“It has all the elements of a Best Picture winner. It’s nostalgic yet contemporary. It features charming actors who are well-liked by the academy and give great performances, a career high definitely for Emma Stone,” exclaims ESPN anchor and host Adnan Virk about “La La Land” in this year’s Oscar races. Virk is one of our Gold Derby film Experts and an avid movie watcher and predictor. He is expecting lots of love for the musical and in our recent webchat (watch above), he adds, “Damien Chazelle is a young director, and he’s got that ‘it thing’ right now after ‘Whiplash’ and then making a film like this. It’s a musical, which is an underrepresented genre which when it’s actually does well the academy really appreciates it. And mostly it’s about Hollywood.”
In our lengthy slugfest, Virk offers his picks and analysis in many categories, including the acting races. You can click here to see all of Virk’s Oscar nominee predictions along with all of our other Experts in the Gold Derby Oscars predictions center. Even though he is almost exclusively known for his coverage of sports on ESPN, his bosses were impressed with his movie knowledge and especially the fact that he became one of our film Experts over a year ago. Since they they have offered him the chance to host his own movie podcast called Cinephile, which you can find on their website.
We discuss many of this year’s contenders, including “Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Fences,” “Arrival,” and “Florence Foster Jenkins.” But it’s one of Virk’s favorite film of the year, “Silence,” which really has him riled up over the recent shocking snubs by awards shows leading up to the Oscars. He says, “To me, an artist of Martin Scorsese‘s caliber makes these films that are really from his heart and from his soul. I would like to see those films rewarded, especially when I think it’s worthy of all the attention… This is his most contemplative film, his most meditative film. The cameras rarely moving, it’s very observant. I thought the level of humanism reminded me of a Kurosawa film.”
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how all the films and performers are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.