This was an exceptional year for movies. I loved almost everything in the Best Film Category and many of the performances were glorious. And how wonderful in a year of backward and downward mobility regarding race in the rest of America, to see so much diversity in this year’s nominees! We still have tons of work to do – more of us need to be greenlighting, producing and directing films – but hey, it’s a small start. Here are the nominees with who I think SHOULD win in pink and who I think WILL win in green. If they are the same, it is only in pink.
- Casey Affleck — “Manchester by the Sea”
- Andrew Garfield — “Hacksaw Ridge”
- Ryan Gosling — “La La Land”
- Viggo Mortensen — “Captain Fantastic”
- Denzel Washington — “Fences”
It’s Denzel’s year for his second Oscar. Casey is good. But Denzel is masterful!
- Isabelle Huppert — “Elle”
- Ruth Negga — “Loving”
- Natalie Portman — “Jackie”
- Emma Stone — “La La Land”
- Meryl Streep — “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Natalie completely embodied Jackie O so I have no idea why she has been overlooked this Awards season. I DO think that Viola Davis should have been in this category as she was the leading actress not the supporting actress in Fences. I can more see Ruth Negga as supporting than Viola Davis. And where is Amy Adams, who was wonderful in “Arrival”?
Best Actor In A Supporting Role
- Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
- Jeff Bridges – “Hell or High Water”
- Lucas Hedges – “Manchester by the Sea”
- Dev Patel – “Lion”
- Michael Shannon – “Nocturnal Animals”
This category also has a glaring omission. Little Sunny , who had never been in a movie prior, carried the whole first half-hour of “Lion”. I feel he should have been nominated over Lucas Hedges.
Best Actress In A Supporting Role
- Viola Davis — “Fences”
- Naomie Harris — “Moonlight”
- Nicole Kidman — “Lion”
- Octavia Spencer — “Hidden Figures”
- Michelle Williams — “Manchester by the Sea”
Not sure why Viola is in the Best Actress in a supporting role category when she was the leading actress in this film! Her performance was bar none the best by any actress this year! I also felt that Taranji Henson should have been nominated here rather than Michelle Williams.
- Damien Chazelle — “La La Land”
- Mel Gibson — “Hacksaw Ridge”
- Barry Jenkins — “Moonlight”
- Kenneth Lonergan — “Manchester by the Sea”
- Denis Villeneuve — “Arrival”
Damien created a masterpiece with this whimsical, yet heartbreaking, ode to the Hollywood musicals of yore. I LOVED this film so much I saw it twice when it first opened. I also loved Jenkins work on “Moonlight” and Villeneuve on “Arrival.” The glaring omission in this category is Garth Davis, the director of “Lion”, who I felt should have been nominated over Mel Gibson. His work with Sunny, the little tot in the film who had never acted before, was amazing! I do not get how you can have a Best Film and 6 nods without recognizing the director! I feel the same about “Hidden Figures” director, Theodore Melfi.
- “Hacksaw Ridge”
- “Hell or High Water”
- “Hidden Figures”
- “La La Land”
- “Manchester by the Sea”
In this category, I would be happy if six of these marvelous films won. My fav of the year was “La La Land” just because it was so special and different. But I also loved Hidden Figures for teaching us about the incredible Katherine Johnson and the other black women, who were so vital to us getting to space; Hell or High Water was a throw back to Fargo; Lion was so inspiring and heartstrings tugging; Fences was incredible and Moonlight, once I got past the whole crack Mama thing, was also an amazing film.
- “Fire At Sea”
- “I Am Not Your Negro”
- “Life Animated”
- “OJ: Made In America”
This category always pisses me off because year after year, the film I think was the Best Documentary of the Year doesn’t even get nominated! For me the amazing, edge-of-your-seat “Tower” was the Best Doc of 2016 and one of the best docs ever! Why it is not included over, yet another OJ doc, is a complete and ridiculous omission.
Best Original Screenplay
- “Hell Or High Water”
- “La La Land”
- “Manchester By The Sea”
- “20th Century Women”
- “The Lobster”
Both “La La Land” and “Hell Or High Water” were homages to genres but still amazingly original this year. I wish that the latter was getting more Love this award season but I think La La Land is going to take this.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- “Hidden Figures”
When I first saw “Moonlight” the whole crack mom thing really annoyed me. Did we need another black women as crazy crackhead on screen? In my mind, at the time, no. But once I found out that this was an autobiographical story and that the author’s Mom WAS a crackhead, it changed my opinion of the whole movie. For this category, I would be happy with all of these films winning, although I feel this will likely go to either “Moonlight” or “Fences”.
La La Land – “City of Stars” – Justin Hurwitz; Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Moana – “How Far I’ll Go” – Lin-Manuel Miranda
La La Land – “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” – Justin Hurwitz; Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Trolls – “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
Jim: The James Foley Story – “The Empty Chair” – J. Ralph and Sting
I think Lin-Manuel will take this because he is much beloved and still riding high off the “Hamilton” tip. I loved his song, so would be fine with that. But I also love “City Of Stars”, which is such a wonderful tune I often hum it to myself.