OSCARS 2017 – WHO SHOULD WIN BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

With so many movies represented in any given year’s Academy Awards Ceremony, very few people have time to watch all the movies needed to be fully prepared for Hollywood’s biggest night. Sure, you can read predictions from experts that are well-trained in nit-picking and over-analyzing every move an actor makes, or every scene a director directs, but it’s likely that the majority of movie goers value their friend’s opinion of a movie or performance just as much as what the critics think.

While all five of the actresses below gave memorable, praiseworthy performances, the following is a casual movie fan’s perspective of who is most deserving to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the 2017 Academy Awards.

 

5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

(photo credit: goldderby.com)

 

While all three ladies from Hidden Figures gave solid performances, Octavia Spencer’s role as Dorothy Vaughan, the mathematician and supervisor, was the least impressive. I’m not sure if the Academy just put the names of all three ladies in a hat and Spencer was the one chosen, but the fact that she got the nod over Janelle Monáe and Taraji Henson is shocking to say the least.

Here are some circumstances I can relate this to in order to help you understand my confusion. Octavia Spencer being nominated over her two co-stars is like….

  • Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child being named “Best Female In An All Black Female Duo or Group” over Beyonce and Kelly Rowland. Or TBoz, Left Eye, or Chili.

    (buzzfeed.com)

  • Larry being named most popular and humorous Stooge

    (Pinterest)

  • Simon being named the chipmunk you most want to be BFF’s with

    (fanpop)

  • Yellow winning an award for most popular primary color

You catch my drift? Octavia Spencer is a phenomenal actress and all, but the Academy was way too over-zealous to follow-up her 2011 Best Supporting Actress Win for her role in The Help.

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion

(photo credit: awardswatch.com)

 

Let’s face it, moms have it rough. They are constantly worrying about what poor choices their children will make. They often times have to walk on egg shells to not “annoy” or “bother” their child. And 99.9% of them continue to stick by their child even when their son/daughter is a complete lost cause.

All this makes being an adoptive mother all the more admirable. In Lion, Nicole Kidman portrays real life Australian adoptive mother of two, Sue Brierley. Not only does Brierley and her husband selflessly adopt two children from India, but she stands by their side despite all their deep-seeded issues. One child suffers from rage and self-harm, while the other child obsesses over finding his real life mother on the other side of the world.

Kidman makes it impossible to not sympathize with, as anyone with a caring mother is all too familiar with the look on her face when she is about to meet her wit’s end. One time, years back, while vacationing in Italy, my mother couldn’t find me as we were touring the Vatican. After getting the entire family to frantically search for what must have been nearly 15 minutes, she dramatically found me as I was educating myself on the history of my religion by listening to the provided headphones and reading along with each of the corresponding informational blurbs about each artifact. IMPORTANT FACT: I was 33 years old. ANOTHER IMPORTANT FACT: Moms are nuts.

Anyway, when my mother and I were finally reunited after what must have been a horrific twenty minutes for her in the holiest place on Earth, the look on her face was very similar to the “wit’s end” Nicole Kidman towards the end of the film.

Job well done, Mrs. Kidman.

 

3. Naomi Harris, Moonlight

(Photocredit: indiewire.com)

 

Fortunately for my family and I, unlike Nicole Kidman, I have no story to relate my mother to the crack head emotionally abusive mother that Naomi Harris plays in the movie Moonlight. 

With that being said, I would imagine that Harris plays the role of the aforementioned crack head emotionally abusive mother, Paula, with the upmost realism.

Regardless, her acting was out of this world impressive, and in many other years, she would easily be the frontrunner to take home the award. Sadly, for her, there are two other woman whose performances out shined even her A+ acting.

 

2. Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea

(photo credit: hollywoodreporter.com)

Talk about karma being a big, huge bitch… Nearly two decades after the atrocity of Michelle Williams being snubbed over and over again by the Teen Choice Awards for them refusing to nominate her over fellow Dawson’s Creek actress, Katie Holmes, it is now Williams that is getting the last laugh.

You could cut the tension with a knife on the set of Dawson’s Creek

 

While Holmes was busy taking care of her crazy husband, Williams remained focused on her acting career and has earned a little less than a zillion* nominations and wins for some insanely fantastic roles over the past decade.

Her role as Randi in the film Manchester By The Sea was impeccable and she stole the scene every time she appeared on-screen. Unfortunately, she was only in a limited amount of scenes. If she had just a bit more screen time, I would give her the edge, but in order to beat Viola Davis, she would have to do a little bit more than the approximate 10 spectacular minutes in which she graced our screens.

* I am not exactly sure if the number is actually a little less than a zillion but I do know it is a lot. And a hell of a lot more than Katie Holmes.

 

1. Viola Davis, Fences

(photo credit: awardsdaily.com)

If it weren’t for the fantastic acting in Fences, I doubt I would have been able to make it through the flick without falling asleep a few times. But Viola Davis made it impossible to look away. Her performance of Rose Lee Maxson was absolutely heart-breaking and made me feel actual hatred for her husband, played by Denzel Washington.

