Academy Awards winners, 2017

And now I’m almost two months late for this post commenting the Oscar wins! I really am a rubbish blogger.

Best Picture
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea

What a Best Picture upset! And a brilliant one, too. La La Land was so far ahead, I didn’t think Moonlight could catch up with it, but I guess the Academy has changed since last year, and they wanted to send a strong message. Not that Moonlight did not deserve that win, because it absolutely did -it’s such a beautiful piece of art, almost like a long poem being filmed and yet dealing with such difficult subjects, the perfect balance between form and content in my opinion. I won’t say anything regarding the massive snafu during the announcement, I think so much has been said already on that subject, but truly it’s a shame the Moonlight win was overshadowed by that because it truly is a win for the books…

Best Director
Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
Hacksaw Ridge – Mel Gibson
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
Manchester By The Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

As predicted, Damien Chazelle takes home the prize – and it’s another year of Director/Picture splitting. 32-year-old Chazelle, winning for his second film, what an achievement. Can’t wait to see what he does next. Same for Barry Jenkins, by the way, who could have very easily won this one as well, he’s just got such a strong artistic vision.

Best Actor
Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Casey Affleck was definitely the front runner here, and no amount of scandal / personal history could interfere with that. What a shame, because it shows yet again that the Academy or the industry has very little regard for what some of us might think as shameful behaviour. His performance was outstanding, I won’t argue with that, but I need to also acknowledge the fact that he is a rubbish human being.

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Emma Stone was equally such a strong front runner, ever since Venice -I don’t think anyone ever doubted that she would take the prize home. Like her La La Land director, she is still very young and she’s yet to impress me, truly, in one of her films. She was amazing in La La Land but I kept thinking all along that she was just playing herself. But it’s a fair win – the kind Hollywood really likes, and she seems like a very sweet person so I won’t complain about this, even if I thought Ruth Negga pulled off an incredible performance in Loving.  Oh and also I’m still not over Amy Adams’ snub for Arrival – I absolutely still don’t understand how this could have happened.

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell Or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester By The Sea
Dev Patel – Lion
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Well done Mahershala Ali for winning here – especially considering how limited his runtime in the film is. Not sure why Dev Patel features in this category, now that I’ve seen Lion – I would have definitely put him up for Best Lead Actor, but perhaps the category was too crowded. I’ve seen all of these performances now and can definitely say that Mahershala Ali’s was the strongest, even if Michael Shannon’s one in Nocturnal Animals was close behind in my opinion.

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea

Again, very well done Viola Davis for this part, and she was such a strong front runner that there was no question as to whether she would win this or not. All the other performances are really quite strong as well – all in all a great year for women, although Nicole Kidman’s nomination stands out as a bit odd here.

Best Original Screenplay
Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan
La La Land, Damien Chazelle
The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
20th Century Women, Mike Mills

I knew this would go to Kenneth Lonergan as a consolation prize! The Academy can be pretty predictable… La La Land‘s screenplay, oddly enough, was one of its “weaker” points (quotation marks as it’s only relatively weak compared to the rest of the film) so all in all I think I would have made the same choice between those two.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Arrival, Eric Heisserer
Fences, August Wilson
Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Lion, Luke Davis
Moonlight, Barry Jenkins with story by Tarell Alvin McCranley

Another win I predicted correctly! But again, it wasn’t that difficult, there was no match here for Moonlight in this category from what I understand. Great news that Moonlight won another ‘major’ Oscar, bringing its total to three awards that night.

Best Foreign-Language Film
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

It was either going to be the Salesman or Toni Erdmann, but as I said, never understimate Hollywood’s capacity to make a statement. Not that the film itself didn’t deserve it, as I’m sure it did, but it was too much of a brilliant occasion to send a big f- off to Trump.

Best Animated Film of the Year
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle

I knew Zootopia would win that one!! An easy win to call with the amount of box-office behind it. A bit of a shame for all the other contenders and Moana, but this one was expected.

Best Documentary Feature
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life Animated
O.J.: Made in America

Another fairly easy win to guess, I’m almost 100% correct in my forecast (except for Best Picture of course).

