Horror Scenes That I Love: A Nightmare From Take Shelter


Take Shelter was one of my favorite films of 2011.  It was not only the first to introduce me to director Jeff Nichols but it was also the first time that I ever watched Michael Shannon act and thought to myself, “Hmmm….so, yeah, he’s a really good actor.”

The film was usually described as being either a “psychological thriller” or “a character study” but that’s just because critics were trying to justify how good the film was by ignoring the fact that it was totally a horror film.  Shannon plays a man who is haunted by disturbing nightmares of the end of the world.  The film perfectly integrates the nightmares into the narrative, so that you’re never quite sure when one of them is going to pop up.  It’s always raining in the nightmares but sometimes, it’s cloudy while Shannon’s awake as well and you’re just like, “Oh no….”

Anyway, this is one of the nightmares and I remember it totally freaked me out when I saw Take Shelter in the theaters.  I was like, “Uhmmm….did anyone else just notice a shadow walk by the window?”

Take Shelter‘s a really good movie so you need to see it if you haven’t already.

Lisa’s Picks For The Twelve Best Horror Films of The Past Six Years


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It’s October, which means that it’s horror month here at the Shattered Lens!  Can you believe that we’ve been doing this for six years?  I figured what better way to celebrate the start of October than by listing my picks for the ten best horror and supernatural-themed films to have been released since the founding of Through the Shattered Lens!

(Whoops!  Derrick Ferguson of the Ferguson Theater just reminded me that House of the Devil came out in 2009.  Though I haven’t reviewed House of the Devil on this site — though I did take time to praise this dance scene — it is a film that definitely belongs on this list.  So, I’m adding it and another film as well.  So now, we have a list of the 12 best horror films of the past six years!)

Check them out below!

  1. The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
  2. Warm Bodies (2013)
  3. The Conjuring (2013)
  4. A Field in England (2014)
  5. Take Shelter (2011)
  6. Sinister (2012)
  7. The House of the Devil (2009)
  8. The Babadook (2014)
  9. Devil’s Due  (2014)
  10. Insidious (2011)
  11. Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
  12. You’re Next (2013)

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Warm Bodies

 

Hottie of the Day: Jessica Chastain


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Well, I might as well get on the Jessica Chastain bandwagon. She’s the latest pick for “Hottie of the Day” and also another addition to the redhead selections that’s growing (but still not the number 1 redhead on the site).

Jessica Chastain seemed to have come out of nowhere in the last two years. While she has been acting for many years before 2010 it wasn’t until 2011’s release of Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life which finally got her noticed. Since then she has been such films as Corialanus, Take Shelter, The Help, The Debt and Lawless. In each and every film she has been singled out as one of the highlight performances and from what I’ve seen she’s definitely deserving of the praise she’s been receiving.

Yet, it’s in 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty that Chastain may have finally gone from ingenue stage to full-blown star. She carries Kathryn Bigelow’s film from start to finish and all the accolades and acclaim she has been receiving for that performance may just snag her a Best Actress Oscar award next month. Even the box-office is not immune to the redhead’s growing star power as the top two films in North America for the weekend of Jan. 18-20 has her in the starring role with Zero Dark Thirty and the horror film Mama.

Born near my neck of the woods of Sonoma, California, Jessica Chastain is a graduate of the famed Julliard School in New York City and worked her way through the Hollywood system by getting supporting roles in tv series after tv series before her breakout role as the mother in The Tree of Life.

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PAST HOTTIES

If Lisa Marie Determined The Oscar Nominees….


The Oscar nominations are due to be announced on Tuesday morning so I figured now would be a good time to play a little game that I like to call: “What if Lisa had all the power?”  Below, you will find my personal Oscar nominations.  These are the films and the performers that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for selecting the nominees and the winners. 

For those who are interested, you can check out my picks for last year by clicking on this sentence.

Please understand, as you look over this lengthy list of deserving films and performers, that these are not necessarily the films I expect to see nominated on Tuesday morning.  In fact, I would be hard pressed to think of a year in which I have disagreed more with the critical establishment than I have this year.  For whatever reason, the films that truly touched and moved me in 2011 appear to be the films that are totally and completely off the Academy’s radar.  These are not my predictions.  Instead, they are my personal choices and they should not be interpreted as representing the opinion on anyone else affiliated with this site.  So, if you’re angry that David Fincher’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo didn’t receive a single imaginary nomination, direct your anger at me and me alone. 

