Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dave-El Does Hollywood: Oscars 2017

On Monday, I posted that I wasn't posting to this blog again until March 2nd.  But I was forgetting the Oscars. 

Below are my picks for 9 categories.  

I have seen virtually none of the films and performances listed below. My assessments are made purely on whatever impressions I've gotten from various pop culture/movie review features I've seen on line or on cable TV. (The same way Donald Trump determines presidential priorities, except with a smidgeon more thought.)  

These are not opinions on who should win but who is expected to win.  Based on just the trailers, I'd say just give everything to the women in Hidden Figures and go home. 

Each category has a main pick. That's the one I would put in an Oscar pool if I were a betting man.  There is also a back up pick just to make me feel a little better. During the Oscars, I give myself a full point for each main pick and ahalf point for each back up i get right.  The higher my final score, the more value I place on myself as a living human being.  

OK, let's get started.   

Best Picture

  1. Arrival
  2. Fences
  3. Hacksaw Ridge
  4. Hell or High Water
  5. Hidden Figures
  6. La La Land
  7. Lion
  8. Manchester by the Sea
  9. Moonlight

La La Land was considered an early favorite months ago for Best Picture.  But there has been some backlash against the movie: 

1) criticism of the singing voices of the two leads, Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling. From the clips I've heard of these two singing, yeah, I've heard better but nothing as laughably bad as Russell Crowe in Les Misreables.

2) The movie is whiter than a jar of mayonnaise at a Republican prayer breakfast.  So attention has turned to more culturally diverse films such as Fences, Hidden Figures (no, not Hidden Fences) and Moonlight, the latter checking off boxes for race and sexual identity.  Still, I think the Best Picture trophy is La La Land's to lose. 

main pick: La La Land 
back up pick: Moonlight 


Best Director

  1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  3. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  4. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
  5. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Conventional wisdom is that Best Director and Best Picture tend to link up.  

In recent years, Conventional wisdom has been upended as much as its been followed,  Still, my main pick is going to Damien Chazelle for La La Land

main pick: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

back up pick: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight


Best Actor

  1. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  2. Denzel Washington, Fences
  3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  4. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  5. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Casey Affleck won nearly every critics’ accolade this season, but he lost the Screen Actors Guild trophy to Denzel Washington. Since 2003, every SAG winner in this category has gone on to take the Oscar. 

main pick: Denzel Washington, Fences
back up pick: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea


Best Actress

  1. Emma Stone, La La Land
  2. Natalie Portman, Jackie
  3. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
  4. Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  5. Ruth Negga, Loving

main pick: Emma Stone, La La Land
back up pick: Isabelle Huppert, Elle


Best Supporting Actor

  1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  2. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  3. Dev Patel, Lion
  4. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  5. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

main pick: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
back up pick: Dev Patel, Lion


Best Supporting Actress

  1. Viola Davis, Fences
  2. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
  3. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  4. Nicole Kidman, Lion
  5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

main pick: Viola Davis, Fences
back up pick: Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures


Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Moonlight
  2. Arrival
  3. Fences
  4. Lion
  5. Hidden Figures

main pick: Moonlight
back up pick: Arrival


Best Original Screenplay

  1. Manchester by the Sea
  2. La La Land
  3. Hell or High Water
  4. The Lobster
  5. 20th Century Women

main pick: Manchester by the Sea

back up pick: La La Land

Best Animated Feature

  1. Zootopia
  2. Kubo and the Two Strings
  3. The Red Turtle
  4. My Life As a Zucchini
  5. Moana

main pick: Zootopia
back up pick: Maybe Moana but it looks like a lock for Zootopia unless one of the two "artier" entries (Kubo and the Two Strings or The Red Turtle) pulls a major upset.  



I normally don't make a pick for this one but let's take a look at....

Best Original Song

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

main pick: “City of Stars,” La La Land
back up pick: “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

I'm really pulling for “How Far I’ll Go,” from Moana because i really want my man-crush Lin-Manuel Miranda to get his EGOT*.  

*Award winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar AND Tony.  

There will be a post tomorrow to look at how i did with my guesses. After that, regular posting will resume MARCH 2nd. 

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.   

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