89TH Annual Academy Awards- My Thoughts

2017_oscars_posterI didn’t get to watch the whole special because I couldn’t get a feed where I was, but I caught the last half hour which is essentially all you needed to see last night especially the ending. It was that time of the show where it was time to reveal the winner of Best Picture and Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were presenting the award. When Beatty was about to read the winner, he seemed very confused so he would occasionally stop so Faye had to read the card and she announced La La Land as the winner of best picture. So, the whole entire crew came on stage and were giving their speech when it was revealed by the film’s producer Jordan Horowitz and Warren Beatty that there was an epic mistake. Jordan would reveal that the real winner of the award went to Moonlight and he waited on stage so that he could personally give them the award. That right there my friends is a very embarrassing moment for the Oscars and one that almost gets Steve Harvey off the hook for his epic blunder. There were a lot of surprises that night including that one because I thought for sure that La La Land was going to clean house. I knew that Casey Affleck was going to win Best Actor, but I thought that Dev Patel was going to win best supporting.

Out of 14 nominations which tied a record, the film La La Land only took home six total awards which is less than what I predicted (I predicted nine). One of the definite surprises of the night is that now you have to call Suicide Squad a Oscar winning film even though it was for best make up and hairstyling. Out of all the surprises and all the mayhem that ensued, the awards show definitely makes me want to watch Moonlight to see what they saw in the film which took home three golden statues that night. A lot of the films I predicted were second choices and if I had gone with my first choice, I would’ve done a lot better, but I listened to the hype. So, out of 24 possible awards, I only correctly predicted 11 of them which is 46% and that is a failing grade. Here are all the winners from the night:

Best Picture- Moonlight

Best Director- Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor- Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best Actress- Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Original Screenplay- Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay- Moonlight

Best Animated Film- Zootopia

Best Foreign Film- The Salesman

Best Documentary Feature- O.J.: Made In America

Best Documentary Short- The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short- Sing

Best Animated Short- Piper

Best Original Score- La La Land

Best Original Song- City Of Stars (La La Land)

Best Sound Editing- Arrival

Best Sound Mixing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Production Design- La La Land

Best Cinematography- La La Land

Best Film Editing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Visual Effects- The Jungle Book

Best Make Up and Hairstyling- Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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89TH Annual Academy Awards- My Predictions

2017_oscars_posterTonight is the 89TH Academy Awards a.k.a. the Oscars and the buzz around the land is with the musical La La Land which has garnered the most nominations with 14 overall. The question going into the night is whether that film really deserves all the nods and if it deserves any wins. One film in my opinion that deserves a win is the film Lion which was directed by Garth Davis and stars Dev Patel in this heart wrenching story of a 5 year old boy from India who is separated from his family only to be adopted by an Australian family and when he becomes a man he searches for his original family. It was such an amazing story and film that truly tugs on the heartstrings. Then there are films like Fences which was directed and stars Denzel Washington, the suspenseful Sci-Fi film Arrival, an amazing tale of a man who goes to war without a gun in the Mel Gibson directed Hacksaw Ridge, to other deserving films like Manchester By The Sea, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Hell Or High Water. What I do know is that the films I listed last without description will not win while Mel Gibson will be snubbed due to his past and I just can’t see Arrival winning. So, the award will come down to Lion, La La Land, and Fences.

download-1I do think that Casey Affleck has a big chance to win best Actor in a Leading Role and his only competition in my mind will come from Denzel Washington (Fences). I am not taking anything away from Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), or Ryan Gosling (La La Land), but they don’t stand a chance. Meryl Streep will be looking for her third Oscar win a she is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, but she has tough competition from in my opinion Emma Stone (La La Land), and Natalie Portman (Jackie). If I had never seen Lion, I would have given the Best Supporting Actor award to either Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) or Jeff Bridges (Hell Or High Water), but Dev Patel (Lion) could be a shoe in, but don’t count out Mahershala Ali (Moonight) either. One of the only categories I am completely unsure of is the Best Supporting Actress award which sees Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea), Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) all up for the award and each one is just as deserving as the next one. Out of all the Best Animated features, the only one I have seen is Zootopia, but somehow I think that Moana could be the serious contender.

I just feel that the rest of the awards are going to get cleaned up by La La Land like best director, cinematography, costume, film editing, music (Original Score and Original Song), Sound editing and Mixing, etc. The only problem with the awards is that I haven’t seen any of the foreign films, documentaries, and shorts. I feel I can’t really form an opinion about them, but I’ll try my best when it comes to predictions. One film that I feel deserves to win an Oscar is Doctor Strange for best visual effects because it had some amazing effects, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story could prove to be a worthy adversary. Here are the rest of my predictions for the show:

Best Picture- La La Land

Best Director- Damien Chazelle- La La Land

Best Actor- Casey Affleck

Best Actress- Emma Stone

Best Supporting Actor- Dev Patel

Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis

Best Original Screenplay- Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay- Lion

