Lisa Marie’s Possibly Pointless Oscar Predictions For March


I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I should even bother to continue my monthly Oscar predictions.  With the current Coronavirus pandemic, it’s not unreasonable to wonder if there will even be an Oscar ceremony next year.  Many completed films have been taken off the schedule so that they can be released at a time when people aren’t scared to leave their house.  Meanwhile, production on several other films — some of them expected to be Oscar contenders — has been suspended.  New films are continuing to premiere on the streaming services but the Academy has always insisted that films also play in a theater if they want to contend for an Oscar.  That’s going to be difficult with the majority of the country’s theaters currently being closed.

Unlike a lot of people, I’m not necessarily apocalyptic or even that pessimistic in my outlook.  I think that, one way or another, we will eventually be able to leave our homes again and that at least some of the movie theaters will reopen.  So, I think that we will be able to have some sort of Oscar ceremony.  For that reason, I’m going to make my predictions for March but, needless to say, take all of these with an even bigger grain of salt than usual.

If you’re curious to see what my Oscar thinking was in the months before the world went crazy, check out my predictions for January and February!

(I’ve tried to take the fact that the Coronavirus led to the suspension of many ongoing productions while making out my list below.  As far as I know, filming wrapped on all of the films listed below before the outbreak.)

Best Picture

Ammonite

Annette

Hillbilly Elegy

The Father

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

On the Rocks

Tenet

West Side Story

Best Director

Isaac Lee Chung for Minari

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Christopher Nolan for Tenet

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Florian Zeller for The Father

Best Actor

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Bill Murray in On the Rocks

Gary Oldman in Mank

Will Smith in King Richard

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy

Clare Dunne in Herself

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Kate Winslet in Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Burke in Mank

Richard E. Grant in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Mark Rylance in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Steve Yeun in Minari

Best Supporting Actress

Abigail Breslin in Stillwater

Glenn Close in Hillybilly Elegy

Vera Farmiga in The Many Saints of Newark

Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

Helena Zengel in News of the World

 

Congratulations! You Survived Oscar Sunday!


That’s it!  That’s a wrap!

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We hope everyone has enjoyed Oscar Sunday!

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Now that the Oscars are over with, it’s time to start a new year in entertainment!  Thank you everyone for reading us over the course of 2019 and the first two months of 2020!

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Now, let’s make 2020 the best year ever as we continue to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the Shattered Lens!

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Love you!

A Few Final Thoughts On The Oscar Ceremony


Parasite made history and Bong Joon-ho proved himself to be one of the most charming people alive.  That was the best thing about Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony.

Yes, Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger did ramble on a bit in their acceptance speeches but ….. I can’t complain.  They’re both so sincere in their spaciness that you can’t help but be a little bit charmed by them.  Plus, Renee’s a Texas Girl so I’ve got her back.

The show itself was incredibly dull. It was nice to see so many deserving winners but, beyond Parasite making history at the very end, there really weren’t any huge moments.  There were no major fashion disasters.  The speeches were all pretty much gracious.  It was the way an awards ceremony should be but let’s be honest.  One reason we watch award shows is so to see rich and famous people screw up.  When that doesn’t happen, it just turns into a bunch of people patting themselves on the back.

Best Documentary Feature went to American Factory.  The best documentary of the year was Apollo 11, which wasn’t even nominated.  The documentary’s director called on the workers of the world to unite and it felt as vacuous as 70s-era Godard.

Brad Pitt finally won an Oscar for acting.  (He already has one for producing.)  My hope was that he would drop to one knee, produce a ring, and ask Jennifer Aniston to marry him again.  Instead, he gave kind of a boring speech.  Those of us who were hoping that stoner Brad Pitt would show up tonight were a bit disappointed.  Brad shaved and washed his hair before the ceremony and was basically on his best behavior.

This was the 2nd year in a row that show didn’t have a host and …. eh.  I enjoyed it when they went hostless last year but this year, the show felt like a formless mess.  There was no one to steer the ship or to set the mood and, as a result, the ceremony felt somewhat directionless.

