What If Lisa Had All The Power And Picked The Oscar Nominees: 2015 Edition

oscar trailer kitties

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 starred and listed in bold.

(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 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010!)

best picture

Best Picture
Clouds of Sils Maria
Ex Machina
The Final Girls
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
Straight Outta Compton

George Miller

Best Director
John Crowley for Brooklyn
Alex Garland for Ex Machina
F. Gary Gray for Straight Outta Compton
Todd Haynes for Carol
*George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road*
Denis Villeneuve for Sicario

Jacob Tremblay

Best Actor
John Cusack in Love & Mercy
Gerard Depardieu in Welcome To New York
Johnny Depp in Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
Michael B. Jordan in Creed
*Jacob Tremblay in Room*

alicia vikander

Best Actress
Katharine Isabelle in 88
Brie Larson in Room
Rooney Mara in Carol
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
*Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina*

Del Toro

Best Supporting Actor
Michael Angarano in The Stanford Prison Experiment
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy
*Benicio Del Toro in Sicario*
Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Maggie
Sylvester Stallone in Creed


Best Supporting Actress
*Malin Akerman in The Final Girls*
Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy
Cate Blanchett in Carol
Jessica Chastain in Crimson Peak
Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight
Kristen Stewart in Clouds of Sils Maria


Best Voice Over Performance
Jon Hamm in Minions
Richard Kind in Inside Out
Jason Mantzoukas in The Regular Show Movie
*Amy Poehler in Inside Out*
James Spader in Avengers: The Age Of Ultron
Steve Zahn in The Good Dinosaur


Best Original Screenplay
Clouds of Sils Maria
*Ex Machina*
The Final Girls
Inside Out


Best Adapted Screenplay
The End of the Tour
Love & Mercy
The Walk


Best Animated Film
*Inside Out*
The Good Dinosaur
The Peanuts Movie
The Regular Show Movie
Shaun The Sheep


Best Documentary Feature:
3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau
Prophet’s Prey
The Wolfpack


Best Foreign Language Film
The Connection
The Mafia Only Kills In Summer
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Contemplating Existence
*The Tribe*


Best Casting
Mad Max: Fury Road
Straight Outta Compton
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Cinematography
Clouds of Sils Maria
The Green Inferno
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant


Best Costume Design
Ex Machina
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Editing
Ex Machina
*Mad Max: Fury Road*
Straight Outta Compton


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Black Mass
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Original Score
The Hateful Eight
It Follows
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey
“See You Again” from Furious 7
“Better When I’m Dancing” from The Peanuts Movie
“Flashlight” from Pitch Perfect 2
“Feels Like Summer” from Shaun the Sheep
*“Who Can You Trust” from Spy*

Compton 2

Best Overall Use Of Music
Furious 7
The Hateful Eight
Love & Mercy
The Martian
*Straight Outta Compton*


Best Production Design
*Crimson Peak*
Ex Machina
The Final Girls
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Sound Editing
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Straight Outta Compton


Best Sound Mixing
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
*Straight Outta Compton*

MM Stunt

Best Stunt Work
Furious 7
Kingsman: The Secret Service
*Mad Max: Fury Road*
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Visual Effects
Avengers: The Age of Ultron
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens*
The Walk

Films By Number of Nominations:
11 Nominations – Carol
10 Nominations – Mad Max: Fury Road
9 Nominations – Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
8 Nominations – Ex Machina
7 Nominations – Brooklyn, Straight Outta Compton
5 Nominations – Furious 7, Inside Out, Love & Mercy, The Revenant, Room
4 Nominations – Avengers: The Age of Ultron, Clouds of Sils MariaThe Final Girls
3 Nominations – The Hateful Eight
2 Nominations – Black Mass, Creed, Crimson Peak, The Good Dinosaur, Maggie, Minions, The Peanuts Movie, The Regular Show Movie, Shaun the SheepSpy, Trainwreck, The Walk
1 Nomination – 3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets, 50 Shades of Grey, 88, Amy, Ant-Man, Beasts of No Nation, Cinderella, The Connection, The End of The Tour, Gloria, Going Clear, The Green Inferno, It Follows, Joy, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Mafia Only Kills in Summer, The Martian, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Misunderstood, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, Pitch Perfect 2, Prophet’s Prey, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Suffragette, The Tribe, UnfriendedWelcome to New York, The Wolfpack

Films By Number of Oscars Won:
4 Oscars – Carol
3 Oscars – Mad Max: Fury Road, Sicario
2 Oscars – Ex Machina, Inside Out, Straight Outta Compton
1 Oscar – Amy, Brooklyn, Crimson Peak, The Final Girls, Maggie, Room, Spy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Tribe

Will the Academy be smart enough to agree with me on these picks?  We will find out on Thursday!

