By Nupur Shah, Staff Writer
The Oscars are an important event meant to recognize and honor excellence in the film industry. This year, there is a lot of speculation as to possible winners and plenty of talk about the nominees, specifically for the most prestigious awards of them all: best picture, best director, best actress in a leading role and best actor in a leading role.
The most celebrated films of 2016 and the nominees for the best picture award are “La La Land,” “Moonlight,” “Fences,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Arrival,” “Hidden Figures,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water” and “Lion.”
These movies are considered the most well made, creative and artistic films of the year. There is no clear, obvious winner, but many people are speculating.
Linda Moody, a RJR drama teacher and an avid film enthusiast, feels that “Fences” was the best film of the year, and that it should win best picture.
Ashleigh Ranson, co-president of the RJR Film Club, expects “La La Land” to win best picture.
“I’ve heard from friends that it was great and it also did well at The Golden Globes,” Ranson said.
Reynolds students seem to agree with Ranson. In a student poll, 52 percent of students said that “La La Land” would be the winner of the best picture award. The second most popular choice was “Fences,” with 22 percent of the votes.
Moody hopes and believes that “Fences” will win most of the big awards. She predicts that Viola Davis will win the award for best actress in a supporting role for her “stunning” performance, and that Denzel Washington will win the award for best actor in a leading role because “he is an amazing actor and he embodied Troy in ‘Fences.’”
Ranson hopes for Andrew Garfield to win for his role as Desmond Doss in “Hacksaw Ridge.” She predicts that Ryan Gosling will most likely win for his role in “La La Land,” however, because of his fame and the popularity of the movie.
Ranson also hopes that Ruth Negga will win the award for best actress.
“She’s very talented and in ‘Loving’ she plays a girl from Virginia and totally nails it, it’s amazing,” Ranson said. “She was born in Ethiopia and then raised in Ireland. I just think it’s amazing. I feel like she deserves it.”
Regardless of who wins, fans and movie enthusiasts are eager to see the results and are hoping for improvements in the Oscars.
“I really enjoy watching (the Oscars) because it’s a good way to recognize actors for their craft, but I was disappointed last year about the lack of diversity. I’m hoping it’ll be better this year in regards to that,” Ranson said.
In 2016, there were no black actors nominated for Oscars, despite the release of several strong films with black protagonists, such as “Creed,” “Selma” and “Straight Outta Compton.” This left many outraged and called for the Oscars to focus on creating a more representative sample of nominees.
With the cast of “Hidden Figures” winning the best cast in a motion picture award at the SAG Awards, and many black actors, directors and actresses snagging awards at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, the bar for the Oscars have been set high.
The Academy nominations this year are much more diverse, but only time can tell whether the winners will be versatile as well.
Photo from Euro Palace.