LA LA LAND still the Best Picture frontrunner


































I saw this film in September, it was the frontrunner then it still is the frontrunner today, especially with "Silence" now having screened and not being everyone's cup of tea, we clearly have a favorite and there really isn't really a clearcut opposition willing to contend. Manchester by the Sea? Too depressing for the academy. Fences? It never truly escape its stage play roots. Nothing. This is the easiest Best Picture race to predict since The Return of the King in 2003.

Winning the People’s Choice Award at TIFF, and coming out this Friday, Damien Chazelle’s film was a no-brainer. Everyone felt sure it was going to win even before the festival started. Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, Chazelle’s film has moments of pure joy that make you feel punch-drunk in love at the movies again. The morning press screening burst into extended applause after the film’s final shot and that sealed the deal for the film’s eventual fate as a major Best Picture contender. Stone, a beauty of an actress, also turned heads for her performance as Mia, a struggling actress hoping to find her big break. Mia falls for Sebastian, a playful and charismatic Ryan Gosling, as they embark on a colorful and touching adventure filled with some of the best original songs ever conceived for the big screen. It’s quite possibly the best movie musical since Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz.

FRONTRUNNERS

1) "La La Land"
2) "Fences"
3) "Manchester By The Sea"
4) "Sully"
5) "Moonlight"
6) "Lion"
7)  "Hacksaw Ridge" 
8) "Hidden Figures"
9) "Arrival"
10) "Hell or High Water"

MAJOR THREATS

Loving
Jackie
Patriots Day
Silence
Florence Foster Jenkins
Arrival
20th Century Women


Best Actor

FRONTRUNNERS

1) Denzel Washington, "Fences"
2) Casey Affleck, "Manchester By the Sea"
3) Tom Hanks, "Sully"
4) Ryan Gosling "La La Land"
5) Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic"

MAJOR THREATS


Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Michael Keaton, "The Founder"
Joel Edgerton, "Loving"
Dev Patel, "Lion"
Miles Teller, "Bleed For This"

Best Actress


FRONTRUNNERS

1) Emma Stone, "La La Land"
2) Natalie Portman, "Jackie"
3) Amy Adams, "Arrival"
4) Ruth Negga, "Loving"
5) Isabelle Huppert, "Elle"

MAJOR THREATS

Taraji P Henson, "Hidden Figures"
Meryl Streep "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Jessica Chastain, "Miss Sloane"
Annette Benning, "20th Century Women"


Best Supporting Actor 


FRONTRUNNERS

1) Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight" 
2) Michael Shannon, "Nocturnal Animals" 
3) Jeff Bridges, "Hell or High Water"
4) Lucas Hedges, "Manchester By the Sea"
5) Kevin Costner "Hidden Figures"

MAJOR THREATS

Aaron Eckhart, "Bleed For This"
Issey Ogata, "Silence"
Ben Foster, "Hell or High Water"
Hugh Grant, "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Stephen Mckinley Henderson, "Fences"
Dev Patel, "Lion"

Best Supporting Actress
Image result for VIOLA DAVIS FENCES

FRONTRUNNERS

1) Viola Davis, "Fences" 
2) Michelle Williams, "Manchester By the Sea"
3) Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"
4) Nicole Kidman, "Lion"
5) Octavia Spencer, "Hidden Figures"

MAJOR THREATS

Felicity Jones "A Monster Calls"
Margo Martindale, "The Hollars"
Molly Shannon, "Other People"
Helen Mirren, "Eye in the Sky"
Lupita Nyong'o, "Queen of Katwe"
Janaelle Monae, "Hidden Figures"

Best Director

FRONTRUNNERS

1) Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"
2) Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester By the Sea'
3) Denzel Washington, "Fences"
4) Martin Scorsese, "Silence"
5) Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"

POSSIBLE THREATS

Mel Gibson "Hacksaw Ridge"
Pablo Larrain, "Jackie"
Paul Verhoeven, "Elle"
Clint Eastwood, "Sully"
Jeff Nichols, "Loving"

"Toni Erdmann"
"The Salesman"
"Land of Mine"

Best Animated Film

"Zootopia"
"Kubo and the Two Strings"
"Finding Dory"
"Moana"
"The Red Turtle"
"Sing"

Best Documentary Feature

"OJ: Made in America"
"The 13th"
"Weiner"
"Gleason"
"Cameraperson"
"Jim: The James Foley Story"


UPDATED: 12.26.16

Best Actor: Michael Keaton's performance in "The Founder" is just not getting buzzed enough. It is a great performance and I do believe it might still nab a nomination, but for now I've taken him out of the nominees. I've added Viggo Mortensen's much loved performance in "Captain Fantastic." If Andrew Garfield is ngoing to be nominated we now know it will be for "Hacksaw Ridge," NOT "Silence." He might push off Mortensen, but for the time being he's sixth.


Best Actress: Meryl Streep is very much in a position to get a 20th Oscar nomination for "Florence Foster Jenkins." It'll take the Academy to shun Isabelle Huppert, but it sure looks like that is a possibility. If it does happen, what an idiotic move.

Best Picture: "Jackie" is now on the outside looking in, the reception it has garnered thus far has been positive, but with many people puzzled by its enigmatic narrative structure. "Patriots Day" seems to be a slam dunk with audiences and is now very contending nominee, but it's just lacking that extra puunch for industry and bloggers. Think of it as this year's "American Sniper," a film that the bible-belt right will embrace wholeheartedly with a healthy boxoffice, so don't count on it. "Hidden Figures" and "Moonlight" have squeezed into the nominees list, "Silence" has been taken down, sadly, but that doesn't mean it won't get nominated, I still think it might. Scorsese is very well loved within the industry and, if reviews are great, it might just squeeze in. 

Best Supporting ActorKevin Costner has now entered the fray for his performance in "Hidden Figures." He stands to get his second Oscar Nomination as Actor, his last being 26 years ago for "Dances With Wolves," when he won the Best Actor statuette for "Dances With Wolves.". Somebody had to be sacrificed for Costner to get in and, sadly, that means Aaron Eckhart is that person. He practically steals the show in "Bleed For This," but there is just not enough buzz right now for the movie and his performance. Issey Ogata of "Silence" has entered the major threats, Liam Neeson has been taken out.
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