Lisa and Evelyn at the Oscars

Lisa and Evelyn at the Oscars

2015 In Review: Lisa Picks The 30 Best Films of 2015!

Well, the time has arrived!  It’s time for the list that you’ve all been waiting for!  Here are my top 30 films of 2015!

Now, as some of you may know, I am currently in the process of playing catch up as far as all of my reviews are concerned.  Sadly, I haven’t posted a review for every film listed below.  However, as I continue to post reviews tonight and tomorrow, I will be sure to add links to this list!

Finally, I have only considered and listed 2015 films that I have actually seen.  Unfortunately, Anomalisa has not opened in my part of the world yet and neither has Son of Saul.  So, I could not consider either one of them for the list below.  However, I have seen every other “prestige” picture to have been released over the past few weeks.  So, if you look at this list below and wonder if I actually saw Spotlight, The Hateful Eight, and The Big Short, rest assured that I did.  And none of them made my list.

With all that in mind, here are my picks for the 30 best films of 2015!


  1. Carol
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Inside Out
  4. Mad Max Fury Road
  5. Ex Machina
  6. Room
  7. Clouds of Sils Maria
  8. Sicario
  9. Straight Outta Compton
  10. The Final Girls
  11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  12. Beasts of No Nation
  13. 88
  14. Love & Mercy
  15. The Tribe
  16. The End of the Tour
  17. Furious Seven
  18. The Walk
  19. Crimson Peak
  20. Unfriended
  21. Trainwreck
  22. The Revenant
  23. Creed
  24. Shaun the Sheep
  25. The Gift
  26. The Stanford Prison Experiment
  27. A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflection On Existence
  28. Spring
  29. Maggie
  30. The Green Inferno
Katherine Isabelle in 88

Katharine Isabelle in 88

You can check out my picks for previous years by clicking on 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014!

Agree?  Disagree?  Have a list of your own?  Let us know in the comments!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015
  3. 2015 In Review: The Best of SyFy
  4. 2015 in Review: The Best of Lifetime
  5. 2015 In Review: Lisa’s Picks For The 16 Worst Films of 2015
  6. 2015 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 10 Favorite Songs of 2015
  7. 2015 in Review: 16 Good Things Lisa Saw On TV
  8. 2015 in Review: Lisa’s 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2015
  9. 2015 in Review: Lisa’s 20 Favorite Novels of 2015
  10. TFG’s Top Ten Comic Series of 2015

Film Review: Maggie (dir by Henry Hobson)

Maggie_(film)_POSTERMaggie is a terrific and sad film about a father who finds himself helpless as his teenage daughter slowly dies.  It’s a thoughtful and heart-rendering film and it’s one of the best of the year so far.  Unfortunately, you wouldn’t necessarily know that from looking at some of the reviews.

Of course, there’s nothing new about a good film getting bad reviews.  I’m actually surprised that anyone even bothers with reviewers anymore, considering just how often they get things wrong.  There are any number of reasons why good films get dismissed.  Some movies are genuinely ahead of their time.  Some critics prefer to judge based on genre than by what they actually see on screen.  Occasionally, a critic feels obligated to like or dislike a movie based on the politics or culture of the moment.  The fact of the matter is that most film critics like to feel important and the easiest way to feel important is to hop onto a bandwagon with all of the other critics.