I get that we’re supposed to get excited whenever any former SNL cast member shows up to present an award but I always instinctively cringe whenever Will Ferrell or Maya Rudolph step out on stage.  Both of them are such attention hogs that their arrival usually means that the show is going to come to a dead halt while they run a joke into the ground.  This year, Ferrell wasn’t quite as bad as usual but Rudolph had me totally cringing.  Speaking of stage hogs, I was actually surprised at how quickly Rebel Wilson and James Corden got through their bit.  I assume they wanted to hurry up and get backstage so they could get out of their cat costumes.  (Just imagine — Rebel Wilson actually had an important supporting role in one of the best picture nominees but, instead of celebrating that, the Academy made her put on her cat costume.)

Billie Eilish won the night with her reactions to …. well, everything.

As I said, this year’s ceremony was dull.  Beyond Parasite winning and making history, this was probably the most boring ceremony since 2010.  Interestingly enough, history was made there as well, when Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director.  Why do good things always happen during boring broadcasts?

So, for next year, I hope we’ll see a return of a host, a return of tone deaf fashion choices, and hopefully a few undeserving winners, at least enough to liven up the ceremony a little.

For now, though, congratulations to the cast and crew of Parasite on winning Best Picture and making history, all in the same night!  Woo hoo!

Here Are The Oscar Winners!


Best Picture — Parasite

Best Director — Bong Joon-ho for Parasite

Best Actor — Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Best Actress — Renee Zellweger, Judy

Best Supporting Actor — Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress — Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Best Original Screenplay — Parasite

Best Adapted Screenplay — JoJo Rabbit

Best Animated Feature Film — Toy Story 4

Best International Feature Film — Parasite

Best Documentary Feature Film — American Factory

Best Documentary Short Subject — Leaning to Skate In A Warzone (If You’re A Girl)

Best Live Action Short Subject — The Neighbors’ Widow

Best Animated Short Film — Hair Love

Best Original Score — Joker

Best Original Song — Rocketman

Best Sound Editing — Ford v Ferrari

Best Sound Mixing — 1917

Best Production Design — Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Cinematography — 1917

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Bombshell

Best Costume Design — Little Women

Best Editing — Ford v Ferrari

Best Visual Effects — 1917

Book Review: Inside Oscar by Mason Wiley and Damien Bona and Inside Oscar 2 by Damien Bona


If you’re an Oscar fanatic or if you’re just a film lover who thinks that the Oscars are a joke, these are two books that you simply have to have.

As you can probably tell from the titles, Inside Oscar and Inside Oscar 2 are all about the Academy Awards.  Inside Oscar starts with the founding of the Academy and ends with the 1994 Oscar ceremony.  Inside Oscar 2 picks up with the 1995 ceremony and takes us through the year 2000.  The books were written by two Oscar fanatics and, as a result, it contains just about every bit of trivia that you could hope to find about the Academy, the Oscars, and Hollywood during the previous century.  (Unfortunately, both Mason Wiley and Damien Bona have passed away so we probably won’t be getting an Inside Oscar 3.)  The books contain not only every detail that you could possibly want about the ceremonies themselves, they also touch on what was going on in America and the rest of the world during each year.  For example, it’s quite interesting to read about how different the 1958 Academy Awards ceremony was to the 1968 ceremony.  (Essentially, in 1968, longtime Oscar host Bob Hope made a joke about the ceremony being moved back a few days out of respect for the recently assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr.  For the first time in Oscar history, the audience booed one of the host’s jokes.)  As a result, Inside Oscar and its sequel aren’t just books about Hollywood.  In their way, they also serve as an examination of the ever changing cultural and political landscape of the United States.

