It’s almost Oscar time! So regulars to the blog will know I’m a Michael Bolton level cinephile, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I have my own little Oscars party every year. I love watching all the major nominees and figuring out what my favourites are, even though they almost never win. Sad face. This year Bear got involved as well – he watched every Best Animated Feature winner with me and we talked about what his favourites were. I loved getting him involved in this little tradition, and I can’t wait until he’s old enough to join in the whole shebang.
There’s some truly wonderful films here – but a lot of them are very similar. Oscar always nominates character driven personal narratives but this year they all felt a little same-y. The real stand out for me was Hidden Figures. Without a doubt my favourite movie this Oscar season – it somehow managed to cover some pretty heavy topics without ever once feeling heavy or depressing. My heart wants it to win but my head says La La Land is probably going to take this out. Historically in rough years the Academy picks something light and fluffy and with Le Cheeto in the Oval Office, La La Land is just the ticket.
My Pick: La La Land
Best Animated Feature
And the Nominees Are:
Kubo And The Two Strings
My Life As A Zucchini
The Red Turtle
It’s a good year for animation fans my friends – this is an extremly difficult race to call. Kubo, Moana and Zootopia all have amazing things about them but I think Zootopia is probably the favourite. With the Oscars So White controversy that’s occurred in the recent years, this story of racism in animated form is probably most likely to take out the gong, but for my money I couldn’t go past Kubo. It was a truly enjoyable kids movie, without a lot of nods to the grownups in the audience.
My Pick :Kubo And The Two Strings
Bear’s Pick: Zootopia (going on 12 views so far)
And The Nominees Are:
Andrew Garfield Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling La La Land
Denzel Washington Fences
Viggo Mortensen Captain Fantastic
Casey Affleck Manchester By The Sea
Call me jaded, but none of the best actor performances really blew my hair back this year. It’s a very similar field and there was really only standout so Denzel has this one bagged. His portrayal of Troy Maxson is truly incredible – he’s as charismatic as is is emotionally abusive and yet Denzel makes him almost likeable.
My Pick: Denzel Washington Fences
And The Nominees Are:
Emma Stone La La Land
Natalie Portman Jackie
Meryl Streep Florence Foster Jenkins
Isabelle Huppert Elle
Ruth Negga Loving
This is a really really tough field this year. You’ve got Streep who lets be honest would win an Oscar for a dramatic reading of the phone book, but every performance here is solid. I wish they could all get awards I truly do, but Ruth Negga really stood out above the rest for me. Her performance as Mildred Loving is incredibly subtle but utterly convincing and powerful. I’m surprised it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture and I really would urge everyone to see it.
My Pick: Ruth Negga Loving
Best Supporting Actor
And The Nominees Are
Michael Shannon Nocturnal Creatures
Jeff Bridges Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges Manchester By The Sea
Mahershala Ali Moonlight
Dev Patel Lion
Let’s be honest here – Jeff Bridges is playing yet another crusty white guy, Michael Shannon is a cop trope and Lucas Hedges was just okay. This is a two horse race between Dev Patel and Mahershala Ali. While Patel has been the darling of the awards circuit, I actually feel like this nomination should have gone to the little boy in Lion – he was incredibly raw and affecting. For me its no question – Ali’s drug dealing mentor figure hands down
My Pick: Mahershala Ali Moonlight
Best Supporting Actress
Naomie Harris Moonlight
Viola Davis Fences
Nicole Kidman Lion
Michelle Williams Manchester By The Sea
Octavia Spencer Hidden Figures
Again, it’s a tough field with the actresses. A lot of these roles are sort of similar – Davis, Kidman and Harris are all supportive mother figures which makes them a little difficult to seperate from the pack. It might be my STEM girl talking, but Spencer was incredible in Hidden Figures. She managed to portray a rage simmering away under the surface, but never quite boiling over in such an incredible fashion, that I could never choose anyone else.
My Pick: Octavia Spencer Hidden Figures
Mel Gibson Hacksaw Ridge
Kenneth Lonergan Manchester By The Sea
Damien Chazelle La La Land
Barry Jenkins Moonlight
Denis Villeneuve Arrival
This is a no brainer for me. Even though Moonlight was an urban film, it was truly beautifully shot. It had gorgeous lighting, and I don’t think Jenkins could have done a better job if he tried.
My Pick: Barry Jenkins Moonlight
Best Original Song
City of Stars La La Land
Audition (The Fools Who Dream) La La Land
Can’t Stop The Feeling! Trolls
The Empty Chair Jim: The James Foley Story
How Far I’ll Go Moana
The real power of a song is it’s ability to stand alone, despite the delivery. While La La Land definitely had some pretty songs, I think the power of Audition owes a lot more to Emma Stone’s performance than the actual lyrics or melody, so that ones definitely a no. Can’t Stop the Feeling is a fun poppy song, but it doesn’t have the power of How Far I’ll Go and I don’t feel like it would have been nominated without JT singing it. . Lin Manuel Miranda has managed to create one of the most iconic ‘Disney Princess’ songs I’ve ever heard, so let’s push him one step closer to that EGOT. Come on, we deserve nice things sometimes.
My Pick: How Far I’ll Go Moana
What are your Oscar Picks for 2017? What did I get wrong? Let me have it in the comments 😉