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
Brooklyn
*Carol*
Clouds of Sils Maria
Ex Machina
The Final Girls
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
Room
Sicario
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

MA

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

amyp

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

EM

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

mara_blanchett_carol

Best Adapted Screenplay
Brooklyn
*Carol*
The End of the Tour
Love & Mercy
Room
The Walk

Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster

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

Amy_Movie_Poster

Best Documentary Feature:
3 ½ Minutes 10 Bullets
*Amy*
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

The_Tribe_poster

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

Brooklyn

Best Casting
*Brooklyn*
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sicario

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

carol3

Best Costume Design
Brooklyn
*Carol*
Cinderella
Ex Machina
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Suffragette

MMedit

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

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-in-Maggie

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

bl

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

Spy2015_TeaserPoster

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
Joy
Love & Mercy
The Martian
*Straight Outta Compton*

cp

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

sicario-emily-blunt-trailer

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

Compton

Best Sound Mixing
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
The Revenant
Sicario
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
Spy
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

Best Visual Effects
Ant-Man
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!

mara_blanchett_carol

  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

Playing Catch-Up: The Stanford Prison Experiment and The Tribe


The_Stanford_Prison_Experiment

The Stanford Prison Experiment (dir by Kyle Patrick Alvarez)

The Stanford Prison Experiment tells a true story.  It’s important to point that out because this is one of those films that, if you didn’t know it was based on a true story, you would probably be inclined to dismiss as being totally improbable.

In 1971, Professor Philip Zimbardo (played in the movie by Billy Crudup) conducted a psychological experiment at Stanford University.  A fake prison was built in the basement of a campus building, complete with cells and even a room to be used for solitary confinement.  15 students volunteered to take part in the experiment.  For $15.00 a day, some of the students were randomly assigned to be prisoners while others got to be guards.  The experiment was supposed to last for two weeks but Zimbardo ended it after 6 days.  Why?  Because the students had started to the take the experiment very seriously, with the guards growing increasingly sadistic towards their “prisoners.”  Afterwards, many of the prisoner students claimed to have been traumatized while the guard students felt they were just playing a game.

(As one of the guards says in the film, “Am I still going to get paid?”)

The Stanford Prison Experiment tells the story of that controversial experiment and it is, at times, quite a harrowing experience.  Interestingly, when the film begins, the focus is on the prisoners.  I immediately noticed that Ezra Miller was one of the prisoners and, being familiar with his work in Perks of Being A Wallflower and We Need To Talk About Kevin, I naturally assumed that the majority of the film would revolve around him.  After all, among the actors playing the prisoners, Ezra Miller was the “biggest name.”  And, when the film began, it did seem to be centered around Miller’s likable and rebellious presence.

But then something happened.  Miller faded into the background.  In fact, all of the “prisoners” faded into the background and the actors became almost indistinguishable from each other.  Instead, the film started to focus on one of the guards.  Outside of the prison, Christopher Archer (Michael Angarano) is a laid back and rather amiable California college student.  But, once he shows up for the night shift, Archer starts to talk about all of the prison films that he’s seen.  He starts to speak in a Southern accent.  He says stuff like, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  And soon, Archer is making the rules inside the prison.

In much the same way that Christopher Archer takes over the experiment, actor Michael Angarano takes over the film.  While Zimbardo and his colleagues watch Archer’s actions with a mix of fascination and fear, the film’s audience becomes enthralled with Angarano’s intense performance.  Wisely, neither Angarano nor the film allow Archer to turn into a cardboard villain.  He’s not a bad guy.  Instead, he’s playing a role.  He’s been told to act like a guard and that’s what he’s going to do, regardless of whatever else may happen.  The most fascinating part of the film becomes the contrast between Archer the likable student and Archer the fascist authority figure.

It’s frustrating that more people didn’t see The Stanford Prison Experiment when it was released in 2015.  Considering the blind trust in authority that is currently so popular in certain parts of the American culture, The Stanford Prison Experiment is a film that a lot of people really do need to see and learn from.

