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Posts tagged ‘Denzel Washington’

Final Final Oscar Predictions. It’s All La La

emma-stoneThese are my final FINAL Oscar Predicitons in the major categories. It’s still “La La Land” and I know it bares repeating or maybe it doesn’t. It’s been as David Poland told Sasha Stone “an open and shut season.” It’s been “LLL” ever seen it was first seen at Telluride and Toronto. It’s seems only the extremely popular “Hidden Figures” could upset, if anything. But “La La” is going to win A LOT of awards come Sunday night. I might be live blogging it, but then again I might not. We’ll see.

But Emma Stone seems unstoppable as of course does Viola Davis. And if anyone is going to upset it’s Mashershala Ali of “Moonlight”, it’s the  surging Dev Patel of “Lion.” He won BAFTA. He could easily win here.

dev-patel-5

Damien Chazelle will win Best Director for “La La Land.” Like Viola Davis, he’s won everything else.

The real nail biter is going to be Best Actor between Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the  Sea” and Denzel Washington for “Fences.” It could go either way. Denzel won the Tony for this when he did it onstage on Broadway and also with Viola who won a Tony, too.

But he has two Oscars already. Are they ready to admit DW to the three time winners club which only has four people in it. Daniel Day Lewis, Jack Nicholson, Walter Brennan and Katherine Hepburn? I wonder.

I hope it’s Casey Affleck essaying a much more difficult and indelible part in “Manchester by the Sea.” He’s won 40 Best Actor Awards and has just won the BAFTA,  as did Emma, Viola and Dev. BAFTA is very influential. I’d vote for Casey, as I’ve said a million times this season.casey-on-boat-2

#Final Oscar Predictions

#Casey Affleck

#Dev Patel

#Emma Stone

#La La Land

#Manchester by the Sea

#Fences

#Dev Patel

#Lion

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Why Casey Affleck Will Win Best Actor Oscar.

If I was an AMPAS voter, I think it’s just between my two favorite movies (alas, not “Jackie” evidently..sadly…)”La La Land”casey-affleck-adand “Manchester by the Sea”. Initiallly, if I were a voter, I would’ve just said “Yes!” to La Land’s bounce and bouyancy all the way, but now that I’ve had time to mull it over, if I were an Academy member, I might put down “Manchester by the Sea”as my #1 film, because it has gravitas. “La La Land” doesn’t. Not really.

And Casey Affleck’s incredible performance! Imagine how different that film would be if Matt Damon, the originally intended lead, did indeed do it. I don’t think I could ever imagine Sunny Matt as a Hot Mess. And Casey Affleck plays the conflicted male loser so believably…I mean, he really puts you in the mindset of someone who’s killed, accidentally, but I mean, I’m not going to spoil it any further… The unfathomable despair of those deaths…. It’s almost unbearable. It’s unthinkable. BUT HE BEARS IT. He survives the unimaginable, which is the point of the whole film I think,manchester-art-direction

And Kenneth Lonergan, the filmmaker, is a great under-sung America playwright, has done just that. Put the unthinkable on screen and says “Here. This is what life is about. Multiple losses. Deal with it.” And the audience and Affleck’s character, in fact, the whole of New England village Manchester itself is still grappling with the ramifications of what he did. “Manchester” is a movie that ABOUT something. It’s profound. But it’s also profoundly, unexpectedly funny, but that is its’ genius.

Surviving something you thought you’d never be able to survive. Like this past election….And still having a battered, but intact sense of humor and decency. He’s still alive. He struggles, but he goes on living. As Beckett said in “Waiting for Godot”, “I can’t go on….I go on.”

Affleck is playing one of the most original characters ever written for the screen, in that sense. And he’s won over 30 acting awards already! He’ll win BAFTA in a walk. The Brits go for the serious, the heavy(see “Hamlet”) and if he wins SAG, too! Bob’s your uncle, as the Cockneys say.manchester-by-the-sea-8

I did not like Denzel Washington, over-acting in “Fences,” is his only credible competition in the Best Actor category, but Washington did not get nominated for a BAFTA either as director or actor.  Another big snub. And he lost the Golden Globe to Affleck. And he wasn’t named as one of the five directors in the DGA.

