First Inaugural BarnBurner Oscar Preview

This Sunday is the 89th celebration of cinema achievement, The Oscars.  This year looks to be more dull than a contest between the Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings, but the world will still be watching.  If the Golden Globes are any indication, then La La Land looks to clean up, in a year where most of the controversy will be if our tweeter in chief will respond to any of the winner’s speeches.  Which makes one wonder, why does every Oscar winner have to have a political soap box?  Why can’t anyone just thank Migos and all the black folks in Atlanta?  Also, where is the #OscarsAreStillPrettyWhiteButMaybeOtherShitIsMoreImportantInOurCountryRightNow trending storm?

Alas, here are our predictions of who will win, and who should win.  I know I technically contribute to The Barn Chief’s blog, which makes him my boss, but I feel the need to let the readers know his opinion is shit because he thinks Leo Dicaprio is a mediocre actor.

Best Picture

Who will win:

Young Goat:  If La La Land loses, they basically will have to blow a 3-1 lead.  I have no issues with this winning.  The movie is dope and very enjoyable, the cinematography is masterful, and Gosling and Stone are fucking on one in their performances.  I also think it is dope for Damien Chazelle, who wanted to make this movie, couldn’t get the funding, made another award winner, Whiplash, got the funding, and refused to make any changes to the script.  That is G status.

CHIEF:  La La Land is this year’s Oscar darling.  Honestly, the flick has the likability of  10,000 Steph/Riley Curry GIFs.  The Academy has a history of sucking on the teat of movies about movies and the associated industry (see, e.g., Birdman), which typically chaffs my ass.  But I’ve got to admit, La La Land was an immensely satisfying emotional ride.  I’m not a huge musical guy (not anti-musical, just not necessarily pro-musical) and it still somehow made me experience all of the emotions it intended me to feel.  The piano motif between Mia and Sebastian is some of the best movie scoring I’ve ever heard.  Every time those little notes danced from the screen into my ear drums, especially during the end sequence, it made me feel all the feels.

Who should win:

Young Goat:  Probably La La Land if you’re going off the list of nominees, but I think The Nice Guys was my favorite film of 2016.  Which probably has a lot to do with there not being a Fast and Furious movie this year.

CHIEF:  Of the nominees, I like Hell or High Water.  The Academy is so concerned with avoiding a movie that is considered an “acting vehicle.”  To me, Hell or High Water had weight, believable and entertaining performances, and was technically superb as well.  The opening bank robbery sequence, seemingly filmed in one take, snags your attention from the beginning.  Jeff Bridges’ grizzled Texas Ranger (not unlike his turn in True Grit) provides levity amongst the gritty tale of murder and fraud.  For those that crave some deep-ass meaning in their cinema, Hell or High Water also involved some social commentary on the banking industries’ interactions (or lack thereof) with the less fortunate.

Best Actor:

Who will win:

Young Goat:  Denzel will win, and I’m not gonna argue that.  I’m not trying to be the only guy on the internet to not like Denzel.  Denzel is a national treasure, and no one will argue his win.

CHIEF:  Unlike my feelings towards DiCaprio, I actually like Denzel.  This win seems like a penultimate Oscar achievement award, though.  I’d have preferred him win for Flight, instead of us being like “oh, he hasn’t won in awhile, but he’s a bitchin’ actor so he needs to win for something.”  Actually reminds me of DiCaprio’s win for The Revenant.  Denzel’s been better before, why do we feel the need to placate him here?

Who should win:

Young Goat:  I’d give it to Casey Affleck.  I know there is controversy around him, but when has that ever kept anyone from winning anything?  Affleck’s performance is one of the most moving I’ve ever seen, and the last scene with Michelle Williams makes me want to cry into a glass of wine right now.

