MoviefiedNYC’s Oscar Predictions: Who will Win and SHOULD win!

oscar-17This weekend the 89th Academy Awards will be held where Hollywood will bestow its highest honor to a deserving few. If you are going to an Oscar party and haven’t had time to see all of the nominated films, fear not, the MoviefiedNYC team has done all of the leg work for you. Managing Editors John David West and Myrna Duarte share their predictions along with Award Season Guru Ariadne Ansbro. Below are our picks for who will win and which of the nominees should win.

Best Picture: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

lalaland2

  • Ari – Who will WinLa La Land will take home the gold.  This film swept the Golden Globes and won a record setting 7 awards, not to mention it has picked up a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, and it won the Producers Guild Award.  See a pattern? Who Should Win: La La Land.  It has been a difficult year, and this film lifted its audience into the clouds.
  • John David – Who will Win: La La Land is clearly set to win, it has 14 nominations, it won the Golden Globe, and it’s a happy movie in depressing year. Oh, and it’s about LA and the movie business, that guarantees a win.  Who Should Win: I’m kind of split between Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. A Moonlight upset would be sweet, but Manchester is my best movie of 2016. 
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  Ugh .., La La Land, though I do do think Hidden Figures might be giving it a little competition.   Who Should Win: Moonlight a deeply affecting, beautifully-made film, indie favorite, a surprise hit with a passionate fan base.
Best Director: Denis Villeneuve, Arrival, Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge, Damien Chazelle, La La Land, Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea, Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
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Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • AriWho will Win: Damien Chazelle will pick up his first Oscar for directing La La Land.  This film was a labor of love that took him years to have made.  It’s time for that hard work to pay off.  Who Should Win: I loved what Chazelle did was Land, so to have him win will not be a disappointment.  However, Barry Jenkins beautifully crafted Moonlight with limited resources and turned it into one of the best films of the year.
  • John David – Who will Win: Damien ChazelleLa La Land, he managed to make an original musical in a time when movie musicals are essentially dead.   Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, a beautifully realized work of art.
  • Myrna – Who will Win: Barry Jenkins for a personal and intimate work, and done on a shoestring budget. I believe the academy will get this right.  Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, but secretly, I am rooting for Denis Villeneuve, Arrival.
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea, Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling, La La Land, Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic, Denzel Washington, Fences 

Denzel Washington, Fences
Denzel Washington, Fences

  • Ari – Who will Win: While Casey Affleck delivered a riveting performance and was considered the front-runner going into Awards Season, he has taken a serious blow due sexual harassment allegations.  Please note: While Oscar normally does not give a hoot about this kind of thing years later (see Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, etc.) this is a bit fresh.  Therefore I am going to say that Denzel Washington is going to take home the gold, especially since he won the SAG.  Who Should Win: Both Washington and Affleck were fantastic in their films.  Washington, playing an outwardly combative man who feels that everything happens to him, not because of him, and Affleck, playing a man with the weight of the world and his conscience on his shoulders, both gave breathtaking performances this year.  Honestly, I would not be disappointed if there was a tie.
  • John David – Who will Win: I’m going to take a very minor risk and say, Denzel Washington, Fences will win his third Oscar. Affleck seems to be loosing ground due to his the bad press. Who Should Win: Casey Affleck for his brilliantly restrained performance Manchester. However, Denzel Washington was equally brilliant. For me, it’s really a toss up.
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  Denzel Washington in  Fences, but this will be a nail-biter down to to the last second. Casey Affleck has been the frontrunner but is losing steam.   Who Should Win: This is tough, both Affleck and Washington deliver tremendous performances,  but I think I have to go with Denzel Washington in  Fences.
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle, Ruth Negga, Loving, Natalie Portman, Jackie, Emma Stone, La La Land, Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Emma Stone, La La Land
Emma Stone, La La Land

