Here Are The Winners In Venice


The Venice Film Festival has come to a close with the awarding of prizes.  And here they are:

Golden Lion for Best Film: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, d: Laura Poitras
Grand Jury Prize: Saint Omer, d: Alice Diop
Silver Lion for Best Director: Bones and All, d: Luca Guadagnino
Special Jury Prize: No Bears, d: Jafar Panahi
Best Screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Tár, Cate Blanchett
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: The Banshees of Inisherin, Colin Farrell
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Bones and All, Taylor Russell

I would say that the big winner of the festival is undoubtedly The Banshees of Inisherin.  Going into the festival, this film was only occasionally mentioned as an Oscar contender and that was just because director Martin McDonagh was previously responsible for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. However, the festival not only saw Banshees win the race for the longest standing ovation but it also won awards for McDonagh’s screenplay and Colin Farrell’s lead performance.

Cate Blanchett won best actress for Tar.  Blanchett was already considered to be a probable Oscar nominee so the award at Venice will certainly help the establish the narrative that will be necessary for Blanchett to take home her third Oscar.

As for Luca Guadagnino winning Best Director, that’s fine.  He’s a good director but I’ll never forgive him for the Suspiria remake.  If he agrees to keep Argento’s name out of his mouth, I’ll add him to my list of Oscar contenders.

Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions For August


It’s that time of the month again!

Here are my Oscar predictions for August.  By the end of September, the picture should be a bit clearer.  Until then, most of the predictions listed below continue to be guesses.

Be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, and July!

Best Picture

Babylon

Elvis

Empire of Light

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

The Inspection

The Son

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Director

The Daniels for Everything Everywhere All At Once

Todd Field for TAR

Baz Luhrmann for Elvis

Steven Speilberg for The Fabelmans

Florian Zeller for The Son

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Hugh Jackman in The Son

Harry Styles in My Policeman

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Anthony Hopkins in The Son

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Laura Dern in The Son

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions For July


Little by little, the Oscar race is starting to become just a little bit clearer.  It’s still early, of course.  Really, it’s way too early to say anything for sure.  But it’s also hard to deny that certain films are now much more in the conversation than others.

The biggest development this month was the announcement that Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon will not be released until 2023.  That takes it out of Oscar contention …. for now.  (For those who may have forgotten, it was originally announced, halfway through 2013, that The Wolf of Wall Street would not be ready until sometimes in 2014.  Everyone dutifully updated their Oscar predictions, striking The Wolf of Wall Street from their lists of likely best picture nominees.  Then, at the last minute, Scorsese announced that the film actually would be ready for 2013.  If something similar happens this year, Killers of the Flower Moon will go right back to being a huge contender because it’s Scorsese and he’s one of the best, regardless of what certain Marvel fans would have you believe.)  With Scorsese apparently out, it would now appear that Steven Spielberg is going to be the only member of the old guard with a film in the Oscar race.  Considering that many people believe that Spielberg’s West Side Story was snubbed last year when it only took home one Oscar (out of a total of sever nominations), The Fabelmans seems like it will be a major contender.  Admittedly, my hope that David Lynch will earn an acting nomination for playing John Ford in The Fabelmans may be a longshot but it can not be denied that it would be a cool development.

As for the other contenders, Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, and Everything Everywhere All At Once all seem poised to ride a combination of critical acclaim and box office success into the Oscar race.  Todd Field has finally returned with TarThe Whale has the potential to be a comeback vehicle for the always likable Brendan Fraser.  She Said, Till, and Women Talking all stand to take advantage of the current political climate.  And Babylon will presumably give Hollywood a chance to celebrate itself.

The Oscar picture is still a bit cloudy but, with so many major festival on the horizon, those clouds should be parting soon.

Be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, and June!

Best Picture

Babylon

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

She Said

Tar

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

The Whale

Women Talking

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (The Daniels) for Everything Everywhere All At Once

Todd Field for Tar

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Adam Driver in White Noise

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Harry Styles in My Policeman

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Tar

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Ana de Arms in Blonde

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Woody Harrelson in Triangle of Sadness

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Patricia Clarkson in She Said

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions for June


It’s the time of the month again!  It’s time for me to share my brave attempts to randomly guess at what will be nominated for the Oscars next year!  I do this on a monthly basis.  For the first six or seven months of the year, it’s a bit of a fool’s errand.  Usually, it’s not until late September and October that the Oscar race really starts to become a bit clearer and, even then, there’s always a few surprises and late additions.  So, in other words, take the predictions below with a grain of salt.  Actually, take them with several grains of salt.  A few of these films and performers will definitely be nominated.  Several probably won’t but these are the best guesses that I can currently make based on the rumors and speculation that I’ve seen online.

