Me, Popcorn and the Oscars: Final Oscar Predictions

Best Picture

  1. Arrival
  2. Fences
  3. Hacksaw Ridge
  4. Hell or High Water
  5. Hidden Figures
  6. La La Land
  7. Lion
  8. Manchester by the Sea
  9. Moonlight
  • Who should win? La La Land
  • Who I want to win? Arrival
  • Who will win? La La Land. OR, Moonlight might come in, and seduce everyone with their black cast and the gay themes and the drugs. The Oscars do love all that, especially to prove the point that they are not “so white”.  Which sadly, even with a story about Jazz, La La Land is (a very white story). The only thing La La Land could’ve done better was to change Ryan Gosling for a black guy.
  • Which was the biggest snub? Silence.

Best Director

  1. Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”)
  2. Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”)
  3. Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”)
  4. Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”)
  5. Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”)
  • Who should win? Denis Villeneuve or Damien Chazelle
  • Who I want to win? Denis Villeneuve
    Who will win? Damien Chazelle
  • Which was the biggest snub? Tom Ford (“Nocturnal Animals”).

Best Actor

  1. Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”)
  2. Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”)
  3. Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”)
  4. Denzel Washington (“Fences”)
  5. Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”)
  • Who should win? Casey-Andrew-Denzel
  • Who I want to win? Casey Affleck
  • Who will win? Casey Affleck (although Denzel Washington could steal this one from him if the Oscars go full-on black love)
  • Which was the biggest snub? Colin Ferrel (“The Lobster”)

Best Actress

  1. Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”)
  2. Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”)
  3. Natalie Portman (“Jackie”)
  4. Emma Stone (“La La Land”)
  5. Ruth Negga (“Loving”)
  • Who should win? Natalie Portman (she won’t because last time she was nominated she won, and this performance or movie isn’t that great for two wins in a row). Also, Isabelle Huppert was great.
  • Who I want to win? Ruth Negga or Isabelle Huppert.
  • Who will win? If the Oscars move past Isabelle Huppert’s nationality, she’ll win. If the Oscars forget Emma’s age, she might pull a Jennifer Lawrence and win one before her thirties. Or if the Oscars go full-on black love, then Ruth Negga.
  • Which was the biggest snub? Amy Adams was the biggest snub this year. Period. Also, Annette Bening.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”)
  2. Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”)
  3. Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”)
  4. Dev Patel (“Lion”)
  5. Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”)
  • Who should win? No one. But probably Dev Patel’s performance was the best.
  • Who I want to win?  Michael Shannon.
    Who will win? Mahershala Ali
  • Which was the biggest snub? Everyone that wasn’t nominated and should’ve been.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Viola Davis (“Fences”)
  2. Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”)
  3. Nicole Kidman (“Lion”)
  4. Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”)
  5. Michelle Williams (“Manchester By the Sea”)
  • Who should win? Viola Davis or Michelle Williams
  • Who I want to win? Either one of them.
    Who will win? Viola Davis
  • Which was the biggest snub? Felicity Jones, but not really.

Best Original Screenplay

  1. “20th Century Women” (Mike Mills)
  2. “The Lobster” (Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos)
  3. “La La Land” (Damien Chazelle)
  4. “Manchester by the Sea” (Kenneth Lonergan)
  5. “Hell or High Water” (Taylor Sheridan)
  • Who should win?  The Lobster.
  • Who I want to win? 20th Century Woman.
    Who will win? Manchester by the Sea.
  • Which was the biggest snub? Jackie.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. “Arrival” (Eric Heisserer)
  2. “Fences” (August Wilson)
  3. “Hidden Figures” (Allison Schroeder & Theodore Melfi)
  4. “Lion” (Luke Davies)
  5. “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney)
  • Who should win? Arrival.
  • Who I want to win? Arrival.
    Who will win? Moonlight.
  • Which was the biggest snub? Nocturnal Animals

Best Animated Feature

  1. “The Red Turtle”
  2. “Kubo and the Two Strings”
  3. “Moana”
  4. “My Life as a Zucchini”
  5. “Zootopia”
  • Who should win? Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Who I want to win? Kubo and the Two Strings
    Who will win? Zootopia or Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Which was the biggest snub? Sing.

