Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for April


It’s that time of the month again!

At this point, the big news about the Oscar race is that there are a lot of contenders and there’s probably even more on the way.  We’re still far away from being able to make any definite predictions, though Scorsese and Spielberg always seem like good bets.  Everything Everywhere All At Once is also emerging as a possibility, despite it’s early release date.  Could it be another Mad Max: Fury Road?  It all probably depends on whether or not the precursors are willing to do their part.

Anyway, here are my predictions for April.  Be sure to check out my predictions for February and March as well!

Best Picture

Babylon

Empire of Light

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

I Want To Dance With Somebody

Killers of the Flower Moon

Next Goal Wins

Rustin

She Said

Till

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Chinoyne Chukwa for Till

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Taika Watitti for Next Goal Wins

Best Actor

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto

Joaquin Phoenix in Disappointment Blvd.

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Want To Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in Tarr

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Margot Robie in Babylon

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Tantoo Cardinal in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Samantha Morton in She Said

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions For March


Now that the awards for last year’s films have been given out and everyone has already started to forget who won, we can start to concentrate on the next batch of Oscar contenders….

Oh, stop yelling.  It’s not that early!

Well, actually, it is way too early.  I mean, we’re still not really sure what is even going to be released this year.  Due to all the COVID delays, we went into 2021 knowing which films we could look forward to, mostly because all of those films were originally supposed to be released in 2020.  Compared to 2021, we’re going into 2022 blind.  The majority of the films that we do know about don’t really sound like Oscar contenders, either.

So, really, the only solution to how to predict the Oscar nominees when you know nothing is to guess.  The films and actors listed below are not there because I have any inside information.  Instead, they are there as a result of some wishful thinking and some educated guesses.  Killers of the Flower Moon was directed by Martin Scorsese, so of course it’s there.  The Fabelmans is there because a lot of people feel that the Academy didn’t show Spielberg and West Side Story enough love this year and I think the fact that the film is autobiographical will make it irresistible to same voters who nominated BelfastNapoleon is there because there might be some lingering guilt over how both Ridley Scott and The Last Duel were utterly ignored this year.  Rustin is there because it’s an Obama production and Hollywood loves the Obamas.  Chris Rock is listed as a supporting actor nominee because it would be the perfect conclusion to the saga of the Oscar Slap.  David Lynch is listed because …. well, I like David Lynch.  Personally, it’s doubtful that Tom Hanks will be able to pull off two nominations in one year but if anyone could do it, it’s Tom!

In other words, don’t take any of these predictions too seriously.  As of now, there are no definite contenders.  These are just some guesses.

Be sure to check out my even more random predictions for February as well!

Best Picture

Babylon

The Fabelmans

Killers of the Flower Moon

Napoleon

Rustin

She Said

TAR

Thirteen Lives

Till

The Woman King

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Ridley Scott for Napoleon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto

Joaquin Phoenix in The Whale

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie for I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Chris Rock in Rustin

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern in The Son

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Greta Gerwig in White Noise

Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Congratulations! You Survived Oscar Sunday!


That’s it!  That’s a wrap!

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We hope everyone has enjoyed Oscar Sunday!

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Now that the Oscars are over with, it’s time to start a new year in entertainment!  Thank you everyone for reading us over the course of 2021 and the first three months of 2022!

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Now, let’s make 2022 the best year ever as we continue to celebrate the 12th year of the Shattered Lens!

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Love you!

A Few Random Thoughts On The Oscars


Let’s just be honest about this.

No matter what else you or I might have to say about the Academy Awards, the only thing that anyone is going to remember about this year’s ceremony is Will Smith walking up on stage and slapping Chris Rock.  That’s it.  That’s what these awards are going to be known for.  Whenever this ceremony is written about in the future, the accompanying picture won’t be of the cast and crew of CODA.  Instead, it’ll be Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.

The Slap, itself, was unpleasant to watch.  Will Smith sitting back down in his chair and continuing to shout at Chris Rock was unpleasant to watch.  It left me feeling awkward and uncomfortable and I was just watching it on TV.  I can only guess what it was like the celebrities sitting in the auditorium.  You know that they were probably terrified that something unexpected would happen with the vote for Best Actor.  At that moment, there was probably a lot of worry about what would happen if Andrew Garfield pulled off an upset.