Best Production Design
Arrival,” Patrice Vermette, Paul Hotte
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
Hail, Caesar!,” Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
La La Land,” David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
Passengers,” Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena

Well done the La La Land team for this – I knew they would take this one, it was just such gorgeous production design.

Best Cinematography
Arrival,” Bradford Young
La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
Lion,” Greig Fraser
Moonlight,” James Laxton
Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

Oooooohh so this category was one of the hardest to call, and I actually had it in between La La Land and Arrival, but I guess it’s fair that La La Land would win here. So that’s the fourth Oscar for the film, and not a little one – of course when one wins Best Director it’s completely logical that the Best Cinematography Oscar also goes to the same film. Linus Sandgren’s filmography is an interesting one, he’s a relatively newcomer in terms of his career, but I can see that he’s worked with David O. Russell and Gus Van Sant so far, so not bad at all.

Best Costume Design
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

I totally did not see that one coming, although I did say that the Academy had undying love for Colleen Atwood! Well done for her! It’s true that the costumes in Fantastic Beasts were fantastic, not just in terms of recreating that period but also the way it reminded us of the Harry Potter universe without being too obvious. I guess the La La Land costumes were amazing in their own way, it was a very contemporary style compared to Jackie or Allied, but ultimately the craftsmanship must have been more evident in Fantastic Beasts.

Best Editing
Arrival,” Joe Walker
Hacksaw Ridge,” John Gilbert
Hell or High Water,” Jake Roberts
La La Land,” Tom Cross
Moonlight,” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

So this one is totally an upset too, and a split with Best Picture/Best Director! Totally surprised Tom Cross did not get this one. Instead it goes to Lord of the Rings and Hacksaw Ridge editor John Gilbert, which is bound to have been a surprise as the guild went with Arrival and La La Land.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
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

Sad news to see that Suicide Squad has an Oscar and some brillant films in the history of cinema haven’t got one. But well done for the artists I guess!

Best Music (Score)
Jackie,” Mica Levi
La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
Passengers,” Thomas Newman

Yet another one that Thomas Newman couldn’t have possibly won… And well done Justin Hurwitz as obviously that score was such an important part of the film.

Best Music (Song)
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Trolls” — Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City of Stars,” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“The Empty Chair,” “Jim: The James Foley Story” — Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go,” “Moana” — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

A second Oscar for Justin Hurwitz and “City of Stars” finally wins the battle vs. Audition/the Fools Who Dream. I though there was a tiny hope that Moana would get this one, if only to bring Lin-Manuel Miranda closer to the EGOT (Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Tony award winners), but I guess La La Land was simply too strong in that regard.

Best Sound Mixing
Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy 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

A second win for Hacksaw Ridge which I did not see coming! AND WHAT A GREAT WIN IT IS, for it’s Kevin O’Connell’s win after TWENTY OSCAR NOMINATIONS. Can you believe that?! Finally! I guess the title of “unluckiest nominee” now passes on to Thomas Newman. Really glad for him, oh boy, finally breaking the curse.

Best Sound Editing
Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
Deep Water Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee 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

Well done Sylvain Bellemare for winning Arrival‘s only Oscar, but a truly deserved one it is -the sound editing was just outstanding in this film, fantastic news for him.

Best Visual Effects
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

The Jungle Book was a bit of a front runner for this one, so all in all it’s a great win to pull off – I reckon the competition is only going to get stiffer in this category, but amazing work from ILM yet again this year.

And finally, as usual:

Best Documentary Short
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“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

Best Animated Short Film
“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

Best Live Action Short Film
“Ennemis Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez

So it’s a total of 6 Oscars for La La Land, 3 for Moonlight, 2 for Manchester by the Sea and 2 for Hacksaw Ridge. I think it’s a rather great move from the Academy to spread out awards a little bit, it gets a bit annoying when one single film sweeps everything. So that’s it for another year of the award season, I can’t wait for next year’s and I already have my favourite there: Call Me By Your Name. You’ll probably see it pop up in next year’s nominations, so see you in 2018 for another year of excellent films!

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