Probably the biggest Oscar news this month was that Top Gun: Maverick is still dominating the box office.  That’s good new for Maverick, both because it reminds the Academy of how much people love the film and it will also help to keep the movie fresh on everyone’s mind as the rest of the year unfolds.  To those who say that Top Gun: Maverick isn’t a traditional Oscar movie, I would say that 1) they have a point and 2) the same could have been and was said about Mad Max: Fury Road, Get Out, Joker, Black Panther, Dune, and several other recent nominees that both did well at the box office and scored several Oscar nominations.  It’s probably time for us to stop thinking about whether or not a movie is a “traditional” nominee because it’s been a while since that’s really been a deciding factor.  The times are changing.

Anyway, below you’ll find my nominees for the month of June!  If you want to see how my thinking has progressed, be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, and May!  They’re good for a laugh if nothing else.

Finally, if I had to predict a winner for Best Picture, I would probably go with The Fabelmans.  I think Steven Spielberg making a film about his childhood will be hard to resist and I think there are some people who feel that Spielberg didn’t quite get the amount of Oscar love that he deserved for West Side Story.

Best Picture

Babylon

Empire of Light

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

Killers of the Flower Moon

My Policeman

Rustin

She Said

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Joseph Kosinski for Top Gun: Maverick

Maria Schafer for She Said

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Cate Blanchett in Tar

Ana de Armas in Blonde

Margot Robbie in Babylon

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano in The Fabelmans

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Anthony Hopkins in Armageddon Time

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for May


It’s that time of the month again!

It’s time for me to once again try to predict what will be nominated for the Oscars.  If you had to told me, at this time last year, that Top Gun: Maverick would emerge as an Oscar contender, I would have said that you were crazy but here we are.  Admittedly, it is early in the year and I think there’s always going to be some ambivalence towards honoring Tom Cruise.  (You just know that someone is having nightmares about him thanking David Miscavige in his Oscar speech.)  But with the reviews and the box office success that Top Gun: Maverick is getting, it would be a mistake to dismiss it.  After all, Mad Max: Fury Road came out around this same time of year in 2015.  As well, one can be sure that A24 will be giving Everything Everywhere All At Once a heavy awards push as well.  This could very well be the year of the genre blockbuster as far as the Oscars are concerned.

As for Cannes, it’s come and gone.  George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing got some good reviews, even if those reviews didn’t translate into awards at the end of the Festival.  David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future sounds like it’s going to be too divisive for the Academy and really, the thought of Cronenberg winning an Oscar has always been a bit implausible, regardless of how much he may or may not deserve one.  As for James Gray’s Armageddon Time, Gray has always been more popular with critics than with audiences or Academy voters.  If Gray couldn’t break through with something like The Lost City of Z, I doubt he’s going to do so with an autobiographical film about his life in private school.  Steven Spielberg already has the autobiography slot wrapped up with The Fabelmans. 

Of course, there’s still many films left to see and many more film festivals to be held.  Let us not forget that Martin Scorsese is bringing us Killers of the Flower Moon.  Personally, I’m looking forward to Damien Chazelle’s Babylon.  In short, nothing has been settled yet.  For all the acclaim that Top Gun and Everything are getting, who knows how the race is going to look at the start of the Fall season?

Anyway, here are my predictions for May.  Be sure to check out my predictions for February and March and April as well!

Best Picture

Amsterdam

Babylon

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

I Want To Dance With Somebody

Killers of the Flower Moon

Next Goal Wins

Rustin

She Said

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Kasi Lemmons for I Want To Dance With Somebody

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Taika Waititi for Next Goal Wins

Best Actor

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Idris Elba in Three Thousand Years of Longing

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Want To Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in Tar

Margot Robie in Babylon

Tilda Swinton in Three Thousand Years of Longing

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Tantoo Cardinal in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Samantha Morton in She Said

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Here Are The Winners of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival


The 2022 Cannes Film Festival has come to a close! 

To be honest, I didn’t hear much about Cannes this year.  Maybe it was because I’ve been on a mini-vacation for the past two and a half weeks but it seems as if the Cannes coverage was a bit more lowkey than usual.  There weren’t any big controversies, perhaps reflecting the fact that everyone is kind of unified in hating Putin right now.  It seems like the biggest event was the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick and Tom Cruise receiving a special prize for being one of the last of the old school movie stars.

