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The Oscars 2015: ScarJo’s Necklance, Gaga’s Gloves and Bradley the Vampire

Published February 23, 2015 by The Feminist

Last night was the night we had all been waiting for: The Oscars!

It was a splendid show, not only because Neil Patrick Harris showed up in his underwear (yassss)

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or Eddie Redmayne won (he won!),

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but especially because the marvelous Patricia Arquette had the guts to stand up and demand equal pay for women in the industry. Her speech gave me goosebumps and looking at how Meryl and J.LO reacted, I’m guessing it gave them goosebumps too…

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Anyway, what a wonderful night it was indeed!

So back to the dresses, because there is plenty to be said about last night’s parade. First of all, I often do NOT agree with the general opinion of all the other fashion bloggers. Why does everyone hate ScarJo’s necklace? Seriously, I luuuuuuv it. Why did they despise Gwyneth’s giant shoulder flower so much? I thought it looked amazing! And yes, maybe Lady Gaga’s gloves were a bit weird, but for heaven’s sake, it’s Lady Gaga we’re talking about!

So here is my very own red carpet report. Take it or leave it.

Just really really pretty…

You can always count on Kerry Washington to bring some elegance to the party.

oscar kerry

This Miu Miu gown with peplum may not be as bold as some of the other looks, but it definitely is really really pretty.

I’ve never been that much of a Jennifer Aniston fan. Not when it comes to her acting, and definitely not when it comes to her wardrobe choices, but damn, even I have to admit that that is one hell of a nice dress!

oscar jennifer

I’m a huge sucker for black and white colour-blocking myself, so Reese Witherspoon’s Tom ford ticks all the boxes in my opinion.

oscar reese

Jennifer Lopez often has the tendency to show off too much of her curves… and although you really can’t miss her very present plunging cleavage, the combination with the nude tones, the  transparency and the embellishments makes the entire look much more refined and classy.

oscar JL

I love the colour of Chrissy Teigen Zuhair Murad’s gown. But if there is anything I am truly thrilled about it’s her dark lipstick. Absolutely gorgeous!

oscar chrissy

Oprah Winfrey demonstrated that you don’t need a size zero to look stunning on a red carpet. This nude toned Vera Wang is sheer perfection.

oscar op

Did Dakota Johnson take another trip to the Red Room of Pain to find inspiration for the colour of her dress? Whatever she did, it paid off, because this red gown with a bold cut is just every fashionista’s dream!

oscar dak

The boldly beautiful 

I have no idea why so many hated the necklace. Scarlet Johansson is making me green with envy over her stunning jewel! (pun fully intended)

oscar scarlet

Kudos to Rosamund Pike! Her intricate, corset-like, Givenchy dress is seemed to the brim with roses.  It’s bold. It’s beautiful. It’s exactly what an Oscar dress should look like!

oscar rosamund

Emma Stone wearing Elie Saab. Things really cannot get any better than that.

oscar emma

Although the slightly greenish gold is a difficult colour to pull off, Emma does it so well. Sigh.

Jennifer Hudson’s classic silhouette becomes stunning in this bold mellow-yellow hue.

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The beautifully bold

Lady Gaga wore hands down one of the most interesting dresses.  She looks totally otherworldly in this structural Azzedine Alaïa dress!

oscar lady

And my guess is that, given the dish-washing gloves, she might as well be hiding a detergent spray underneath her skirt. To get rid of all those hateful comments about her dress, I presume. Haters gonna hate, Lady Gaga, so don’t care about these conservative party-poopers!

Why everyone else was so against Gwyneth Paltrow’s flower, is beyond me. Maybe all those critics simply aren’t blessed with the gift of looking at life through rose-coloured glasses?

oscar gwyneth2

Anyway, I think Gwyneth’s cotton candy, regal-looking dress is awesome and all the haters could really use some fairy dust sprinkled in their asses.

