What If Lisa Had All The Power And Picked The Oscar Nominees: 2015 Edition


oscar trailer kitties

With the Oscar nominations due to be announced tomorrow, now is the time that the Shattered Lens indulges in a little something called, “What if Lisa had all the power.” Listed below are my personal Oscar nominations. Please note that these are not the films that I necessarily think will be nominated. The fact of the matter is that the many of them will not. Instead, these are the films that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for deciding the nominees this year. Winners are starred and listed in bold.

(You’ll also note that I’ve added four categories, all of which I believe the Academy should adopt — Best Voice-Over Performance, Best Casting, Best Stunt Work, and Best Overall Use Of Music In A Film.)

(Click on the links to see my nominations for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010!)

best picture

Best Picture
Brooklyn
*Carol*
Clouds of Sils Maria
Ex Machina
The Final Girls
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
Room
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton

George Miller

Best Director
John Crowley for Brooklyn
Alex Garland for Ex Machina
F. Gary Gray for Straight Outta Compton
Todd Haynes for Carol
*George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road*
Denis Villeneuve for Sicario

Jacob Tremblay

Best Actor
John Cusack in Love & Mercy
Gerard Depardieu in Welcome To New York
Johnny Depp in Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
Michael B. Jordan in Creed
*Jacob Tremblay in Room*

alicia vikander

Best Actress
Katharine Isabelle in 88
Brie Larson in Room
Rooney Mara in Carol
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
*Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina*

Del Toro

Best Supporting Actor
Michael Angarano in The Stanford Prison Experiment
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy
*Benicio Del Toro in Sicario*
Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Maggie
Sylvester Stallone in Creed

MA

Best Supporting Actress
*Malin Akerman in The Final Girls*
Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy
Cate Blanchett in Carol
Jessica Chastain in Crimson Peak
Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight
Kristen Stewart in Clouds of Sils Maria

amyp

Best Voice Over Performance
Jon Hamm in Minions
Richard Kind in Inside Out
Jason Mantzoukas in The Regular Show Movie
*Amy Poehler in Inside Out*
James Spader in Avengers: The Age Of Ultron
Steve Zahn in The Good Dinosaur

EM

Best Original Screenplay
Clouds of Sils Maria
*Ex Machina*
The Final Girls
Inside Out
Sicario
Trainwreck

mara_blanchett_carol

Best Adapted Screenplay
Brooklyn
*Carol*
The End of the Tour
Love & Mercy
Room
The Walk

Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster

Best Animated Film
*Inside Out*
The Good Dinosaur
Minions
The Peanuts Movie
The Regular Show Movie
Shaun The Sheep

Amy_Movie_Poster

Best Documentary Feature:
3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets
*Amy*
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau
Prophet’s Prey
The Wolfpack

The_Tribe_poster

Best Foreign Language Film
The Connection
Gloria
The Mafia Only Kills In Summer
Misunderstood
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Contemplating Existence
*The Tribe*

Brooklyn

Best Casting
*Brooklyn*
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sicario

Best Cinematography
Carol
Clouds of Sils Maria
The Green Inferno
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
*Sicario*

carol3

Best Costume Design
Brooklyn
*Carol*
Cinderella
Ex Machina
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Suffragette

MMedit

Best Editing
Carol
Ex Machina
*Mad Max: Fury Road*
Room
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-in-Maggie

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Black Mass
Brooklyn
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
*Maggie*
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

bl

Best Original Score
*Carol*
The Hateful Eight
It Follows
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Spy2015_TeaserPoster

Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey
“See You Again” from Furious 7
“Better When I’m Dancing” from The Peanuts Movie
“Flashlight” from Pitch Perfect 2
“Feels Like Summer” from Shaun the Sheep
*“Who Can You Trust” from Spy*

Compton 2

Best Overall Use Of Music
Furious 7
The Hateful Eight
Joy
Love & Mercy
The Martian
*Straight Outta Compton*

cp

Best Production Design
*Crimson Peak*
Ex Machina
The Final Girls
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Unfriended

sicario-emily-blunt-trailer

Best Sound Editing
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
The Revenant
*Sicario*
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Straight Outta Compton

Compton

Best Sound Mixing
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
*Straight Outta Compton*

MM Stunt

Best Stunt Work
Furious 7
Kingsman: The Secret Service
*Mad Max: Fury Road*
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Spy
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