  • Ari – Who will Win: Emma Stone for La La Land.  She has the momentum of a hugely successful film and she has won all of the pre-Oscar awards.  This is a lock.  Who Should Win: I really enjoyed Ruth Negga in Loving.  Negga said more with her eyes and body language than she did with her mouth, and gave a worthy performance playing an amazing woman.
  • John David – Who will Win: The Best Actress winner should be called the Most Fuckable Hollywood White Girl Award and this year it goes to Emma Stone. She was good but no Huppert in Elle, or Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins, or Ruth Negga…or Amy Adams.  Who Should Win: Isabelle Huppert for her complex and brave performance, the most interesting and solid performance of the group. Amy Adams who was not nominated should have been a front runner for Arrival.
  • Myrna – Who will Win: This is  locked up for Emma Stone in La La Land. If there is an upset, it will be Isabelle Huppert, Elle. Who Should Win: Amy Adams for Arrival, she was ROBBED.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight, Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water, Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea, Dev Patel, Lion, Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals.
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  • Ari –Who will Win: Mahershala Ali is poised to take home the gold.  He was in about 15 minutes of the entire film, but his presence is felt throughout the entire film.  Who Should Win: Dev Patel was incredible in Lion.  His portrayal of a young man driven to find his family with few clues was heart-wrenching and heart-warming all at the same time.
  • John David – Who will Win: If Mahershala Ali doesn’t win for Moonlight, it’s “Fake News.”  Who Should Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight – just stop and give it to him!
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  Mahershala Ali, Moonlight but a Dev Patel upset could be possible. Who Should Win:  Mahershala Ali in Moonlight is EVERYTHING. 
Best Supporting ActressViola Davis, Fences, Naomie Harris, Moonlight, Nicole Kidman, Lion, Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures, Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea.
Viola Davis, Fences
Viola Davis, Fences
  • Ari – Who will Win: Viola Davis should have had her Oscar speech written months ago. The third nomination will definitely be the charm for her.  Who Should WinViola Davis blew me away.  I recently read an article where she stated that even though the won a Tony for this role on Broadway, she finally felt that she understood the character when she made the film.  It is incredible.
  • John David – Who will Win: Viola Davis, Fences   Who Should Win: Viola Davis, Fences, followed very closely by Michelle Williams.
  • Myrna – Who will Win:Viola Davis, Fences  Who Should Win: Viola Davis, Fences full stop.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Arrival, Eric Heisserer, Fences, August Wilson, Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Lion, Luke Davis, Moonlight, Barry Jenkins with story by Tarell Alvin McCranley

moonlight-2

  • Ari – Who will Win: Since Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins will not be taking home an Oscar for Best Director, he will win in this category.  Who Should Win: For me it’s a toss-up between Moonlight and Fences.  August Wilson was a masterful playwright, and, since he is deceased, this is his only chance to win an Oscar.  However, does this mean that William Shakespeare can be nominated too?
  • John David – Who will Win:Barry Jenkins for Moonlight and for not winning Best Director. Who Should Win: August Wilson, what language!
  • Myrna – Who will Win: August Wilson, Fences  Who Should Win: August Wilson, Fences the words are musical. 
Best Original Screenplay: Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan, La La Land, Damien Chazelle, The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan, 20th Century Women, Mike Mills
Manchester by the Sea
Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
  • Ari – Who will WinThis is actually a tough category.  The Screen Writers Guild awarded Moonlight the Original Screenplay award, while the Academy deemed it only eligible as an Adapted Screenplay.  This means that La La Land and Manchester by the Sea will duke it out for the final prize.  I am going to say that the Academy will give it to Manchester.  Kenneth Lonergan worked on this script for several years and it was even included on Hollywood’s Blacklist of best unproduced screenplays at one point. Who Should Win: Manchester by the Sea 
  • John David – Who will Win: It would be quite sad to see La La Land win, it’s the most “unoriginal” screenplay of the group. I mean, it’s full of clichés that we’ve seen in countless other films—oh my coffee get spilled on her white shirt. Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea. He’s not going to win director or best picture and this is a category where they can spread some love. Who Should Win: Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea, but I would love my personal favorite Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou to win for the darkly funny Lobster. By the way, where is Maren Ade for Toni Erdmann on this list?
  • Myrna – Who will Win: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan  Who Should Win:The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos’s dystopian tour de force.   
Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, Zootopia.
zootopia
Zootopia
  • Ari – Who will WinZootopia appealed to children and adults, which is key in this category.  Honestly, I loved the idea of a sloth working at the DMV.   Who Should Win: Zootopia was very innovative and entertaining, but I did enjoy the beautiful story behind Moana.
  • John David – Who will Win: Zootopia   Who Should Win: Zootopia. Yes, it’s all about the Sloth. 
  • Myrna – Who will Win: Zootopia   Who Should Win: Zootopia, so much wit.   The film is filled with lessons about tolerance, diversity and racial profiling delivered with conviction,  it is  almost a little  subversive. 
Best Animated Short: Blind Vaysha, Borrowed Time, Pear Cider and Cigarettes, Pearl, Piper