Best Cinematography

  1. “Lion”
  2. “Moonlight”
  3. “Silence”
  4. “La La Land”
  5. “Arrival”
  • Who should win?  Arrival or Silence.
  • Who I want to win? Arrival.
  • Who will win? La La Land.
  • Which was the biggest snub? Manchester by the Sea

Best Original Song

  1. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Justin Timberlake, “Trolls”)
  2. “City of Stars” (Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”)
  3. “How Far I’ll Go” (Auli’i Cravalho, “Moana”)
  4. “Audition” (Emma Stone, “La La Land”)
  5. “The Empty Chair” (By J. Ralph & Sting, “Jim: The James Foley Story”)
  • Who should win? City of Stars
  • Who I want to win? Audition
  • Who will win? City of Stars
  • Which was the biggest snub? Never Give Up, Sia “Lion”

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. “Land of Mine” (Denmark)
  2. “Tanna” (Netherlands)
  3. “A Man Called Ove” (Sweden)
  4. “The Salesman” (Iran)
  5. “Toni Erdmann” (Germany)
  • Who should win?  Toni Erdmann
  • Who I want to win? The Salesman
    Who will win? Toni Erdmann
  • Which was the biggest snub? The Handmaiden
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Me, Popcorn and The Oscars: The Oscars 2017 Final Nomination Predictions

I promised a nomination prediction a couple of days before the Oscars announced their nominations, and here it is. I have found that most people don’t really know or care about nominations like “Best Sound Mixing” and “Best Production Design”, and because I don’t know much about that either, I have limited my predictions to the bigger awards. I hope nobody minds this. If you do, there are a lot of other predictions you could read.

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Best Picture (First set of five)

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight
  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge

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Best Picture (Second set of five; in the case that the Academy chooses—like in previous years—to nominate more than five)

  • Fences
  • Hell or High Water
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Silence
  • 20th Century Women
  • Hidden Figures

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Best Director

  • Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”)
  • Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”)
  • Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”)
  • Tom Ford (“Nocturnal Animals”)
  • Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”)

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Best Actor

  • Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”)
  • Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”)
  • Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”)
  • Denzel Washington (“Fences”)
  • Colin Farrel (“The Lobster)

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Best Actress

  • Amy Adams (“Arrival”)
  • Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”)
  • Natalie Portman (“Jackie”)
  • Emma Stone (“La La Land”)
  • Annette Bening (“20th Century Women”)

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Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”)
  • Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”)
  • Hugh Grant (“Florence Foster Jenkins”)
  • Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”)
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals”)

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Best Supporting Actress

  • Viola Davis (“Fences”)
  • Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”)
  • Nicole Kidman (“Lion”)
  • Felicity Jones (“A Monster Calls”)
  • Michelle Williams (“Manchester By the Sea”)

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Best Original Screenplay

  • “20th Century Women” (Mike Mills)
  • “The Lobster” (Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos)
  • “La La Land” (Damien Chazelle)
  • “Manchester by the Sea” (Kenneth Lonergan)
  • “Jackie” (Noah Oppenheim)

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Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Arrival” (Eric Heisserer)
  • “Fences” (August Wilson)
  • “Loving” (Jeff Nichols)
  • “Nocturnal Animals” (Tom Ford)
  • “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney)

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Best Animated Feature

  • “Finding Dory” (Pixar/Disney)
  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” (Focus Features)
  • “Moana” (Disney)
  • “My Life as a Zucchini” (Gkids)
  • “Zootopia” (Disney)

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Best Original Song

  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Justin Timberlake, “Trolls”)
  • “City of Stars” (Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”)
  • “How Far I’ll Go” (Auli’i Cravalho, “Moana”)
  • “Faith” (Stevie Wonder, “Sing”)
  • “Never Give Up” (Sia, “Lion”)

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Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Handmaiden (South Korea)
  • “It’s Only the End of the World” (Canada)
  • “A Man Called Ove” (Sweden)
  • “The Salesman” (Iran)
  • “Toni Erdmann” (Germany)

Me, Popcorn and The Oscars: Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” Is Everything You Look For In A Comeback

Hacksaw Ridge is not your typical action film. It is red, it is real, it is revoltingly hypnotizing. This will not be, I hope, a film that will be either ignored or soon forgotten.

*Obvious Spoilers Ahead*

And I will say an extra warning. Honestly, if you are not older than 18, or if you don’t usually like violent movies, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE! It is tough, violent and gut-wrenching.

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    The good things (what I liked)

  • Wow, well this was a surprise. I generally don’t like Mel Gibson, and with a cast of actors who are generally far from great (protagonist Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving and Sam Worthington stand out in my mind), I didn’t expect much from this biopic. But I can honestly say that, from what I’ve seen, this is this year’s best picture, with “Arrival” as a close second (of the frontrunners, I’ve seen “Moonlight”, “Arrival”, and “Manchester by the Sea”, but I have still to see the year’s most talked about film “La La Land”, or other strong contenders such as “Fences”, “Loving” or “Hell or High Water”).
  • Andrew Garfield gives one of his best performances yet, and one of the best performances of the year. He portrays Desmond Doss, a war hero who refused to even touch a gun. This is a story based on true events, which only makes his story more impressive. Even if you’re not religious, it’s hard not to feel empathy for this guy, and Garfield goes above and beyond with this part. It’s hard to know if he’ll win because he’s going against Ryan Gosling and Casey Affleck, both of them in movies that are getting more Oscar buzz than “Hacksaw Ridge”.

