On the personal front, my Bookish Secret Santa package arrived over the weekend and I'm very grateful indeed. This gift exchange is held by Michelle Miller from Seasons of Reading and it's a way of a few folks to send each other holiday treats with a special book or two included.
In my package were a number of lovely items such as a beautiful snow flake ornament, Shea butter scented soap, a charming book of quotes and an Ugly Christmas sweater pen(it's so ugly that it's cute!).
Among those goodies was a novel that I've longed to read for some time now, The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory The leading lady of this story is Nikole, who is stunned by her all of five months boyfriend springing a marriage proposal on her at a Dodgers game via the Jumbotron screen.
Upon turning him down, she finds herself in need of leaving the stadium safely as the mood in the crowd grows ugly fast. Brother and sister Carlos and Angela volunteer on the spot to get Nikole out of there, leading to what was intended to be a brief romance between Carlos and Nikole. However, that hook-up develops into something that could be much more lasting and all too real.
I thoroughly enjoyed Jasmine Guillory's The Wedding Date earlier this year and this book sounds like a fitting companion piece(some of the characters from TWD show up here). My thanks to Stacy Putman for sending me all of these presents and I will be sending out my own Bookish Secret Santa box this week that hopefully will be just as wonderful to my giftee as this one was to me:
Next, the Golden Globe nominations came out and there are so many calls for celebration here, with Crazy Rich Asians being up for Best Picture and Best Actress for Constance Wu(finally saw this with my family and we all loved it!) to Romi Malek up for Best Actor in Bohemian Rhapsody(saw that film recently and his performance as Freddie Mercury truly elevated the material).
A big stand-out for multiple nominations was A Star Is Born, with Bradley Cooper getting a Best Actor and a Best Director nod,plus Lady Gaga not only being up for Best Actress but a Best Song nomination for "Shallow" as well.
While I haven't seen this version of ASIB, word of mouth has been incredibly good on it and getting a couple of Golden Globe noms sets Lady Gaga on the path towards Oscar glory in a serious way. As a co-writer on "Shallow", she would get that award directly and the song is also nominated for the Grammys yet to land an acting award on top of that would be beyond nice.
Not surprised about Bradley Cooper heading in that direction since Hollywood loves the whole actor-turned-director deal(to be fair, he does have quite the singing voice). However, this could be a major moment in Lady Gaga's career and I'm not alone in wanting to see her perform "Shallow" at the Academy Awards next year and claim a double win in the bargain:
However, I am concerned about overlooking actors in a certain big film and in particular Michael B. Jordan. While Black Panther did receive a Best Picture nom in the Drama section(something the Oscar should have as well but that's a conversation for another day) and two other noms in the music categories, none were given to the actors involved.
I know how "comic book movies" are perceived to critics and a select group of film watchers alike but one thing that even those folks agreed upon was Michael B. Jordan's brilliantly nuanced performance as Killmonger, the story's villain who was much more than a crackling cardboard figure for the hero to square off against.
His work here was compared to Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight and for good reason; both actors fleshed out the well known characters amazingly well and in Jordan's case, the true depths of his character's suffering were brought out, raising the level of the story for everyone involved. The drama in Black Panther is on a Shakespearean plane of existence and to ignore the contributions of the actors towards this is wrong in more ways than one.
I do hope that the Oscars will give Black Panther more than just the expected special effects/music nominations and respect the totality of the film's worth with Best Actor for Chadwick Boseman, Best Supporting Actress for Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira(all the women in this film deserve noms!), Best Director for Ryan Coogler and Best Supporting Actor for Michael B. Jordan, who gave a performance that will be a beacon for other actors to follow in years to come:
Speaking of Marvel, the first trailer for the highly anticipated follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War was released.
Entitled Avengers:Endgame, this brief teaser shows us a dying Tony Stark alone in space, Black Widow and Captain America dealing with the aftermath of Thanos' destruction and planning a possible countermove, along with the arrival of an unexpected ally(which is a relief upon seeing that end of credits scene in Ant-Man and The Wasp).
It's good that this first look doesn't give away too much,although the trailers to come may reveal quite a bit more. While I do know that certain erased characters will most likely find a way back to the MCU in order to make a few sequels, this still will be a major movie event in 2019 and one damn good reason to get ready for the new year indeed: