Updated: 02/03/2017 3:54 PM | Print Story |  Email

2/3 Movie Trip

The Oscars are less than a month away and our TCL movie guy has three great Best Picture nominees that you can still check out in theaters. You can watch the 89th Academy Awards Sunday February 26th on 5 Eyewitness News.

LA LA LAND

Emma Stone plays Mia, an aspiring actress and professional barista hoping for her big break. She’s having the typical bad day where coffee is spilled on her; she’s late for an audition, and stuck in traffic. She has an encounter with Sebastian on the freeway during the opening musical number but doesn’t realize quite yet that she will run into him later on. He is a jazz pianist looking to play in fancier gigs but is stuck playing Christmas carols at a local restaurant. Mia happens to run into him playing there on her awful day. Before she has a chance to introduce herself, he bolts out of there after getting fired. The seasons change and more time passes before Mia runs into him again at a pool party playing keyboard for an ‘80s cover band. They finally strike up conversation and begin dating. The rest of La La Land follows a year in the life of these two artists who struggle to find that balance of keeping their relationship healthy while trying to keep their careers afloat.

Total Nominations – 14
Likely to win – 11 or 12

-Tied with Titanic and All About Eve as the most-nominated films in Oscar history

-Should be the big winner of the night. The Academy loves movies about actors and movies that play homage to the golden age of Hollywood.

-Frontrunner to win Best Picture, Director (Damian Chazelle), and Best Actress (Emma Stone)

 

MOONLIGHT

Moonlight takes a look at how the environment we grow up in has a deep impact on who we grow up to be. The audience watches Chiron grow up over three different periods of his life. The first section showcases him as a nine-year old African American kid who’s nicknamed “Little” based on his smaller, weaker stature compared to other kids his age. He barely speaks a word and is mercilessly teased by his classmates. His home life isn’t any better as his mother is a drug addict. The only good influence in life is a man named Juan who takes Chiron in one night after finding him in an abandon house. He and his wife Teresa become the guardian angles he needs at this point. The second section of the film finds Chiron in high school where we find it has only gotten worse for him. His mother is still having issues, and Chiron faces a barrage of bullying from his other classmates who believe he may be gay. The final act of the film finds a twentysomething Chiron now buff and chiseled on the outside but still fighting those inner demons of how he can a better version of himself despite the horrible influences he has had over the years.

Total Nominations – 8

Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Supporting Actress (Naomi Harris), Director (Barry Jenkins), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Original Score

Potential to Win – 2

Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Adapted Screenplay

- If any movie were to beat La La Land for Best Picture or any technical category, it will be Moonlight

-Can be hard to watch at times, but it is a powerful film that takes a deep dive into what it takes for many people to find self-acceptance and their true self when many aspects of their environment make that challenging. It leaves you talking and discussing the role that race, drugs, sexuality, and masculinity has on this character

 

FENCES

Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson, a former baseball player who was too old to go professional and now works as a trash collector. Viola Davis gives another knockout performance as his wife, Rose. While Troy is out at work, she is the typical housewife who makes sure there is food on the table, the laundry is washed and hung out to dry, and takes on any other household chores. The culture and times are changing and Troy has a hard time accepting a new way of living from the way he was brought up and raised. He likes to claim that he wants a better life for his sons but he sure has a strange way of showing it to them. The household dynamic continues to spiral out of control as Troy’s life choices of past and present haunt the life Rose thought she had and what’s at stake for her family. As you can imagine, Troy is not one to accept responsibility or show when he may be wrong no matter how it affects Rose and their two sons.

Total Nominations – 4

Best Picture, Leading Actor (Denzel Washington), Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), Adapted Screenplay

Potential to Win – 2

Best Leading Actor (Washington), Supporting Actress (Davis)

- In 2010 Denzel Washington and Viola Davis starred in the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play, Fences. They both went on to win the Tony Award for their performances and both could go on to win the Oscar.