Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions For May

Here are my Oscar predictions for May!

Well, for once, Cannes has helped the Oscar picture to come into focus.  The triumphant premiere of Killers of the Flower Moon not only cemented the film’s status as an early front runner but it also confirmed that Leonardo DiCaprio will be in the running for Best Actor and Lily Gladstone for either Best Actress or Supporting Actress.  It also sound like Robert De Niro could receive another nomination.  (Despite the importance of his role, Jesse Plemons’s screen time is apparently limited.)

The other Oscar contender to come out of Cannes would appear to be Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest.  There is some talk that the film itself could be a bit too chilly for the Academy and, being familiar with Glazer’s work, that would not necessarily surprise me.  But, for now, The Zone of Interest is among my predicated Best Picture nominee.  I’m also going to continue to predict that Oppenheimer will be nominated and, after seeing the trailer, I’m a bit more confident that The Color Purple will be nominated as well.  And I’m still going to toss in Barbie because why not?

That said, the year isn’t even halfway over yet and there’s a lot of films to come.  It’s entirely possible that the majority of the best picture nominees are going to be films that haven’t even shown up on anyone’s radar yet.

Below are my predictions for May.  Be sure to also check out my predictions for March and April!

Best Picture



The Color Purple

Dune: Part Two

The Holdovers

Killers of the Flower Moon



Poor Things

The Zone of Interest

Best Director

Blitz Bazawule for The Color Purple

Jonathan Glazer for The Zone of Interest

Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer

Alexander Payne for The Holdovers

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper in Maestro

Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers

Andre Holland in The Actor

Best Actress

Emily Blunt in Pain Brokers

Greta Lee in Past Lives

Natalie Portman in May December

Margot Robbie in Barbie

Emma Stone in Poor Things

Best Supporting Actor

Willem DaFoe in Poor Things

Matt Damon in Oppenheimer

Robert De Niro in Killers of the Flower Moon

Ryan Gosling in Barbie

Samuel L. Jackson in The Piano Lesson

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis in Air

Jodie Foster in Nyad

Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Taraji P. Henson in The Color Purple

Da’Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers

Scenes that I Love: The End of Dirty Harry

Today, we wish a happy 93rd birthday to Clint Eastwood!

Today’s scene that I love comes from 1971’s Dirty Harry, in which Clint finally confronts the the Scorpio Killer (Andy Robinson) and asks him if he feels lucky.  Eastwood himself later said that Callahan’s badge must have been attached to a rubber band because he was somehow able to get it back in time for Magnum Force.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Howard Hawks Edition

4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

127 years ago, on this date, the great American filmmaker Howard Hawks was born in Indiana.  Over a career that spanned several decades, Hawks proved himself to be a master of every genre.  He made great crime films, great noirs, great comedies, and great westerns.  His influence continues to be felt to this day.  In honor of his legacy, it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Howard Hawks Films

Scarface (1932, dir by Howard Hawks, DP: Lee Garmes)

Twentieth Century (1934, dir by Howard Hawks, DP: Joseph August)

The Big Sleep (1946, dir by Howard Hawks, DP: Sidney Hickox)

Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953, dir by Howard Hawks, DP: Harry J. Wild)

Monday Live Tweet Alert: Join Us For Crackerjack 2 and Top Gun: Maverick!

As some of our regular readers undoubtedly know, I am involved in hosting a few weekly live tweets on twitter and occasionally Mastodon.  I host #FridayNightFlix every Friday, I co-host #ScarySocial on Saturday, and I am one of the five hosts of Mastodon’s #MondayActionMovie!  Every week, we get together.  We watch a movie.  We snark our way through it.

Tonight, for #MondayActionMovie, the film will be 1997’s Crackerjack 2!  Selected and hosted by Bunny Hero, this movie is a sequel to a film that need one!  So, you know it has to be good!

