Oscar Nominations 2017

For some reason, the Oscar nominations were not presented in front of a live audience this morning. Pre-taped bits with past Oscar winners like Jennifer Hudson (best supporting actress, 2010 for Dreamgirls) and Brie Larson (best actress 2016, for Room) preceded an automated list announcing the Oscar nominations for 2016’s best movies, interrupted with a commercial for itself. The Academy Awards will take place February 26th, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. I just realized that I won’t be in the room to win my Oscar pool this year – Sean and I will be in Philadelphia, perhaps not even watching the ceremony!

An accounting firm called PricewaterhouseCoopers has taken care of the Academy balloting process for over 80 years. They send out the nomination forms in December and tabulating them in January takes about 1700 hours. There are over 6000 voting members of the Academy, and they’re all industry professionals. Each branch has different rules as to who can become a member – visual effects supervisors have to be active for a certain number of years, while an

actor must have a credited role in at least 3 films, and a writer should have at least 2 credits, and all must have “achieved distinction” in the motion picture arts and sciences. The tricky part is that you can only be a member of one branch, so someone like Ben Affleck has to decide whether he wants to be there as an actor, a director, or a writer. Each category votes only for itself – on editors can decide who will be nominated for best editing, and only actors vote for best actors nominees. Everyone can vote for best picture, however.

For a film to be considered, it has to meet some basic requirements: it must be over 40 minutes, it must have had at least a 7-straight-day run at a paid-admission L.A. theatre, and it can’t have debuted on television or the internet.

When an Academy member receives a ballot, they get to list their 5 nominee choices in order of preference, and are encouraged to “follow their heart”. The ballots are counted by hand, and the accounting firm looks for the “magic number” – the number of mentions it takes to turn a name into a nomination. The formula they use is: total # of ballots, divided by total possible nominees plus 1. So for Best Director, say you have 600 ballots, and you get to have 5 nominees (plus 1 = 6), that’s 600 divided by 6, or 100 ballots to become a nominee.

The counting starts based on a voter’s first choice  until someone reaches the magic number. Once Damian Chazelle (for example), reaches the magic number, all the ballots that had him as first choice will be set aside. The director with the fewest first-place votes is automatically knocked out, and those ballots are redistributed based on the voters’ second choice (the directors still in the running keep their calculated votes from the first round).  Once the nominees are announced today, the accounting firm will now send out new ballots and everyone can vote in all categories for the actual awards, although people are discouraged from voting for categories that they don’t understand.

Now on to the nominations!

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell Or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester By The Sea

Moonlight

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Actress

Ruth Negga, Loving

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Supporting Actor

Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Dev Patel, Lion

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Cinematography

Arrival (Bradford Young)

La La Land (Linus Sandgren)

Lion (Greig Fraser)

Moonlight (James Laxton)

Silence (Rodrigo Prieto)

Documentary

Fire At Sea

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

OJ: Made In America

13th

Documentary Short

Extremis

4.1 Miles

The White Helmets

Watani: My Homeland

Joe’s Violin

Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Tanna

Toni Erdmann

Live Action Short

Ennemis Entreniers

La Femme et le TGV

Silent Nights

Sing

Timecode

Sound Editing

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Sully

Sound Mixing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Production Design

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar

La La Land

Passengers

Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book

Kubo And the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Costumes

Allied (Joanna Johnston)

Fantastic Beasts (Colleen Atwood)

Florence Foster Jenkins (Consolata Boyle)

Jackie (Madeline Fontaine)

La La Land (Mary Zophres)

Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan)

La La Land (Damien Chazelle)

The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou)

Manchester By the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)

20th Century Women (Mike Mills)

Adapted Screenplay

Arrival (Eric Heisserer)

Fences (August Wilson)

Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi)

Lion (Luke Davies)

Moonlight (Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney)

Makeup & Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove (Eva von Bahr and Love Larson)

Star Trek Beyond (Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo)

Suicide Squad (Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson)

