The Academy Awards are coming up this February 26th and here are my picks for the top runners in the race! What do YOU think? Agree? Disagree?
Forget Arrival (sci-fi pix never win), along with Hell Or High Water (too indie), Manchester By The Sea (too depressing), and Lion (too real), and Hacksaw Ridge (too real and too depressing). Moonlight may be the dark horse, but the real race here will be between La La Land and Fences. Both are excellent, but my choice is Fences for its sheer brilliance in writing and powerful performances.
It looks like it’s a lock for Denzel Washington (Fences). He got the Tony back in 2010 for the same role and you can see why. Just an electric performance and miles beyond anyone else’s. Look for Casey Affleck for a dark horse, though, as his thoroughly depressing role in Manchester By The Sea could prove to be an upset.
Okay, so Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) is the reigning queen here, ‘natch, but hey, why not give the golden statue to a young’un this year? Yes? Yes! Emma Stone in La La Land has the chops to the win it this year, but don’t rule out Ruth Neggin from Loving.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
This looks like a race to the wire–neck and neck–between Dev Patel (Lion) and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), both of whom deserve to win. Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) and Jeff Bridges (Hell Or High Water) pretty much did the same shtick they always do, and Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea) wasn’t all that good.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Easy one. This is Viola Davis’ year for Oscar gold. She, along with Denzel, also won the Tony for her Fences stage role, plus her performance was just riveting. But, for a dark horse contender, look for Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea) who gave an amazing, moving show for her small role in the film.
As much as I’d like to see Mel Gibson win the Oscar for Hacksaw Ridge, he ain’t gonna get it ’cause of his past (Hollywood never forgets, y’know), so it looks like Damien Chazelle will nab it for single-handedly bringing back the old-style movie/dance musical; no easy feat, let me tell you.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
For pure weirdness and sheer bizarrishness (is that even a word?), The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou should win, but won’t. I do like Taylor Sheridan’s Hell Or High Water for its rural slice o’life, realistic look at the decaying Old West, and wonderful word-play. However, even though I didn’t care for the movie as a whole, Kenneth Lonergan’s heart-breaking screenplay of Manchester By The Sea could take some gold.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Nobody beats the juggernaut of the Disney machine. Nobody. No. Bod. Dee. That being said, nix the films The Red Turtle, My Life As A Zucchini, and the impressive Kubo & the Two-Strings. They’re good, but they ain’t from the House of Mouse. It’s going to be between Moana and Zootopia which, if everything goes well, Zootopia should take it.