Following #MondayActionMovie, Brad and Sierra will be hosting the #MondayMuggers live tweet.  We will be watching Top Gun: Maverick!  The film is on Prime!

It should make for a night of fun viewing and I invite all of you to join in.  If you want to join the live tweets, just hop onto Mastodon, pull up Crackerjack 2 on YouTube, start the movie at 8 pm et, and use the #MondayActionMovie hashtag!  Then, at 10 pm et, switch over to Twitter and Prime, start Top Gun: Maverick, and use the #MondayMuggers hashtag!  The live tweet community is a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.   


Retro Television Reviews: Dark Angel (dir by Robert Iscove)

Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Sundays, I will be reviewing the made-for-television movies that used to be a primetime mainstay.  Today’s film is 1996’s Dark Angel!  It  can be viewed on YouTube!

Eric Roberts is Walter D’Arcangelo!

Walter was raised in the Louisiana foster system and eventually a series of Catholic orphanages.  With a last name like D’Arcangenlo, it’s hard not to feel that Walter was destined to eventually become an eccentric homicide detective who does things his way and that’s exactly what happened.  After starting his career in Baton Rouge, Walter has recently transferred to New Orleans.  He arrives just in time to help investigate a series of gruesome murders, the victims of which are all women who cheated on their husbands.  Walter even starts to get phone calls from someone who claims to be the murderer.

Unfortunately, for Walter, he’s somehow become a suspect in the murders.  The rest of the homicide division doesn’t quite know what to make of the somewhat nervy Walter.  When they discover that he went missing for several months while working in Baton Rouge, that makes him even more suspicious in the eyes of his new colleagues.  Even while she personally is falling for him, Detective Anna St. Cyr (Ashley Crow) investigates Walter’s past and discovers that Walter does indeed have a link to the murders but not in a way that anyone was expecting.

Dark Angel was clearly intended to be a pilot for a weekly detective show.  I imagine that Detective D’Arcangelo would have spent every week investigating a different murder in New Orleans.  The show is full of moments that don’t have much to do with the case but which seem to have been included to make viewers say, “Wow, Eric Roberts is a really interesting guy!  I wish he was starring in TV series that I could watch every Tuesday night!”  Roberts does give a pretty good performance as Walter, hinting that, even if he isn’t a killer, the detective is still someone who could snap at any minute.  Roberts plays Walter as if Walter himself is a little bit scared of the darkness that’s lurking inside of him.  Walter’s an interesting character, though one gets the feeling that the demands of a weekly show would have led to the character becoming a bit less enigmatic if Dark Angel had been turned into a series.

The film takes place in New Orleans and it’s somewhat shameless about indulging in every “Big Easy” cliché possible.  Yes, Walter listens to jazz.  Yes, there are scenes of rain and shots where the steamy humidity seems to be rising from the French Quarter.  Yes, Walter visits a voodoo priestess and yes, there’s even a scene set during Mardi Gras.  Though there’s nothing unexpected about the show’s portrayal of New Orleans, the pilot does do a good job of capturing the city’s unique atmosphere.  Eric Roberts and New Orleans feel like a perfect match,

Of course, Dark Angel did not become a series.  Still, the pilot is entertaining and Eric Roberts gives another memorable performance.  Dark Angel is a enjoyably macabre diversion.

Previous Eric Roberts Films That We Have Reviewed:

