Tag Archive: fences


 

hell-or-high-water

KIMMEL: And here to present tonight’s final award, from ‘Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later’ Malik Aziz, and the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

(Malik and Obama walk on to the stage.  There’s a fifteen minute standing ovation, shattering Chaplin’s record.)

OBAMA: Thank you.  West Texas outlaws.  An African-American homosexual in Miami.  A female linguist who discovers how to take to aliens.  The films nominated for Best Picture this year are as diverse as the American experience itself, and by recognizing these films, we acknowledge that no matter who you are, or where you come from, your voice is a valuable part of why, this country has always been great.

(polite applause).

MALIK: I couldn’t agree more.  Three of the nominees are driven by female protagonists (possibly four, depending on your point of view); as you noted, one is a window into the homosexual experience, and three of the films take place within different eras of the African-American experience. If we’ve learned nothing else over the past ten years, it’s this: when we acknowledge or even agree that the most qualified option might look different than us, than racism is over.  So is sexism.  So is xenophobia.  And so is homophobia. And anyone who complains that any of that stuff still exists is a sad loser who needs to get over it. Right, Mr. President?

(Malik and Obama both try to hold in their smirks as the audience laughs…)

OBAMA: Come on man…

MALIK: Here are the nominees for Best Picture:

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Who Should Win: In another decade, I’d easily say ‘Hell or High Water’ or ‘Moonlight’ (best picture that feels nothing like a studio picture).  ‘Hell’ is this year’s best ‘right of center’ pic, ‘Moonlight’ the best ‘left of center’.  You already know what’s in the ultimate center (everyone likes something about it): La La Land.

Who I’m Cheering For: I’m not the crying type, but the only one of the above films that had me suffering from allergies in the third act was Moonlight.  And I was truly impressed by most of the field this year.

Who Will Win: As I said before, its ‘passionate’ fan base may be smaller, but across the board nearly everyone ‘likes’ something about La La Land.  Will be surprised if it doesn’t win the big one.

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Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Isabelle Huppert – Elle

Ruth Negga – Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Emma Stone – La La Land

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Who Should Win: Oh boy.  Well, let’s see.  We’re talking ‘best use of 2017 Emma Stone’ or ‘best use of 2017 Natalie Portman’ in most film geek minds.  They have two different career types, but within each of their ‘types’, my feeling is Portman’s performance is more Oscar worthy.

Who I’m Cheering For: Portman is my generation so there’s a lot of obvious bias there, but as a comedy fan I dig Emma Stone too.  The worst thing I have to say about her is in relation to her peers, she’s been very quiet as far as ‘the state of the world’ is concerned.  That doesn’t automatically mean she’s Tom Brady, just one of those things I notice.

Who Will Win: Emma Stone.

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling – La La Land

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington – Fences

Who Should Win: Very much a personal preference category.  Funny because on actor terms I like Gosling a lot, but I consider him the ‘weakest’ of these five.

Who I’m Cheering For: You look at that list and guess. Your first four guesses don’t count.

Who Will Win: Casey Affleck.

 

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Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel – Lion

Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Who Should Win: It’s been a good year for movies, which means the supporting categories could easily go 6 or 7 deep with worthy candidates.  None of the five nominated feel out of place in my opinion.  It’s a genuine personal taste choice.

Who I’m Cheering For: My akhi of course.

Who Will Win: Feels like this is the finishing touch for a career year for Mr. Ali.

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Viola Davis – Fences

Naomie Harris – Moonlight

Nicole Kidman – Lion

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Who Should Win: Same general feeling as with the guys, I could add a couple other great supporting roles that didn’t make the cut, and there’s one that’s really a lead but, it is what it is.  By the definition of the award, Naomie was heartbreaking in her few scenes.

Who I’m Cheering For: We’re here now so I agree with the consensus that it seems off that Viola Davis doesn’t have an Oscar, so hopefully nothing really wild happens Sunday.

Who Will Win: Viola.

 

fences-denzel-washington-and-viola-davis

Woo…

The movie adaptation of August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ is fantastic.  Debatably the most well known play in the ten play cycle, Denzel directs the film version with virtually the entire cast in tact from the Broadway version that won him a Tony.

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ came to mind a lot while I watched this.  Like that film, the camera doesn’t move a lot; from what I hear, there are going to be other films in the next couple of months that mesmerizing cinematography will come from.  You come to Fences for the great writing, and the great acting.  And you get it.  Without spoiling too much of the story for those unfamiliar, the audience I was in really turned against Denzel’s character by the end of the film (which is one of the best compliments I can give to one of the most admired actors of all time, period).  And Viola Davis?  Ma’am, I know you caught the short end of the stick the year we thought you would win for The Help, but that aside…

On the page, this is a supporting performance.  On the screen, naw.  And I’m really looking forward to seeing four or five other female performances this season that are genuinely in this league.

Here’s the crazy thing: my favorite performance in the film wasn’t even either of the two leads; it was Mykelti Williamson as Denzel’s brother.  He was only in a few scenes, but as they say, there are no small roles (especially when the writing is this strong…)

So yeah, Christmas release.  High, high, high recommend.