Original Score

Jackie (Mica Levi)

La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)

Lion (Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka)

Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)

Passengers (Thomas Newman)

Original song

Audition – La La Land

Can’t Stop the Feeling – Trolls

City of Stars – La La Land

The Empty Chair – Jim: The James Foley Story

How Far I’ll Go – Moana

Animated

Kubo And the Two Strings

Moana

My Life As A Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

Animated Short

Blind Vaysha

Borrowed Time

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Pearl

Piper

Editing

Hacksaw Ridge (John Gilbert)

Arrival (Joe Walker)

Hell or High Water (Jake Roberts)

La La Land (Tom Cross)

Moonlight (Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon)

Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester By the Sea

Wow, we’ve seen a lot of these! What have you seen, loved, hated, felt was overhyped? Surprises?

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99 thoughts on “Oscar Nominations 2017

    1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

      Shannon deserved the nom more than Taylor-Johnson at least. I was surprised Nocturnal didn’t get a screenplay nom (or something in the design categories… Tom Ford, right). With all the amazing movies this year, I can understand Animals getting lost in the shuffle.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. Jay Post author

    This is blasphemy, but I could live without Meryl’s nomination of it meant Amy Adams could get up there for Arrival, or Annette Bening for 20th Century Women. Can’t believe they left her out!

    Liked by 7 people

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    1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

      I bet Adams got split votes, spread across Nocturnal Animals and Arrival. I prefer her performance in the latter. Arrival was my favourite film of the year (now that I’ve seen most of the nominated flicks). I totally agree that Adams was snubbed.

      Liked by 2 people

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      1. Jay Post author

        She definitely may have split. That’s sort of not fair though!
        I wondered if the same might happen between the two La La Land original songs.
        Too bad for Adams – she’s the beating heart of that movie. I’m glad it was recognized so much but it’s almost meaningless without her.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

      Hehehe. Definitely. I just saw Silence. Really well photographed, some strong emotion, and I liked the pacing. I really enjoyed the first half. I love Adam Driver, but felt he was a little disappointing here, as was the 3rd Act. I suppose the film was uneven as a whole. That said, I can’t imagine Passengers being ‘better’ 😉

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    1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

      Agreed. I thought I was the only one. I guess I’m an “Asshole” too 😉 hehehe.

      The first act of HACKSAW RIDGE was bobbled. I think the story should have started after the Vince Vaughn intro in the barracks. Imagine not knowing our hero objected to weapon use after we meet him on the obstacle course and slay it. Then, when it comes to pick up his weapon we learn about his moral code.

      The early religious and relationship story points fell short for me verging dangerously close to melodrama with on-the-nose dialogue. I was worried during the 1st 1/2 hour and wondered if this movie was going to totally suck. Fortunately, it picked up during the training and the war scenes were incredible.

      The true story is amazing, so I suppose I wish the narrative was stronger (or the story was told in a different manner). I would like to see another film subbed into the best pictures instead.

      Great conversation brewing here in the comments, guys. Good stuff. Tis the season to get excited over drama and character studies.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Sean

        I totally agree with you. The best thing about Hacksaw Ridge is the underlying story, and I feel that it deserved a better movie. Hacksaw Ridge isn’t bad but it’s not great and not close to top ten for me this year – there are other movies that should have been nominated in its place.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

    Every year I look forward to the Oscar noms… kinda like movie nerd Christmas. I was disappointed that Nice Guys (one of my favs – in my Top 5 for 2016) was snubbed screenplay. I still think Gosling’s best performance this year didn’t involve singing and dancing.

    Although eligible foreign films were announced earlier, I’m still stung by the snub of Your Name (which should be up for picture and animated picture as well). This movie was the biggest surprise of the year and made me feel as many emotions as hyped stuff like Manchester and Moonlight.

    I also missed seeing Sing Street not get a nomination. I’m back n forth all the time on if I liked it more than La La Land.

