Woman Crush Wednesday: Cristin Milioti

We’re smack dab in the middle of fall TV premiere week and while we count down the hours to the #Scandal premiere with wine in hand, we’re also ready to try out some of the new shows. We covered some during our TV Week, and among the ones we’re super excited about is A to Z, starring everyone’s favorite Mother, Cristin Milioti.

Cristin is relatively new, considering she’s been specific roles to different groups of fans, and it’s about time she be recognized for the excellent talent she is. So in honor of A to Z starting next week, we’re dedicating #WomanCrushWednesday to one of our favorite “new” actresses, Cristin Milioti.

The Mother/Tracy ‘Not a Plot Device’ McConnell/TM

Let’s get this out of the way right now. If you’re not caught up with the series finale of How I Met Your Mother and don’t want to be spoiled, STOP READING NOW. Also props for managing to not find out the outcome for so long.

The series finale was a polarizing one, to say the least, and we lean towards the unfavorable side of the coin. Not to see we hated it completely, but we would’ve liked to see a happier ending. You know, with less death. To pull a Ted, let’s start from the beginning. The moment she walked up to the train ticket booth and said ‘One ticket to Farhampton, please’ I SCREAMED at my TV because I knew her as Broadway’s Cristin Milioti (more on that later).

cristin

I was so excited because knowing her style, she seemed like the perfect fit for the love of Ted Evelyn Mosby’s life. In the final season when they had scenes together, it felt worth it. That the wait to meet Her over the past nine years had culminated in Ted meeting and falling in love with his perfect match – even the Victorias and Stellas and Jeanettes were all worth it because Tracy was ‘better’ than them and it was clear just by the chemistry between her and Ted.

And then the conspiracy theorists turned out to be right. Everything we (me) hoped wouldn’t happen did, and Tracy, this perfect human, died from a mystery illness and Ted really completed his full circle love affair with Robin at the end. Whatever your position on the ending may be, I think we can all agree that Tracy was a good match for Ted, and it wouldn’t have been perfect without the brilliant talent from Cristin.

 A Girl and Her Ukelele

One of Cristin’s shining moments on the show is this short, sweet, heart wrenching clip of Tracy singing La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf, which Ted hears for the first time while sitting outside his hotel at Robin and Barney’s wedding. The emotion she brings to the song is just as impressive as Edith’s original version, but in a slightly different way. Ted’s enchantment with her singing is one of the first glimpses of his initial connection with his future wife and gave me the gossebumps watching it. Fun fact: Cristin learned the song on ukelele just for the scene.

 “Tony Award nominee Cristin Milioti”

Like previously mentioned, I first found out about Cirstin when she got cast as the lead role of Girl in the Original Broadway Cast of Once. Even though I never got the chance to see her in all her glory live, I’ve made my way through the soundtrack more times than I care to share. When paired with Steve Kazee, the two make a super couple with one magical musical baby, as evidence by their duet of the hit song Falling Slowly, as seen above. It’s nearly impossible not to cry (okay, it’s possible, but I’m just a baby who can’t keep her emotions in).

 She’s a Sexy Baby

And now for something completely different, the same year Cristin made her debut in Once, she appeared in a standout episode of 30 Rock, which deals with sexism in the workplace. The show Liz Lemon runs is accused of being misogynistic, so she hires a female writer played by Cristin named Abby, who turns out to be provocative and really stereotypical. It was one of the most memorable episodes of 30 Rock and it’s hard to believe Cristin in the same girl as Girl or The Mother based on this alone.

She Has Leonardo DiCaprio’s e-mail, Probably

Cristin is originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey and calls herself “Olive Garden Italian”, but in Wolf of Wall Street she plays Jordan Belfort’s (Leo) first wife Teresa, who looks like this:

So I feel like maybe this role was one of the most relatable for her…?

She has a Drunk Personality

If it makes you feel any better, Cristin, I don’t think ANYONE can recite the alphabet backwards while pointing to their nose. It’s nearly impossible to do sober, so your argument is valid.

We Would’ve Been A Part Of The Same High School Clique

I went through a really good-looking phase from birth to 9. And then things went crazy. I don’t know what happened, but between 9 and 14 it was really, really rough. I didn’t have a lot of friends. The only ones who were nice to me were the theater kids. And they were like, ‘You can come and join us. No one likes us.” {x}

In high school, Molly and I fell under the category of theater kids, but the kind that wasn’t completely hung ho about it, closer to that of the lower sports clique. Think Cool Asians, as opposed to Asian nerds. Cristin is one of our people, and not afraid to embrace her love for the stage like us, and I appreciate that.

She Rules The Rom Com

There are only a number of shows I’m super excited about watching in the coming weeks, and A to Z, starring Cristin and Mad Men’s Ben Feldman is one of them. If you like HIMYM, you’ll probably like this show. It tells the story of a couple’s complete dating history – and they only date for 8 months. Cristin puts on the charm and so does Ben, and together, you start to question your ship for Tracy and Ted Mosby. (A to Z’s pilot is on NBC.com, but premieres on October 2nd on NBC!)

Advertisements

2014 Best Picture Nominees: Highs and Lows

Every year, I set out to watch every Best Picture nominee. And every year, I have regrets. Sometimes my regret is that I didn’t make it to all of the movies, and sometimes it’s that I did. But the good thing about seeing (almost) all of the Best Picture nominees is that I’m now an informed blogger – and can let you know the pros and cons of (most) of this years nominated films!

