December 2016 89th Academy Award Predictions

December 2016, 89th Academy Award Predictions:

Best Picture:
1. La La Land
2. Moonlight
3. Manchester By The Sea
4. Hell or High Water
5. Fences
6. Lion
7. Arrival
8. Jackie
9. Hacksaw Ridge
10. Silence

Best Director:
1. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
2. Damien Chazelle, La La Land
3. Kenneth Lonegran, Manchester By The Sea
4. Denis Villeneueve, Arrival
5. Martin Scorsese, Silence

Best Actor:
1. Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea
2. Denzel Washington, Fences
3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land
4. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
5. Joel Edgerton, Loving

Best Actress:
1. Natalie Portman, Jackie
2. Emma Stone, La La Land
3. Isabelle Huppert, Elle
4. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
5. Amy Adams, Arrival

Best Supporting Actor:
1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
2. Jeff Bridges, Hell Or High Water
3. Dev Patel, Lion
4. Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea
5. Ben Foster, Hell Or High Water

Best Supporting Actress:
1. Viola Davis, Fences
2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
3. Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea
4. Nicole Kidman, Lion
5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Best Adapted Screenplay:
1. Moonlight
2. Fences
3. Lion
4. Arrival
5. Silence

Best Original Screenplay:
1. Manchester By The Sea
2. La La Land
3. Hell Or High Water
4. The Lobster
5. Captain Fantastic


‘La La Land’ (2016)

I simply fell in love with La La Land. A cinematic painterly surreal dream is the best way I can succinctly describe it. Every single frame is curated with rich cinematic colours that hark back to classic films: West Side Story passionate rich reds, Vertigo mysterious moody greens and Titanic twilight pinky blues. A love letter to cinema, classic movie references and images abound. Hot off the insane success of his first film ‘Whiplash’ director Damien Chazelle in his opening scene on a bumper to bumper LA freeway where drivers burst into glorious song, instantaneously creates a musical world with such ease and grace that you follow his direction wherever he may lead. The cinematography and musical numbers alone create something miraculous turning the tired cinematic cliche of a smoggy and ugly Los Angles into a city that is unrecognisable in its vitality and beauty. With subtle deftness Chazelle navigates the shoals of cheesiness, unbelievability, and sentimentality with aplomb, steering the film to an almost impossible shore. The film could sail alone on its visual and musical sublimes and yet inporabably the writing, message and acting are even better. A story that takes the cliche of ‘the city of dreams’ and ‘follow your dreams’ breaks them down and then makes them real, intoxicating you into a love and dream delirium. La La Land follows the story of a lovably purist jazz officianado, Ryan Gosling, and a struggling aspiring actress/current barrista, Emma Stone. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have created this decades’ Rick and Ilsa (Casablanca), Jack and Rose (Titanic), Jack and Innis (Brokeback Mountain). The love story of our time. Both actors imbue their characters with an uncynical and unaffected earnestness that left me floored with my mouth open and tears in my eyes. The film is destined to a level of Oscar glory not seen since Slumdog Millionaires 8 Oscar wins. Nominations across the board and wins likely in Best Picture, Director, Production Design and Actress. By watching the trailer, reading the plot or even reading this review, you cannot get a true sense of its originality when on paper it is treading such a well trodden path we’ve seen many times before. Trust me you haven’t seen a romantic musical quite like this. In the way ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ last year became an instant classic of the action genre, La La Land goes one better and becomes the best romance since ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and the best musical since Chicago, better even, a instant classic of both genres. In a dark world that seems to have given up, resigned and cyclical La La Land feels like a slap in the face that wakes you up and makes you feel again. This is where it’s true mastery lies: in a world that has heard and seen it all before, La La Land tells us truths we already knew in a way that feels as though you are hearing them for the first time. Don’t give up, dare to dream, be brave, and most importantly allow yourself to fall in love with all the exquisite pain and suffering that entails. I fell in love with this film like I fell in love with Casablanca, Titanic and others. In the words of a film it pays homage too Singin’ In The Rain, it’s a star whose luster will live long in the cinematic firmament. Best film of 2016.

10/10.  ****