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How Moonlight Could Win Best Picture

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  • GusCruz
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    #1201969932

    La La Land fans: your film is still very much the frontrunner. This thread is not meant to offend you. I’m just hoping to have a healthy discussion.

    The SAG snub LLL went through this morning has been thoroughly discussed on a different thread. You may or may not think it matters something for its Best Picture chances.

    This post assumes, for the sake of my point, that it does. It is, after all, a strong stat: it’s been two decades since a film won the most important of Oscars without the SAG Ensemble nomination.

    Three were the major films that got that nod this morning: Fences, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. I could make the case for Fences. I can’t see a path for Manchester. But right now I want to show you how and why Moonlight could win Best Picture.

    The big thing that film’s campaign needs to do is start pushing BIG TIME what I think is a poweful narrative:

    In nearly NINETY YEARS, NO AFRICAN AMERICAN DIRECTOR has EVER won Best Director.

    How is this possible? How can the Academy just accept this as normal and move on?

    Barry Jenkins, who was born in LIBERTY CITY, Florida, has directed, at 37, a movie that has a Metascore of 99. He was named Best Director of the year by both LA and NY film critics. He represents a future of inclusiveness, ambition and talent for the film industry.

    Watch his interviews. He’s a fun guy. He makes great points. He could be the Obama of Oscars. An unknown young guy that starts from behind in the race and ends up making history.

    (Chazelle, while talented, is even younger – 31. He’s also a Harvard guy. When he speaks, you can’t help but think he’s like a nerd. And he’s got a very beautiful girlfriend. If this were the Best Actor race, Tom O’Neil would invoke the ‘slap the stud’ theory.)

    Jenkins made a film about LGBT characters, but he himself is not gay. In a way, that makes his feat even more impressive, and he wouldn’t turn off the homophobic portion of the Academy.

    A smart campaign needs to say that, after the Academy awarded Best Director to latinos three years in a row, it’s time to make another kind of history.

    By Oscar night, we will be a month into the Trump presidency. There will likely be happening protests all over the country. Will the Academy really break for escapism over zeitgeist?

    They don’t usually do. Maybe the last time was TKS beating Social Network. Spotlight beat a comedy and a historical drama. 12 Years a Slave beat Gravity. Argo (Iran) beat Lincoln. Hurt Locker beat Avatar. Crash beat Brokeback Mountain. I like to focus on a more recent history as it better reflects the current makeup of the Academy — which, by the way, is more diverse this year than ever before. Will this Academy skip the chance of making some sort of statement against Trump?

    The next ceremony will also be a year after Oscars So White. Every member watched that Chris Rock monologue last year. It must have opened their eyes, it must have bothered them. La La Land is almost as white as Spotlight. Is that the way to go?

    If Jenkins builds momentum on that narrative, he could start winning things. The Globes are a possibility. DGA could become one too. SAG is looking very good for Moonlight. WGA is possible (a narrative for that was launched a few hours ago!). PGA too — Brad Pitt is a producer on the film; it had very impressive numbers at the box office for this kind of indie. But… it doesn’t even need all that.

    Today’s news that the film will compete as Adapted Screenplay means it’s now the frontrunner to win that category. (Meanwhile, Manchester looks good to beat LLL in Original.)

    A scenario in which Moonlight wins Supporting Actor (nearly a lock), Screenplay, Director and Picture is not implausible. It might even add Cinematography.

    Meanwhile, La La Land could still win a bunch of techs: Score, Song, Production Design, Cinematography, Editing (this one I’m skeptical). That’s very respectable. But it could also stop there. Emma Stone has not yet proven to be the juggernaut we were expecting. She could win; she could also lose. The three big nominated films for SAG Ensemble look more likely to pick up acting Oscars — Viola, Mahershala, Casey are closer to winning than is Emma. But even if Emma wins — that also feels like a major way to honor the film.

    Yes, I know that LLL is easier to watch, less divisive. So appeared to be Boyhood at first. This doesn’t feel like a good time for the Academy to play it safe, though, does it?

    Imagine the kind of speech the director of O.J.: Made in America, 13th or I Am Not Your Negro would make for Best Documentary? Then picture speeches from Viola and Mahershsla, maybe Denzel. How would it feel if a night like that ended with escapism as the big winner?

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    clay bryce
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    #1201969937

    Like what you had to say but, unless something very, very, major happens, (at Nate Parker epic proportions) La La Land is winning Best Picture & Best Director. Nothing is coming close to upsetting it. Nothing. Critics & audiences love it, which is getting rarer and rarer. The Academy is getting tired of having increasingly low ratings and is hoping like hell La La Land continues to fins its audience, so they will tune in to the show to see if the film they love wins. Plus, it’s a film about show business and Oscar voters eat that up. Chicago (in a way), The Artist, Birdman, all Best Picture winners. I love Moonlight. I think it is truly the Best Picture of the year, but La La Land is leaving the Oscars as the actual Best Picture come February.

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    Philip
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    #1201969948

    I also don’t think that the older Academy voters would rank Moonlight all that high on their ballots.

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    GusCruz
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    #1201969950

    Critics & audiences love it, which is getting rarer and rarer.