Never have I yearned to be a black female rights activist living in 1950’s Pittsburgh more than after watching

Davis’ powerful, emotional, and flawless performance. And that’s saying a lot because I can recall wanting to be a black female rights activist living in 1950’s Pittsburgh like at least 7 times just off the top of my head.

Despite the fact that Davis probably should have been nominated for Best Actress instead of Best Supporting Actress, I don’t see a scenario in which she doesn’t walk away with the Oscar on Sunday night.

 

Click here for the Best Supporting Actor countdown

Click here for Best Documentary Short Subject (in my opinion, the most important category)

Oscars 2017 – Who Should Win Best Supporting Actor

With so many movies represented in any given year’s Academy Awards Ceremony, very few people have time to watch all the movies needed to be fully prepared for Hollywood’s biggest night. Sure, you can read predictions from experts that are well-trained in nit-picking and over-analyzing every move an actor makes, or every scene a director directs, but it’s likely that the majority of movie goers value their friend’s opinion of a movie or performance just as much as what the critics think.

While all five of the actors below gave memorable, praiseworthy performances, the following is a casual movie fan’s perspective of who is most deserving to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 2017 Academy Awards.

5. Dev Patel, Lion

(Photo credit: Contactmusic.com)

 

Not since Bobby and Cindy Brady were lost in the Grand Canyon has a little Indian boy made such an impact on pop culture. Lionthe story of an Indian boy who gets permanently lost while chilling on a mission with his older brother, is full of memorable performances including Best Supporting Actress nominee, Nicole Kidman, and my own personal nominee for cutest kid of all time, 8 year old, Sunny Pawar. However, it is Dev Patel’s role of missing boy-turned soul searching adult, Saroo Brierley that is most impressive.

While Bobby and Cindy Brady managed to survive getting lost in the wide open Grand Canyon thanks to their Indian friend, it is all but guaranteed they would both be dead in just hours if they got lost in the bustling streets of India.

 

As an Indian-British actor, Patel had to speak in an Australian accent for the role, and  somehow it came off as believable as how easy it would be to get permanently lost on the streets of India.

Unfortunately while Patel certainly deserves the recognition of the nomination, he is up against some incredibly strong actors in some even more unforgettable roles.

4. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

(Photo credit: vimooz.com)

 

Along with stellar performances by co-stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon’s portrayal of “no f*cks given,” Detective Bobby Andes in the thriller, Nocturnal Animals made the film one of the must see movies of 2016.

Shannon’s nomination, while well-deserved, was one of the more surprising nominations of the year. Detective Andes was about as bad ass as you get, and not many actors can do bad ass the way Shannon can. He owned the role and seemed to do so effortlessly. Unfortunately for Shannon, the buzz surrounding many of his other competitors will make the odds of him taking home the Oscar rather unlikely.

 

3. Jeff Bridges, Hell Or High Water

(Photo credit: IMDb.com)

 

The biggest strike against Jeff Bridges winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor isn’t the four other actors he is competing against, nor is it the voting Academy members. The biggest hurdle Bridges needs to overcome is himself and his own reputation.

Over the course of his extensive career, Bridges has delivered epic performances time and time again, one of which won him the Best Actor Oscar for the 2009 drama, Crazy Heartand many of which has earned his nominations.

While his performance as Texas Ranger, Marcus Hamilton in last year’s Western crime thriller, Hell Or High Water is certainly worthy of an Academy Award, just about everything Bridges does* is worthy of an award, and thus, it may come across as less impressive than some of his lesser-known competitors.

* I was planning on making fun of Bridges’ attempt at a career in music, but after listening to his music on Spotify I have come to the realization that this “Dude” can do no wrong.

 

2. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

(Photo credit : eonline.com)

 

Mahershala Ali was brilliant in his role as Juan, the nicest, kindest, warm-hearted drug dealer of all time, in the critically acclaimed Moonlight. 

Ali was only in the film for the first third, and his absence from the remainder of the film was obvious. Despite the film being littered with memorable characters, Ali’s was the one that stood out from the rest.

Juan may have been a drug dealer and all, but if I ever was in a pinch and needed a babysitter at the last-minute, I know exactly which street corner I would be heading to.

Ali will very likely win the award, but in my opinion, there is one other actor that may deserve it a hair more…

1. Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea

(Photo credit: AceShowbiz.com)

 

In my opinion, of all the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, Lucas Hedges’ portrayal of 16-year-old Patrick Chandler in Manchester By The Sea was the most impressive.

As a relatively unknown teenager, Hedges not only held his own against insanely spectacular performances by Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, but he may have even stole the spotlight a bit from them.

Looking back on Manchester By The Sea, it is Hedges’ role as Patrick that stands out the most.

While the vast majority of teenagers are sarcastic, bratty, ungrateful and miserable in real life, Hedges nailed the role and his portrayal of an angst-ridden Boston teen was one of, if not the most accurate and memorable performances in any movie from 2016.

