Best Picture & Director 2016

Vote for the best nominated Best Picture and Best Director contenders

Best Picture - Arrival
1
2%
Best Picture - Fences
0
No votes
Best Picture - Hacksaw Ridge
0
No votes
Best Picture - Hell or High Water
0
No votes
Best Picture - Hidden Figures
2
5%
Best Picture - La La Land
5
11%
Best Picture - Lion
0
No votes
Best Picture - Manchester by the Sea
7
16%
Best Picture - Moonlight
7
16%
Best Director - Damien Chazelle - La La Land
9
20%
Best Director - Mel Gibson - Hacksaw Ridge
0
No votes
Best Director - Barry Jenkins - Moonlight
6
14%
Best Director - Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea
4
9%
Best Director - Denis Villeneuve - Arrival
3
7%
 
Total votes: 44

The Original BJ
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Re: Best Picture & Director 2016

Postby The Original BJ » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:21 pm

In the interest of getting this done with and moving on...

Had it been an option, Jackie in both categories.

Of the actual nominees, I'll say Manchester by the Sea moved me the most, and give it my vote in Best Picture.

Under Director, I'll go with Damien Chazelle for his imaginative vision (though really anyone other than Gibson would have been perfectly respectable in that category).

nightwingnova
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Re: Best Picture & Director 2016

Postby nightwingnova » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:16 am

My top four films:

1. Moonlight - for its freshness of story and milieu, its adroit direction, and the rigorous acting of its large ensemble.

2. Arrival - for its originality and vision, its revealing expansive and intimate cinematography, the instincts and sensitivities of its director, and Amy Adams.

3. La La Land - a small gem of feeling, suavity and beauty.

4. Manchester by the Sea - a strong, solid honest family drama beautifully filmed and well-acted.

My directorial preferences ranked:

1. Barry Jenkins for Moonlight - the rigorous deep, rich performances that he draws from the ensemble nails it for me. Jenkins handles the gritty substance of the story expertly - though I found the transition from teen to young man missing exposition.

2. Denis Villeneuve for Arrival - Villeneuve delivers a complex, visionary and inspiring mature tone without the usual cheap thrills and humor. The direction is both beautifully expansive and intimate.

3. Damien Chazelle for La La Land - Chazelle accomplishes artistic and technical perfection; a small gem of (bittersweet) joy

4. Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea - Lonergan produces a solid film but is not as original or as distinguished as the others.

bizarre
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Re: Best Picture & Director 2016

Postby bizarre » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:07 pm

Big Magilla wrote:I re-watched Moonlight last night instead of watching Trump's address to Congress. Then I watched Barry Jenkins' interview on the Blu-ray, which put the film in better perspective. I had been under the impression that some of the gaps in the story were due to budget constraints, but that wasn't it at all. According to Jenkins, it's a memory piece in which a man is looking back at the key incidents in his life at 11, 17 and 25. That explains the film's biggest plot hole, why Mahershala Ali's Juan disappears like Thelma Ritter's Birdie in All About Eve. He simply wasn't in his life at 17 and 25. His girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monae) is at 17, and is later referenced by his mother (Naomie Harris) at 25, so it's likely that he died, but if it's mentioned in the narrative I missed it (twice!)


His funeral is alluded to by Teresa and mentioned by Paula in the second and third segments, but details aren't given. I'm a sucker for this kind of ellipsis so I appreciated that touch - can only think of Mia Hansen-Løve's Goodbye First Love as a film that used this kind of technique recently.

Big Magilla
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Re: Best Picture & Director 2016

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:15 am

I voted for Kenny Lonergan and Manchester by the Sea, but I might just as well have voted for Barry Jenkins and Moonlight.

Both films are universal in theme, but I found Manchester to be the more fully realized work. At the end of the film you know these characters so well that you have a pretty good idea of what their lives will be like going forward. The same is true of the central character in Moonlight, but not of the rest.

I re-watched Moonlight last night instead of watching Trump's address to Congress. Then I watched Barry Jenkins' interview on the Blu-ray, which put the film in better perspective. I had been under the impression that some of the gaps in the story were due to budget constraints, but that wasn't it at all. According to Jenkins, it's a memory piece in which a man is looking back at the key incidents in his life at 11, 17 and 25. That explains the film's biggest plot hole, why Mahershala Ali's Juan disappears like Thelma Ritter's Birdie in All About Eve. He simply wasn't in his life at 17 and 25. His girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monae) is at 17, and is later referenced by his mother (Naomie Harris) at 25, so it's likely that he died, but if it's mentioned in the narrative I missed it (twice!)

Moonlight is, of course, the more historically important film - the Oscar winner is told from both a black and a gay perspective, at a time when diversity is being trampled on by political operatives in the U.S. and around the globe. I think if I had an Oscar ballot, I would have voted for it over Manchester for that reason alone.

As for the increase in the Oscar split between Best Picture and Director in the last few years, I think it's due to the preferential ballot for Best Picture.

