and camaraderie needed to make the role true.

My Pick?

Of course, I’d change the nominations a bit, and I’d nominate Alicia Vikander for her performance in Ex-Machina instead of The Danish Girl. Given the existing group, I have an extremely difficult time picking one over the other. This dilemma seems to be true for the Academy as well, as press reports this category as the most hotly contested of the group. Ultimately, I’d select Winslet.

Have you seen the films? What did you think of the performances? Did you see Hateful Eight? Your thoughts?

It’s nearly 70 degrees here, way, way too warm, but it is gorgeous. My miniature peach tree is bursting with buds and blossoms.

Blooming peach tree with bright pink blossoms.

What’s it like where you are?

If you like this post, please share it. Share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+ or any social media platform you like. And, I’d love to hear your comments and opinions below. Thank you!


Tom hardy as John Fitzgerald in the Oscar nominated movie, The Revenant. Tom Hardy, The Revenant, Oscars, Academy Awards, Oscar nominees, Best Supporting Actor, Trueheartgal

Oscars 2016: Best Supporting Actor

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan in his Oscar nominated role in Creed, Creed, Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa, Rocky, Michael B. Jordan, Oscars, Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Trueheartgal

The Oscars are just a week away and I could not be more excited. I am going to be blogging about them this week and offering my humble opinions on the top categories. The Best Supporting Actor category includes the following nominees this year:


Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

It seems to be universally agreed upon that Sylvester Stallone is a shoo-in for this award. I saw Creed the other night and I honestly don’t know why Stallone was even nominated other than it seems people think he should be awarded for his lifetime of mostly bad, poorly acted, mostly violent and oftentimes stupid movies. I was simply not impressed, I am sorry to say.

The other performances are all fantastic for different reasons.

Christian Bale playing drums in the Oscar nominated movie, The Big Short, Christian Bale, The Big Short, Oscars, Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor, Oscar Nominees

Christian Bale plays Stanford neurosurgeon, turned hedge-fund manager, Michael Burry, one of the first people to recognize the looming crash and invest in the subprime mortgages. This role calls for Bale to do the vast majority of his acting alone in a room, and he is terrific. He brings so much energy and intelligence to the role. Burry himself claims he has Aspergers and Bale plays it well, he kept me riveted.

Tom hardy as John Fitzgerald in the Oscar nominated movie, The Revenant. Tom Hardy, The Revenant, Oscars, Academy Awards, Oscar nominees, Best Supporting Actor, Trueheartgal

Tom Hardy plays John Fitzgerald, who, along with Leonard DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass, are among a band of fur-trappers and hunters who are basically stripping the land of wildlife for profit in 1820’s Missouri. After Glass is attacked by a bear and hanging on to life as a shredded human, Fitzgerald volunteers to stay behind, along with Glass’ half-Pawnee son as the rest of the band go get help.  Fitzgerald does some very bad things in order to survive, and I believed in each of his brutal decisions. Hardy brought a vicious, fierce energy to Fitzgerald, and while he often mumbled too much, I loved his performance.

Mark Ruffalo in the Oscar nominated movie Spotlight. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight, Oscars, Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Trueheartgal

As part of the “Spotlight” investigative team of the Boston Globe, Mark Ruffalo portrays Michael Rezendes, a lapsed Boston Catholic whose marriage is on the rocks. The Globe’s new editor is not from Boston, and he tasks the team with looking into a story about the shady manner the Boston Archdiocese handled abuse cases. Buffalo’s portrait starts out as a dogged reporter, and he ascends into near hysteria as he begins understanding the magnitude of the corruption in the church – his church. While emotional, Ruffalo’s performance always remains real.

Mark Rylance in his Oscar nominated performance in Bridge of Spies, Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks, Oscars, Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor nominee, Best-Supporting-Actor, Trueheartgal

Rudolf Abel, portrayed by Mark Rylance, was a spy caught by American authorities and sent to trial. Today’s American Everyman – Tom Hanks – portrays James Donovan, the insurance attorney assigned to his case by his firm chairman. Donovan is expected to put up a farce of a defense so the spy is convicted without denying him a trial. Donovan decides to actually defend the man, and in the course of their attorney/client relationship, Abel proves himself to be a quiet, wise man who understands both what Donovan is doing for him, and what will await him if he is returned to Russia. Rylance’s performance is very understated but the heft of his position is never in question.


