Canada Here I Come: The Freakout Begins

So this day three weeks exactly I will be stepping off the plane and into a very long line for customs to start my new life all on my own in Toronto. And about an hour ago I had my first major freakout about leaving.

I wrote last week about my family and blah, blah, blah all that depressing serious stuff. But tonight, not one hour ago, I did a dry packing run and tried to fit some shoes in a suitcase. They did not fit and I absolutely lost my mind. I admit, I cried a bit and threw a lovely ankle boot across the room. Complete temper tantrum meltdown. And I was pretty much fine until today (apart from the stress dreams I talked about last week), just kind of cruising along, being uber calm and blasé about everything. But the fact I couldn’t fit some shoes in a case seemed to have cracked some invisible wall around me. I am now a mess of nerves and nausea. 

Guys, I have so much stuff. I don’t know how I accumulated so much and the thought of having to decide and chose what to bring with me, pack up my entire life into two cases is freaking me out – majorly. The fact that I won’t be able to just run to my room and grab whatever is really jarring to me. After five years of living away from home from the ages of 17 to 22 I obviously got used to not having everything around me, but then again I was only in Dublin. A train away. And when I moved back to my family home where everything I owned was right there, it was a nice feeling. 

My amateur inner psychologist is telling me that it’s not the possessions I will miss, but the familiarity of home. Just being completely comfortable somewhere and not having to worry. But now I’m going to be on a different continent, a different time zone and completely on my own. I don’t know a soul in Toronto, not one person and it was me who decided to go on my own and not follow friends to London or Australia. I wanted to do this on my own, but I’m still allowed to freak out a bit, right?

This is a list my mother made me, she is hiding the fact she is freaking out about me going rather well but it cracks every now and then, more and more lately though. 

The List

This list, is what in her opinion I should be bringing with me and this does not include all my clothes and shoes but other “essentials” I will need. It’s just not gonna happen. Unless I hire a sherpa and a donkey, half this stuff is not making the cut, because I am my own donkey and I will be the one traipsing around with everything. But I’m sitting here right now, and my room has turned into a maze. A maze made up of piles of clothes and assorted rubbish that I’m deciding should I throw away or keep or bring with me. Trying to hack my life up so it will fit into two suitcases.

I have waited so long to go, sacrificed nights out, quit one terrible internship and passed up the offer of a really cool one so I could save money to go to Canada. It’s what I’ve wanted for the past 18 months. But now that it’s actually real and actually happening and after my emotional wall cracking moment tonight, I am getting a unpleasant tingly feeling in my stomach. I still want to go, and I’m still so excited but now I feel like there’s a part of my brain that is rebelling against it and me not being able to fit my shoes into a case is what has made that part of my brain start drowning out all the good stuff I know will happen when I get over there. 

Does anyone have any advice for it? Or is it just something that happens to every prospective emigrant? Just a dawning realisation that your leaving everything familiar, your leaving whatever home you have and joining that customs line with two suitcases and the hope you don’t fuck everything up. 


Canada Here I Come: One Month to Go.

In a month I will be on a plane out of here and in the air, somewhere over the Atlantic, on my way to Toronto. For weeks now its been this abstract date, telling people that ‘Oh yeah, I’m flying out on the 17th of September’. It always seemed like such a long time away. But I woke up this morning and it just hit me like a brick wall. This wave of fear and nerves and excitement (At this point nervousness seems to be the overriding emotion) just washed over me and I allowed myself a little moment to freak out. I can’t believe how fast the time is going.

It’s not like I was unprepared for feeling like this. For the last few weeks I’ve been having what I can only call stress dreams. Missing my plane, opening my suitcase and finding only socks and perhaps the most horrible, not being allowed onto the plane until I’ve sat my Leaving Cert which causes me to wake up in a state of sheer panic. I mean we all remember that feeling of LC stress right? And what’s worse is, it’s always bloody Maths that I’m dreaming about. And I’ve never studied. It’s awful! I was never really sure what a vector was in the first place so dreaming about them is just a complete nightmare. I’ve never felt anything like it so maybe it’s my mind subconsciously using the most stressful time in my life to let me know I should be more worried? Slightly depressing if my amateur psychology is right.