  1. Star 80 (1983)
  2. Blood Red (1989)
  3. The Ambulance (1990)
  4. The Lost Capone (1990)
  5. Love, Cheat, & Steal (1993)
  6. Love Is A Gun (1994)
  7. Sensation (1994)
  8. Doctor Who (1996)
  9. Most Wanted (1997)
  10. Mr. Brightside (2004)
  11. Six: The Mark Unleased (2004)
  12. Hey You (2006)
  13. In The Blink of an Eye (2009)
  14. The Expendables (2010) 
  15. Sharktopus (2010)
  16. Deadline (2012)
  17. Miss Atomic Bomb (2012)
  18. Lovelace (2013)
  19. Self-Storage (2013)
  20. This Is Our Time (2013)
  21. Inherent Vice (2014)
  22. Road to the Open (2014)
  23. Rumors of War (2014)
  24. A Fatal Obsession (2015)
  25. Stalked By My Doctor (2015)
  26. Joker’s Poltergeist (2016)
  27. Stalked By My Doctor: The Return (2016)
  28. The Wrong Roommate (2016)
  29. Stalked By My Doctor: Patient’s Revenge (2018)
  30. Monster Island (2019)
  31. Seven Deadly Sins (2019)
  32. Stalked By My Doctor: A Sleepwalker’s Nightmare (2019)
  33. The Wrong Mommy (2019)
  34. Free Lunch Express (2020)
  35. Her Deadly Groom (2020)
  36. Top Gunner (2020)
  37. Just What The Doctor Ordered (2021)
  38. Killer Advice (2021)
  39. The Poltergeist Diaries (2021)
  40. My Dinner With Eric (2022)

May Positivity: Grace Unplugged (dir by Brad J. Silverman)

The 2013 film, Grace Unplugged, is about Grace Trey (AJ Michalka) and her father, Johnny Trey (James Denton).  Back in the 80s, Johnny was a rock star who had one hit song and then basically wasted away with his career with drugs and alcohol.  Eventually, he got clean and turned his back on rock stardom.  Instead, he started writing and performing faith-based music.  Like her father, Grace is musically talented but, at the age of 18, she is chafing at the idea of living under his strict rules.  Though she plays in his band, she resents the fact that he won’t left her play the songs the way that she wants to.

One day, Johnny is visited by his former manager, Mossy Mostin (Kevin Pollack).  (Never trust anyone named Mossy.)  Mossy explains that, because it was performed by the winner of an Australian singing competition, Johnny’s one hit is suddenly popular again.  Mossy wants Johnny to start recording again.  “None of the religious stuff, obviously,” Mossy says.  Johnny turns Mossy down but Grace, looking for an escape, records her own version of her father’s song and sends it to Mossy.

After she ditches youth group so that she can go to a movie and subsequently gets yelled at about it by her father, Grace decides to leave home and go to Mossy.  Mossy offers to manage Grace.  He also tells Grace that he will be totally taking over her image.  Soon, Grace finds herself in a phony relationship with a vapid television star (Zane Holtz) and she’s told that she has to be willing to sex up her image if she’s going to be a star.  Johnny continually asks her to come back home.  Mossy continually pressures her to stop thinking and just listen to her management.

On the positive side, Grace Unplugged avoids the many of the cliches that one might normally expect to come along with a film like this.  Grace, for instance, doesn’t get hooked on pills or any other drugs.  At worse, she has too much to drink one night and then wakes up with a bad hangover.  Grace may often feel confused about what she wants to do with her career and she doesn’t appreciate her father’s strict ways but she never becomes self-destructive or strung out or any of the other things that usually happen in movies like this.  As well, Mossy is portrayed as being a bit insensitive but he’s not some sort of a mustache-twirling villain.  In fact, the film is smart enough to understand that Grace does have a point about her father.  Johnny is too over-protective and over-controlling, especially when it comes to her music.  He fears that she’ll make the same mistakes that he did but the viewers never have any doubt that she’s not going to.  Grace is often naïve and unsure of what she should do but she’s never portrayed as being weak and I appreciated that.

That said, the film ends on a bit of a heavy-handed note as it reveals itself to be yet another adaptation of the parable of the Prodigal Son.  The film’s script conspires to only leave Grace with two options, which is either abandon her family or abandon stardom.  In the end, the film’s conclusion feels just a little bit too simplistic.

