The Grand Budapest Hotel


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First off, shame on me! It’s been too long since I’ve blogged and I swore to myself I wouldn’t do that. But, life happens and now I’m making time to catch up. I was fortunate enough to win tickets to a prescreening of the Grand Budapest Hotel LAST TUESDAY but here I am, finally getting around to talking about it.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

 

The title is as quirky as any Wes Anderson movie should be… and I’ve heard it called “the new Wes Anderson movie” more often than by its actual title, in fact I’ve been guilty of this myself. And on that point, I think most movie lovers are either huge fans of his work or avoid it at all costs. I’d like to think The Grand Budapest Hotel is a fun and wonderful time for viewers on both sides of the spectrum. This 100 minute movie is nonstop fun, a pure delight, with a lot of heart.

 

6de59d1ce8f027e722e4f7c69c4ae61e_2The movie follows M. Gustave, played brilliantly by The Dark Lord himself… I mean Ralph Fiennes, as a hotel concierge with a reputation for pure excellence and, well, other things (no spoilers here!) He is then joined by the new lobby boy, Zero, played by newcomer Tony Revolori. The relationship they have as mentor and protege truly carries the heart of this film. Any anti-fans of Anderson’s work might argue that his stories are pointless and unrealistic. And yes, his work is always quirky and over-the-top, but the relationship between Gustave and Zero is very real, relatable, and kind of adorable.

 

8db1b589fe8b7976b76a1d3cc234370dFrom the very beginning, you are engulfed in a hotel of bright pinks and purples, and a little hesitance on laughing about it or not, but that’s exactly the point. The detail work found in this film may very well be the best in Anderson’s career. And what first begins in a hotel quickly becomes an adventure movie all across Europe during WWII. I can’t even imagine how much money was spent on the production design of this movie, but I couldn’t be happier about it, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I love his movies so much. Every single shot is so detail oriented, well done, and stunning… it’s almost distracting. Fortunately, the movie also has delightful characters, a brilliant cast (with the typical Anderson-crew cameos of course,) and a wonderful story.

 

6de59d1ce8f027e722e4f7c69c4ae61eAll in all, this movie made me laugh a lot and gasp a few times (it’s rated R!) But I left with a skip in my step (or a Wes Anderson styled march) and a smile on my face… and isn’t that the point of going to the movies? Wes Anderson uses film to make art, tell a story, and entertain… and the Grand Budapest Hotel has done all of these things wonderfully.

  • Most Awesome Quote: “Keep your hands off my lobby boy!”
  • Most Memorable Scene: A chase that looks straight out of the Winter Olympics
  • Hidden Gem: Saoirse Ronan as Agatha
  • Biggest Surprise: Tilda Swinton… is that you?! And holy shit Willem Dafoe…8db1b589fe8b7976b76a1d3cc234370d-1
  • Filmmaking Fun Fact: Wes Anderson used miniatures for most of his wide shots (am I butchering terms here?), but filmed them     outdoors in natural lighting… the effect is like nothing I’ve seen before!
  • Worth Seeing in Theaters: ABSOLUTELY
  • Worth Buying: DEFINITELY
  • Overall Score: *****

 

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And the Oscar Goes To… (Official 2014 Predictions)

A lot of people love to hate on the Academy Awards, why? Because, to them, it’s a lot of very wealthy and self-absorbed people patting their own backs. But I choose not to see it that way.oscars-2014-ellen-poster__140108193621-575x851

I love movies, and I know the Academy and all of its nominees do too. Sure, there is Kate Hudson (the daughter of Goldie Hawn), or Charlie Sheen (the son of Martin Sheen), and don’t even get me started on Willow and Jaden Smith… but 9 times out of 10, these filmmakers were born into “regular” lives with a simple dream: to make movies.

Maybe it happened by chance or maybe it took a lot of handwork and sacrifice… regardless, I know they love film and so do I. It is, by far, my favorite form of art, expression, and storytelling, and the Academy Awards is a chance to celebrate peoples’ love for film and the talent that goes into them.