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  • There are so many great scenes in the movie. I think there are more great scenes than okay scenes, which is a good thing, especially in this year, where movies haven’t necessarily been great. “Moonlight” and “Nocturnal Animals” needed more screen time, and “Manchester by the Sea” needed less; however, “Hacksaw Ridge” does everything it needed to do, tells everything it needed to tell… everything falls into place, everything is cohesive, everything is controlled.
  • Both Teresa Palmer and Hugo Weaving give memorable supporting performances. The first portrays a devoted (and beautiful) girlfriend/wife who struggles from afar to be okay with what is happening, and the second is an abusive father, a drunk and a veteran, who somehow manages to redeem himself. They probably won’t get nominated, because both categories are crowded and have fan-favorite contenders like Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, Naomie Harris, Viola Davis, Michelle Williams; and neither performance has the ugly-cry, screaming-at-the-top-of-your-longs  scene that the Oscar loved from supporting roles like this year’s Michelle Williams’ final scene in “Manchester by the Sea”, or Anne Hathaway’s “Les Misérables” big scene, or like Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”. The Oscars like that big scene, especially from Supporting Actors, and neither of this characters have that (although, I would argue that the dinner scene when Weaving’s character asks his son to get out of his sight is quite excellent).

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  • I loved that this movie doesn’t glamorize war, but actually showcases the real horrors of this savage, human tradition. And I believe that is what it does best, making the audience cringe and suffer, almost as if one were there. The first fight scene (that is probably between 20 to 30 minutes long) is one of the movie’s best. It’s hard to watch, and I understand why they asked me my ID when I bought the ticket.
  • Something is definitely up with this year’s movies. I usually prefer the independent, soulful or more emotional movies to the typical, mainstream Oscar-loved movies (I preferred “Carol” and “The Danish Girl” to both “The Revenant” or “Spotlight”; I preferred “American Hustle” and “Her” to “12 Years of Slave”; I preferred “The Master” and “Zero Dark Thirty” to “Argo”), but this year, I think I prefer this movie to “Moonlight” or “Manchester by the Sea”. Maybe it’s just me.

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    The bad things (what I didn’t like)

  • I didn’t like the last scene. I would’ve liked Desmond to meet with his family again, and his wife. I felt both Dorothy and his father’s characters were left a bit on the air.
  • Again, as with most war movies, for example: “American Sniper”, it makes America look good. This movie doesn’t do that as much because it focuses more on Desmond and his incredible amount of integrity and bravery and faith, but it still does it once in a while. However, Desmond is someone admirable, contrary to Chris Kyle, so again, I don’t feel they did this as much as they usually do it. But it does make America look like a hero, in a way.

    Who would I (or wouldn’t I) recommend it to

Do not watch this movie if you don’t like gory and/or devastating films. This is probably one of the most violent mainstream movies I’ve ever seen, it makes “Saving Private Ryan” a chick flick.

    Best scene or dialogue (if there was any that stood out)

  • As I said, this movie is filled with great scenes. Off the top of my head, the first battle scene, the fight when they were kids and the moment when Desmond’s frenemy tells him he’s scared. However, my two favorite scenes were before Desmond was even at war.

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  • The first is when his brother enlists, and his father tells him how he should take care of his suit when he dies, and then asks him to go away. This scene was excellent. Not too theatric, but it didn’t simplify the horror of war either: the dialogues were exceptional and the acting was on point (especially on Weaving’s part).
  • My second favorite scene was the awkward marriage proposal, just because I enjoyed how this tells the viewer so much regarding historic context. Something like that would be ludicrous nowadays, and yet back then it did happen. The scene was real and believable. From the way it was written, the way Garfield portrayed Desmond so awkwardly and silent and joyous all at once, the way Palmer portrayed both love and hate instantly…. Everything fits.

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    Who stole the show?

Andrew Garfield was exceptional. I doubt he’ll get an Oscar, being this his first Oscar worthy movie (well, this and “Silence”), and his first probable nomination. However, the category isn’t that outstanding this year so I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled off an Eddie Redmayne and won it on his first try. In addition, everyone here was great, and both Palmer and Weaving are scene stealers (especially Palmer, for she takes both Desmond’s and our attention since the first scene she’s in).

    Do I predict this movie will have any actual nominations?

Yes, I do. The Oscars loves drama-action movies with a strict American point of view (American Sniper, Argo, etc). They don’t feel like The Oscars without a war or terrorist movie among the contenders. Will it win any? I’m not sure. God, I hope it does, though.

    Overall thoughts

Hacksaw Ridge is not your typical action film. It is red, it is real, it is revoltingly hypnotizing. This will not be, I hope, a film that will be either ignored or soon forgotten.

    How many stars?

4.5/5