We can’t blame you if as much as you caught about this years Oscar ceremony was the postman knocking twice, so here’s a quick round-up of the past 12 months latest and greatest movies as selected by Oscar!
The award for best picture was the highlight of the show this year, not least because of the award itself, but also due to the monumental gaffe in its presentation. Originally the award went to ‘La La Land’ and the (La La Land) team dutifully trooped on stage to collect it, only to find out that it was a mistake and ‘Moonlight’ had actually won the award.
As far as movies go moonlight is supposed to cater to younger male audiences. This is because it is a ‘coming of age’ movie and showcases the early life, teenage and eventually young adulthood of a young African American male who faced the difficulties of growing up in a rough neighbourhood in Miami. Unfortunately, from the point of view of the average layman, there is nothing to grab and hold his interest. It’s a fairly straightforward story of life in the ‘hood’ (low income areas, primarily occupied by the African American community). And that’s about it. Add to that the fact, that it is over 110 minutes and it simply starts getting tedious. There are flashes of brilliance though, principally due to the great acting skills of Mahershala Ali (who won an Oscar for ‘best supporting actor’) however, beyond that, there is little to hold anyone’s interest in this otherwise bland movie. Though, having said that, it has great artistic merit since it also won an Oscar for ‘best adapted’ screenplay too.
La La Land – Best Director
La La Land may not have bagged the ‘best picture award’, but it did manage to nail the ‘Best Director’ title courtesy of some stellar work by Director Damien Chazelle. While at it, actress Emma Stone bagged the best actress award. As a matter of fact, at the 89th Academy Awards, La La Land bagged half a dozen awards including:
- Best Director,
- Best Actress
- Best Cinematography,
- Best Original Score,
- Best Original Song (“City of Stars”) &
- Best Production Design
The movie is essentially a proponent of the ‘musical romantic comedy drama’ film genre. The male lead is Ryan Gosling; a struggling Jazz pianist who meets an aspiring actress. (Emma Stone) The story revolves around their chance meetings in Los Ageless (La La Land) and how these meetings lead them to fall in love with each other. However, unlike the conventional run of the mill ‘happily ever after theme’, this time the star-struck lovers live their dreams and live happily ever after… but not in each others’ arms…
Everything about this movie, from the songs to its unconventional ending, spells excellence. No wonder it essentially clean-swept this year’s Oscars. If you are a fan of romantic musicals, this one is an absolute must-watch!
Manchester by the Sea
Starring Casey Affleck as the lead, this is a drama film directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan that won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay as well as Best Actor. The plot is based on a man who has to take care of his recently orphaned nephew. It is not an easy task for him since he is haunted by his own ghosts and his nephew keeps reminding him of them. The bitter-sweet drama of a fun loving man gradually withdrawing from society is sure to keep audiences riveted to their seats. However, this is definitely not a movie for aficionados of action flicks.
Fantastic beasts and where to find them
If you are a fan of JK Rowling’s harry Potter series, then this flick is an absolute ‘Must Watch”. No ifs and buts about it. It bagged the Oscar for best costume design and is considered to be a sort of prequel to the Harry Potter series of movies and books.
The plot revolves around a wizard and witch who are trying to protect ‘Fantastic’ beasts from the people hunting them… while simultaneously trying to protect said people from the beasts. The underlying themes are bigotry and xenophobia and how we should all come together to combat them. All in all, an absolutely masterful performance by the entire team who pitched together to create truly great cinematic magic.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name by the late August Wilson, ‘Fences’ is a movie that has excellence written all over it when it comes to acting performances from its cast. In fact, Viola Davis won the ‘best supporting actress’ Oscar for this movie.
The plot is based on a working class American living in the 1950s era where he is trying to bring up his family, while being bitter about the discrimination he had faced as a youngster, decades back. The movie revolves around how that bitterness clouds his judgement and creates tension in his personal life and relationships with the rest of his family. Directed by the living screen legend Denzel Washington, who also plays the male lead, this is electrifying entertainment at its best.
That’s it for the 2017 Oscars folks – let’s see what wonders and marvels the film industry manages to present to us this year!