The “Hmpf, you can do better”

Marion Cotillard may be wearing Dior, but it more looks like she took down her own shower curtain, perforated it with the perforator on her desk and if that wasn’t enough, decided to create a pouch at the height of her beautiful derriere with what seems to be scotch tape.

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Summarized: not the most flattering silhouette, Marion!

If I were still a Disney-loving six-year old, I would have adored Felicity Jones’ Cinderella gown. But I’m not six anymore. My princess-aspiring days are over (well sort of anyway), and even though I love the top part of the dress with the embellished high neck, the bottom part is just too bombastic and tent-like to be considered pretty in this age of realistic simplicity.

oscar felicity

Admittedly, Lupita has set an insanely high bar for herself on the red carpet, for she has always looked like a true goddess in all of her previous gowns. Although she still looks pretty god-like, I’m not very fond of her pearled Calvin Klein dress.

oscar lupita

For a dress that reportedly took an incredibly long time to make (with over 6000 pearls, pfew!), it seems pretty dull to me.

That gorgeous statement necklace aside, Cate Blanchett’s black gown is the perfect example of how black can often become boring.

oscar kate

The Men: More than Meh!

See that, ladies?

oscar chris

Chris Pratt wants me. So hands off!

Matt McGorry looks incredible in this very bold, yet stunning textured jacket.

oscar matt mcgorry

Benedict Cumberbatch may not have won, but he secretly had some liquid comfort tucked away in his jacket.

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Can I take a sip, Benny?

And last but not least, I would like to take a moment to ponder the weird transformation Bradley Cooper has undergone these last few months. Is it just me or did he indeed go from sun-kissed (sometimes a tad too orange) God to an eerie-looking Vampire? Not sure whether this look is for a new movie or maybe he got allergic to self-tanner, but in any case,

oscar bradley vamp

somebody seriously needs to give the man some vitamin pills.

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Bold. Beautiful. British: a BAFTA red carpet report

Published February 9, 2015 by The Feminist

Whereas most eyes were fixed on the Grammys , there was also plenty of glitz and glamour happening across the Atlantic at the Baftas. As befits a proper posh British party, there were no weird, distasteful, skanky outfits detectable (eat this, Grammys!). On the contrary, this year’s Baftas was a celebration of sheer elegance!

Here is my shortlist:

Keira Knightley finally wears a dress that truly matches her pregnancy glow. Much better than the monstrosities you wore at the other award shows, Keira!

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Eddie Redmayne, per usual, looks like an old-school, I-will-climb-your-ivory-tower gentleman in his velvet Armani suit and his wife Hannah Bagshaw is wearing a glorious dress that is making me even more envious of her being Eddie’s wife . Some girls truly have all the luck…

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Natalie Dorner’s dress may not be mention-worthy enough to make it onto my best-dressed list but the gloves! Those gloves!

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Not sure why both Lea and Monica look as if they got something sharp stuck up their ass. Why the sour faces, ladies? You both look stunning!

B1

Sunglasses. At night. At a red carpet event. With a tux. And a scarf. Any other man who would ever dare to wear all these things together would look absolutely ridiculous… not Cuba Gooding Jr., though. He looks like a god. A weirdly awesome and bonkers god.

B2

Luke Evans and Douglas Booth: not exactly memorable outfits, but who cares? Look at them. When you are that handsome, you could probably even pull off wearing a garbage sack as a pair of boxers. (Now, wouldn’t that be glorious?)

B7

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There was only one Hollywood actress that missed the elegant boat that night: Felicity Jones .

According to E! Online she “wowed” in this Dior gown…

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Not sure what they mean with “wowed”, but it looks to me as if her dress has been made during “arts & crafts” hour by a group of pre-school toddlers.

SAG Awards 2015: Seriously. Alluring. Gowns.

Published January 26, 2015 by The Feminist

Last night the crème de la crème of Hollywood gathered together for the SAG Awards. This can only mean one thing: we’re again one step closure the big finale, i.e. The Oscars.