Best Picture

The Artist

Bridesmaids

The Guard

Hanna

Higher Ground

Hugo

Shame

Sucker Punch

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Young Adult

Best Actor

Michael Fassbender for Shame

Brendan Gleeson for The Guard

Gary Oldman for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Michael Shannon for Take Shelter

Rainn Wilson for Super

Best Actress

Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia

Vera Farmiga for Higher Ground

Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene

Saoirse Ronan for Hanna

Charlize Theron for Young Adult

Best Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks for Drive

Bobby Cannivale for Win Win

Jonah Hill for Moneyball

Patton Oswalt for Young Adult

Andy Serkis for Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Supporting Actress

Anna Kendrick for 50/50

Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids

Carey Mulligan for Shame

Ellen Page for Super

Amy Ryan for Win Win

Best Director

Vera Farminga for Higher Ground

Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Steve McQueen for Shame

Martin Scorsese for Hugo

Joe Wright for Hanna

Best Original Sreenplay

Bridesmaids

The Guard

Hanna

Shame

Young Adult

Best Adapted Screenplay

Higher Ground

Hugo

Incendies

One Day

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Animated Feature

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

Rio

Winnie the Pooh

Best Foreign Language Film

(Please note that I do this category a bit differently than the Academy.  Whereas the Academy asks nations across the world to submit a nominee, I’m simply nominating the best foreign language films that I saw in a theater last year.  Those who follow the Oscars will note that I’ve both nominated and awarded the brilliant Canadian films Incendies, which actually was nominated for a real Oscar in this same category last year.)

The Double Hour

Incendies

Of Gods and Men

The Skin I Live In

13 Assassins

Best Documentary Feature

Bill Cunningham New York

Buck

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Jig

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Best Original Score

The Artist

A Better Life

The Guard

Hanna

The Tree Of Life

Best Original Song

“The Star-Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger

“Mujhe Chod Ke” from DAM999

“The Keeper” from Machine Gun Preacher

“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets

“Pop” from White Irish Drinkers

Best Sound Editing

Drive

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Sucker Punch

The Tree of Life

Best Sound Mixing

Drive

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Sucker Punch

The Tree of Life

Best Art Direction

Bunraku

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Sucker Punch

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Cinematography

The Artist

Hugo

Melancholia

Shame

The Tree of Life

Best Makeup

Beastly

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Insidious

Sucker Punch

X-Men: First Class

Best Costume Design

Bunraku

The Help

Hugo

Sucker Punch

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Editing

The Artist

The Guard

Hanna

Hugo

Shame

Best Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Sucker Punch

The Tree of Life

List of Films By Number of Nominations:

10 Nominations – Hugo

7 Nominations – Shame, Sucker Punch

6 Nominations – Hanna

5 Nominations – The Artist; The Guard; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2; Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy; The Tree of Life

4 Nominations – Higher Ground, Young Adult

3 Nominations – Bridesmaids, Drive

2 Nominations – Bunraku, Incendies, Melancholia, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super, Win Win

1 Nomination – Beastly, A Better Life, Bill Cunningham New York, Buck, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, DAM999, The Double Hour, 50/50, The Help, Insidious, Jig, Kung Fu Panda 2, Machine Gun Preacher, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Moneyball, The Muppets, Of Gods and Men, One Day, Puss in Boots, Rango, Ressurect Dead, Rio, The Skin I Live In, Take Shelter, 13 Assassins, X-Men: First Class, White Irish Drinkers, Winnie the Pooh

List of Films By Number of Oscars Won:

3 Oscars – Hanna

2 Oscars – Bunraku, Shame, Sucker Punch

1 Oscar – Beastly, Bridesmaids, The Cave of Forgotten Deams, Dam999, Higher Ground, Hugo Incendies, Melancholia, Puss in Boots, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super, Young Adult

So, will the Academy agree with my picks?  Well, probably not.  Indeed, it’s probable that they won’t agree at all.  And to that, I say, “Oh well.” 

The Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday morning.

Lisa Marie’s Picks For The Best 26 Films of 2011


Here’s the final post in my “Best of 2011” series, my picks for the best 26 films of 2011.  I’m just going to let this list stand for itself but I do want to make clear that these are MY picks and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the writers and editors on this site.  You can read Leon’s picks right here and I’m sure that my fellow writers will be posting their own picks over the upcoming weeks.  I’d also like to point out that I have limited my picks to films that I’ve actually seen this year — as opposed to just blindly jumping on the bandwagon of assumption as so many other film bloggers have done this year.* I have yet to see War Horse, Albert Nobbs, The Iron Lady, or We Need To Talk About Kevin, for instance.  However, I have seen both The Descendants and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and no, neither one of them is on my list because, regardless of what the jack-booted thugs of professional criticism may insist, I didn’t feel either one of them deserved to be listed as one of the best films of the year.  Ultimately, watching a movie is an individual experience and every individual opinion is legitimate.

(By the way, I’m doing a Top 26 list because Lisa doesn’t do odd numbers.)

