Quest for the Best (Picture): The Best-Laid Plans Edition

Film ReelWell, Candice and I were on a roll to get to all nine Best Picture nominees prior to Sunday night’s Academy Awards show.  But then two sold-out theatres (when we tried to see Fences and Lion), trips to Tennessee (both of us) and Florida (Candice), a board meeting, and a very bad head cold (the last two are mine) intervened.

So the four I ranked on February 18th are the only ones we’ll see prior to the awards show.  I’m sorry we did not see the other five nominees, and especially Fences and Arrival.  This was an especially rich year for Best Picture nominees.

Of the four that we saw, the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar is La La Land.  It is a delightful movie, but compared to the other three we saw, it is a lightweight.  What most reviewers note is that the voters love nothing better than to award good films about making films.

In reflecting on the other three – Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight – I think they all would be worthy Best Picture winners.  Moonlight and Manchester are the better films from the standpoint of the craft of film-making.  Hidden Figures is such a good story for our times.  My heart is with Hidden Figures, but if I were voting, I would go in the following order:

  1. Moonlight
  2. Manchester by the Sea
  3. Hidden Figures
  4. La La Land

Well, let’s see what the Academy does on Sunday.

More to come…

DJB

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