Both, though, will get nominations on Jan.24. The next big test will be at SAG. If Affleck wins that, the game is over.

#Casey Affleck

# Best Actor Oscar

#Manchester by the Sea

# Kenneth Lonergan

  • [This article was originally  a post in the comments section of http://www.awardsdaily.com, but I thought it was too good not to reprint (and re-write it) here. Thanks as always to Awardsdaily.]
  • BAFTA noms out! La La Land Leads with 11. Aaron Taylor-Johnson nominated AGAIN!

    aaron-taylor-johnson-winning-golden-globeWell, the nominations for the BAFTAs, the British equivalent of the Academy Awards, were announced in the middle of the night(EST) last night and it’s no surprise to anyone that “La La Land” leads the pack once again, dancing off with 11 nominations, more than any other film and also being nominated in every single category it possibly could be.la-la-land-7A REAL surprise that it was followed in the nominations with “Nocturnal Animals” at nine. The divisive Tom Ford thriller is going to sound familiar from the Golden Globes because it was Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s upset win in Best Supporting Actor was the first bombshell of the night in a night of bombshells. Taylor-Johnson is playing a serial killer in this dark film, which I’m now predicting will do better with the Academy later this month than people, or pundits, heretofore expected.

    In Supporting Actor, he’s once again up against Hugh Grant for “Florence Foster Jenkins”, Dev Patel(who is really the lead) for “Lion. All these three gentlemen are Brits btw. Mahershala Ali, who WAS the front-runner and good ole boy Jeff Bridges playing a tired and retiring Texas detective in “Hell or High Water.”aaron-taylor-johnson-4Also in play is the very young Lucas Hedges who dazzles in my fave, “Manchester by the Sea” which racked up six noms. Best picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Casey Affleck(who I think will win this, once again, for his haunting, haunted performance as Lee Chandler[he’s won everything else])Best Supporting Actress Michelle Phillips and Best Newcomer, Lucas Hedges. Best Newcomer is a category that the Academy doesn’t have, so to get a nomination for his incredible, funny heart-breaking lost teenager, he’d have to be nominated as Supporting by the Academy. Perhaps he will. I hope he does.

    manchwarwe-by-the-sea-6michelle-willilams-manchester-1Strange to note, but there was ONCE AGAIN a big snub of Denzel Washington’s performance in “Fences.” He’s NEVER been nominated for any BAFTA award in his long, long career, though his magnificent co-star Viola Davis was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. But she’s the sole nomination that “Fences” got another shocker (but not to me.)

    She and Michelle Williams will go toe-to-toe in this category. And Williams has a better shot here than she does back in American against Viola. Because the Brits just don’t have a history of honoring Black performers, believe it or not.viola-davis-fences-1

    They even snubbed Barry Jenkins for director for “Moonlight”! Though they did nominate Black British Actress the brilliant Naomie Harris and of course Mahershala Ali in the Supporting categories for “Moonlight.”

    I would say that these nominations slow down whatever momentum “Moonlight” which won Best Picture the night before last at the Globes, even though it did make the cut, unbelievably, for Best Picture. “Moonlight” got four nominations, BP, Best Original Screenplay(though the Oscars are considering it as “Adapted Screenplay) and the two Supporting nods I just mentioned.

    manchester-by-the-sea-8But Casey Affleck seems to be conquering all before him. And his complex, difficult performance of a man burdened by an overwhelming grief still haunts me to this day. But you love him for all his suffering. And he’s funny, too. I can’t wait to see “Manchester by the Sea” again.

    The big question with the BAFTAS is will they honor something light and musical like “La La Land” or will the heavy weight dramatic films and performances carry the day?

