In pole position for this year’s prize is ‘La La Land’, a film arriving as much-needed respite following the many shocks, horrors and uncertainties of 2016. ‘La La Land’ is a mug of hot chocolate after getting caught in a sleet storm. It’s a sincere homage to a bygone Hollywood era, and so there are certainly similarities to be drawn with another Oscar-winner – ‘The Artist’, but none favour the 2012 Best Picture winner. What undoes Michel Hazanavicius’ well-meaning ode to silent movies is its knowing winks, and a single line of illusion-cracking dialogue. ‘La La Land’ by contrast is a wholehearted and true resurrection of a long-forgotten form which pays tribute in all the right ways, but is contemporary also, making the genre work for modern audiences but never trampling its legacy.
Dave Jones and Hayley Squires in ‘I, Daniel Blake’, Eddie Redmayne in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ and Viggo Mortensen in ‘Captain Fantastic’. This year’s BAFTA Film Award nomiantions have been announced and it’s packed with the big awards season contenders, including ‘Moonlight’, ‘Manchester By The Sea’ and, of course, the seemingly-unstoppable ‘La La Land’. BAFTA has always and will always, understandably, favour British films, so ‘I, Daniel Blake’ isn’t exactly a huge surprise.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis appear to have their eyes on awards season in the first trailer for stage adaptation ‘Fences’. The dramatic teaser depicts the Oscar winner and Oscar nominee in fine form as we hear Washington’s Troy give his son a stern talking to. 'Fences’ is an adaption of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, about a retired baseball player unhappy with the direction of his life in 1950s Pittsburg.
Earlier this year Disney and Marvel released ‘Captain America: Civil War’ to rapturous acclaim and made a killing at the box office. No Marvel film has ever actually won an Oscar but have, over the years, had a number of nominations in various categories. Last week they held a ‘For Your Consideration’ screening of the movie in the hope of gaining that all-important recognition to get their awards season rolling, and in truth there’s no reason why ‘Civil War’, directed by the Russo Brothers, can’t nab a hefty amount of awards between now and early 2017.