Kim's Oscar review

The Academy Awards are always a political football, one where Hollywood feels compelled to make a statement to the world about who and what it values most.

Some years, the sentiment is directly in line with creative merit and in other years, key people and projects are overlooked. This year was certainly no exception.

Best Supporting Actress: The winner, Viola Davis (Fences), deserved to win this award. She is a force of nature in this gut-wrenching film about a lower middle class black family in the early 1950s.

See my Oscar prediction in my review: “There is no question that Davis will take the Oscar for best actress this year and I predict Washington will be nominated, but will not win.”

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight). There was no question that Ali would take this award. His role in this film is pivotal and he played it with grit and commitment. While Ryan Gosling was charming as hell in La La Land, the role simply did not have the emotional weight to garner an Oscar.

Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land). Yup, loved Emma in this film. Her audition scene is what clinched her win in this most magical film. See my review:  “I’m predicting an Oscar win for best score as well as nominations for best film, director, actor and best actress.”

Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea). This win was hardly surprising as Affleck’s role carries the film and his restrained performance as a broken man was consistent and relentless.

Best Animated Film: Zootopia. Disagree. Kubo and the Two strings was a far more intricate and artistically interesting film. While I really enjoyed Zootopia and appreciate the importance of its theme of equality, Kubo was my pick for best animated film.

Best Director: Damian Chazelle (La La Land). Agreed! This gorgeous film also took Best Cinematography and Best Set Design. There are several one-take shots that must have been a logistical nightmare to shoot and they pulled it off beautifully. Well deserved labour of love (Chazelle was also nominated for best original screenplay).

Best Film: Moonlight. Here’s where the politics of the Academy come into play. Regardless of how big a hit the film is or however many other awards it is nominated for, the academy rarely votes for comedies or musicals.  Not since 2002’s musical Chicago has a non-drama won for best picture.

Hollywood loves to choose edgy and/or serious subject matter for its Best Film category despite box office success, other awards or overall popularity.

The Golden Globe awards has it right; there should be a separation in categories of Comedy/Musical and Drama. At the Golden Globes, they even use this separation for Best Actor/Actress awards and it makes sense.

The emotional weight of a role in a comedy or a musical is far different from a drama and should be categorized differently.

As a show, the 89th Academy Awards was unremarkable. Host Jimmy Kimmel was affable, but bland. He’s no Billy Crystal, sigh.

A few highlights were:

  • Viola Davis’s acceptance speech
  • the bus of unsuspecting tourists mingling with celebrities
  • the way the La La Land cast handled the Best Picture fiasco at the end.

It was a great reminder that it’s just a bunch of regular fallible folks up there on that stage after all.

More Kim's Flick Pics articles

About the Author

Kim Foreman-Rhindress is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and London Western Conservatory of music for piano and voice. 

Kim has been performing in theatre and film for over 30 years in Canada, NYC, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. She has written several plays which have been produced in Canada and the U.S., and is the founder of Kelowna Voice Lab - helping people find their voice, be it singing or acting. 

A working musician, she performs regularly in Kelowna with her husband, Jim Rhindress, in an acoustic duo Smitten, and with her vintage trio Kitsch 'n Sync.  

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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