Will Smith, however, did win Best Actor.  After making a few “fierce protector” excuses, he did, eventually, get around to apologizing to the Academy and “my fellow nominees.”  He also did a lot of God talk and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to mention God twenty minutes after slapping someone on national TV.  He mentioned that Denzel Washington had apparently taken him aside and warned him that the Devil would come for him at the height of his success.  Which …. I mean, okay.  The thing is, Will Smith is 53 years old and he’s been a star longer than I’ve been alive.  By this point, the Devil should have moved on to someone else.

A few notes on the rest of the show:

It was good to see the show taking place in a theater, as opposed to a train station.  Just by using an actual theater, this year’s Oscar ceremony was a significant improvement over the previous year’s.

The hosts were pretty boring.  There was nothing gained by having three of them.  Amy Schumer needs to fire whoever picked out her first outfit.  If Schumer picked it out herself, she needs to hire someone to pick out her outfits.  Regina Hall looked lost.  Wanda Sykes was okay but that museum segment bogged down the whole show.

CODA is a likable film and it’s obvious that the audience appreciated its heartwarming approach more than the emotionally detached style of The Power of the Dog.  The fact that this tiny little indie film managed to defeat the expensive Netflix slate was gratifying in a David vs. Goliath sort of way.  CODA, if we’re going to be honest, really does feel more like a made-for-TV movie than a feature film but I think that, emotionally and mentally, people were just ready for a positive movie that wouldn’t leave them feeling disturbed or depressed.  After two years straight of pandemic panic, voters were perhaps not inclined to honor a film that ends with its main character dying on anthrax poisoning.

Dune swept the technical awards and ended the night with the most Oscars.  Dune II is probably going to win Best Picture.

Troy Kostur’s acceptance speech was definitely the most moving part of the night.  It’s a bit of a shame that it’s going to be forever overshadowed by The Slap.

Politically, it was pretty much a typical Oscar ceremony.  At this point, I think anyone who cares enough to be offended by Hollywood’s liberalism has probably already stopped watching the Oscars.

As the Academy promised, the cut categories (i.e., the Oscars there were awarded before the start of the live show) were edited into and shown during the show.  They were awkwardly inserted, so that we would see the people in the auditorium reacting to a speech that was given two hours earlier.  It just came across as weird and fake and, whenever the hosts did anything, I found myself thinking, “They cut categories for this.”  Even a brilliant hosting trio would have suffered as a result.  In this case, you had Amy Schumer dressed like Spider-Man on live TV while the winner for Best Film Editing had to make due with edited highlights of his speech.

What’s hilarious is that, even with all of ABC’s new measures, this year’s Oscar run longer than the previous two years.  The total show clocked in at nearly 220 minutes.  For comparison, that’s 20 minutes longer than The Godfather, Part II.  Will Smith’s acceptance speech alone ran for seven minutes.  Of course, would you want to be the person tasked to tell Will Smith to wrap it up?

It was hard to tell but I guess Army of the Dead won the Twitter Poll and Zack Snyder’s Justice League won the Oscar Cheer Moment thing.  Even from just watching on TV, it was obvious how annoyed everyone in the auditorium was with them.  Personally, I have to respect the ability of the Snyder fandom to game the system.

The interpretive dance that went along with the In Memoriam segment was distracting and annoying.  If I’m ever included in a memoriam segment, I’m hoping there will be no gospel music and no interpretive dancing.

The Godfather tribute was nice but I wish they had gotten Sofia Coppola to do the introduction instead of Sean “Whatever” Combs.

In the end, the Oscars weren’t as much of a train wreck as I thought they would be but it was still a fairly unfortunate ceremony.  The category cutting didn’t sit well and I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable with that.  (It’s something that I hope will be abandoned in the future.)  This ceremony will always be known for The Slap and probably not much else.  I would say that I would hope the Academy and ABC would learn from this but the only thing they care about is ratings.  If the ratings are good, ABC will take the credit.  If the rating are bad, the Academy will get the blame.  Who knows what next year will bring?

Speaking of next year, that’s what I am now concentrating on!  There’s a lot of good movies coming out over the next few months and a whole new Oscar race to prepare for!  Let’s get to it!

Here Are The Oscar Winners


Best Picture — CODA

Best Director — Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Best Actor — Will Smith, King Richard

Best Actress — Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Supporting Actor — Troy Kostur, CODA

Best Supporting Actress — Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Best Adapted Screenplay — CODA

Best Original Screenplay — Belfast

Best International Film — Drive My Car

Best Documentary Feature — Summer of Soul

Best Animated Film — Encanto

Best Cinematography — Dune

Best Costume Design — Cruella

Best Film Editing — Dune

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Production Design — Dune

Best Sound — Dune

Best Visual Effects — Dune

Best Original Score — Dune

Best Original Song — No Time To Die

Best Animated Short Film — The Windshield Wiper

Best Live Action Short Film — The Long Goodbye

Best Documentary Short Film — The Queen of Basketball

6 Directors Who I Hope Win An Oscar In The Next Ten Years: 2022 Edition


David Cronenberg

The master of the Canadian independent film, David Cronenberg, has never been nominated for an Oscar.  He’s been honored by the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars but the Academy itself has never seen fit to nominate him.