So without further ado, here is a quick summary of last night’s most fabulous  (or in some cases: most disastrous) looks:

In the category “White is not just for weddings”:

White gowns are usually associated with weddings and flying doves, but these two stunning leading ladies demonstrate that there is nothing more breathtaking than a white gown worn with an attitude. Please, give it up for …

Reese Witherspoon

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Viola Davis

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In the category “Purple Rain”:

sag k

It’s Keira Knightley, who still hasn’t figured out how to wear elegant pregnancy clothes that don’t look like a pile of granny tea towels.

sag cam

Although this category may contain one of the worst looks of the evening, it luckily also contains one of the night’s stunners. Camila Alves is the embodiment of pure elegance in this regal purple gown. Eat this, Keira!

In the category: No award show is complete without some dashing fellas

Camila’s husband, the ever so cool Matthew McConnaughey, shows everyone how it is done with this breathtakingly gorgeous tux. He’s the living proof that a suit doesn’t always have to be black.

sag matt

Side note: not so sure about that beard though.

sag eddie

Eddie Redmayne looks swoon worthy in this classic, yet stylish suit. I can’t wait what he has in store for us at the Oscars!

In the category: Dark hues = instant glamour… Or maybe not?

Black is always a safe choice when it comes to award shows, for it will give you an instant elegant look…

Or at least that was what I thought, because Patricia Arquette gives us all a demonstration of how a gown with a dark colour can actually be quite the opposite of elegant and can make you look like an Ursula impersonator.

sag pat

So thank God for Julia Roberts! Not only does her outfit look incredibly elegant, her choice to opt for an unconventional jumpsuit makes it also one of the quirkier looks of the evening.

sag julia

In the category “Showing cleavages doesn’t necessarily guarantee a sexy look”

Whereas Kate Hudson blew everyone away with her plunging neckline at the Golden Globes, Jennifer Anniston looks kinda… I don’t know… cheap?

sag jen

To be honest, I even think I once had a bed spread with that print. (In my defense, that was a long long long time ago.)

In the category “Wear the colours of the rainbow”

sag julianne

Julianne Moore wore one of my favourite dresses of the evening. This emerald green bejeweled beauty by Givenchy almost seems too gorgeous to be real.

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Uzo Aduba is proving herself to be one hell of a stylish woman. I could stare at this bright yellow intricate gown for days.

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The phrase “feeling blue” is given an entirely different interpretation by the Good Wife star Julianna Margulies. Forget depressive thoughts, this cobalt blue dress could possibly be the epitome of optimism.

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And last but not least, how could someone ever do a red carpet recap without mentioning the gorgeous, the wonderful, the absolutely stunning Lupita Nyong’o? For the umpteenth time Lupita looks like a dream come true in this envious Elie Saab gown.

Sigh. We can’t I be a Hollywood star?

Golden Globes 2015: Red Carpet Extravaganza and Cumberbatch the Great

Published January 12, 2015 by The Feminist

Last night the Golden Globes officially kicked off the most wonderful time of the year: awards season!

There were plenty of gorgeous dresses, some rather “meh” dresses and –unfortunately- the odd monstrosities.

And then there was Benedict Cumberbatch.

So get your inhalers ready, because this recap will take your breath away!

In the category “Safe is for pussies”:

It’s not easy to showcase a vavavoom cleavage, while keeping up a classy and elegant appearance (yes, I’m referring to you, Kim Kardashian), but Kate Hudson shows everyone how it is done.

golden kate

Naomi Watts literally lets the sunshine in with this yellow Gucci gown

golden naomi

Metallic. Ombre. Feathers. These are all marvelous fashion trends, but putting them together in one outfit might often appear too ostrich-trying-to-be-a-disco-diva… at least that’s what I thought. Jullianne Moore demonstrates that sometimes “less is more” is total bullshit.

golden julie

In the category “power suits for power women”:

