And here is my third and final post about the remaining nominations and the respective winners of 89th Academy Awards with the knowledge I have gathered over the past few months and 17 movies in the race I have watched.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Here are the nominees…

  1. Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
  2. Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
  3. Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
  4. Dev Patel – Lion
  5. Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Unfortunately in this category, I am only able to judge the first three nominations as I was not able to watch Lion or Nocturnal Animals in time for tonight’s show but here are my thoughts. First of all, I do feel in order to really win an award the actor does have to be on screen for a certain amount of time – a requirement which not all of the nominees really fulfill. So here is my take –

The Oscar goes to: Dev Patel

As stated, I haven’t seen Lion but if you can believe all the critics Dev Patel delivers yet another stellar performance and will finally take home the golden statue – also with only 26 years of age. No matter who will win this category, to me literally all performances were pretty darn great and I will be ok with almost any winner here.

The Oscar should go to: Lucas Hedges

From the three movies, I have seen I have most thoroughly enjoyed the acting performance of Lucas Hedges. He is just as crucial of a character in Manchester by the Sea – and he almost has a harder part to play than his uncle Lee. Lucas character Patrick just lost his father but still has to live his life and try to enjoy what he can. Meanwhile, he is feeling completely unloved and unwanted by both his uncle, his mother and basically every other adult. He tries to be as strong as he can but eventually also has his breakdown which is acted out very strongly by Lucas Hedges who is only 20 years old. My hats off to him.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Here are the nominees…

  1. Viola Davis – Fences
  2. Naomie Harris – Moonlight
  3. Nicole Kidman – Lion
  4. Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
  5. Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

The Oscar (will and should) go to: Viola Davis

Courtesy of http://vanityfair.com

Not that Viola Davis was really a supporting role in Denzel’s Fences as she basically had more screen time than any other character but well who knows how these categories are defined. In any case, Viola Davis really is acting the hell out of her Rose Maxson character. Her dialogues with Denzel are strong, her playing the role of a strong (but not strong enough) mother under the shadow of her husband is convincing, powerful and deserves not only a nod but a win by the Academy.

What about the rest…

This was truly a very strong line-up in terms of acting (can’t speak for Nicole Kidman in Lion) – but Octavia Spencer also delivered a stellar performance in Hidden Figures. Her striving to become a leader in a purely white world of mathematicians was really astounding – even though I believe that a nomination in Hidden Figures should have more gone to Taraji P. Henson’s character but she was probably also snubbed for the annual Meryl Streep nomination. Michelle Williams also delivered a very strong performance in Manchester by the Sea – which left the audience for even more airtime with her.

Best Achievement in Directing

Here are the nominees…

  1. Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
  2. Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
  3. Damien Chazelle – La La Land
  4. Kennth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
  5. Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

The Oscar goes to: Damien Chazelle

Courtesy of http://theverge.com

To nobody’s surprise La La Land is and will be this year’s darling of the Academy. Now the big question will be if the Academy does the trick of giving best movie (La La Land) and best director (Barry Jenkins) to different runner-ups or if they throw all their eggs in the single basket. My hunch for this year is with all the praise La La Land has received and how much it is directly tied to Damien Chazelle the Academy will have no other chance but to give the golden statue to him. And truth to be told of all the nominations for La La Land – I do believe that directing this film does deserve the most praise. Plus ever since Chazelle gave me Whiplash, he has already gained a spot in my personal all-time favorite directors. So as we Germans would say to Damien: “Gönn dir!”.

The Oscar should go to: Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins did not have the marketing power and budget behind his production as Chazelle did. Now that should in no way diminish his achievement but crafting such a wonderful film on only 1.5 million budget is truly a masterful achievement. His film is gorgeous, beautifully shot and edited in the most masterful way – for all this I do believe that he would deserve more than just a nod by the Academy. But same as Chazelle, I am quite sure that with his talent Jenkins time will come sooner than later.

Best Orignal Screenplay

Here are the nominees…

  1. Hell or High Water
  2. La La Land
  3. The Lobster
  4. Manchester by the Sea
  5. 20th Century Women

The Oscar goes to: Manchester by the Sea

Clear winner in this category will and must be Manchester by the Sea (without having seen The Lobster and 20th Century Women) – Kenneth Lonergan has written a masterful screenplay which has to be awarded with the golden statue for best original screenplay.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Here are the nominees…

  1. Arrival
  2. Fences
  3. Hidden Figures
  4. Lion
  5. Moonlight

The Oscar goes to: Arrival

If snubbed for everything else (Amy Adams snub still hurts), at least give them best adapted screenplay. The intelligent script is most certainly one of the strongest parts of the film and will be hopefully be rewarded by the Academy.

