American audiences have always loved Hollywood, this cultural obsession with the silver screen is why televisions all over the nation will be tuning into the 89th Academy Awards show on February 26th. All of the big names in cinema have chosen the films and stars that have a chance at taking home little golden statues and movie-lovers can’t wait to see if their favorites will receive deserved acclaim. Which boring movies do critics inexplicably love? Which beloved actor will spend ten minutes thanking his parents on the big stage? How did Suicide Squad even come close to an Oscar? Based on past awards and public opinion, The Shoreline is going to make some speculations, but then again, we had our money on the Falcons. Hopefully we know Tom Cruise better than we know Tom Brady.
Starting with some smaller categories, it looks as if Disney is going to do well for themselves this year between a nomination for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Moana soundtrack, and a nod to Rogue One’s stunning visual effects. “Miranda’s work is undisputed gold, the guy is absurdly talented, and if the Star Wars franchise continues to line Disney’s pockets like Rogue One did, soon they won’t have to use visual effects, they will just be able to buy their own spaceships. They’ve got both of those awards locked up” says Alex Smith, freshman. One film that has little to no chance at accolades is the drama Sully, that details the Hudson River plane landing. “Not even Tom Hanks could save Clint Eastwood’s ridiculous idea to turn a thirty second event into a full length film” says, Lloyd Miller, Senior.
For the larger awards, it’s easier to predict who’s name or what title is going to come out of the Oscar envelope. For example, if the academy decides to follow the trend, the two movies in the running for Best Picture are La La Land and Hidden Figures, two very different films. Jessica Coleman, junior says “La La Land is a sweet, pretty movie, it’s really light and fun” in contrast with Hidden Figures, a drama that highlights past racial discrimination, that has really struck a chord with modern viewers. La La Land is visually gorgeous, but awards shows love oppression, and Emma Stone is only oppressed in the sense that her role in La La Land was originally written for Emma Watson. There are other big name films in the Best Picture category like Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight that have sort of been pushed to the side on account of them being unrepentantly depressing. “I think even the dude who wrote The Boy in the Striped Pajamas would call these movies grossly sad and heavy handed” says Kevin Socia, freshman.
The odds for the highly regarded academy awards for Best Actor/Actress are in the favor of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the leads in La La Land. La La Land’s momentum could carry its stars to the podium, but they might not be the most deserving candidates. La La Land’s strength is its cinematography, not its acting, young talent like Andrew Garfield and Natalie Portman truly brought their characters to life in Hacksaw Ridge and Jackie and many would like to seem them recognized as a result.
There are other questions that these nominations raise that will have to be answered on the biggest night in Hollywood. Did the world need two hours of Jeff Bridges cosplaying at Tommy Lee Jones in No Country For Old Men? Was anybody not disappointed by the Coen brother’s Hail Caesar? Will Passengers take home an Oscar purely based on the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are easy on the eyes? We’ll see on the 26th of February!