The Race to Best Picture

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The time has finally come, it’s here, tomorrow the Oscars are on. I’m aware it’s really not that big of a deal but for me it’s always something I look forward to when February rolls around every year. It’s somewhat of an event that I sit down and watch with my friends and scream at the screen about, you could even say it’s my super bowl if you want to reach that far. I feel as if the past few years of the Oscars have been good but nothing really surprising at all. Like last year, it was pretty obvious to most that Spotlight was going to take home the best picture Oscar, even though it was next to some pretty worthy competitors. This year is different. This year has a political wave that is expected to hit form most of the winners that take the stage and La La Land is expected to take home a lot of awards. Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the big event this time around and while I don’t mind Kimmel by an means, I doubt he’ll be able to beat Ellen or Billy Crystal’s hosting jobs. He’ll be safe and offer a few jokes but I’m thinking it won’t be anything noteworthy. Now, I have talked about the Oscars in the past but I realized that I’ve never really talked about the nominations. I could sit down and discuss every person and movie nominated with you but I figured that would take too damn long (especially with the smaller categories that they whip through in the beginning of the show). So I thought it would be smartest to cut it down to specifically discussing the best picture nominees because really, isn’t that the category that everyone is waiting for?

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It’s a shame that Amy Adams didn’t get nominated for her performance in this because she truly does carry this movie magnificently. I actually saw this one for a second time last night and loved it even more than I did when I first saw it. The way I viewed this movie reminded me of Inception in the sense that you really can’t get everything out of it in one viewing, you have to see it multiple times to really get it all. I love a movie that can do that, that has layers to it. I think a this point it’s really a long shot that this will win best picture but I wouldn’t be mad if it did. It really is a great film that I don’t think will be forgotten soon, even if it does seem like it’s in this category just as a placeholder.

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Fences

I actually know a lot of people who don’t get this movie and they really didn’t like it. My sister being one of them, told me last weekend that “nothing happened, it was slow and there was too much talking”. I kind of shrugged at her and told her that she just didn’t get it because really you could look at it that way in a literal sense, but in a wider perspective it’s so much more than that. I’m not judging anyone who dislikes this movie at all, I’m just saying that it’s not that simple, this movie isn’t just a lot of talking with nothing happening, there’s so much more to it than that. The point of too much talking is exactly why I loved this movie, it was able to do so much with so little. Maybe it was because I knew walking into it that it was structured so similarly to August Wilson’s original play and I was prepared for it. Fences really reminded me a lot of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (another favorite of mine), in the sense that there was so little scenery/action and it was so focused on this family and their struggles. It’s really a force of a movie that won’t let you breathe until the second it ends. Like I’ll say with most of the films in this category, it won’t win best picture, but I’m sure that either Viola Davis or Denzel Washington (or both), will win for their performances, as they deserve to.

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Hacksaw Ridge

Look, war movies just aren’t for me. I don’t get them and I just don’t understand the love for them. I can and do acknowledge the fact that these events did actually happen and they’re tragic, but that doesn’t mean I want to watch over 2 hours of it. I say all of this because Hacksaw Ridge is the epitome of a violent, gnarly war movie. Not only is it that, but take away those elements and I really don’t think this is a great movie. It also probably doesn’t help with the fact that Mel Gibson’s name is stamped all over this and I’m not particularly his biggest fan for various reasons. With all that being said though, I find it hard to believe that this will win best picture or really much at all throughout the night. to me it feels like it’s included for the sole reason of the academy letting everyone know that they still appreciate a Mel Gibson movie.

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Hell or High Water

If you read my worst of 2016 list than you know that I didn’t really love it, but I acknowledged the fact that it’s a well made film. And to be fair, I’d much rather watch this again than Hacksaw Ridge for the mere fact that there is pieces of an interesting story here. I can see this maybe winning a few of the smaller awards but nothing big due to the fact that it’s so small and it’s up against so many others that have gotten more attention.

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Hidden Figures

 I enjoyed this movie but I did not love it. I find the story that it’s presenting to be much more interesting than the actual movie itself. The way Hidden Figures tells it’s story is in such a inspirational tropey way that I found myself wanting just a little bit more rawness and realness to it. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae  are the true stars and the glue of this movie, there’s a shockingly big cast that pops up here and there but they’re what really bring the movie to life. It’s bigger than Hell or High Water but I think it will be similar in winning some smaller awards. I think it has a bigger chance in winning best picture than any of the other films I’ve mentioned so far but it’s still slight.