Some of that is because Cronenberg’s early films were all of the horror genre and that’s usually the kiss of death when it comes to the Oscars.  (Though that has started  to change in recent years….)  But, even as Cronenberg moved more into the “mainstream,” the Academy still seemed hesitant to embrace him.  After Map of the Stars, it was rumored that Cronenberg had retired from filmmaking and it seemed like the Academy’s only hope would be to eventually give him an honorary award, as they did for David Lynch last year.

Well, it turns out that the rumors of Cronenberg’s retirement were premature.  He’s got a film coming out later this year.  Now, I realize that David Cronenberg is about 80 years old and, in another ten years, he’ll be at an age when most people are very much retired.  That said, I hope he does have a few more films in him and I would love to see David Cronenberg win his first Oscar between now and 2032!  Seriously, I think his acceptance speech would be killer.  If nothing else, he deserves it for being such a good spot about appearing in Jason X.

Here are five other directors that I would like to see win their first Oscar within the next ten years:

2. Wes Anderson

He was previously nominated for Grand Budapest Hotel.  That this year’s French Dispatch was both praised and criticized as being “the most Wes Anderson film that Wes Anderson has ever made” is a sign of why he sometimes struggles with the Academy.  Anderson is one of those directors who people either love or hate.  You either respond to his trademark quirkiness or you sit there with a permanent frown on your face.  My hope is that enough people will love him that he’ll pick up his first directing Oscar in the next ten years.

3. Fran Kranz

Mass was one of the best and, in its low-key way, bravest films of 2021 and I can’t wait to see what Kranz is going to do next.  Somehow, it seems appropriate that the stoner from The Cabin In The Woods just might be our next great director.

4. Emma Seligman

Shiva Baby was one of the best films of 2021, with director Emma Seligman deftly mixing comedy, horror, drama, and even a little romance with the surest of hands.  Much as with Fran Kranz, I can’t wait to see what she does next.

5. David Lowery

Like Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater, David Lowery is a Texas filmmaker who has emerged as one of the best independent voices working today.  A Ghost Story and The Green Knight both deserved a bit more Oscar consideration than they were given.

6. Sofia Coppola

Get with it, Academy!

6 Performers Who I Hope Win Their First Oscar In The Next Ten Years: 2022 edition


We talk a lot about which performers and directors have been snubbed at Oscar time.

For movie lovers, that’s an important subject.  We all know that great actors like Peter O’Toole, Cary Grant, Albert Finney, and far too many others all went to their grave with several nominations but not a single competitive Oscar to their name.  Just two years ago, Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103 without having ever won a competitive Oscar.  And certainly, over the past two years, we have been made far more aware of the fact that everyone is going to die someday.  We always talk about how certain actors are overdue for their first Oscar but sometimes we forget that being overdue doesn’t always translate into an eventual win.  Sometimes, it translates into people watching a movie on TCM and saying, “How did that person never win an Oscar?”

With that in mind, here are 6 performers who I sincerely hope will have won their first Oscar by the time that 2032 rolls around:

  1. Bradley Cooper

Seriously, if you look up overdue in the dictionary, there’s a chance that Bradley Cooper would be used as the example.  He’s been nominated so many times and he has yet to win, though I do get the feeling that he may have come close a few times.  He deserved a nomination this year for Nightmare Alley and, if his role had been bigger, you could probably argue that he deserved one for Licorice Pizza as well.  One gets the feeling that Cooper is taken for granted, in the way that many effortlessly good performers are.  Maybe his upcoming biopic of Leonard Bernstein will finally do the trick.

2. Rachel Sennott

Rachel Sennott’s performance in Shiva Baby was one of the best of 2021 and it’s one for which she deserved to be nominated.  It’s impossible to imagine that film working without her performance.  Hopefully, it’ll lead to more worthy roles for her.

3. Chaske Spencer

Chaske Spenser gave one of the best performances of 2021 in Wild Indian.  Though the film may not have been widely seen, Spenser’s performance was powerful and unforgettable and, much as in the case of Sennott, I hope it leads to more worthy roles for him.