The_Tribe_poster

The Tribe (dir by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy)

Anyone who says that they truly understand everything that happens in the disturbing Ukrainian film The Tribe is lying.  Taking place at a school for the deaf and exclusively cast with deaf actors, The Tribe is a film where everyone communicates in Ukrainian Sign Language and there are no subtitles.  However, the actors are often filmed with their back to the camera and occasionally, their hands are out of frame so, even if you do know Ukrainian Sign Language, there’s still going to be scenes where you have no idea what anyone is saying.

And it’s appropriate really.  The Tribe is a film about alienation and, by refusing to give us either an interpreter or subtitles, it forces the audience to feel the same alienation that the film’s characters have to deal with on a daily basis.  It quickly becomes obvious that these permanent outsiders have created their own society and the least of their concerns is whether the rest of the world understands it.

What can be learned about the film’s story largely comes from the body language of the actors and the audience’s own knowledge of gangster movies, which is what The Tribe basically is.  A new student at a boarding school for the deaf is recruited into a gang that deals drugs and pimps out two female students as prostitutes at a truck stop.  When the new student falls in love with one of the girls, it leads to some truly brutal acts of violence, all of which are somehow made more disturbing by the fact that they take place in total silence.

(The talkative criminals of most gangster films allow audiences to focus on something other than the violence.  When people talk about the opening of a film like Pulp Fiction, they talk about John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson talking about Amsterdam.  They don’t focus on the guys getting gunned down in their apartment.  In The Tribe, there are no quips or one-liners before people are hurt and we are forced to pay more attention to the consequences of brutality.)

The Tribe is made up of only 34 shots.  The wide-angle lens forces us to consider these alienated characters against the barren Ukrainian landscape and the camera constantly moves with the characters, tracking them as closely as fate.  Intense and dream-lie, The Tribe is a hauntingly enigmatic film.  It’s not an easy film but it is a rewarding one.

The Central Ohio Film Critics Have Announced Their Nominations!


Here are the Central Ohio Film Critics Nominations!

Best Film

-The Big Short
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
-The Revenant
-Room
Sicario
-Spotlight
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Best Director

-Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
-Todd Haynes, Carol
-Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
-George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Ridley Scott, The Martian
-Denis Villeneuve, Sicario

Best Actor

-Matt Damon, The Martian
-Johnny Depp, Black Mass
-Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
-Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
-Jacob Tremblay, Room

Best Actress

-Cate Blanchett, Carol
-Brie Larson, Room
-Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
-Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Supporting Actor

-Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
-Tom Hardy, The Revenant
-Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina
-Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
-Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress

-Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
-Rooney Mara, Carol
-Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
-Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
-Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Ensemble

-The Big Short
Ex Machina
-The Hateful Eight
-Spotlight
Steve Jobs

Actor of the Year (for an exemplary body of work)

-Cate Blanchett (Carol, Cinderella, and Truth)
-Michael Fassbender (Macbeth, Slow West, and Steve Jobs)
-Domhnall Gleeson (Brooklyn, Ex Machina, The Revenant, and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens)
-Tom Hardy (Child 44, Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Revenant)
-Alicia Vikander (Burnt, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Seventh Son, and Testament of Youth)

Breakthrough Film Artist

-Sean Baker, Tangerine – (for producing, directing, screenwriting, film editing, cinematography, camera operation, and casting)
-Joel Edgerton, The Gift – (for producing, directing, and screenwriting)
-David Robert Mitchell, It Follows – (for producing, directing, and screenwriting)
-Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – (for acting)
-Jacob Tremblay, Room – (for acting)
-Alicia Vikander, Burnt, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Seventh Son, and Testament of Youth – (for acting)

Best Cinematography

-Roger Deakins, Sicario
-Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
-Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
-John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Dariusz Wolski, The Martian

Best Film Editing

-Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
-Tom McArdle, Spotlight
-Stephen Mirrione, The Revenant
-Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Joe Walker, Sicario

Best Adapted Screenplay

-Emma Donoghue, Room
-Drew Goddard, The Martian
-Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
-Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short
-Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

-Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley, Inside Out
-Alex Garland, Ex Machina
-Taylor Sheridan, Sicario
-Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
-Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Score

-Carter Burwell, Carol
-Michael Giacchino, Inside Out
-Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sicario
-Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Best Documentary