Everyone usually asks me the same three questions:

“When are you off?

“Got everything sorted?”


“Have you got a job out there?”

The first question is fine, “Yeah I’m leaving in a few weeks, can’t believe how fast it’s coming round” is my usual stock answer, but the other two I usually just hedge around, because no, I don’t have everything sorted (I may have pulled the zip of my suitcase) and definitely no, I don’t have a job. And somehow I feel bad saying that.

People get that look in their eyes, like, ‘Oh you don’t have job? Then what are you even doing going over?”. To be honest, I think it’s a rude question to ask. I would never ask someone who is emigrating have they got a job, because I know that it is a stressful and scary time and sometimes to opportunity to job hunt from another continent is quite difficult. And whenever anyone asks me and I say, no, nothing sorted yet, I feel bad about myself. It’s not a rational feeling and I may be projecting my own issues with it onto people but still, it’s like when someone asked you what results you got in exams. So in the nicest, I know you mean well voice, basically back off, it’s none of your business!

If I was more certain of what I wanted to do, career wise, then looking and job hunting might be a bit easier. But I’m still as confused as I was when I graduated university. I’m passionate about a lot of things, but having to pick one and do it as a career is proving more difficult that I would have thought. I see loads of my fellow graduates who seemed to just know what they wanted to do. They got a job in that field and have been working ever since. I was always so jealous of their certainty. I don’t have it yet, and absolutely one of the main reasons that I’m moving to Toronto is that I want to figure out what I’m good at and go for it 100%. I used to have this idea of what my life would be like, making 5 year plans when I was 18. I mean, it was ridiculous. I had no idea of the real world, or what kind of person I wanted to be. It’s sounds so cliché and so self-indulgent but it’s true, I need to go away and figure my shit out. Try and become someone, and I don’t think Ireland is the place for me to do that.

But other than people asking the same three questions every time I leave the house, I have all the major ticks on the list done. Flights, insurance, somewhere to stay for the first few weeks, lots of socks and some snow boots. I am fairly certain I have forgotten stuff but luckily I have my mother adding to my list daily. She seems determined to get me a hat with ear flaps and/or earmuffs. I am determined to not get any of these things near my head, ever. Although I’ve heard Toronto winters can be seriously brutal so maybe I’ll cave and wear the owl shaped earmuffs my sister bought last year (hipster or just idiotic?). I think taking my mothers advice about what I need to bring is proving difficult for me. Basically because it makes me want to cry. Every time I think about leaving my family, the constant low level of emotion that I’m at, will spike and I either need to go and have a little cry or end up listening to some sad music and wallowing for half an hour.

Because that’s my main fear, leaving my family. And not because they are such amazing people and we are so close, because we’re not. In the sense that we don’t hug a lot and don’t have a lot of deep meaningful conversations. But it’s more of a unseen bond, one that goes deep and while we don’t always show how much we care, we are ride or die for each other. Although, I don’t think my mum counted on having three of her adult children back living with her along with my nine year old sister, but that’s what happened. And the massive amount of horrible crap we went through has meant I have serious anxiety about leaving them. I won’t go into why I am, some people have rough home lives and I was one of them. And I had to step up, or I chose to step up. But it has left me with that residual worry for them. It’s not like I can come home and help, I’ll be across an entire ocean and that’s my one true fear about going, not about not being able to find a job or finding somewhere to live, but worrying and hoping that they’ll be ok. I’ll have to find some way to make peace with it within the next four weeks or else I will have a meltdown on the plane.

It’s half the reason I’m not letting any of them go to the airport with me. I’m staying with my best friend the night before my flight. I remember when my brother went to Australia and I was in college handing in my thesis and calling them to see how it went at the airport and my sister just said they all cried and cried. I know I couldn’t take that, especially from my youngest sister. So my best friend Gina is gonna take the bullet and make sure I get on the plane. (Thanks, G!)

I mean, I’ll get on the plane. I will. I have four weeks left at home to prep for getting on that plane. I’m getting on the plane.

*I should point out that I am seriously, deliriously excited about going and having serious fun in Toronto, but I just seem to write a bit depressingly about the experience, I don’t know why. It just happens! But if you can’t talk about how much of a scaredy cat you are on the internet, then when can you?