Emma Stone in a flawless jumpsuit by Lanvin. (* feel free to start hyperventilating due to so much fabulousness.*)

golden emma

Lorde looks- very befitting to her name- regal in this men suit with crop top.

golden lorde

In the category “ Classic goddesses”:

Diane Kruger confirms once again that she is part human, part goddess

golden diane

Another goddess, ruling from Mount Olympia: it’s Jessica Chastain

golden jessica

Chrissy Teigen looks dreamy in Zuhair Murad. No wonder hubby John Legend feels like a god when he’s with her.

golden christie

In the category “questionable friendship”:

Lena Dunham thought it would be fun to wear some remaining Christmas wrapping paper to the Golden Globes… no wait, it’s Lena in a dress by her good friend Zac Posen! Are you sure he’s your friend, darling?

golden lena

Dear Keira, I know your pregnant, but that doesn’t give you the right to wear a 1950s tablecloth to the Golden Globes. Seriously. Only explanation? She must have pissed off bestie Herr Lagerfeld by getting pregnant (or as he would call it: “fat”) and this is how he “rewards” her.

golden keira

In the category “I can’t believe that’s Crazy Eyes!”:

Uzo Aduba looks stunning in this sequined dress.

golden Uzo

In the category “Lupita, Lupita, LUPITA!”:

It’s Lupita. (Duh.) In Giambattista Valli Couture. No comments necessary. Just sit back… and drool.

golden lupita

And if all this marvelous fashion wasn’t enough: Benedict Cumberbatch did it. Again. After U2 at the Oscars, he photobombed Meryl Streep… which makes him the most awesome human being on the planet. (But I’m assuming you already knew that 😉 )

cumberbatch-photobomb

Baking With Booze: Chocolate and Cherry Cupcakes with a Built-In Cherry Liqueur Shot Glass!

Published October 19, 2014 by The Feminist

I don’t mean to wallow in self-glorification – but damn! – sometimes I really do have the most ludicrously marvelous baking ideas!

04-Randomly-thinking-of-something-funny

Because, yesssss, you’ve read it correctly: this is a chocolate and cherry cupcake… with a built-in (!!!) cherry liqueur shot glass.

I’ll give you a couple of seconds to process this incredibly alluring concept…

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Surely, I deserve some kind of statue for this?

Anyway, I think Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would have been really thrilled with this cupcake, If they had ever been given the chance (nay, the privilege!) to taste it.

Seriously. This is some good sh**

So without further ado, this is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 75gr plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 40gr dark chocolate
  • 60gr butter
  • Jar of cherries: 100gr of cherries (drained and chopped up) + 100ml of the syrup
  • 75gr cane sugar
  • Cherry liqueur (I used fancy Portuguese cherry liqueur, but any kind will do)
  • Chocolate shot glasses (can be found in specialized baking shops or you can be brave and attempt to make your own)
  • Chocolate spread (or make chocolate ganache)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Put the butter, dark chocolate and cherry syrup in a pan and let it melt.
  3. Take of the heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the egg and finally stir in the chopped up cherries. Add the mixture to the flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir well until everything is incorporated.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let them cool completely before starting on your built-in shot glasses.
  6. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, hollow out each center with a sharp knife to create a hole for the chocolate shot glasses to sit in.
  7. Pour a shot of cherry liqueur in the center of the cupcake. This will give the cupcakes a boozy flavour and make them extra moist.
  8. Now put the shot glass in the cupcake.
  9. Frost the cupcakes with chocolate spread or ganache.
  10. Pour a shot of liqueur in the glass. Eat and drink the shot glass first, before starting on your cupcake!
  11. Cheers!

Thursday Trash Talk: Feminine Frustrations

Published June 12, 2014 by The Feminist

Frustrations. We all have them sometimes. And some people have them more often than others. Personally, I seem to be dealing with a lot more frustrations than usual and I find it increasingly difficult to find an outlet for those filthy creatures.

