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When Tara Met Blog
Saturday, March 4, 2006
How to Win an Oscar
For Best Director:
  • Make a LOT of films and the Academy will eventually award you for your contributions to the arts, especially if you suddenly change genres or film something out of your usual norm. IE: Spielberg for Saving Private Ryan.
  • Be an actor turned director like- Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford and Kevin Costner who have all won.
  • Be the hot new director making one of your first directorial debuts, a.k.a Sam Mendes for American Beauty.
  • Hope that your film wins Best Picture, and you're more than likely to receive an award as well.
  • Be a Man - As of yet a woman has never won Best Director :(

    For Best Actor:
  • Transform you're features. Robert DeNiro gained over 50 pounds to play boxer Jake LaMotta in his award winning role Raging Bull.
  • Play a nut or someone who's mentally handicapped / unstable. (Jack Nicholson did this for both of his Best Actor awards for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and As Good as It Gets. Tom Hanks as Forest Gump, Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man", Geoffrey Rush Shine and Laurence Olivier in Hamlet)
  • Or play someone with a physical disability like Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot, and Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Think the hunchback Richard the II, a physical impairment can give an actor great leverage.
  • Star in biography and play a real person. Ben Kingsley Gandhi, Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur, Robert DeNiro Raging Bull, F. Murray Abraham Amadeus and Charles Laughton The Private Life of Henry VIII.
  • Do two good films in a row or somewhat consistently and you'll eventually get handed an award to make up for not getting one for a previous role. It's the only way to explain Russel Crowe winning for Gladiator.

    For Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress:
  • If you're pretty then play someone less attractive. Lose the makeup, and show the lines. (Sally Field "Places In The Heart", Nicole Kidman "The Hours")
  • Take on an accent! Meryl Streep did and won for "Out of Africa" and "Sophies Choice", so did Francis McDormand for "Fargo".
  • Be Katharine Hepburn, after all she's won four of these!
  • Play a prostitute or a woman of the night. It worked for Kim Basinger in "LA Confidential" and Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite. Also Jane Fonda turned her hooker role into a Best Actress performance in Klute.
  • Be an older actress or a has been making a comeback after a couple of decades. Geraldine Page finally got her award in the 80's for A Trip to Bountiful. The same happened with Ingrid Bergman who came back to Hollywood after a prolonged absence to win for Murder on the Orient Express. At the very least this will be sure to get you a nomination like it did for Gloria Stuart in Titanic.
  • Don a costume like Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love.
  • Play a cross dresser like Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry and Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously. (And now maybe Felicity Huffman?)

    More: Check out my Oscar analysis on Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for this year's awards at Film School Rejects

    Tonight: Having an Oscar viewing party at my place. I'm making hot chocolate spiked with Kahlua & Malibu rum and trying out the fondue set that my landlords gave me for the holidays.

    Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
    Updated: Tuesday, March 7, 2006 7:34 AM PST
  • Friday, March 3, 2006
    My First Opera
    I’d love to say that I wrote my first opera but no, I just attended my first opera. I've read Puccini's La Boheme and Turandot and seen TV versions but last night was the first time I went to the MET Lincoln Center to see an opera live. My friend had an extra ticket so we went together to see Samson et Dalila a French opera by Camille Sainte-Saens. The biblical story about betrayal and seduction, which paints of course the woman (Dalila) as the evil temptress and destroyer of faith and man, so not an upper really.

    First of all, being in the Metropolitan Opera Theater is amazing, incredibly high ceilings and four rows of balconies over looking the stage. We had orchestra seats right in the center. I was afraid I’d have no idea what the actors were going to be singing about, but in each seat are little screens that provide the lyrics in English. The size of the cast was also amazing; at one point there were 82 people on the stage belting out in operetta, which was very powerful. The set was sparse but had modern art screens in the background that were very evocative. However, yes not being the great Puccini, this opera was a little boring and has three acts and two intermissions. My friend even nodded off for a little bit as did a man in front of us and a woman next to us. I don't blame them because although beautiful the show was long and dragged on a bit, plus the beautiful singing was very relaxing, especially with the glass of champagne we drank.

    I thought more people would be dressed up and many were, but not like Cher in Moonstruck and some attendees wore jeans even. I guess it's the same with any theater shows now-a-days.

    Overall it was a great experience and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go.

    Posted by Tara at 9:14 AM PST
    Wednesday, March 1, 2006
    Last night I went to the popular China Club for an X-Rated party--literally! It was for the launch of a new vodka from X-Rated that's distributed through Southern Wine & Spirits. Easy to have fun with such a sexy name. Anyway, the brand already has an X-Rated Fusion Liquor, a passion fruit vodka drink that comes in a bright pink color and frosted clear bottle and of course is popular with the young female crowd. Their website has the cute domain of Their marketing tag line even makes it clear that they are targeting their drink towards women: "The first vodka created to delight women."