-Amy
-Best of Enemies
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
-The Look of Silence
-The Wolfpack

Best Foreign Language Film

-The Assassin (Nie yin niang)
-Goodnight Mommy (Ich seh, ich sech)
-Phoenix
-The Tribe (Plemya)
-Timbuktu
-Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes)

Best Animated Film

-Anomalisa
-The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
-The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best Overlooked Film

-The End of the Tour
The Gift
-Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
-Mistress America
-Slow West
-The Tribe (Plemya)

Austin Loves Carol!


mara_blanchett_carol

The Austin Film Critics Association announced their nominations earlier today and guess what?  They really, really like Carol!

Love you, Austin!

(I don’t know if I love Carol but seriously, Austin’s the best!)

Best Film:
Anomalisa
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
Spotlight
Trumbo

Best Director:
Todd Haynes, Carol
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Actor:
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Michael B. Jordan, Creed
Jacob Tremblay, Room

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Supporting Actor:
Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress:
Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay:
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Inside Out
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Taylor Sheridan, Sicario
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Emma Donoghue, Room
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs

Best Cinematography:
Roger Deakins, Sicario
Edward Lachman, Carol
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Score:
Carter Burwell, Carol
Michael Giacchino, Inside Out
Tom Holkenborg (as Junkie XL), Max Max: Fury Road
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Rich Vreeland (as Disasterpeace), It Follows

Best Foreign-Language Film:
Mustang
Phoenix
Son of Saul
The Tribe
Victoria

Best Documentary:
Amy
Best of Enemies
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
Where to Invade Next

Best Animated Film:
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best First Film:
Bone Tomahawk
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Ex Machina
Mustang
Son of Saul

The Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award:
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Mya Taylor, Tangerine
Jacob Tremblay, Room
Alicia Vikander, Ex-Machina

Best Austin Film:
Arlo and Julie (dir: Steve Mims)
A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (dir: Sara Hirsh Bordo)
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (dir: David Zellner)
Peace Officer (dir: Brad Barber, Scott Christopherson)
Two Step (dir: Alex R. Johnson)

Here Are Nominations of the Kansas City Critics!


Sicario_poster

Hi!  We briefly interrupt our nonstop Star Wars coverage to bring you the latest developments in awards season!  First off, the Kansas City Film Critics Circle — the 2nd oldest critical group in America (the National Board of Review is the oldest) — announced their nominations for the best of 2015 and guess what?  They liked one of my favorite movies of the year, Sicario!

BEST PICTURE:
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Sicario
Spotlight

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR:
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Denis Villeneuve, Sicario
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

BEST ACTOR:
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

BEST ACTRESS:
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Emily Blunt, Sicario
Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Benicio Del Toro, Sicario

Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Ex Machina
The Hateful Eight
Inside Out
Sicario
Spotlight
Trainwreck

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
The Big Short
Carol
The Martian
Room
Steve Jobs

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
Anomalisa
Inside Out
Minions
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
The Assassin
Goodnight Mommy
Phoenix
Son of Saul
The Tribe
White God

BEST DOCUMENTARY:
Amy
Best of Enemies
The Look of Silence
Where to Invade Next
The Wrecking Crew

VINCE KOEHLER AWARD FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY or HORROR FILM:
Ex Machina
Goodnight Mommy
It Follows
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian

Here Are The Houston Film Critics Nominations!


Another one of my former hometowns has checked in with their nominations for the best of 2015!  The Houston Film Critics gave Ex Machina another nomination for best picture.  Wouldn’t it be kinda neat if Ex Machina snuck into the Oscar race as well?

