The St. Louis Film Critics Association Rewards Downhill


The St. Louis Film Critics Association announced the winners of their 2020 awards earlier today!  Downhill picked up its first trophy of the awards seasons as the SLFCA named it The Worst Picture of the Year.  How will this effect Downhill‘s Oscar chances?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Here are the winners:

BEST FILM
First Cow (RUNNER UP TIE)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Nomadland (WINNER)
Promising Young Woman (RUNNER UP TIE)
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (RUNNER UP)
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (WINNER)

BEST ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland (RUNNER UP)
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (RUNNER UP)
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari (WINNER)

BEST ACTOR
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (WINNER)
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (RUNNER UP)
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Gary Oldman – Mank

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (RUNNER UP)
Bill Murray – On The Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal (WINNER)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (WINNER)
Jack Fincher – Mank
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (RUNNER UP)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (WINNER)
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami (RUNNER UP)
Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Benjamin Kracunc – Promising Young Woman
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank (RUNNER UP)
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (WINNER)
Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World

BEST EDITING
Jonah Moran – Hamilton
Robert Frasen – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (RUNNER UP)
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (WINNER)
​Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Kave Quinn – Emma. (RUNNER UP)
Mark Ricker – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Donald Graham Burt – Mank (WINNER)
Cristina Casali – The Personal History of David Copperfield
Michael Perry – Promising Young Woman

BEST SCORE
Ludovico Einaudi – “Nomadland” (RUNNER UP)
Ludwig Goransson – “Tenet”
James Newton Howard – “News of the World”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Baptiste – “Soul” (WINNER)
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – “Mank”

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Birds of Prey
Da 5 Bloods
Hamilton (RUNNER UP)
Lovers Rock
Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Birds of Prey
The Invisible Man (RUNNER UP)
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Tenet (WINNER)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul (WINNER)
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers (RUNNER UP)

BEST HORROR FILM
Alone
The Invisible Man (WINNER)
La Llorona
Possessor: Uncut
​The Vast of Night

BEST COMEDY FILM
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (WINNER)
Emma.
The King of Staten Island
On The Rocks
Palm Springs (RUNNER UP)

BEST ACTION FILM
Birds of Prey (RUNNER UP)
The Gentlemen
Greyhound
The Old Guard
Tenet (WINNER)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
City Hall
Collective (WINNER)
Dick Johnson Is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round (WINNER)
Bacurau
Beanpole (RUNNER UP)
Collective
Vitalina Varela

WORST FILM
Artemis Fowl
The Doorman
Downhill (WINNER)
Hillbilly Elegy
Wonder Woman 1984

BEST SCENE
HR scene in The Assistant
Rudy Guiliani in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (RUNNER UP)
Dinner with parents in I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Sisters dine in The Invisible Man (WINNER)
Questionnaire in Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Here are the 2020 Nominations of the St. Louis Film Critics Association


The St. Louis Film Critics Association yesterday announced their nominees for the best of 2020.  The winners will be announced this Sunday, the 17th.

The great thing about St. Louis is that they give out a lot of awards.  They honor the Best Horror Film and the Best Comedy and all the rest.  As a result, their awards are always marginally more interesting than what you get from some of the other regional groups.

Here are the nominations!

BEST FILM
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

BEST ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari

BEST ACTOR
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Gary Oldman – Mank

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Bill Murray – On The Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Jack Fincher – Mank
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami
Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Benjamin Kracunc – Promising Young Woman
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland
Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World

BEST EDITING
Jonah Moran – Hamilton
Robert Frasen – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland
​Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Kave Quinn – Emma.
Mark Ricker – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Donald Graham Burt – Mank
Cristina Casali – The Personal History of David Copperfield
Michael Perry – Promising Young Woman

BEST SCORE
Ludovico Einaudi – “Nomadland”
Ludwig Goransson – “Tenet”
James Newton Howard – “News of the World”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Baptiste – “Soul”
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – “Mank”

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Birds of Prey
Da 5 Bloods
Hamilton
Lovers Rock
Promising Young Woman

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Birds of Prey
The Invisible Man
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Tenet

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers

BEST HORROR FILM
Alone
The Invisible Man
La Llorona
Possessor: Uncut
​The Vast of Night

BEST COMEDY FILM
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Emma.
The King of Staten Island
On The Rocks
Palm Springs

BEST ACTION FILM
Birds of Prey
The Gentlemen
Greyhound
The Old Guard
Tenet

BEST DOCUMENTARY
City Hall
Collective
Dick Johnson Is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
Collective
Vitalina Varela

​WORST FILM
Artemis Fowl
The Doorman
Downhill
Hillbilly Elegy
Wonder Woman 1984

BEST SCENE
HR scene in The Assistant
Rudy Guiliani in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Dinner with parents in I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Sisters dine in The Invisible Man
Questionnaire in Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Game Review: Alone (2020, Paul Michael Winters)


You’re alone.