    Looking forward to how others chime in. 2016 was so great for films, I think everyone will have some snubs that bother them.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Jay Post author

      It was a great year, wasn’t it?
      Yes, I definitely think Sing Street should have had a best song at least. Then again, I would have liked to see Popstar get a best song!!!

      I haven’t seen Your Name and obviously I need to!!!

      Liked by 2 people

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      1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

        Hahaah Popstar joke… I can’t recommend Your Name enough. I suppose it may help if you like anime, but I don’t think it’s a requirement, this isn’t fantasy / supernatural with monsters and tentacles or anything 😉 I would say try to know as little as possible going into Your Name. I hope you enjoy it, Jay 🙂

        Here’s my Top 10 revised (I had to cheat and add a Plus 5). This year came on really strong in December, but I think I’ve seen most of the notable films by now. Check out my Top 10 whenever you get the chance and lets nerd it out 😉 https://slipthroughmovies.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/my-top-10-movies-2016/

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    2. Jay Post author

      I was also surprised not to see The Nice Guys at all. It’s always hard to maintain any momentum when you release so early in the year. I guess most people have forgotten it.

      Liked by 2 people

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      1. Eric

        A very underrated film “The Nice Guys” was indeed! Given that Gosling had more love of his performance in “La La Land”, being snubbed for his “Nice Guys” performance doesn’t surprise me. Shane Black getting a nod for Original Screenplay I would have been okay with.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Harlon

    There’s always something wonky about the Oscar Nominations every year, I can pick out a few off the top of my head already, but what is really standing out for me is Amy Adams not being nominated for Arrival (I agree, I don’t think Meryl Streep really needed another nomination for a lacklustre film) on the upside I was happy to see the harrowing score of Jackie get nominated. Harlon

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    1. Jay Post author

      Good point – we got to see Jackie at TIFF this year and I was really blown away by the performance of course. And I liked the shift in perspective too, it really made it a new story. But the score was notable as well, and not quite what you’d expect.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Paul. Writer, Blogger and Filmmaker

    It’s probably about right but the omission of SILENCE is a glaring one. While not a classic, easily digestible piece of entertainment SILENCE is truly an absorbing cinematic experience. I mean, challenging films like this are more than welcome as an anaethema to all the throwaway feelgood stuff (which of course I like too.)

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      1. Jay Post author

        Yeah, he can really pursue things doggedly. This is a real passion project for him. I definitely would have thrown him a nod over Gibson.

        Like

  5. Jay Post author

    I think something that’s really standing out to me right now is the amount of category fraud that’s happening, and I feel that something needs to be done.
    it’s hard fair when Viola Davis, who of course is a lead, goes up against Michelle Williams in supporting instead – it’s like 7 minutes vs 207 minutes of screen time.
    And Dev Patel?

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Sean

      Viola Davis’ performance in Fences should not be eligible for the “supporting” category. It shouldn’t be a pick-and-choose situation, it should be subject to rules similar to shorts so we know who fits into which category. I think screen time is a good way to break it down – not perfect but would make for a fairer competition for supporting awards than we are likely to get with such different screen times right now, as your example shows well.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. Birgit

    I have not seen any which is typical for me since I am not going to the cinema like I used to. Now, I’m not surprised by the nominations overall but why must they always nominate Meryl Streep? If it was someone else in that film, I bet she would not have been nominated. From what I hear, could it be that Hugh Grant was slighted?? From what I also hear Silence sounds like a brilliant film but basically got shut out. I do want to see La La Land for sure. Now I have to start seeing these films plus ones that have been slighted. Too bad Deadpool didn’t get in there somewhere:)

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    1. Jay Post author

      Meryl Streep was good. Very good. Of course she was. But I would have preferred seeing Amy Adams and definitely Annette Bening up there. I would have been okay with a Hugh Grant nom too but don’t feel too bad that he wasn’t – it’s a crowded year with lots of great performances. Dev Patel is the only one I’d drop, and that’s mostly because I think he should be a lead actor.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. Sean

