Lisa Marie’s Too Early Oscar Predictions for May!


It’s time for me to post my monthly Oscar predictions!

As always, the usual caveats apply.  It’s way too early for me to try to make any predictions.  Most of the films listed below haven’t even been released (or screened) yet and it’s totally possible that a big contender might come out of nowhere in the fall.  That seems to happen almost every year.

So, take these predictions with a grain of salt.  These are my guesses.  Some of them are based on instinct.  Some of them are just there because I think it would be a really, really neat if that movie or performer was nominated.  However, I will say this: I do think that if a comic book movie is ever nominated for best picture, it will be Black Panther.

(I actually preferred Avengers: Infinity War to Black Panther — sorry, Ryan — but, much like Get Out, Black Panther has gone beyond being a movie.  It’s become a cultural signpost, in a way that Infinity War never will.)

The Cannes Film Festival is going on right now and one potential Oscar contender — Spike Lee’s BlackkKlansman — is due to make its debut in the upcoming days.  Right now, I don’t have BlackkKlansman listed in my predictions, mostly because the Academy hasn’t exactly embraced Lee in the past.  But I will be interested to see how Cannes reacts to the film.

(Check out my predictions for January, February, March, and April!)

Best Picture

At Eternity’s Gate

Black Panther

Boy Erased

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary, Queen of Scots

The Other Side of the Wind

A Quiet Place

Widows

Wildfire

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for First Man

Ryan Coogler for Black Panther

Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk

Steve McQueen for Widows

Josie Rourke for Mary, Queen of Scots

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy

Willem DaFoe in At Eternity’s Gate

Ryan Gosling in First Man

Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased

Robert Redford in Old Man and the Gun

Best Actress

Viola Davis in Widows

Felicity Jones in On The Basis of Sex

Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Saoirse Ronan in Mary. Queen of Scots

Kristen Stewart in JT LeRoy

Best Supporting Actor

Russell Crowe in Boy Erased

Sam Elliott in A Star Is Born

Oscar Isaac in At Eternity’s Gate

Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther

Forest Whitaker in Burden

Best Supporting Actress

Claire Foy in First Man

Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased

Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk

Margot Robie in Mary, Queen of Scots

Sissy Spacek in Old Man And The Gun

 

 

Lisa’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for April


Hi, everyone!

Well, it’s that time again!  It’s time for me to post my very early Oscar predictions.  I do this on a monthly basis.  I always make it a point to acknowledge that, this early in the year, this is something of a pointless exercise.  We’re still not far into 2018 and but, surprisingly, several excellent films have already been released.  Who knows what the rest of the year will be like!

So, as always, the predictions below are a combination of instinct and random guesses.  This month, I’ve kind of let my imagination run wild.  And you know what?  That’s the way it should be.  What’s the point of trying to predict stuff if you can’t have fun?

So, without further ado, here are my predictions for April!

(Click to see my predictions for January, February, and March!)

Best Picture

Annihilation

Black Panther

Boy Erased

First Man

The Happytime Murders

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary, Queen of Scots

The Other Side of the Wind

A Quiet Place

Widows

Best Director

Ryan Coogler for Black Panther

Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk

John Krasinski for A Quiet Place

Steve McQueen for Widows

Orson Welles for The Other Side of the Wind

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy

Willem DaFoe in At Eternity’s Gate

Matt Dillon in The House That Jack Built

Ryan Gosling in First Man

John Huston in The Other Side of the Wind

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Viola Davis in Widows

Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Saoirse Ronan in Mary, Queen of Scots

Kristin Stewart in JT LeRoy

Best Supporting Actor

Peter Bogdanovich in The Other Side of the Wind

Russell Crowe in Boy Erased

Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther

David Tennant in Mary, Queen of Scots

Forest Whitaker in Burden

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern in JT Leroy

Claire Foy in First Man

Nicole Kidman in Boy Erases

Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk

Margot Robie in Mary, Queen of Scots

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa’s Way, Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for March


The Oscar (1966, dir by Russell Rouse)

Right now, when it comes to predicting the Oscars, there are two big questions to consider.

First off, will Burden ever find a distributor?  From the reviews in Sundance, it sounds like the type of film that could be embraced by the Academy but, if it can’t get in theaters, it’s not going to get any nominations.

Secondly, will Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman came out in 2019 or 2018?  Right now, Netflix says that The Irishman will be released in 2019 but we all remember what happened with The Wolf of Wall Street.

As of now, I’m going to choose to believe that Burden will get a 2018 release date and that The Irishman will come out in 2019.

I’m also going to chose to believe that Black Panther will be the first “comic book” movie to be nominated for best picture.

Also be sure to check out my predictions for January and February!