This post has been months in the making and one I consider both thrilling and challenging to write. So put your critiquing goggles on and let me know, who do you think will win? Who do you think was forgotten? Any predictions I’m way off on?

Also, I did not have time and/or money to view any of the foreign films, documentary features, or short films. If you’ve seen any of these and have recommendations please let me know, thank you!

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***** VISUAL EFFECTS *****

And the nominees are…

  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity

And the runner up is…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

la_ca_1217_the_hobbitI’m going to start off by noting, the makers of Gravity will be doing a lot of walking up and down stage come Oscar Sunday. I can’t keep myself from quoting Peter Rosenthal of the Onion, because his satire filled review summed this movie up perfectly. He found Gravity to be “so immersive and visually stunning, it has driven everyone who has watched it violently mad.” Yup… this movie is bonkers (I mean that in the best way possible) and I was not the same, for at least 48 hours, after seeing Gravity. So… visual effects? Yup, you deserve this 133%.

Even still, I’m a sucker for Middle-Earth and was very pleased to see Peter step his game up for The Desolation of Smaug; the dragon was no match for Sandra Bullock floating around helplessly in an infinite abyss, but Smaug is still my favorite dragon to date and one of the best film villains of the year; beautifully done.

Watch the Onion’s review… because it’s right: 

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***** SOUND MIXING & SOUND EDITING *****

And the nominees are…

  • All is Lost (Editing)
  • Captain Phillips (Mixing & Editing)
  • Gravity (Mixing & Editing)
  • The Hobbit (Mixing & Editing)
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (Mixing)
  • Lone Survivor (Mixing & Editing)

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity & Gravity

And the runner up is…

The Hobbit & Lone Survivor

ff62778905cc710e7524f5e5c6d5490bDid you know that there is no sound in space? Yet Gravity has pulled off the use of sound mixing and editing to scare the living hell out of me. Way to go guys. While I find war movies to be the best platform for good sound editing and mixing, Gravity has once again blown my mind. I’m still giving The Hobbit a fair shout out, because it can’t be easy mixing a fantastic score with arrows flying, axes swinging, and multilingual dialogue… and should I even mention Bilbo running through that pile of gold with a Dragon chasing after him? …just had to have a fan moment there, sorry guys.

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***** ORIGINAL SONG *****

And the nominees are…

  • Happy (Despicable Me 2)
  • Let It Go (Frozen)
  • The Moon Song (Her)
  • Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

And the Oscar goes to…

Let It Go from Frozen

And the runner up is…

Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Disney-Frozen-New-Animated-Clip-Let-It-Go1What an amazing group of nominated songs, but I think Let It Go has this one in the bag. Not only do I sing this song regularly in the shower, but it really achieves above and beyond what a song should be in a movie. A song should evoke emotion, help tell a story or develop a character, and leave a lasting impression. The Moon Song in Her did those same things, but looking back I don’t think it deserves it more than Ordinary Love. And Happy? Catchy tune, Pharrell, it’s about time. Most importantly, I know Frozen belongs on stage and I can not wait for it to be converted to theater.

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***** ORIGINAL SCORE *****

And the nominees are…

  • The Book Thief
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Philomena
  • Saving Mr. Banks

And the Oscar goes to…

Her

And the runner up is…

Gravity

20131205_her_theatricaltrailer2Best Original Score is deserving of a movie where I walk out of the theater, go home, and download the soundtrack immediately. And I only did that with one: Her. This movie is absolutely beautiful and one of my favorites of the year; it left a huge impression on me and would not have done so without its beautiful soundtrack. Quiet and understated, yet powerful. I think the Academy is loving hard on Gravity this year and I won’t be surprised if they take home the gold in this category for its eerie and beautiful score, but I have a full and dedicated vote to the latter.