    Critics do love it. But they also love Moonlight more.

    I would be stupid to deny that LLL has passionate fans. But I keep hearing and reading stories of people that LOVE LOVE LOVE the movie so much that they take people with them to the theater to watch it again, and they just can’t believe that those people didn’t love it as much as they did. “How could X say it was just okay… just fine? How could Y say it was all over the place?” I have seen this kind of bubble before.

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    GusCruz
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    #1201969955

    I also don’t think that the older Academy voters would rank Moonlight all that high on their ballots.

    Maybe. Like I said on the post, though: the 2017 Academy will be more diverse than ever.

    Tom O’Neil will tell you the stories of how many voters picked 12 Years a Slave without ever actually seeing it, and how many voted for The Hurt Locker without liking the movie, because they had other reasons.

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    Bee
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    #1201969956

    If the Academy would finally have some sense, they would give this everything. Especially Best Picture. It would be one of the most deserving winners of all time.

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    Philip
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    #1201969957

    I also don’t think that the older Academy voters would rank Moonlight all that high on their ballots.

    Maybe. Like I said on the post, though: the 2017 Academy will be more diverse than ever.

    Tom O’Neil will tell you the stories of how many voters picked 12 Years a Slave without ever actually seeing it, and how many voted for The Hurt Locker without liking the movie, because they had other reasons.

    I agree that the Academy has changed, but you still need those top 3 votes and I would think that there is a certain amount of voters that wouldn’t put that it in their top 3.

    Not because it is a film with a black cast, but I think that the gay issue is much harder for those older voters. We aren’t that far removed from Brokeback Mountain and maybe that makes me a little bias, but until they actually award a film about a gay male lead, I don’t think I would ever predict it.

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    Karl Vincent
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    #1201969963

    I mean, It’s not the best movie for this year… (For me)

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    PJ Edwards
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    #1201969967

    Great post. I agree. Moonlight definitely has a path. It’s now a question whether it will fulfill it. I could win Drama Globe + Director, SAG, and DGA. As we saw just last year, PGA is not the be all and end all anymore so even if Moonlight loses it to La La Land, it still has got a shot. It should be fave at BAFTA if La La Land doesn’t end up sweeping. BAFTA just instituted these new diversity rules that seems like it was tailor made for Moonlight.

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    AviChristiaans
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    #1201969974

    The narrative speaks for itself i guess. But it’s too obvious. Not after 12 Year’s Slave’s “It’s Time”.
    We all know it’s a black/LBGT related film with an all black cast and crew. So making that the tagline is not gonna go down well.

    A24 better come up with a strong tagline that will push the narrative, the importance angle and the craft of this film.

    For the sake of preventing arguments and attacks, i will just say: Underestimating and not seeing the fact that Manchester By The Sea just proved it has always been a Best Picture frontrunner, and after SAG, it got the validation.

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    Roney Moore
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    #1201970092

    Manchester, Moonlight, La La all could win. The rest I don’t see it.

    Manchester’s obstacle will be the lack of enormous passion feeling. But if they find the other two too harsh/unidentifiable and too lightweight in that order, it might eund up being the default choice like Spotlight.

     

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by  Roney Moore.
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    Karl Vincent
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    #1201970147

    (Update! For Moonlight) Moonlight went Adapted screenplay. (Can’t Find the thread for this)

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #1201970239

    I believe tha Moonlight (which I did not like) is this year’s Boyhood; it will win many critics awards but will fall short at the Oscars to a more mainstream movie (either La La Land or Manchester by the Sea).

    A combination of subject matter, a fairly new and unknown director, a cast of unknowns, a small budget, and the largely white heterosexual male voters will mean that Moonlight will win 2 Oscars (Adapted Screenplay and likely Supporting Actor).

    La La Land is the feel good choice and Manchester by the Sea is the more emotionally involving choice.

    I believe the voting system will actually help Manchester by the Sea the most, with BP being voted for differently than other categories (similar to what happened with Spotlight last year). I know I would – if I were a voter – place Moonlight way down on my list for BP. I found it wildly uneven, with some interesting scenes but lots of stereotypes and scenes that simply did not work at all. The performances were varied and the writing left too much out. There were films that were much better edited, designed, and photographed. There are however enough passion voters for this film to garner it 8 Oscar nominations and 2 wins. I simply didn’t love this movie the way many others have.

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    Rinolo Twenty-two
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    #1201970583

    I pretty sure the voters would prefer to give their Best Picture Oscar to Manchester By The Sea instead of Moonlight. Anyway, La La Land will win and another trend will be broken.

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    AviChristiaans
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    #1201970632

    – Since SAG came into existence (1995), no film has won the Producers Guild Award without a SAG Ensemble nomination.

    – Only once has a film won Best Picture without a SAG Ensemble nomination. And that was in the first year of SAG’s existence.

    There are now way too many stats that La La Land “will” break.
    It is not going to break stat after stat.

    Best Picture is Manchester By The Sea vs Moonlight.

    And judging by Samuel L Jackson’s unfair remarks regarding Manchester, it is Manchester that the Academy will obviously lean towards.

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