4. Ann Dowd

It’s hard to believe that Ann Dowd hasn’t even received an Oscar nomination yet.  Her performance in Mass was one of the best of 2021.  In a role that others probably would have used as an excuse to overact and show-off, Dowd gave a quietly devastating and emotionally honest performance.  Perhaps because Dowd disappears so effortlessly into her role, the Academy took her work for granted.  Perhaps the film’s subject matter was simply too grim for the voters.  Regardless of why the Academy didn’t respond to Mass, Dowd deserves an Oscar.

5. Adam Driver

It’ll happen soon.  And I bet this former Marine will give the best acceptance speech of the night.

6. Scarlett Johansson

Much as with Driver, it’ll happen soon.  Picking up both a lead and supporting nomination in 2020 was definitely a good start.

I can’t wait to see all six of these performers win their first Oscar!  Don’t disappoint me, Academy!

6 Times The Academy Got It Right: 2010s


Ah, the 2010s. Social media made anxiety the norm and Americans became obsessed with “red states” and “blue states.” Americans fetishized politicians and the Academy decided that it would be cool to do away with the idea of having a set number of best picture winners. One bright spot, for me at least: Arleigh invited me to write for this site! And the rest, as they say, is history!

I have to admit that I don’t agree with any of the Academy’s choices for Best Picture during this decade but I do appreciate a good deal of their nominations.

  1. The Academy Nominates Black Swan For Best Picture

This is still one of my favorite nominations and again, this is one of those films that probably never would have been nominated during the previous century.  In 2010, it not only picked up a Best Picture nomination but it also won Natalie Portman the Oscar for Best Actress.

2. The Academy Nominates Mad Max: Fury Road

Again, this is another film that probably wouldn’t have been nominated during the previous century, just because of its genre and its status as being a sequel.  However, it full deserved to be nominated and it was nice to see the Academy embrace it.  Remember when, at the start of the ceremony, it won all of those technical awards and it looked like Mad Max: Fury Road might actually go all the way?  We were so excited!  Of course, then Spotlight won.

3. The Academy Nominates Boyhood and Richard Linklater

It took the Academy long enough to show some respect to one of the most important indie filmmakers of the past few decades!  Unfortunately, neither Linklater nor his film won.  How Birdman was selected over Boyhood, I’ll never know.  But, at least it was nominated.

4. The Academy Nominates Michael Keaton For Best Actor

I may not have liked Birdman overall but I do think that Michael Keaton gave a wonderful performance and, by nominating him, the Academy reminded people of just how good (and underrated) an actor Keaton truly was.  Now, Keaton is one of our busiest character actors and I don’t think anyone would have expected that, pre-Birdman and the Academy.

5. The Academy Nominates Bruce Dern For Best Actor

Like Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern is a good but underrated actor.  The Academy nominating him for Nebraska reminded people of that.  It’s just a shame he didn’t win because, if anyone was going to give a memorable acceptance speech, it would have been Bruce Dern.

6. J.K. Simmons Wins Best Supporting Actor For Whiplash

“Not my tempo.”  Agck!  That line still gives me nightmares.  Still, this was one of the most deserved Oscars of the 2010s and J.K. Simmons gave a wonderfully sincere acceptance speech.  I always love seeing a good character actor get some recognition.

Well, that’s it.  Will the Academy get six things correct tonight?  They’ve already gotten 8 incorrect as a result of moving those 8 categories off of the live show.  Still, even when they screw up, I always have hope that the Academy will learn from their mistakes.  I’m an optimist.

We’ll see what happens!  Enjoy the show!

6 Times The Academy Got It Right: The 2000s


Ah, the aughts. The new century started out with the terror of 9-11 and it ended with the collapse of the world’s economy. In between, a lot of films were released. Some of them were really good. A few of them were nominated for Best Picture. Most of them were not.

Still, let’s not focus on the negative.  Instead, here are 6 times that the Academy got it right in the aughts!

  1. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Wins Best Picture in 2003

A fantasy film winning best picture!?  Before this decade, that would have been unthinkable.  The Academy might be willing to nominate the occasional fantasy or sci-fi film but it would have been nearly impossible to imagine that they would actually honor one of them.  The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, however, changed that.

Now, of course, the legacy of LOTR has been damaged by far too many imitations and also by the lukewarm response to The Hobbit.  People tend to roll their eyes whenever they hear that a movie is going to be split into multiple parts.  That said, Peter Jackson’s original epic still holds up marvelously well.

