Editor’s note: Disco Biscuit is a frequent contributor to the site. She is reviewing all the Oscar nominated pictures. Follow her on Twitter @discobiscuit127 This is her final installment of Oscar previews. Here are the rest if you want to check out part 1, part 2 and part 3.
By DISCO BISCUIT
I put off writing about La La Land because I know this movie is going to crush the awards.I even put off seeing the movie because I’d heard it was soooo good. I usually hate musicals and someone told me it was a movie about struggling white jazz musicians which I found hilarious. I had a preconceived idea that I would absolutely hate it. Well I am here to tell you, not only is it NOT about struggling white jazz musicians, I’m actually not sure it’s even a musical. It’s so good. This movie is going to clean house tonight.
La La Land is actually a story about falling in love, being in love, and what happens when two people’s dreams force them apart. Mia is a wannabe actress in Hollywood who works at a coffee shop on the Warner Brother’s lot, and goes to fruitless auditions in the hopes of being noticed. Sebastian is a pianist and jazz lover who hopes to open his own club some day. After a couple of chance meetings that don’t go super well, Sebastian pursues Mia at her coffee shop. After they spend a day together, Sebastian takes Mia to a jazz club where he explains why he is such a fan of the genre. To his dismay she compares it to Kenny G and elevator music (because she’s an idiot).
Sebastian explains to her that you have to actually listen to and feel the music to gain an appreciation for it. They agree to see a movie as research for a role Mia is auditioning for. Mia, forgetting that she had a date with her boyfriend, fails to show up at the theater. Don’t you think they would have exchanged cell numbers before agreeing to meet at the theater? Major flaw – it’s 2017, no one doesn’t exchange numbers before they agree on an outing, even if it’s not a “date.” While Mia is at the restaurant, which is playing jazz, she starts listening to the actual music around her. Realizing she has feelings for Sebastian, she just gets up and leaves the diner. Cut to a lovey dovey musical montage of the two of them falling in love over the course of a year. Sebastian convinces Mia that instead of going on these auditions she should write her own play. While they’re out one night, they run into John Legend, one of Sebastian’s acquaintances from music school who tells him that he needs a pianist for this new band. Sebastian reluctantly accepts the gig as a way to save up money for the club. Musical montage break two – this time Sebastian’s band is getting pretty big and Mia is writing for and getting ready for her one woman show. She begins to get frustrated that Sebastian has seemingly given up his dream for the band, that he’s losing sight of why he did it in the first place. On the night of Mia’s show, Sebastian misses it for a band obligation and no one shows up to the show. Also some people are talking crap about the show with her like right there. If you’re one of only 10 people in an audience maybe wait til you’re in the car to talk bad about it. Mia and Sebastian break up and she goes home to her parents.
Musical break three – Sebastian is sad, and Mia is figuring out what she wants to do. Sebastian gets a call for Mia that someone wants her to be in their movie and he talks her into taking the audition. They go back, the audition goes really well, but they don’t reconcile completely. She goes to Paris to shoot and Sebastian stays behind for band stuff. They say they’ll figure it out after she gets back. Fast forward five years – Mia is a super famous movie star with a husband (not Sebastian) and a little daughter. One night she and her husband go out for dinner and he wants to duck into this cool jazz joint. It’s Sebastian’s club. Sebastian, seeing Mia, sits down to play a song on the piano and HO-LY SH–. While Sebastian’s playing they both imagine what their lives could have been if everything had unfolded differently. I was stunned at the end. I just had to sit there – was this ending happy or sad? I think it’s happy – they’ve both made their dreams – once seemingly impossible – a reality. They may have loved each other at one point, but they’ve achieved their ultimate goals. Relationships come and go, I don’t think there’s one perfect person for everyone, but that’s just me. I know people who met in freaking junior high and they’re married now, and some of us are 29 and single with a pet bunny rabbit. Different strokes for different folks.
Here’s a snapshot from MyBookie on the three best odds for the six categories available for the awards. If you listening to RJ Bell on the Blitz Friday, he basically said that if you just pick the best odds for all of the awards your chances for getting 5 out of the 6 awards right is about 80%. I will disagree with the movie award because Hell or High Water was the best movie this year but that’s fine, I’ll play along! Also, even after listening to that segment, I spent way too long reading about this but I learned a lot.
Best Picture –
La La Land -900
Hidden Figures +1600
OK, the common sense pick here is La La Land – after all, the winner of Best Director usually has the Best Picture, but my pick is Moonlight. It won the Golden Globe, and if I know anything about the Academy it’s that they always go with a powerful story over everything.
Hell or High Water has the longest odds in the pack at 80/1, so sh–, I might wager $1 and pray for the biggest upset in Oscars history.
Best Director –
La La Land -2500
Our pick – Damien Chazelle. Chazelle won the Director’s Guild Award. The winner of the DGA award almost ALWAYS wins Best Director. I don’t think this one is even a question.
Best Actor –
Casey Affleck -170
Ryan Gosling +1600
Our pick is going to be Denzel. The odds between him and Casey Affleck are close, but Denzel won the SAG award and he’s a major star. I think he takes home his third Oscar.
Best Actress –
Emma Stone -900
Natalie Portman +580
Isabelle Hubert +800
Our pick – Emma Stone. She also won the SAG award, and while Natalie Portman’s portrayal of a grief stricken Jacki O was spot on, I don’t see anyone beating out Emma.
Best Supporting Actor –
Mahershala Ali -750
Jeff Bridges +1300
Lucas Hedges +1600
Common Sense pick – Mahershala Ali. He won the SAG and his performance was amazing. But our pick is going to be Jeff Bridges, mainly because I think he was better. I see a possible upset here.
Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis -6000
Michelle Williams +1100
Naomie Harris +1300
Our pick – Viola Davis. There’s no discussion to even be had. I thought it would be closer than this especially, between her and Naomie Harris, because Harris’ performance was so raw and amazing. But Davis wins.
Thing I wish I could place a bet on, but can’t: O/U on number of times Trump or “our government” is mentioned – 15. Hollywood is the absolute best at screaming their views into the empty vacuum that is a banquet hall or auditorium filled with people who think exactly as they do and have forgotten what the real world is like. You just know Trump has some mad libs draft saved – just insert names of actors and actresses he desperately wants to be buddies with and say they’re overrated and attacking him. There are 24 awards being presented and remember – many of these will have multiple people accepting the award and they’ve got only 45 seconds for their acceptance speech. Usually winners focus on a single issue, but since many people see Trump as personally attacking many of these ideals – LGBT rights, women’s rights, education, especially in the arts – more people are going to go after him directly. I’m setting the number at 15. I know that’s high, but I had to take a shot in the dark here. I wouldn’t be surprised if literally every winner rails against him. I honestly can’t remember ever seeing this kind of hate coming out of people. Well have fun watching! I personally bought a gown at a thrift store for $5 that I plan to wear for my apartment’s Oscar Party.