Here’s What Won At Cannes

And so, another Cannes film festival has come to a close!  Despite my initial predictions and some generally respectful reviews, Ken Loach did not win a third Palme d’Or for The Old Oak so I’m happy about that.  Here’s what did win:


Palme d’Or: “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet

Grand Prix: “The Zone of Interest,” Jonathan Glazer

Director: Tran Anh Hung, “The Pot au Feu”

Actor: Kōji Yakusho, “Perfect Days”

Actress: Merve Dizdar, “About Dry Grasses”

Jury Prize: “Fallen Leaves,” Aki Kaurismaki

Screenplay: Sakamoto Yûji, “Monster”


Camera d’Or: “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell,” Thien An Pham

Short Films Palme d’Or: “27,” Flóra Anna Buda.

Short Films Special Mention: “Fár,” Gunnur Martinsdóttir Schlüter

Queer Palm: “Monster”


Un Certain Regard Award: “How to Have Sex,” Molly Manning Walker

Jury Prize: Asmae El Moudir, “Hounds”

Best Director Prize: “The Mother of All Lies,” Asmae El Moudir

Freedom Prize: “Goodbye Julia,” Mohamed Kordofani

Ensemble Prize: “The Buriti Flower,” cast and crew

New Voice Prize: “Omen,” Baloji


Europa Cinemas Label: “Creatura,” Elena Martín

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “A Prince,” Pierre Creton


Grand Prize: “Tiger Stripes,” Amanda Nell Eu

French Touch Prize: “It’s raining in the house,” Paloma Sermon-Daï

GAN Foundation Award for Distribution: Pyramide Films, “Inshallah a boy”

Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award: Jovan Ginić, “Lost Country”

As far as the Oscars are concerned, I think the big winner at Cannes was Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.  Yes, it was screened out of competition but the response to the film was so enthusiastic that it pretty much confirmed that, for now, it’s the Oscar front runner.  If nothing else, the response temporarily silenced those who have been insisting that Killers of the Flower Moon would be a disappointment.  (Bizarrely, there’s a whole generation of film commentators who seem to be obsessed with claiming that Scorsese is somehow overrated.  I’d hate to think this is all about something as petty as Scorsese’s criticism of the Marvel films but then again, we live in petty times.)  I would also keep an eye on Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest, which many expected would win the Palme but which had to settle for the jury prize.  From what I’ve read, Glazer’s film sounds like it could be an Oscar contender.

Live Tweet Alert: Watch Dario Argento’s Inferno with #ScarySocial

Inferno (1980, dir by Dario Argento, DP: Romana Albano)

As some of our regular readers undoubtedly know, I am involved in a few weekly live tweets on twitter.  I host #FridayNightFlix every Friday, I co-host #ScarySocial on Saturday, and I am one of the five hosts of #MondayActionMovie!  Every week, we get together.  We watch a movie.  We tweet our way through it.

Tonight, for #ScarySocial, I will be hosting 1980’s Inferno!  Dario Argento’s sequel to the original Suspiria is one of his best films, a dream-like exploration of the dark and the disturbing.  I can’t wait to share it with everyone!


If you want to join us on Saturday night, just hop onto twitter, start the film at 9 pm et, and use the #ScarySocial hashtag!  The film is available on Prime.  I’ll be there co-hosting and I imagine some other members of the TSL Crew will be there as well.  It’s a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.



Live Tweet Alert: Join #FridayNightFlix for Attack The Block!


As some of our regular readers undoubtedly know, I am involved in a few weekly live tweets on twitter.  I host #FridayNightFlix every Friday, I co-host #ScarySocial on Saturday, and I am one of the five hosts of #MondayActionMovie!  Every week, we get together.  We watch a movie.  We tweet our way through it.

Tonight, at 10 pm et, #FridayNightFlix has got 2011’s Attack the Block!

If you want to join us this Friday, just hop onto twitter, start the movie at 10 pm et, and use the #FridayNightFlix hashtag!  It’s a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.