So, what’s the excuse as far as Maggie is concerned?  Why does Maggie, one of the best films of the year so far, only have a rating of 51% on rotten tomatoes?  In Maggie‘s case, it’s a combination of genre (Maggie is a zombie film and there’s a lot of critics who still feel guilty over liking The Walking Dead) and star.  Maggie has been promoted as being an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, even though his role is essentially a supporting one.  The majority of critics have been willing to admit that Schwarzenegger gives a good performance but they always have to qualify the praise.  As a result, you have critics at both Hitflix and the A.V. Club writing that Schwarzenegger’s performance works because his character is designed to take advantage of Schwarzenegger’s limitations as an actor, as if all good performances aren’t, to some degree, the result of good casting.  In order to make up for praising Schwarzenegger (who is not only an action star but a Republican as well, which is a combination that many reviewers — especially those who work exclusively online — will never be able to see beyond), many critics undoubtedly feel obligated to be overly critical of Maggie.

(What does that 51% mean anyway?  That Maggie is 51% good?)


As for the film itself, it tells a simple story, one to which a lot of people will undoubtedly relate.  As the film opens, we learn that the zombie apocalypse has already begun.  The world has been hit by a virus.  The infection spreads slowly, forcing the victims and their loved ones to watch as the infected are gradually transformed into mindless and cannibalistic zombies.  However, the U.S. government has reacted with swift and ruthless efficiency.  Martial law has been imposed.  The infected are allowed to say with family up until the disease enters its final stages.  At that point, they’re taken into quarantine and are euthanized.  Though we never actually see a quarantine center, we hear enough about it to know that there is nothing humane about it.  (Indeed, one reason why Maggie is so effective is because we know that the real-life government would probably be even less humane than the film’s government.)  Society has contained the plague but it’s done so at the cost of its own humanity.

College student Maggie (Abigail Breslin) has been infected.  She was bitten by  a zombie and, as a result, she now has a grotesque black wound on her arm.  As the virus moves through her body, her eyes grow opaque.  Her veins blacken.  When she breaks a now dead finger, she reacts by chopping it off with a kitchen knife.  As there is no cure, all Maggie can do now is wait until she is sent to quarantine.

Her father, a farmer named Wade (Schwarzenegger), brings Maggie back to his farm with him so that he can take care of her during her final days.  Wade knows what quarantine is like and he has no intention of forcing his daughter to go through that.  With government doctors and police officers constantly and, in some cases, forcefully demanding the he give her up, Wade protects Maggie as best he can.  He sleeps with a rifle at his side, knowing that eventually he’s going to have to use it on his own daughter.

And I’m crying again.  Between this review and the one I did for Terms of Endearment, my face is going to be a mascara-smeared mess.


Maggie is a low-key and thoughtful film, a meditation on life, love, family, and death.  Though the film does feature Schwarzenegger fighting zombies, most of the action happens off-screen.  Instead, we just see the haunting aftermath.  Schwarzenegger doesn’t deliver any one liners in this film and the film deliberately plays down his action hero past.  He’s still got the huge body and the muscles but, in Maggie, they’re not intimidating.  Instead, they’re evidence that Wade has spent his life working the land and they actually emphasize just how helpless Wade is in the face of Maggie’s disease.  Director Henry Hobson makes good use of Schwarzenegger’s heavily-lined and weather-beaten face.  His sad and suspicious eyes communicate everything that we need to know.  When he cries, you don’t consider that you’ve never seen him cry before.  Instead, the moment captures you because the tears and the emotions behind them are real.


But really, the film ultimately belongs to Abigail Breslin.  It’s appropriate that the film is named after her character because the film really is her story.  Maggie is about how she deals with knowing that she’s going to die and how she searches for meaning in her final days.  It’s a good and heartfelt performance, one that reminded me of Brigitte LaHaie’s poignant work in Jean Rollin’s Night of the Hunted.

So, ignore the critics.

Ignore that stupid 51% on Rotten Tomatoes.

See Maggie.



Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Win An Oscar In 2016…


Okay, probably not.

But still, the former governor of California has been getting some unexpectedly good buzz for his performance in the upcoming film zombie film Maggie.  In a role that reportedly emphasizes honest emotion over crowd-pleasing action, Schwarzenegger plays a small-town farmer whose daughter (Abigail Breslin) has been infected with a zombie virus.  The trailer, which was released today, seems to hint that Maggie is going to be a bit more thoughtful than your average Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie film.

Maggie is scheduled to be released on May 8th and, hopefully, it won’t be too overshadowed by the 2nd weekend of Avengers: Age of Ultron.