Thursday, September 15, 2016


  With four months still to go before the awards season kicks off with the Golden Globes,  it is already becoming clear which movies are nominations material.  Having seen a dozen of them in the last couple of weeks, mixed with critics and filmmakers and heard the party buzz at the Toronto film festival I think have a pretty good idea of which movies are the hot tickets for awards.
  Top of the list has to be La La Land, that spectacular and exhilarating musical love letter to Los Angeles which stars the lovely Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as young hopefuls trying to make it big in Hollywood. It won the People's Choice Award at Toronto and both Stone, who took the lead actress prize at the Venice Film Festival,and Gosling, whom I have known since we breakfasted together at the Pantry in downtown Los Angeles some ten years ago, are favourites for Globe and Oscar nominations. 
La La Land's Emma Stone
   The drama Manchester By the Sea, about a man living with tragedy and which was produced by Matt Damon, has been well received  as has Tom Ford's second movie, Nocturnal Animals.
 Others likely to feature in the nominations are Lion, about an Indian man played by Dev Patel trying to find the family he lost as a boy;    Arrival, in which Amy Adams plays a linguist enlisted to find a way to communicate with alien visitors; and possibly Sully, about the landing on the Hudson River.

  There has also been plenty of talk about The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker's historical drama about a 1831 slave rebellion which has been surrounded with controversy since new details of Parker's 1999 rape case came to light.
Timothy Spall and Tom Wilkinson...award worthy actors
  Although it was greeted with applause at both Sundance and Toronto, to me, it is not a good movie.
Fortunately, there are so many better ones due out soon.
  My favourite movie of the year so far has been Hell Or High Water which unfortunately is not getting the publicity and hype needed for it to be seen by enough voters.
Lion's Dev Patell
  And if there is any justice, acting honours should go to both Timothy Spall and Tom Wilkinson, who play Holocaust denier David Irving and barrister Richard Rampton QC in Denial, the true story of the libel action brought by Irving against American author Deborah Lipstadt, played by Rachel Weisz. 
  Still, who knows? This could be a season of surprises. 

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