What If Lisa Picked The Oscar Nominees: 2020 Edition


With the Oscar nominations due to be announced tomorrow, now is the time that the Shattered Lens indulges in a little something called, “What if Lisa had all the power.” Listed below are my personal Oscar nominations. Please note that these are not the films that I necessarily think will be nominated. The fact of the matter is that the many of them will not. Instead, these are the films that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for deciding the nominees this year. Winners are listed in bold.

I should also point out that I’ve only nominated films that were actually released in 2020.  Undoubtedly, Nomadland, Minari, Judas and the Black Messiah, and The Father will do very well with the Academy tomorrow but, as far as I’m concerned, they’re 2021 films and not eligible for my nominations.  They will be eligible next year, when I do my 2021 edition of What If Lisa Had All The Power.

It should also go without saying that I’ve nominated films that I’ve actually seen.

You’ll also note that I’ve added four categories, all of which I believe the Academy should adopt — Best Voice-Over Performance, Best Casting, Best Stunt Work, and Best Overall Use Of Music In A Film.

Click on the links to see my nominations for 2019, 20182017201620152014201320122011, and 2010!)

Best Picture

The Assistant
Bad Education
First Cow
The Girl With A Bracelet
i’m thinking of ending things
Lovers Rock
Palm Springs
Promising Young Woman
Soul
The Vast of Night

Best Director

Stéphane Demoustier for The Girl With A Bracelet
Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman
Charlie Kaufman for i’m thinking of ending things
Steve McQueen for Lovers Rock
Andrew Patterson for The Vast of Night
Kelly Reichardt for First Cow

Best Actor

Ben Affleck in The Way Back
Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
John Boyega in Red, White, and Blue
Hugh Jackman in Bad Education
Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Best Actress

Alison Brie in Horse Girl
Sidney Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Julia Garner in The Assistant
Melissa Guers in The Girl With A Bracelet
Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead
Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor

Brian Dennehy in Driveways
Aldis Hodge in One Night In Miami
Orion Lee in First Cow
Clarke Peters in Da 5 Blood
Paul Raci in The Sound of Metal
J.K. Simmons in Palm Springs

Best Supporting Actress

Jane Adams in She Dies Tomorrow
Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Cooke in Sound of Metal
Allison Janney in Bad Education
Chiara Mastroianni in The Girl With A Bracelet
Talia Ryder in Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Voice Over Performance

Jack Cruz in What Did Jack Do?
Bruce Davis in The Vast of Night
Tina Fey in Soul
Jamie Foxx in Soul
Nick Offerman in Frances Ferguson
Chris Pratt in Onward

Best Original Screenplay

The Assistant
Palm Springs
Possessor
Promising Young Woman
Soul
The Vast of Night

Bad Education

Best Adapted Screenplay

Bad Education
Emma
First Cow
The Girl With A Bracelet
i’m thinking of ending things
The Outpost

Best Animated Feature Film

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Onward
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
Soul

Best Documentary Feature Film

Alabama Snake
Athlete A
The Mystery of D.B. Cooper
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind
The Social Dilemma
Tread

Best International Feature Film

Figurant
The Girl With A Bracelet
Gunpowder Heart
The Hater
The Life Ahead
The Shock of the Future

Best Live Action Short Film

Basic
Figurant
Host
Run/On
Waffle
What Did Jack Do?

Best Documentary Short Film

Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business
John Was Trying To Contact Aliens
Lions in the Corner
Quilt Fever

Best Animated Short Film

Canvas

If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Original Score

Call of the Wild
First Cow
Mangrove
Possessor
She Dies Tomorrow
The Shock of The Future

Best Original Song

“Boss Bitch” from Birds of Prey
“Diamonds” from Birds of Prey
“Everybody Dies” from The Outpost
“Future Shock Work in Progress” from The Shock of the Future
“Gratia Plena” from Fatima
“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“Jah Jah Ding Dong” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“Metamorph” from Gunpowder Heart
“The Spirit of Christmas” from The Christmas Chronicles 2
“True Love’s Flame” from What Did Jack Do?

Best Overall Use of Music

Bill & Ted Face The Music
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Lovers Rock
Proising Young Woman
The Shock of the Future
Soul

Best Sound

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Lovers Rock
The Outpost
Possessor
The Shock of the Future
Sound of Metal

Best Production Design

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Emma
First Cow
i’m thinking of ending things
Possessor
The Shock of the Future

Best Casting

The Assistant
First Cow
Lovers Rock
Palm Springs
Promising Young Woman
The Vast of Night

Best Cinematography

First Cow
i’m thinking of ending things
Lovers Rock
Mank
She Dies Tomorrow
The Vast of Night

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Bill & Ted Face The Music
i’m thinking of ending things
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Promising Young Woman

Best Costume Design

Emma
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Fatima
First Cow
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Tesla

Best Film Editing

Extraction
i’m thinking of ending things
The Outpost
Palm Springs
Promising Young Woman
The Way Back

Best Stuntwork

Bad Boys For Life
Birds of Prey
Bloodshot
Extraction
The Hunt
The Outpost

Best Visual Effects

The Christmas Chronicles 2
The Midnight Sky
The Outpost
Possessor
Radioactive
Tesla

Films By Number of Nominations

8 Nominations — First Cow, Promising Young Woman

7 Nominations — Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, i’m thinking of ending things

6 Nominations — The Girl With A Bracelet, Lovers Rock, The Outpost, Shock of the Future, Soul, The Vast of Night

5 Nominations — Palm Springs, Possessor

4 Nominations — The Assistant, Bad Education, Sound of Metal

3 Nominations — Birds of Prey, Emma, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, She Dies Tomorrow, What Did Jack Do?

