Oscar Watch 2017: Part Two


Here we are! The Nominations for the Academy Awards have been announced and now we begin reviewing the films! I missed the movie marathon due to pneumonia and a death in the family, so my hopes of seeing everything fell flat. However, I managed to see a few more of the nominated films, including the 2 big ones. Covered here are:

Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad, 13 Hours, Jungle Book, Manchester by the Sea, Hail Caesar!, La La Land, Moonlight, and the best song nominees.

Star Trek Beyond – The third entry in NuTrek continues with the adventure of the Enterprise crew losing their ship and then trying to save the Federation. It was easily the best of the new cast films. It has 1 nomination.

  • Makeup and Hair – This might win. Not 100% though. Suicide Squad had some crazy work.

Suicide Squad – DC’s disjointed attempt at uniting the villains of the DCU into a film was poorly executed. A couple of great performances carried the film though. It has 1 nomination.

  • Makeup and Hair  – Probably the favorite to win. The other nominee, “A man called Ove” had ‘old man’ make-up. This gave us crocodiles and jokers.

13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi– A look at the assault upon the US embassy and CIA safe-house in Libya. Michael Bay’s ability to depict violence was used to incredible effect. It has 1 nomination.

  • Sound Mixing – The subject matter counts it out of contention. No doubt. This is a shame as the sound was incredible.

Jungle Book – I must say, I was not expecting to love this movie, but I did. The casting was great, the kid playing Mowgli was cute as hell, Bill Murray was a convincing Ballou, but Christopher Walken as King Louie stole the show. It has 1 nomination.

  • Visual Effects – It will be a horserace between Rogue One’s Tarkin, Kubo’s amazing realizations, and this film’s animals. Animals have been done before, so the edge may be with the others.

Manchester by the Sea – Ok, here is a film set here in my beloved New England…and it was a depressing waste of 2 hours. It had great performances, but the film falls flat. It has no soul, just despair. Maybe that was the point, but this film seems to only exist to be an Oscar contender. there is no natural audience for this. It has 6 nominations.

  • Best Picture – It has no shot in hell.
  • Lead Actor – Casey Affleck. Not going to happen. SIGH. Yeah. It’s going to happen.
  • Supporting Actor – Lucas Hedges. Nope.
  • Supporting Actress – Michelle Williams. Not going to happen.
  • Best Director – Kenneth Lonergan. Outclassed by the others.
  • Original Screenplay – Not happening.

Hail Caesar! – A wonderful Cohen Brothers film. This is not peak Cohen Brothers, but it was still pretty damn good. It has 1 nomination.

  • Production Design – This one is going to have a tough time overcoming the competition.

Moonlight – My controversial pick of the year. It has serious flaws. The first 2 segments were incredible. When the 3rd act begins, and we see Chiron as an adult, it all falls apart. Everyone is heaping praises on this, but it is such obvious Oscar bait- A coming of age tale of a young gay black boy living in the projects with a crack whore for a mom and a crack dealer as his only father figure. He gets a handjob as a teenager from another boy and never finds love again in his life until the same boy, now a man, gives him another handy by the seashore? Seriously? I get that it plays against the traditional “macho” image cultivated by black men, but when he comes out with the grill I tuned out. It has 8 Nominations.

  • Best Picture – It will come down to this, La La Land, with Arrival as a possible steal.
  • Supporting Actor – Mahersala Ali should win this. He is the best thing in the film and his star is on the rise. A great actor.
  • Supporting Actress – Naomi Harris as the crack whore. Nope. Viola Davis or Octavia Spencer have this.
  • Best Director – Barry Jenkins might win this, but it should go to Villenueve.
  • Adapted Screenplay – It will likely win this award, but it should go to Arrival.
  • Cinematography – There were some beautiful shots, but La La Land has this by a mile.
  • Film Editing – Not good enough compared to the other films.
  • Original Score – La La Land. ’nuff said.

La La Land – Yes, the “white man trying to save Jazz” part is remarkably tone deaf, or maybe it’s not. The black Jazz artists are portrayed as wanting to propel Jazz into the future, not stuck in the 50’s. That controversy aside, I loved the film. The cinematography was fantastic. The Actors well cast. The script was whimsical with a nice does of magical realism, and the music was fantastic. This is the big winner. It has a whopping 14 nominations.

  • Best Picture – It has this won, by a mile.
  • Lead Actor – This is really tough. Viggo was really good. Might be Denzel’s year.
  • Lead Actress – I think Stone has it. She has the momentum and Portman lost it.
  • Best Director – If Chazelle does not win, it goes to Villaneueve.
  • Original Screenplay – a Hollywood love letter. It wins.
  • Cinematography  – 100% this is the winner.
  • Film Editing – It was well cut, but I prefer Arrival for this one.
  • Sound Editing – I see it taking this category easily.
  • Sound Mixing – We have a winner.
  • Production Design – A tough category. All had some really strong work, but I will go with the tide and say La La Land. Hail Caesar! or Fantastic Beasts have a shot though.
  • Original Score – never a doubt. This wins.
  • Best Song – 2 nominations! – Audition, City of Stars. City of Stars wins.
  • Costume Design – some subtle and beautiful work can be seen here. I think a period piece might win though.


Well, the songs nominated are:

Oh come on. La La Land has this sewn up. It is a musical with 14 nominations, lol. Sorry Trolls and Moana.





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