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La La Land

This seems to be the obvious winner for best picture of this year. There’s a chance that just maybe Moonlight will steal it away (which as much as I loved La La Land, I’m really hoping will happen), but I have a feeling that won’t happen. Even though I will stand by the fact that I think Moonlight is actually a better movie and really has become an all time favorite for me, I do really love this movie. Similar to what I said on my best of 2016 list, it has a magic to it that brings me back to being a kid. It brings me back to the feeling of loving something for it just being magnificent and wonderful. People complain that it’s too simple of a movie and there isn’t much to it, but I don’t think it needs to be anything else. La La Land is simply a movie with musical and dance elements in it that wants you to have a good time and I really bought into that in the best way. It’s kind of set in stone at this point that Emma Stone is going to win best actress and I would really be fine with that because she was glorious, was it her performance in Birdman? No, but it’s worth mentioning. There’s a possibility that Ryan Gosling will also win but as much as I loved him I would really like to see Denzel win in that category.

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Lion

I didn’t see this one in time to put it on my best of list from last year, but if I did I surely would’ve put it on there. This is a fantastic movie that I really loved. The middle chunk of the movie is what keeps it from being perfect for me and I think is really the only bit of the movie that could’ve been worked on a little for me. I would love to see Dev Patel win for this but it’s highly doubtful just knowing that he’s in the category with a bunch of others that are more likely (Mahershala Ali especially). I don’t really know if this will win anything but I would love to see it get some sort of recognition.

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Manchester By the Sea

This is a tough movie for me to love because it’s just so dark and really hits you in the saddest ways. It’s one of those movies I would never watch again because it is just so depressing and has layers of sadness to it (there is a reveal halfway through that I was so shocked by I couldn’t catch my breath), and it’s hard to watch. As someone who has and still does suffer with depression, I do think this movie captures the feeling of being deeply depressed almost as perfectly as a movie can. Casey Affleck really gives his all in this and it’s definitely my favorite performance from him that I’ve seen. Michelle Williams is in it very briefly but she definitely leaves her mark, especially in one specific scene towards the end. I actually don’t think this one will win much. Both of the actors I mentioned have been nominated and while it looked like Casey Affleck was going to win for a while, his chances seem to be smaller now for some reason.

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Moonlight

I have beat readers in the head with how much I loved this movie in the past few posts, but I can’t help it, I just really am in love with this movie. I’ve seen it 4 times now and every time I watched it I saw something new and felt a new emotion for it. It’s art, it’s poetry, it’s a painting brought to life, it’s beautiful. It’s surprised me how much this movie has risen up in the past few months from being a small indie movie that wasn’t really playing anywhere to now being a lot of people’s favorite and choice for best picture. Like I said before, there’s a slight chance that this could steal the best picture award from La La Land but it’s a small on in my eyes. I do think that there is a definite chance that Mahershala Ali will win for supporting actor though because he was just so brilliant and amazing in his small yet effective role. Naomi Harris was also really great and is nominated for supporting actress, but I don’t really see her taking that one home unfortunately. I really hope Moonlight takes home some of the smaller awards too like cinematography and score because it really deserves it.

Thanks for reading! Hope you watch tomorrow night, let me know you’re thoughts down below.

 

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Some anticipations for 2017 that are in no particular order.

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Hey there I’m back! And so soon after the last post, I know it’s shocking. But really I thought it would be fun to discuss some upcoming movies for 2017 that I think look promising! This is really just a quick little post so I’m going to try to keep my descriptions brief for each film. Anyway, let’s get to it!

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12. Get Out (February 24)

The trailer for this one dropped in October 2016 sometime I think, and it seemed way to early to release a trailer for a movie not coming until February of 2017. But putting that aside, I’m just as excited for this as I was when I first saw the trailer. I’m really hoping this is as good as I want it to be in my head, it’s a hard thing to live up to and it rarely is something that happens, but I’m holding out for this one because it looks chilling and just like it’s madness.

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11. Song to Song (March 17)

Originally titled Weightless, this is Terrence Malick’s newest film and I would be lying if I didn’t say that part of the charm for me was the insane cast because good god it’s big. You have Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Trevante Rhodes (from Moonlight), Benicio Del Toro, Holly Hunter and not to mention a bunch of musical artists. All I really know about this one is that it’s about the music scene in Austin, Texas and there’s some love triangle. I’m expecting numerous monologues set over beautiful cinematography of people walking around sadly and that’s exactly what I want from Terrence Malick.