CHIEF:  Man, retweet.  Watching Manchester By the Sea transcended the feeling of sitting in a movie theater.  I was watching the stuff play out as if I was watching some sort of 60 Minutes special.  The best part of Affleck’s performance was what he did with the quiet moments with no dialogue (and there are a lot).  With his hands dug deeply in his pockets and his hunched, slow walk, Affleck gives us a man with the weight of the world (and a dark past, kept secret from the audience) resting on his shoulders.  Juxtapose that with his unpredictable temper, and it’s the best single character I’ve seen since DDL walked in Daniel Plainview’s boots.

Best Actress:

Who will win:

Young Goat:  Emma Stone will win, which is fine by me, and La La Land will keep rolling. What a career she’s had.  Go watch her in Superbad, it’s on Netflix right now.  You won’t be disappointed.

CHIEF:  Yep, Stone’s got it in the bag.  Although I thought the sequence towards the end where she sings her audition was a little cheesy.

Who should win:

Young Goat:  I don’t think anyone will be upset with Emma Stone, but I’m frankly surprised that Natalie Portman playing Jackie Kennedy isn’t getting more love.

CHIEF:  Portman as Jackie lost a lot of traction when the movie as a whole ended up sucking ass.  I’m on Ruth Negga in Loving, which tracks the Supreme Court case re inter-racial marriage.  Negga plays a woman desperate to remain with her love, who happens to be a different color.  This movie easily checks off the “complex social issue box,” and Negga convincingly portrays the struggles of being an African-American woman in this time period.  Even the director, Mike Nichols, stated, “She spoke in Mildred’s voice. She held her mouth like Mildred […] I wasn’t looking for star power. I was looking for great actors.

NOTE: Preposterous that Amy Adams didn’t get a nod for her work in Arrival.  Almost unforgivable.

Best Supporting Actor:

Who will win:

Young Goat:  Mahershala Ali.  No issue here, dude is a great actor, and the most spectacular part of one of the year’s most acclaimed movies.  And as a straight man, I think he’s handsome as hell.

CHIEF:  Agree, given that Moonlight will be otherwise snubbed, I sense this is where the Academy will make up its ground.  And it’s an easy decision.  White mobsters and criminals have always been humanized in Hollywood. As they should be, we’re all human. It’s nice to see a black drug dealer portrayed in a complex, human way.  Juan is smart, empathetic, and caring.  He hustles to survive and is definitely flawed but we see that Juan shows more love to Chiron than Chiron’s own mother.

Who should win:

Young Goat:  Ali has this in the bag, and no one will take issue, but I think Lucas Hedges was hilarious in Manchester by the Sea which is the saddest shit I’ve ever seen in theaters.

CHIEF:  This is a really fucking stacked category this year.  I love Hedges, Bridges, and Michael Shannon is one of my favorite underrated actors working today.  Ali plays a character we don’t see a lot in film.  He’d be right at home in The Wire.  Let’s get this sort of modern realism some love.

Best Supporting Actress:

Who will win:

Young Goat:  Viola Davis will win, and there will be controversy.  Not that she isn’t an amazing actress, but that somehow she is designated as supporting.  I also expect the whole crowd to give a standing ovation during her speech because this woman knows how to accept awards.

CHIEF:  In a last ditch effort to prove its authenticity, the Academy jacks up a 3 and Michelle Williams somehow wins.  There is not a single person that would say that she wasn’t the best woman in any movie this year.  Admittedly, I didn’t see Hidden Figures.  I’m sure Viola Davis is great — she always is.  But this year, there simply couldn’t be anyone better.

Who should win:

Young Goat:  If I’m Michelle Williams, I feel cheated.  Her PER in Manchester by the Sea is the same as James Harden’s this season.  She does an amazing job playing off Affleck, and if you didn’t get emotional during her last scene then you are less human than a Westworld host.

CHIEF:  Like Affleck, Michelle Williams does a lot with her minimal lines.  Guess what, it’s believable too.  A woman that’s loved and lost so much doesn’t seem that far fetched in today’s divorce happy world.

Honorable Mentions:

Cinematography:

Arrival‘s Bradford Young turns in an amazingly shot movie (and is currently shooting the new Han Solo movie — much to my glee).

BUT, look at this majestic shit from Moonlight:

 

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