Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Oscar Watch: Manchester By The Sea (2016)

Netflix tried to enter the Oscar fray last year with Beasts Of No Nation only to end up with zero nominations. Now Amazon Studios, another streaming service, is looking to do the same for the upcoming family drama Manchester By The Sea starring Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler, and Michelle Williams and directed by Kenneth Lonergan.

Now, judging by all the positive reviews thrown in the trailer and how they suggest that actors like Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams could be in the running for Oscar nominations, it is a very un-subtle way of Amazon saying that they are ready to be in the Oscar race. In my opinion, it's a less subtle approach.

The film looks very good, though. In fact, it looks better than I thought it would because I didn't have very high expectations before I saw the trailer. However, I don't know if intimate family dramas are an Oscar thing these days since we're years away from the days when films like Ordinary People and Terms of Endearment took home the Best Picture trophy. Boyhood, another Sundance wonder, was a strong contender for the Best Picture trophy but it only took home Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. So clearly voters weren't that passionate about it.

Judging by the overwhelmingly positive critical response that the trailer suggests, it could for sure be the critical favorite of the season and result in likely major nominations but as The Social Network losing Best Picture taught us, critics don't vote in the Academy.

Overall, I think this looks like a strong film and even though I won't be updating my predictions for this month because I'm waiting for the festivals very soon, I'm currently predicting it for Picture, Actor for Casey Affleck, Supporting Actor for Lucas Hedges, Supporting Actress for Michelle Williams, and Best Original Screenplay. It comes out on November 18th.

What do you guys think? Do you think it looks like a legitimate Oscar contender and do you think it looks like a great film in general? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!