Academy Awards

2017 Oscar Nominations: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress

Academy AwardsThe Academy Awards are less than a week away, so it is time to take a closer look at the ten women nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. (If you missed Donna’s post earlier this week about the men nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, go here!) This year, the winner for supporting actress seems to be a lock, but there could still be some room for surprise in the best actress category.

This year, this is the first Academy Award nomination for three of the women (Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga, Naomie Harris). Of the remaining seven, three have not previously won (Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Michelle Williams), three have previously won once (Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer), and one (Meryl Streep) has won three times.

Many of these films are still in theaters, so not yet available in HCPL’s catalog, but make sure to browse through previous works by the actresses. And don’t forget to tune in to the Academy Awards telecast this Sunday, February 26th on ABC!

Best Actress:

2017 Oscar Nominations: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

This year has given us an interesting mix of Academy Award nominees.  In the Actor categories, we have previous winners, previous nominees, and a strong showing by first-time nominees.  There are critics’ choices, sentimental favorites, and a few who make us think “it’s about time he got noticed and awarded.”

The movies featuring these actors are also a mix of comedy-drama, drama, thriller, and even musical.  But what I find most heartening is that most of the films are about challenges faced at various times of our lives.  Standing up for what we believe.  Caring about family and friends.  Looking out for others.  Making big mistakes.  Deciding where your future and your passions lie.

A Comparative Look at the 2017 Movie Awards Season

oscarEarlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 89th Academy Awards. Honoring achievements in film, the Oscars are the culmination of the film awards season, following on the heels of the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA Awards), the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the various guild awards (Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, and Directors Guild).

Below, I have compiled a list of movies, directors, actors and actresses who have been nominated for each of the awards listed above. Personally, I like breaking down the awards in this fashion because it allows me to easily see trends and make predictions for which movies might win at the Academy Awards in February. To make filling out my annual Oscar party ballot even easier, the winners for some of these awards have already been announced. In these instances, the award is noted in bold.

For a look at the entire list of nominations for each award show, visit the Academy Award website, the BAFTA Awards website, the Critics' Choice Awards website, the Golden Globe Awards website, the Producers Guild Awards website, the Directors Guild Awards website, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards website.

Best Film:

  • 20th Century Women: Golden Globe
  • Arrival: Academy Award, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, PGA
  • Deadpool: Golden Globe, PGA
  • Fences: Academy Award, Critics’ Choice, PGA
  • Florence Foster Jenkins: Golden Globe
  • Hacksaw Ridge: Academy Award, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, PGA
  • Hell or High Water: Academy Award, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, PGA
  • Hidden Figures: Academy Award, PGA
  • I, Daniel Blake: BAFTA
  • La La Land: Academy Award, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, PGA
  • Lion: Academy Award, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, PGA
  • Loving: Critics’ Choice
  • Manchester by the Sea: Academy Award, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, PGA
  • Moonlight: Academy Award, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, PGA
  • Sing Street: Golden Globe
  • Sully: Critics’ Choice

88th Academy Awards

OscarsLast night, this year’s movie awards season finally came to an end at the glitzy and glamorous Academy Awards. The proceedings were kicked off by a powerful, yet still funny opening monologue by second-time host Chris Rock, that addressed the diversity controversy that has shrouded this year’s Oscar nominees. His comments were insightful and set the tone of the rest of the ceremony.

Although perhaps not the most exciting of Oscar ceremonies, there were plenty of surprise wins to balance out the foregone conclusions. The Revenant did take home two of the top prizes with wins for actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Alejandro G. Iñárritu. DiCaprio’s win, his first after previously being nominated 5 other times, made the Internet explode with glee, while Iñárritu’s win makes him the first director to win back to back Oscars since John Mankiewicz 65 years ago. However, in the end The Revenant couldn’t clinch the best picture win. That Oscar went to Spotlight, the highly-praised ensemble drama about the Boston Globe reporters who investigated reports of abuse within the Catholic Church.

Other surprises of the evening included Mark Rylance winning Supporting Actor over Stallone, the sentimental favorite; the visual effects team for the fairly low-budget Ex Machina winning over blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road; and, in a musical upset, Sam Smith’s song for the newest Bond film winning over Lady Gaga’s documentary anthem, an earlier performance of which had prompted a standing ovation.

The big winner of the evening, taking home the most statues, was the post-apocalyptic film Mad Max: Fury Road, with six wins in technical categories. Highly rated by critics and audiences alike, it was nice to see the Academy voters honor such a high energy, big budget summer movie. I was disappointed that George Miller did not take home the Oscar for best director or picture, but it was lovely to see how much respect the winners in the technical categories had for Miller’s artistic vision.  

If you missed the ceremony last night, the official Oscars website has a complete list of winners, as well as videos of most of the acceptance speeches. There are also videos of Chris Rock’s opening monologue, performances of three of the nominated songs, and the In Memoriam accompanied by Dave Grohl singing “Blackbird.”

2016 Oscar Nominations: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

oscar statueWe are only two weeks away from the Academy Awards live telecast, which means it is time to take a closer look at the ten men nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Although there appears to be a clear front runner in each category, there could be surprises in store. I have not yet had a chance to see all of the nominated movies, but I still have my favorites. Who would you like to see win in each category?