piper-pixar-short

  • Ari – Who will WinPiper because Pixar short films are AWESOME!!!  Who Should Win: Piper because Pixar short films are AWESOME!!!
  • John David – Who will WinPiper   Who Should Win: One of the better movies of the year was Piper.
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  Didn’t see them, boo. Who Should Win:
 Best Cinematography: Arrival, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Silence 
arrival
Arrival
  • Ari – Who will WinLa La Land turned a concrete city that I really have no love for (ahem, Los Angeles) into a beautiful world where love is just around the next corner.   Who Should Win: Lion’s sweeping views of Mumbai and Tasmania were a travel junkie’s eye-candy.  Yes, I am that junkie.
  • John David – Who will WinLa La Land, it had pretty lighting.  Who Should Win: missing from the nominees is Cafe Society (Vittorio Storaro), but Arrival is my pick.
  • Myrna – Who will Win: The safest bet, La La Land, Linus Sandgren will win.  Who Should Win: Bradford Young for Arrival. He is the first African-American cinematographer ever nominated for the award. He also shot two amazing films of 2014, Selma and A Most Violent Year.  
Best Costume Design: Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster, Jenkins, Jackie, La La Land 

jackie
Jackie

  • Ari – Who will Win: Mary Zophres costumes in La La Land were both timeless and evocative of Old Hollywood.  Who Should Win: I have issues with films that are based on famous people, as there is a mountain of photographic evidence to base portrayals and styling on.  However, Madeline Fontaine’s costumes in Jackie were meticulously done.  She took one of the most photographed dresses of the 20th century and brought it back to life.  It makes other attempts pale in comparison.
  • John David – Who will WinLa La Land for its TJ Max knock offs!  Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Myrna – Who will Win: La La Land, the primary color palette was easy on the eye but no real thrill. Who Should Win: Jackie
Best Documentary Feature: Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, Life Animate, , O.J.: Made in America, 13th.
13th
13th
  • Ari – Who will Win: I have the feeling that 13th is going to be the winner in this category. This is mostly because 1.) The Academy will try to make it up to Ava DuVernay for not being nominated for directing Selma several years ago, and 2.) O.J.: Made in America was five hours long.  I don’t know if the Academy voters had the stamina to sit through the whole thing.  Who Should Win: I watched O.J. over the course of one weekend and I am considering doing it again.
  • John David – Who will Win: I have an odd feeling that 13th will win over O.J. both are fantastic documentaries but I think that 13th has this one.   Who Should Win: O.J. was riveting and extremely well done, but it’s really a TV doc. My vote goes to 13th the most important documentary of the year.
  • Myrna –  Who will Win: What an AMAZING year for documentaries. O.J.: Made in America, is a statement about celebrity and race relations in America, as it also was about a high profile murder case. Incredibly compelling. Who Should Win: 13th a game changer of a film. 
Best Film Editing: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Moonlight.
hacksaw-ridge-1
Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ari – Who will Win: La La Land, but I could see Moonlight pulling an upset.  Who Should Win: La La Land
  • John David – Who will Win: La La Land   Who Should Win: La La Land
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  La La Land, Tom Cross  Who Should Win: Arrival, Joe Walker a sci-fi parable about time, memory, and unity.
Best Foreign Language Film: Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, Tanna, Toni Erdmann.
the-salesman-asghar-farhadi
The Salesman, Shahab Hosseini, Asghar Farhadi
  • Ari – Who will WinI honestly think that Iran is going to win its second Academy Award for The Salesman.   Who Should Win: Toni Erdmann was hilarious.  I wish comedies won more awards.
  • John David – Who will Win: This is a tough one to call but I think it’s going to be Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman edging out the rest, not only because it’s a great film but it may get some help from Farhadi’s boycott of the Oscars over Trump’s Muslim Ban.  Who Should Win: Toni Erdmann and The Salesman are both in my top 10 movies of 2016 with The Salesman having an edge.
  • Myrna – Who will Win: The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi Who Should Win: The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi, though I was secretly charmed by A Man Called Ove.
Best Documentary Short: Extremis, 4.1 Miles, Joe’s Violin, Watani: My Homeland, The White Helmets
  • Ari – Who will Win: Three of the documentaries have to do with war in Syria, so I think that they may split the vote.  What do Academy voters love to award outside of a timely issue?  That’s right, the Holocaust!  Joe’s Violin is about a Holocaust survivor who donates his violin to a little girl in the Bronx.   Who Should Win: I thought that White Helmets truly captured the feeling of civilians in war, and the need to help your fellow man.
  • David – Who will Win: The White Helmets   Who Should Win: The White Helmets
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  The White Helmets, Grain Media and Violet Films inspired by a Quranic verse that says “to save a life is to save all of humanity,” the group has rescued more than 60,000 people Who Should Win: The White Helmets, Grain Media and Violet Films

