Lisa Marie Picks The 50 Best Films of The Past 3 Years


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As of this month, I have been reviewing films here at the Shattered Lens for 3 years.  In honor of that anniversary, I thought I’d post my picks for the 50 best films that have been released in the U.S. since 2010.

Without further ado, here’s the list!

  1. Black Swan (directed by Darren Aronofsky)
  2. Exit Through The Gift Shop (directed by Banksy)
  3. Hanna (directed by Joe Wright)
  4. Fish Tank (directed by Andrea Arnold)
  5. Higher Ground (directed by Vera Farmiga)
  6. Shame (directed by Steve McQueen)
  7. Anna Karenina (directed by Joe Wright)
  8. The Cabin In The Woods (directed by Drew Goddard)
  9. 127 Hours (directed by Danny Boyle)
  10. Somewhere (directed by Sofia Coppola)
  11. Life of Pi (directed by Ang Lee)
  12. Hugo (directed by Martin Scorsese)
  13. Inception (directed by Christopher Nolan)
  14. Animal Kingdom (directed by David Michod)
  15. Winter’s Bone (directed by Debra Granik)
  16. The Artist (directed by Michel Hazanavicius)
  17. The Guard (directed by John Michael McDonagh)
  18. Bernie (directed by Richard Linklater)
  19. The King’s Speech (directed by Tom Hooper)
  20. Bridesmaids (directed by Paul Feig)
  21. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (directed by Thomas Alfredson)
  22. Django Unchained (directed by Quentin Tarantino)
  23. Never Let Me Go (directed by Mark Romanek)
  24. Toy Story 3 (directed by Lee Unkrich)
  25. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (directed by Niels Arden Oplev)
  26. Young Adult (directed by Jason Reitman)
  27. Sucker Punch (directed by Zack Snyder)
  28. The Master (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)
  29. Incendies (directed by Denis Villeneuve)
  30. Melancholia (directed by Lars Von Trier)
  31. Super (directed by James Gunn)
  32. Silver Linings Playbook (directed by David O. Russell)
  33. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (directed by Edgar Wright)
  34. The Last Exorcism (directed by Daniel Stamm)
  35. Skyfall (directed by Sam Mendes)
  36. Easy A (directed by Will Gluck)
  37. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 (directed by David Yates)
  38. The Avengers (directed by Joss Whedon)
  39. How To Train Your Dragon (directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBois)
  40. Win Win (directed by Thomas McCarthy)
  41. Les Miserables (directed by Tom Hooper)
  42. Take This Waltz (directed by Sarah Polley)
  43. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (directed by Werner Herzog)
  44. Rust and Bone (directed by Jacques Audiard)
  45. Cosmopolis (directed by David Cronenberg)
  46. Ruby Sparks (directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valarie Faris)
  47. Brave (directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman)
  48. Martha Marcy May Marlene (directed by Sean Durkin)
  49. Jane Eyre (directed by Cary Fukunaga)
  50. Damsels in Distress (directed by Whit Stillman)

Here Are The Oscar Winners


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Best Picture — Argo

Best Director — Ang Lee for Life of Pi

Best Actor — Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Best Actress — Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actor — Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress — Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

Best Adapted Screenplay — Argo

Best Original Screenplay — Django Unchained

Best Animated Feature Film — Brave

Best Documentary Feature — Searching For Sugar Man.

Best Foreign Language Film — Amour

Best Cinematography — Life of Pi

Best Costuming — Anna Karenina

Best Editing — Argo

Best Makeup and Hair-Styling — Les Miserables

Best Original Score — Life of Pi

Best Original Song — “Skyfall” in Skyfall

Best Production Design — Lincoln

Best Sound Editing — Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall

Best Sound Mixing — Les Miserables

Best Visual Effects — Life of Pi

Best Live-Action Short Film — Curfew

Best Animated Short Film — Paperman

Best Documentary Short Film — Innocente


By the numbers:

Life of Pi — 4

Argo — 3

Les Miserables — 3

Django Unchained — 2

Lincoln — 2

Skyfall — 2

Amour — 1

Anna Karenina — 1

Brave — 1

Curfew — 1

Innocente — 1

Paperman — 1

Searching for Sugar Man — 1

Silver Linings Playbook — 1

Zero Dark Thirty — 1

Quick Review: Silver Linings Playbook (dir. by David O. Russell)


slpIn Silver Linings Playbook, Pat Solitano (formerly Pat Peoples in the novel written by Matthew Quick, played by Bradley Cooper) is recently released from a mental hospital to the care of his parents. Obsessed over reclaiming the love of his ex-wife, Nikki, he sets out on exercising and reading books to become better when he sees her again. Working under the notion that positivity, mixed with great effort can lead to a Silver Lining, he uses this new outlook to focus on his goal. Of couse, this doesn’t happen without some hiccups. There’s one key scene in the film where he asks his parents where his wedding tape is, and starts tearing through boxes around the house searching for it. With Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be” blasting in the background as everything escalated, I had an Anton Ego Ratatouille moment.