This year, only three of the ten nominated actors (Matt Damon, Eddie Redmayne and Christian Bale) have previously won an Academy Award, and only two of those (Redmayne and Bale) in acting categories. This is also the first Oscar nomination for three of the actors (Bryan Cranston, Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance). Interestingly enough, all but two of the ten actors (Damon and Stallone) are nominated for portraying real people.

Most of the nominated films are still in theaters so not yet available in HCPL’s catalog, but make sure to check out previous works by the actors!

Best Actor:

Bryan Cranston (Trumbo): Although this is Cranston’s first Academy Award nomination, he is no stranger to the awards circuit with multiple wins and nominations for his television work (most notably for Breaking Bad), and a Tony win for Best Actor in a Play. In the biographical movie Trumbo, Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, a famous screenwriter and one of the Hollywood 10, a group of 10 screenwriters who refused to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Matt Damon (The Martian): In The Martian, based on the book of the same title by Andy Weir, Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut presumed dead and stranded alone on Mars. A talented actor, Damon’s career spans genres with roles in critically-acclaimed movies (Saving Private Ryan, The Departed, Syriana) and box office hits (The Bourne Trilogy, Ocean’s 11). This is Damon’s third acting nomination at the Academy Awards, with previous nominations for actor in Good Will Hunting and supporting actor in Invictus. He previously won an Oscar, shared with Ben Affleck, for original screenplay for the movie Good Will Hunting.

A Comparative Look at the 2016 Movie Awards Season

academy awardThis morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards. Honoring achievements in film, the Oscars are the culmination of the film awards season, following on the heels of the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA Awards), the Critics Choice Awards, and the various guild awards (Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, and Directors Guild).

One of my favorite things about movie awards seasons, is trying to predict who will win the Academy Award in each category. Because the Academy Awards are the last of the major movie awards telecasts, predictions are often made based on the winners at the other shows. The winners don’t always match up (sometimes the nominees don’t even match up!), but there generally seem to be frontrunners in most categories. This year, the category with the most stability in nominees across the board is that of lead actor. By contrast, the lead actress nominees have skewed wildly from one award to another. It will be interesting to see how the wins line up over the few weeks leading up to the Academy Awards.

For a look at the entire list of nominations for each award show, visit the Academy Award website, the BAFTA Awards website, the Critics' Choice Awards website, the Producers Guild Awards website, the Directors Guild Awards website, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards website.

87th Academy Awards

academy awardLast night, the movie award season came to a satisfying conclusion at the 87th Academy Awards, the biggest night of the year for Hollywood. Like always, the live telecast brought the glitz and the glam, the laughs and the tears. First time Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris kicked off the night with an appropriately musical tribute to movie magic. Joined by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black, Harris’ song reminded audiences at home and in the Dolby Theatre why movies are so captivating. It was a charming beginning to a fun night of one-liners, bits, and one show-long magic trick.

Emotions were high throughout the ceremony as winners took to the stage with speeches that ran the gamut of funny (when one of the screenwriters for Birdman thanked his dog Larry), heartfelt (when The Imitation Game screenwriter, Graham Moore, told kids to “stay weird”) and impassioned (the many speeches that mentioned social and political activism). My personal favorite speech of the night was given by supporting actor winner J.K. Simmons, when, after saying his thanks, he closed his speech by strongly advising everyone listening to call their parents, if possible.

2015 Oscar Nominations: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress

It’s finally here!  Of all the awards given out every year for movies, this is the big one.  The one we place bets on.  The one where we compete against friends and family to see if our choices match those of the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Oscar Snubs in Movie History

north by northwest minimalist posterThe goal of the Academy Awards is to honor the best of the best in film and, the majority of the time, they do just that. But sometimes they might get it a little bit wrong. In retrospect, maybe the best picture winner wasn’t quite as outstanding as it seemed. Maybe one of the other nominated films has proven itself an enduring classic, a movie worth re-watching time and again. And sometimes, the best film of the year, the one that reaches classic movie status, wasn’t even nominated.

As happens every year, this year’s Oscar nominees have been met with mixed feelings. There can only be so many nominees in the best picture category and, each year, there are wonderful movies that are left off of the final ballot. This year’s favorite movies not up for a best picture nomination include, among others, a bestselling book made into a film (Gone Girl), a beloved stage musical made into a film (Into the Woods), an inspiring biographical account (Unbroken), and a science fiction epic (Interstellar). But perhaps one of the biggest mysteries of this year’s Oscars is, of course, the absence of The LEGO Movie from the best animated feature nominees. Maybe everything isn’t as awesome as it should be at the Oscars?

If you are suffering from awards season burnout, check out one of these classic films instead! They may not have received a best picture nomination, but they are more than worthy of a second (or third, or fourth…) look!

2015 Oscar Nominations: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

academy awardIn just a few short weeks, the winners of this year’s Academy Awards will be announced in a live telecast. Of the ten actor nominees this year, half have previously received Academy Award nominations, but only one, Robert Duvall has won an Oscar. Also of note, half of the actors are nominated for their portrayal of real people, proving, yet again, that the Academy loves a biopic.

Some years the acting awards seem like a lock, with one person sweeping their category. This year J.K. Simmons seems like a sure bet for the supporting actor win, but there voting seems divided in the best actor category. It will be interesting to see who will take home the award at the end of the month. I have yet to see all of the nominated films, but I already have my favorites. Who would you like to see take home the Oscar this year?

Most of the nominated films are still in theaters so not yet available in HCPL’s catalog, but make sure to check out previous works by the actors!

Best Actor:

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