Best Cinematography- La La Land

Best Original Score- La La Land

Best Original Song- City Of Stars- La La Land

Best Animated Feature- Moana

Best Production Design: La La Land

Best Film Editing: La La Land

Best Sound Editing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing- La La Land

Best Visual Effects- Doctor Strange

Best Foreign Film- Toni Erdmann

Best Make-up and Hairstyling- Star Trek Beyond

Best Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America

Best Live-Action Short: Ennemis Intérieurs

Best Animated Short: Piper

Best Documentary Short: Extremis

Day 64: Midnight Cowboy (1969)

images (1)I figured since I watched a film that had an Oscar winner in it yesterday, I would do the same for today. The film I chose for today, Midnight Cowboy, won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay in the 1970 Oscars. The film stars Jon Voight (Mission: Impossible) as Texan Joe Buck and Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate) as New Yorker Ratso. For Joe Buck, he has this idea that he’s too big in the hustling game for Texas and so he decides to move to New York to better his hustling game. For Ratso, things can’t get any worse for this New Yorker and he’s had enough of the big city so all he wants to do is move to Florida. Together, the two of them will form a very unlikely bond as they try to survive the streets of New York. The film also stars Sylvia Miles (Wall Street) as Cass, John McGiver (Breakfast At Tiffany’s) as O’Daniel, Brenda Vaccaro (Zorro: The Gay Blade) as Shirley, Jennifer Salt (American Horror Story) as Annie, Barnard Hughes (TRON) as Towny, Viva (The Man Without A Face) as Gretel McAlbertson, and the film was directed by John Schlesinger (The Falcon And The Snowman).

1969, MIDNIGHT COWBOY

The first thing that should sell you on the film is the fact that Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight star in the film. The second thing about this film that should sell you is that for 1969, it definitely pushed the boundaries of what was seen on film. Jon Voight has a sexual act performed on him by a man in the film and is the most unluckiest hustler or the worst. Both Voight and Hoffman lost the Oscar for Best Leading Actor to the duke John Wayne even though they deserved it after watching this. Dustin Hoffman has one of the best performances I have seen in a long time and his transformation was Oscar worthy. First of all, he sells that he’s this low down in the dumps New Yorker and he looks like he hasn’t showered in months. What more could you possibly want from the man? We are always led to believe that is what you have to do if you want to win an Oscar. Meanwhile, Jon Voight plays this clean cut cowboy in the big city who is a little naive because he’s not used to the hustle and bustle of the big city. I am not going to give away the ending of the film, but it’s kind of sad and bittersweet. I totally didn’t see it coming, but that is what I loved about it too. The film is gritty and it features a cool segment where they are at a Warhol party. This is classic cinema at it’s best and definitely a film worth watching if you are trying to be a cinephile. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

Day 63: Room (2015)

roomThere are always films out there that come out of nowhere and win an Oscar despite the film not being released in your area. That was definitely the case last year with Whiplash (J.K. Simmons wins best supporting actor) and the year before with Dallas Buyers Club. The same could be said for the film Room which star Brie Larson took home the Oscar for Best Actress In A Leading Role. Room stars Brie as Joy, a mother who has to create a world for her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) to hide the truth from him. You see for Jack everything is as normal as can be and he believes that there is nothing outside of the room that is real. That is until his mother starts to leak out that there is a world beyond the room and she reveals that she was kidnapped by an old Nick (Sean Bridgers) and placed in the room. Now, she will try everything she can to get them out of the room and free from old Nick. The film also stars Joan Allen (Death Race) as Grandma, William H. Macy (Fargo) as Grandpa, Tom McCamus (A Man In Uniform) as Leo, Cas Anvar (Source Code) as Dr. Mittal, and the film was directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Frank).

room (1)When I watched Dallas Buyers Club, I instantly knew why Matthew McConaughey beat out Leo at the Oscars. The same can be said for Brie Larson as far as the Room is concerned.She definitely embraced the role of Joy and she ran with it and never looked back. A lot of credit however should be thrown Jacob Tremblay’s way who convinced me that he was a boy with problems. He goes from only knowing what is inside the room and thinking everything outside of it doesn’t exist, but only in TV to having to adapt to the outside world.  Brie definitely put on the performance of a lifetime that proved that she deserved the Oscar over everyone. Brie was amazing at showing off ranges of emotion throughout the film from seeing her desperate to get out of the room to the joy of being out and so on and so forth. The story should sound familiar as it bears some resemblances to the Jaycee Lee Dugard case as she was trapped in a room for 18 years and forced to mother two kids from her captor. There is nothing too extreme in the film that makes it hard to watch, but it will pull at your heartstrings as you see a boy struggling to understand the world around him. I am not going to spoil the ending for you, but all I can say is that it’s very poetic and symbolic in the way it ends. The film is available at Redbox and online and if you want to see great acting then check this out. I am going to give the movie an A for a final grade.