Best Live Action Short: Ennemis Intérieurs, La Femme et le TGV, Silent Nights, Sing, Timecode

femme-et-le-tgv

  • Ari – Who will WinEnnemis Intérieurs, is a very timely film as it deals with a French-Algerian man accused of hiding the identities of possible terrorists.  Who Should Win: Ennemis Intérieurs
  • David – Who will WinSilent Nights  Who Should Win: There were some really good choices in this category, including Timecode and Ennemis Intérieurs, but La Femme et le TGV was a beautiful shot movie with an engaging story– it’s a complete little film that should take home the Oscar.
  • Myrna – Who will Win: Did not see them.  
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: A Man Called Ove, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad
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Star Trek Beyond
  • Ari – Who will WinStar Trek Beyond  Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond!
  • David – Who will WinStar Trek Beyond.   Who Should WinStar Trek Beyond – I guess we are in agreement on this one! 
  • Myrna – Who will Win: Star Trek Beyond  Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond
Best Original Score: Jackie, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Passengers.
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La La Land
  • Ari – Who will WinLa La Land’s score was upbeat, romantic, haunting, and wistful. Not to mention I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack. Congrats Justin Hurwitz on your first Oscar.   Who Should Win: See above.
  • John David – Who will WinLa La Land, after all it’s a musical—with 14 nominations! Who Should Win: La La Land, would like to see Moonlight’s moving soundtrack score upset.
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  The musical,  La La Land. Who Should Win: Moonlight so moving.
Best Original Song: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls, “City of Stars,” La La Land, “The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story, “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana
how-far-ill-go
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana
  • Ari – Who will Win: “City of Stars” was the perfect song to encapsulate the love of Mia and Sebastian.  Expect it to win.  Who Should Win: While I loved “City of Stars”, I might have to go with “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” as it was Emma Stone’s best moment in the film.
  • John David – Who will Win: Of course “City of Stars,” it’s an adorable, simple little tune about Los Angles. Who Should Win: “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana. The song actually moves the story along and gives insight into the character’s struggle. Oh, and it’s a song by Lin Manuel Miranda–it’s his year! …or are we bored with him yet?  I second Mryna’s Sing Street comment below! 
  • Myrna – Who will Win:City of Stars,” La La Land but Trolls might just pull an upset Who Should Win: “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana or anything from Sing Street.
Best Production Design: Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail, Caesar!, La La Land, Passengers 
hail-caesar
Hail, Caesar!
  • Ari – Who will WinLa La Land, yay Hollywood! Who Should Win: Fantastic Beasts made a fantastic world come to life.  (See what I did there?)
  • John David – Who will Win: La La Land  Who Should Win: Hail, Caesar!
  • Myrna – Who will Win:  La La Land, it’s pretty.  Who Should Win: Arrival, stylish, with a look that will inspire so many sci-fi films to come.
Best Sound Editing: Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Sully