2. Bill Murray Is Nominated For Best Actor

Murray received his first, long overdue Oscar nomination for his performance in 2003’s Lost in Translation.  Personally, I wish he had won.  But, even though he didn’t win, the nomination still transformed the way that people viewed Bill Murray and help him go from being a somewhat erratic comedic actor to being one of our best interpreters of 21st century ennui.

3. Martin Scorsese Finally Wins Best Director

Though it’s really not even his best film, The Departed is the film for which Martin Scorsese finally won the directing Oscar that he should have previously won for Goodfellas.  No longer would cinema lovers have live in a world where Sam Mendes had an Oscar but Martin Scorsese did not.  And, of course, Scorsese being presented his award by his three biggest friend in the industry — Spielberg, Lucas, and Coppola — only made the moment all the more special.

4. Kathryn Bigelow Wins Best Director….

….and makes history as the first woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Director!  Even though I wasn’t a particularly huge fan of The Hurt Locker (my favorite films that year were An Education and A Serious Man), I cheered out loud when Bigelow’s name was called.  That her main competitor was her ex-husband made her victory all the more satisfying.

Mulholland Drive (2001, dir by David Lynch, DP: Peter Deming)

5. David Lynch is Nominated For Best Director

It will always be interesting to me that one of the most acclaimed films of this century, Mulholland Drive, was originally meant to be a pilot for a television show.  Only David Lynch could direct an Oscar-worthy pilot.  The Academy, to their credit, acknowledged that with a deserved Best Director nomination in 2001.

6. No Country For Old Men Wins Best Picture

Based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy and directed by the Coen Brother, 2007’s No Country For Old Man was a masterpiece.  It had some fierce competition and there’s still some debate today as to whether or not it should have defeated There Will Be Blood.  Personally, I think that Paul Thomas Anderson is one of our greatest living directors but I also think that, in this case, the Academy made the right choice.  Plus, the Coens finally won the Oscar that they should have won for Fargo!

Up next: the 2010s!

6 Times The Academy Got It Right: The 1990s


Ah, the 90s.

Some would say that this was the last good decade that the world would ever experience. It was certainly a good decade for films!  Though I don’t agree with the majority of the Academy’s winners from this decade, I do agree with most of their nominations.  Here are 6 things that Academy got right in the 90s!

  1. Nominating Pulp Fiction and Quentin Tarantino

Way back in 1994, it actually probably took more than a little bit of courage to not only nominate a film like Pulp Fiction for Best Picture but to also honor its director as well.  Still, by doing so and also giving Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary an Oscar for their screenplay, the Academy not only announced that Tarantino had arrived but they also embraced an entirely new, pop culture-driven sensibility.  Of course, this led to a number of very bad films that were directed by people hoping to be the next Tarantino but it led to some pretty good films as well.  It is certainly cemented Tarantino’s place in the culture.

2. Nominating The Thin Red Line and Terrence Malick

The 90s may have begun with Tarantino and the combination of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction but it ended with the return of Terrence Malick and his own idiosyncratic but unforgettable aesthetic.  Though 1997’s The Thin Red Line may not have won best picture and Malick did not win Best Director, the Academy still deserves some credit for nominating both of them.

3. Nominating Fargo and the Coens

Like Pulp Fiction and The Thin Red Line, Fargo didn’t win Best Picture.  However, by nominating the film, the Academy was announcing that times had changed.  Directors like the Coen Brothers were no longer destined to be on the outside looking in.  Much like Pulp Fiction and Thin Red Line, Fargo has gone to be much more influential than the film to which it lost.

4. Steven Spielberg Winning Best Director for 1993’s Schindler’s List

It took Spielberg a while to win his first Oscar.  When he finally did when, it was for one of his best and most important films.

5. Clint Eastwood Winning Best Director For 1992’s Unforgiven

The 90s were about two things: independent films and unexpected comebacks.  After years of being dismissed as just an action star who rarely spoke, Eastwood made a critical comeback and proved that he was a masterful director with Unforgiven.  He also proved that, as an actor, he was capable of more than just snarling.  Unforgiven remains one of the most powerful explorations of violence ever put on film.

6. The Silence of the Lambs Wins Best Picture

The Silence of the Lambs is often described as being the first horror movie to win Best Picture.  I consider it to be more of a thriller than a horror film but still, one cannot deny it’s influence.  The character of the erudite and manipulative serial killer has become such a trope that it can be surprising to go back and rediscover just how Anthony Hopkins was in this film.

Up next: the 2000s!