12 Things That I’m Looking Forward To In September


Welcome to the month of September!  Here are twelve things to which I am looking forward!

  1. October — Let’s just admit it.  Around these parts, the best thing about September is that it leads to October and TSL’s annual month of Horror!  It’s not just that I spend September looking forward to Halloween.  It’s also that I spend September selecting and watching all of the horror movies and reading all the books that I’m going to review in October!  There’s nothing more fun that watching all the pieces that make up the jigsaw puzzle that is October fall into place.
  2. Labor Day — How can you not be excited by our most confusing holiday?  Not only does it involve a long weekend and a chance to see family but it also officially signals the end of wearing white.  Plus, Labor Day is the official start of campaign season and this year, I’m actually paying attention to the midterms.
  3. After Ever Happy — The After saga comes to a close.  Will the world’s most boring couple manage to stick together?  Will that pretentious British dude ever stop feeling sorry for himself?  Will the American girl finally realize that she doesn’t have much of a personality beyond whoever she happens to be  dating at the moment?  And how foolish will people on Twitter act over this movie?  The previous After films all made my list for the worst films of the year in which they were released.  Will After Ever Happy keep the streak alive?
  4. Pinocchio — It’s easy to be cynical about remakes but the trailers look adorable!
  5. Blonde — Finally, after all the hype about the NC-17 rating, we’ll get to see Blonde for ourselves!  That said, it is kind of funny the Blonde was rated NC-17 but it’s going to be showing on Netflix, which anyone can watch whenever they feel like it.  Is Netflix going to be like, “Hey, if you’re not 17, stop watching right now!?”  In the streaming era, ratings feel like a left-over relic from the past.
  6. Don’t Worry, Darling — Much like Blonde, we’ll finally get to see what all the controversy is about.  Personally, I kind of suspect this film will be overshadowed by all the personal stuff involving Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, Shia, Florence, and that Ted Lasso guy.
  7. A Jazzman’s Blues — Has Tyler Perry finally made a good film?  We’ll find out soon.
  8. The Venice and Toronto Film Festivals — The Venice festival has just begun.  Toronto will start next week.  And the Oscar picture will suddenly become much clearer.
  9. The Return of Ghosts — The second season of Ghosts begins on the 29th!
  10. The End of Big Brother — This season hasn’t been as bad as other seasons but it’s still getting a bit exhausting and I’m glad that it will be wrapping itself up in another few weeks.  I’m also looking forward to the end of The Bachelorettes but I have to admit that the show pretty much ended for me the minute that Meatball didn’t get a rose.
  11. New Seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race — Yay!
  12. Retro Television Reviews — This is a new feature here at TSL.  I’ll be launching it tonight, around 5:30 central time.  Keep an eye out!

What are you looking forward to in September?

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

Here’s The Trailer For Blonde!


There are some people out there (mainly on Twitter) who are convinced that Andrew Dominik’s film adaptation of Blonde will be the first NC-17 film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

Well …. maybe.  If I’m skeptical, it’s because I can still remember suffering through Dominik’s previous non-documentary film, Killing Them Softly.  That said, Ana de Armas seems like she’s destined to be nominated some day and playing the lead role of Marilyn Monroe in a controversial film adapted from a controversial Joyce Carol Oates novel seems like the sort of thing that will get the Academy’s attention.

Here’s the trailer for Blonde:

Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions For February


Is it too early to start talking about next year’s Oscar race?

Of course, it is!  But I’m going to do it anyway.

Below, you’ll find the installment of my monthly list of Oscar predictions, not for what will win at the end of March but instead for what we’ll see nominated next year.  Obviously, there’s a lot that we don’t know about what’s going to happen later this year.  Only a few of the movies listed below have firmly set release dates.  Needless to say, I haven’t seen any of the films below and, as a result, I’m largely going on instinct.  Who knows if the films will be as good as their plot descriptions?  As much as I hate the overused quote from William Goldman, right now, no one knows anything.  Indeed, it’s not really until Festival Season hits that we really start to get even a vaguely clear picture of the Oscar race and we’ve got a long way to go until Cannes.

(And really, it’s debatable how much of a factor Cannes really is.  If the Oscar nominations were determined by Cannes, Red Rocket and The French Dispatch would be battling it out for best picture right now.)

