27 Days of Oscar, day 4: Jungle Book, Producer's Guild, SAG preview
It's been a couple of days since I've been able to post, but that doesn't mean things have stopped here at Awards Wiz. On Friday, after getting on/off my soap box I watched the incredible nominated documentary, "I Am Not Your Negro." I am going to save my thoughts on that for a piece about Best Documentary later on in Phase 2 (if you're new, Phase 2 is post nominations time) for Awards Daily. I also managed to squeeze in "The Jungle Book."
I remember hearing some rumblings this summer that "Jungle Book" had Best Picture potential, but didn't think much of it, other than the fact that if it got nominations, I would see it eventually. Come Oscar noms it only ended up with a Visual Effects nomination, but that doesn't take away the fact that it is a remarkable film. Believe it or not, I've never seen the original "Jungle Book." I was truly taken in by the simplicity of the story. A young orphan boy/man-cub (Neel Sethi) who has been raised by guardian animals suddenly finds himself on a journey of self discovery after being threatened by a villainous tiger and forced to leave his pack. The visuals are truly remarkable. Everything seems completely realistic, from start to finish. A true advancement in visuals. I have several films left to see in this category, so it's too soon to call. But considering year's past, this already seems like a shoo-in for the win.
Last night the Producer's Guild announced "La La Land"'s producers as the best of the year. Another step in the right direction toward the Best Picture Oscar. It is not inevitable. At least I'm afraid to say that it is, at this point. Although the backlash continues (the latest article at Advocate claiming that "Moonlight" should win as a correction for "Brokeback Mountain"'s loss is an embarrassment) I'm going to do my best to stay on the high road. The last thing that we need is another think piece.
Tonight is the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which could give us some more clarity on the race. I wouldn't be surprised if "Hidden Figures" wins the ensemble award, but I'm guessing it will go to "Moonlight" and deservedly so. Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris have gotten most of the love this season, but Ashton Sanders, Janelle Monae, Jharrel Jerome, Trevante Rhodes and Andrew Holland all deserve to walk on that stage.
The Female Actor in a Leading Role is the prize to look out for tonight. Will it be Emma Stone or Natalie Portman? I'm guessing it will be Emma Stone. I think Natalie Portman gives the better performance, and I would still probably vote for Emma Stone. Why? Who knows....
With Male Actor in a Supporting Role, I am assuming Mahershala Ali will win, but I still believe Jeff Bridges is in the running.
Viola Davis and Casey Affleck should have Female Actor in a Supporting Role and Male Actor in a Leading Role sewed up.
With television, I feel that "Stranger Things" has the best chance here, but "The Crown" could certainly ride its Golden Globes win to victory. "Downton Abbey" won last year over the amazing final season of "Mad Men," so anything is possible.