Hence, this post. I’m currently stuck at home, forced to write one paper after the other, so who else am I supposed to turn to?

Over the past couple of weeks, when I was busy studying/writing/working my bloody ass off, there have been quite a few things that have been bothering me. Little things. Stupid things. And yet they are still driving me mad. When I told my brother about these little frustrations, he simply rolled his eyes and sighed “phaaa, women”.

So since I can’t use my family as a sounding board for all the things that have been bothering me, I decided to share all my “feminine” frustrations with my dear readers! Aren’t you all excited! 😉

Are you ready?

Okay here I go.

Frustration Nr. 1: World Cup Craziness

I’ve said this before: I honestly don’t get watching sports on television. I seriously don’t. I simply don’t have the attention span to sit through an entire game, watching how men run after a ball.

So you can imagine how I feel about the FIFA World Cup.

frustration sport don't care

And yet, football is everywhere. Everywhere I go, every newspaper I read, every supermarket I visit, the World Cup is there to torment me. Don’t get me wrong, I normally have no problem with tournaments like these. Everyone deserves a moment of glory. But what on God’s Green Earth is the point of selling  sausages, bread, soda and beer with a football image on them? Or –the horror!- with Belgium’s national flag?

frustration weep humanity

Normally, Belgium is not a very patriotic country. If people ask us whether we like living in Belgium, we say meh and shrug our shoulders. But all of a sudden, we have turned into a nation of frantic, national anthem singing, flag waving, football obsessed lunatics.

And these lunatics are driving me insane!

Frustration Nr. 2: Game Of Thrones’ Killing Spree

I absolutely adore Game of Thrones. It has intrigue, great dialogue, some nudity and awesome fighting scenes. It is honestly the best show on the planet.

However, it is also the worst show on the planet. Because week after week, this marvelous series has got the habit of killing off all my favourite characters.

[spoileralert]

Last Sunday, Ygritte was next on the GOT death list. I don’t know about you, but I always thought she was so incredibly cool; with her arrow, fiery red hair and charming Jon Snow insults.  She will be missed. I mean, who is now going to remind our dear Jon Snow that he knows nothing?

But the most horrifying, cruel and agonizing GOT death -by far!- was the episode from two weeks ago in which the smolderingly hot Oberyn Tyrell was literally squashed by a terrifyingly large guy called the Mountain. Seriously, not only was his death incredibly sad, it was also horrendously revolting.

I didn’t know what to do first.

This:

frustration GOT

Or this:

barf

Yes, yes. I know Game of Thrones is just fiction. But it still remains a mystery why someone would ever want to kill a character so handsome as Oberyn (played by the divine Pedro Pascal). I mean, that guy is sex personified…

pedro

Do you understand my frustration?

We are now almost at the end of season 4, and there are hardly any handsome actors left to drool over. Indeed, we have Jamie Lannister, but the incest thing is still kinda creepy. Yes, we have the mysterious Grey Worm, but we still don’t know for sure whether he has his pillar and stones. And then there is Jon Snow, who admittedly is ridiculously handsome, but just looks so mopey all the time. (Like a rougher, bearded version of Sheldon Cooper who didn’t get tickets for Comic-Con.)

Frustration Nr. 3: People Dressed like S***

For some reason, some people seem to believe that nice weather is nature’s way of telling us to wear boring clothes. Suddenly, everyone is wearing jeans shorts, gladiator sandals and printed T-shirts. Yawn.

frustration fashion

Summer is supposed to be a time of joy, fun, bold choices and equally bold colours! So throw out those boring, hideous sacks and buy some interesting stuff for a change!