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Here are the nominees…

  1. Arrival – Bradford Young
  2. La La Land – Linus Sandgren
  3. Lion – Greig Fraser
  4. Moonlight – James Laxton
  5. Silence – Rodrigo Prieto

Now, this is certainly one of my favorite categories because who does not enjoy a beautifully shot movie. Without the knowledge of Silence and Lion, I am straight up excluding La La Land because why ? Which means it will end up being a tough fight between Moonlight and Arrival which are both amazingly shot in their own unique way. I do want to give Moonlight the benefit of the underdog who was able to produce amazing pictures on an absolute shoestring budget but when I think back to watching Arrival in the theater, I am just in complete awe about the gorgeousness of its camera and so I will have to go with the latter.

And the Oscar goes to: Arrival

Best Achievement in Film Editing

Here are the nominees…

  1. Arrival
  2. Hacksaw Ridge
  3. Hell or High Water
  4. La La Land
  5. Moonlight

In terms of film editing, I have a really hard time judging which one comes out as the winner – my both main contenders are Moonlight and Arrival. Both movies are told in chapters and not fully linear – for any film which is told that way and does not lose its way is deserving of an Academy Award. Also here, I do lean slightly towards Arrival as the putting the film together in a cohesive way is a true academy-worthy achievement.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

Here are the nominees…

  1. Jackie – Mica Levi
  2. La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
  3. Lion – Dustin O’Halloran, Volker Bertelmann
  4. Moonlight – Nicolas Britell
  5. Passengers – Thomas Newman

And the Oscar goes to: Moonlight

This will be tough fight between La La Land, Jackie and Moonlight. My rationale for Moonlight is the following – La La Land will most certainly take home Best Original Song with its two (!) nominations in the single category. In addition to that, the score of Moonlight was such a big and impactful element of this amazing movie that it must get recognition from the Academy despite strong competition from Jackie whose original score was also very strong.

All the remaining categories

Best Animate Feature Film of the Year: Zootopia

Watched it loved i.e. it must win best animated feature film

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: Toni Erdman

Only watched Toni Erdman and even though my heart is racing for both the Iranian contribution, I still wish the best to the german candidate – because we can’t have enough german Oscar movies.

Best Achievement in Production Design: La La Land

It will be part of the big La La Land train – and the challengers (Fantasic Beasts and Where to Find them – say what? , Passengers – Really ?, Hail Caesar – come on?, Arrival – the only true contender) are really no big challenge to the Juggernaut of this year’s Academy Award.

Best Achievement in Costume Design: Jackie

The one movie where you have to ask yourself why La La Land got nominated – they are just wearing normal clothes, right? Since Jackie is the only other movie, I have seen and the costume design was really amazing, I want the Academy to give at least one nod to the film.

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad

I can’t believe that a movie smashed by critics so much that I didn’t even bother watching it is actually being nominated but well here we are. But from the three nominations, my guess goes to Suicide Squad.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song): La La Land “City of Stars”

Not a single doubt that this will be the winner of the night – maybe because my wife keeps singing it and maybe because I couldn’t get it out of my head for at least week.

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge

This is just a hunch but I believe of the nominated movies, the mixing of the sound pieces especially in the war scenes was just amazing – thus give at least one nod over to Mel to finally burry the hatchet.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing: Arrival

Yet another hunch – best sound editing goes to: Arrival

Best Achievement in Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

A movie with one single actor talking to a fully animated animals such as Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Scarlett Johannson can only be the winner of this category.

Best Documentary Feature: 13th

I only watched the latter and it was nothing short of amazing. I truly look forward to watching all the other ones – especially O.J.: Made in America (which actually is the most likely winner) and I Am Not Your Negro.

Best Documentary Short Subject: 4.1 Miles

No idea about any of the nominations, so I took 4.1 miles because I really look forward to the next time I can run 4.1 miles – true story.

Best Animated Short Film: Borrowed Time

Yet another shot in the dark – I like the title and thus it should win.

Best Live Action Short Film: Silent Nights

The last shot in the dark – no idea about any of these but I am sure that Silent Nights will win (I guess).

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