sully

  • Ari – Who will Win: I know nothing about Sound Editing or Sound Mixing.  However, a war film normally wins in this category when it is nominated, so welcome to your only win Hacksaw Ridge.  Who Should Win: Probably Hacksaw simply for bringing war to life.
  • John David – Who will WinHacksaw Ridge  Who Should Win: Hacksaw Ridge
  • Myrna – Who will Win:Hacksaw Ridge Who Should Win: Arrival
Best Sound Mixing: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
La La Land
La La Land
  • Ari – Who will Win: La La Land because it is a musical!    Who Should Win: La La Land.  Let’s just say that it seems easier to mix live action with live action than making a seamless sound transition in pre-recorded music from a studio.
  • John David – Who will Win: La La Land   Who Should Win: La La Land
  • Myrna – Who will Win: Hacksaw Ridge  Who Should Win:Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:
Best Visual Effects: Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
the-jungle-book
The Jungle Book
  • Ari – Who will WinThe Jungle Book cause I want to play with Baloo. Who Should Win: All kidding aside, The Jungle Book’s visual effects were pretty incredible.
  • John David – Who will Win: The Jungle Book  Who Should Win: The Jungle Book
  • Myrna – Who will Win: The Jungle Book, too bad the couldn’t animate the kid. Who Should Win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The 89th Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, February 26 on ABC. Join MoviefiedNYC for live streaming at @MoviefiedNYC

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MoviefiedNYC’s Top 10 movies of 2016

John David West’s Top 10 Films of 2016

10. Hacksaw Ridge

hacksaw-ridge-1Mel Gibson (yep Mad Mel is back) and Hacksaw Ridge proves to be a better venture than his previous outings. The film is sometimes a little schmaltzy with the typical Hollywood, man against all odds, American glory, and pious, good-versus-evil sentimentality, but in actuality it’s kind of refreshing. This is the true story of Desmond Doss (played by Andrew Garfield) in one of his best performances to date. Doss is a Seventh-day Adventist, who—as a conscientious objector—joined the military and refused to carry a gun into battle.  Doss’s refusal to participate in violence starkly contrasts the war-torn images Gibson’s puts on the screen. They are brutally violent, limbs are blown apart before our eyes and rats feast on dead soldiers. Is it too much? Perhaps not. War is far more brutal than anything we can watch on the big screen in the safety of our cozy seats. At this point, I am quite weary of the “based on a true story” marketing that seems to give so many films a certain level of cachet, but in the case of Hacksaw Ridge, the true story of Desmond Doss’s selflessness is rather refreshing to see a unique World War II story.

9. O.J.: Made in America

o-j-made-in-america-1This gargantuan documentary by Ezra Edelman runs a staggering 464 minutes—well over seven hours. Its length—and the fact that it never becomes dull or tedious despite it—solidifies that the O.J Simpson story may best represent America’s obsession with celebrity, media, violence, the criminal justice system, and our complex, ongoing issues with race relations.

8. Fences

fences-1August Wilsons’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play features career high performances by Viola Davis and Denzel Washington. This play to screen adaptation may disappoint audiences who crave action and more locations than simply a backyard and living room, but it’s the simple set that doesn’t interfere with Wilson’s beautiful linguistic music along with Washington and Davis’ passion.

7. Tony Erdmann

tony-erdmann-1Another film that brings some much-needed originality to this year’s batch of movies. A German comedy that doesn’t try too hard to be funny – it’s comical when it needs to be and touching when the time is right. What’s most satisfying about Toni Erdman is how surprisingly gratifying of a film it is – just wait for the birthday brunch that becomes absurdly funny and oddly relatable. It’s a clever comment on the ridiculousness of corporate conformity and a need to perform well for the team.

6. 13th

13thNot only is Ava DuVernay’s documentary about the U.S. prison system a sobering essay on institutionalized racism in the U.S, but is also a study – through the 13th Amendment of the Constitution – of how it was allowed to thrive. The films success lies in its accessiblity whilst never being preachy. This is with out a doubt a movie that everyone should see.

