Saturday, February 18, 2017

27 Days of Oscar, day 24: the supporting acting categories; Oxford Film Festival

You know it's the final push toward Oscar week when you wake up exhausted. And to top it all off, it's been years since I've fully done the film festival experience and never at the same time as final Oscar voting!

We are over the hump at Oxford Film Festival, although I have quite a bit to do today. This morning we have the Awards Brunch followed by 3 of the LGBTQ feature films that I programmed, "How Love Won: The Fight for Marriage Equality in Minnesota," "The Happys" and "Horizon." All three films are great, and I highly encourage anyone reading this who might be in Oxford to attend!

I sent Awards Daily my pieces on Best Foreign Film and Best Documentary Feature and hope they will find their way to the website soon, but in the meantime I thought I would use my 30 minutes of free time today to talk about the supporting acting categories.


Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

This is not the slam dunk for Mahershala Ali that some people are predicting. The moment I saw "Hell or High Water" I believed that Bridges was a serious contender. And Ali has lost a couple of major prizes. The Golden Globe (to non Oscar nominated Aaron Taylor Johnson) and the BAFTA (to Dev Patel). With the Globes it showed more of a weakness and with BAFTA I think they really liked "Lion." 

On my second viewing of "Moonlight" I actually appreciated Ali's performance much more. Especially in his final seen with Alex Hibbert's Little. I still feel that Ashton Sanders gives the best supporting performance in the film, but that is neither here nor there, I guess. 

Don't forget, this is a category that shocked a lot of people last year. Everyone kept saying that Stallone was going to win, but the evidence supported a potential upset.

I'm still predicting Mahershala Ali, but do not be shocked if either Bridges or Patel wins. You are allowed to be shocked if Lucas Hedges or Michael Shannon wins, however.


Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

I feel this is the biggest slam dunk in the bunch. After I saw "Manchester By the Sea" I knew that Michelle Williams wasn't going to win. It just isn't her Oscar winning performance. She would have needed a 2000s Weinstein behind her. Naomie is utterly fantastic. Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer are great as well. But what Viola Davis does is just remarkable. It is showy, raw and reserved all at the same time. And she has the Oscar story of losing Best Actress to Meryl Streep. It is her year. 

I am perfectly ok with her winning in supporting as well. Watching "Fences" it is Troy's story, despite screen time. 

Now...I'm putting my list of films yet to see on here because I have 4 days left to do it. And I doubt I could even squeeze in one live action short today! 5 features, 5 shorts, 4 days. 

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Live Action Shorts

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