Oscar Potentials – The Trailers

This time of year is the time when we start seeing trailers for films that might in contention for an Oscar in 2015. Awards season is basically a year long game at this point so a well placed trailer is becoming super important. This is just a brief round up of some of the trailers that have been released which could be heading to the Academy Awards come next March.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

This was originally two films called ‘Him’ and ‘Her’, each a version of the same story told by a couple, James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain. Per a request from the distributor of the film, the infamous Harvey Weinstein, the film was cut into one version, ‘Them’ and this is the result. From reviews from Cannes and other festivals it is being set up for a big awards push and many are calling McAvoys performance Oscar worthy (even though, in my opinion, he should have been nominated for Filth last year). Keep a look out for this one. It’s arty and a little quirky and the Academy will always favour at least one film in that bracket.

Gone Girl

This adaptation of the bestselling book is being directed by David Fincher and is starring Ben Affleck who is still in favour with the Academy since Argo. Gillian Flynn, the author has written the screenplay and there have been fairly solid rumours that the ending of the film is different to the book, which was a big deal for bookreaders. Rosamund Pike will be playing ‘Amazing Amy’ and there is a stellar supporting cast with ‘The Leftovers’ Carrie Coon playing Afflecks twin sister, the Blurred Lines girl Emily Ratajkowski playing Nicks mistress and Neil Patrick Harris as a creepy former boyfriend of Amy’s. While the Oscar focus probably won’t be on the acting side, David Fincher would be in with a shot at Best Director, and perhaps a Best Picture, Editing and Screenplay nods also.


Brad Pitt stars in this end of WW2 epic by ‘End of Watch’ and ‘Training Day’ director David Ayer. It follows a platoon of American soldiers, led by Pitt, in the dying weeks and days of World War 2. Shia la Beouf and Logan Lerman also star and it looks bleak. Pitt seems to have a touch of his Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglorious Basterds in this film but reins it back to give a toughened army soldier vibe. The whole theme of this movie is that war never ends quietly and it remains bloody and horrifying right up until the end. In terms of Oscar, this type of film is always popular, American war heroes led by a All American cast fighting the Germans until the bitter end. I don’t see any acting nominations but it could definitely sneak into the Best Picture race and could be a dark horse if it gathers enough momentum.

St. Vincent

So this looks like to be the little indie movie that could this year, a la Little Miss Sunshine (which has become the bar for little indie movies with Oscar potential). Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy star in this one about a cranky old man who gets new neighbours, McCarthy and her cute little son. And shocker, cranky older man and cute precocious boy become buddies. It’s quirky and sentimental and features Chris O’ Dowd as priest and Naomi Watts as a Eastern European prostitute. Best shots here are Best Picture and Best Actor for Bill Murray, who thoroughly deserves it.


This film should just be retitled “Reese Witherspoon Wants Another Oscar, Please”. Wild follows Witherspoon as she undertakes a ‘Eat Pray Love’ but with blisters type journey to ‘rediscover’ herself. Usually I would eye-roll at a movie like this, but it was directed by Jean Marc-Vallee who directed ‘The Dallas Buyers Club’ and has supporting turns from Gaby Hoffman, Laura Dern and The Newsrooms Thomas Sadoski. But the star of this show is without a doubt Witherspoon who wants another Oscar bad. Although I am conviced she will come up against Amy Adams and lose as Adams is going be starring in Tim Burtons ‘Big Eyes’ and people are already saying its Adams’ time to win a little gold man (No trailer for Big Eyes yet but by all accounts it is amazing).


Ok so if you want one lock for a Best Actor nomination it will be Michael Keaton for Birdman. Yes, THAT Michael Keaton. Word is, is that this is the film that might very well win Batman an Oscar. The trailer is insane in the best possible way. It’s directed by Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu, whose films include ‘Babel’ and ’21 Grams’ and it also stars Emma Stone, Ed Norton, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifinakis. Keaton stars as a washed up actor famous for one iconic role, Birdman, who tries to shake the image when he tries to get a Broadway play off the ground. Things start getting a little surreal when he starts battling his own ego and mind in the days leading up to the play. Basically it looks weird and amazing and Michael Keaton is going to be nominated for an Oscar.