Without further ado, here are my top 26 films of 2011:

1)      Hanna

2)      Higher Ground

3)      Shame

4)      Hugo

5)      The Artist

6)      The Guard

7)      Bridesmaids

8)      Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

9)      Young Adult

10)  Sucker Punch

11)  Incendies

12)  Melancholia

13)  Super

14)  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

15)  Win Win

16)  The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

17)  Martha Marcy May Marlene

18)  Jane Eyre

19)  Terri

20)  50/50

21)  Take Shelter

22)  Drive

23)  Soul Surfer

24)  Bunraku

25)  One Day

26)  Like Crazy

Hopefully, I should be posting reviews of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Incendies sometime next week.

—-

* You’d have to be made of Stone to claim to be a film critic and yet not realize how unethical that type of behavior is.

Here are the 39 songs eligible for a Best Original Song nomination


Yesterday, the Academy announced that the following 39 films are eligible to nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Song of 2011.  Considering how the awards season has gone so far, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that few of the songs that I truly enjoyed hearing this year are eligible.  Still, it is nice to see that Capt. America will have a chance to score a nomination for “Star-Spangled Man.”

Then again, it would also be nice to see something from The Muppets win because I’m sure Bret McKenzie would give a perfectly charming acceptance speech.

One final reaction to this list: there’s a movie called White Irish Drinkers?  

Yay!

  • “The World I Knew” from “African Cats”
  • “Lay Your Head Down” from “Albert Nobbs”
  • “Star Spangled Man” from “Captain America: The First Avenger”
  • “Collision of Worlds” from “Cars 2”
  • “Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu” from “DAM999”
  • “DAM999 Theme Song” from “DAM999”
  • “Mujhe Chod Ke” from “DAM999”
  • “Rainbird” from “Dirty Girl”
  • “Keep On Walking” from “The First Grader”
  • “Where the River Goes” from “Footloose”
  • “Hello Hello” from “Gnomeo & Juliet”
  • “Love Builds a Garden” from “Gnomeo & Juliet”
  • “Bridge of Light” from “Happy Feet Two”
  • “The Mighty Sven” from “Happy Feet Two”
  • “Never Be Daunted” from “happythankyoumoreplease”
  • “Hell and Back” from “Hell and Back Again”
  • “The Living Proof” from “The Help”
  • “Coeur Volant” from “Hugo”
  • “It’s How We Play” from “I Don’t Know How She Does It”
  • “When the Heart Dies” from “In the Land of Blood and Honey”
  • “Ja Nao Estar” from “José and Pilar”
  • “The Keeper” from “Machine Gun Preacher”
  • “Life’s a Happy Song” from “The Muppets”
  • “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
  • “Pictures in My Head” from “The Muppets”
  • “Summer Song” from “The Music Never Stopped”
  • “Imaginary Friends” from “Olive”
  • “Sparkling Day” from “One Day”
  • “Taking You With Me” from “Our Idiot Brother”
  • “The Greatest Song I Ever Heard” from “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”
  • “Hot Wings” from “Rio”
  • “Let Me Take You to Rio” from “Rio” 
  • “Real in Rio” from “Rio”
  • “Shelter” from “Take Shelter”
  • “Gathering Stories” from “We Bought a Zoo”
  • “Pop” from “White Irish Drinkers”
  • “Think You Can Wait” from “Win Win”
  • “The Backson Song” from “Winnie the Pooh”
  • “So Long” from “Winnie the Pooh”

Lisa Marie Is Kinda Mad At The Screen Actors Guild


The Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced on Wednesday morning and I’m just going to be honest.  I am not happy.  The SAG nominations have a pretty good track record as an Oscar precursor, largely because the Actors’ Branch is the largest branch of the Academy.  The Actors Branch, of course, is totally made up of members of the SAG though not every member of SAG is in the Actors’ Branch.  As such, there’s usually one or two SAG nominations who don’t get an Oscar nomination but, on the whole, SAG is a pretty good precursor of who is ultimately going to receive an Oscar nomination next January.

So, why am I upset?

Well, the SAG nominated some very good and deserving performers this year but somehow, they did not nominate Michael Shannon for Take Shelter.  They did not nominate Carey Mulligan for Shame.  They did not nominate Andy Serkis for Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  They did not nominate The Guard’s Brendan Gleeson. And, worst of all, they did not nominate Michael Fassbender for Shame.

My personal theory is that Fassbender’s brave performance left the other members of the SAG feeling small, in more ways than one.

Here’s what did get nominated:

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture
Bridesmaids
The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role
George Clooney, The Descendants
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

On the plus side, the SAG showed absolutely no love for David Fincher’s rip-off of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Also, it’s nice to see Jonah Hill’s performance in Moneyball hasn’t been totally overshadowed by Brad Pitt’s more showy performance.  Also, it’s looking more and more like Bridesmaids is going to be a factor in this year’s Oscar race and the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of that.