 

For a countdown of what I deem to be the most important category in this years Academy Awards, Best Documentary Short Subject, click here.

Best Documentary Short Subject – Oscars 2017

While movies like LaLa Land, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight have created quite the buzz this Oscar season, perhaps the most important films from 2016 are the ones that you have likely never heard of.

Odds are, if you have heard any conversation about the 2017 Academy Awards Ceremony, or ANY Academy Awards Ceremony for that matter, you heard movie-goers making their predictions for the major categories of Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Actress in a Leading Role, etc.

Additionally, when watching the Academy Awards Ceremony, when you hear the presenter announce to the crowd “I am here to present the award for Best Documentary Short Subject,” you use it as your cue to make some popcorn, grab another beer from the fridge, or even fast forward through the “boring” category.

While I have watched all nine Best Picture Nominees, and enjoyed each of them in their own way, I am here to tell you that if you watch anything in preparation for the ceremony, the nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject are, without a doubt, the most important.

Each documentary is between 20 and 40 minutes long, and focuses on hot-button issues such as immigration, end of life decision-making, the Holocaust, and the daily airstrikes targeting innocent civilians in Syria.

Anyone that says “I can’t watch those, they are way too depressing,” is exactly what is wrong with humanity. They are sad, they are uncomfortable, and they will very likely make you cry at some point. But they are also touching stories about the good in people and how behind every terrible situation is a hero that deserves to have their story told.

Each of the following documentaries deserves to be awarded, but nevertheless, I will rank them from least to most likely to win the Oscar.

* The documentary Watani: My Homeland, the story of one family’s struggle to survive the Syrian Civil War, is not yet available to be watched online. Therefore, will not be included in the countdown. It will be ranked as soon as it becomes available. The trailer is below.

 

Best Documentary Short Subject

4) 4.1 Miles by Daphne Matziaraki (21 minutes)

“The world needs to know about this. We can’t be going through this alone,” yells one of the citizens in the community of the small Greek island that has been bombarded with over 600,000 refugees fleeing from Turkey over the past few years. The refugees attempt the 4.1 mile trek across the Aegean Sea to try to begin new lives.

But instead of focusing on the fleeing refugees, 4.1 Miles tells the story of the Greek Coast Guard that is in charge of rescuing the refugees as they approach their homeland. Perhaps the most unbelievable part of the entire 21 minute documentary is the fact that just 4.1 miles can separate a luxurious, elegant, Greek island from what many would consider to be Hell on Earth.

The story is tragic, as not all the refugees survive the trek, but the heroic acts of the Coast Guard, combined with the hospitality and acceptance of the refugees from the Greek community will make you thankful that such kind-hearted, selfless people exist.

Watch the documentary in its entirety below, or follow the link to their website.

 

3. The White Helmets by Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara (40 minutes)

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX

The White Helmets tells the story of a group of volunteer first responders that report to the site of the daily airstrikes that take place on civilians in Syria. The men are responsible for saving the lives of over 58,000 civilians since 2013.

Even as heartbreak and tragedy are happening all around them, including their own families, they risk their lives to find survivors in the post air strike rubble.

These men are heroes in every sense of the word, and 40 minutes almost doesn’t seem like enough time to honor the work that they do. Not since Baby Jessica was rescued from the well has a baby rescue scene been so miraculous. And the immediate bond and love the men have for the baby is about as beautiful as a moment can get.

Watch this documentary and if you can, support these heroes by considering making a charitable donation to their cause by following this link.

 

2. Joe’s Violin by Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen (24 minutes)

Joe’s Violin is the story of an unlikely friendship between a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor, and a 12-year-old girl from the Bronx.

Both avid fans of the violin, the two form a deep bond over one very special instrument. One day Joe hears a commercial that a local drive is taking place where people can donate instruments that they no longer find useful. He decided to donate his 70-year-old violin that he purchased after being released from the concentration camps once the Holocaust ended.

The violin makes its way into the hands of Brianna Perez, along with a description of Joe’s story and why the violin is so special.

It is the most heart-warming of all the short documentaries nominated this year, but that doesn’t mean you won’t cry. In fact, have your damn tissues nearby when watching this beauty.

Watch the documentary in its entirety below. Or visit the website to learn more about Joe and Brianna.

 

1. Extremis by Dan Krauss (24 minutes)

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX

Extremis is the heartbreaking documentary that follows the end-of-life decision-making process of doctors, patients and their families. It is a topic that many are scared to touch upon, as it can be quite controversial and harrowing.

Krauss, however, beautifully captures the step-by-step decision process from all ends, and flawlessly relays to the audience the sincere emotions of all parties involved.

One would think that the families going through the process would want privacy in such a tragic moment of their lives, but the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of families have, or will have to go through the exact same stages of decision-making for a loved one at some point in their lives.

It may be the most depressing documentary you have seen in a very long time, but it will also help you to realize how short, precious, unpredictable and beautiful life can be.

Watch the trailer below, or the documentary in its entirety on Netflix.

 

For who should win Best Supporting Actor click here.