2 Nominations — Bill & Ted Face the Music, The Christmas Chronicles 2, Da 5 Bloods, Extraction, Fatima, Figurant, Gunpowder Heart, Hillbilly Elegy, The Life Ahead, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Onward, Tesla, The Way Back

1 Nomination — Alabama Snake, Athlete A, Bad Boys For Life, Basic, Bettye Saar: Taking Care of Business, Bloodshot, Call of the Wild, Canvas, Driveways, Frances Ferguson, The Hater, Horse Girl, Host, The Hunt, If Anything Happens I Love You, John Was Trying To Contact Aliens, Lions in the Corner, Mangrove, Mank, Midnight Sky, The Mystery of D.B. Cooper, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, One Night in Miami, Quilt Fever, Radioactive, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, Red White and Blue, Run/On, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, The Social Dilemma, Tread, Waffle

Films By Number of Oscars Won

3 Oscars — The Girl With A Bracelet, Promising Young Woman

1 Oscar — The Assistant, Bad Education, Driveways, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Figurant, First Cow, Frances Ferguson, If Anything Happens I Love You, i’m thinking of ending things, John Was Trying To Contact Aliens, Lovers Rock, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Outpost, Palm Springs, Possessor, Shock of the Future, The Social Dilemma, Soul, Sound of Metal, The Vast of Night, What Did Jack Do?

Tomorrow, the Oscar nominations will be released and we’ll see if how much or, more likely, how little the Academy and I agree upon!

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the Hollywood Critics Association!


The Hollywood Critics Association has announced their nominees for the best of 2020!  The winners will be announced on March 5th, 2021 in a virtual ceremony.

As for the nominees, themselves, it’s pretty much more of the same.  Judas and the Black Messiah — which really wasn’t a huge factor during the December and January portion of awards season — seems to be coming on strong in the 2nd half.  In this case, it took the Best Picture spot that probably would have otherwise gone to First Cow.

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
Judas and The Black Messiah
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Father
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Zendaya – Malcolm & Marie

Best Supporting Actor
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and The Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

Best Animated or VFX Performance
Ben Schwartz – Sonic the Hedgehog
Cathy Ang – Over the Moon
Honor Kneafsey – Wolfwalkers
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Tina Fey – Soul

Best Male Director
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
David Fincher – Mank
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Shaka King – Judas and The Black Messiah
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

Best Female Director
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Sofia Coppola – On the Rocks

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Abraham Marder & Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Best Adapted Screenplay
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Florian Zeller – The Father
Jonathan Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Cast Ensemble
Da 5 Bloods
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
The Prom
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best First Feature
Channing Godfrey Peoples – Miss Juneteenth
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Radha Blank – The 40-Year-Old Version
Regina King – One Night in Miami

Best Animated Film
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul
The Croods: A New Age
Wolfwalkers

Best International Film
Another Round
Bacurau
I’m No Longer Here
La Llorona
Two of Us

Best Documentary
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Class Action Park
Dick Johnson is Dead
Time

Best Action
Bad Boys for Life
Birds of Prey
Extraction
Tenet
The Old Guard

Best Blockbuster
Birds of Prey
Sonic the Hedgehog
Tenet
The Old Guard
Wonder Woman 1984

Best Comedy/Musical
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
On the Rocks
Palm Springs
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Prom

Best Horror
Freaky
His House
Host
Relic
The Invisible Man

Best Indie Film
Black Bear
First Cow
Minari
Miss Juneteenth
Palm Springs

Best Short Film
Burrow
Canvas
Cops And Robbers
If Anything Happens, I Love You
The Heart Still Hums

Best Cinematography
Mank
News of The World
Nomadland
Tenet
The Midnight Sky

Best Stunts
Birds of Prey
Extraction
Tenet
The Old Guard
Wonder Woman 1984

Best Score
Mank
Minari
News of The World
Soul
The Midnight Sky

Best Original Song
Husavik (My Hometown) – Eurovision Song Contest
Rocket to the Moon – Over the Moon
Speak Now – One Night in Miami
Turntables – All In: The Fight for Democracy
Wear Your Crown – The Prom

Best Hair & Makeup
Birds of Prey
Hillbilly Elegy
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Promising Young Woman

Best Costume Design
Birds of Prey
Emma
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Production Design
Emma
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Prom

Best Film Editing
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Father
The Invisible Man
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Visual Effects
Birds of Prey
Sonic the Hedgehog
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

Horror Film Review: Host (dir by Rob Savage)


Host tells the story of the Zoom meeting from Hell.