5. Arrival

Amy Adams, Arrival
Amy Adams, Arrival

Adapted from the book, Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, Arrival ponders some tough questions, in the words of its director Denis Villeneuve: “What would happen if you knew how and when you will die? What will your relationship with life and love, your family, and friends, and with your society be?  By being more in relationship with death, in an intimate way with the nature of life and its subtleties, it would bring us more humility.” We all need that human humility today, more than ever. As one of the smarter films of 2016, and with an intelligent performance by Amy Adams, Arrival is one last year’s films that deserves a second viewing.

4. The Salesman

the-salesman1Asghar Farhadi‘s realistic thriller The Salesman opens like a disaster film as an apartment building appears to collapse as its residents are forced to flee. After this disruptive event the films settles into Farhadi’s typical exploration of domestic life as the film’s central characters, a married couple, played brilliantly by Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti are forced to find an alternative apartment to live in. The Salesman is ultimately about more intimate matters than a physical disaster as their lives are dramatically changed by a violent event in their new apartment. Farhadi carefully and quietly spins the domestic drama into naturalistic revenge thriller that takes you for the ride inside the heads of its lead characters.

3. The Lobster

lobsterThe Lobster is one of the most unique films of 2016. Set in the near future, it takes an absurdist angle to explore what it means to be single. In this gray futuristic story, the uncoupled are arrested and transferred to The Hotel, where they must find a mate and fall in love within 45 days or they will be forever transformed into an animal of their choosing. Written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, who brought us the Oscar nominated Dogtooth (2011). This is his first English language film, and he’s just as compelling and disturbing in English as he is in Greek. This time he has a few big screen names from Hollywood’s John C. Reilly, to across the Atlantic with England’s Rachel Weisz, France’s Léa Seydoux and middle-aged, pudgy Irish Colin Farrell in a very strong yet understated performance. These actors are all doing great ensemble work in a movie whose title begs the most important question – “what animal would you choose?”

2. Moonlight

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Moonlight is quite possibly a perfect acting movie – its ensemble of actors don’t miss a beat. While Mahershala Ali is getting all the—well deserved—attention for his performance as the neighborhood drug dealer who provides a young boy a home away from his abusive home—a stable life, if you will.  But the critically-overshadowed performance of Ashton Sanders as the bullied and questioning teenage Chiron is one of the most moving of the film.  Naomie Harris (Skyfall) as Chiron’s crack addict mother is one of the year’s most compelling performances. With the film’s visually delightful cinematography and a beautiful script, Moonlight does not miss a step under the brilliant direction of Barry Jenkins. 

1. Manchester by the Sea

manchester-seaFew directors are able to make a film that successfully blurs the line between tragedy and comedy, while also maintaining a tone that is unquestionably dramatic. It helps that the film is set during an overcast snowy New England winter; that its set in a working class environment; and has an score that features some heavy pieces, including Albinoni’s classic funeral hit, “Adagio in G Minor.” Director and writer Kenneth Lonergan has seamlessly blended the dramatic with the comic,  through his direction of his well-crafted script. You don’t walk away confused about you just watched—it’s a definitely a drama, a devastating drama, with many moments that capture the clumsiness that bring humor to daily life. Affleck is the conflicted center of this film and gives a career-high performance that is a case study of quiet restraint, and subtle emotional depth. This is an honest performance that is successful for it’s nuanced and controlled quality, yet it’s not dull or boring—it’s authentic. Michelle Williams as Lee’s ex-wife delivers one of her most powerful performances in years. Manchester by the Sea, with its strong cast, mature writing, masterful direction, and a score that—despite coming dangerously close to overpowering the film—effectively enhances the over all tone. Manchester By The Sea is one of 2016’s best films and my number one.

 A few more:  

singstreet2
Sing Street (Dir. John Carney)

Sing Street

Elle

Lion

Loving

The Handmaiden 

Paterson

LaLa Land

Oscar Nominations!

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La La Land

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Hollywood woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:18 am to find out who the chosen were.  Over the course of the following 10 minutes, the 89th Academy Award nominations were announced by Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Jennifer Hudson, Brie Larson, Emmanuel Lubezki, Jason Reitman, and Ken Watanabe.