Well, regardless, the winners have been announced!  Looking over this list, I don’t see any films that really jump out as probable Oscar nominee so, if you’re looking for another Parasite to come out of this festival, you’re probably out of luck.  Here are the winners:

Palme d’Or: “Triangle of Sadness” by Ruben Östlund

Grand Prix: “Close” by Lukas Dhont and “Stars at Noon” by Claire Denis

Special Prize for Cannes’ 75th anniversary: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes, “Tori and Lokita”

Jury Prize: “Eo” and “Le Otto Montagne”

Best Actress: Zar Amir Ebrahimi, “Holy Spider”

Best Actor: Song Kang Ho, “Broker”

Best Director: Park Chan-wook, “Decision to Leave”

Best Screenplay: “Boy from Heaven”

Camera d’Or: “War Pony,” directed by Gina Gammell and Riley Keough

Short Film Palme d’Or: “The Water Murmurs”

Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for April


It’s that time of the month again!

At this point, the big news about the Oscar race is that there are a lot of contenders and there’s probably even more on the way.  We’re still far away from being able to make any definite predictions, though Scorsese and Spielberg always seem like good bets.  Everything Everywhere All At Once is also emerging as a possibility, despite it’s early release date.  Could it be another Mad Max: Fury Road?  It all probably depends on whether or not the precursors are willing to do their part.

Anyway, here are my predictions for April.  Be sure to check out my predictions for February and March as well!

Best Picture

Babylon

Empire of Light

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

I Want To Dance With Somebody

Killers of the Flower Moon

Next Goal Wins

Rustin

She Said

Till

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Chinoyne Chukwa for Till

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Taika Watitti for Next Goal Wins

Best Actor

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto

Joaquin Phoenix in Disappointment Blvd.

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Want To Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in Tarr

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Margot Robie in Babylon

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Tantoo Cardinal in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Samantha Morton in She Said

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions For March


Now that the awards for last year’s films have been given out and everyone has already started to forget who won, we can start to concentrate on the next batch of Oscar contenders….

Oh, stop yelling.  It’s not that early!

Well, actually, it is way too early.  I mean, we’re still not really sure what is even going to be released this year.  Due to all the COVID delays, we went into 2021 knowing which films we could look forward to, mostly because all of those films were originally supposed to be released in 2020.  Compared to 2021, we’re going into 2022 blind.  The majority of the films that we do know about don’t really sound like Oscar contenders, either.

So, really, the only solution to how to predict the Oscar nominees when you know nothing is to guess.  The films and actors listed below are not there because I have any inside information.  Instead, they are there as a result of some wishful thinking and some educated guesses.  Killers of the Flower Moon was directed by Martin Scorsese, so of course it’s there.  The Fabelmans is there because a lot of people feel that the Academy didn’t show Spielberg and West Side Story enough love this year and I think the fact that the film is autobiographical will make it irresistible to same voters who nominated BelfastNapoleon is there because there might be some lingering guilt over how both Ridley Scott and The Last Duel were utterly ignored this year.  Rustin is there because it’s an Obama production and Hollywood loves the Obamas.  Chris Rock is listed as a supporting actor nominee because it would be the perfect conclusion to the saga of the Oscar Slap.  David Lynch is listed because …. well, I like David Lynch.  Personally, it’s doubtful that Tom Hanks will be able to pull off two nominations in one year but if anyone could do it, it’s Tom!

In other words, don’t take any of these predictions too seriously.  As of now, there are no definite contenders.  These are just some guesses.

Be sure to check out my even more random predictions for February as well!

Best Picture

Babylon

The Fabelmans

Killers of the Flower Moon

Napoleon

Rustin

She Said

TAR

Thirteen Lives

Till

The Woman King

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Ridley Scott for Napoleon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto

Joaquin Phoenix in The Whale

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie for I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Chris Rock in Rustin

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern in The Son

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Greta Gerwig in White Noise

Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Congratulations! You Survived Oscar Sunday!


That’s it!  That’s a wrap!

orsone-welles-clapping

We hope everyone has enjoyed Oscar Sunday!

shia

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 2021 and the first three months of 2022!

snape

Now, let’s make 2022 the best year ever as we continue to celebrate the 12th year of the Shattered Lens!

toys

Love you!

A Few Random Thoughts On The Oscars


Let’s just be honest about this.

No matter what else you or I might have to say about the Academy Awards, the only thing that anyone is going to remember about this year’s ceremony is Will Smith walking up on stage and slapping Chris Rock.  That’s it.  That’s what these awards are going to be known for.  Whenever this ceremony is written about in the future, the accompanying picture won’t be of the cast and crew of CODA.  Instead, it’ll be Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.