Who would I pick? First of all, I would have included Idris Elba’s explosive and magnetic performance in Beasts of No Nation, and I would’ve somehow wedged in Jacob Tremblay’s unaffected and sublime performance in Room. Neither of these films would’ve been possible without these actors in my opinion.

But, given the current crop of nominees, I would give the award to……. Tom Hardy. He’s also in one of my surprise favorite movies of the year – Mad Max: Fury Road, but while he plays the title character, Charlize Theron and the women carry the film.

Now – who would you select? Did you see the films? Let me know what you thought!

Nest up: Oscars: Best Supporting Actress.

A few links from around the web I hope you enjoy:

How the Coen’s Tricked You Into Thinking “Hail Caesar!” is About Nothing 

Enjoy being old and invisible.

Oscar fashion 2015.

Best Movie Scenes of All Time.

“The Wire,” Idris Elba captivates every moment he’s on the screen.

All the hubbub about Beyonce’s new Formation video, explained, and The Day Beyonce Turned Black.

Tips for washing your food.

If you like this post (do you?), please share it. Share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+ or any social media platform you like. And, I’d love to hear your comments and opinions below. Thank you! XO

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What is your favorite poem?


Do you like poetry? What is your favorite poem? The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry and Wild Geese by Mary Oliver are two of my favorites. I love that reading poetry makes me slow down. There is no way to really read a poem quickly, you have to quiet yourself to enter the new language and find meaning. It’s sort of like yoga for the mind.

If you haven’t yet, you might consider subscribing to The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. As a fan, I receive a jewel of a poem  in my inbox everyday, along with fascinating, deep and wide-ranging “on this day in history” nuggets.

This poem that arrived in my inbox the other day, and it took my breath away:

In your next letter,

                                       please describe
the weather in great detail. If possible,
enclose a fist of snow or mud,

everything you know about the soil,
how tomato leaves rub green against
your skin and make you itch, how slow

the corn is growing on the hill.
Thank you for the photographs
of where the chicken coop once stood,

clouds that did not become tornadoes.
When I try to explain where I’m from,
people imagine corn bread, cast-iron,

cows drifting across grass. I interrupt
with barbed wire, wind, harvest air
that reeks of wheat and diesel.

I hope your sleep comes easy now
that you’ve surrendered the upstairs,
hope the sun still lets you drink

one bitter cup before its rise. I don’t miss
flannel shirts, radios with only
AM stations, but there’s a certain kind

of star I can’t see from where I am-
bright, clear, unconcerned. I need
your recipes for gravy, pie crust,

canned green beans. I’m sending you
the buttons I can’t sew back on.
Please put them in the jar beside your bed.

In your next letter, please send seeds
and feathers, a piece of bone or china
you plowed up last spring. Please

promise I’m missing the right things.

by Carrie Shipers from Cause for Concern

It reminded me of my grandmothers, their pies, homemade noodles, poppyseed rolls, and their meals that usually included gravy, of growing up in the Midwest, of bitter cold but beautifully harsh and barren winters, of walking up and down miles of corn fields when I worked as a detassler as a teenager, of my mother’s passion for good cornbread (and how she liked hers cold, broken up and in a bowl with milk), of the thriving farms that used to border my hometown of Madison, WI but now lie quiet and useless beneath seas of condominiums and planned communities. I think it’s beautiful.

A few links from around the web I hope you’ll enjoy.

How to overcome worry and be a friendlier person.

Grammy fashion.

Don’t you love Uptown Funk?

Best TV shows on Netflix.

Alive! 55+ the Musical looks fantastic.

The magical Julianne Moore on aging, growing up and acting.

A political, artistic, economic analysis of the stripper movie, Magic Mike XXL.

Planning tips for your garden this spring.

This old Chris Rock interview make me eager to see him host Sunday’s Oscars!

If you like (or looooove, ha!) this post, please share it. Share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+ or any social media platform you like. And, I’d love to hear your comments BELOW! Thank you. XO

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