And the Nominees For Best Picture Are… (Part 1)

Posted February 22, 2017 by @Angelized_1st in Article, Entertainment, Film / 6 Comments


For the past five years I’ve attended AMC’s Best Picture Showcase, which is a movie marathon of all the Academy Award nominated films for the year. Usually I attend the 24 hour marathon held the Saturday before Oscar Sunday, but occasionally I attend the 2-day marathon event that takes place over the two Saturdays prior to the awards ceremony. Last Saturday I attended day #1 of this event, and watched four out of the nine nominated films. Here is a short review of each film, and be sure to tune in next week for my review of the last five films.

1.) Manchester By the Sea

Director: Kenneth Lonergan

Writer: Kenneth Lonergan

Stars: Casey Affleck,  Michelle Williams,  Kyle Chandler

This film was very well acted, and directed, but the story was extremely depressing. The film is about a man who is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after his father dies. Viewers watch as the man struggles with his ability to be a father to his nephew years after suffering a great tragedy that wrecked his life. This story gives viewers a glimpse into the life of one man whose past is still influencing his future, and how this affects those he loves. While I was entertained by this film, I didn’t like how the film ended, and was left feeling unsatisfied.

Source: Movieclips Trailers

2.) Fences

Director: Denzel Washington

Writers: August Wilson (screenplay),  August Wilson (based upon his play “Fences”)

Stars: Denzel Washington,  Viola Davis,  Stephen Henderson

This powerful drama centers around an African-American family during the 1950’s, and how they cope with their domineering patriarch. Denzel Washington stars and directed this film, and did a phenomenal job. The story is moving, and very reminiscent of real-life today, despite being set in the past. Viewers watch a working class man struggle with his life, and how he hasn’t lived up to what he dreamed he’d be. This sense of failure causes him to live his life in a way that is often destructive to those he loves, and has repercussions that reverberate through time. This was my favorite film of the day, and I believe that both Denzel and Viola Davis should take home the statue.

Source: Paramount Pictures 

3.) Hell or High Water

Director: David Mackenzie

Writer: Taylor Sheridan

Stars: Chris Pine,  Ben Foster,  Jeff Bridges

I hadn’t heard of this film prior to last Saturday, so I had no expectations for it. Hell or High Water is the story of a divorced father (Pine) and his ex-con older brother (Foster) who resort to bank robbery in order to save their family’s West Texas ranch. Though well acted, exciting, and at times very funny, I don’t find this film to be in the same league as the other films seen last Saturday. This highly entertaining film held my attention the entire time I watched it, but it lacked the gravitas that seemed evident in both Fences and Manchester By the Sea. 

Source: CBS Films

4.) La La Land

Director: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle

Stars: Ryan Gosling,  Emma Stone,  Rosemarie DeWitt

La La Land was an enjoyable film. I love watching Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone together on-screen. Their chemistry is amazing, and they make natural partners. However, I feel like this film was over-hyped. Though entertaining, this film is a love letter to those who love the Golden Age of Hollywood, and Los Angeles, as it’s filled with lots of inside jokes surrounding the entertainment industry and L.A. life. The story centers around a jazz pianist (Gosling) who falls in love with an aspiring actress (Stone). Viewers watch as these two attempt to navigate a love life the they both dream of stardom. Like most of the films viewed this day, the realism was a little too real, and left me quite sad with the choices the characters made. The musical numbers were enjoyable, but I found them quite forgettable. Though a good film, don’t believe the hype.

Source: Lionsgate Movies 


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