Best Visual Effects
Ant-Man
Avengers: The Age of Ultron
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens*
The Walk

Films By Number of Nominations:
11 Nominations – Carol
10 Nominations – Mad Max: Fury Road
9 Nominations – Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
8 Nominations – Ex Machina
7 Nominations – Brooklyn, Straight Outta Compton
5 Nominations – Furious 7, Inside Out, Love & Mercy, The Revenant, Room
4 Nominations – Avengers: The Age of Ultron, Clouds of Sils MariaThe Final Girls
3 Nominations – The Hateful Eight
2 Nominations – Black Mass, Creed, Crimson Peak, The Good Dinosaur, Maggie, Minions, The Peanuts Movie, The Regular Show Movie, Shaun the SheepSpy, Trainwreck, The Walk
1 Nomination – 3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets, 50 Shades of Grey, 88, Amy, Ant-Man, Beasts of No Nation, Cinderella, The Connection, The End of The Tour, Gloria, Going Clear, The Green Inferno, It Follows, Joy, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Mafia Only Kills in Summer, The Martian, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Misunderstood, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, Pitch Perfect 2, Prophet’s Prey, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Suffragette, The Tribe, UnfriendedWelcome to New York, The Wolfpack

Films By Number of Oscars Won:
4 Oscars – Carol
3 Oscars – Mad Max: Fury Road, Sicario
2 Oscars – Ex Machina, Inside Out, Straight Outta Compton
1 Oscar – Amy, Brooklyn, Crimson Peak, The Final Girls, Maggie, Room, Spy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Tribe

Will the Academy be smart enough to agree with me on these picks?  We will find out on Thursday!

Lisa and Evelyn at the Oscars

Lisa and Evelyn at the Oscars

2015 In Review: Lisa Picks The 30 Best Films of 2015!


Well, the time has arrived!  It’s time for the list that you’ve all been waiting for!  Here are my top 30 films of 2015!

Now, as some of you may know, I am currently in the process of playing catch up as far as all of my reviews are concerned.  Sadly, I haven’t posted a review for every film listed below.  However, as I continue to post reviews tonight and tomorrow, I will be sure to add links to this list!

Finally, I have only considered and listed 2015 films that I have actually seen.  Unfortunately, Anomalisa has not opened in my part of the world yet and neither has Son of Saul.  So, I could not consider either one of them for the list below.  However, I have seen every other “prestige” picture to have been released over the past few weeks.  So, if you look at this list below and wonder if I actually saw Spotlight, The Hateful Eight, and The Big Short, rest assured that I did.  And none of them made my list.

With all that in mind, here are my picks for the 30 best films of 2015!

mara_blanchett_carol

  1. Carol
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Inside Out
  4. Mad Max Fury Road
  5. Ex Machina
  6. Room
  7. Clouds of Sils Maria
  8. Sicario
  9. Straight Outta Compton
  10. The Final Girls
  11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  12. Beasts of No Nation
  13. 88
  14. Love & Mercy
  15. The Tribe
  16. The End of the Tour
  17. Furious Seven
  18. The Walk
  19. Crimson Peak
  20. Unfriended
  21. Trainwreck
  22. The Revenant
  23. Creed
  24. Shaun the Sheep
  25. The Gift
  26. The Stanford Prison Experiment
  27. A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflection On Existence
  28. Spring
  29. Maggie
  30. The Green Inferno
Katherine Isabelle in 88

Katharine Isabelle in 88

You can check out my picks for previous years by clicking on 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014!

Agree?  Disagree?  Have a list of your own?  Let us know in the comments!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015
  3. 2015 In Review: The Best of SyFy
  4. 2015 in Review: The Best of Lifetime
  5. 2015 In Review: Lisa’s Picks For The 16 Worst Films of 2015
  6. 2015 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 10 Favorite Songs of 2015
  7. 2015 in Review: 16 Good Things Lisa Saw On TV
  8. 2015 in Review: Lisa’s 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2015
  9. 2015 in Review: Lisa’s 20 Favorite Novels of 2015
  10. TFG’s Top Ten Comic Series of 2015

Lisa Plays Catch-Up: A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (dir by Roy Andersson)


With 2015 now over, it’s time for me to both make out my end-of-the-year lists and take a look at the films that I saw last year that I have yet to get around to reviewing.  In other words, it’s time to play catch up!