I think most voters still vote for Best Picture and Best Director in tandem, and if you used a preferential ballot for Best Director, you'd get the same result you do for Best Picture in which the award goes to the film that's near the top on most ballots as opposed to the one that's on the first choice of most voters. Hollywood hasn't changed as much as some prognosticators think. Most of them likely did vote for the frivolity of La La Land as their first choice, but most of them also included Moonlight in their top two or three. I suppose that's progress enough for now.

bizarre
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Best Picture & Director 2016

Postby bizarre » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:57 am

About that controversy, first off. Everyone and their mother knows what happened by now - it is easily the wildest thing to ever happen at the Oscars and automatically a classic moment in television.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, celebrating the 50-year anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, came out to present Best Picture. Beatty opened the envelope and hesitated for a good 30 seconds, looking confused, before handing it to Dunaway to vet. Dunaway, who clearly wanted to get to the Governor's Ball as soon as possible, announced the only movie title she saw - "La La Land". The team took the stage in celebration, with Jordan Horowitz delivering a speech followed by Marc Platt. Producers rushed out from backstage but didn't speak to Horowitz or Platt first, instead taking each member of the team aside - looking as if, perhaps, a shooter had broken into the building. Horowitz is talked to and interrupts Platt, informing the audience that the wrong envelope was opened and that Moonlight has actually won Best Picture. Beatty takes the stage again and issues an explanation that was later expounded upon in statements from PriceWaterhouseCooper - one of the two accountants on hand to provide presenters with the winners' envelopes gave him the duplicate for Best Actress, the previous award to be announced. He had been confused to see Emma Stone's name on the envelope, which Dunaway appeared not to have seen, simply announcing the movie title listed under the name. Horowitz holds up the official envelope, which lists Moonlight as the Best Picture winner. The audience is gobsmacked, the internet and cable news stations explode. The Moonlight team take the stage and Barry Jenkins makes his speech. Exeunt.

A horrifically awkward moment that poisoned the celebratory mood for everyone, winner and loser, it immediately overshadowed some even more historic things: that Moonlight, an independent film that - while overperforming estimates - was the lowest-grossing of the nominees, became the first LGBT film to win Best Picture, the first film with an all-black cast (of mostly unknowns) to win Best Picture, and pulled off the triple whammy of executing the most shocking upset win in this category, perhaps ever, but certainly since Crash, being perhaps the most daring, atypical film ever to win the prize, and immediately being enshrined as one of the best films honoured by the award in decades and most certainly since No Country for Old Men.

Outside of all that, this slate of nominees is plenty groundbreaking on its own, with an unusually high mean quality and a fascinating array of themes and executions that mirror both the changing political climate and values of America (and the world) and the changing membership of the Academy, notably sent into turbo drive by rule changes and intakes implemented by Cheryl Boone Isaacs during the year with the purpose of democratising the Academy, bringing in many voters of colour, women and foreign world film luminaries whose tastes and oeuvres run far more avant-garde than those films that are usually honoured by the Academy.

Illustrating these changes and the polarisation they have caused are the featuring of films that redefine traditional archetypes of the 'prestige film', and namely inclusion of four films that deal with issues of PoC identity in ways that are not sensationalised, clichéd, pandering or condescending: Lion, a sensitive and sober look at lost cultural identity marketed as something far more innocuous and traditional, Fences, a stage-adapted actors' vehicle that happens to be about a black family being black, Hidden Figures, a family-friendly story of triumph and vindication groundbreaking for being about black, female scientists, all played by women over 30, and for becoming a surprise box office phenomenon on the back of a killer advertising campaign, famously topping Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in its first weekend, and Moonlight itself, a true zeitgeist film (and a very important milestone in queer cinema) about a culture within a culture within a culture that still managed to resonate with voters from all across the board due to both its accessible, empathetic humanity and its affirmational approach to stories of struggle. Also notable for a brilliant campaign by A24, focusing on word of mouth and avoiding the aggressive, alienating "this is the best film of the decade - and if you don't vote for it you're a fool" tactic used in the marketing for other famous "edgy choice" runners-up of this decade such as The Social Network and Boyhod.

On the other hand, there are nominees such as Hacksaw Ridge and Hell or High Water, not without their merits (though in Hacksaw's case that's up for debate), which seem less like the juggernauts they could have been 10 years ago and more like the dying gasps of a traditional, classicist, highly masculine Oscars ethos. Then there is Manchester by the Sea, a sober but soulful portrait of working-class lives and emotions a million light years away from the distressed-denim bombast of Mystic River, Arrival, a luminous example of the new high-style conceptual sci-fi wave, and La La Land, a confected celebration of and throwback to everything that Hollywood believes makes Hollywood Hollywood, the anointed frontrunner since its Venice premiere and heir to The Artist's throne.

You can guess what gets my vote.

Of the also-rans: I expected a possible groundswell of support for Martin Scorsese's Silence (in the same way as happened for The Wolf of Wall Street in 2013), but a beleaguered production and disastrous opening strategy - as well as a daunting runtime and a perhaps overbearing seriousness - doomed it not to be. Also on the radar were Nocturnal Animals, Jackie, Sully and, perhaps, Deadpool and Loving.

Best Director was controversial for - in the year of the black artist, the queer artist and the woman artist - giving a nomination to Mel Gibson that couldn't even be defended on a meritocratic front. But, on the whole, the Academy found something valid to celebrate with each of these nominees - Chazelle's maverick, technique-driven auteurship (or, if you're on one side of the argument, pastiche), Jenkins' adaptation of grand poetic stylistic coups to the smallest of stories, Villeneuve's deconstruction of studio sci-fi tropes in concert with the injection of existential themes, Lonergan's seamless juggling of actors and tones in complex scenes that build and build, Gibson's... effort.

Chazelle and Jenkins are neck-and-neck for me - while I like Moonlight more, some of Jenkins' conceits come off far more ostentatious than the moment demands, whereas Chazelle creates a system where the charge of 'ostentatious' is irrelevant. That being said, Moonlight is all soul and La La Land is, well, a soulless jazz story - where Whiplash was soulless by intent to depict the devaluation process of idealist artist becoming cynical artisan and Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench was a sparkling, exuberant celebration of jazz, its history and the experience of playing it. But because Chazelle had the harder job on set, I'll vote for him.


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