    Yet, despite their aims to attract women my age to their brand, the party consisted of a show from The Femme Fatals, which bordered towards burlesque and although fun, it excited mainly the males in the audience and their own sales guys and not the women. The 45 min show though included a great tango number from a husband and wife dance team, and it felt like I was watching "Dancing With The Stars" live. I would have enjoyed it more if the show highlighted some of the awesome dancing and less the continuous segments of just women doing stripper like moves, because although impressive it got boring after the first two skits. A woman next to me joked when a dancer dressed as Eve came on stage, saying that she almost wore the same outfit tonight.

    If you plan to try X-Rated go with mixing their regular vodka and their passion fruit infused vodka with some pineapple juice. Very yum and colorful. At the very least I plan on buying a bottle because I know it will look good on my bar and in cocktails (and when I write bar, I mean the liquor and shakers that I store on top of my fridge, since my apt can only house a half size fridge, never mind a wet bar).

    E-mail Response from X-Rated: Read your blog. We didn't want the show to be burlesque..will make some changes.

    Film Review: Transamerica. My latest Film School Rejects write up.

    Posted by Tara at 8:38 AM PST
    Updated: Thursday, March 2, 2006 7:45 AM PST
    Tuesday, February 28, 2006
    The Everyday Stranger
    Almost every work day for the last two months I've smiled or waved at the same guy that I pass on my way to work each day. I assume he works in the building next to my office building, which is being repaired for a new tenant. I'm not sure what’s going into it, a store or more office space, but there's a whole construction crew working in there, the stranger one of the team. He is probably about 30. Anyway, so there's this window that looks out onto the sidewalk and each morning he is at that window eating his breakfast or sipping his coffee on the counter top that's at the window too. I'm not sure how our routine started, I think I caught his eyes and smiled then the next day he waved, then I waved. It then progressed to mouthing good morning and now it’s a tradition. It's all very friendly like, I'm not intending to take this any further of course nor does he seem inclined to. Some mornings I look forward to the greeting, but some times I know feel obligated to wave since he's right there looking at me and expecting it. Sometimes his coworkers are there too and they also wave, which seems to embarrass the stranger.

    News: I helped co-ordinate an interview between this reporter and my client, Taleo, after sending Ephraim some stats on Baby Boomer's and their impending retirement, peaking his interest. Was very glad to see that it worked out and resulted in coverage in InfoWorld. Filling the void left by baby-boomer techies. The reporter also left me a nice voicemail thanking me for my help and saying I should be a reporter. If he only knew that was my former/side career.

    Posted by Tara at 7:31 AM PST
    Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 8:49 AM PST
    Sunday, February 26, 2006
    Took the stool right out from under me
    I visited my father's restaurant today for the first time since his passing. He was the original owner and chef since I was a little girl. He had several restaurants at one point but Settembre's Italian Restaurant and Catering was his last and the one that I spent the most time in. My uncle Tony owns it now, but he's been trying to sell it for awhile now, since he was never much of a cook and has a successful limo business to run, Settembre's Limos, sensing a family biz name trend? Anyway, the restaurant has switched management and names several times now, it was a Mexican place at first and most recently Rockin Robins--an American grill and ice cream shop. The renters were five months behind in rent so my uncle had to lock the doors on them and is selling the equipment inside to cover expenses.

    Going inside wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, since it changed so much. The only thing similar was the catering halls in the back of the place where I'd hide away dancing to the juke box when I was bored. Being outside in the parking lot was hard though. I had flashes of all the times I'd pull up to grab a pie and some of my dad's yummy food to share with friends and all the times I was dropped off there to visit with my dad and the summers I spent there helping out folding pizza boxes, being a soda jerk or waitressing. My heart expected him to come out and join us in the empty lot, wearing his usual apron tied around his waist and a t-shirt covered in flour. Alas, the freezing winds and memories were the only things greeting me today.

    The reason for my visit after five years of looking the other way when I drove by, was to pick up two bar stools for my apartment, to replace the ugly bulky ones that came with the place. No one ever really wanted to sit on them, except for when I was cooking them dinner (daughter like father) and had no choice. The stools are perfect, red like almost everything in my apartment (couch, microwave, etc). They are very retro too, which is also very me. Whatcha think?

    News: I set up an interview and press release for my step dad Michael and so far it's resulted in the following article: Financial planners: Winning the lottery isn't always a dream. An AM radio channel is interested in speaking with him too, and I'm hoping to hear back from more local CT media as well.

    Posted by Tara at 5:38 PM PST
    Updated: Monday, February 27, 2006 2:05 PM PST

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