You want to be alone.

Surviving what has happened to the world requires you to be alone.

But if you want to keep driving down the hallway, you’re going to have to find the closest garage and get some gas.  And when the gas pumps turn out to be locked, you’re going to have to figure out how to get them unlocked and you might not be able to do it alone.

Alone is a post-apocalyptic Interactive Fiction game.  While you try to solve the puzzle of how to unlock the gas pumps, you also find journals and other notes that reveal what has happened to the world and why it’s so important to stay isolated from other people.  It’s not a bad text game.  The descriptions are sparse but effective and the puzzles are not that difficult to solve as long as you pay attention.  As befits its story, it’s a straight forward game without any unnecessary padding.  In the game, you don’t have any time to waste and neither does Alone.

Not surprisingly, Alone is one of many IF games that I’ve played this year that deals with people having to isolate themselves because of an apocalyptic events.  This is the year of the quarantine so, of course, it’s going to be reflected in our games, books, and movies.  I think that’s one reason why Alone sticks with you.  Right now, a lot of people are feeling alone.  Depending on the choices you make and how you play the game, Alone can end on a note of either hope or uncertainty.  It’s up to you.

Alone is one of the entrants in the 26th annual Interactive Fiction Competition, which is currently ongoing and accepting entries until November 29th.  You can play it (and all the other entries) by visiting the Interactive Fiction Comp’s home page.

2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2017


(Originally, I was going to list my picks for the best in SyFy today.  However, I need one more day to work on that so look for that tomorrow!   For now, here are my favorite songs of 2017!)

Every January, I list my favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer.  My favorite songs are not necessarily the favorite songs of any of the other writers here at the Shattered Lens.  We are a large and diverse group of people and, as such, we all have our own individual tastes.

If you ever visited the TSL Bunker, you would be shocked by the different music coming out of each office.  You would hear everything from opera to death metal to the best of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.  And then, of course, you would reach my office and you would discover that my taste in music pretty much runs the gamut from EDM to More EDM.

Now, usually, I do try to listen to a variety of music.  You can go to my Song of the Day site — Lisa Marie’s Song of the Day — and see that I do occasionally listen to other types of music.  But, I have to be honest.  2017 was not a year that inspired me to really leave me comfort zone.  If anything, music provided me with some much needed consistency in an otherwise chaotic year.  2017 was a year that made me want to dance until it was all over and, for the most part, my favorite songs of the year reflect that fact.

Before I list my songs, I should make something else very clear.  These are my favorite songs of 2017.  I’m not saying that they’re necessarily the best songs of 2017.  I’ll leave that debate for others.  Instead, there are the songs that I found myself listening to over and over again.  These are the songs made me dance.  These are the songs that made me sing.  A few of these songs relaxed me when I needed to be relaxed.  These are songs that I liked.

You might like them.

Or you might not.

That’s the beautiful thing about art.  Everyone experiences it in their own individual way.

Here are my favorite songs of 2017:

14. Shutdown by Joywave

13. Love So Soft by Kelly Clarkson

12. Rainmaker by Sleigh Bells

11. I feel It Coming by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk

(Technically, this is a 2016 song but I listened to it a lot in 2017 and this is my list so fuck it, I’m including it.)

10. Alone by Alan Walker

9. Byte by Martin Garrix & Brooks

8. You Could Be by R3HAB featuring Khrebto

7. Mirage by Lindey Stirling featuring Raja Kumari

6. Rich Boy by Galantis

5. What About Us by P!nk

4. First Time by Kygo & Ellie Goulding

3. Escape Reality Tonight by Paul van Dyk & Emanuele Braveri ft. Rebecca Louise Burch

2. Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

  1. It Ain’t Me by Kygo, featuring Selena Gomez

For tomorrow’s look back at 2017, I will (finally) share my picks for the best of the SyFy Network!

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017
  9. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)

27 Days of Old School: #13 “Alone” (by Heart)


Heart

“How do I get you alone”

Early last year I posted one of my favorite songs from my youth and it was by the band Heart. That song was “These Dreams” and still continues to be a favorite of mine to this day. My second favorite from this band is their power ballad from their 1987 album Bad Animals.

“Alone” is actually an even better song but “These Dreams” was just the song that first introduced me to the Wilson Sisters, Ann and Nancy. Where the earlier song was more folksy in it execution with “Alone” we get a full out power ballad that includes Nancy doing a guitar solo near the end. Ann Wilson crushes this song and just reinforces the fact that she remains one of the best, if not the best, female rock vocalist to ever belt out a song.