BEST PICTURE:
The Big Short, Paramount
Ex Machina, A24 Films
Inside Out, Disney/PIXAR
Mad Max: Fury Road, Warner Bros.
The Martian, 20th Century Fox
The Revenant, 20th Century Fox
Room, A24 Films
Sicario, Lionsgate
Spotlight, Open Road Films
Steve Jobs, Universal

BEST DIRECTION OF A MOTION PICTURE:
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Brian Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Matt Damon, The Martian
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Tom Hardy, Legend

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Brie Larsen, Room
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
Emily Blunt, Sicario
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Tom Hardy, The Revenant

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Rooney Mara, Carol

BEST SCREENPLAY:
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Drew Goddard, The Martian
Emma Donaghu, Room
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

BEST ANIMATED FILM:
Anomalisa, Paramount
The Good Dinosaur, Disney/PIXAR
Inside Out, Disney/PIXAR
The Peanuts Movie, 20th Century Fox
Shaun the Sheep, StudioCanal

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Dariusz Wolski, The Martian
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
Roger Deakins, Sicario

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Amy, Altitude Film Distribution
Best of Enemies, Magnolia
Cartel Land, IFC Films
The Look of Silence, Drafthouse Films
Where to Invade Next, IMG Films

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
The Assassin, Well Go USA
Goodnight Mommy, Radius/TWC
Son of Saul, Sony Pictures Classic
The Tribe, Drafthouse Films
White God, Magnolia

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Ennio Moriccone, The Hateful Eight
Michael Giacchino, Inside Out
Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road

Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto & Bryce Dessner, The Revenant

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
“Love Me Like You Do,” music & lyrics by Savan Kotecha, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Tove Lo, Max Martin & Ali Payami, 50 Shades of Grey
“One Kind of Love,” music & lyrics by Brian Wilson & Scott Bennett, Love & Mercy
“See You Again,” music & lyrics by Wiz Khalifa, DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth & Andrew Cedar, Furious 7
“Simple Song #3,” music & lyrics by David Lang, Youth
“Writing’s on the Wall,” music & lyrics by Sam Smith & Jimmy Napes, Spectre

TEXAS INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD:
6 Years
7 Chinese Brothers
Last Man on the Moon
Results
Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove

BEST POSTER
Carol – Theatrical Poster
Ex Machina – Theatrical Poster
It Follows – Rear Window Alternate
Mad Max: Fury Road – ‘What A Lovely Day’ Alternate
Sicario – Theatrical Poster
The Walk – IMAX Alternate

WORST FILM OF THE YEAR:
Aloha, Columbia
The Boy Next Door, Universal
Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox
Mortdecai, Lionsgate
Pixels, Columbia

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Goes Mad For Max But Even Madder For Spotlight!


MadMaxFuryRoad

Boston and New York were not the only critics to vote today!  The Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2015 as well!  Mad Max: Fury Road won best director but Spotlight won best picture with Fury Road as the runner-up.  In other words, the LAFCA liked Fury Road but decided to play it safe.  Let’s not forget that this is the same group of people who once named The Descendants best picture with The Tree of Life as the runner-up.

(Dear award-giving groups: Just so you know, playing it safe is really freaking boring.)

Here’s all that what won:

Best Picture
Winner: Spotlight
Runner-up: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Director
Winner: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Roard
Runner-up: Todd Haynes, Carol

Best Actor
Winner: Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Runner-up: Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul

Best Actress
Winner: Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Runner-up: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Runner-up: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Runner-up: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria

Best Screenplay
Winner: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Runner-up: Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa

Best Cinematography
Winner: John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
Runner-up: Ed Lachmann, Carol

Best Production Design
Winner: Colin Gibson, Mad Max: Fury Road
Runner-up: Judy Becker, Carol

Best Editing
Winner: Hank Corwin, The Big Short
Runner-up: Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Music Score
Winner: Carter Burwell, Anomalisa and Carol
Runner-up: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Best Foreign-Language Film
Winner: Son of Saul
Runner-up: The Tribe

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film
Winner: Amy
Runner-up: The Look of Silence

Best Animation
Winner: Anomalisa
Runner-up: Inside Out

New Generation Award: Ryan Coogler for Creed

What a Lovely Day! The National Board of Review Honors Mad Max: Fury Road!


MadMaxFuryRoad

OH MY GOD!

So, like a lot of people, I was expecting the National Board of Review to name Spotlight as best picture of the year.  I haven’t seen Spotlight yet but I have to admit that I’m already kind of bored of hearing about how it’s the Oscar front-runner.  I mean, for all I know, Spotlight could be the best film ever made but I like it when my awards season is interesting.  It’s boring when one film — like The Social Network a few years ago — keeps winning every single award.

