On the eve of the biggest night for Hollywood and World Cinema this year, here we are with our own traditional line-up of the films which are slated for the golden statuette with their deserving counterparts which we feel should be the winners.
Well, only time will tell who gets the spotlight and gets to create history ! No matter what, we are going to have a great time watching the celebration unfold.
La La Land is the flavor of the season. It has made people to sing and dance and express love. The Academy loves to embrace stories with universal themes which resonate with a larger audience through emotions which touch your heart deeply. Previous winners like The Artist,Birdman, The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire will vouch for this.
If La La Land is about the realities of relationships, Moonlight hits you hard with it’s verisimilitude and struggle. It is a very personal document about what goes within when you are different.
Damien Chazelle brings back the musical in Hollywood. In the age of superhero saturation and slapstick comedy, it takes a master craftsman to weave magic through a musical and deliver profound statements in verses and synchronized dancing. The traffic sequence at the start of the movie nailed the Oscar for Chazelle.
This has been a good year for character-actors who have delved deep into the psyche of their characters to bring forth some really difficult emotions. As Troy Maxson Washington shows disappointment, struggle, pent-up anger and desperation all within a couple of hours.
Casey Affleck has outdone himself in Manchester by the sea. He has been the frontrunner in the race to the Best Actor award for quite some time, but the recent allegations of sexual abuse levied against him might have swayed a few voters the wrong way.
Emma Stone came close to winning the statuette for Birdman in the Best Supporting Actress category.But this time, it looks sealed in her favour as she and her movie La La Land seems untouchable. She is the latest Hollywood darling and her popularity should seal the award for her.
Isabelle Huppert has surged ahead in the last few weeks, post her surprise Golden Globe win. Her character of a rape survivor bent on revenge against the perpetrators has made everyone stand up and take notice. Alas, her movie is pitted against the juggernaut of La La Land, but Isabelle’s performance and her implacable vengeance in Elle needs to be seen by everyone.
Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali seems to have booked the award for himself after his deeply moving “ I am a Muslim” acceptance speech during the SAG Awards. His performance as a kind hearted drug dealer who guides the deeply disoriented kid Chiron left a lasting impression, although his character was on screen only for one third the run time. Plus, he had a significant cameo in another Oscar hopeful, Hidden Figures, thus pulling him ahead of the pack.
Dev Patel’s BAFTA win keeps him in the race. But considering BAFTA tends to have a bias towards home grown British talent, we cannot assume Oscar success based on it. Dev Patel’s Lion has been one of the most moving films of the year and it has been kind of a resurgence for the Slumdog star.
Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis’s Rosie Maxson in Fences embodies the silent struggle of a housewife whose voice gets drowned in the screeching sound of male ego. Her monologues coupled with that, now famous, wet eyes and runny nose sequence where she stands up for herself should be enough to land her the title.
Best Animated Feature Film
Have you seen The Red Turtle? Many haven’t and there lies the reason why Zootopia will run away with this one. A successful box office performance makes Zootopia the official favourite to win in this category, although if you ask us, the story of a shipwrecked man with a giant Turtle with no dialogues should have been the upset winner.
Best Original Screenplay
Generally a best Film nod brings with it a series of other nominations and eventual wins, Screenplay being one of them. La La Land seems to be the front runner in this one. With it’s beautifully paced narrative, great sequences and equally commendable direction, this one seems to be a no brainer.
Best Writing Adapted Screenplay
Moonlight’s second Oscar should come from this segment. Adapted from Tarell Alvin McCraney’s In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, this movie is both a social commentary and a story of finding oneself amidst odds.
Arrival is the lone Sci-Fi movie holding a flag in the awards season. Generally overlooked by the Academy, Arrival’s story is more about humans and our actions than the aliens shown in the movie. The deep implications of political unrest, divide and wars are beautifully captured in this one of a kind movie.
The imagery you take with yourself after a movie has ended kind of defines what you just witnessed. The colours yellow, white and black against a flawless blue sky summarizes what is beautiful in La La Land. Beautifully captured by Linus Sandgren, this is the overwhelming favourite for the win.
Arrival is a visionary film. It transcends the sci-fi boundaries by moving away from the regular apocalyptic themes of the genre to question our basic understanding of actions and the world in general. A stunning cinematography by Bradford Young keeps the visuals vivid in our minds even after we come out of the theatres.
Best Original Music Score
Justin Hurwitz seems to be sitting pretty with this one in the bag. His music for La La Land has helped the movie reach the towering status it has received and has become one of the most loved musicals in Hollywood. City of Stars is enchanting and blends in perfectly with the mesmerizing visuals and routines of the film.
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