The predictions below are, for the most part, just random guesses.  Most of them involve people who have won Oscars in the past.  The Fabelmans is there because it’s a Spielberg film, just as Killers of the Flower Moon makes the list because it’s directed by Martin Scorsese and it stars Leonard DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.  And, of course, a lot of the predictions are just the result of wishful thinking on my part.  I think it would be kind of fun if David Lynch got an acting nomination for his role in The Fabelmans, whatever that role may be.  I also think it would be nice if Brendan Fraser got a nomination to go along with his recent comeback.  I don’t know much about The Whale, beyond the fact that Fraser plays a 600-pound man trying to reconnect with his daughter.  For now, that’s enough.

So, without further ado, here are my way too early Oscar predictions!  As always, take them with a grain of salt.

Best Picture

Babylon

The Fabelmans

The Holdovers

Killers of the Flower Moon

Kitbag

Maestro

She Said

TAR

White Noise

The Woman King

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Gina Prince-Bythewood for The Woman King

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Ridley Scott for Kitbag

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper in Maestro

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers

Ryan Gosling in The Actor

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Ana de Armas in Blonde

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Carey Mulligan in Maestro

Best Supporting Actor

Bobby Cannavale in Blonde

Robert De Niro in Killer of the Flower Moon

John Boyega in The Woman King

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actress

Tantoo Cardinal in Killers of the Flower Moon

Laura Dern in The Son

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Da’Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions For May


It’s that time of the month again! It’s time for me to go out on a limb and attempt to predict what will be nominated for the Oscars. Of course, trying to do this early in the year is a fool’s errand. We all know that. That’s actually part of the fun.

As of right now, the list below is full of familiar names, a few films that were acclaimed at Sundance, and a few random guesses. A lot of the predicted nominees are films that were expected to be Oscar contenders last year but which were delayed due to the pandemic. (Looking at you, West Side Story.) Some of them are contenders that I personally would just like to see nominated, even though it probably won’t happen. (I’m not going to jinx anything by pointing out which nomination about which I’m specifically thinking. You’ll probably be able to guess for yourself.) Over the next few months, the Oscar picture will become a bit clearer. Many of the contenders listed below will be forgotten about. Meanwhile, new contenders will emerge. My point is, take it all with a grain of salt and don’t put down any money just yet.

Two big developments to keep in mind:

First off, the Academy is officially going back to having a set a number of nominees. Next year, ten films will be nominated for best picture. Not seven. Not nine. Ten. Personally, I’m thrilled by this development. Nothing irritated me more than when they used to announce those weird, seven-picture lineups. (As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like odd numbers.)

Secondly, the Academy is going back to the old eligibility dates. Yay! What that means is that only films that are released between March and the end of this year will be eligible to compete for the Oscars. More importantly, it means that the best film of 2021 will not be released in 2022.

Anyway, here are my predictions for this month! Don’t take them too seriously. If you want to see how my thinking has evolved, check out my predictions for March and April.

Best Picture

CODA

The Duke

The French Dispatch

House of Gucci

A Journal for Jordan

Nightmare Alley

Passing

Soggy Bottom

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson for Soggy Bottom

Guillermo Del Toro for Nightmare Alley

Ridley Scott for House of Gucci

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Denzel Washington for A Journal For Jordan

Best Actor

Jim Broadbent in The Duke

Clifton Collins, Jr. in Jockey

Peter Dinklage in Cyrano

Michael B. Jordan in A Journal For Jordan

Will Smith in King Richard

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Ana de Armas in Blonde

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Nicole Kidman in Being the Ricardos

Tessa Thompson in Passing

Best Supporting Actor

David Alvarez in West Side Story

Bradley Cooper in Soggy Bottom

Adam Driver in The Last Duel

Al Pacino in House of Gucci

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Best Supporting Actress

Ariana DeBose in West Side Story

Vera Farmiga in The Many Saints of Newark

Marlee Matlin in CODA

Frances McDormand in The Tragedy of MacBeth

Ruth Negga in Passing

Hottie of the Day: Melissa Giraldo


MELISSA GIRALDO

The newest hottie of the day share similarities with four previous hotties. This latest choice for our hottie feature is the lovely Melissa Giraldo.

Ms. Melissa Giraldo come straight from Medellin, Colombia. Like her lovely sisters the Davalos Twins, Daniela Tamayo and Sandra Valencia she is also one of the more popular models in South America as her work in the swimwear and lingerie industry has made her quite sought after to model companies’ products. Melissa has become one of the exclusive models for PHAX swimwear and also Besame Lingerie. She has also appeared many times in magazines as the featured pin-up and continues to expand to new fields in modeling such as runway shows both in her local Colombia and throughout South America.