12 Years A Slave

High:

Not to belabor the whole Lupita Nyong’o thing … but maybe you should all get ready to hear a lot about Lupita Nyong’o from the both of us. Her performance as the unfortunate Patsy will absolutely crush you. The audience has Solomon Northrup as a sort of guide throughout the movie – like Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, he’s somebody from “our” world (insofar as he wasn’t born in slavery and had never witnessed it firsthand). Patsy shows Northrup, and us, what it’s like when slavery is all you’ve ever known and you can’t imagine that you’ll get to leave it.

Let’s not forget about the bone-chilling performance by one of our other dream BFFs, Sarah Paulson, either. Chiwetel Ejiofor, too. Okay, everyone. The high point of this movie is everyone.

Low:

It’s not a reason not to see the movie – in fact, it’s why you should see it – but this really happened. We use this shortened narrative of “there was slavery, it was very bad, and then Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves” so often, it’s hard to think about all of the people that lived and died with no chance of freedom. Just go see it, okay?

You’ll feel a bit better after looking at IRL photos of the cast. See? Everyone’s OK now.

American Hustle

High:

The Academy loves a good anti-hero, and this film is full of them. You will end up thinking that just about every main character is awful by the end of the movie … but you’ll also be thinking “man, I hope these awful people succeed!”

Low:

When you leave the movie, between the comb-overs, double-dealing, and all-around 1970s sleaziness, you’ll feel like you have a fine layer of disco grime covering your skin.

You can almost smell the patchouli.

Captain Phillips

High:

Tom Hanks playing a smart, sensible guy who’s in near-peril (but it’s not Saving Private Ryan)? Using his cool wits to solve a near-impossible dilemma (but it’s not The Da Vinci Code)? And he’s at least temporarily stranded in the ocean (Cast Away)? Hey, why mess with what we already know works.

Low:

Some action sequences that were probably riveting in the theater had me reaching for my iPad or a magazine when watching it On Demand.

Dallas Buyers Club

High:

Jared Leto, Jordan Catalano of my heart, owner of the loveliest ombre tresses, was brilliant. Rayon is funny, spirited, and kind – just like real people when they get sick, AIDs didn’t become her only character trait. You can see the personality that Rayon would have whether or not she was ill –  not just the HIV-positive, trans-woman version of a Lurlene McDaniel character.

Low:

Matthew McConaughey’s weight – low in the literal sense, anyway. While necessary to show that the protagonist was running his scheme as a very ill man, I just wanted to give him a hug and an Ensure. He was truly distressing to look at. But the Academy does loooove extreme weight loss or gain.

Why yes, this WAS a shameless way to insert a photo of shirtless “before” McConaughey.

Gravity

High:

I always love a good mind-bending space movie – I may have been the only nine-year-old who was really into the Jodie Foster vehicle Contact. But the real high is how the filmmakers created what is essentially a 2-3 person story that didn’t lose your attention for a second. Also, I appreciated that the special effects were impressive, but that I was so engrossed in the story that I wasn’t going “hey, look at those special effects!”

HEY. WE’RE DOING A SPECIAL EFFECT HERE.

Low:

As Traci noted before, Gravity isn’t billed as a “scary movie” but it is unsettling just the same. It’s not just the dangers facing the main characters, it’s the way space movies remind you that you’re a tiny inconsequential speck in the universe and your time here  – even if long by our standards – is nothing.

Her

High:

There’s a lot to be said about Her’s timely message on technology and human connections – it’s sort of a modern parable. But, I actually want to talk about the production design. Her is set in the not-so-distant future, and the filmmakers conveyed that in the most brilliant way. Instead of making the film look futuristic, with silver space-suits and lots of metal, they made it look timeless. Everything is sort of mid-century and Danish modern, and the wardrobe features a lot of natural materials and high-waisted pants. This makes sense because fashions are always cycling in and out, so it’s plausible that in a decade’s time this 1960s aesthetic will be in style. Plus, this way in 10 years the film won’t look as dated as it would if the characters were dressed like it was 2013. Instead of a hard-edged computer age color palette – metallic red, cobalt blue, jet black – everything is in muted tropical tones, with a lot of coral, teal, and soft yellow. The whole movie I kept seeing details in furniture or clothing and going “hey! look what they did there!”

Even the operating system has a clean-lined mid-century look — almost like the Steampunk idea, but for the 60s instead of early 1900s.

Low:

(1) At some point in the movie, you’re probably going to think it would be fun to be friends with an Operating System, then realize that that seems really sad.

(2) The producer, Megan Ellison, is 28. TWENTY EIGHT. There is no reason to feel inferior, because she has some crazy family connections. Her father is a billionaire and she began financing films several years ago. Ellison clearly worked hard to take advantage of the plum hand she was dealt, so I don’t fault her a bit. But rather than feeling like you’ve wasted your life, remember that Ellison didn’t exactly rise from lower- or middle-class obscurity.

Nebraska

High:

About ⅓ of my business contacts are in Nebraska, and they’re all very smart, no-nonsense, level Midwesterners. I like that in a working relationship.

Low:

My “high” was a generalized comment about Nebraskans who I know because I haven’t seen the movie yet. Maybe my “high” should be that it’s now available at Redbox, so we’ll all have time to rent it before Sunday.

Philomena

High:

Steve Coogan, in a remarkably straight role, proves that comedians often make the best dramatic actors. The script was dryly funny, and Coogan was believable as a wry journalist.

Low:

I don’t know if I saw this movie in a cinema that had smell-o-vision or what, but my theater smelled 100% like a combination of Old Lady and Church. That may be less a coincidence, and more that it was a Sunday morning show in a WASP-y suburb.

The Wolf Of Wall Street

High:

LEO. Of course.

Low:

Yeah…I didn’t see this movie. I read descriptions of some scenes that I just knew I didn’t want filling up my head-space. Maybe when it’s on HBO or something, you know?