The Best and Worst of Film in 2016: OSCARS AND RAZZIES REPORT

2:26 PM

Resurrecting the post I did two years ago, I'm going to be covering the main winners of the major award ceremonies that occurred in the past week. The categories I will spotlight are: picture, actor, actress, supporting actor and supporting actress. I will also look at surprises, snubs and oh that iconic but embarrassing Oscars moment...
I’ll start with the Oscars and then move on to the Razzies….

The Oscars:

Best Picture: Moonlight. I think it is important that Moonlight won this award – I didn’t think it was a remarkable film but for the Oscars to go from #OscarsSoWhite one year to a film with a black cast and made by black talent is pretty nice to see. I also think the subject matter of the film is quite important – stories are not usually told by characters like this, Hollywood needs more of it. I fell in love with the first two acts of the film, the third isn’t as good and did take a lot away for me. While we’re talking about Moonlight, I suppose we should talk about the action ‘Best Picture’ segment – for a couple of minutes, La La Land was falsely named Best Picture and what was even worse is a couple of the producers had enough time to complete their speeches before anyone noticed. However, La La Land were very honourable losers. However, after seeing both films, I would have actually gone with La La Land – this film is truly a piece of art and I think it was the best option. In an ideal world, I would have loved to have seen Hidden Figures take home the win but La La Land was the film I think was technically the best made.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea. For many, this win for Affleck was a disappointment and a snub for Denzel Washington (especially Brie Larson). For me, it was a well-deserved win as I thought Affleck was terrific in Manchester by the Sea. Controversially, I saw Fences and thought Denzel Washington was simply just good – that was Viola Davis’ movie. Affleck brought a very nuanced, subtle and captivating performance to the film. I am well aware Affleck doesn’t seem to be a very good person at all but nobody can deny his work is excellent in this film – he’s not being rewarded as a person but for his talent.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Emma Stone, La La Land. I am truly happy for Emma Stone – she was great in the film and I really like her as an actress in general – Easy A is one of my favourite comedies of all time so it’s great to see her star rise and reach such a career-high. Emma Stone’s speech was humble and lovely – she just seems like such a nice person. Stone’s career will last forever now and I think her performance was very good so it is nice to see her rewarded for it. However, I think I would possibly consider giving the Oscar to Natalie Portman for Jackie. She really transformed into The First Lady in that film and I was amazed by her performance. Of course though, I think Amy Adams for Arrival and Emily Blunt for The Girl On the Train were also deserving of the win, despite not getting nominations.

Best Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land. Chazelle is two for three, his first ever film? Nobody really payed attention to it. His second? A big awards contender and a fantastic film in general (Whiplash). His third? An awards and box office juggernaut. He’s relatively early into his career and he’s already an Academy award winner for his directing. It’s pretty amazing. At just 32, he has directed two multi-academy award winnign films. I think he is completely deserving of the award, there’s only one other guy I would have gave it to – Denis Villeneuve for Arrival – Villeneuve has quickly become one of my favourite directors after Prisoners, Sicario and now Arrival – maybe he’ll finally get the award he deserves after the Blade Runner sequel? Chazelle really helped to make La La Land a piece of art – the creative decisions he made were great, this film really was something special.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight. This is one award I actually question – Ali basically swept all ceremonies leading to the Oscars and was a lock – but why? I thought his performance was good but I don’t actually think Ali was given much material to work with. Some could say he was quite subtle and understated but I think there were other nominees who were more deserving. My choice for the award would have either been Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals or Dev Patel for Lion – Shannon was brilliant and Patel was a key element of Lion’s strongest elements. I feel like I am missing something when it comes to Ali but honestly, he wasn’t the best supporting actor this year was he?

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Viola Davis, Fences. The one award for Fences was for the area it deserved it most in – Viola Davis’ performance. She honestly blew me away – the other nominees just don’t have a patch on her. Davis in Fences was one of the best performances I ever seen and I think it is one that will be remembered for many years to come. Absolutely fantastic.

Notable Mentions:
Suicide Squad, Oscar Winner. For me, this honestly wasn’t much of a surprise and I think it was deserving. However, this was surprising for everyone who slated this film and tried to call it one of the worst films to walk the earth. Yes, the win was in Makeup and Hair and let’s all admit it, it deserves that win. The character design in Suicide Squad is already iconic – what was everyone dressing up like for Halloween in 2016? Harley Quinn and The Joker.
A Spread. It is rare that the wins are spread out across so many films – La La Land may have won the most but films like The Jungle Book, Fantastic Beasts, Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival, Fences, Zootopia all received deserved praise.
Auli’i Cravalho’s Performance. This isn’t anything to do with the actual awards but I thought this was definitely the best performance of the night – I’ve watched it numerous times since on Youtube and showed it to others, it’s simply beautiful. The stage design, the Lin Manuel Miranda intro (I originally wasn’t keen on), her voice, her outfit – everything. It was stunning to watch.

