“Hidden Figures” Beat “Star Wars” at the Box Office, Poised to Shake Up the Oscars

After last night’s La La Land dominance at the Golden Globes, it would be easy to say that all is said and done and that its march towards the Oscars is complete. All seven awards, including Picture (Comedy or Musical), Director, Actor and Actress (Comedy or Musical) and Screenplay went to Damien Chazelle’s musical which has been tearing it up at the Box Office. La La Land also boasts top honors from the Broadcast Film Critics and the Toronto International Film Festival, two prizes that certainly don’t hurt when trying to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. 

La La Land‘s biggest competition was thought to be Moonlight (which won the Drama Globe for Best Picture) and Manchester By The Sea (which won Actor in a Drama). Both films landed Screen Actor’s Guild Ensemble nominations where La La Land did not, indicating weakness from La La Land amongst the biggest voting block in the Academy: the actors. Even films like Beasts of No Nation which only had three credited actors (and only one of them being well known) was able to land a nomination last year. But one film that is absolutely tearing up the box office right now, and won nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild that I believe many are underestimating in the long game is Hidden Figures

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Watch the New, Powerful “Fences” Trailer

We’re still about a month away from the premiere of Denzel Washington’s Fences, but Paramount isn’t wasting any time getting the film out in front of people.

After a splashy premiere at the AFI fest and several industry screeningsFences has moved up into the Oscar race in a big way.With so much of the Academy comprising of actors, Fences should have no problem raking in a bunch of nominations. The only question now is just how big will Fences be? And can it win Washington a Best Actor Oscar, making it his third trophy?

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Natalie Portman is Front and Center in New “Jackie” Trailer

The Best Actress race refuses to slow down.

Just last week, we got a glimpse of Viola Davis in Fences and Annette Bening in 20th Century Women. Emma Stone won Best Actress at Venice and has been topping a lot of Oscar pundits lists for the final five, but one contender that has managed to astound everyone is Natalie Portman. The actress’ buzzy Jackie Kennedy biopic has been the talk of the town since it premiered to critical acclaim at Venice and Toronto last month.

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Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” Screens At Telluride, Enters the Oscar Race

I’ve been thinking about Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight from the moment its gorgeous trailer premiered over the summer. I hadn’t heard anything about it before that, but the buzz around the film became inescapable after. Film critics and various writers were all enamored like I was, while the lucky few who had seen the film in some capacity all had the same message: This was a film to watch out for, and see at any cost.

Suddenly it was announced that Moonlight would be screening at the Telluride Film Festival, with screenings at the prestigious Toronto and New York Film Festivals to follow. It’s clear that following the success of Room and Ex Machina last year, the film’s distributor A24 was not messing around with this one and if the word of mouth out of Telluride is any indicator of what’s to come, Moonlight is in it for the long haul.

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“The Revenant” Wins Big At The BAFTAS

I don’t know how we got here, but it would seem like The Revenant has got the best chance at winning Best Picture at the Oscars.

The film showed a surprising strength after leading the nomination count with The Academy last month, but there was still a strong consensus around Spotlight and The Big Short. And while those two films each have a big award from an important guild (SAG and the PGA respectively), The Revenant’s unexpected win with the DGA and the BAFTAs makes the heat around it seem that much stronger.

Leonardo Dicaprio’s star power is not be underestimated; He’s been cleaning up this awards season due to a lack of competition and the “it’s time” narrative. But there seems to be an extreme enthusiasm for the film outside of Leo’s work, and director Iñárritu’s win for Birdman last year doesn’t seem to be slowing the momentum down whatsoever.

It’s clearly between The Big Short, Spotlight and The Revenant for the win; a photo finish. Each have their appeal, but if you had to ask me which film stood the best chance at winning right now, I’d say The Revenant. It has the actors, the directors, and the various crafts behind it. And while there’s a case to be made for Mad Max: Fury Road, I’m not sure there’s been enough enthusiasm from the guilds (in terms of wins) to justify that theory.

There’s always room for surprises however; I think it’s been too crazy of a year to have The Revenant take home the gold. When I say it’s going to win, that’s what the stats would suggest. My heart tells me Mad Max: Fury Road is going to win due to a 3-way split. There’s no sure way to say with how spread out the awards have been. This will be one of those years where it won’t be revealed until Oscar night.

Take a look below at the full list of winners from the BAFTAs below.

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“The Revenant” Review

I had to sum up The Revenant in one word, it would be: grueling.

That’s not a knock on the film’s quality by any means, though it doesn’t always make for an easy viewing experience. As with his last film, the Best Picture winning Birdman, director Alejandro González Iñárritu continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to filmmaking. It’s funny, because there are some parallels between Riggan Thomson, the main character of Birdman, and Iñárritu himself. Where Riggan was tasked with proving himself as a ‘real actor’ and adapting a novel into a stage play (which he was also the star of), Iñárritu has attempted to best himself with the largest, most visually arresting film of his very esteemed career.

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