Can you believe that the Oscars are just a few hours away!? This is actually shaping up to be an exciting year. Even though I’m fairly certain that I know who and what is going to win, there’s still a strong possibility that we could have a few upsets when the winners are announced on Sunday night!
Well, I guess I better hurry up and post my predictions. Below, I will list both what I think should win and what actually will win.
Howdy, y’all! The SAG Awards were given out tonight but I did not see it because I was busy down at City Limits Texas, watching Joey Green and Luke Wade and gettin’ my country on! (Boots and denim, y’all!) So, I missed the show but I can still post the winners! Spotlight won the SAG equivalent of Best Picture so it looks like right now, the best picture race is pretty much between that film and the PGA winner, The Big Short. But what if George Miller or Alejandro Inarritu ends up winnin’ at the DGA? This Oscar race is gettin’ as unpredictable as a cow chewin’ magic mushrooms. Yee haw!
ANYWAY, here’s the winners!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A CAST ENSEMBLE – “Spotlight“
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – Brie Larson in “Room”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE – Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE – Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A CAST ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES – “Downton Abbey“
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES – Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES – Viola Davis in “How to Get Away with Murder”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A CAST ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES – “Orange is the New Black“
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES – Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES – Uzo Aduba in “Orange is the New Black”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES – Idris Elba in “Luther”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES – Queen Latifah in “Bessie”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE – “Mad Max: Fury Road“
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES – “Game of Thrones“
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Carol Burnett
As for other snubs, I am so sad to see that Kristen Stewart and Benicio Del Toro were not nominated in the supporting races. For that matter, Rooney was the lead in Carol and that’s where she should have been nominated. It’s also interesting to note that Mark Ruffalo was nominated for giving the worst performance in Spotlight.
I know that Spotlight is the official front runner but, looking at the nominations, I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Revenant win. Or maybe even (bleh!) The Big Short.
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.)
The Dorian Awards are handed out by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Film Critics Association. Here are their film nominations for 2015.
FILM OF THE YEAR
The Big Short / Paramount, Regency Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight Carol / The Weinstein Company Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
(Film or Television)
Sean Baker, Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures
Todd Haynes, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, The Revenant / Fox
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show
PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Brie Larson, Room / A24
Rooney Mara, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years / Sundance Selects
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight
PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Matt Damon, The Martian / Fox
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant / Fox
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs / Universal
Tom Hardy, Legend / Universal, Cross Creek
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
Freeheld / Summit
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
The Assassin / Central Motion Pictures, Well Go USA
Mustang / Cohen Media Group
Phoenix / Sundance Selects
Son of Saul / Sony Pictures Classics
Viva / Magnolia Pictures
SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR
Emma Donoghue, Room / A24
Phyllis Nagy, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short / Paramount, Regency
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs / Universal
VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography) Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show The Martian / Fox The Revenant / Fox
UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
The Diary of a Teenage Girl / Sony Pictures Classics Ex Machina / A24
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl / Fox Searchlight
I ask because I’m debating how much information I should share in this review. Room came out a few months ago and I’ve been late in reviewing it because watching the film was such an emotionally overwhelmingly experience that I wasn’t sure where to begin. Now, all of this time has passed and I’m in a hurry to review this film because it’s obviously going to be nominated for some Oscars on Thursday morning and I’m wondering how much I can reveal without spoiling the movie.
It’s always tempting to say “Spoilers be damned!” but I’m not going to do that this time. Room is a great film and it’s one that deserves to be discovered with a fresh mind. I imagine that many people who missed the film the first time will see it once Brie Larson has been nominated for Best Actress. Out of respect for those people, I am going to hold off from going into too much detail about the film’s plot.
Of course, this means that, if you haven’t seen the film, you’re going to have to have a little bit of faith in me. You’re going to have to trust me. When I tell you that this is an amazing film that will take you by surprise, you’re just going to believe me. Because if I ruin those surprises … well, then they won’t be surprises anymore, will they?
When I first heard all the Oscar talk swirling around Room, my initial instinct was to make a joke about Tommy Wiseau finally getting the credit he deserves. But then I saw Room and, within a few minutes of the film, I was in tears. It’s hard for me to think of any other film this year that made me cry as much as Room.
Room is narrated by Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a 5 year-old boy whose hair is so long that he is frequently mistaken for being a girl. Jack lives in a filthy room with Ma (Brie Larson). The tiny room has only a toilet, a sink, a bed, a small kitchen area, and a cheap television. There’s also the small closet where Jack sleeps and a skylight in the ceiling. As quickly becomes apparent from his narration, Jack has never been outside of the room. All he knows about the outside world comes from TV and the stories told to him by Ma.
Occasionally, a nervous man named Old Nick (Sean Bridgers) enters the room. Whenever Old Nick shows up, Ma orders Jack to hide in the closet. However, even in the closet, Jack listens to Ma and Nick talking in the room. Ma talks about how Nick kidnapped her when she was 17. Nick talks about how he has recently lost his job and may not be able to continue to take care of his two prisoners. Fearful for her life, Ma humors the self-pitying Nick. Nick, meanwhile, plays the victim and complains about how difficult it is to keep her and Jack prisoner. It quickly becomes apparent that Jack is Nick’s child.
Now that Jack is five, Ma knows that he’s old enough that she can tell him about her plan to escape from Nick. However, escaping means exposing Jack to a world that he’s never experienced and that Ma fears she no longer remembers.
Meanwhile, Ma’s parents wonder what has happened to their missing daughter. (It’s from her parents that we learn that, much like a character played by fellow Oscar contender Jennifer Lawrence, Ma’s name is Joy.) Ma’s mother, Nancy (Joan Allen), is now divorced from Joy’s emotionally repressed father (William H. Macy). Nancy is now married to the kind and appealingly disheveled Leo (Tom McCamus). However, still hoping that her daughter will someday return, Nancy hasn’t even touched Joy’s old bedroom.
Finally, the opportunity comes for Ma and Jack to escape and…
…and that’s all I can tell you without spoiling the film. Room is an emotionally exhausting film, one that will make you cry but which will also leave feeling strangely hopeful for the future. Brie Larson gives a courageously vulnerable and emotionally raw performance as Joy while Jacob Tremblay is perfectly cast as Jack. Since Larson and Tremblay are both getting a lot of attention as possible Oscar nominees, I want to take a few minute to single out one member of the cast who, so far, has been overshadowed. Tom McCamus doesn’t have a lot of screen time but he makes the most of every second he gets, turning Leo into the ideal father figure.
Room made me cry and cry and I can’t wait to see it again.
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!