Processing Christmas Catch Up: Best Picture, Actress and Supporting Actor

I finally feel as if I have a moment to breathe.  It was a fantastic 12 days (really 15 if you count the days I watched "Elle" and "Closet Monster") of watching movies and writing about them.

I decided that this week I'm going to see "Fences" and instead of killing myself to see either "American Honey" or "Hidden Figures" I'm going to stick around Oxford and see "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" again. This time with my family.

Before I finalize my Honor and Dishonor Roll and start writing out my Top 10, I thought it would be a good idea to process what I saw over the past couple of weeks.  There were certainly some highs ("La La Land" and "Jackie") and unfortunately some disappointments ("Hail Caesar" and "Nocturnal Animals")

Best Picture
Now that I've seen the 3 early front runners for Best Picture I fell as if I can actually contribute to the conversation. I feel wholeheartedly that "La La Land" is the film to beat. The Academy and the critics are two completely separate beasts. I've heard rumblings here and there about how the preferential ballot might keep "La La Land" from winning.

But I don't see it being the case. If "Moonlight" wins it's because people think it's better. I really believe that. Some people feel that "Spotlight" won last year because of the preferential ballot, but I don't quite buy that either. Last year we all got swept away with over saturation and over analyzation and some of us (me, sadly) were convinced that "The Revenant" was going to win. In almost immediate retrospect it was obvious that it was NEVER going to win Best Picture.

Don't get caught up in the hot air that we Oscar prognosticators are getting ready to blow out. And if I change my vote to "Moonlight" in the next few weeks please point me toward this paragraph.

I also feel that "Hell or High Water" is in. Same for "Hacksaw Ridge." And although I would certainly nominate "Jackie" myself, it's just not going to happen. We'll have to see about "Fences" and "Hidden Figures."

Best Actress
I really wish I had been able to see "20th Century Women" but alas, that's how things go. I do feel as if both Annette Bening and Amy Adams are due for a win. But as much as I love Adams in "Arrival" and Bening in general, I just don't see either happening.

That being said, I don't even know if Bening and Adams are sure bets to be nominated. In all honesty I think Emma Stone and Natalie Portman are the only shoo ins. The reality is, Huppert, Bening, Adams and Streep are vying for 3 spots and one of them will be left out in the cold.

As far as the win, I'm going with Natalie Portman. I love Emma Stone, but what Portman does in "Jackie" is really undeniable. And trumps Stone's triple threat card.

Supporting Actor
This category is really anybody's guess in terms of nominations. But I have a strange feeling that it could be full of surprises. I loved Mahershala Ali in "Moonlight" (although I feel strongly that the best performance in the film belongs to Ashton Sanders), but having seen "Hell or High Water" I wonder if the Academy will go for Bridges.

Other thoughts

  • I have now seen Greta Gerwig act! In two films. And I find her to be fantastic.
  • Connor Jessup is an actor to watch! I really loved him in "American Crime" and now "Closet Monster," Although not a wild stretch from his role in "American Crime," he proves he isn't just a one role wonder.
  • I will probably never not love a Star Wars movie. Ever. Never ever.


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