Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Let's look at the Academy Award nominees: The Full List

It may be redundant—full lists of the Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday are everywhere— but I’m sharing it here, highlighting some of my favorites, and adding my 2 cents, where I have 2 cents. 

We talk about adaptations here, mostly books to movies, so let’s start off with the Adapted Screenplay category.

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
NOMINEES

ARRIVAL
Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
No surprise Heisserer is nominated! Beautiful job on this script based on the story by Ted Chiang, I shared my thoughts in this earlier post)
FENCES
Screenplay by August Wilson
I still haven't seen this one but my son thought it was fantastic. Choked up.
HIDDEN FIGURES
Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Adored this funny, uplifting film about a trio of important but unknown black women, central to the success of America's space race!
LION
Screenplay by Luke Davies
Beautiful heart wrenching tale of a lost little boy who returns to India years later to find his family. Stunning true story had me sobbing. You know me! I'm a cryer.
MOONLIGHT
Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
A great film but it wasn’t the big uplifting movie I've heard it touted as.  I've heard the director say he wanted to take people out of their comfort zone. He did. About a young boy living with a junkie mother in the ghetto who we see grow into manhood. Thought provoking and heavy.

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
NOMINEES


HELL OR HIGH WATER
Written by Taylor Sheridan
No point of view.
LA LA LAND
Written by Damien Chazelle
My favorite movie of the year.
THE LOBSTER
Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
No point of view.
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Written by Kenneth Lonergan
Incredible, moving, and all too real. Right up there with La La Land although the two films are very different kinds of movies.
20TH CENTURY WOMEN
Written by Mike Mills
We didn't get a screener & what with the March, I haven't been able to get to the theater since it was released on January 20th. Set in 1979, it looks good to me! 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
NOMINEES

As much as I adore Ryan Gosling, I don't see how you can give it to anybody but Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea. Affleck's nomination is not without controversy: he was accused of sexual assault about 7 years ago. My understanding is, the cases have been dismissed and/or settled. I don't know if he is guilty or not. I do know it’s dangerous to base your judgement of someone’s art based on an allegation. Acting awards are just that—acting awards. They're not a trophy handed out for being a good person. Indeed, even a decent person. Some of those we revere as great artists, musicians, writers, actors turn out to have done dark, awful things. Cary Grant was accused of beating Dyan Cannon, Sean Penn of bashing Madonna with a baseball bat, Chris Brown and Rihanna, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Mike Tyson, Bill Cosby etc. Those are just the men we know about. 
On the other hand, to avoid the controversy, one could give the award to Denzel Washington. I hear he is magnificent in Fences.

CASEY AFFLECK
Manchester by the Sea
ANDREW GARFIELD
Hacksaw Ridge
RYAN GOSLING
La La Land
VIGGO MORTENSEN
Captain Fantastic
DENZEL WASHINGTON
Fences

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
NOMINEES

Mahershala Ali seems destined to win this one. He's been getting nothing but rave reviews. To be honest, as much as I like Ali as an actor—he was terrific in Hidden Figures and even more so in House of Cards—I didn't think Moonlight really stretched his talents all that much. He was wonderfully gentle as a father figure but the role didn't call for a huge amount of range. To be honest this year, it's not a category that has me very excited.

MAHERSHALA ALI
Moonlight
JEFF BRIDGES
Hell or High Water
LUCAS HEDGES
Manchester by the Sea
DEV PATEL
Lion
MICHAEL SHANNON
Nocturnal Animals


ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
NOMINEES

THIS is an exciting category! And I don't have a clue. Meryl Streep is looking at her 20th nomination—the most ever for any actor or actress. Obviously a favorite with everyone but I think the over the top character she plays, plays against her especially when you look at Natalie Portman's incredible channeling of Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie. I also loved Ruth Negga in Loving. She's new to me, a Brit, her portrayal of a black woman in the Jim Crow south was luminous and authentic with real presence. She has one of those faces you can't take your eyes off. Isabelle Huppert won the Golden Globe but the Academy may feel they'd rather go with an American. Or a Canadian vis a vis Emma Stone in La La Land—my favorite movie and she was fantastic, her usual quirky, oddly appealing self. Like I said, I'm clueless. Nothing would surprise me here.

ISABELLE HUPPERT
Elle
RUTH NEGGA
Loving
NATALIE PORTMAN
Jackie
EMMA STONE
La La Land
MERYL STREEP
Florence Foster Jenkins

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
NOMINEES

Another tough one. Michelle Williams must have reached into her actors bag of tricks and brought up some mammoth heartbreaking memories, her emotional portrayal in Manchester by the Sea was so incredibly moving but alas probably too small a part to be the big winner in this category. Nicole Kidman transformed into a less than glamorous type to play the adoptive Mum in Lion; as good as she was I think audiences were distracted by the outdated hairdo. Or maybe that's just me. In another transformational role, I barely recognized Naomie Harris as the drugged out mother in Twilight. She was powerful as the bottom of the barrel bad mother but like Michelle Williams, her screen time was limited. I think it will probably come down to Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures or Viola Davis for Fences. Spencer was more than adept but I've been watching Viola Davis since she made a guest appearance on Criminal Intent in 2002. We had no idea who she was but her performance as a crooked cop blew us away. She probably has the edge here. 

