Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor, Best Actress

With so many awards shows leading up to the Academy Awards, I’m sure everyone is feeling a bit of “Awards Fatigue.” However, the Oscars are the Super Bowl of Awards Shows, coming up on Sunday February 26th, so get your cinematic waterfowl in a row in anticipation for the voting results of the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on some of the finest works of film made in 2016.

I believe it is irrelevant to choose winners and losers in art, as so much of its beauty is truly in the eyes and the experiences of the beholder. However the Academy Awards bring well-deserved attention to some of the best teamwork, art and performances in the film business.

My picks may surprise you. I will present them in two parts. Here are my picks for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor and Best Actress, followed by my prediction of who will actually win. Who would you pick?

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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

My Choice: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Moonlight’s main character Chiron is cast off emotionally by his troubled mother and then is taken under the wing of a wise and caring neighborhood figure played by Mahershala Ali, who drives a car with a king’s crown on the dashboard. Ali creates a beautifully understated mentor, sensitive yet strong as a rock in the face of the volatile surroundings. Ali brought a magnetic presence to the screen in his short scenes in the film. That is the sign of a great actor.

Who will actually win? Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water – the matchless work of Bridges is always a pleasure to experience.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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

My Choice: Naomie Harris for Moonlight

Naomie Harris plays Chiron’s drug-addicted mother in an extraordinary performance. She takes a decidedly unlikeable character and endows her with feelings of pain and sensitivity. Her “Paula” is an emotionally wounded woman drowning in her circumstances, reaching out for help.

Who will actually win? Viola Davis for her brilliant performance in Fences

 

BEST ACTOR

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

My Choice: Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge

I would presume that any soldier would say that the depiction of battle in Hacksaw Ridge is as real as it gets. The character at the center of the story, played superbly by Andrew Garfield, is emotionally complex. Garfield has come a long way since Spider-Man, with his solid work in 99 Homes and now with the role of “Desmond T. Doss” in this film. Garfield communicates with great nuance the ethical struggle inherent in his role.

Who will actually win? Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea, a strong performance in a challenging role

 

BEST ACTRESS

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

My Choice: Ruth Negga for Loving

Loving is based on a true story A ten-second flash of a face, every item, every action in this movie reveals volumes. This production also took a chance on actors who are just getting started on their careers. You would never believe that Ruth Negga, who is compelling as “Mildred Loving” was born in Ethiopia and raised in Limerick, Ireland. Watching her performance in the film, I had thought surely she had grown up in rural Virginia. Later I saw footage of the real Mildred Loving and it was a surreal experience how much the essence of the woman had been captured in Negga’s performance.

Who will actually win? Natalie Portman for her meticulous portrayal of Jackie Kennedy in Jackie

 

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which is the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com. For previously published reviews see https://kwboole.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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