A-pigeon-sat-on-a-branch-reflecting-on-existence-148-Afis

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence is a Swedish film but, just from the title, you probably guessed that this was a European film.  After all, an American film would never have a title quite that long or passive.  We prefer our titles to be short and punchy and to the point: Taken, Spotlight, Die Hard, Concussion.  A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflection On Existence is a title that is full of ennui and existential considerations.

At first glance — and I write this from an American point of view — A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflection On Existence seems like almost a parody of an experimental European art film.  The performances are low-key and unemotional.  The humor is often dark, cynical, and deliberately obscure.  The film is full of long takes and medium shots, with the camera never moving.  This is a film that demands more than a little patience from the viewer.  I ended up loving it but I have a feeling that a lot of people will give up on the film after the first 15 minutes or so.

Believe it or not, this is not a film about a pigeon.  Instead, it’s a collection of small and increasingly absurd scenes, some of which are connected and some of which are not.  Some characters appear in more than one scene and some do not.  The two most prominent characters are two dour-faced salesman of novelty items.  “We want to help people have fun,” they repeatedly say in the flattest possible tone.  They sell vampire teeth and a mask that they call Uncle One Tooth.  (Whenever they pull out the Uncle One Tooth mask, it leads to someone screaming in horror.)  They also sell bags of laughter, little bags that laugh when you open them and then keep laughing until they suddenly stop.  One of the salesman is feeling depressed and no longer wants to keep selling novelties.  The other salesman has to continually beg him to leave his apartment.

At one point, the two salesman enter a small diner and you can’t help but notice that, looking out the front windows, the diner appears to be sitting in the middle of an apocalyptic wasteland.  Eventually, a group of 18th century soldiers march by and decide to enter the diner.  They are followed by their leader, a preening martinet on a horse who orders that all women leave the diner.  Later, we return to the diner and so do the soldiers.  They’ve obviously lost whatever battle they were fighting but they still stand at attention when the horse reenters the diner, mounted by their dying (or possibly dead) leader.

And it’s all very odd but yet also very fascinating.  The film is so deadpan and so unashamedly absurd in its humor that it’s impossible not to enjoy.  Or at least, that’s the case up until the final 10 minutes or so, at which point the audience is confronted by a crowd of obviously wealthy people casually watching a group of slaves being horrifically burned alive.

What does all this mean?  I think a better question would be, “Does this mean anything at all?”  That said, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence is a fascinating film for audiences that are willing to take a chance on something different.

It’s also currently available on Netflix!

The North Carolina Film Critics Association Have Announced Their Nominees For The Best of 2015


Here are the nominees from the North Carolina Film Critics Association!

BEST NARRATIVE FILM
Carol
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Spotlight

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
Amy
Finders Keepers
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Listen to Me Marlon
The Look of Silence

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Assassin
Mustang
Phoenix
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Son of Saul

BEST DIRECTOR
Lenny Abrahamson (Room)
Todd Haynes (Carol)
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Ridley Scott (The Martian)

BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)
Benicio del Toro (Sicario)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

BEST ACTRESS
Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy)
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Brie Larson (Room)
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Rooney Mara (Carol)
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)
Helen Mirren (Trumbo)
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen (Bridge of Spies)
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley (Inside Out)
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Emma Donoghue (Room)
Drew Goddard (The Martian)
Phyllis Nagy (Carol)
Nick Hornby (Brooklyn)
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay (The Big Short)
Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs)

TAR HEEL AWARD
(To an artist or film with a special connection to North Carolina.)
Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes)
Finders Keepers
Peyton Reed (Ant-Man)

And Here Are The San Francisco Film Critics Nominations!


Winners will be voted on tomorrow!

San Francisco Film Critics Nominations

Best Picture

Best Director

Best Actor

Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett (Carol)
  • Brie Larson (Room)
  • Rooney Mara (Carol)
  • Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

  • Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy)
  • Helen Mirren (Trumbo)
  • Mya Taylor (Tangerine)
  • Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
  • Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

Best Screenplay, Original

Best Screenplay, Adapted

Best Cinematography

Best Film Editing

Best Production Design

Best Animated Feature

Best Documentary

  • Amy
  • Best of Enemies
  • Listen to Me Marlon
  • The Look of Silence
  • Meru

Best Foreign Language Picture