VIOLA DAVIS
Fences
NAOMIE HARRIS
Moonlight
NICOLE KIDMAN
Lion
OCTAVIA SPENCER
Hidden Figures
MICHELLE WILLIAMS
Manchester by the Sea

COSTUME DESIGN
NOMINEES


I'll go out on a limb and say Colleen Atwood—the Meryl Streep of costume design, Atwood has been nominated 12 times and won 3 times (Alice in Wonderland, Memoir of a Geisha, Chicago)—is the likely winner for Fantastic Beasts. I was surprised she didn't win for Into the Woods.

ALLIED
Joanna Johnston
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Colleen Atwood
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
Consolata Boyle
JACKIE
Madeline Fontaine
LA LA LAND
Mary Zophres

CINEMATOGRAPHY NOMINEES


I don't have a strong point of view here but I want to stress what a moving movie Lion is, very much worth seeing. An amazing journey revealing the impoverished side of India.

ARRIVAL
Bradford Young
LA LA LAND
Linus Sandgren
LION
Greig Fraser
MOONLIGHT
James Laxton
SILENCE
Rodrigo Prieto

DIRECTING NOMINEES

The usual debate about Best Picture and Best Director comes into play here. If LaLa Land wins—and it has been winning—Chazelle will likely get it. It's such an unusual and gutsy approach. Unless the Academy wants to divvy things up a bit and spread the love around since La La Land is a shoe in for the musical categories (song, score). Villeneuve is also high on the list, very much respected for Sicario, Prisoners and Enemies. Everyone getting all psyched for Blade Runner 2049 could give it to Villeneuve for Arrival, another of my personal favorite movies of the year, based on forward moving enthusiasm alone. Barry Jenkins has forward momentum on his side too, Moonlight growing in popularity. Or the Academy could be very forgiving and reward Mel Gibson making a so called comeback with Hacksaw Ridge. I'd forgotten what a great director Gibson is - another example of artists not necessarily being good people.  

ARRIVAL
Denis Villeneuve
HACKSAW RIDGE
Mel Gibson
LA LA LAND
Damien Chazelle
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Kenneth Lonergan
MOONLIGHT
Barry Jenkins

FILM EDITING NOMINEES

No idea
ARRIVAL
Joe Walker
HACKSAW RIDGE
John Gilbert
HELL OR HIGH WATER
Jake Roberts
LA LA LAND
Tom Cross
MOONLIGHT
Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
NOMINEES

I haven't paid much attention to this one—I'm sort of surprised Elle doesn't show up here. BUT the only movie in the category I do keep hearing about is Toni Erdmann. So I'm guessing that will be the winner. Not very scientific, I know.

LAND OF MINE
Denmark
A MAN CALLED OVE
Sweden
THE SALESMAN
Iran
TANNA
Australia
TONI ERDMANN
Germany

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
NOMINEES

I wonder why there are only three nominees in this category? And I've seen none of them!
A MAN CALLED OVE
Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
STAR TREK BEYOND
Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
SUICIDE SQUAD
Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
NOMINEES

Really? Is there a question as to who the winner in this category is?
JACKIE
Mica Levi
LA LA LAND
Justin Hurwitz
LION
Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka
MOONLIGHT
Nicholas Britell
PASSENGERS
Thomas Newman

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
NOMINEES

If it's not one of the songs from La La Land, I don't want to know. Period.

AUDITION (THE FOOLS WHO DREAM)
from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
CAN'T STOP THE FEELING
from Trolls; Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
CITY OF STARS
from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
THE EMPTY CHAIR
from Jim: The James Foley Story; Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
HOW FAR I'LL GO
from Moana; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

BEST PICTURE
NOMINEES

While I haven't seen Fences or Hell or High Water yet, the rest of them are all fantastic films. La La Land is my personal favorite followed closely by Manchester by the Sea. I'm trying not to get too invested in the winner here. The last time I got invested in a vote, I was very unhappy with the results!

ARRIVAL
Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
FENCES
Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
HACKSAW RIDGE
Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
HELL OR HIGH WATER
Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
HIDDEN FIGURES
Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
LA LA LAND
Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
LION
Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
MOONLIGHT
Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

PRODUCTION DESIGN
NOMINEES

ARRIVAL
Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
HAIL, CAESAR!
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
LA LA LAND
Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
PASSENGERS
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
NOMINEES

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
MOANA
John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI
Claude Barras and Max Karli
THE RED TURTLE
Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
ZOOTOPIA
Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

SOUND EDITING
NOMINEES

ARRIVAL
Sylvain Bellemare
DEEPWATER HORIZON
Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
HACKSAW RIDGE
Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
LA LA LAND
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
SULLY
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

SOUND MIXING
NOMINEES

ARRIVAL
Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
HACKSAW RIDGE
Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
LA LA LAND
Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

VISUAL EFFECTS
NOMINEES

DEEPWATER HORIZON
Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
DOCTOR STRANGE
Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
THE JUNGLE BOOK
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
NOMINEES

FIRE AT SEA
Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO
Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck
LIFE, ANIMATED
Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA
Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
13TH
Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
NOMINEES

EXTREMIS
Dan Krauss
4.1 MILES
Daphne Matziaraki
JOE'S VIOLIN
Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
WATANI: MY HOMELAND
Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
THE WHITE HELMETS
Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
NOMINEES

BLIND VAYSHA
Theodore Ushev
BORROWED TIME
Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
PEAR CIDER AND CIGARETTES
Robert Valley and Cara Speller
PEARL
Patrick Osborne
PIPER
Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
NOMINEES

ENNEMIS INTÉRIEURS
Sélim Azzazi
LA FEMME ET LE TGV
Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
SILENT NIGHTS
Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
SING
Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
TIMECODE
Juanjo Giménez

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