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***** MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING *****

And the nominees are…

  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • The Lone Ranger

And the Oscar goes to…

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

And the runner up is…

Dallas Buyers Club

jackass-presents-bad-grandpa-received-an-oscar-nominationThe makeup and hairstyling category is near and dear to me as a cosmetologist myself, so I was a bit apprehensive to watch Bad Grandpa. I only got about 45 minutes into the movie when I felt I did enough research… and yes, the prosthetics were pretty amazing. Even still, the talented team of artists who worked on Knoxville are not enough for to recommend the movie… to anyone. Dallas Buyers Club is a more respectable candidate but, I gotta say, they didn’t have any prosthetic balls. I think the Academy was way off on this one… they forgot The Hobbit AND American Hustle… I mean, really? Evangeline Lily’s ears? Bradley Coopers curls? I’m a little upset.

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***** COSTUME DESIGN *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman
  • 12 Years a Slave

And the Oscar goes to…

American Hustle

And the runner up is…

The Great Gatsby

Amy Adams;Jennifer LawrenceI’ve changed my mind on this one about three times… my heart tells me Gatsby, with it’s unique and modern twist on one of the most beautiful decades in fashion, yet my mind is telling me American Hustle. Frankly, I think both movies deserve it because the costumes were all to die for and made me yearn for a different time. Well done.

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***** PRODUCTION DESIGN *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • Gravity
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • 12 Years a Slave

And the Oscar goes to…

The Great Gatsby

And the runner up is…

American Hustle

the-great-gatsby-image03This is how I’ve redeemed myself from the last category; Gatsby, this one’s for you. Your magic has faded away since last spring, but I have not forgotten the gorgeous sets. Maybe it’s a bigger nod for special effects, but I’m still giving you a well deserved pat on the back. All the nominees are strong contenders, but the period pieces always seem to win over in the end. The sets of Her were an awkwardly futuristic yet realistic take, which I also appreciated completely.

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***** EDITING *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity

And the runner up is…

Captain Phillips

1e2c2d8edddf055ce4d2c8c52d3cd40dWe’re not even half way through and I’m already tired of complimentary Gravity on being… awesome. So I’ll keep it short and sweet: good editing should feel seamless, natural, and help tell a story… both Gravity and Captain Phillips’ post production team supported that “edge of your seat” feeling. Another similarity between films was the enclosed or trapped feeling that would be challenging to edit too, so props. Four guys stuck in a tiny enclosed boat for half the movie? Yeah, that’s rough.

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***** CINEMATOGRAPHY *****

And the nominees are…

  • The Grandmaster
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners

And the Oscar goes to…

Gravity

And the runner up is…

Inside Llewyn Davis

inside_llewyn_davisAnother head/heart scenario… Inside Llewyn Davis really deserves this win. It’s a subtle and quirky story, and the quietness of the plot really gave space for creativity elsewhere. The cinematography was truly impeccable and very noticeable, but I do believe Gravity will take the gold here as well.

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***** ANIMATED FEATURE *****

And the nominees are…

  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Celestine
  • Frozen
  • The Wind Rises

And the Oscar goes to…

Frozen

And the runner up is…

The Wind Rises

full-trailer-for-disneys-frozen-06If you haven’t already read my review for Frozen, follow the link below, but I must disclaim that it was written from an ethical standpoint. As far as entertainment goes, Frozen is the winner x10 here. I’ve seen it twice and, though it rubs me the wrong way from time to time, it was still a blast and something I will probably watch again and again. And as I mentioned earlier, this movie absolutely belongs on Broadway and I plan to see it as soon possible.

Read my review of Frozen here: https://helloquarterlifecrisis.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/maternal-instincts-or-inner-feminist-my-review-of-the-movie-frozen/

As far as the other nominees go, well I honestly didn’t see any of them. I watched the trailers and have to give my runner up prediction to The Wind Rises because of it’s stunning animation. It’s refreshing to see. An English version of The Wind Rises is being released in the U.S. soon and I plan on seeing it then.

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***** ADAPTED SCREENPLAY *****

And the nominees are…

  • Before Midnight
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

And the Oscar goes to…

Philomena

And the runner up is…

12 Years a Slave

Philomena-6This was a tough call for me, and I may very well be wrong. While I haven’t read any of the original material these screenplays were adapted from, I think both Philomena and 12 Years a Slave deserve it equally. So who will win? We’ll just have to wait and see. All I have to say is, although 12 Years a Slave was a very important and powerful story to tell, that left me feeling a bit weak and crumbly, Philomena’s general dialogue and character development was impeccable. Two beautiful stories told very well.

