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Oscar buzz sparks discussion

Sydney Sagehorn, Spotline Staff Writer

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Oscars night is the hottest in Hollywood, and preparations are in full swing as the day approaches. All eyes are on La La Land after their dominance at the Golden Globes, winning seven awards including best picture for a musical or comedy as well as wins for actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Their 14 nominations tied the record set by Titanic (1997) and All About Eve (1950). The film captured audiences from all corners.

“I was surprised I liked it, because I’m not really a big fan of musicals,” senior Grace Uhlenhop said.

Nine films were nominated for the prestigious best picture award, up one from last year’s eight. Leading the crowd is Damien Chazelle’s musical, La La Land, the story of two people trying to make their dreams a reality in L.A. and falling in love.

“It was such a simple idea that they made so complex and amazing,” senior Arman Meinecke said.

Also in contention are the dramas Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. Manchester is a devastating family story that follows the life of an irritable handyman, Lee Chandler, who becomes the legal guardian of his 16-year-old nephew, Patrick, after his father’s passing. Moonlight is a moving meditation on modern African-American life that focuses on the themes of family, friends, and identity. The other nominees are Arrival, Lion, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge, and Fences.

“I don’t think Arrival should have been nominated,” Meinecke said, “It was a cool movie but I don’t think it was best picture worthy.” Hidden Figures, the story of the black female scientists working for NASA in the 60’s, was a favorite among students.

“It was witty and entertaining, but I also liked it because it was based on a true story,” junior Jordyn Maddex said.

Leading the crowd in the race for the best actor award are Manchester’s Casey Affleck, La La Land’s Ryan Gosling, and Fences’ Denzel Washington, while Jackie’s Natalie Portman and La La Land’s Emma Stone face off for the best actress win.

“I think Natalie Portman will win for Jackie,” Meinecke said, “she played her well.” Mahershala Ali of Moonlight and Viola Davis of Fences are poised to win the best supporting actor and actress, respectively. Damien Chazelle is set to take home the best director prize for La La Land.

“It was so visually appealing,” Maddex said, “I just loved it.”

Some people saw not only what was on the list, but what was missing. One notable snub was Amy Adams for Arrival, missing from the best actress nomination list. Martin Scorsese’s Silence also missed a spot on the best picture list.

“I think it wasn’t nominated because it was kind of long and dragged out, Meinecke said, “it didn’t have anything too amazing about it.” While a long stretch, dedicated comic book fans were remiss to see Deadpool missing in every category.

The stage is set for a big night for La La Land, but a few dark horses have their eyes locked on the frontrunner. Regardless of who takes home the coveted golden statues, most are excited to simply witness a gathering of today’s biggest stars.

“I always have to stay up to watch the whole thing,” Uhlenhop said.

The Oscars will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 26 on CBS.

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Oscar buzz sparks discussion