    And they also tend to vote for their own, which means Aaron Taylor-Johnson may just win, again. They really loved “Nocturnal Animals.” They even nominated Jake Gyllenhaal who wasn’t turning up anywhere, for Best Actor!

    jake-gyllenhaal-nocturnal-animalsI’ll discuss Best Actress at the BAFTAs in a subsequent post and for a complete list of the MANY nominees and categories, go, of course, to http://www.awardsdaily.com

    #BAFTAS

    #Nocturnal Animals

    #Aaron Taylor-Johnson

    #Casey Affleck

    #Manchester by the Sea

    Impact of Election on Oscar Race

    fences-6I was just about to write a rave review of the wonderful, important revival of “March of the Falsettos” and then The Election happened and turned the world, and my brain and everyone else’s upside down.

    I tried to write about it but I couldn’t. I was in such deep shock. Like when you have a serious fall, as I did recently, and it wasn’t until hours later, or was it a day later, that the real pain kicked in, and I was reminded I had fallen backwards onto a fire-hydrant. It took four or five really strong women(In town for the marathon, I’m guessing) to pull me back up and set me on my feet.

    Yes, my reaction to The Election was just as severe as that, as disappointed for anyone who voted for Hillary. I can’t believe it happened. I’m still processing it. And so is the country. It’s something that I can’t snap out of but just being depressed and angry isn’t constructive. Hillary Clinton had nothing but a positive message. Maybe there is something good inside Donald Trump. Well, first of all, he’s a native New Yorker. As I am. And that counts for something.

    After coming out of a Whole Foods on Union Square, I ran into hundreds of protesting young people. I got on a bus. It took quite awhile for the big New York City Bus to get through the noisy crowd of protesters. They made me smile though. I knew what they were feeling. I had done this, too, in my youth. Protesting the Viet Nam War. Civil Rights. Free Nelson Mandella. Gay Rights. Aids. There’s been a lot to protest, always peacefully. Make your voice heard.I was happy to see them there.LGBY handsThis made me think of what a terrible day it was when Ronald Reagan got elected. I thought it was it the end of the world. It wasn’t. The same way when Bush after Bush after Bush entered the White House. Until Bill Clinton. Until Barack Obama.

    I’ve been thinking of the night when “Brokeback Mountain” lost the Oscar to “Crash.” Sasha Stone and I were both disconsolate that night and so was everyone else on Oscarwatch. We thought we’d never get through it. I was never going to watch the Oscars again. But I did. We got through it because we were together.

    Sasha did everything she could think of to help Hillary. I’m still shocked, and sickened, but she’s probably more shocked and more sick. She and Assistant Editor Ryan both added Rodham as their middle names.

    But, as with “Brokeback”, she went back to work and felt back. I did, too. Over the years I’m happy to report that I developed a friendly relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway and Michelle s and Williams and now Ang Lee, who did win his first Oscar for “Brokeback” by the way. I loved his new “Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk.”

    But all those disappointments and depressions and shocks were way worse than this. Maybe as much as I loved Hillary, and I still do, I just knew, I just KNEW that America was never going to elect a woman to the Oval Office.

    And now this happened. Donald Trump may not have meant a lot of what he said. Was it Melania or Ivanka who said he was “saying all those things just to get elected”?

    Melania Trump and Michele sitting down to have  tea, to chat and tour the White House. File it under a list of Things I Never Would Have Thought Ever To Have Happened.

    And now the Oscar Race, how is this going to land with the very left wing Academy? I think this says goodbye to anything light and fluffy like “La La Land” and hello to something that can’t be denied like “Fences” or the very political “Jackie.”

    viola-davis-fences-1jackie-1fences-3Gay Pride 2016 2

    Best Actor Nomination Predictions

    It’s getting down to the proverbial wire. So here at long last are my Best Actor nomination predictions.

    Bradley Cooper
    “Silver Linings Playbook”
    Daniel Day-Lewis
    “Lincoln”
    John Hawkes
    “The Sessions”
    Hugh Jackman
    “Les Misérables”
    Denzel Washington
    “Flight”

    I’m thinking that “The Master”s Joaquim Phoenix 86ed himself for those “dirty carrot” remarks he made about Oscar. And Sir Anthony Hopkins didn’t help himself by calling the Oscar Campaign “bullsh**t”. O well guyz, these days you gotta act like you WANT it.