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***** ORIGNAL SCREENPLAY *****

And the nominees are…

  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska

And the Oscar goes to…

Her

And the runner up is…

Dallas Buyers Club

HerIf Her does not win this award, I am going to be very upset. Way too funny, clever, beautiful, unique, and so on and so forth… I just really want this to win. Dallas Buyers Club was also very well done, of course, and being a big Woody fan I have to shout out to Blue Jasmine as well. All wonderful screenplays, but Spike Jonze needs this win.

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***** SUPPORTING ACTRESS *****

And the nominees are…

  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)

And the Oscar goes to…

Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave

And the runner up is…

Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

wpid-Jennifer-Lawrence-American-Hustle-04J. Law, I’m sorry. I feel like we’re friends, BFFs, even soul mates… and you nailed your character perfectly. A small role, yet so complex. But, Lupita knocked this one out of the park. Her role was passionate and painful, and I hope to see more of her in the future.

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***** SUPPORTING ACTOR *****

And the nominees are…

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

And the Oscar goes to…

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

And the runner up is…

Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave

dallas_buyers_club_jared_leto_-_h_-_2013Firstly, major shout out to Minnesota’s very own Barkhad Abdi! A true talent and kind of adorable… but so menacing. You are a fine actor! Anyways, another obvious category in my eyes and something that I feel slightly entitled to. Since watching Jared Leto’s breakthrough performance in Requiem for a Dream, I always felt there would be something great in his future with powerful performances. I’ve been a modest fan of his band and have checked in on him for time to time throughout the years, and this was the performance I was waiting for. He is so deserving of this and he played his character so perfectly.

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***** BEST ACTRESS *****

And the nominees are…

  • Amy Adams (American Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

And the Oscar goes to…

Cate Blanchett  in Blue Jasmine

And the runner up is…

Sandra Bullock in Gravity

blue_jasmine_465Maybe I’m bias, but I have an extreme obsession for Cate Blanchett. She is everything an actress should be… mega talented, beautiful, graceful, classy, mega talented (again,) and very Elvish. Her performance was kind of perfect and only made me love her so much more. However, Sandra Bullock really deserves a big pat on the back for hyperventilating regularly… who knows how many brain cells she lost!

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***** BEST ACTOR *****

And the nominees are…

  • Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

And the Oscar goes to…

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

And the runner up is…

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave

A disheveled Matthew McConaughey gets arrested in scenes for 'The Dallas Buyers Club' in New OrleansThis could  be the closest race of the night… two amazing characters and two incredible performances. The reason I think McConaughey will win is because, well, he’s really turned it around lately. From Failure to Launch to Fool’s Gold… McConaughey was nothing more than a failure and a fool (see what I did there?) I had no respect for the guy. But he truly became serious, rewrote his own destiny, and gained my respect. I think  he gained the Academy’s respect as well. If you want more of McConaughey, I’d recommend Mud. Oh and, sorry Leo, this isn’t your year… again.

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***** DIRECTOR *****

And the nominees are…

  • David O. Russell (American Hustle)
  • Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  • Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
  • Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  • Martin Scorcese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

And the Oscar goes to…

Alfonso Cuaron  for Gravity

And the runner up is…

David O. Russell for American Hustle

1e2c2d8edddf055ce4d2c8c52d3cd40dIt’s obvious that Alfonso Cuaron deserves this award… his movie was groundbreaking and incredibly coordinated in all of its nominated categories. Gravity has proven to be a frontrunner and none of that could have happened without his incredible talent, vision, and direction. He has raised the bar big time.

I loved American Hustle, but I’ve always compared it to Silver Linings Playbook and feel that it wasn’t up to par. Even still, O. Russell has shown his skill and I am anxiously awaiting his next project. The Departed (Best Picture winner in 2006) is one of my favorite movies of all time, and Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street was also not up to par in my book. All very talented nominees but I find this year’s winner to be apparent.