Unsurprisingly, La La Land stole the show by garnering a whopping total of 14 nominations, tying for the most nominations for a single film in Academy history.  Titanic and All About Eve are the only other films to have 14 nominations.  Land received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Director (Damien Chazelle), and Best Original Screenplay (Damien Chazelle).  The film received multiple technical nominations including two for Best Song (“City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”).

moonlight-2
Moonlight

Arrival and Moonlight each received eight nominations including Best Picture and Best Director (Denis Villeneuve and Barry Jenkins, respectively).  In a surprise turn, Amy Adams did not receive a sixth nomination for her role in Arrival. Adams has received rave reviews for her role as a linguistics professor interoperating the language of aliens. Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris both received nominations in the supporting actor/actress categories for their work in Moonlight.

lion-3
Lion

Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, and Lion each received six nominations.  In a surprising turn, Mel Gibson was nominated for Best Director of Hacksaw Ridge.  Gibson previously received two Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture for his work on Braveheart.  Judging by his legal and personal problems over the past 12 years, I honestly believed that Gibson would be left off of this list; after all, the Oscars are not objective.  However, it seems like this is Hollywood’s way of saying, “We forgive you.”

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Hell or High Water

he Best Picture category was rounded out by Fences, Hell or High Water, and Hidden FiguresFences picked up nominations for Denzel Washington as Best Actor and Viola Davis as Best Supporting Actress, and front runner for the award.  Water and Figures was also nominated in the supporting actor/actress categories for the work of Jeff Bridges and Octavia Spencer.

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Ruth Negga in Loving

For the first time in two years, minorities were included among the acting and directing nominees: seven actors/actresses and one director.  These include Denzel Washington for Fences (Best Actor), Ruth Negga for Loving (Best Actress), Mahershala Ali for Moonlight (Best Supporting Actor), Dev Patel for Lion (Best Supporting Actor), and Barry Jenkins for Moonlight (Best Director). Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) all received nominations in the supporting actress category, making it the first time ever that an acting category has more than two black actors/actresses.

Finally, I have a little Easter Egg for you all.  Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame received his first Oscar nomination for writing the song “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. Yay!

Any surprises or snubs you want to talk about?  Write to us on Twitter or Facebook.

The Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air on Sunday, February 26.

-Ariadne Ansbro

Best Picture

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea 

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences 

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

13th

Best Documentary Feature

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th 

villeneuve-arrival
Denis Villeneuve directing Arrival

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

fences
Fences

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival, Eric Heisserer
Fences, August Wilson
Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Lion, Luke Davis
Moonlight, Barry Jenkins with story by Tarell Alvin McCranley

lobster
The Lobster

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan
La La Land, Damien Chazelle
The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
Manchester by the Sea,
Kenneth Lonergan
20th Century Women
, Mike Mills

toni-erdmann
Toni Erdmann

Best Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

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Jackie

Best Original Score

Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

 

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Moana

Best Original Song

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

 

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Silence

Best Cinematography

Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence 

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Hail, Caesar!

Best Production Design

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers 

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Suicide Squad

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

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Allied

Best Costume Design

Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land  

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Deepwater Horizon

Best Sound Editing

Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

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Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Documentary Short

Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short

Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

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Zootopia

Best Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

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Hell or High Water

Best Film Editing

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Best Animated Short

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

 

2017 Golden Globe Nominations Announced!

globes

Welcome back, my award season enthusiasts!  The 2017 Award Season officially commenced this morning at 8:15 am with the announcement of the Golden Globe Award Nominations.  While these awards are decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press, whose members do not overlap with any Oscar voting body, they are always a good indication of what movies we need to see in order to make an informed statement at our local bar on Oscar night.

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Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

Damien Chazelle’s modern-day musical La La Land was the most nominated film this year with a total of seven nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, Best Actress, Musical or Comedy (Emma Stone), Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (Ryan Gosling), and Best Director (Chazelle).  This was a big weekend for Land, as last night it won Best Picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards.  Keep your eye on this one, kids.  Something tells me this is going to be the one to beat this year.  (I may or may not be listening to the soundtrack as I write this article.)

