Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot #4: 'Moonlight' “Everything I Think An Oscar Picture Should Be,” 'La La Land' “A Piece of Shit”

Courtesy of A24

I did not see Hacksaw Ridge because I heard it was very bloody and, living in the era of Trump, I felt like there’s enough violence in the world. I also didn’t see Hidden Figures, on the advice of someone in my family who told me it did not seem strong enough to be an Oscar contender. As for the seven I did see: I did not like La La Land — I thought it was imitative and I did not think the leads could sing or dance. I am of an age where I saw [1953’s The] Band Wagon and [1952’s] Singin’ in the Rain, so how could I give this one an award that they never got? Yes, the music is good, but the fact that it got 14 nominations makes me wonder about my colleagues’ opinions. I really felt it was a piece of shit. I didn’t understand Arrival — what was going on it or why they made it. I liked Hell or High Water a lot — Jeff Bridges is wonderful. I thought the screenplay of Manchester by the Sea was better than its execution — it was just too long and gloomy. I admired Fences a lot for telling an important story about being black in America and not succeeding in the way that you hoped to. I thought Lion was extraordinary. It tells a beautiful story, and it’s unfortunately the story of the world we’re living in, where no one seems to be able to be with their own family — they either flee or are deported. My choice was Moonlight, which is everything I think an Oscar picture should be: good script, good story, good performances and about something meaningful. It’s not quite The Best Years of Our Lives, but it shows what it’s like to live in a world where we seem to be disconnected from our families. Here, a child gets saved from — is she [the character played by Naomie Harris] his mother or his sister? — and gets a [surrogate] father that he didn’t have. I loved it.

My vote 
(1) Moonlight
(2) Lion
(3) Fences
(4) [left blank]
(5) [left blank]

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Hollywood Reporter