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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