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is one of those trailers that will leave you in varying states of shock, in a good way. This film looks amazing. Flat, hands down amazing. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as genius Alan Turing, who is most well known for The Turing Test, but here it focuses on his astounding work during WW2 when he almost singlehandedly developed the code breaking machines that basically won the allies the war. He was a big deal. But he was also gay, in a time where it was illegal and as you can see from the trailer that it is going to be a focus of the film. The supporting cast is seriously outstanding with Keira Knightley, Allen Leech, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong making strong impressions. But this film is all about Cumberbatch and a Best Actor nomination is probably going to be his, along with a Supporting nod for Knightley. What we could see happening here is a Kings Speech type of situation where it steals the Best Picture award from a strong line up of American films, especially as Oscar God Harvey Weinstein is distributing and will want to take back his Best Picture crown. He will fight hard and dirty for ‘The Imitation Game’. Really looking forward to this one.


Richard Linkletter has made film history with this one. There has never been anything like this done on film before. And everyone knows it. In 2002 he cast 6 year old Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke in this movie and just kept filming for 12 years at different periods. It’s unbelievable. It’s completely unique and the reviews have all been outstanding. It’s looking like Best Director, Best Film, Screenplay and possibly an acting nod for Ellar Coltrane who is by all accounts, astounding. Just watch and be amazed.


Are we ready to live in a world where Channing Tatum and Steve Carell are Oscar nominees? Because with Foxcatcher, it’s looking like more and more of a possibility. The buzz around this has been building for well over a year, it was pushed back to a release date this year from 2013 because of the strength of the Oscar field last year (this year looks equally strong so the pushback may have been for nothing). The story focuses on the horrible story of how John du Pont, the rich and schizophrenic founder of ‘Team Foxcatcher” killed Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz’s brother Dave Schultz. It looks eerie and just creepy and Carell is nailing the scarily obsessed Du Pont character and Tatum has gone full Day-Lewis with his preperation, smashing mirrors and everything. Just think, in 2015 Channing Tatum could be in a Oscar race with real actors. What a world we live in.


So this being a Christopher Nolan film, not much detail is known about the characters or plot, but Interstellar is still being talked about as a potential Oscar winner (and I would a assume a total lock for the special effects award). Matthew McConaghey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain star in what looks like a not so distant future where humans have finally destroyed the planet and its resources and now our only way out of the mess is to abandon Earth and go into “Interstellar space”, whatever that means. Chris Nolan comes from the JJ Abrams school of secrets so we won’t know anything about this film until we all see it. Definitely one to watch.


Unbroken is a war film directed by Angelina Jolie based on the non fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand and focuses on the life of Olympic athlete and war vetern Louis Zamperini. This is a very cool story, Zamperini is a legend, an Olympic track star who goes to war, gets shot down into the Pacific Ocean, spends 47 days floating in said Ocean before being picked up and spending the next 2 and a half years living in several Japanese POW camps. And he survived, until he passed this July at age 97. This is the kind of story the Academy loves. It basically has everything you could want from a Oscar winning film, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s directed by Jolie. The Oscar success of this film will depend on how Jolie runs her campaign, and the concesus seems to be that she wants a Director nod as well as pushing for Jack O’ Connell who plays Zamperini.


This is this years Indie Blockbuster. The reviews have been insanely good across the board and a new movie star in Miles Teller has been found. The trailer is intense, and critics who have seen the film have been breathless at the pace and intensity it delivers. There hasn’t been one bad review. It’s made the rounds at all the major festivals, and will be showing at the autumn festivals too, so an Oscar campaign is sure to follow. While it might not win anything major, nominations in the Best Supporting Actor category for JK Simmons seems like its best shot.

The Theory of Everything

So I won’t lie, I teared up watching this trailer. Like The Imitation Game, it kind of sucker punches you and leaves you feeling a bit breathless. Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking and just from the trailer he absolutely nails it. Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox and David Thewlis round out the cast, but it’s Redmayne who is stealing the show. I was floored by his transformation, and you really feel it when Hawking gets his motor neurone diagnosis. I was a slight wreck after watching it. If this film ends up being as good as it looks then we might have a Best Picture winner, as well as a Best Actor. I was floored.