Lester’s Serious Contenders for
Best Picture Nominations 2016
Date: October 16th, 2016:
Based solely on what I have read - researched here is the first of future updates until the end of 2016 (not my preferences) those films that are serious contenders to receive one of a possible 10 coveted Oscar Nomination for Best Picture for 2016. Blue highlights mean they are almost currently a lock.
“20th Century Women” - The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s. Annette Bening who always gives an A+ turn performance, could she finally find her path to Oscar gold as Best Supporting Actress? We will see.
“Arrival” - A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating of aliens who have landed pnm earth and want to communicate with humans. Amy Adams is on everyone early lips as possibly winning her Oscar here for Best Actress. Don’t be surprised if Director Denis Villeneuve also gets a Best Director nomination, as well as Actor Jeremy Renner getting a Best Supporting nomination. Director Denis Villeneuve is the hot new Director in HW everyone wants to work with.
“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” - 19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad - contrasting the realities of war with America's perceptions. Directed by Ang Lee who won Best Director Oscars for Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi, as well as got a nomination for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for Best Picture which won eventually won Best Foreign Language Oscar. Director Lee always does brilliant top quality work.
“Fences” - An African-American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life. Denzel Washington Directs and Acts in this film and could garner him a double nomination along with co-star Viola Davis (Doubt, Antwone Fisher and The Help) for serious consideration for the Best Supporting Actress category.
“Hacksaw Ridge” - WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Directed by Mel Gibson, will his reputation in HW hurt the film’s chances here? Actor Andrew Garfield (Spider Man reboot and The Social Network) is consider a solid contender for a Best Actor Nomination.
“Hell or High Water” - A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas. Actors Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster as well screen writer Taylor Sheridan who also penned the words to “Sicario” are almost certain to receive serious Oscar nominations consideration for their respective categories. Also Director David Mackenzie could get some consideration as well.
“La La Land” - In the heart of Los Angeles, aspiring actress Mia serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions while dedicated jazz musician Sebastian plays in dingy bars in order to scrape by. The two meet and fall in love, but, as success mounts, the dreams they worked so hard to maintain threaten to rip them apart. Actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are on a lot of possible short list for respective Best Actor – Actress Nominations. Some are already saying this film is “magical”. We will see.
“Lion” - A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. Stars Dev Patel (Sum Dog Millionaire) as well as Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
“Loving” - Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married who eventually take their case to the SCOTUS. Actors Ruth Negga (World War Z) and Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty) are on a lot of possible short list for respective Best Actor – Actress Nominations. We will see. Director Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Mud and Take Shelter) is another hot new Director everyone now wants to work with.
“Manchester by the Sea” - An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies. Actor Casey Affleck is on everyone’s possible short list for a Best Actor Nomination. We will see.
“Moonlight” - A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. This film breaks new ground as a rare and touching story about growing up black and gay.
“Nocturnal Animals” - An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale. Top A List cast with Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Armie Hammer and Laurie Linney. If Amy Adams does well here she could knock herself out of Oscar consideration with two competing performances i.e. “Arrival” in the same year.
“Passengers” - A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early. Big star appeal with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in this Noah’s Arc – Adam and Eve deep space love story.
“Rules Don’t Apply” - An unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and the eccentric billionaire (Howard Hughes) who they work for. Directed by Warren Beatty.
“Silence” - In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity. Could this be Actor Liam Neeson’s time (Taken and Schindler‘s List) to win an Oscar for Best Actor. We will see. Directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese.
“Sully” - The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight's passengers and crew. Not Director Clint Eastwood’s best work, but Tom Hanks Oscar quality performance could be enough to bring this film across the finish line for another BP nomination for C.E.