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THE OUTLINE 2017 OSCARS WARM-UP


While 2016 was, in almost every other respect, a screaming, piss-soaked nightmare from beginning to end, it was a fine year for film, both in terms of quality and variety. As every year, the Academy will be falling over itself - and its unwieldy eveningwear - to impress this upon us muggles through its annual orgy of backslapping and gong-giving. Yes, it’s vulgar. Yes, it’s ridiculous. And, yes, we here at Outline Towers absolutely love it, so we’ll be pulling our annual all-nighter on the 26th to bow down to our new cinematic overlords. With that in mind, here’s Outline film scribes Jay and Smiley with a lowdown on the major nominations.


Hi,


Everyone. So, as was widely predicted, the runaway winner of


the nomination race was Damien Chazelle’s magical neo-musical La La Land, which is one of only three films in the Academy’s history to garner 14 nominations (the other two being 1950’s All About Eve and 1997’s bloody Titanic, for fuck’s sake). With eight nods each, second place in the noms race was shared by Barry Jenkins’ critically-adored coming- of-age triptych Moonlight and Denis Villeneuve’s superintelligent - maybe even profound - first-contact Sci-Fi yarn Arrival, of which Outline’s Huw wrote, “…there has been no better film this year.” Amen to that.


It would be lovely if we lived in a world where the number of nominations for non-white artists was not a talking point; unfortunately, for now


at least, we do not, and following the Academy’s spectacular fumbling of the diversity ball last year, much has been made of the seven nominations for minority actors this year. Also, several of the honoured films constitute what we’ve heard referred to - rather patronizingly, we think - as “black stories,” including Fences, Moonlight, and Hidden Figures.


Now, we here at Outline are not ones to blow each other’s trumpets. However, we’d be selling ourselves short if we didn’t point out that last year we correctly predicted the four major winners (picture, director, and lead actor and actress) despite Spotlight’s Best Picture win being a bone fide upset (Te Revenant was supposed to win). So, that said, let’s see what horses we’re pinning our colours to this year…


36 / FEBRUARY 2017 / OUTLINEONLINE.CO.UK BEST PICTURE


ARRIVAL FENCES HACKSAW RIDGE HELL OR HIGH WATER HIDDEN FIGURES LA LA LAND LION


MANCHESTER BY THE SEA MOONLIGHT


No major surprises here other than, perhaps, the inclusion of Mel Gibson’s one-for-the-dads gritty WW2 epic Hacksaw Ridge, which seems to indicate that he’s been forgiven for all that anti-Semitic shenanigans of a few years back; and there’s no mention of Scorsese’s historical epic Silence nor Clint Eastwood’s biographical drama Sully. Odd too that the Coen’s superb Hail, Caesar! has been almost completely overlooked, as it’s the kind of film-about-films that Hollywood types usually love to laud. It’s great to see a lot of love for the brilliantly original Arrival, though, as intelligent Sci-Fi is rarely acknowledged by the academy; and we absolutely loved David Mackenzie’s dusty Western heist thriller Hell or High Water, which Outline’s Smiley likened to a “well-oiled colt 45.” It’s kinda moot, though: La La Land will win, with only Moonlight posing anything like a challenge.


What will win: La La Land What we’d like to win: Arrival


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