Behold, it is Oscar time again. Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the 89th annual Academy Awards, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Mark Rylance, and Alicia Vikander – last year’s winners in the acting categories – will be among the presenters.
The nominated films this year run quite the gamut. “Arrival,” which finds linguists decoding an alien language, is out of this world – literally! “Fences,” about the literal and figurative fences we erect in our lives, is a powerhouse of emotions. “Hacksaw Ridge” inspires and mortifies with its gory depictions of Pacific Theater heroics in World War II. “Hell or High Water,” a western disguised as a heist movie, sets the film’s stakes by the title alone. “Hidden Figures,” revolving around a trio of African-American female NASA scientists, makes math cool again. “La La Land,” an old-fashioned musical set in modern day Los Angeles, aims for the stars…of the Griffith Park Observatory, if nothing else. “Lion,” about an Indian boy who has lost his way, hearkens back to 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire”…which won eight Oscars. “Manchester by the Sea” sounds British but is as American as movies get, detailing the five stage of grief. Finally, “Moonlight” shows what it must be like to grow up poor, black, fatherless, and gay.
Which movies will Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters choose to honor? Continue reading for my predictions…and enjoy the show!
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Continue reading “Oscar 2016-17 – predicting the winners”
Last year wasn’t a good year for movies. It seemed that every other weekend saw the release of a second-rate animated film, or of yet another superhero sequel. I still haven’t seen “Moana” (which, as it happens, garnered strong reviews) or “X-Men: Apocalypse” (which did not).
There were several bright spots, however. Most of them came late in the year, and by the usual troupe of go-to writers, actors, and directors. Robert Zemeckis teamed up with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard for “Allied,” a throwback to classics like “Casablanca.” (If only it was shot in black-and-white.) Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks worked together for the first time on “Sully,” one of the shorter – and better – movies of the year. Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Amy Adams, Jeff Bridges, Emma Stone, and Michael Keaton all showed up…some of them (the five-times-nominated Ms. Adams, for one) more than once!
Two trends revealed themselves as the nominations were announced: films starring minorities, and films based on actual events. “Hidden Figures” introduced us to the black women who worked, unheralded for many years, on NASA’s computing team, while “Loving” showed us what went down when a white man married to a black woman was told that he and his wife could not live in Virginia. Both movies took place in the same state, and around the same decade, and the events depicted in them really happened. Stylistically, however, they couldn’t be more different.
“Hidden Figures” and “Loving” each earned slots on my top ten list for the year. They are joined by eight other worthy films…three of which, like the two mentioned above, are based on actual events!
GringoPotpourri’s Top Ten Films of 2016:
Continue reading “Top Ten Films of 2016”