Like the other South American models featured in this site’s “hottie of the day” she has gained quite a loyal following outside of Colombia and South America due to the spread of her pictorials over the internet. Only time will tell when she will finally explode in popularity here in the US. I wouldn’t be surprised if she becomes one of the new Victoria’s Secret Angels in a year or two.

Hottie of the Day: Daniela Tamayo


DANIELA TAMAYO

Speaking of golden globes…

I thought it was right about time to bring back an oldie, but goodie feature for the site which has languished in hiatus for the past couple months. The latest “Hottie of the Day” is one Daniela Tamayo.

Ms. Tamayo was born in New York City, but at the age of 5 moved to Medellin, Colombia and has lived there since. This doesn’t stop her from being fluent in English. Though Spanish or English it doesn’t matter since her very presence will cause men (and probably some women as well) to be dumbstruck. Like her fellow American-expatriates and Colombian models the Davalos twins, Daniela has taken to modeling quite well with her work as one Besame Lingerie’s feature models making Ms. Tamayo the talk of South America.

Some would think she would rest on her looks alone, but Daniela also has quite the entrepreneurial streak in her. She has started her own restaurant in her hometown of Medellin. Now, I have a reason to actually visit Medellin, Colombia that doesn’t involve visiting the resting place of the one they call Pablo.

Whether modeling or running a business, Ms. Daniela Tamayo is a perfect candidate for our latest Hottie of the Day.

Hottie of the Day: Bella Valentine


BELLA VALENTINE

Our latest hottie of the day is the lovely Ms. Bella Valentine.

Ms. Valentine is a glamour model born in Florence, Italy and who spent time growing up between Italy and Poland. She’s quite the cosmopolitan lass who is fluent in Italian and Polish in addition English and Spanish. Bella Valentine began her modeling career in 1999 as a runway model in Italy and stayed in the business for a couple years before moving to the US in a student exchange program in 2001. Still a teenager, she stayed in Northern California before moving onto Kansas City after high school to attend the Kansas City Art Institute. She soon dropped trying to study for a career as an artist and went into business school. After getting her degree in Business Management she tried her hand at the corporate game, but soon tired of it.

in 2008 she went back to modeling full-time and hasn’t looked back since. She’s been quite busy since her decision to return to modeling. Her work ranges from print and magazine ad modeling shoots to tv commercials in the Southwest region of the US. Miss Valentine has also done the promotion circuit as a model from 2008 to now. She has also worked with man of the top glamour modeling photographers in and out of the country. Her background in business has also given her the skill to start her own website business and looks forward to expanding her brand.

Official Site: Bella Valentine

Hottie of the Day: Amber Heard


AMBER HEARD

Texas born and raised Amber Heard is the latest hottie of the day.

The young model and actress had her first major role in the 2004 sports drama, Friday Night Lights. Other small roles in TV shows like Jack & Bobby, The Mountain and The O.C. soon followed. Ms. Heard’s career would continue on a gradual trajectory as she takes on roles in other TV shows such as Hidden Palms and Californication. But her career seem to be set for her as a film star as roles in major films such as The Pineapple Express, Never Back Down and, the soon to be released Johnny Depp drama, The Rum Diary.

Fans of Amber Heard last saw her in a small role in Zombieland as the college girl whom Jesse Eisenberg’s character falls for only to see her turn into a zombie. This turn as a potential horror babe must’ve been impressive enough that horror maestro John Carpenter himself has cast her in the lead role of his next feature-lenght film, The Ward.

Hottie of the Day: Diora Baird


DIORA BAIRD

One Ms. Diora Baird takes on the mantle of Hottie for the Day from one Irina Voronina. Ms. Baird was first discovered as a model while doing side jobs while trying to break into acting. It was during one of these side jobs that she someone saw her and thus her modeling career began. She became the a Guess? model pretty quickly. Landing spreads and covers at magazines such as FHM, Maxim and the like helped move her modeling career forward but it wasn’t until landing the cover of Playboy Magazine‘s August 2005 issue that she really got noticed. It wasn’t too long until she became an Elite Modeling Agency model.

Ms. Baird could easily have kept to modeling but she continued with her dream to break into the entertainment industry as an actress. In between modeling gigs she landed roles in small films. Usually they were comedies and horror films like Wedding Crashers and Brain Blockers. Her big break came when she was cast as one of the main characters in the prequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. In 2010 she’s to be seen as Lily Thompson in the remake of the horror cult-classic, Night of the Demons.