Oscar Movie Faves & My Picks!!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

HAPPY OSCAR DAY, friends!!!!

I'm typing this while waiting for the Red Carpet arrivals to begin... I can't wait for tonight. This is the first year that I have EVER seen all NINE of the Best Picture Nominees, and almost all the Best Actor, Actress, and Supporting Actor/Actress categories. This year has also probably been the best collection of nominated movies in my most recent memory. That being said, here are my TOP picks to win. I do have to warn you, that on my "official ballot" I didn't vote for what I wanted to win, but for the movie that I thought actually would win. The Academy and I have very differing opinions on what makes an award-worthy movies, and I've learned through the years how to vote so my ballot wins the prize! But here are the movies that I think SHOULD win, plus a recap of what I thought about the rest of them.


Lion was the last movie I saw in theaters and I am SO GLAD I made it to the showing. Sean actually took the girls to see Batman Lego Movie and let me sneak into Lion once they got settled. It was fantastic. I cannot praise this movie enough. Lion is the story of a young Indian boy who loses his home and his family and is adopted by a couple in Australia. Decades later, he begins a life-altering search for his biological family. The only problem is, he is going off of a 5 year old's memory with no real knowledge of where he came from, other than some place in India. He begins to use Google Earth to search for landmarks to help lead him home. The best part of the movie? It is a TRUE. STORY. It is jaw-dropping. The aerial images of earth are breathtaking and the tenacity and fragility of the human spirit is displayed in beautiful balance through all the characters. Friends, I UGLY CRIED at this movie. And not only did I ugly cry, I CRY-SNORTED in the middle of a crowded quiet theatre. The good news was, I was not alone in my sniffles. While some might think this movie would be to sad and heart wrenching, I promise you, you will leave encouraged and with a renewed hope in humanity. (And maybe a little bit of cry headache. But it hurts so good!)

BEST ACTOR: Denzel Washington, Fences

BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight


DIRECTING: Hacksaw Ridge

WRITING (ADAPTED): Arrival (though all in this category were fantastic)


So those are the main categories I look for, and what I *hope* will win. But I don't think they all really will. Here are my picks for who I think actually will win:

Now, here are my personal thoughts on the Best Picture nominees:

This was a really interesting movie. It was beautifully filmed and perfectly acted. Though it "technically" totally is an alien movie, it is more like a drama and not at all what I expected. I generally don't care for alien movies but this one was good. Warning: Bring your tissues and your brain. Its a little bit of a thinking movie. 

I saw Fences in the theatre and wasn't sure what to think about it at first. I didn't realize that it was originally a play, and knowing that before watching it would have greatly helped. The whole first 30 minutes or so take place in one setting. I was beginning to get worried that the whole thing would be filmed on the back porch. It was slow to get into, and dragged in some places, but the climax of the movie is worth trudging through it. Like climbing a thorny mountain to get to the peak at sunset. Denzel literally carried this movie, but as my friend Ted observed, "Viola Davis out-Denzels Denzel!" The more I thought about this movie after I left the theatre, the more I liked it. I couldn't shake it off, and thought about it for weeks. 

Mel Gibson does it again with another monster of a movie. This movie is so rich in content, scenery and depth of characters. It is also a true story, which makes the feats of the main character in this movie all the more amazing. It is a genuine war movie (read: graphic body parts being blown off, Saving Private Ryan style) and not for the faint of heart. This is truly a feel-good-at-the-end movie as well. 

LOVED this movie. It made West Texas look beautiful (no small feat), and Pine, Foster and Bridges were superb in their roles. Pine and Foster are brothers who rob banks to try to pay off a lien on their mother's property in a race against the bank's foreclosure. Bridges is the cop who tries to stop them. Sounds like your average cops and robbers movie, but it is so much more than that. There are unexpected twists and depths coupled with great acting that I didn't expect which all added up to a great movie. 

Yet another real-life feel good movie about the tenacity of the human spirit!!! I love that this movie is totally good for the whole family to see. They didn't need to muck it up with profanity or sex to tell a gripping story. I cannot say enough good things about this movie. The film does such an excellent job of introducing a new audience to the time in America's history when segregation was the norm. Since there are now several generations who were not alive to remember that part of our Nation's history, it is important that it is portrayed with the painful accuracy it deserves. I cringed and shook my head at many points in the movie because of that blatant racism and sexism. We have a long ways to go in our world, but humanity as a whole has made great strides. 

Ah, La La Land. The history-tying movie that is nominated for a whopping 14 awards tonight. Did I like this movie? Um,..... it was fun. I loved it passionately and I hated it with every fiber of my being. I loved it and hated it all at the same time. I really can't say anything more than that about the plot, but it will say this: It flooded my heart with memories and joy, then ripped open old, scarred wounds and left me bleeding. And that is putting it lightly. Please go see it for yourself and tell me what you think. :)  As for the music, I felt that it was just ok. In my book, the singing was not as strong as I would have liked for it to be, and the songs were just alright. 

I hated almost everything about this movie. The acting was great, the scenery was beautiful but the storyline was heartbreaking without a single redeeming property to it. I'm interested in hearing what other people had to say about this movie. Maybe I just don't really like pure tragedies.

*Sigh* I'm not sure what to say about this movie. It was good. Really good. It was painful to watch but told a moving story of one boy's struggle to find his true self. I think that what I got out of this movie is vastly different than what the rest of the world probably gleaned from it, and even probably what the writers were trying to say. I think that the culmination of tragic events led to this boy-man not actually finding his true self, but conforming to that which his circumstances dictated. I think the movie wanted you to feel like the main character finally found his place in the world, but I just left with a sadness, knowing that the depictions of difficult circumstances this boy went through are reality for thousands in our country right now. Well done, but not my favorite.

Alight, there you have it!!! Oscars start in just a few hours!!!!I can't wait!!!

Other Oscar Nom movies I saw were:
Jackie ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Zootopia ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The White Helmets ⭐⭐⭐
OJ: Made in America ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Life, Animated ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Deepwater Horizon ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Jungle Book⭐⭐⭐
The Lobster (ok, I turned it off after 15 minutes. But I really tried.) 〇

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