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***** BEST PICTURE *****

And the nominees are…

  • American HustleAMF_0798 (211 of 292).NEF
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

And the Oscar goes to…

12 Years a Slave

And the runner up is…

Dallas Buyers Club & Gravity

Most Loved Movie…

Her

12_years_a_slave_featured1-618x400When I think about what makes a movie deserving of Best Picture, I consider it to be one that is thoroughly well done in all categories while being entertaining or impressionable as a whole. So with that said, it’s obvious that Gravity deserves a major nod, especially since I’ve predicted they take home 6-8 other awards. But do I really believe Gravity will take home the gold? Not quite… sure, the movie was groundbreaking and beautiful (what an understatement,) but I think voters are going to honor a different type of film this year.

While Gravity is very deserving, my biggest struggle has been between Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave. Both are especially driven through powerful storytelling and incredible acting, and if you haven’t seen them yet… go, go now. As a whole, I truly enjoyed Dallas Buyers Club more and it had a longer lasting impression on me, but I believe the Academy’s votes will be for 12 Years a Slave. All three of these movies are so deserving and will be the frontrunners for most wins come Oscar Sunday, but there is one movie I really need to commend.

I have a vague understanding for how the Academy works in voting… it’s filmmakers voting for other filmmakers, so I keep that in mind with most of my predictions. And if I was in the Academy, I probably would vote for Dallas Buyers Club because it’s a huge contender and one I find very deserving. But of all the movies this year, Her has been my favorite and a something everyone needs to see. Every piece was in place; a beautiful score, fantastic sets, an incredible screenplay that had me laughing hysterically and crying quietly, perfect casting, and a magical story. Everything was so detail oriented and seamless and downright almost perfect. 12 Years and Dallas Buyers are both important historical stories… but Her is new, unique, special, beautiful. It might be nominated for less awards, but it gave me so much as a viewer. Miracles do happen… maybe they will win! But regardless Her has won in my book.

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So, have you seen the movies? What do you think? Who do you think will win? Who do you think is most deserving? You still have a week to see any final movies… so here are my final recommendations:

The movies you need to see regardless: Her and Gravity (preferably in theaters)

Movies to cover the most bases: 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club

If you like witty: watch American Hustle before The Wolf of Wall Street

If you like suspense: see Gravity before Captain Phillips (although both are great)

If you like quiet and understated: watch Philomena before Nebraska (or skip Nebraska altogether…)

Other movies to see:

If you like powerful acting: August: Osage County (though kind of a downer) and Blue Jasmine

If you want something alternative: Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis

If you want something for the whole family: Frozen and The Hobbit

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So print out your ballot (http://www.moviefone.com/oscars-academy-awards/nominee-winner/printable-ballot) and cast your votes, then tell me your top picks in the comments below!

And don’t forget to tune into the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd!

Maternal Instincts or Inner Feminist? My Review of the Movie “Frozen”

A Review of “Frozen” and the Problem with Princesses

I realize this isn’t your typical movie review, but something I feel inclined to talk about…

let’s just start at the beginning.

While I am still Team Pixar, Disney has really stepped up their game in recent years with Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. When Frozen released this past November, it showed that Disney was, once again, a force to be reckoned with. The film already took home the Golden Globe for best animated feature (and many other nominations and awards), and is also nominated twice at this year’s Academy Awards (Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.) The overall animation and sound in the film was not up to par to Pixar’s standards (or mine for that matter), but those are minuet details in comparison to it’s characters, story, and writing.
Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 2.21.07 PM

Frozen is about two sisters, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), who were once close but drifted apart due to Elsa’s secret icy powers. After Elsa accidentally casts their kingdom under a never-ending winter, she runs away and Anna tries to bring her home. With the help of her friends Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf the adorably funny snowman (Josh Gad), the trio encounters a lot of fun and adventure. The movie had me laughing out loud with it’s very dry and witty humor just as much as it brought me to the edge of my seat. Great characters, hilarious jokes, a recognizable and talented cast, wonderful songs, and (most importantly) the moral of this movie was inspiring, unique, and the perfect lesson I’d want to teach my children (if I had any.)