Attack The Block is available on Prime and Tubi!  See you there!

Film Review: Amityville Emanuelle (dir by Louis DeStafano)

Amityville Emanuelle is the latest film about the dumbass Amityville Haunting.

In order to watch any of the many films about the supposed haunted house in Amityville, New York, you need to be aware of two real-life events.

In 1974, a 23 year-old junkie named Ronald DeFeo, Jr. gunned down his entire family in their Amityville home.  DeFeo first claimed that unknown gunmen had killed his family while he was out.  He then changed his story and said that he killed his family but he did it because he knew they were plotting to kill him.  He then suggested that the whole thing was a mafia hit.  He then moved on to claiming that his sister was the one who actually killed everyone.  And, finally, he claimed that he had been possessed by demonic spirits.

One year later, the Lutz family moved into the Amityville House.  After a month, the Lutzes left the house and George Lutz claimed that the house was haunted and that the family had been forced to flee for their lives.  Thanks to a book and a few movies based on that book, the Lutzes made some money and eventually ended up suing a lot of other people in order to make even more money.  Subsequent owners of the house have never reported anything strange happening while living in the house, other than strangers stopping by to view the supposedly haunted structure.

So, we can either believe that Ronald DeFeo was a junkie who killed his own estranged family or we can accept that the Devil took one look at Ronald DeFeo shooting up heroin and decided, “I’m tired of possessing the innocent and the naïve.  I’m going to possess someone who is already so screwed up that no one will even notice that he’s been possessed.  That’ll show ’em!”

And we can either believe that a bunch of demons chased George and Kathryn Lutz from their home or we can believe that the Lutzes looked at the success of books and films like The Exorcist and The Omen and they decided that they might as well cash in as well.

Amityville Emanuelle accepts, from the start, the everything was due to the paranormal, which is fine.  It’s a movie and Occam’s razor goes out the window when it comes to the movies.  George Lutz’s daughter, Laura (Dawn Church), moves into a new house and is soon visited by a strange woman who claims that she is delivering some of George’s belongings.  Laura discovers that George owned an urn that was full of Ronald DeFeo’s ashes.  Apparently, George and DeFeo had a psychic connection and George, who is insinuated to have been some sort of an occultist, knew that DeFeo was going to murder his family before he even did it.

(Wow, those are some pretty mean things to say about the late George Lutz, who was a real person and not really around to defend himself.  Then again, George Lutz would be totally forgotten today if not for the fact that he made up a bunch of stuff about a haunted house so really, Lutz being portrayed as an occultist feels like karma.)

Laura soon finds herself acting in strange ways, picking up random men at bars and then barely noticing when they’re subsequently killed by someone who looks just like Ronald DeFeo.

Meanwhile, Ronald DeFeo’s son, Gordon (Shane Ryan-Reid, himself a director of transgressive films), makes the mistake of using a Ouija Board with his friends and he’s soon having visions of his father killing people.

(Now, I know that some of you are now saying, “Where does Emanuelle fit in with this?” because, after all, the symbol of sexual freedom and experimentation is namechecked in the film’s title.  Well, Emanuelle really doesn’t fit into it, unless you include the scene where Laura goes to a bar and picks up two men.  But those watching this film because they’re expecting it to be some sort of soft-core haunted house flick are going to be disappointed.)

Amityville Emanuelle is a low-budget and rather dumb film but it is at least partially redeemed by the fact that it doesn’t appear to be taking itself seriously at all and there’s no attempt to convince the viewer that they’re somehow watching anything that could be based on fact.  There’s not much in the way of suspense and both the gore and the sex are rather tame but there is a medium (played by Saint Heart) whose generally annoyed attitude is occasionally fun to watch.  The Amityville Haunting has always been a particularly stupid story and the cynicism of the majority of people who continue to try to sell it as being fact has always been more than a bit icky so, at this point, Amityville Emanuelle is kind of what the legend deserves.