Oh, I still have a major crush on Nancy Wilson right up to this day. She’s definitely the first lady of rock.

Review: The Walking Dead S4E13 “Alone”


TheWalkingDeadS4M

“Why hurt yourself when you can hurt other people.” — Joe

The Walking Dead has taken on a new narrative path since it’s return after this season’s mid-season break. One of the biggest complaints that some fans and critics have had about the show has been the lack of character development for many of the roles in the show. We’re not talking about people who show up for a scene or an episode or two. It’s for those who have become regulars through the show’s many season.

Well, it looks like from the show’s writers will be trying to rectify that flaw this second half of season 4.

Since the show’s return from it’s mid-season break it’s taken on an almost zealous attempt to show the audience more of who these people truly are. Each new episode in this second half has been more about exploring each surviving character’s backstory either through some sort of flashback (like we saw tonight with the cold opening showing Bob’s lonely existence before being found by Daryl and Glenn pre-prison attack) or some of the quieter moments of exposition between characters (last week’s episode between Daryl and Beth was a prime example of this). We’ve gotten to learn more about our favorite zombie apocalypse survivors. They’ve shown themselves to be more than what the previous seasons have made us to think of them.

Tonight’s episode continued to explore the growing relationship (whether romantic or platonic) between resident badass Daryl Dixon and bright-eyed optimist Beth Greene. We see him trying to teach the younger Greene girl how to become a better with the crossbow and be a better tracker. Throughout their section of tonight’s episoode we see Daryl become more protective of young Beth Greene. The false front he’s put up in the past to avoid getting closer to people has started to come down. In past season fans and writers have looked at Daryl Dixon as someone who probably would be better off being alone instead of trying to deal with a dysfunctional “family” unit of survivors. He’s the only one who seems to be ready-made for this zombie apocalypse.

Yet, as we’ve seen in the second half of this season being alone is something that he doesn’t want to ever return to. He may remain gruff and surly, but his need to be around those who care about him and people who he wants to belong with has made him a more well-rounded badass. The way the Daryl and Beth half of the episode ended it’s going to be interesting if his need to belong with a group will cause him to forget the humanity he has found while being with Rick’s group.

The theme of being alone continues, and actually began, with the Bob, Sasha and Maggie half of tonight’s episode which was aptly titled, “Alone”. Bob’s time being alone in the wilderness was the cold opening for tonight’s episode and revealed much about the enigmatic Bob. This was all done with Bob not speaking a line of dialogue in the first few minutes. He seemed able enough to survive on his own, but the moment Glenn and Daryl arrive and offers him sanctuary back in the prison he accepts with no questions asked.

It’s a theme that runs throughout tonight’s episode. Being alone may make it easier to survive. No one to worry about. Only have to keep one person alive. But for these survivors it’s the comfort of having others looking out for you which makes it all worth the headaches and drama that comes with being involved with other people. These lone wolf survivors may be great at surviving on their own, but they also want to be doing more than just survive. They want to live and being with others. It makes them feel more human and gives them a higher purpose than just trying to survive day to day.

Some fans may not be liking this more introspective turn of The Walking Dead this second half of the season. There’s still some gruesome scees to be had, but there’s also many more quiet scenes of just characters interacting with each other minus the violence and brutality inherent in a show about the zombie apocalypse.

Notes

  • Tonight’s episode was written by Curtis Gwinn and directed by Ernest Dickerson.
  • Some great genuinely scary moments in tonight’s episode: the fog sequence with the zombies involving Bob, Maggie and Sasha was shot and directed well by veteran director Ernest Dickerson (who has directed some of the best episodes in the series). Another was Daryl finding himself stuck in a room filling up with zombies and the only way out was going through them.
  • Tonight’s episode was the strongest of this season’s second half. We just didn’t get to learn about some of the things which motivates Bob, but also what made Sasha and Maggie such good survivors. Larry Gilliard, Jr. hasn’t been given enough chances to stretch his acting skills this season, but tonight he was allowed to do just that and he passed with flying colors.
  • Beth is really thirsting for some of Daryl and was really apparent in tonight’s episode. This should make Daryl/Carol shippers not very happy at all.
  • For Dead Rising fans tonight’s episode should bring a smile to their faces as we see Maggie become an expert in zombie killing just using a street sign pole and it’s very sharp squared steel sign.
  • The episode opened and ended with the song “Blackbird Song” by Lee DeWyze.
  • Jeff Kober returns as the leader of the small band of raiders we saw in the episode “Claimed”. His return may mean he’s the big baddie for this second half as the different groups make their way to Terminus.
  • Talking Dead Guests: Sonequa Martin-Green and Lauren Cohan, Sasha and Maggie of The Walking Dead.

Season 4