Frustration Nr. 4: When arguments don’t go the way you planned

We’ve all been in this situation before. You’re talking to someone and he or she is saying something you absolutely do not agree with. You try to explain yourself but for some odd reason, he or she still doesn’t see where you’re coming from and now starts acting like a serious dickweasal. All you want to do at that moment is to give him or her the most articulate speech on the planet. To blow him or her away with your fancy words. But anger and frustration are a serious bitch as well. So all you end up doing is stuttering like an imbecile:

frustration comment

This happened to me twice these couple of weeks. Every single time I just stood there like a complete idiot, and the most frustrating thing about it is that only one hour afterwards, I came up with the most brilliant, most eloquent remarks of rhetorical genius.

I mean… aarrggghhh!!

 

Frustrations: we all have them.

But I finally got mine off my chest.

frust breath

So thanks! 😉

Fairytales, Sushi and Tissues. (Lots and Lots of Tissues)

Published May 31, 2014 by The Feminist

sushi

I will start this post with a couple of warnings:

1)    This post contains a lot of spoilers

2)    I will probably use plenty of dramatic descriptions and euphoric exclamations, because I tend to get overexcited when I’ve just seen a great, great film. So please forgive me my !!!s, OMGs and f***s.

3)    This post will contain some rather obvious feminist remarks.

4)    Since this post is primarily about film, the sushi-interval will seem a bit random, pointless and uncalled for. It is. But OMG it was just so f***ing delicious I simply had to share it with y’all !!!

maleficent

Fairytales and Feminism

I went to see Maleficent a couple of days ago. Why? So nice of you to ask!

Well, first of all, I love Angelina Jolie.

Secondly, I love fairytales. I love everything about them. The magic. The splendid castles. The talking animals. The brainless knight-in-shining-armour. The very unrealistic love-at-first-sight bullshit. I love it. No, I adore it.

So given my love for Angie and fairytales, it seems rather straightforward that I absolutely, freakishly loved this movie as well. Maleficent was amazing! Even with horns on her head Angelina is the most beautiful woman on the planet. Maleficent’s tender and vulnerable heart made me coo, her cold fury made my cheer and her spot-on remarks were often hilarious. Moreover,  the special effects –the fairyland! The dragon! The stupid three fairies!(one of them was Harry Potter’s Professor Umbridge!)- it was everything I wanted and more.

[START FEMINIST RANT: skip this paragraph if you’re not in the mood]

However, the only problem I have with fairytales is that they are so f***ing sexist. Seriously. All Disney movies are. Watch them. You’ll agree with me. And yet – as a hardcore feminist- I still watch them. Over and over again. Because sexist bullshit aside, they are f***ing fantastic! So in order to soothe my feminist conscience, I always put my critical and realistic side on hold. It’s for the best. For both my feminist heart and Disney.

However, Maleficent does have some progressive twists on the original sexist story. [SPOILERALERT] Instead of a true love’s kiss between Aurora and the Prince (who –by the way- has an awfully buffoonish haircut), it a lovable kiss of Maleficent that wakes her up! Moreover, Maleficent is not just a flat, one-dimensional villain, but a flawed magical creature full of emotions.

But (and there is a big but) it still remains a fairytale. Apparently, women turn into evil, jealous bitches when they are abandoned by their lover. Apparently, a broken heart can only be healed with motherhood.

But the most traumatic scene by far was this one: Stefan hands Maleficent a drink. She sips, falls asleep and he F***ING CUTS OFF HER WINGS!!! When Maleficent wakes up and realizes her beautiful wings were stolen from her, she is inconsolable.

Just think about that scene for a moment, dear readers.

Yeah, that’s right! Stefan basically roofied her and violently took her “most precious possession” while she was unconscious.

All the more proof that Disney’s feminist barometer needs to be reset.

[END FEMINIST RANT: you can breathe easy now]

Having said that, Maleficent is still a wonderful movie. Entertainment, fairies, castles and plenty of close-ups of Angelina’s incredibly perfect teeth. What more could you possibly wish for?

angie

Sucker for Sushi

Okay, so now on to some sushi. I’m always amazed how much flavour these tiny (or not so tiny) rolls can have and this plate of delight was just the flavour explosion I was looking for! I find it an immensely luxurious experience to dip a morsel in some soy sauce, add a touch of wasabi and then to swallow it up like a happy penguin. It’s a true OMG feeling. As in:

OMG, this is delicious.

