The Oscars are our Super Bowl.
We may not go to many movies all year long, but once it gets down to the chosen few, we spend the weeks before the BIG day trying to see as many nominated films as possible. We start listening to commentators and movie buffs to get all of the inside action. We strategize meal plan options and clear the day to watch every single pre-game activity.
If there was Oscar t-shirts and baseball caps, I am pretty sure we would purchase them. At least we need a Oscars flag to fly with team pride.
Everyone needs to know that, “yep we are at home in our pjs toasting champagne critically examining who wore it best and who will win.” Safe from our couch we will yell at the TV at any misstep (as if we actually had any experience on the stage or receive any life changing benefit from this award show).
Yep, the Academy Awards Show is our Super Bowl, Oscar is our Lombardi Trophy, and it is just as void of anything meaningful to our day to day life as football. Go Oscars!
Emma picks: Moonlight: This was a tough one, but I am going with Moonlight because of the complexity of issues explored, the timeline of the character and it exposed a side of life that is really quite rough. My heart truly went out to the main character, and I felt his pain and suffering. None of the others really got me like that.
Kimberly picks: Honestly it seems like none of these films are a big production house, sure runaway hit. Most of them are small personal stories that may or may not appeal to everyone. You are compelled to look beyond your own experience to “feel” these films. For me that is a good thing. They are not overly ‘feel good’ movies. That said, they are the type of films that stay with you for days, they shape how you view the world the moment you leave the theater. You are exposed. Maybe threatened by the experience.
My least favorite is Hacksaw Ridge. I was expecting more. The true story is amazing. But there have been so many exceptional award winning war stories that Hacksaw just doesn’t match. So yes, a story worth being told. It was just done in a rather ‘cheesy’ way.
A surprising winner to me, is Hell or High Water. Quirky story that will make you root for the underdog even though their behaviors are not always through law-abiding ways. It was surprisingly heartwarming while taking you on a grimy, gunslinger, dustbowl journey with true grit characters.
Manchester by the Sea and Arrival are usually the type of movie themes I like. Death and sorrow are my flick of choice. So I am not choosing them because I always prefer these films.
LaLa Land is very charming. Beautifully shot. It has the ‘feel good’ factor. Honestly though, it probably isn’t the right year for this feeling. Too superficial, maybe, for the time. I know, I know, movies are supposed to be an escape. Yet shouldn’t Best Picture be reflective of the times.
I haven’t seen Lion yet. My gut tells me it will appeal to me much like Arrival and Manchester by the Sea. Tear jerkers are my thing.
Now we get down to Fences, Hidden Numbers and Moonlight. Each of these movies wake us up to the struggles of being Black in America. Unfortunately this topic is very relevant today. Hidden Numbers, like Hackshaw Ridge, is an amazing true story. A story untold for too long. That said, Moonlight and Fences takes us through a grueling realness of how a life is shaped by discrimination, poverty, and aggression.
Moonlight is raw and hard to imagine. Fences is hard to bear even hostile. It is a toss up as far as which social commentary is better told and will help to bridge the gap between those with very different life experiences, raise awareness and understanding. I’ll leave that to the film scholars. I am just proud the academy got it right this year.
Wow, I never imagined I would get so deep on this.
Emma Picks: Lala Land: Because why not? Totally fun, charming and great film. It was seamless and just worked, (I did see all of them by the way).
Kimberly picks: Lala Land. Beautifully shot. So L.A., and I am a native Angeleno.
Emma picks: Denzel Washington:I’ve seen 4/5 of these movies, and it was kind of tough but here are my thoughts…Casey Affleck, eh? The movie was a bit slow to show off how truly hurt and affected his character truly was. Andrew Garfield? His character stayed true to his beliefs and the conflict between what he believes and what he should do was real. Ryan Gosling? Perfect for the film, I just felt as though he’s played this character before. Viggo Mortensen? LOVED the film, and I LOVED him. Truly a great movie if you haven’t seen it. But…my belief is that Denzel should get the award based on the depth of character and issues explored in the movie. There are a few dimensions he explores.
Kimberly picks: Come on, Denzel Washington is the male Meryl Streep. He is flawless in everything he does. Although if you haven’t seen Captain Fantastic, please do. Very delightful. Of course, remember death is my jam so don’t say I didn’t warn you. It has a nice live and let live message. I liked it.
Emma picks: Ruth Negga: She was bright, beautiful passive and strong all at the same time. This movie was a sad commentary about America during the late 50s and 60s, and she played her role beautifully. Although, Meryl was totally enjoyable, and Emma Stone charming, but I feel Ruth Negga was richer.
Kimberly picks: OK, Meryl was fantastic as Florence Foster Jenkins. She is a master. And frankly I’d love to hear her acceptance speech. Just say’in.
But I love to give the nod to new comers and Ruth Negga in Loving was a solid performance. Also Loving is a true story every American should know and commit to never repeat. America is great because we look at our flaws and strive to be better.
Emma picks: Dev Patel:I’ve seen 3/5 of the films and I didn’t think that the others were as memorable. After looking at the film, and analyzing its depth, I think that he was probably the richest character out of all 5.
Kimberly picks: I think I’ll throw my support to Jeff Bridges. Hell or High Water was a real surprise to me. Jeff Bridges was central to making this film a gem.
Emma picks: Viola Davis: Because isn’t she always a badass in her roles? I haven’t seen Fences yet, but I’ve seen some of the others, and I feel as though she’s it.
Kimberly picks: I agree with Emma. Viola Davis is a badass. Nuff said.
Now, the big question is. What are we going to eat?
Just like the big game, the night is all about the meal planning.
I mean, Champagne instead of beer, of course!