Thursday, February 16, 2017

Enough of Trump! I'd Rather Talk Oscars

We're getting closer to the 2017 Academy Awards, where a non-Broadway musical could win the big prize for the first time in nearly 60 years and some fans fear the show won't be interrupted by another pointless fight between Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel.

I've seen all but one of the Best Picture nominees but I am hoping to see Hacksaw Ridge eventually when it's finally on Redbox along with Manchester By The Sea next week. It's pretty clear La La Land will take the big prize because of its direction and story, and Emma Stone. Her win at the BAFTAs pretty much gave her enough of an edge over Natalie Portman to win.
Viola Davis has Supporting Actress locked down thanks to Fences. I still say she should have won for The Help, but this is her year.
Mahershala Ali, who I first knew from Luke Cage, should get enough to win Supporting Actor, mainly due to his win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. That category has been interesting because Aaron Taylor-Johnson got the Golden Globes but isn't in the Oscars, while Dev Patel won at the BAFTAs for Lion. Patel could upset, but Ali may win out.

Actually of all the films I've seen, Lion had the best story and acting that could give La La Land a run for its money. So could Hidden Figures, the story of some unknown space travel pioneers who finally got their due. Manchester By The Sea has great performances from Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges in a story about a family trying to recover from several tragedies. Moonlight gives an interesting story about an African-American boy dealing with his own sexuality and drug abuse within his family.
Still, feel-good movies always get the edge from the voters. That's why La La Land will take Best Picture, Actress, Director and maybe Original Screenplay along with a few tech awards. Manchester could upset in Original Screenplay.
Adapted Screenplay is a very tricky race, but my guess is Hidden Figures will win as a reward for the story and the cast. I still wish Deadpool was in there, even if it would have lost. Finally giving any comic book movie at the Oscar table is important, especially if it's some of the major awards. The ghost of The Dark Knight is still there.

As I said, Emma Stone will get Best Actress for La La Land over Natalie Portman, mainly due to her win at the BAFTAs. Casey Affleck has been unstoppable, despite Ryan Gosling's charm and ability to learn the piano. He'll at least sing the Best Song winner, "City of Stars."
I also saw Elle with Isabelle Huppert as a rape victim who is determined to find who did it...and even when she does, the story takes a lot of different turns. To be fair, the movie has a different outlook because it was made in France. Also, Huppert's character has a very interesting past, and makes some unusual decisions. It's enough to get a Golden Globe, but that's it.

Best Animation did look like a lock for Zootopia, aka How We Wound Up Electing Trump. With Kubo and the Two Strings winning at the BAFTAs, that movie's story may give it some momentum, but not enough to win.

Let's hope for an entertaining Academy Awards, even if the guys from The Man Show are involved. If there's ever a time for Kimmel to prove he's in the league of Johnny Carson in more ways than one, it's Oscar night.

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