Best Picture

At Eternity’s Gate

Black Panther

Boy Erased

Burden

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary, Queen of Scots

A Star is Born

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Widows

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for First Man

Ryan Coogler for Black Panther

Andrew Heckler for Burden

Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk

Josie Rourke for Mary, Queen of Scots

Best Actor

Christian Bale in Backseat

Willem DaFoe in At Eternity’s Gate

Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased

Ryan Gosling in First Man

Garrett Hedlund in Burden

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Chloe Grace Moretz in The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Saoirse Ronan in Mary, Queen of Scots

Kristen Stewart in JT LeRoy

Best Supporting Actor

Jeff Bridges in Bad Times at the El Royale

Colman Domingo in If Beale Street Could Talk

Robert Duvall in Widows

Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther

Forest Whiteaker in Burden

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams in Backseat

Claire Foy in First Man

Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased

Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk

Margot Robie in Mary, Queen of Scots

Olivia De Havilland and Friends

Back to School #62: Elephant (dir by Gus Van Sant)


Gus Van Sant’s dream-like 2003 film Elephant is not an easy film to review.  Working with a non-professional cast and avoiding any easy answers or traditional narrative tricks (and indeed, the film ends with the fates of most of the characters still unknown), Elephant is ultimately a disturbing and nightmarish film.  It’s also an important film, one that examines the violence that runs through our current culture.

I’m one of the lucky ones.  I managed to get through all 12 years of my public education without ever getting shot at.  There’s quite a few people my age who can’t make the same claim.  I’d be lying if I said that I spent a lot of time in school obsessing over whether or not someone was going to start shooting but now, when I look back, I sometimes wonder how close I may have come.  One of the scarier things about the typical profile of school shooter is that we’ve all known somebody who fits it.  Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder if I just got lucky.  Maybe the guy who was planning on shooting up my school couldn’t get his hands on a gun.  Maybe, at the last moment, he changed his mind and decided to leave his gun in his locker instead of taking it out before the start of second period.  We come into contact with thousands of people over the course of our lives and we can never for sure what any of them are truly thinking or planning.

According to Wikipedia, there were a dozen school shootings in the U.S. during the time I was in high school.  Thankfully, none of them happened at my high school but, as I looked over the list, I couldn’t help but wonder why my classmates and I were spared the trauma of random violence while the students at Rocori High School in Cold Springs, Missouri were not.  Were we somehow better or more deserving than the students at Rocori?  Had they done something wrong or had we done something right?  Why were they forced to deal with violence while I was spared?  It all just seems so random.

And that’s the terrifying thing about random violence — it is, in the end, all so random.  We always tend to look for explanations afterward.  We try to assign blame and we try to come up with a reason because we know that, if we can explain random violence, then we can do something about it.  But, far too often, there are no reasons.

Elephant perfectly captures this randomness.  The film’s ensemble of characters spend what for many of them will be their final hours randomly wandering through their high school and their lives. Three mean girls eat lunch and then duck into toilet stalls where all three of them proceed to throw up.  John (John Robinson) searches for his drunk father (Timothy Bottoms) who may be wandering around the campus.  Awkward Michelle (Kristen Hicks) goes from her gym class to the library, little aware that she will soon be the first to be confronted by the gunmen.  Once the shooting starts, silent jock Bennie (Bennie Dixon) walks through the body-strewn halls, a potential hero until he is randomly shot.  The film is full of flash forwards and flashbacks, in which we see Alex (Alex Frost) and Eric (Eric Duelen) planning their rampage and we’re given clues as to their motives but we’re not given any answers.

Perhaps most memorable of all, at least to me, is the character of Eli (Elias McConnell), an aspiring photographer who gets one picture of Alex and Eric as they enter the library.  Up until that moment, the entire film has pretty much centered on Eli.  We’ve gotten to know him.  We’ve come to like him.  And yet, when Eli is shot, it happens almost as an afterthought.  One minute, he’s standing in the background and the next moment, he’s gone.  And we’re left to wonder if he survived or if it was even him who got shot.  Ultimately, what we realize is that, in that one split second, Eli ceased to be.  Even if he does survive being shot, he’ll never be the same person we saw earlier.  Even if he wasn’t shot, he’ll always be one of the students who went to that school.  In the end, we may have cared about Eli but none of that could stop the random violence.

Elephant is not an easy film to watch but then again, it shouldn’t be.  (If you want to read a bunch of comments from some people who just don’t get it, you can go read the simple-minded comments that some of them have posted over on the movie’s page at the imdb.) Elephant is a dark and troubling film, one that gave me nightmares after I saw it.  It’s a film so effective and powerful that one viewing is more than enough.

(Incidentally, one of Elephant‘s credited producers was JT Leroy, the pen name of Laura Albert whose books inspired a similarly difficult but powerful film, Asia Argento’s The Heart is Deceitful Above All Else.)

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