And the Oscars Winners Are…..

Here are the winners. Out of the ones that I predicted, I scored 8 1/2 out of 11 (I couldn’t really decide between Rourke & Penn). Not too bad! You’ll see where I didn’t predict correctly with the strike-throughs. Maybe I should take my butt to Vegas! Anyway, I am very pleased with all the awards for “Slumdog”!!!

BEST PICTURE: “Slumdog Millionaire”
ACTOR LEADING: Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (2nd choice: Sean Penn in “Milk”
ACTOR, SUPPORTING: Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”
ACTRESS, LEADING: Kate Winslet in “The Reader”
ACTRESS, SUPPORTING: Viola Davis in “Doubt” (just hopeful.. if not Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler”) Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED: “Slumdog Millionaire”
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Waltz with Bashir” (loved it) “Departures”
ART DIRECTION: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
CINEMATOGRAPHY: “Slumdog Millionaire”

CB’s Oscar Predictions


Okay… with just minutes until the Oscars. I’m going to run through my selections (or predictions rather) for the awards.

BEST PICTURE: “Slumdog Millionaire”
ACTOR LEADING: Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (2nd choice: Sean Penn in “Milk”)
ACTOR, SUPPORTING: Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road”
ACTRESS, LEADING: Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (or… Meryl Streep in “Doubt”)
ACTRESS, SUPPORTING: Viola Davis in “Doubt” (just hopeful.. if not Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler”)
SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED: “Slumdog Millionaire”
SCREENPLAY, ORIGINAL: “Milk” (I have to vote for this movie somewhere. I really enjoyed it. Although I heard Harvey Milk was portrayed a bit too stereotypical gay and effeminate than he was in real life. Hmm?)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Waltz with Bashir” (loved it)
ART DIRECTION: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
CINEMATOGRAPHY: “Slumdog Millionaire”

CB Review: “Waltz with Bashir” – An Artful Dance with the Trauma of War

When movies usually mix animation and wartime violence, they become action flicks (think GI-Joe cartoons), bloody horror shows or somewhere messy in-between. Yet, Waltz with Bashir (2008) is surprisingly neither of these. Instead, the beautifully done animation makes the difficult issues in the documentary – such as death, torture, post-traumatic stress disorder, war and suffering – a bit easier to swallow, watch and ultimately understand. The cartoon images managed to soften the blow of the sad and troubling story of the first Lebanon War and the Palestinian massacres in Sabra and Shatila.

After hearing about his friend’s recurring dream of being chased by 26 vicious dogs, movie director Ari Folman and his friend connect this nightmare to their experience as soldiers during the 1982 Lebanon War. It is at this point that Folman realizes that his mind is blank. He doesn’t remember his participation in the War, nor his witnessing of the Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinians. This conversation then sparks his first flashback into the times his mind helped him forget.

The movie unfolds beautifully as Folman attempts to bring back his memories of the war and the massacres by interviewing and speaking with others who were involved.

Although an interesting choice to use animation for a film with such deep themes, Folman’s decision turns out to be both extraordinary and appropriate for showing the depth of these issues. The use of animation and cartoons allowed the movie to artistically depict the tricks that the mind can play on people who survive wars and those that witness and commit countless acts of violence.

In Bashir, flashbacks, dreams and moving in and out of the past and present are the name of the game. In fact, the memories create the story – they are the story. There is a naked blue woman who appears out of the sea to rescue a soldier who then climbs upon her stomach and leaves his fellow soldiers back on a ship. This boat is then blown to pieces in an attack as the soldier wearily looks on. These types of flashbacks, or the mind’s attempts to move past traumatic events, are woven into the storyline, which addresses the wounds of soldiers and the pains of war. The movie’s animation gives us, the viewer, an up close and personal look at post-traumatic stress disorder, without the sharp vivid images of real pictures and images. However, Folman does choose to show a few minutes of the actual video footage of the Palestinian massacre. These powerful images will be painted into the minds of the audience, and serve to reinforce the very depths of horror and trauma endured.


Poets Sekou “tha Misfit” & Steve Connell Speak Out for Obama

Barack Obama’s recent presidential win along with his entire campaign has inspired millions. On Election Night, I caught up with spoken word artists, Sekou Andrews (aka tha misfit) and Steve Connell, to get their poetic thoughts on the Obama’s win. Andrews and Connell were featured performers at Obama’s California Headquarters celebration. The two artists created a special poem called “Obama Takes America Back” about Obama’s historic win.

Andrews and Connell, both National Poetry Slam Champions, are no strangers to political activism and worked with the Norman Lear “Declare Yourself” campaign back in 2002. For the spoken word artists, the political is personal. And they think the meanings of being a Christian, an environmentalist, and the very definition of democracy among others are changing. Surprisingly, the duo discusses how George W. Bush was a great motivator and how fear caused many Americans to become politically active. Check out the interview above and their performance below.

-The Caramel Bella

Obama Wins: Nov. 5th U.S. Newspaper covers

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I created a slideshow of several Nov. 5th newspapers covers of President-Elect Barack Obama’s historic win. Check it out. And if you still want to see more covers, click here.

The Caramel Bella

Celebrities turning out for Obama

Fellow blogger, The Black Snob, has a great post today about celebrities turning out their support for Barack Obama. She rounded up some great pictures from Shepard Fairey’s photo shoot on Oct. 7 in Los Angeles. Some of the celebrities featured are poet Saul Williams and his wife, actress Persia White as well as my fav, Tracee Ellis Ross. She also snagged some pics of Forrest Whitaker at an Obama “Campaign for Change” event in Michigan. Please check out her post.


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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

Things that work my nerves

Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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