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10. The Little Hours (TBD)

Aubrey Plaza and Molly Shannon as nuns, I’m already in. This is one of many films that premiered at Sundance just recently and this is one of a few that I gravitated towards. From what I’ve read it got some pretty good reviews and is supposed to be a good time. Like Song to Song, the cast in this one is also really great and I’m ready for Aubrey Plaza to yell at a mute Dave Franco.

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9. A Cure for Wellness (February 17)

This looks like Shutter Island on crack and I’m all for it. I’m still a little bit skeptical because we have a director who is subpar at best (most well known for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies so that should give you a clue right there), but I’m trying to be positive and hope for the best because the visuals in the trailer alone are outstanding. Like I said before, this looks like Shutter Island on crack plus a little Clockwork Orange and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest mixed in there, so let’s just hope that it lives up to the beautifully haunting trailers.

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8. Battle of the Sexes (TBD)

I am sold on this solely because of Emma Stone playing Billie Jean King, also I’m kind of a sucker for tennis movies for some reason. I’m not always the biggest fan of bio pics especially because they can turn out to be so by the numbers sometimes and just restating information we already know with A-list actors. It’s the ones that are unique and have a different perspective or try something new that stick out to me. So I’m hoping with Battle of the Sexes we get something good, even if Steve Carell seems a tad miscast as Bobby Riggs.

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7. The Discovery (March 31)

A movie about the science of the afterlife and people dying all over the place featuring Rooney Mara and Jason Segel? Yep, I’m in. I know it seems like all these movies I’m just excited for them because of who is going to be in them and that might be a little true but really The Discovery looks profoundly interesting. Like the case for some of the films being released later on in the year, there isn’t a whole lot to know about the film other than a brief synopsis on IMDb. But I really like not knowing much because it gives me a chance to go into it kind of blind.

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6. Call Me By Your Name (TBD)

This is that one film that I’ve heard non stop about that was at Sundance this year. People are calling it amazing and a fantastic addition to the LGBT film history or the next Carol. I Am Love was my favorite movie of 2009 and one of my all time favorites so when I discovered that Luca Guadagnino was the director it made me even more excited. Everyone is saying it could get a summer release because it’s set in Italy in the summertime but people are also saying around November or December so it can get a slot in the Oscars. Whatever the date may be, Call Me By Your Name seems like a promising one.

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5. It (September 8)

Usually I’m not a fan or remakes, as many know, but with It the case is different. Since the original overly long (it’s over 3 hours and just insanely slow), adaptation from the Stephen King novel wasn’t very good in the first place I’m hoping that this second go at it is a more successful one. Because really after all, the story of It and Pennywise is kind of freaky and could make for a good addition to the horror catalogue.

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4. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (December 15)

A remake and a sequel in the same list? This has to be a record for me. Yes it’s true, ever since the 2015 release of The Force Awakens I’ve kind of been interested in these newer Star Wars movies, especially knowing that they’ll actually be good movies. It will be a bittersweet affair knowing that this is Carrie Fisher’s final film (RIP), and that we won’t get anymore Leia after this. It’ll be truly interesting where they’ll go next with the series and how they’ll continue it.

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3. The Circle (April 28)

What really peaked my interest about this one is the fact that it looks like an extra long episode of Black Mirror. It looks dark and is has bad technology, which is always fun! Also, man if both of the movies turn out good, 2017 will be a good year for Emma Watson.

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2. A Ghost Story (TBD)

I do realize that this is the third movie with Rooney Mara on the list and you know what? I’m not even going to apologize for it! Not my fault if she’s choosing good projects! Anyway, this film reunites Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck (previously in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), and it’s another that came to have pretty great reviews at Sundance. It doesn’t seem like the most complex of stories, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be and I’m all for it.

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1. Beauty and the Beast (March 16)

I’m really breaking new ground on this post because as people who have read my past posts, I’m not the biggest fan of these live action Disney remakes. I don’t know what it is though, I am filled with excitement for this one. Maybe it’s because I grew up with the original film and it was always one of my favorites so to see it brought to life on screen really brings me joy. All I have to say is that to anyone that has really loved the live action Disney remakes, I kind of understand now.

 

So here’s to hoping that the films of 2017 will be great and not as subpar as a lot of the 2016 anticipated releases were. There are many that I’m sure I have left out and as always there are a handful of movies that we don’t even know about yet. Thanks for reading and have a good rest of the week!