The Year in Movies

Good on the academy. The first time I did this exercise I disagreed with seven of their nominations. Last year only three. And this year it’s just two, one more of a trifle (Hugh Grant over the always excellent Michael Shannon) and the other a complete and utter catastrophe. As I wrote in my Snubs and Surprises piece, how Amy Adams is not nominated for her daring, subtle, incandescent work in Arrival is simply beyond my human intellect to grasp. She is the heart and soul of one of the best movies of the year. I get it Academy: Meryl Streep is amazing!! But she should not be nominated for roles like she has the last couple years—Into the Woods and now Florence Foster Jenkins. I’m sure she’s even embarrassed about her inclusion this year.

Other than that, though, I have but little to trifle. Here is a category-by-category breakdown of this year’s nominees:

Oscar Nominees: Supporting Actress

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Viola Davis, Fences

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Viola Davis, Fences
2. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
3. Nicole Kidman, Lion
4. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Oscar Nominees: Supporting Actor

Dev Patel, Lion
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
2. Dev Patel, Lion
3. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
4. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
5. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Oscar Nominees: Lead Actress

Emma Stone, La La Land
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Ruth Negga, Loving

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Emma Stone, La La Land
2. Natalie Portman, Jackie
3. Amy Adams, Arrival
4. Isabelle Huppert, Elle
5. Ruth Negga, Loving

Oscar Nominees: Lead Actor

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Denzel Washington, Fences
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Denzel Washington, Fences
2. Ryan Gosling, La La Land
3. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
4. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
5. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Oscar Nominees: Best Director

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Damian Chazelle, La La Land
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Nick Wood’s Top Five

1. Damian Chazelle, La La Land
2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
3. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
4. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
5. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Oscar Nominees: Best Picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

Nick Wood’s Top Five Nine

1. La La Land
2. Arrival
3. Lion
4. Moonlight
5. Hidden Figures
6. Fences
7. Hell or High Water
8. Manchester by the Sea
9. Hacksaw Ridge

And now for the moment you all have been waiting 364 days for . . .

The Worst Movies of the Year

1. Allegiant
2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
3. The Huntsman: Winter’s War
4. Ghostbusters
5. Café Society

The Best Movies of the Year

11. The Shallows
10. Our Kind of Traitor
9. Hidden Figures
8. Eye in the Sky
7. Moonlight
6. Deadpool
5. Captain America: Civil War
4. Lion
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Arrival
1. La La Land


Breaking it down even further:

Best Movie That Made the Most Amount of Money: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($529,462,544 in domestic earnings since its release)
Best Movie That Made the Least Amount of Money: Our Kind of Traitor ($3,153,157)

Worst Movie That Made the Most Amount of Money: Allegiant ($66,184,051)
Worst Movie That Made the Least Amount of Money: Café Society ($11,103,205)

Editor’s note: Dollar figures courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo and current as of 26 February 2016.

Best Movie I Haven’t Seen (Yet): 13th
Worst Movie(s) I Will Never See: Tie: The Angry Birds Movie and Independence Day: Resurgence

Movie Quote of the Year: “I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy. I got a life too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot with you. Don’t you think I ever wanted other things? Don’t you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me?” (Rose portrayed by Viola Davis in Fences)

Four categories back by popular demand:

Very Good Movie(s) That I Thought Would Have Been Worse: The Shallows
Movie That Should Have Been Much Better: Ghostbusters

Most Overrated Movie of the Year: For the second year in a row, none, thankfully.
Most Underappreciated Movie of the Year: The Shallows

And now some more fun categories:

Best Book Adaptation: The Girl on the Train
Best Musical: Florence Foster Jenkins (just kidding!) La La Land, of course!

Most Romantic: La La Land
Least Romantic: Tie: The Shallows and Nocturnal Animals

Most Exciting Movie: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Least Exciting Movie: Allegiant

Best Year—Female: Janelle Monáe (Prime roles in two best picture nominees, Hidden Figures and Moonlight)
Best Year—Male: Mahershala Ali (Ibid, plus he’s a shoe-in to win an Oscar for Moonlight.)

Crystal Ball

Every year I peer into the future to ascertain this year’s crop of future Hollywood stars. Here are examples of previous predictions:

Actress: Alicia Vikander, Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley, Imogen Poots, Samantha Barks
Actor: Emory Cohen, Jack O’Connell, Joel Edgerton, Dane DeHaan, Theo James
Director: Tom McCarthy, Ava DuVernay, Marc Webb, Rian Johnson, Ryan Coogler

Definite Moonlight theme developing here . . .

Next ‘It’ Actress: Janelle Monáe
Next ‘It’ Actor: Mahershala Ali
Next ‘It’ Director: Barry Jenkins

Secret Weapon

Need last minute help with your Oscar pool? Below is how things will go this evening on the 89th Academy Awards. I’ve amended some of my predicted winners (*) which I previously made before the actual nominations came out:

Animated Short: Piper
Animated Feature: Zootopia
Cinematography: La La Land
Documentary Short: The White Helmets
Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America
Live Action Short: Ennemis Intérieurs
Costume Design: La La Land
Film Editing: La La Land
*Foreign: The Salesman
Makeup and Hairstyling: Star Trek: Beyond
Production Design: La La Land
*Screenplay (adapted): Moonlight
*Screenplay (original): Manchester by the Sea
Score: La La Land
Song: ‘City of Stars’, La La Land
Sound Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Sound Mixing: La La Land
Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

But those are just fillers. Now for what you really care about—the awards that will make-or-break your chances of going home with some booty tonight:

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
*Lead Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Lead Actor: Denzel Washington, Fences
Director: Damian Chazelle, La La Land
Picture: La La Land

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6 Responses to The Year in Movies

  1. Pingback: The Year in Movies | An Ebullient Existence

  2. Pingback: The Final Films | An Ebullient Existence

  3. Pingback: The First Dozen | An Ebullient Existence

  4. Pingback: Nick’s Oscar Picks | An Ebullient Existence

  5. Alana says:

    Aw, come on, My Big Fat Greek Wedding: 2 was not THAT bad! It has its place and time. And Lala Land was not THAT good, other than you got to see it with me. Capiche.

    • Nicholas Jon Wood says:

      No use wasting words on MBFGW2 when I could save them to again describe the absolute wonder that was La La Land. And it’s just as good the second time around. Not just the best movie of the year but also one of the premier films of the 21st century! It’s perfect!

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