Actually, that description is a case of me being a bit too glib.  Though this hour-long film, which can currently be viewed on Shudder, has received a lot of attention for its Zoom call format, there’s a good deal more going on in Host.  It’s the first film of the COVID-19 era and, when this era finally ends, it’s a film that will remind viewers of what it was like to be locked down and afraid that, even behind closed door and with a mask ready to go, there was truly no escape from the virus.

Host is a British film about six friends, one psychic medium, and one very destructive spirit.  Locked down due to COVID, the friends have weekly Zoom meetings.  Some of them drink wine during the meetings.  One of them smokes a good deal of weed.  The important thing that they’re staying in contact and not allowing the separation to drive them apart.  As so many others have done over the course of 2020, they’ve tried to find some sort of normalcy in a situation that is anything but.  Even though the viewer only spends an hour with these characters, it’s impossible not to relate to what they’re going through.

For this week’s meeting, a medium named Seylan (Seylan Baxter) had been hired to lead the friends in an online séance.  Everyone has a different reaction to Seylan, which I liked.  Jemma (Jemma Moore) seems to be struggling not to laugh as Seylan tells everyone to light their candles.  (I related to Jemma, as I probably would have had the same reaction.)  Emma (Emma Louise Webb) and Caroline (Caroline Ward) are both obviously taking the séance a bit more seriously and are concerned about what will happen when they contact the other side.  Haley (Haley Bishop) tries to keep the group focused while Radina (Radina Drandova) and Teddy (Edward Linard) deal with interruptions from their significant others.

Well, needless to say, the séance doesn’t exactly lead to the best of results.  That doesn’t count as a spoiler because first off, this film is on Shudder and secondly, since when has it ever been a good idea to try to contact the dead?  If there’s anything that I’ve learned from the movies, it’s that the dead are extremely touchy and prone to violence.

Host makes great use of its format.  Every time someone drops out of the meeting, we’re left to wonder if they’ve just temporarily lost their connection or if they’ve been attacked by something from beyond.  When we watch the interaction between the six friends — who feel like a group of real friends, though I don’t know how well everyone knew each other before production began — we find ourselves constantly looking over everyone’s shoulder, searching for any sign of an unexpected presence.  Sometimes, we think we see something just to then discover that it was just our overactive imagination.  Sometimes, we think we something and …. well, we actually do.

Host works because it’s a horror film to which everyone can relate.  It gets to a truth that gets beyond the usual horror movie mechanics.  There’s an interesting scene where one of the zoom participants is forced to flee from her flat.  Even with an evil presence chasing her, she still makes sure to mask up before leaving.  If it’s not the demons waiting to get you while you’re in quarantine, it’s the COVID waiting to get you as soon as you exit.  The greatest fear that many people have had over the past few months is that, even if you isolate and wear your mask and stay inside, the disease is still going to somehow get you.  Much like a demon from the other side, the coronavirus can’t be seen but it could be anywhere.  The evil spirit in Host is not named COVID but it might as well be.

Finally! Some Oscar news…


If you’ve been reading this site for the past few years then you know that my favorite time of the year is Oscar season.  I love the Oscars.

Unlike a lot of online film commentators, I don’t them all that seriously.  Again, if you’ve been reading this site for a while, then you know exactly how I feel about a certain self-important (and self-described) awards diva who is fond of saying things like, “I know the game because I am the game.”  You’ll never find me descending to that type of smugness.  I’m a fan, not a wannabe insider.

The Oscars are a big, tacky spectacle and that’s why I like them.  I let others worry about the political significance of why certain films win or lose.  I let others deal in the dreary outrage over the fact that The King’s Speech beat The Social Network.

I just sit back and enjoy the silliness of it all.

So, as you can imagine, I’m excited because today saw that start of Oscar season!  The Academy has announced who will host the ceremony in 2014 and the winner is…

Not Seth McFarlane!

Seriously, I get the feeling that’s it’s going to be a very long time before Seth is invited back to the Oscars.

I’m not a huge Seth McFarlane fan but I have to admit that I wasn’t as outraged by his Oscar hosting performance as some people were.  Yes, the majority of his jokes were lame and borderline offensive.  Yes, there was an undercurrent of misogyny to a lot of what he said and did.

But misogyny is pretty much the fuel that keeps Seth McFarlane’s career alive and that should have been obvious to anyone who has seen anything that McFarlane has ever been involved with.  You have to wonder just what exactly the show’s producers were expecting when they picked McFarlane in the first place.

Regardless, after all the criticism that McFarlane generated, the show’s producers have decided to go in the exact opposite direction with next year’s host….

….Ellen Degeneres!

She’s an almost painfully predictable choice but, with the exception of that season she spent on American Idol, I like Ellen so I can’t complain about her getting to host the Oscars for the second time.

That said, I still think they should have given James Franco another shot…