The Slap, itself, was unpleasant to watch.  Will Smith sitting back down in his chair and continuing to shout at Chris Rock was unpleasant to watch.  It left me feeling awkward and uncomfortable and I was just watching it on TV.  I can only guess what it was like the celebrities sitting in the auditorium.  You know that they were probably terrified that something unexpected would happen with the vote for Best Actor.  At that moment, there was probably a lot of worry about what would happen if Andrew Garfield pulled off an upset.

Will Smith, however, did win Best Actor.  After making a few “fierce protector” excuses, he did, eventually, get around to apologizing to the Academy and “my fellow nominees.”  He also did a lot of God talk and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to mention God twenty minutes after slapping someone on national TV.  He mentioned that Denzel Washington had apparently taken him aside and warned him that the Devil would come for him at the height of his success.  Which …. I mean, okay.  The thing is, Will Smith is 53 years old and he’s been a star longer than I’ve been alive.  By this point, the Devil should have moved on to someone else.

A few notes on the rest of the show:

It was good to see the show taking place in a theater, as opposed to a train station.  Just by using an actual theater, this year’s Oscar ceremony was a significant improvement over the previous year’s.

The hosts were pretty boring.  There was nothing gained by having three of them.  Amy Schumer needs to fire whoever picked out her first outfit.  If Schumer picked it out herself, she needs to hire someone to pick out her outfits.  Regina Hall looked lost.  Wanda Sykes was okay but that museum segment bogged down the whole show.

CODA is a likable film and it’s obvious that the audience appreciated its heartwarming approach more than the emotionally detached style of The Power of the Dog.  The fact that this tiny little indie film managed to defeat the expensive Netflix slate was gratifying in a David vs. Goliath sort of way.  CODA, if we’re going to be honest, really does feel more like a made-for-TV movie than a feature film but I think that, emotionally and mentally, people were just ready for a positive movie that wouldn’t leave them feeling disturbed or depressed.  After two years straight of pandemic panic, voters were perhaps not inclined to honor a film that ends with its main character dying on anthrax poisoning.

Dune swept the technical awards and ended the night with the most Oscars.  Dune II is probably going to win Best Picture.

Troy Kostur’s acceptance speech was definitely the most moving part of the night.  It’s a bit of a shame that it’s going to be forever overshadowed by The Slap.

Politically, it was pretty much a typical Oscar ceremony.  At this point, I think anyone who cares enough to be offended by Hollywood’s liberalism has probably already stopped watching the Oscars.

As the Academy promised, the cut categories (i.e., the Oscars there were awarded before the start of the live show) were edited into and shown during the show.  They were awkwardly inserted, so that we would see the people in the auditorium reacting to a speech that was given two hours earlier.  It just came across as weird and fake and, whenever the hosts did anything, I found myself thinking, “They cut categories for this.”  Even a brilliant hosting trio would have suffered as a result.  In this case, you had Amy Schumer dressed like Spider-Man on live TV while the winner for Best Film Editing had to make due with edited highlights of his speech.

What’s hilarious is that, even with all of ABC’s new measures, this year’s Oscar run longer than the previous two years.  The total show clocked in at nearly 220 minutes.  For comparison, that’s 20 minutes longer than The Godfather, Part II.  Will Smith’s acceptance speech alone ran for seven minutes.  Of course, would you want to be the person tasked to tell Will Smith to wrap it up?

It was hard to tell but I guess Army of the Dead won the Twitter Poll and Zack Snyder’s Justice League won the Oscar Cheer Moment thing.  Even from just watching on TV, it was obvious how annoyed everyone in the auditorium was with them.  Personally, I have to respect the ability of the Snyder fandom to game the system.

The interpretive dance that went along with the In Memoriam segment was distracting and annoying.  If I’m ever included in a memoriam segment, I’m hoping there will be no gospel music and no interpretive dancing.

The Godfather tribute was nice but I wish they had gotten Sofia Coppola to do the introduction instead of Sean “Whatever” Combs.

In the end, the Oscars weren’t as much of a train wreck as I thought they would be but it was still a fairly unfortunate ceremony.  The category cutting didn’t sit well and I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable with that.  (It’s something that I hope will be abandoned in the future.)  This ceremony will always be known for The Slap and probably not much else.  I would say that I would hope the Academy and ABC would learn from this but the only thing they care about is ratings.  If the ratings are good, ABC will take the credit.  If the rating are bad, the Academy will get the blame.  Who knows what next year will bring?

Speaking of next year, that’s what I am now concentrating on!  There’s a lot of good movies coming out over the next few months and a whole new Oscar race to prepare for!  Let’s get to it!