Your Average 2017 Oscar Predictions
The 89th Academy Awards are a little over four weeks away, and the nominees are now set for the golden statue award ceremony. After winning six Golden Globes, La La Land is the favorite to win Best Picture, with Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea not far behind. It wouldn’t be an award ceremony without our share of snubs and surprises, but we’ll save that debate for another time (hint: never). Since we’re officially licensed movie connoisseurs, we thought we’d skip that debate and instead give our iron clad predictions on the Best Picture race, as well as who we think will walk away winners in some of the other major categories. Will Hacksaw Ridge pull off the monumental upset and win Best Picture? Will Casey Affleck cruise through awards season with a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actor? Let’s get to our predictions and find out! (And follow along at home with our 2017 Oscar Ballot!)
Synopsis: Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.
Arrival is the kind of movie where you leave the theater having seen a totally different movie than you expected. It’s so much more than a SciFi movie, and the message can still resonate even if you swap out the aliens. Also, it was delightful to see Jeremy Renner in something where he wasn’t toting a bow and arrow; he really shines in this flick, even though he wasn’t put up for consideration. I think Arrival not only walks away, handily, with the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, but also has a real good shot at Film Editing and Production Design. This is a GORGEOUS film. -Matt
Synopsis: A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.
Viola Davis, all-around Hollywood superstar, and Rhode Island native, gets her third Oscar nomination (Most of any black woman in history) for her role in Fences. She plays opposite Denzel in a film that seems to hit deep at your inner-most emotions (The academy loves those types of movies this year apparently). If I know Denzel and Viola they are sure to put on a painfully honest performance that will stay with you beyond the theater. Along with Denzel and Viola both getting nods, Fences is also up for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. While I can’t speak for the actors performances specifically, I could see a tight race with Arrival for adapted screenplay (since this is derived from a critically acclaimed play by August Wilson). -Matt
Synopsis: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.
Hacksaw Ridge is the tale of two movies. The first half of the movie follows Desmond T. Doss from childhood up to his enrollment in the Army, and lays out why he was a pacifist and a conscientious objector to the war. There’s a specific moment in his childhood that not only turns him into a pacifist, but alters the direction of his life. The first hour or so moves along slowly, but as soon as Desmond and his unit are deployed to Hacksaw Ridge, all hell breaks loose. This is where Garfield and director Mel Gibson really shine, and anyone who’s seen Braveheart knows that Gibson is at his best when depicting the brutality of war. The fact that this is based on a true story (there’s a quick interview with the real Desmond after the movie that is incredibly moving) only enhances the emotion of this film. Hacksaw Ridge is also nominated for five other awards, including best actor, director, film editing, sound editing and sound mixing. It’s a long shot to win any of the three major awards, but regardless of whether it wins or loses, it’s a must see film. –Ryan
HELL OR HIGH WATER
Synopsis: A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.
After seeing Hell of High Water there are 3 things I know to be true: You can’t make a bad movie in Texas, Chris Pine is super handsome as a cowboy (and really just in general) and I want to start robbing banks ASAP. The director, Dave Mackenzie, really hit authenticity right on the head with this one. I could feel the heat of a Texas summer, my adrenaline rushed with every bank they hit and, most importantly, I connected with the characters. Was I rooting for the bad guys most of the time? Sure, but that’s not a fault of the movie. I blame writer Taylor Sheridan for making Chris Pine, and his screen brother Ben Foster, so goddamn empathetic. If you liked No Country for Old Men, then you’ll dig this flick. It has a lot of the same cowboy grit. -Matt
Synopsis: Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.
I watched Hidden Figures after watching Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight, and in contrast, this movie was a delight. It’s tough to get more gloomy than those two movies, but I really enjoyed Hidden Figures, and it’s a story that I’m very glad was finally told. If you asked a room full of people to raise their hands and name the African American women who worked for NASA in the 1960s, I’d have to imagine zero hands would go up. Personally, I had no idea about the story behind the movie, but I’m happy that it was made and it was recognized by the Academy. It’s an inspiration story supported by a star studded cast including Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali. –Ryan
LA LA LAND
Synopsis: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.
Even if you haven’t seen La La Land yet, you’ve most likely heard the hype. As Matt will explain below, La La Land and Manchester by the Sea are the two movies that dominated awards season, yet they’re complete opposites. While Manchester likes to punch you in the gut, La La Land lifts up your spirits with the power of great direction, perfect casting and it’s addictive score and soundtrack. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are both lovely, and the most surprising part is how the movie caters to each part of the audience. Love musicals? This movie has some amazing musical numbers. Enjoy love story’s? This movie’s for you as well. It’s charming, funny and when the movie ends, you’ll be wanting more. La La Land leads all movies with 14 nominations this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes home the majority of them. Also, if it doesn’t win best original score, we riot. –Ryan
Synopsis: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Lion received 6 total nominations that spanned the acting, writing, music and cinematography categories. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman were both nominated for their supporting roles. This was Patel’s first ever Oscar nomination, while Kidman nabbed her fourth, and her first since Rabbit Hole in 2010. Producers Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder will share the ‘Best Picture’ nomination, the second for Sherman and Canning (The King’s Speech) and the first for Fiedler. Cinematographer Greig Fraser and writer Luke Davies are both celebrating their first Oscar nomination, as are Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka for their original score. –Ryan
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Synopsis: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.
I’ve seen Manchester by the Sea (MBTS) two times, because apparently I like to be sad. The first time was solo, which was a good thing considering how much I cried. The second time was with the other half of the Average Nobodies, Ryan. I still cried during the second viewing, but just a little less. Allow me this analogy, using another nominated film, to describe MBTS . MBTS and La La Land are two totally different movies that command your attention in two totally different ways. If La La Land is David Copperfield making an elephant disappear before your very eyes, MBTS is David Blaine shoving a 12 inch needle through his hand. In both cases, you can’t look away. MBTS is stunningly real and my personal pick for Best Picture along with Casey Affleck wining for Best Actor. La La Land is the only film that could steal the Oscar from this flick. – Matt
Synopsis: A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
Similar to it’s synopsis, Moonlight follows the life of a young black boy from childhood to adulthood. It’s broken up into three parts (Little, Chiron & Black) that seamlessly flow into each other and for the most part are heartbreaking. It’s clear from the beginning that Little has a small chance of leading a worry free life, and that continues as he grows into Chiron and Black. His only friends on this journey (Juan, a drug dealer & Kevin) hurt him as much as they help him, and more than anything, shape who will become later in life. Moonlight was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including best director, and best supporting actor and actress (Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris, who were both excellent). –Ryan
Our picks for some of the other major categories:
Ryan – Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Matt – Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Ryan – Emma Stone (La La Land)
Matt – Emma Stone (La La Land)
Best Supporting Actor
Ryan – Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Matt – Dev Patel (Lion)
Best Supporting Actress
Ryan – Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Matt – Viola Davis (Fences)
Ryan – Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Matt – Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Best Documentary Feature
Ryan – O.J.: Made in America
Matt – O.J.: Made in America
Best Original Score
Ryan – “La La Land” (Justin Hurwitz)
Matt – “La La Land” (Justin Hurwitz)
Posted on January 26, 2017, in Average Movie Reviews and tagged best picture, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, Men, oscar nominess, oscars, the oscar nominees, women. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.