Last night we had the Screen Actors Guild Awards. "Hidden Figures" took the prize of Best Ensemble, as I suspected. I have a few friends who are on the SAG nominating committee, and I know how they think. "La La Land" is a two hander. Period. It wasn't going to win. "Hidden Figures" has a remarkable cast and was riding all the buzz. When Oscar nominations came out, I let y'all know that it was probably ahead of "Manchester By the Sea" and "Arrival" and now we know that it is. Will that translate to a Best Picture win? Doubtful. It just means that SAG wanted to award its Ensemble. Do not fall for the prognosticators who are trying to say this means something else. It's still between "Moonlight" and "La La Land" for the Oscar Best Picture. As it should be. They are the best of the year.
The other award I saw coming was "Stranger Things" for Best Ensemble in a Drama. This show was a huge success with everyone, especially my actor friends. It was good and fun and had Winona!! Not a shock to me.
Viola Davis won for "Fences" (is anyone else scared she might lose this in an upset, or am I crazy?!) as well as Mahershala Ali for "Moonlight." If you missed his speech, watch it. It was beautiful.
Emma Stone won Female Actor in a Leading Role, and that really wasn't a surprise either. I do love her, but seeing her at the podium last night made me want Natalie to win instead. Natalie and Isabelle really give the best performances of the year. I'm not quite sure it's Emma's to lose quite yet. Now, we just have to wait, I guess.
As we got closer to Male Actor in a Leading Role, I began to feel a Denzel win. He had never won before, and he is so great in "Fences." The actors (including this actor!) know that what he did directing himself in that part is nothing short of a miracle. It was a win for both of those things. "Manchester By the Sea" is losing heat right now. But I'm not sure that Casey is going to lose. The Academy is a different body. But they, unlike the SAG, love Denzel, which could swing the vote either way depending on the angle. I wouldn't be surprised if the Academy goes with Casey for the win and gives "La La Land"'s Chazelle Original Screenplay over "Manchester By the Sea"'s Lonergan. The Academy does what it wants.
I'm continuing to think about this "La La Land" backlash, and it's so easy to forget that we are actually talking about a great film. I saw someone on twitter say something about it being white mediocrity, and I almost fell out of my seat. Compartmentalizing movies is such a bad thing, and it makes me want to stop writing about the Oscars, which is why every year I try to keep the focus on the films.
SO...I've got a lot of movies to watch over the next week. I'm going to put my focus on Foreign Film and Documentary Feature. I'm going to do interview as many of the filmmakers as possible and put together something special for each of these categories. (I did manage to get both "Tanna" and "Fire At Sea.")
I still haven't gotten an email back from Disney, so it looks like a road trip to Memphis to see "Moana" (as well as "Allied") is inevitable.
Here is the list:
A Man Called Ove Land of Mine - have screener
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Star Trek Beyond
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini - reached out for screener
The Red Turtle
Jim: James Foley Story
Fire at Sea
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Live Action Shorts