Saturday, 25 February 2017

Oscars 2017-Best Picture Films

THE OSCARS: BEST PICTURE
By Brett Haynes 25/02/17

This Sunday is the Oscars. It’s that time of year again when the film world gets together to honour the best of the best. Throughout this blog I will take a look at the nine best picture nominated films and examine each films chances of taking home the top prize.

LA LA LAND


La La Land is the hot favourite nominated for 14 awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director. La La Land topped my top 10 best list and it is a great film but I wouldn’t say its 14 nomination good. The story revolves around a struggling actress (Emma Stone) and a struggling jazz enthusiast (Ryan Gosling) who meet, fall in love and experience all of the problems Hollywood has to offer. Its basically a love letter to the old fashion musicals of yesteryear, which is probably why its been nominated so much. The music throughout is stunningly beautiful to listen to. To be honest, I will say that it’s going to be hard to stop this from winning but stranger things have happened.

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Actor (Ryan Gosling)
-Best Actress (Emma Stone)
-Best Director (Damien Chazelle)
-Best Original Score
-Best Original Screenplay
-Best Cinematography
-Best Costume Designer
-Best Film Editing
-Best Sound Editing
-Best Production Design
-Best Sound Mixing
-Best Original Song (City of Stars)
-Best Original Song (Audition: The Fools who Dream)

My Review

 MOONLIGHT


From a light hearted musical to a serious drama about a young African American boy who grows up in a poor part of Miami. Moonlight focuses on one person on their journey from childhood to adulthood and the many challenges they have to face including drugs, sexuality and what is his role in a world that has shunned him. This has some superb performances throughout as well as some really powerful and emotional scenes. Nominated for 8 Awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor, this has got the power to upset La La Land.

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali)
-Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris)
-Best Director (Barry Jenkins)
-Best Original Musical Score
-Best Adapted Screenplay
-Best Cinematography
-Best Film Editing

My Review

 ARRIVAL


From director Denis Villeneuve whose previous films included Prisoners and Sicario, he is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Amy Adams stars as a linguist who is called upon to communicate with aliens who suddenly show up across the planet. When certain sentences start coming out, the planet is ready to wipe the aliens away. It’s a film that’s really important in this time of global distrust and that’s communication is more important then any weapon. Both Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are amazing throughout. Along with some great visuals and a nice story, this is one of the best sci-fi films in years. Its chances of winning a small though.

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Director (Denis Villeneuve)
-Best Adapted Screenplay
-Best Cinematography
-Best Film Editing
-Best Sound Editing
-Best Production Design
-Best Sound Mixing

My Review

 
FENCES


Fences is the film adaptation of the August Wilson play. Directed and starring Denzel Washington who starred in the stage version during its revival in 2010, this really feels like it’s a play. The dialogue is spoken like a play and they only use two or three sets throughout. The film looks at Troy Maxson, an African American living in 1950’s USA and covering issues like race relations, infidelity, alcoholism and the role of the family. Both Denzel and Viola Davis give amazing performances and should go into their categories as warm favourites but the film itself is a massive long shot.  

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Actor (Denzel Washington)
-Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis)
-Best Adapted Screenplay

My Review


LION


The first of two Australian made films nominated for Best Picture, Lion is easily the better of the two. The story of young Saroo who was separated from his family in India before being adopted by a Tasmanian couple. Years later with the help of Google Earth, he manages to track down his birth mother. I will admit this is a beautifully told story and an emotional one at that. The ending will have you reaching for the tissue boxes. Both Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman are nominated for their performances, while the movie received 6 nominations overall. Similar to Fences, Lions odds of winning are very slim.

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel)
-Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman)
-Best Original Musical Score
-Best Adapted Screenplay
-Best Cinematography

My Review

 HIDDEN FIGURES


Based on the untold true story, Hidden Figures shows us how three African American women helped get America back into the space race. Standing in their way is a world that still holds strong racist and sexist ideas. Personally I would say this film deserves the award but the Academy will probably go another way. Though it does have everything the Academy loves including strong black females standing up for their rights as well as a historical event involving America. This has everything. Featuring a great cast with some terrific performances, this is easily one of the strongest contenders in this group.

 Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer)
-Best Adapted Screenplay

My Review

HACKSAW RIDGE 


Every year, there is that one movie that I question how it got nominated. This year it’s Hacksaw Ridge. Mel Gibson WW2 film about soldier Desmond Doss, a Christian and conscientious objector who went into battle without a weapon and saved the lives of 75 men is probably my least favourite film on this list. I know I’m in the minority but I just can’t understand why people are praising this film so much. Apart from the war scenes, which are some of the best I’ve seen on screen since Saving Private Ryan, it really doesn’t deliver much else. To me this movie was good, not great like everyone else is saying. It might take out some of the editing categories but if it wins any of the other categories its been nominated for, it really does have God on its side.

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Actor (Andrew Garfield)
-Best Director (Mel Gibson)
-Best Film Editing
-Best Sound Editing
-Best Sound Mixing

My Review


HELL OR HIGH WATER


This is one of the most underrated films in this group. Hell or High Water is a modern day take on the classic western genre. Two brothers rob banks in order to buy their mothers land back from the bank. Pressuring them is Jeff Bridges Texas Ranger, in a performance, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards, this film in most other years would have probably gone in as favourite. It’s a beautifully shot, well-acted look at rural America after the GFC.

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges)
-Best Original Screenplay
-Best Film Editing

My Review

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA


I surprisingly enjoyed this movie more then I thought I would. Manchester by the Sea is the story about an Uncle moving back to his hometown to look after his nephew after the death of his father and having to face his past. This is a powerful film, which looks at grief and the different ways people cope with it. It earned 6 nominations including best actor for Casey Affleck. This has got the content that Oscar voters love and it could be a dark horse to cause an upset.

Nominated for
-Best Picture
-Best Actor (Casey Affleck)
-Best Supporting Actor (Lucas Hedges)
-Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams)
-Best Director (Kenneth Lonergan)
-Best Original Screenplay

My Review


FINAL THOUGHTS
If this award season is anything to go by it looks like La La Land is a sure thing. Though if anyone were to upset the Hollywood musical it would come in the form of Manchester by the Sea or Hidden Figures. Moonlight is also a contender and a strong one at that. All of the other films are really just making up the numbers though I would love to see Hell or High Water or Arrival cause a huge upset. My money is on La La Land to win and upset a lot of people.

Who Should Win: Hidden Figures
Who Will Win: La La Land

Images owned by Several Hollywood Studios

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