My mom had this thing where she’d shift from High to Low. Some days would be quiet, but if the wrong word or event happened, she’d explode either into a fit of activity or anger. We would be sometimes careful to not trigger this – “set her off”, she would say. My clearest memory is of having Alice in Chains’ “Don’t Follow” turned up really loud on the family stereo (and on repeat by her request) as she proceeded to break various objects in her bedroom. She isn’t the only one in the family who has that happen with her. My cousin has this thing where at night she has to check all of the burners on the stove at least 2 times before she’s satisfied they’re fine and off. She says she knows everything’s correct the first time, but says she needs to be sure.

We all have our quirks. When people burp around me, I feel compelled to say “Bless You”. It’s only right.

So, sitting in the theatre and watching Silver Linings Playbook, it all felt very familiar to me. The great thing -and possibly the problem near the very end – about it is that the film isn’t completely A Beautiful Mind in it’s sense of seriousness. I’ll admit I found myself smiling and laughing through a lot of it, just as much as I winced during Pat’s trouble spots. As he returns home, he finds his father (Robert DeNiro in a fine performance) already skeptical about him, but content that he has his son back to watch the Philadelphia Eagles games and to be his lucky charm. After being invited to dinner by one of his friends, Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who seems to be just as different as he is and he discovers that she’s been in contact with Nikki. She’ll help send word to her about how he’s doing (because a restraining order keeps him from doing so), if he will help her perform in a dance contest. This ends up starting a good friendship between the two and we start to find that Pat is doing better as things progress.

Director David O’Russell keeps the story centered on the two leads. Both Cooper and Lawrence are energetic and have this really great chemistry between them that makes it feel like they had a lot of fun working on this movie. What’s better is that there isn’t a single person in the supporting cast that doesn’t feel like (to me, anyway) that they were miscast or out of step. They could make a tv series with this cast, and it would be watchable. O’Russell also changes the nature of the story in his adaptation, making the dance sequence itself a major focus on the growth between Tiffany and Pat (and by extension, the family and friends). He also eliminates a side story where Pat’s mom leaves his father because of the Dad’s obsessive nature with the Eagles, choosing to replace it with some more heartfelt and/or moments between DeNiro and Cooper (who coindentially worked together in Limitless). I felt it tightened up the story overall.

Another element I enjoyed was the film’s use of music. Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour” serves as a song that’s important to the story (in the same way that Kenny G’s “Songbird” was to the novel) and as I mentioned before, the Zeppelin song also worked. Alabama Shakes, which are a group new to me, also had a good song with “Always Alright”. The music of the film felt similar to Juno for me in a lot of ways.

The only problem I had with Silver Linings PlayBook, the only thing that didn’t work for me was the way the film ended. Dealing with something as serious as any kind of mental disorder, especially one where there are meds involved, it’s a serious thing. I’m not saying that one in Pat’s situation can’t be with anyone, far from it, but the film paints a picture at the end that everything will be just fine and simple. I don’t know I agree with that. Fine, perhaps, but certainly not simple. Granted, the story sets up such a social tapestry for Pat that if anything were to go wrong, he’d have people who would rally behind him. The ending just makes it seems that he no longer has any quirks and possibly robs an otherwise perfect from a bit of reality.

Overall, the Silver Linings Playbook is a feel good film that’s definitely worth seeing, with an ensemble cast that helps to elevate the great performances by both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. The lack of a heavy-handed nature towards the issues with the main character help the comedic elements of it, but also stutter steps it at the very end for me.

Here Are The Winners Of The Independent Spirit Awards


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It was a good day for Silver Linings Playbook.

