And the Academy Award goes to...

Did the 89th Oscars praise the right cinematic spectacles? The Courier Writers sum up their dream picks and their thoughts on the real winners, plus a recap of THAT movie mix-up...

Zoë Godden
6th March 2017

The Dream Picks - and the Real Results

Best Picture

WINNER: La La Lan-NO, wait, Moonlight!

Emma Allsopp: Jackie

Zoë Godden: Moonlight

Joe Holloran: Fences

Simon Ramshaw: Arrival

Sophie Schneider: La La Land

Best Director

WINNER: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Emma Allsopp: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Zoë Godden: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Joe Holloran: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Simon Ramshaw: Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Sophie Schneider: Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Best Actor/Actress

WINNER: Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea/Emma Stone, La La Land

Emma Allsopp: Julian Dennison, Hunt for the Wilderpeople / Emma Stone, La La Land

Zoë Godden: Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic / Emma Stone, La La Land

Joe Holloran: Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic / Natalie Portman, Jackie

Simon Ramshaw: Adam Driver, Paterson / Amy Adams, Arrival

Sophie Schneider: Denzel Washington, Fences / Emma Stone, La La Land

Best Supporting Actor/Actress

WINNER: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight/Viola Davis, Fences

Emma Allsopp: Aaron Taylor Johnson, Nocturnal Animals / Hayley Squires, I, Daniel Blake

Zoë Godden: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight / Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Joe Holloran: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight / Viola Davis, Fences

Simon Ramshaw: Daniel Radcliffe, Swiss Army Man / Abbey Lee, The Neon Demon

Sophie Schneider: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight / Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Best Animated Film

WINNER: Zootopia

Emma Allsopp: Finding Dory

Zoë Godden: Zootopia

Joe Holloran: Zootopia

Simon Ramshaw: The Jungle Book (because it’s close enough to being animated)

Sophie Schneider: Zootopia

Best Cinematography

WINNER: La La Land

Emma Allsopp: Jackie

Zoë Godden: La La Land

Joe Holloran: Arrival

Simon Ramshaw: The Neon Demon

Sophie Schneider: La La Land

Best Foreign Film

WINNER: The Salesman

Emma Allsopp: The Clan

Zoë Godden: Dheepan

Joe Holloran: Toni Erdmann

Simon Ramshaw: Evolution

Sophie Schneider: The Salesman

Best Adapted/Original Screenplay

WINNER: Moonlight/Manchester By The Sea

Emma Allsopp: Arrival / The Lobster

Zoë Godden: Fences / The Lobster

Joe Holloran: Fences / Manchester by the Sea

Simon Ramshaw: Arrival / Everybody Wants Some!!

Sophie Schneider: Hidden Figures / La La Land

moonlight paper

How long have the Oscars ceremonies have there been?  Oh that’s right.  Eighty-nine.  Yet they still managed to give the presenters the wrong envelope when it came to arguably the biggest award of the night, Best Picture.  Solid job, guys.

Overall I was happy with the nominees, though Amy Adams was robbed of a nomination for Arrival.  I was also pretty happy with the winners this year, which makes a welcome change.  I was overjoyed for Emma Stone, her past work is so consistent and it was only a matter of time until she got to take home a golden statue. The main winner I did not agree with was Casey Affleck after all of the sex-pest controversy recently surrounding him.  I was overjoyed when Brie Larson, who was presenting the Best Actor award, did not applaud him as he came to the stage.  But, apart from that, it’s definitely a better and more diverse year than the last.

Emma Allsopp

About this time last year, I wrote a reaction piece to the 88th Academy Awards in this very paper. I predicted social change was on the horizon for the film industry, and I’m pleased to say we’re on our way there.

From Brie Larson refusing to applaud Casey Affleck, to the surprisingly woke Zootopia taking Best Animated Film for tackling racial tensions, the Oscars are beginning to treat wider social issues seriously. It’s not quite up there with the BAFTA’s new policy on only selecting diverse nominees, but the larger number of people of colour nominated in major categories this year is certainly a start. The iconography of the Moonlight envelope, a black LBGT+ film, being risen in the air to beat the Hollywood love letter La La Land is an image that will stay with me forever.

But most importantly, Suicide Squad won Best Make-Up, which means it has one more Oscar than you do – and that makes this human meme very happy.

Zoë Godden

So, that happened. Apparently the two (presumably pissed up) agents from the firm (PwC) accidently handed the envelope containing Best Actress to the two hosts Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

The five minutes and two speeches that followed felt like the worst, most cringe inducing Impractical Jokers punishment ever. In the end once the smoke had cleared and the P45’s were handed out, Moonlight not La La Land was deservedly crowded Best Picture. The other categories, in what was threatening to be a dull ceremony given all the hype, went as expected. Viola Davis won for her exemplary performance in Fences, Ali won for Moonlight and Emma Stone and Damien Chazelle won for Best Actress and Best Director respectively. All in all, another routine Oscars has passed, with only the one moment of self-Kanyeing on the part of the PwC to last in the memory.

Joe Holloran

After the truly dreadful year of cinema that was 2016, the 2017 Academy Awards actually decided to not be too annoying. Sure, Suicide Squad may have now won as many Oscars as Martin Scorsese has in his lifetime, but that’s not particularly worth getting hung up about when we can complain about Amy Adams not even getting nominated for her stellar work in Arrival.

That’s all I can really grumble about though, as I’m pretty firmly in the La La Land camp. It’s essentially been this year’s Mad Max: Fury Road, cleaning up in the technical categories while making way for a film ending in the word ‘light’ to snatch Best Picture from its grasp. I shamefully haven’t seen a large portion of the Best Picture nominees yet (Moonlight included; it will get watched next week, I promise), so my opinion is worth exactly zilch, but (and this is a big but) Arrival is my favourite thing since sliced bread. So, ultimately, it should have won, but the Oscars have never enjoyed the language of cinema being reinvented for the better, so whatever.

Simon Ramshaw

Aside from the obscene, yet predictable, quantity of little gold men awarded to what I now refer to as ‘Blah Blah Land’, I didn’t actually hate the results this year.

On Friday, in preparation for the award ceremony, I watched Moonlight, and was blown away. It deals so frankly and beautifully with sexuality in black culture; movies like this help shift our perspective of society, and deserve credit far more than a trivial musical. So, I optimistically predicted a few Oscars for the highly deserving cast, and was thrilled the committee had at last swallowed down their outdated prejudices and awarded this deserving production. Mahershala Ali is also the first Muslim to receive an Oscar, yet another overdue milestone for Hollywood. Similarly, I was pleased with the victory of The Salesman, as it had become a rallying cry for immigrant rights after the travel ban. Maybe Trump might get the message… or not.

Sophie Schneider

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