It’s OSCAR TIME!?!?!?!??!?!? (WOO!) and that means it is time to go through the Oscar nominations and try to guess which films will run away with all the hype and glory and which ones will be left in the dust. I’ll pick out some of my favorite categories and make my predictions on what I think will and should win…
Snubs: …BUT FIRST, I think I’ll first comment on some of the movies and people that were snubbed of awards. First off is Deadpool. Some people were upset that Deadpool was denied any mention from the Academy but I think those people are frankly a little nuts. Deadpool is a bit too immature for the Oscars, a group that has consistently given awards to movies hailed as “mature” and “progressive,” and a movie about violence and dick jokes just does not fit that mold. Second, I was pretty surprised that Tom Hanks did not win a nomination for Sully; even though I thought his performance was not as good as he was in Captain Phillips, his performance was still quite good and one of the better roles from 2016. In the director category, Martin Scorsese was denied a nomination for Silence, which I think is a damn shame. You can say a lot of things about that movie but directing and cinematography is not one of them.That movie was a masterclass in directing and deserves recognition for it. Finally, Finding Dory did not get a shout out for Best Animation, which is surprising given Pixar’s track record. (As a note, I did not see Finding Dory but I think it looks pretty damn pretty.)
Best Original Song: This seems like a no-brainer for La La Land to run away with. Possibly the first of many awards for the musical, La La Land is nominated in this category for two songs, City of Stars and the Audition. While I personally think the Audition should win (with Emma Stone at the helm), I think that City of Stars will probably take the cake here since it is featured in several places throughout the film.
Best Sound Editing: This should absolutely be given to Arrival. The music is so unsettlingly quiet that any sound made is significant. The sound design adds so much to the movie that the sound team should be rewarded for their efforts. That being said, I think this award will be given to La La Land because it appears that the Academy, as does most everyone in Hollywood, has a hard on for it.
Best Make-Up and Hair-styling: I’m highlighting this one just because I think this is hilarious because Suicide Squad got nominated. You heard me right folks. Suicide Squad is an Oscar nominated film. All kidding aside, this should be given to the newest Star Trek flick. Moving on!
Best Visual Effects: I believe that Rouge One should win this category. That movie just feels so real and complements previous winners of the award (including Intersteller and Gravity). Now. Last year, Ex Machina won and rightfully so considering how far ahead that movie was from its competitors. This year on the other hand I think is much closer (with Doctor Strange and Kubo and the Two Strings also being front runners in my mind) but I still think Rogue One is the clear winner here.
Best Cinematography: Like I mentioned in my snub category above, Silence is the rightful winner here. That movie is just a masterclass in both directing and cinematography. That being said, I could also see Arrival or Moonlight winning here. My prediction is that Moonlight will win while Silence should win.
Best Original Screenplay: I have no idea what could win here. La La Land is simply and unarguably fantastic. Manchester by the Sea is also damn good. And then there is Hell or High Water. I saw that movie last summer and thought it was awful, and I choose not to review it since there were other films on my review docket. Low and behold, critics loved it and here it is nominated for multiple awards including best picture. I would honestly not be surprised if it won here. In fact I’ll say it will win since the I feel like the Academy wants to spite me sometimes, however, I firmly believe La La Land should be winner.
Best Actor and Actress: Lots of different performances nominated here from a group of very different films. I think Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone could both come out on top but I think that would be too easy for them. Maybe in a different year with sub-par performance but the matter of fact is that 2016 had some damn good performances. I believe Natalie Portman will win Best Actress for Jackie because I think the Academy still obsessed with JFK and Camelot as a whole and the Best Actor is Casey Affleck from Manchester by the Sea. That one is undeniable. If any other actor wins, I’ll riot.
Best Director: Considering Damien Chazelle won Best Director at the Golden Globes, I’m tempted to say he’ll win again here. La La Land was a great film in all respects, including directing, however, I would not be surprised to see Barry Jenkins win here for Moonlight.
Best Picture: I’ll start with this. There should not be 9 films nominated for Best Picture. 9!?! It is just plain nuts. There should be no more than 6 films and even that is too much. 4 or 5 films is the Red Riding Hood number. Now that the rant is over, I believe that Moonlight will be the winner here, again based off the Golden Globes. While I think La La Land is the overall best film on that list, I just think Moonlight has captured the attention of film critics and though I haven’t seen it yet, I hope to see it soon. (A quick aside, I have not seen Moonlight or Lion so my opinions above are based off the ones I did see and reviews and discussion on the ones I haven’t.)
Closing Thoughts: Well there you have it folks. I figure I’ll come back to this list after the Oscars and see where I’m correct and where I go horribly wrong. Until next time folks!