    Also I note once again that if, say, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio in Best Supporting Actor for “Djanjo Unchained” and not Samuel L. Jackson, that leaves only Denzel as the sole African-American or hispanic actor nominated this year. So once again, diversity even in a year with TWO majors with films about slavery, the Actors Branch remains 99 44/100s % white.

    Oscar Collision ~ Too Many Best Actors

    This year the Oscar Best Actor category is screaming with the sounds of too many viable Best Actor candidates colliding with & virtually  killing each other to get into the race. There are only five slots. And seven talked-about performances.

    Everyone puts Daniel Day Lewis’s Abraham Lincoln at the top. But I don’t. And cold, technical performance that bored me to tears and left me wanting something that Day-Lewis doesn’t have in abundance – warmth. He’s not a warm cuddly Lincoln. He’s, well, a British Lincoln.

    Why couldn’t they have gotten an American actor to play Lincoln? That’s basically what’s wrong with it. PLUS it’s like eating Brussel Sprouts for two and a half hours. It’s good for you, THEY SAY. But oh the taste!

    But people are still ranking him #1. But he’s got two Oscars already. A stumbling block you can’t erase. But he will likely get nominated despite the Brussels Sprout Factor.

    Most likely to unseat him is the still unseen Hugh Jackman in”Les Miserables.” He’s also the only one of these guys in a musical. Which is either a huge plus, or a huge minus.I’m sure the always terrific Jackson delivers as he always has in the past. He’s never had a part like this before. He’s hosted the Oscars, successfully, and if he’s as good as I’m hearing, he’s in like flint.

    Denzel Washington has gotten rave reviews for his alcoholic pilot in”Flight” and  is doing very well at the box office. He’s an almost knee-jerk reaction. If he’s THIS good, they just nominate him. But he’s got two Oscars already, too, like Day-Lewis, this is probably an obstacle he can’t overcome. Or hide.And “Flight” is being named “a popcorn movie.”

    I don’t think Bradley Cooper in the just opening Rom Com “Silver Linings Playbook” is gonna make the cut. It’s a comedy and he’s totally overshadowed by his co-star Jennifer Lawrence who looks like she’s going to not only get nominated but win.

    Cooper, playing a manic-depressive SCREAMS his way through two-thirds of the movie, TRYING to make you believe he’s manic. It’s inaccurate and I found THAT depressing. Bi-polar disorder is not something to be laughed about and certainly not something to be treated lightly. With the competition so tight, I don’t think he makes this cut.

    Someone in a lightweight film, with serious undertones is Sir Anthony Hopkins, playing a beloved Hollywood Legend Sir Alfred Hitchcock, in the droll biopic “Hitchcock.” The Academy nominates him constantly and his total physical transformation into the corpulent legendary Master of Suspense hits all the right notes and is poignant and winning, too. He’s got one Oscar for “Silence of the Lambs” which was inspired by the serial killer Ed Gein, who is also a character in Hitchcock. His Hitchcock is haunted by the right ghosts. I say he gets in. AND he’s SIR Anthony Hopkins after all. And the Academy always feels it needs that touch of class. I liked his Hitch so much, I’ve seen it twice! Unlike “Lincoln” which I hope I never see again as long as I live.

    Life’s too short for another “Lincoln.”

    And then we have crybaby Joaquim Phoenix, who like Bradley Cooper, is in a Weinstein Co. production. His comments that Oscars are “total utter bullshit” may have eliminated him for this very competitive race. “The Master” was a polarizing movie that hasn’t done well anywhere. He, like Cooper, could get left out. He doesn’t have an Oscar, and probably at this rate never will. He’s apologizing all over the place now, but the damage his done. Will the ever-snobby, but sometimes forgiving, Actor’s Branch nominate him anyway? It such a tight year, it’s not looking solid for him. And Hitchcock himself NEVER won an Oscar for Best Director. Now being acknowledged as the greatest film maker of all time, the Academy may want to sort of correct his over-sight.

