Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Reel Opinion: Oscar Picks - Part 1

In this first part of Oscar Picks, Reel Speak picks the winners in the four acting categories.

The nominees for the upcoming 89th Academy Awards are one fine and diverse class of actors and actresses; ranging from veterans to newcomers turning in powerhouse and gentle performances. Here are this Blogger’s predictions for the winners…

Best Supporting Actress

With all due respect to all of the nominees in this category, this is no contest…as Viola Davis in FENCES is the clear frontrunner and eventual winner. Momentum is on her side as she’s already won the Golden Globe and BAFTA, and FENCES is a film which is dialogue-driven, which gives her more to work with. Her closest competition is Michelle Williams who broke a lot of hearts in MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, but her screentime was very limited. Naomi Harris was outstanding in MOONLIGHT (she was the best part about it), but common sense says this will be the first of two major wins for FENCES.

Winner: Viola Davis

Best Supporting Actor

Readers of Reel Speak should know by now that this Blogger was no big fan of MOONLIGHT, but Mahershala Ali seems to be the favorite to win this category…despite having mumbled throughout the film. He’s won the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) in this category, which bested fellow Oscar nominees Jeff Bridges and Dev Patel. This Blogger would love to see an upset here, especially with young Lucas Hedges for his grounded and heartbreaking role in MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, but Ali looks to be the favorite.

Winner: Mahershala Ali

Best Actress

This is a very strong class of nominees with three of the five in very dramatic and tragic roles; such as Ruth Negga’s gentle yet strong determination in LOVING, Natalie Portman’s tragic turn in JACKIE, and Isabelle Huppert’s dark role in ELLE. The fun and charm can be found with Emma Stone in LA LA LAND and multi-nominee Meryl Streep in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS. It’s a tight race, but Emma Stone is the only actress here whose film is a Best Picture nominee, and that gives her the edge.

Winner: Emma Stone

Best Actor

With respect to all of the actors in this category, this is another no-contest…as Denzel Washington should run away with this one easily. His powerhouse performance in FENCES, which he also directed, basically turned this veteran actor into another person…and it was easy to forget that we were watching Denzel. His closest competition is Casey Affleck for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, who bested Denzel at the Globes, but it’s hard to imagine it happening again…as Denzel was too huge and complex of a character in FENCES. Denzel has already won the SAG, and on this night gets his third career Oscar.

Winner: Denzel Washington


In Part 2, Reel Speak picks the winners in the elemental categories leading to Best Picture.

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