OMG, too much wasabi.

OMG, my mouth is too small.

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Anyway, you get my point. This plate was pure heaven and gave me the right amount of energy to prepare myself for the eye bawling that was yet to follow…

The Normal Heart: Sponsored by Kleenex

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As some of you may know, last Sunday the HBO movie The Normal Heart was aired on television. It was something I had been looking forward to for quite some time, simply because the ensemble cast is a group of Hollywood’s crème de la crème. Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Jonathan Groff, Alfred Molina,… the list goes on and on! (Be still, my star-struck beating heart!)

So with moderately high expectations I poured myself a cup of coffee, sat down and took it all in…This movie surpassed all my expectations. Even though sitting still for 2 hours and 15 minutes is usually not my forte, I was simply too captivated to move. The Normal Heart is anything but carefree entertainment. Whereas with Maleficent I could just put my brain on hold, switch off all emotions and take it all in, I wish I could have had an off-button with this one.  The Normal Heart is so raw with emotions, so gritty in its depiction of human suffering, so agonizingly beautiful, I often cried like a little baby. And then I laughed, got frustrated, angry, and then I cried some more. This is not a film for the faint hearted, but having said that, you simply have to see it, because it is pure gold!

The film is based on the 80s play The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer and tells the story about Ned Weeks, who does anything in his power to sound the alarm over the outbreak of so-called “gay cancer”. What follows is a depiction of the dawning horrors of AIDS, the unwillingness within government to do something about it and the almost desperate cry for more activism. It is also a love story and a story about friendship, death and homophobia. The film raises so many social, political and moral issues it is sometimes uncomfortable to watch. And yet, you keep watching, because this story is just too important not to be told.

[the following paragraph is filled with spoilers, so y’all be warned!]

With a star cast like this, it is hardly surprising that the acting is truly award-season material. Mark Ruffalo’s performance as Ned is spot on, for he manages to balance the anger, fear, love and militancy in a character overflowing with complex dilemmas and emotions.

Jim Parsons, to my surprise, was astonishing in his role as “Southern bitch” Tommy. Although it was difficult at first not to see him as Sheldon Cooper – I kept expecting him to shout Bazinga at some point or other- his nuanced depiction of Tommy as the vulnerable yet optimistic young man clearly demonstrated that Jim Parsons is more than just a TV nerd. In one scene, Parsons delivers a eulogy that could even make the most heartless person shiver. His heartbreaking “they just don’t like us” was dripping in so much bitterness and sadness, it almost felt as if I was one of the attendees in the church there with him. *takes a tissue*

The film is full of tissue moments like these. One sequence depicted how an AIDS victim, a couple of hours after he died, was ruthlessly SHOVED INTO A F***ING GARBAGE BAG and put into the hospital alley. *takes another tissue*

And then there was Matt Bomer’s performance. Before I saw this movie, I already was a huge Bomer-fan… Because he is drop dead, gorgeously hot. I never really thought about him as a marvelous actor, but more as an okay actor with a marvelous body. His good looks were simply too distracting for me to be able to pay much attention to his acting skills. BUT SWEET MOTHER OF JESUS, Matt Bomer’s performance as Felix is  truly the role of his life. In the beginning it started of really familiar: Bomer in all his sexy naked glory. But then his character got AIDS and the physical transformation on screen is absolutely painful to watch. *takes another tissue*  Not to mention that one scene in which Ned helps Felix shower. I thought I was going to choke in my Kleenex.

As you can see, the Normal Heart is not something you should watch when you’re already feeling a bit depressed. It is indeed a dense piece of raw  emotions, furious arguments, violent accusations and much more. In the end your box of Kleenex will be empty and your heart will be full, but watching it is not a gentle suggestion, it’s a must!