    Then there’s the out-of-nowhere news that recent Supporting Actor winner of a couple of years back German Actor Christophe Waltz is going lead for the also still-unseen “Django Unchained.” A slightly desperate Weinstein ploy, methinks, because they sense that neither Bradley Cooper nor Joaquim Phoenix, will get in.

    THEY know, the Weinstein Co. they KNOW how the tea leafs are reading and they are not spelling out TWC, as they have in the past two years for their magnificent winners in Best Picture and Best Actor, “The King’s Speech” and Colin Firth and “The Artist” and Jean DuJardin.

    Putting Waltz in lead says something about his co-star Jamie Foxx, ANOTHER previous Oscar Winner for “Ray”. Guess they aren’t even considering he’s got the right stuff this year for a nod. And if he’s going up against Denzel….

    Finally, the only other serious Best Actor contender is the simply stupendous Jon Hawkes, as the heart-breaking polio victim, in an iron lung no less. The Degree of Difficulty in “The Sessions” is off the charts, and I think that is going to rate with the Actor’s Branch.

    So how I see it now – It’s Hugh Jackman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and Jon Hawkes.

    With all of the Weinstein boys canceling each other out.

    Sounds unbelievable, but it COULD happen.

    “Oscars are bulls–t”proclaims Joaquim Phoenix, eliminating himself from race!

    Never one to suffer fools gladly, Joaquim Phoenix has declared in an interview with Elvis Mitchell in “Interview” magazine that “The Oscars are bullshit….” He goes further declaring Oscar “It’s a carrot, but a dirty carrot and one that I don’t want to eat”!!! He cites his negative experience campaigning full-tilt for “Walk the Line” and watching the less-than-stellar Reese Witherspoon his co-star in the movie as Johnny Cash’s wife, June, waltz off with the Golden Guy.

    He was stupendous in “Walk the Line” but that was a popular movie. He was playing a real person. “The Master” is not well-liked and not a box-office success, though I personally liked it. Audiences are staying away. I thought it was a marvelously told closeted gay love story set in the ’50s against  the backdrop of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s charismatic Lancaster Dodd’s founding of a quasi-religion The Cause.

    Perhaps if the film itself “The Master” had come out of the closet  and revealed itself for the epic closeted gay love story it is, it might have gained at least the LBGT support en masse. Which,as it is, it doesn’t have. This is the first case I can remember of “Don’t Tell. Don’t Win.”

    As it is, I think Phoenix just eliminated himself from the race. O, a nomination, sure. But that’s probably it. When he’s up against such heavy weights as Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”, John Hawkes in”The Sessions”, Denzel Washington in “Flight” and Hugh Jackman in “Les Miserables”(still yet to be seen).

    There’s also Sir Anthony Hopkins’ Sir Alfred Hitchcock coming up fast, and Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook” which has the ever-effective Harvey Weinstein and co. behind it.

    Of course, H. Weinstein has been known to drop one film on his slate in support of another, famously backing the flop-a-roonie “Nine,” instead the much more effective “Inglorious Basterds.”

    “The Master”, also a Weinstein co. effort, is failing fast at the box-office and with audiences. So Bradley Cooper may have a better shot with “Silver Linings Playbook” and I can see a scenario where Cooper gets in J. Phoenix does not.

    In the distant past, you could refuse an Oscar like Marlon Brando and George C. Scott did, but the past is the past. And as recently as two years ago, the prickly auteur David Fincher proclaimed over and over again, in multiple interviews, that he didn’t want nor/care about winning an Oscar for the then critics darling “A Social Network”. And guess what? The Academy took him at his word and the world saw Tom Hooper win Best Director not Fincher. Hooper, and last year, an unknown Frenchman Michel Hazanviscius won for Best Directer of “The Artist” and both were at every Hollywood event imaginable, charming every one.

    That’s what counts these days. Although Mo’nique said “No” too. And won. But Supporting Actress is not as big a deal as Best Actor and “Precious” was a popular film, where “The Master” is divisive. So we shall see.

    I don’t think you can be an Oscar cry-baby anymore. Not with a Best Actor race as crowded as this one!

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