And the Oscar Goes To…
by Amy Lignor
When it comes to the Oscars, the word “upset” is used almost every year. In at least one category, usually the supporting actor or actress role, there is more often than not a huge surprise when it comes to the winner. However, when you look back at the awards season thus far, it seems that the same names keep coming up again and again, with no upset in sight. What became mostly a surprise for viewers was the fact that “La La Land” was gifted with the most statuettes, thus far, for best movie of the year. Not a huge surprise, perhaps, but there are nine other films nominated that each were spectacular in their own right.
“Moonlight,” a Barry Jenkins’ film about a gay African-American man growing up in Miami, earned eight nominations; a number that sci-fi flick “Arrival” also garnered. “Jackie,” a lesser known film about Jacqueline Kennedy, is also up for the “top” award of the night. Now, yes, “La La Land” is the favorite going into the night, but it’s the movie “Manchester by the Sea,” starring Casey Affleck as a troubled loner, that has the best bet of stealing the Oscar and saying “Ha Ha” to “La La” as they walk away with the prize.
When we look at the “Best Actor” of the 2017 Oscar season, Ben Affleck’s younger bro, Casey Affleck, floored people with his performance in “Manchester by the Sea.” However, Andrew Garfield did the same in “Hacksaw Ridge,” and Denzel Washington gave a powerful performance in “Fences.” Ryan Gosling is up for his “La La Land” performance, but it seems more likely that Affleck has this category sewn up. His work was more than convincing, as well as what most experts call, “effortless,” and Affleck certainly deserves to be congratulated by the Oscar community for this one. Who is the most unlikely to win? Viggo Mortensen did well in “Captain Fantastic,” but the movie, itself, was not one that will go down in history as the “best of the best.”
Turning to “Best Actress,” it almost looks like a list that was hard to pull together. Other than Emma Sone in “La La Land,” it was mostly a shock that Amy Adams did not receive a nod for her superb work as a translator in “Arrival.” Perhaps it’s because Meryl Streep somehow has to be nominated for every performance she gives that Adams was ousted from the nominations. Yes, Streep is a magnificent actress who is destined to go down in history as the best who ever lived, but the movie she’s nominated for, “Florence Foster Jenkins,” was mostly just ‘cute’ and not an Oscar-winning performance. Some reviewers state that Natalie Portman could win for “Jackie,” but in the end Emma Stone looks to be the logical choice.
Who was the best behind the camera? Well, the same names can be found here that are found in the “Best Movie” category. Denis Villeneuve for “Arrival”; Mel Gibson for “Hacksaw Ridge”;
Damien Chazelle for “La La Land”; Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea”; and, Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight.” Barry Jenkins did an absolute incredible job, with visuals that were extremely dark and moody as well as a soundtrack that will be remembered by movie fans and music fans, as well. It was also a very personal subject for Jenkins and he definitely has a chance at taking the Oscar home. But who will win? It looks like Chazelle has the best shot when it comes to his salute to Hollywood. Skill, talent, and imagination most definitely came from this young director, who is bound to see many Oscar wins if he keeps going the way he’s going.
For supporting roles, it seems that Viola Davis has the Oscar locked when it comes to her emotional performance in “Fences.” For the supporting actor, however, even though the favorite is Dev Patel for his awesome role in “Lion,” it is Mahershala Ali’s name, playing a very brief role in “Moonlight” that keeps cropping up. His time on-screen was short, but his performance haunted viewers long after they left the movie theaters.
In the end, upsets will most likely not be a part of the 2017 Oscar presentation. Of course…with comedian Jimmy Kimmel as the host, you never know what ‘bad’ joke will make headlines the next day and usurp all the Oscar winners.
Source: GIG News