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The Mass Media

2017 Oscar Noms & Predictions

Best Picture
“Arrival” – Visually stunning, makes you want to protest for peaceful extraterrestrials—won’t win the big prize, though.
“Fences” – Washington and Davis are gold in this one, directing was a little bit off (hence Washington’s directorial Oscar snub), acting was superb—not enough to win the big statute. 
“Hell or High Water” – Did not see this film, but actors Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges (the standout performer in the film) received rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Even still, I foresee them losing this round.
“Hidden Figures” – Great nod to the black women who helped NASA mathematically figure out to bring a man back home from outer space. Wish it had a more serious tone in the film, though. Victory eludes this film in this category – but I respect how they pay homage to the real-life Katherine Jackson. 
“La La Land” – Another film I did not see. Musicals are great! When they’re done right. Actors Gosling and Stone earned Golden Globes for their work as did director Chazelle. Typically, the Golden Globes winners go on to have success at the Oscars in late February. But I like to roll the dice every now and again, so in going against conventional wisdom, I vote “nay” that this film wins Oscar’s top prize – even though it is the third film along with “Titanic” and “All About Eve” to achieve 14 Oscar nominations!
“Lion” – Did not see this one either, but heard great things—nevertheless, I’m doubtful it wins the big statute in this category. 
“Manchester by the Sea” – This film is a work of art, pure and simple (you can tell I saw this, I swear I’m not biased). Affleck+Williams+Hedges+Lonergan’s writing=a stroke of cinematic genius. It SHOULD win, but because of this next film, it might not.  
“Moonlight” – Probably the best film I’ve seen in about a decade. Acting/directing was amazing, and the screenplay hit hard, and that is a very wonderful thing, I promise you. Do yourself a favor and see this film (especially, and I repeat, especially if you’re black or a person of color, a man, gay or have family/friends that are, think they are, or still coming to grips with it, etc.). I think this film wins in this category, but just narrowly, because “Manchester” and “La La” are serious competitors. 
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea” – He has been lauded by, virtually, every award organization for acting there is so far—except the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). However, the allegations of sexual harassment against him have caused a bit of stir leading up to this year’s Oscar ceremony. My guess is if Affleck were black, he would not even be on this list of nominees. Remember the black historical film “Birth of a Nation?” That film was supposed to be on this list but the director Nate Parker dealt with a fairly similar situation. Only thing is Parker was acquitted of the charge, whereas a court settlement was made between all parties involved in Affleck’s case. In my view, Affleck was near-flawless in this film, he played a reckless drunk who inadvertently caused the tragic death of his three small children. We all know a drunk when we see one, right? Are we going to be the friend that continues to put the beer in his hand or the friend that says, “Yea, that’s it, you’ve had enough”? If he wins the Best Actor Oscar it will be like giving a drink to someone who, we know, cannot handle himself afterward. 
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge” – Just wow! This guy was great even in the trailer for this film – but if you saw him in “The Social Network” then you know great things were heading his way cause he was the pulse of that film from start to finish. I don’t think he’ll win, but God, was he good in it. 
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land” – He’s been flirting with the Oscars for quite sometime now, I’m not ready for him to get it yet, not when my boy Washington or “Aragorn” are in the running in the same category. 
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic” – He will always be “The Ranger of the North” to me—those LOTR trilogies and the Hobbit prequels were life! I did not see him in Captain Fantastic, but from the trailers and all, it looked a great piece of acting on his part. Doubtful he wins, though, he’s up against Washington. I have bias, so what. 
Denzel Washington, “Fences” – He SHOULD win, because he got robbed of a Best Director Oscar nomination. His performance was perfection and I dare anyone who seen this film to say it was not. 
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” – Did not see it, but heard good things. She won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama—that should tell you something. 
Ruth Nega, “Loving” – Love her in the AMC TV series “Preacher” and heard she was tremendous in this film. 
Natalie Portman, “Jackie” – A film about Jackie O that I did not see. Portman is super cute, and super talented. I prefer her in Thor movies, though. Just saying. She  should not win, though, because 1) why are we still making movies about the Kennedys? and 2) why are we still making movies about the Kennedys?!
Emma Stone, “La La Land” – She should definitely win for this because she had to sing, dance, and act! Triple threat actress right here y’all. Plus, I’ve liked her since “Superbad” and kind of want to have a beer with her one day… #TeamStone
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins” – She just did battle with Trump and has the biggest trophy case of anybody in the history of competition! Let someone else get it. 
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight” – Totally SHOULD win this Oscar! The guy was spectacular in this role. 
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water” – Always a pleasure to watch this man work on-screen, but he has a few of these tucked away somewhere in his home already. Having said that, the Academy should respectfully tell him to “step aside.” 
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea” – Great performance, but he won’t win. 
Dev Patel, “Lion” – Tremendous performance by this guy. If Ali was not nominated, then my money is on Patel. 
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals” – Yet another fine performance by Mr. Shannon – Patel and Ali were better. 
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis, “Fences” – Davis all the way!
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight” – Strong performance – still, Davis for the win.
Nicole Kidman, “Lion” – Not a huge fan, but she did a good job in Lion. 
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures” – If it weren’t for Davis, Spencer would have this in the bag. 
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea” – Despite having smallest amount of screen time of anyone in this category, she absolutely crushed it—to smithereens and then some. Still my vote is for Davis.  
Best Directing
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival” – I don’t know much about this dude other then the fact that he can direct his you know what off! But he won’t win cause its a sci-fi film. The Academy is uppity that way. 
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge” – I’m conflicted here, I loved “Braveheart,” one of the best movies of the 90s. Gibson’s troubling comments about people of color, Jews, and so forth are too much for any non-hateful person to ignore. Still, the man can direct as good as any I’ve seen, but is the Academy ready for the backlash they may receive from detractors if he does win here? The last thing they need is another Oscar controversy. 
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land” – This year’s Award Season director favorite. A Harvard alum and a native of New England (Rhode Island), he did a fantastic job with La La Land, but I don’t want him to win, which means he will. 
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea” – I’m not too sure if he will get this one, but he should definitely get Best Original Screenplay at the very least. 

Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight” – If he does not win for this, the entire Moonlight cast and crew should rush the stage and hold the Best Director Oscar for ransom! #I’mNotKidding