The movie was phenomenal… so what is my problem?

Whenever I watch a movie who’s target audience is children, I watch it from three different perspectives: the general moviegoer, the child, and the parent. And, yes, there were a few moments in this movie that really kicked in my raging maternal instincts.


Merida_web_small
But let me interrupt myself and touch base on something I will call the “Princess Problem.”

The Princess Problem is old news and can be traced back in Disney’s Snow White in 1937; the weak, stupid, and beautiful Snow White… only to be saved by Prince Charming. But that was 77 years ago and we have made progress! (Let’s fast forward over Ariel changing herself to please a man, or Jasmine seducing Jaffar because that’s the only tactic a woman has to offer.)

Pocahontas (1995) was the first princess to ever save the prince. However, it was based on a true story… because heaven forbid the writer’s at Disney invent their own strong female character like Pocahontas. But hey, I give them credit nonetheless.

In 2012, Brave came out! Definitely not my personal favorite as far as story or entertainment goes, but one I’d want to be my kids’ favorite. Princess Merida is the first princess to be somewhat normally proportioned and beyond your typical “beautiful girl.” She is independent, strong, and there is no love interest! Team Pixar all. the. way. When I watched this movie, a huge sigh of relief came over me… the Princess Problem is OVER!

Not so fast.

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 2.44.59 PMFrozen has two very strong female protagonists who, SPOILER ALERT, end up saving the day themselves… no men involved (sort of.) The moral of this movie is about a sister’s bond and the importance of family. I consider these to be great progresses and yet Anna still fits into so many weak, female stereotypes. She, SPOILER ALERT, falls madly in love with a guy who only takes advantage of her because she is too naive to know better. She even role models the importance of not eating in front of a man or being ashamed of wanting to eat chocolate!

But the biggest problem I noticed was the overtly sexualized Elsa… I mean, there was a point in the movie where I said, “DAMN.” and my jaw dropped. Princesses have always been beautiful, unnaturally tall, and scary thin… but now we have HIP ACTION? Deep dress slits? In Elsa’s main song (an awesome song btw), Let It Go, you watch her transform from being timid and scared to being… uncomfortably sexy? Because, as a woman, it is impossible to be strong and independent without also being totally hot. Great association, Disney.

I wanted to find a good photo for this post. I searched, “Frozen Elsa Sexy” only to find out just how behind I am on this subject. Turns out Frozen’s head of animation, Lino DiSalvo, said the following semi disturbing statement:

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 2.29.06 PM“Historically speaking, animating female characters are really, really difficult, because they have to go through these range of emotions, but you have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive to — you can get them off a model very quickly. So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, and having them both in the scene and look very different if they’re echoing the same expression; that Elsa looking angry looks different from Anna being angry.”

So, you “have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive…” and it’s tough animating a women’s broad scale of emotion while still keeping them pretty AND different! Because obviously there is only one type of “pretty” in the world: big round eyes, button nose, no emotion too dramatic, a tiny waste that would normally kill a person, hip action (that’s new!), and at least a nice full C cup.

Wait, I know! We’ll just give them different hair colors and clothes! Geniuses.

Regardless of Disney’s sexist staff or even it’s break away from prince-saves-princess formula, this movie is proof that we are still forcing sexy standards down young children’s throats. Little girls will look up to these characters and know that they need to be too tall and too thin to be beautiful… they will be ashamed of eating and associate power and strength with seduction. And the boys? Boys will continue to be boys as long as they’re surrounded by these images. Insecurity, anorexia, shallowness, even rape-culture… and it all starts here: at a PG rated children’s movie.

Our world is sex obsessed and saturated with pressure for women to fit this unrealistic mold while men learn to expect it. This is one of the biggest and worst societal flaws out there, and it’s everywhere… can’t we just leave it out of a children’s movie for once?

Watch/Sing along to this Best Original song nomination (particularly at 3:15) and tell me your thoughts on the subject. Do you think the Princess Problem will ever go away?