Hollywood’s finest will gather this weekend at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles for the 89th Academy Awards.
The awards show, commonly known as the Oscars, will celebrate the year’s cinematic achievements, and some of Lipscomb’s film students are tuning in.
Sophomore film student Clay Mortensen said he will “absolutely” be watching and is excited to see who wins the coveted title of Best Picture.
Freshman film student Siena DeMatteis will be attending a watch party put on by the film department and said she is hoping to see her two favorite films, “Moonlight” and “Manchester by the Sea,” take home some awards.
According to critic’s predictions, “La La Land” will be the film to beat, with a record-tying 14 nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actor (Ryan Gosling) and Best Actress (Emma Stone). The film centers on aspiring actress Mia (played by Stone) and jazz pianist Sebastian (played by Gosling), as they try to navigate falling in love while pursuing their dreams in LA.
So far, the musical-drama has taken home multiple awards at every other award show this season.
DeMatteis said she is “interested in seeing how many awards ‘La La Land’ receives,” given its track record at other award shows and viewers’ mixed opinions toward the film. Mortensen, an aspiring director, said he is rooting for Chazelle to win Best Director, as he has always admired Chazelle’s work.
Other films receiving attention for their nominations include “Fences” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, “Moonlight” starring Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris, “Manchester by the Sea” starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams and “Arrival” starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. All of these films will be going up against “La La Land” for Best Picture along with “Lion,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Hidden Figures.”
For Mortensen and DeMatteis, watching the nominated films provides a learning experience with their own work.
Mortensen said “Arrival’s” screenplay has made him reconsider how to create a story.
“It’s a really fresh outlook on how to write and how a story is written,” he said, “and so as someone who has to continually be writing, it’s really awesome to see something new that you haven’t thought of.”
DeMatteis echoed Mortensen’s sentiments when asked about the qualities she looked for when viewing the nominated films.
“I think it has to have a new way of telling the story,” she said, “because at this point, there’s been millions of movies made, so the ability to share your story in a way that’s still engaging becomes more and more challenging. I think a good movie will know how to do that.”
As far as having a learning experience, DeMatteis said “La La Land” has inspired her to take risks with her own film-making.
“As cliché as La La Land is, it still really pushed boundaries for filmmakers because it’s a musical at a time a musical wasn’t necessarily wanted by the industry…” she explained, “so even though it did take so many risks, it also reminds me that taking a risk can pay off.”
Whether you are studying film, a cinephile or just want to take in the glitz and glamour, the three-hour show will be jam-packed with presentations and performances for viewers to take in.
The ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Scheduled presenters include last year’s winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander and Mark Rylance, in addition to many other A-list stars who will hand out the iconic gold statues. All five songs nominated for Original Song will be performed throughout the telecast, with Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Sting and Lin-Manuel Miranda scheduled to take the stage.
To see a complete list of nominations, visit oscar.go.com. Tune into the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony, Sunday at 7:30 pm on ABC.
Photo courtesy of Cliff on Flickr