It’s not just the books are full of snarky details, though they are.  It’s also that the books serve as a great reference to the history of the Oscars.  In the appendixes, you’ll find every year’s list of nominees, some genuinely interesting trivia, and — perhaps most importantly — a list of notable films (and, in some years, songs) that were not nominated.  As you might guess, it’s those lists of unnominated films that I find especially interesting.  Every year, some very good films are ignored by the Academy.  That was true in the past and it’s true in the present and it will probably continue to be true in the future.

Taken together, Inside Oscar and Inside Oscar 2 are the two best reference books out there for film lovers like you and me.

A Blast From The Past: Robert Opel Crashes The 1974 Oscars


On April 2nd, 1974, just as David Niven was about to introduce Elizabeth Taylor so that she could announce that The Sting had won Best Picture of the year, the Oscar telecast was interrupted by a naked man running across the stage.

The streaker was a man named Robert Opel.  A former student activist who had reportedly briefly worked as a speechwriter for future President Ronald Reagan, Opel was employed as a teacher when he made his Oscar debut.  He lost his job as a result but he found a new fame as a professional streaker.  He also went on to open his own photography business and ran for President in 1976.  His slogan was reportedly, “Not Just Another Crooked Dick.”  Five years after making his television debut, the 39 year-old Opel was murdered in his apartment.

There’s some debate as to whether or not this was actually a spontaneous moment.  It’s been reported that Niven wrote down his famous quip about short comings during a rehearsal.  It’s also interesting to note that the camera seemed to be perfectly positioned to not catch anything that could actually get the broadcast fined by the FCC.  If this had been truly a spontaneous event, I’m not sure that would have been the case.

Anyway, that was 1974 for you.  Who knows what might happen tonight?

(Of course, there’s no host so, if something does happen, there won’t be any quips.  Oh well.)

 

Future Winners: 6 Directors Who I Hope Will Have Won An Oscar By 2030


We’ve looked at actors.

We’ve looked at actresses.

Now, let’s look at directors.

But first, a word about David Lynch.  The Academy gave David Lynch a special award for his cinematic contributions back in October.  It’s not the same as a competitive Oscar but it’s probably the best that a boldly idiosyncratic filmmaker like David Lynch could ever hope to get from the Academy.  Normally, I would list Lynch below.  I’m not doing so this year because, realistically, Lynch has said that it’s doubtful he’ll ever make another theatrical film.  That said, I hope to God that someone gives David Lynch a blank check and allows him to make at least one more movie.

With that in mind, here are 6 other directors who I hope will have finally won an Oscar by 2030!

  1. The Safdie Brothers

The Safdie Brothers deserved a nomination this year for their work on Uncut Gems.  Unfortunately, that film was a bit too anxiety-inducing for the Academy.  The Safdies are exciting filmmakers and I hope that someday, the Academy will realize what everyone who has seen Good Time and Uncut Gems already knows.

2. Sofia Coppola

She was nominated for Lost In Translation.  She deserved to be nominates for several other films.  Sofia Coppola is consistently one of the most challenging and interesting (if often criminally underrated) filmmakers working today.  No other American director captures existential angst with quite the style of Sofia Coppola.

3. Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan has emerged as one of the most influential directors of the 21st century.  With The Dark Knight, he revolutionized comic book films.  With Inception, he created one of the greatest fantasy/action/sci-fi hybrids of all time.  With Dunkirk, he paid tribute to one of the most heroic moments of World War II.  Every recent film with a jumbled timeline owes a debt of gratitude to Christopher Nolan.  Nolan seems destined to win someday.

4. Denis Villeneuve

Speaking of being destined to win, that seems to also be an apt description of this visionary Canadian director.  Some people think that Villeneuve will be an Oscar contender this year with Dune.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  That said, Villeneuve seems destined to win at some point in the future.

5. Andrea Arnold

You might not recognize the name but Andrea Arnold is responsible for two of my favorite films of the last ten years: Fish Tank and American Honey.  She deserved to be nominated for both of those films.  My hope is that, between now and 2030, she’ll finally get the recognition that she deserves.

6. Werner Herzog

You know it would be the greatest acceptance speech ever.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let us know in the comments below!