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Mahershala Ali and Alex R. Hibbert in Moonlight

The indie film Moonlight made an impressive showing by picking up six nominations.  The coming of age story of a young man trying to find his place in the world while navigating the rough streets of Miami garnered nominations for Best Motion Picture, Drama, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Mahershala Ali), and Best Director (Barry Jenkins).

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Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences

Several other films we were all expecting to hear announced, and did not disappoint, were Manchester by the Sea, Lion, and FencesManchester was nominated for five Globes including, Best Motion Picture, Drama, Best Actor, Drama (Casey Affleck), Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Michelle Williams), and Best Director (Kenneth Lonergan).  Dev Patel’s performance in Lion has long been touted as one of the best of the year.  The hype seems to be accurate, considering Patel was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.  The film itself was also nominated for Best Picture, Drama, and Nicole Kidman picked up her 11th Globe nomination in the supporting actress category.  Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences gave him a nomination for Best Actor, Drama, and Viola Davis a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.  These same actors won Tony’s for playing the same roles on Broadway in 2010.

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This is Us

On the Television side of things, new shows Westworld and This is Us both were nominated for three awards each.  The shows were both nominated as well as actresses Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton for Westworld, and Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz for This is Us. 

A few tried and true shows were also nominated, including Game of Thrones, Veep, Transparent, and BlackishThrones, Veep, and Transparent all received two nominations, while Blackish picked up three nominations.

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Sarah Paulsen and Sterling K. Hayden in The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

However, the most interesting categories on the television side of the awards are for made-for-TV movies or mini-series ones.  The very compelling and brilliantly acted The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story received five nominations, making it the most nominated program in the television categories.  Simpson was nominated for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Best Actor (Courtney B. Vance), Best Actress (Sarah Paulson), and Best Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta).

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John Turturro and Riz Ahmed in The Night Of

I personally feel the need to mention the nominations that were received for the criminally underrated The Night Of.  The mini-series picked up nominations for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and two nominations in the Best Actor category: one for Riz Ahmed’s performance as a wrongfully-accused (or was he?) murderer, and one for John Turturro as Ahmed’s psoriasis affected, sleazy attorney.

The Golden Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will be announced on January 8, 2017 on NBC.

-Ariadne Ansbro

Full list of nominees below:

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Hacksaw Ridge

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

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Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

portman-jackie
Natalie Portman in Jackie

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

sing-street
Sing Street

Best Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
20th Century Women
Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

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Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
Colin Farrell, The Lobster
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

bening-20th-century-women
Annette Bening in 20th Century Women

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

patel-lion
Dev Patel in Lion

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

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Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures

Best Performance by Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

nocturnal-animals
Nocturnal Animals

Best Director, Motion Picture
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

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Hell or High Water

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
La La Land
Nocturnal Animals
Moonlight
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water

arrival
Arrival

Original Score, Motion Picture
Moonlight
La La Land
Arrival
Lion
Hidden Figures

sing
Sing

Best Motion Picture, Animated
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
Sing
Zootopia

moana
Moana

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“Faith,” Sing
“Gold,” Gold
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

elle
Elle

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
Divines
Elle
Neruda
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

stranger-things
Stranger Things

Best Television Series, Drama
The Crown
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
This Is Us
Westworld

foy-the-crown
Claire Foy in The Crown

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Americans
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

rhys-the-americans
Matthew Rhys in The Americans

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath

veep
Veep

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Atlanta
Blackish
Mozart in the Jungle
Transparent
Veep

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Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Tracee Ellis Ross, Blackish

glover-atlanta
Donald Glover in Atlanta

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Nick Nolte, Graves
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

night-manager
The Night Manager

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
American Crime
The Dresser
The Night Manager
The Night Of
The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story

 

washington-confirmation

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

cranston-all-the-way
Bryan Cranston in All the Way

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
John Turturro, The Night Of

slater-mr-robot
Christian Slater in Mr. Robot

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
John Lithgow, The Crown
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
John Travolta, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story

newton-westworld
Thandie Newton in Westworld

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld