My Thoughts on The Oscars of 2017

There is one, and only one, reason that The Oscars are important to me: they have such a gravitational force on the general public. I don’t know why this is, and it may very well not be this way in a couple of decades, but for now, The Oscars is still a force that drives people to see certain movies, so if movies are properly recognized by The Oscars, it means that more movies will be made well (this is just my theory anyway).

I didn’t actually watch The Oscars because I wanted to avoid all the celebrity worship and the political dogma, but there were plenty of people I follow that love The Oscars, so I just leeched off of their information.

 

Before we get started with my thoughts on The Oscars, I do want to point out a humorous, brief spat I ended up having with Chris Hardwick. Now anyone who has read my review of Rogue One, knows I’m not a fan of his. And anyone who’s been reading all of my content knows that I am especially not a fan of The Walking Dead, which I believe to be a grossly overrated show that has done terrible things to the show’s creator. Hardwick just happens to be a paid fanboy of theirs.

But anyway, Hardwick sent out this tweet:

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 8.36.09 PM.png

 

Now Hardwick mainly uses his Twitter account for self-promotion, but I’ve been following him and close to seventy other celebrities because I wanted to write a detailed review of what it’s like to follow them.

 

Anyway, I snarkly retweeted his tweet with the following reply:

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.35.58 PM.png

 

Now because I’m a bit of a nobody, I figured Hardwick would just be like all the other celebrities and ignore me. At the very least, he would look at my tweet and laugh at the fact that he’s more successful than I am…

… Instead, the dude actually replied to me.

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 8.42.11 PM.png

 

I was a bit taken aback, but it’s not like I didn’t talk shit about him, so I figured I’d own it, and I replied back to him.

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.36.09 PM.png

Literally seconds after my reply, Hardwick deleted his comment to me, and promptly blocked me…

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 8.46.20 PM.png

 

… much to my dismay. I was hoping to hear more about his shows that I would never touch with a ten-foot pole.

 

In all seriousness, I still think Hardwick is a hack, but I’m well aware that he’s a human being too.

 

So Chris, if you’re reading this (and you probably aren’t… but still), I’m sorry if I made you upset over my insult of you and your show.

If I ever see you in person, I’ll buy you a beer. I’ll buy you ten beers, and we can shoot the breeze, and I can talk about how overrated you are, and you can laugh at how unsuccessful I am as a critic.

 

 

Anyway, now that I got that hilarious material out of the way, here are my thoughts on all the winners:

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.50.31 PM.png

MAHERSHALA ALI

MOONLIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

Despite my reservations about Moonlight as an entire movie, I do think Ali was the best part of the entire film.

Dev Patel was great in his role in Lion, and Jeff Bridges was also great in Hell or High Water. But there’s no discernible reason to say they were better than Ali.

There were some people that I follow on Twitter that suggested that Michael Shannon got robbed because his performance in Nocturnal Animals was better. However, I can’t comment on this since I’ve never seen Nocturnal Animals. If I end up watching it, I’ll let you know.

 

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR-STYLING:
Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.03.44 AM.png
SUICIDE SQUAD

 

 

Oh boy. Now don’t get me wrong: Killer Kroc’s makeup was pretty good. But aside from that, there’s no reason why Suicide Squad should have even been nominated.

That being said, the Makeup and Hairstyling nominees weren’t vast and amazing this year, but it’s the principle of the matter.

Not even ten second after Suicide Squad won the award, they broadcasted it over social media as some sort of grand achievement. I hate this. I want Warner Brothers to suffer financially until they get their films right. And if they keep getting praised for terrible work, then you will continue to get terrible movies.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.

 

 

BEST COSTUMES:

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM.

Okay, cool.

 

 

SOUND EDITING:

ARRIVAL

I’m not going to pretend I know what makes great sound editing, but if it means giving Arrival recognition, I’m completely for it.

 

SOUND MIXING:

HACKSAW RIDGE

I’m not going to pretend I know what makes great sound mixing, but if it means giving Hacksaw Ridge recognition… well, I’m not upset about it.

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.12.03 AM.png

VIOLA DAVIS

FENCES

 

 

 

 

 

This was one of the only categories I was EXTREMELY passionate about. Viola Davis in Fences was by far one of the best performances I’ve seen in 2016. Denzel Washington was great in Fences as well, but Davis made the movie. Her performance was extremely compelling and raw.

Fantastic work, Viola Davis. I was rooting for you since day 1.

 

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.14.35 AM.pngZOOTOPIA

 

 

 

 

 

How infuriating. Zootopia does not deserve this Oscar in the slightest. If we’re talking about the quality of the animation (since this is, I don’t know, about animated films), Kubo and the Two Strings FAR surpasses that of Zootopia. Moana also has much better animation than Zootopia does, by far.

So if they weren’t judging on animation, then they must’ve been judging by story? If that’s the case, then they’re wrong on that front too. Zootopia is littered with cliches, overused jokes, and predictability.

Kubo, on the other hand, was actually a unique story with some occasionally unique ways of telling those stories.

Moana, while overrated, still had a much more likable character set in Moana and Maui, than Zootopia did in Judy and Nick.

 

The ONLY reason Zootopia was picked was because of the racism message, a message that was so obvious that it might as well have been drawn in crayon.

So baby’s-first-video-about-racism, starring talking animals, won The Oscar.

That’s all I’m going to say about this. I’m done.

 

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: LA LA LAND

Considering they had vivid, frequently moving sets that they had to move the camera through to make the entire shot, yeah, I think La La Land deserved The Oscar.

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: THE JUNGLE BOOK

I was very okay with this. The Jungle Book was a fine movie with fine animation, animation that made the effort of bringing the voice actor’s personality into the character’s face.

Jon Favreau is set to do a live action The Lion King, and I’m more than excited to see it.

 

 

 

BEST EDITING: HACKSAW RIDGE

I’m not going to pretend I know what makes great editing, but if it means giving Hacksaw… wait, Hacksaw Ridge won over Arrival, La La Land, Hell or High Water, AND Moonlight?

I liked Hacksaw Ridge, but I’m almost positive the editing was not as good as all of its competitors.
Like I said though, I don’t know what makes great editing, so I’ll let that one go.

 

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: LA LA LAND

Again, this was a no brainer.

Now, if Arrival or Moonlight won this category, I wouldn’t have been upset, because both of those movies had AMAZING cinematography, but La La Land is an easy win for me.

 

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE AND SONG: Both LA LA LAND

Copy-paste my first six words about “Best Cinematography”.

 

 

BEST WRITING FOR ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

Okay, Okay, fine. I’ll go watch Manchester by the Sea.

 

 

BEST WRITING FOR ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: MOONLIGHT

The script for Moonlight FAR surpassed that of Hidden Figures, and Lion.

Was the script better for Moonlight than Arrival or Fences?

No. Absolutely not.

But that’s none of my business.

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR:

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.37.34 AM.png

 

DAMIEN CHAZELLE

LA LA LAND

 

 

Considering La La Land was my #1 movie of 2016, I’d say that Damien Chazelle deserved this award.

 

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.39.20 AM.png

 

CASEY AFFLECK

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

 

 

 

 

… I have literally watched EVERY single movie that was nominated for Best Male Lead, EXCEPT Manchester by the Sea. I have no words.

Nothing I can say could come from experience or knowledge.

I will do better.

Congratulations, Casey Affleck, I guess. I wouldn’t know since I foolishly didn’t watch your movie.

 

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.42.57 AM.png

EMMA STONE

LA LA LAND

 

 

 

 

In a humorous turn of events, the ONLY movie I saw that was nominated for Best Female Lead was La La Land.

I don’t know why I didn’t watch Jackie.

I thought Meryl Streep playing a loon was not going to be nominated for an Oscar.

I figured Loving wouldn’t get any nominations.

I have NEVER heard of Elle.

I will do better.
Congratulations, Emma Stone!

 

 

 

BEST PICTURE:

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.46.47 AM.png

 

I’m not going to touch the whole debacle where they called out the wrong movie, except for the fact that La La Land SHOULD have won best picture.

Hell, most nominated movies were better overall than Moonlight was.

 

 

On a technical standpoint (cinematography, music, lighting), Moonlight is a stellar film.

On a storytelling level, and general acting wise, Moonlight has no leg to stand on.

(SPOILERS FOR MOONLIGHT BELOW)

The movie never holds on to ANY character long enough to really emphasize their actor’s ability. They are either completely dropped or recasted. The third act dropped ALL of the interesting stuff they built up with to focus on how a guy wants to have sex with another guy that threw him under the bus.

The entire third act is nothing but sexual tension between two people who, by all stretches of the imagination, are unlikable.

But since the two characters were of the same gender, everyone pushed that fact to the side.

 

Congratulations, Moonlight. I’m glad you got the recognition despite the fact that you don’t deserve it.

 

stevejdonahue.wordpress.com

 

 

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