February 21, 2017

The Academy Awards 2016



Is 2016 the year of La La? Or is there something different shimmering in the Moonlight? I mostly agree with the nominations this year, except for Hacksaw Ridge, well maybe I can quibble with the lack of nominations for the underrated film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, or why Viola Davis isn’t in the Best Actress category, or frankly why for a mediocre performance Meryl Streep is nominated again when Hugh Grant who isn’t nominated was the best part of Foster Florence Jenkins…well maybe I do disagree a lot.  Most of this year was consumed by either big blockbusters or surprisingly big animated films, it took a long time to get to the meaty stuff, but when the award season films finally showed up, they delivered.  I am still a defender of Batman v Superman (especially the Ultimate cut) and a detractor of Rogue One (was that film really necessary?)  but this is about the award worthy films and none of those big budget films made the cut (Not even you Deadpool).
(Note: I have not yet seen Birth of a Nation, Jackie, or Silence yet among a few others)

Ok let’s break it down!


BEST PICTURE: What will win-La La Land, I have seen the praise and heard the backlash but frankly  what Damien Chazelle did here was ballsy and a lot of fun, I am still listening to the soundtrack in my car (and not just the songs also the score, that epilogue is incredible).
What should win-Well I certainly wouldn’t be mad if Moonlight won, it is an incredible film and Manchester By The Sea and Lion are worthy films as well, but ultimately the best film of 2016 is an 8 hour documentary named OJ: Made In America and I don’t know the rules, but I strongly feel it should it have been at least nominated for best picture.

BEST DIRECTOR: Who will win-Damien Chazelle he has some baggage and again there has been some backlash to La La Land, but I can’t deny this film, he filled it with excellent music and gave it a wonderful charm…I believe it will age very well. Who should win: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is a wonderfully quiet and powerful film that is filled with subtlety and beauty. I think Barry Jenkins is going to be heard from again at the Oscars whether he takes home a trophy or not this time. (Shout out Kenneth Lonergan , Manchester By the Sea was an honest and heartbreaking film that deserves a lot of credit). 

BEST ACTOR: Who will win-Seems to be Casey Affleck  who I think is the correct choice, Denzel Washington was fine in Fences, but Casey conveyed a lot more about his character and with a lot less  words to work with. Who should win-Casey Affleck he really crushed that role, I don’t think Matt Damon would’ve been able to pull off that role like Casey did (and that is saying something). Outside of Denzel and Casey it feels like a weak year for this category (Maybe instead of Garfield I expected to see Chris Pine or Ben Foster for Hell or High Water here, or even Colin Farrell for The Lobster deserved a look…No Ryan Reynolds should not have been nominated for Deadpool!).

BEST ACTRESS: Who will win-Emma Stone who maybe shouldn’t, that film is a showcase for both her and Ryan Gosling and their chemistry is undeniable , but I could see several others actors succeeding in those roles. Who should win-Ruth Negga for Loving or Annette Benning for 20th Century Women (I have not seen Elle or Jackie yet) but Ruth Negga is wonderful in Loving and Benning is a force in 20th Century Women, it is a travesty she is not nominated.  (Shout out Amy Adams who probably should’ve been nominated for Arrival and was actually very solid in Nocturnal Animals, also a great Lois Lane, she had a good year).

BEST SUPPORTING’S: Who will win-Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis. Mahershala Ali is only in Moonlight for a handful of minutes but his presence is undeniable, he absolutely deserves this award.  Viola Davis is the best actress not best supporting actress, but since she is in this category she is going to dominate. Who should win-They both deserve it here, but let me just say like 2015 this is the best category in terms of meaty performances. Hugh Grant should’ve been nominated (don’t feel bad Hugh the Academy didn’t nominate Benico Del Toro last year for Sicario) and both Jeff Bridges, Dev Patel, and Luca Hedges are excellent in their respective roles.  On the Actress side if things were right and Davis was in the Best Actress category where she belongs (and would win) Michelle Williams would win this award, her scenes in Manchester By the Sea are absolutely gut wrenching. (Shout out Naomie Harris who is really impressive in Moonlight).


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Will win-La La Land, Should win-Manchester By the Sea again I think La La Land works best as a complete package and the writing isn’t what makes that film stand out, Lonergan crafts a wonderful script that is just funny enough that it disarms you just enough to crush you with great sadness and heartbreak.  Also I wouldn’t be upset if 20th Century Women won, Mike Mills is an excellent writer who wrote a film at least as good as his 2010 delight Beginners. (Shout out Hell or High Water and The Lobster, two original and wonderful efforts).

Will win-Moonlight  Should win-Moonlight, but I did think both Hidden Figures and Arrival were much better than I thought they would be and both deserve to be here. (Shout out to Fences, it was just too much like a play to feel like a film and nobody saw it but Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a wonderful little film that is perfectly adapted to film). 

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Will win-Moonlight, and yes it should win but shout out to La La Land and Arrival.

Best Documentary: Will win-OJ: Made in America, and yes it absolutely should, it was the best film this year period (Even the music is great, like La La Land I still listen to Sinnerman in my car all the time). (Shout out to Michael Moore’s best film since Bowling for Columbine: Where to invade next, and to Ava Duvernay’s The 13th  on Netflix, a powerful history lesson).

1. O.J.: Made in America (7.0)
2. La La Land (7.0)
3. Moonlight (7.0)
4. Manchester By the Sea (7.0)
5. Where to Invade Next (7.0))
6. Hell or High Water (6.5)
7. Arrival (6.5)
8. Lion (6.5)
9. Hidden Figures (6.5)
10. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (6.5)
  • Runners up: 20th Century Women (6.5), Star Trek Beyond (6.5), Loving (6.5), The 13th (6.5), Nocturnal Animals (6.5), Batman V Superman Ultimate Cut (6.5), The Nice Guys (6.5), The Hollars (6.5), Civil War (6.0), Rogue One A Star Wars Story (6.0), Oasis Supersonic (6.0), The Lobster (6.0), Hacksaw Ridge (6.0), Whiskey Tango Fox Trot (6.0), Jason Bourne (6.0), X-Men Apocalypse (6.0), Sully (6.0), Fences (6.0), Now You See Me 2 (6.0), Suicide Squad (6.0), The Founder (6.0), 10 Cloverfield Lane (6.0), Eddie the Eagle (6.0), Magnificent Seven (6.0), Money Monster (6.0), Hologram for the King (6.0), The Finest Hours (6.0), The Fundamentals of Caring (6.0), Gold (6.0), Dr. Strange (6.0), Free State of Jones (6.0), Popstar (6.0), Inferno (6.0), 13 Hours (5.5), The Lady in the Van (5.5), The Girl on the Train (5.5), Florence Foster Jenkins (5.5), Deadpool (5.5), Independence Day 2 (5.5), Hail Caeser (5.5)
  • Dissapointments: Ghostbusters, Keanu, How to be single, Crouching Tiger 2