By Fab Poller-
As we’ve reached the end of this awards season it has become clear that indie productions have been at the forefront this past year and will most likely shine at the next Academy awards ceremony. From Moonlight to Manchester at sea, to Elle and Captain Fantastic. It is definitely, as we like to call it here, the year of the underdogs and we are thrilled about this!
A huge disappointment though was the absence of acknowledgment at awards ceremony so far for “Birth of a nation”. Parker’s epic film had already earned strong reviews last year, a standing ovation and the two top awards at the Sundance Film Festival, “The Birth of A Nation” was deemed an early frontrunner for Best Picture.
When Fox Searchlight purchased the global rights to the movie at the Sundance Film Festival for $17.5 million Nate Parker seemed a significant new presence in both the film and activism worlds.
What we witnessed is a painful example of a brilliant feature overshadowed by a scandal, Parker being dogged by rape accusations, killing in the process all hopes for Oscars nominations and a potential box office smash!
Depicting the lives of black protagonists, Moonlight, which has received critical acclaim and several awards, seems to have come out of nowhere and its 8 Oscars nominations is a testimony of how gripping stories and compelling writing can really make an impact. Described by the New York Times as a film that in structure and tone, sets itself against the earnest, austere naturalism that has become a default setting for movies about social misery.
Four black actors have been nominated in the supporting and leading roles category and Barry Jenkins has scooped a place in the ranks of Best Directors indicating that the Academy voters have (to some degree at least) lent an ear and drawn lessons from last year’s controversy with regards to diversity or lack thereof in both film features and at Awards ceremony.
Although it’s a positive step forward one can not help but wonder when will we finally see more asians or latino or even lore black artists being represented across the board.
LalaLand which is no doubt the darling movie of its season (although rather underwhelming to my taste) just made oscar history with 14 nominations! Ultimately placing Damian Chazelle (who had already directed the amazing Whiplash-Oscar for jk Simmons as supporting actor) as one of the most important directors of his generation.
The other big and delightful surprise is the inclusion of Isabelle Huppert, arthouse queen and simply one the world’s finest actresses, in the leading actress category. At 63 years old Huppert , who has already received a Golden Globe and countless prizes for her bold and compelling performance in “Elle” gets her very first Oscar nomination.
Fences gets the Oscar nod with nomination for both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, Best film, (surprisingly Washington is not shortlisted as Best Director and Davis only get a supporting role nominations).
The most striking oddity and snub is propably the total absence of nomination for Amy Adams although the film directed by Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde got 8 nominations in total.
All in all it has been a great year for films..noticeable for the audacity, powerful heart-wrenching performances and provocative stories and everything seems to indicate it will now transpire more evidently at the final point of the Award season.
0ur oscar predictions:
Best actress: stone (but rooting for Huppert with whom they could create the surprise)
Best actor: Affleck
Best supporting actor: M.Ali
Best supporting actress: V.Davis
Best original screenplay
Best Film: LalaLand (could Moonlight surprise us)
Best Director: Barry Jenkins
but they have to make room for Moonlight somehow)
Best documentary: O.J made in America
Best Screenplay (adapted): Moonlight (Lobster was pretty fantastic too)
Best original screenplay: LalaLand
Best costumes: Madeline Fontaine for Jackie
Our favourite documentaries, films and performances.
- 13th Ava devernay
- Author; the JT Leroy story
- J Simpson
- Isabelle Huppert “Elle”
- Maershala Ali: “Moonlight”
- Viggo Mortensen “Captain Fantastic”
- Michael Shannon “Nocturnal Animals”
- Casey Affleck: Manchester by the sea
- Manchester by sea
- The salesman