The Biggest Winners:
La La Land – 6
Moonlight – 3
Hacksaw Ridge – 2

The Razzies:

Worst Picture: Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. I haven’t seen this film and I do not intend it. From what I’ve heard, this film is simply just propaganda and not even good propaganda. I don’t really understand what the film is supposed to be about. Someone on Wikipedia has tried to call the film a box office success - $13 million total is not a success and the film peaked at number 9! What a success...not. There are two other films in the category that I would have given the Razzie to – Dirty Grandpa or Zoolander 2 – two horrendous films that were the lowest of the low of last year. However, Hillary’s America gets 4% on Rotten Tomatoes so I’m sure it’s a joy, just try to avoid it at all costs.

Worst Actor in a Leading Role: Dinesh D’Souza, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. It’s really hard to write about a film I’ve not seen but also barely heard anything about. D’Souza is also director of the film and apparently he plays himself – he must be really bad if he can’t even act as himself. Some may think, why not research into a film before writing about it? But I ask, would you research a literal piece of sh*t? No, the same thing applies here. Excluding D’Souza, Affleck and Cavill are nominated for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – they didn’t deserve the nominations, they weren’t even bad! I would have given the award to Robert De Niro for putting his career in jeopardy in Dirty Grandpa or Gerard Butler for his constant pouting in London Has Fallen and being part of white-washing in Gods of Egypt.

Worst Actress in a Leading Role: Rebekah Turner, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. Turner is basically an unknown and she’s only becoming known for bad things. Once again, not much to say on the performance itself but it’s likely terrible and Turner’s career is a nonstarter. Looking at the other ladies, I’m surprised Tyler Perry didn’t win for A Madea Halloween – the Razzies love giving the raspberries to men acting as women. I would have definitely have given the award to Julia Roberts for Mother’s Day though – she was horrendous in that film…and so was her wig.

Worst Director: Dinesh D’Souza, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. This Hillary’s America film must be pure trash – winning in all of the main categories. Who knows if there is some bias in the Razzies voting as it’s strange a very political film is sweeping everything – should we really class it as a legitimate film? It’s actually pretty hard to pick someone to win this though – Ben Stiller for Zoolander 2 is a possibility and so is Rolan Emmerich for Independence Day: Resurgence – both very poor films.

Worst Supporting Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I am actually quite saddened by this ‘win’ as I didn’t think Eisenberg was that bad, and certainly not Razzie worthy. An excerpt of my of my original BvS review: “I was impressed though with Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor - I liked him as a villain and I thought it was over the top and crazy which is what made his performance so strong”. I think that over-the-top and crazy performance must have a niche appeal. I would have happily and easily have given this award to Johnny Depp for Alice Through the Looking Glass – he was at the heart of such an awful film and I think Depp’s appeal is really wearing off.

Worst Supporting Actress: Kristen Wiig, Zoolander 2. Oh Razzies, I really do not agree with these supporting category wins at all. I liked her performance – “her performance was good but she was very underused” – I think the voters are mistaking ridiculous and over-the-top for bad. For me, a bad performance is unconvincing and forced – kind of like Aubrey Plaza in Dirty Grandpa who I would have gave this award to. Honestly though, I don’t think they’ve filled this category very well as nobody is that bad – where is Cara Delevigne for Suicide Squad?!

Notable Mentions:
The Absence of Nine Lives. The most critically hated film last year was Nine Lives – I avoided it and I think most Razzie voters must have too as it is absent from all major categories that it probably deserves wins for. I think that’s why BvS actually got so many nominations – it may not have deserved them but it was a film lots of people saw and it disappointed many so people probably didn’t have many other options.
Razzie Redeemer. Mel Gibson has been awarded this for his incredible work on Hacksaw Ridge – ignoring Gibson’s personal life and views, it is always nice to see someone turn things around and the Razzie Redeemer is a physical representation of that. I kind of want Gibson to direct Suicide Squad 2 even more now!

The Biggest Losers:
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party – 4
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – 4
Zoolander 2 – 1

See You Soon!

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