      We’ll have to see the remaining two in the category – I would have put Finding Dory behind the three we have seen (Zootopia, Moana and Kubo). I would say it’s been a good year for animation – not necessarily one all-time classic but a number of very strong movies.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

        I’d vote for Kubo too. Although, I think YOUR NAME was snubbed. It was a blockbuster (just not in North America). I can’t say it enough. This one is worth tracking down. Really special. For Kubo, the sheer pleasure of watching that level of stop-motion animation is absolutely mesmerizing. It transports you away. Impressive.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Eric

      “Zootopia” will probably win, but “Kubo” winning Best Animated Feature could be one hell of an upset win for Focus Features. Both were worth seeing during their theatrical runs.

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    1. Jay Post author

      That’s a very good question. I’m not sure. It definitely went more quickly without all the applause. And it definitely wipes out the embarrassment of certain people\films getting more applause than others. It wasn’t very remarkable though.

      Liked by 2 people

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  7. Jay Post author

    There are black actors nominated in every category so the Oscars will be less white this year, but I don’t think we can truly declare diversity to be ‘conquered’. Let’s see a good decade of this trend before we declare #Oscarssowhite over.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

      Good point! I also think BIRTH OF A NATION was snubbed. It was really impressive. While a movie about a slave that revolts and kills white masters may be a little controversial, the spotlight was robbed by off-screen controversy (whereas Affleck was nominated). I think the film deserves more recognition.

      As is, Barry Jenkins is the 1st black person to be nominated for best picture, best director, and best writer (for the same film – MOONLIGHT), where as NATION’s Nate Parker was writer, director, producer, and leading actor. Both deserve the acclaim.

      If NATION wasn’t snubbed, the Academy would be closer to conquering controversy. What’s on screen is what should be judged (like they did with Gibson).

      That said, the year is full of incredible accomplishments. While NATION could be snubbed fairly, I feel like there wasn’t a lot of chatter about it leading up to award season. Obviously, it’s a disappointment for me 😉 Have you guys seen BIRTH OF A NATION? I’m curious what others think on the manner.

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      1. Sean

        I wouldn’t have put Birth of a Nation in my top ten. It was too over the top, trying too hard to be meaningful. Even without the offscreen awfulness I wouldn’t have given anything to him. Likely a double standard as compared to Casey Affleck – in my book Affleck should on the outside too. Not forever, but at least for this year. It’s the only consequence that might change their behaviour, if they can connect the dots.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

        Fair enough. It took me a minute to be cast under the spell of the film. It’s not my fav, but it’s up there. I dig on Terrence Malick type visual poetry too, so you can chalk some of my love up to that. 😉

        Historical films can easily be viewed as melodrama (trying too hard and being too obvious – ie: Hacksaw Ridge). Imagine watching more beloved biopics like Braveheart or Schindler through that same (cynical) lens. They play rather manipulative too. Just my ‘defensive’ 2 cents 😉

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      3. Jay Post author

        Yeah, I did notice that this is apparently the year we forgive Mel Gibson.
        And it’s totally hypocritical (or worse) that we condemned Parker and seem to give Affleck a free pass.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. fernandorafael

    Thanks for the info on the nominations process! Woke up really early to catch the announcement today. Kinda bummed that Amy Adams didn’t get into the Best Actress race but nice to see Meryl there. Glad to see the first noms for Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. Surprised at the love for Passengers and Suicide Squad. Very happy to see The Lobster for Screenplay and Michael Shannon instead of Aarón Johnson. Snubs: Adams, Gosling for Nice Guys, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Grabar, Swiss Army Man, Sing Street, Civil War

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Jay Post author

      I would have LOVED to see something for Swiss Army Man.

      I was also just saying how cute it is that the Mouseketeer buddies are headed to the oscars together – Gosling and Timberlake.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Jay Post author

        It definitely should have at least gotten a song nomination. And giving 2 to La La Land means they might cancel each other out and cause an upset. Will Moana sneak in?

