Oscar season snuck up on us this year, as most Americans had their attentions focused on the election rather than the silver screen. There isn’t a runaway favorite or movies with raging star power that can be expected to sweep this year’s Oscars. There is no Leonardo DiCaprio being chased by a bear, Will Smith trying to help the NFL and their concussion problems, or widely successful Jennifer Lawrence film. As the Hollywood saying goes, the show must still go on! Here are a few movies and performances to keep an eye out for the 2017 Academy Awards.
La La Land
This movie has all the ingredients of an Oscar success story, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in a Los Angeles love story, based on the hardships of making it in Hollywood. The cast is loaded with Gosling, Stone, John Legend, J.K. Simmons, and director Damien Chazelle, who directed Whiplash. The movie has already won Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Picture and seven Golden Glove awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress.
Natalie Portman stars as Jackie Kennedy in the Pablo Larrain film, which focuses on Jackie’s days in the White House and after the assassination of President Kennedy. Everyone knows this story and it has been portrayed to film, but never solely from the perspective of The First Lady. Natalie Portman is one of the most skilled actresses in Hollywood, so her performance is destined to receive well-deserving Oscar buzz.
It was not that long ago where you can buy a pair of MLB tickets and not see one African American on the field. In Fences, Denzel Washington stars as Troy Maxson, a talented Negro League pitcher who did not get his chance to play in the MLB because of the times. Maxson’s son is being scouted by a college football team, but he is dismissive of the idea that he can make a career out of it because of his personal experiences with baseball. Do no be fooled, this is not a sport movie, sports is just a vehicle that is used. The film touches upon the racial tensions of our nation’s past.
In this Mel Gibson directed film, Andrew Garfield stars as Desmond Doss, the selfless medic who put his life on the line numerous times in order to save 75 soldiers on the shores of Japan in the heart of World War II. Gibson, Garfield, and the film are expected to receive Oscar nominations. Gibson hasn’t been nominated for an Academy Award since 1995’s Braveheart.
This Barry Jenkins film is receiving serious Oscar buzz despite being released in October. Moonlight received Golden Glove nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score, which is a pretty good indicator for the Oscars. Trevante Rhodes stars as Chiron, a young man who has dealt with a dysfunctional home growing up, struggles with his sexuality, all while being a drug dealer in Miami.