The Academy Awards, or -as most of us call them – the Oscars, are probably the most hyped award show of the year. Apart from the obvious buzzing around the films, the filmmakers, producers, and actors with their performances, the focus is always on the presenter’s jokes, the red carpet with the sartorial choices of the ladies and the acceptance speeches. Every year, around the end of February we get to participate in a fancy and well-groomed world that usually resides in our imaginations only. So let’s see what’s on the menu this year for the main categories and who we think will make it to dessert!
Actress in a Supporting Role:
This is one of the most competitive categories of this year’s awards with astounding performances by all nominees. Nicole Kidman was unrecognizable in Lion, Naomi Harris was intense in Moonlight, and Michelle Williams was heart-breaking in Manchester by the Sea. But. Viola Davis in Fences is unbeatable. It takes her just one scene to bring chills down your spine with her immense power and the way she translates words into emotions.
Actor in a Supporting Role:
Although the performances of Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) and Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water) were equally fascinating, our prediction is Mahershala Ali for his performance in Moonlight. A drug dealer becomes the father figure of a bullied young boy. Their paradoxical relationship develops only in the first part of the movie and despite the limited appearance of the actor on screen (it’s around 10 minutes), it is more than enough to both magnetize and move us.
Actress in a Leading Role:
Despite the wonderful performances by Natalie Portman (Jackie) and Isabelle Huppert (Elle), this one will rightly go to Emma Stone for La La Land. It’s high-level acting, dancing, and singing. It’s a great and indelible performance from one of the year’s best films.
Actor in a Leading Role:
This is a tough one. Denzel Washington was amazing -as always- as a breadwinner in the segregated Pittsburgh of the 50s, however, the performance of Cassey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea really stood out. Yes, the incredible writing of Kenneth Lonergan was conducive to this, but Affleck was able to add deeper nuances to the tragic story of Lee Chandler in the various levels of the plot. Let’s see if he is going to get his one or if the looming sexual assault charges of his past will deprive him of the award.
This one is between La La Land‘s Damien Chazelle and Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins. We believe that the winner of this one will be Damien Chazelle. Directing a musical is itself a strenuous task, but managing to direct a tricky and demanding project that incorporates so many elements in a meaningful, exemplary, and iconic way, as happens in La La Land, is truly deserving of acknowledgment.
Adapted Screenplay: This is a hard one too. The screenplays nominated in this category are so good: Arrival, Lion, Fences, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight. It sucks to be the one that has to choose. But we feel that there is a front-runner for this award and it has to be Moonlight. What can we say about Moonlight? It is a screenplay that lacks extreme plot action, yet is filled with so much meaningful content, in the shape of dialogue and pregnant pauses, while space and time enable the unfolding of the main character.
Original Screenplay: We hope that this is the category that Manchester by the Sea gets the recognition it deserves, although there is some serious competition with Hell or High Water and La La Land. The incredible screenplay of Kenneth Lonergan, who has also directed the film, offers a deep understanding of grief and the way it upsets people’s lives and emotions. Dialogue is an important part of the movie, but what is not immediately expressed and is rather insinuated gives it an extra bit of ‘amazing’.
La La Land can only be challenged by Hidden Figures and Moonlight in this category. Both are incredible films that offer insight on real and unspoken stories with incredible casts and production. However, the undeniable technical capacity of La La Land in multiple categories such as editing, cinematography, production, costumes, and music alongside the incredible performances of the actors and the ambitious direction of Chazelle instantly make it a favorite.
Bring it on Sunday!
PS. Brace yourselves La La Land fans. It’s gonna be a sweep!
PS2. The pictures are all taken from imdb.com