BEST FEATURE
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Bernie”
“Keep the Lights On”
“Moonrise Kingdom”
X – “Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson, “Moonrise Kingdom”
Julia Loktev, “The Loneliest Planet”
X – David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ira Sachs, “Keep the LIghts On”
Martin McDonagh, “Seven Psychopaths”

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Linda Cardellini, “Return”
Emayatzy Corinealdi, “Middle of Nowhere”
X – Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, “Smashed”

BEST MALE LEAD
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
X – John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Thur Lindhardt, “Keep the Lights On”
Matthew McConaughey, “Killer Joe”
Wendell Pierce, “Four”

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Rosemarie Dewitt, “Your Sister’s Sister”
Ann Dowd, “Compliance”
X – Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Brit Marling, “The Sound of My Voice”
Lorraine Toussaint, “The Middle of Nowhere”

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
X – Matthew McConaughey, “Magic Mike”
David Oyelowo, “Middle of Nowhere”
Sam Rockwell, “Seven Psychopaths”
Bruce Willis, “Moonrise Kingdom”
Michael Pena, “End of Watch”

 

BEST SCREENPLAY
Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, “Moonrise Kingdom”
Zoe Kazan, “Ruby Sparks”
Martin McDonagh, “Seven Psychopaths”
X – David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias, “Keep the Lights On”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Yoni Brook, “Valley of Saints”
Lol Crowley, “Here”
X – Ben Richardson, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Roman Vasyanov, “End of Watch”
Robert Yeoman, “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Fill the Void”
“Gimme the Loot”
“Safety Not Guaranteed”
“Sound of My Voice”
X – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Rama Burshtein, “Fill the Void”
X – Derek Connolly, “Safety Not Guaranteed”
Christopher Ford, “Robot & Frank”
Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, “Celeste and Jesse Forever”
Jonathan Lisecki, “Gayby”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (best feature under $500,000)
“Breakfast with Curtis”
X – “Middle of Nowhere”
“Mosquita y Mari”
“Starlet”
“The Color Wheel”

BEST DOCUMENTARY 
“How to Survive a Plague”
“Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present”
“The Central Park Five”
X – “The Invisible War”
“The Waiting Room”

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
X – “Amour”
“Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”
“Rust and Bone”
“Sister”
“War Witch”

No Guts, No Glory: Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions


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Today is the last day for the members of the Academy to vote for the 86th Annual Academy Awards.  With that in mind, here are my predictions as to what’s going to win next Sunday.  Please note: this is not necessarily who I think should win.

Best Picture — Argo

Best Director — Ang Lee for Life of Pi

Best Actor — Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Best Actress — Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actor — Alan Arkin in Argo

Best Supporting Actress — Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

Best Adapted Screenplay — Argo

Best Original Screenplay — Amour

Best Foreign Language Film — Amour

Best Animated Feature — Frankenweenie

Best Documentary Feature — Searching For Sugar Man

Best Production Design — Anna Karenina

Best Cinematography — Life of Pi

Best Costume Design — Anna Karenina

Best Editing — Argo

Best Makeup — The Hobbit

Best Score — Life of Pi

Best Original Song — “Skyfall” from Skyfall

Best Sound Editing — Zero Dark Thirty

Best Sound Mixing — Les Miserables

Best Visual Effects — Life of Pi

Best Animated Short — Paperman

Best Documentary Short — Open Heart

Best Live Action Short — Curfew

Here are the DGA Nominations!


The Director’s Guild of America announced their five nominees for director of the year today.  The DGA is traditionally the last of the precursors to make their opinion known before the actual Oscar nominations are announced.

Traditionally, it seems that four of the DGA nominees are honored with an Oscar nomination while one is usually snubbed.  For instance, last year, all of the self-proclaimed “experts” were all excited when David Fincher was nominated for his shot-for-shot remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo but then had their little hearts broken when the Academy declined to nominate either Fincher or his remake.

Who, if anyone, will be snubbed this year?  I’m not even going to venture a guess because, honestly, this year has the potential to be one of the more unpredictable Oscar years.  (Of course, I say that every year and every year, I’m disappointed by how predictable everything eventually turns out to be.)

For now, here are the five directors nominated by the DGA:

Ben Affleck for Argo

Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty

Tom Hooper for Les Miserables

Ang Lee for Life of Pi

Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

Unlike some people, I’m not surprised to see that Quentin Tarantino was snubbed.  Django Unchained might be a difficult sell to the Academy, especially considering that gun control is currently Hollywood’s favorite political cause.  I’m a bit more shocked to see that David O. Russell’s work on Silver Linings Playbook was not nominated.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday morning.