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  9. Liz A.

    I never see the announcement because it happens so frickin early here. 5AM. Seriously, I’m not conscious yet. I haven’t had a chance to digest the nominees. Surprisingly, I’ve seen two of the best picture nominees. That’s a record for me.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yeah, even 8am is early, but luckily I get in to work at 7am, so I was set up and streaming away! I watched the royal wedding the same way 😉

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    1. Jay Post author

      I feel like I can live with it too. There’s isn’t room for everyone and I don’t think there are any egregious names. It was a pretty good year for film I guess!

      Liked by 1 person

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    2. Jay Post author

      Yeah, for hair and makeup. It makes more sense to me than Star Trek getting the same. Still, I can’t believe those were the best choices. No one must have gone after it like they did. Weird.

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. Tom

    Swiss Army Man needed to be in there but since when have I ever gotten what I wanted from the Oscars? Thinking that the Academy speaks to my interests/tastes/preferences/whatever is like saying the current POTUS speaks for my values as an American citizen. He can go fuck himself. So can the academy, mostly for including shit like Passengers, Suicide Squad; for jizzing all over Damien Chazelle and for preferring Meryl Streep over Annette Bening.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yeah, those technical categories can really drag some weird movies into the race. I try to watch all the nominated films and those categories always force me to watch all the movies I avoid all year long.

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  12. J.

    If hoped to have seen a couple of these, but I’ve only seen one (Rogue One), so can’t really comment. Naturally, I think Rogue One deserves nominations in all categories!

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  13. Eric

    I think the Academy has now accepted the fact that enough time has passed since Mel Gibson’s infamous anti-Jewish rant. Sure it’s great that he got a nod for Best Director, but as much as I’d like to see him acting in more movies again {even a cameo in a future “Mad Max” movie I’d be okay with}, I think he should take a note from Ben Affleck and keep to directorial efforts.

    However, regardless if Gibson wins or not, he could make a successful acting comeback in the vein of the acting comebacks of Robert Downey JR and Michael Keaton.

    I am a struggling screenwriter and it’s great that “The Lobster” and “Hell Or High Water” both got nods for Original Screenplay. “Lobster” was a weird movie in the vein of some of David Lynch’s works and I was amazed by the performances by Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster in “Hell Or High Water.” I haven’t seen “La La Land”, so no opinion even though I have plans to see “La La Land” soon.

    As for Best Picture, it would very interesting if “Moonlight” wins because given the ongoing racial crap in the US and the threat of LGBT people having their human rights taken away from them by the Trump Administration, it could be a groundbreaking year if “Moonlight” wins.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Jay Post author

      True enough, it could be a very meaningful win. Moonlight and La La Land are such different movies that for once the way the Globes divides things almost makes sense.

      I really liked The Lobster. I saw it a very long time ago so it’s hard for me to think of it as this year’s crop, but it’s nice to see something so quirky get recognized. Wish there was room for Swiss Army Man as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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  14. Jay Post author

    I’m also wondering at the fairness of theOJ “documentary” getting in. It was made for TV. Yes, it had a qualifying run in a theatre, but didanyone go see it? Who would? It’s 8 hours long! It was aired in 5 parts on ESPN. Seems a little unfair to all the other documentaries who had to try so hard to be marketable in a way we’ve understood. Will this change the way documentaries are made, or change the way the Oscars classifies them? Because suddenly it seems possible to open this up to any number of television miniseries.

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  16. reocochran

    I liked Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge as best pictures. For Director Damien Chazelle. I enjoyed this movie for “most entertaining” of all and not stressful or uncomfortable.
    I loved Justin Timberlake singing Sound of Silence and the original Can’t Stop the Feeling should be the winner of Best Song. (My opinion)
    “Moana” was much more creative and “not scary” (grandies voted against “Zootopia”) children’s animated movie.
    I loved “Dr. Strange” in special effects. I am not going to vote here on best actors or actresses. 🙂

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