I know, you’re still upset the Patriots won the Super Bowl, but football season’s over and Oscar season is in full swing. It’s time to swap out our fantasy football leagues for Oscar ballots and Tom Brady for Ryan Gosling. You may have made the wrong choice for who’d be the 51st Super Bowl champions, but this time around I’m going to help you make the right choice for your Oscar ballot picks.
With La La Land tying for the record number of nominations (14!) and a much more diverse casts of nominees than last year, this year’s sure to be a notable one. So trust me; I knew the Patriots were going to win the Super Bowl and I’m going to ensure that you’ve got the perfect ballot for Feb. 26.
Best Picture: La La Land
All the Hollywood signs are pointing to La La Land to take home the gold with Best Picture. With a record high 14 nominees — tying with Titanic and All About Eve — odds are in their favor for a few wins. They also swept the Golden Globes, a good predictor for the Oscars. Complete with a star-studded cast, including Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and an iconic sound-track, La La Land is just what the Academy is looking for in Best Picture.
When I saw this movie, I was honestly bored at first. But with its plot twist at the end, I left the theater with that “what could have been feeling.” It’s your classic thought-provoking, deeper meaning, indie film. With a blockbuster cast, memorable music and plethora of nominations it’s a sure fire win.
Actor in a Leading Role: Denzel Washington
Let’s be honest. The Academy received widespread criticism last year for being “#sowhite,” so this year they’ve made sure to beef up their diversity with six people of color nominated. Odd’s are, one of them is bound to bring home a win, and my money’s on Denzel Washington as best actor in Fences.
I dare you to watch him and not want to cry over the hardships he faces as a working class black man in the 1950s. It’ll leave you with that “follow your dreams feeling” that no true American can resist. If Denzel can overcome his obstacles to success, why can’t I? It didn’t feel like he was simply acting the party; he absorbed the role and made it a part of himself – the true feat for any actor.
Actress in a leading role: Emma Stone
Emma Stone is the safest bet for best actress in a leading role. She won best actress at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards a couple weeks ago, and it seems only fitting that the nominee for Best Actress and Best Picture go hand in hand.
Stone debuted a new side of her acting abilities in La La Land. She transformed into a singer and dancer, but maintained total sophistication. At no point did I feel like I was watching High School Musical or Hairspray. She took those quirky, break-into-song moments that never really happen in actuality, and made it artistic and natural. That’s Oscar worthy. But if her singing and dancing weren’t enough proof for you, she also had her tear-inducing moments – i.e. every time she gave Ryan Gosling that troubled and in-love look. Stone was the complete package in La La Land, making her an easy choice for best actress.
Best Original Song: “City of Stars” from La La Land
La La Land has two out of the five nominees for Best Original Song. “Audition” and “City of Stars” are the two songs they have nominated, but my pick is “City of Stars.” Its competition is songs like “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by the infamous Justin Timberlake and “How Far I’ll Go” by Moana, which have honestly become tacky pop songs at this point. “City of Stars” is true Oscar quality. Honestly, I dare you to listen it and not want to pick up those piano lessons your mom made you take in the second grade again. It’s one of those theme songs where you hear it and instantly know where it’s from, but not in the obnoxious sitcom kind of way. More “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic kind of iconic.