So, with all that in mind, I was really happy to hear that the National Board of Review picked Mad Max: Fury Road for best picture.  I was happy because not only is Fury Road a really great movie that deserves the love but also because it was just so unexpected!  Way to go, NBR!

(The only thing that would have made things better would have been if the Guitar Guy had won Best Supporting Actor.)

Now, I’d caution anyone about getting too excited.  Just because a film wins one of the precursor awards, that does not mean that it’s going to be nominated come Oscar time.  Last year, for instance, the NBR picked A Most Violent Year for best picture.  However, at the same time, it can be argued that the momentum that led to Her being nominated in 2014 began with its victory at the NBR.

So, who knows?

Anyway, here are the NBR winners!

Best Film:  Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Director:  Ridley Scott – The Martian

Best Actor:  Matt Damon – The Martian

Best Actress: Brie Larson – Room

Best Supporting Actor:  Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Supporting Actress:  Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Best Original Screenplay:  Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Drew Goddard – The Martian

Best Animated Feature:  Inside Out
Breakthrough Performance:  Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation & Jacob Tremblay – Room

Best Directorial Debut:  Jonas Carpignano – Mediterranea

Best Foreign Language Film:  Son of Saul

Best Documentary:  Amy

William K. Everson Film History Award:  Cecilia De Mille Presley

Best Ensemble:  The Big Short

Spotlight Award: Sicario for Outstanding Collaborative Vision

NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Beasts of No Nation & Mustang

Top Films

Top 5 Foreign Language Films

  • Goodnight Mommy
  • Mediterranea
  • Phoenix
  • The Second Mother
  • The Tribe

Top 5 Documentaries

  • Best of Enemies
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
  • The Diplomat
  • Listen to Me Marlon
  • The Look of Silence

Top 10 Independent Films

Here Are The Online Film Critics Society Nominations!


Film Review Under the Skin

The Online Film Critics Society announced their nominees for the best of 2014 earlier today and what can I say other than the fact that I love them!  Seriously, it’s such a wonderful mix of the expected (Boyhood, Selma) and the unexpected (Ida, Mommy).

If the Oscar nominations look anything like the OFCS nominations, then it will be a very interesting night.  (Unfortunately, they probably won’t…)

(h/t to awardwatch)

Best Picture 
Boyhood 
The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Ida 
The Lego Movie 
Mommy 
Nightcrawler 
Selma 
Two Days, One Night 
Whiplash 
Under the Skin 

Best Animated Feature 
Big Hero 6 
The Boxtrolls 
How to Train Your Dragon 2 
The Lego Movie 
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya 

Best Film Not in the English Language 
Ida 
The Missing Picture 
Mommy 
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya 
Two Days, One Night 

Best Documentary 
Citizenfour 
Life Itself 
The Missing Picture 
National Gallery 
The Overnighters 

Best Director 
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne – Two Days, One Night 
Ava DuVernay – Selma
Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin 
Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Best Actor 
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Brendan Gleeson – Calvary
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler 
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner 

Best Actress 
Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night 
Essie Davis – The Babadook 
Anne Dorval – Mommy
Julianne Moore – Still Alice 
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl 

Best Supporting Actor 
Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice 
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year 
Suzanne Clément – Mommy
Agata Kulesza – Ida
Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer

Best Original Screenplay
Boyhood 
The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Selma 
Two Days, One Night 
Whiplash 

Best Adapted Screenplay 
Gone Girl 
Inherent Vice 
Snowpiercer 
Under the Skin 
We Are the Best! 

Best Editing 
Birdman 
Boyhood 
Gone Girl 
The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Whiplash

Best Cinematography 
Birdman 
The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Ida 
Mr. Turner 
Under the Skin 

Best Non-U.S. Release (non-competitive category)
’71 ,
10,000 km ,
Entre Nós ,
Han Gong-ju ,
Hard to Be a God ,
The Look of Silence ,
The Salt of the Earth ,
What We Do in the Shadows ,
Timbuktu ,
The Tribe

Mommy