Saturday, June 25, 2016

Oscar-Worthy Contenders From The First Half Of 2016

The first half of 2016 is done and that means it's time to do some reflection on the best the year has to offer so far this year. Here are some films that I think should be in the conversation during awards season. Let's take a look:

Eye In The Sky For Every Category (Best Picture, Director, Acting, Etc.): It is very refreshing to see a war film that is very non-judgmental, demonstrating the situation at hand and letting the audience decide for themselves where they stand. Not only that, but despite the film consisting of people in rooms making decisions, it manages to be very tense throughout. 

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling For Best Actor For The Nice Guys: These two are absolute dynamite together! Ignore the fact that this is an action-comedy. Ignore the fact that it didn't do well at the box office. Ignore all those things and consider these two. They make one of the best on-screen pairings this year if not THE best.

Sally Field For Best Actress For Hello, My Name Is Doris: It is nice to see Sally Field given another star vehicle that plays to her best strengths. She provides some of the funniest line-readings of the year ("How about Lilith Cumswell?") while also finding humanity into a woman that may be simple-minded and zany yet is still unapologetic for who she is.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead For Best Actress For 10 Cloverfield Lane: In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a portrayal of a sci-fi heroine that would make Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor very proud. Her Michelle is witty and very tactical while she also discovers her own self-doubt. We could use more on-screen heroines like her.

Ralph Fiennes For Best Supporting Actor For A Bigger Splash: If there is a better Supporting Actor turn this year than Ralph Fiennes as Harry in A Bigger Splash, then I haven't seen it and I probably won't see it. His character has an emotional longing that Fiennes channels to a demonic fury that lights up every single scene he's in and his performance is a worthy entry in the new comedic chapter in his career. Is there anything he can't do?

John Goodman For Best Supporting Actor For 10 Cloverfield Lane: One of Hollywood's greatest character actors who, over the course of his long career, has not once been nominated for an Oscar. In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Goodman's multi-layered performance shows that the monsters outside aren't the only ones our main character should fear.

Alden Ehrenreich For Best Supporting Actor For Hail, Caesar!: I was not the biggest fan of Hail, Caesar!. In fact, I thought it was the biggest disappointment of the year thus far. But the film's brightest spot is without a doubt Alden Ehrenreich as the Western movie star Hobie Doyle. In fact, I thought he was so good, I kept waiting for him to appear back on screen. Thankfully, since he's the young Han Solo, we will be seeing more from this young talent in the future.

The Lobster For Best Original Screenplay: Without a doubt the most original film this year. In fact, it manages to mold together dystopian world-building with real-world storytelling.

Zootopia For Best Original Screenplay: Another film that mixes world-building with real-world storytelling but with different layers to it as it is an adventure, a mystery, and a demonstration of racism and prejudice all together at once.

The Witch For Best Original Score: The film's terror lies a lot in his atmosphere and its score with the sounds of violins screeching and people making ominous sounds in the background. While the Academy isn't always accustomed to awarding horror, as the two wins for The Exorcist (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing) and win for The Omen in Best Original Score show us, they do make exceptions.

Deadpool For Best Film Editing: Thanks to the film's constant use of breaking the fourth wall, slow motion, and sudden pauses, Deadpool is able to feel very much like a comic book brought to the big screen and it is one of the reasons why the movie is so enjoyable.

"Try Everything" From Zootopia For Best Original Song: It is the end of June and I still cannot get this catchy tune out of my head! But not only is this song catchy but it helps hit the film's message home: You're going to fall on your face but you either try again or follow another path.