2017 Renaissance Film Awards (Killing Time’s Oscars)

Welcome to the 16th annual KT Renaissance Film Awards! Created by myself years ago to ward off the amply demonstrated madness that claws at my soul each year when the Oscars get things so very wrong in their awarding. The categories (with the exception of an added ensemble award that I cribbed from the SAG awards and a new category to reward voice over/motion capture work) are the same, and unlike the Oscars, these awards are fluid. I may well change my mind. I might see something that I haven’t, and the awards will be updated to reflect my mercurial mood swings.  Director Orson Krennic, Ben Mendelsohn, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,
I saw 86 2016 movies, and though that number will no doubt eventually pass 90, I have seen nearly every film nominated by the Oscars in any category, and I I can say with confidence that the quality this year was so ridiculous that there are films down in my 30’s that would contend for Best Picture in weak years.  I handed out four 10.0’s this year, but the number of films that earned at least a 9.0 or above ballooned to 22, and if you expanded it to eight, 35.  This was the strongest year for film quality that I can recall (yes, I know I said that last year, but last year had nothing on this).  Disney, in particular, had an amazing year with Zootopia, Moana, Pete’s Dragon, Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  We had the return of the Harry Potter franchise, outstanding super hero films, incredible true-life events brought to film, and a musical that defied any conventional rule of modern film making; bringing back a style of film we haven’t seen in perhaps 50 years with Damien Chazelle’s La La Land.  The success of Star Wars has lead to a revival of great science fiction like Arrival and 10 Cloverfield Lane.  We also probably had the two funniest films in the last four or five years with Deadpool and The Edge of Seventeen (with The Nice Guys not far behind).  If there was a type of film that exists, 2016 produced a great one, and it was an embarrassment of riches for movie goers that I hope carries over into the new year.

LLL d 29 _5194.NEF

As I don’t have a cap on the number of songs that can be nominated in the Best Song category as the Academy does, not only did La La Land have the most nominations, it had the most nominations in Renny history with 16 nods!  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s 12 would normally be a huge deal, but there was very little singing going on during our return to the era of A New Hope, so it was a few nominations behind.  Denis Villenueve’s superb science fiction mindbender, Arrival, had 8 nominations, Disney’s The Jungle Book had 7, and Hell or High Water grabbed 6.  33 different films were nominated at least once this year.

Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, The Arrival

Unlike the Oscars, I do not give documentary and short film awards or as I call them “bathroom break awards”.   I have not, as yet, seen any foreign films this year worth nominating, so that category will remain empty until such time as I remedy that.  I nominate the maximum 10 the Academy allows for Best Picture (even if they’re too dumb to in a year this good).  Who will be the big winner this year and take the Best Picture torch from Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  Let’s get to the awards!

Best Original Screenplay
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Lion
Remember
The Edge of Seventeen
Winner: Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Best Adapted Screenplay
A Monster Calls
Arrival
Deadpool
Disney’s The Jungle Book
Fences
Winner: Eric Heisserer, Arrival

Best Visual Effects
Disney’s The Jungle Book
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Warcraft
Winner: Disney’s The Jungle Book

Best Sound Mixing
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Winner: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Sound Editing
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Winner: Deepwater Horizon

Best Song
“Audition (Fools Who Dream)”, La La Land
“City of Stars”, La La Land
“How Far I’ll Go”, Moana
“Learning to Fly”, A Monster Calls
“Start a Fire”, La La Land
Winner: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”, La La Land

Best Original Score
Disney’s The Jungle Book by John Debney
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by James Newton Howard
La La Land by Justin Hurwitz
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Michael Giacchino
Star Trek: Beyond by Michael Giacchino
Winner: Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

Best Makeup
Deepwater Horizon
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Trek: Beyond
Winner: Rogue One A Star Wars Story

Best Film Editing
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
La La Land
Nocturnal Animals
Sully
Winner: La La Land

Best Costume Design
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Jackie
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Winner: Jackie

Best Art Direction
A Monster Calls
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Jackie
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Winner: La La Land

Best Cinematography
Arrival
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Lion
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Winner: La La Land

Best Animated Film
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kung Fu Panda 3
Moana
Zootopia
Winner: Finding Dory

Best Ensemble Cast
Captain America: Civil War
Disney’s The Jungle Book
Patriots Day
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Magnificent Seven
Winner: Captain America: Civil War

Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performance
Alan Tudyk, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Auli’i Cravalho, Moana
Christopher Walken, Disney’s A Jungle Book
Ellen DeGeneres, Finding Dory
Liam Neeson, A Monster Calls
Winner: Alan Tudyk, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (K-2S0)

Best Supporting Actress
Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Toni Colette, Imperium
Viola Davis, Fences
Winner: Viola Davis, Fences

Best Supporting Actor
Dev Patel, Lion
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Woody Harrelson, The Edge of Seventeen
Martin Landau, Remember
Russell Crowe, The Nice Guys
Winner: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Best Actress
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emma Stone, La La Land
Felicity Jones, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Winner: Emma Stone, La La Land

Best Actor
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Chris Pine, Hell or High Water
Denzel Washington, Fences
John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Winner: Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water
Jon Favreau, Disney’s The Jungle Book
Peter Berg, Patriots Day
The Russo Brothers, Captain America Civil War
Winner: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Best Picture
Arrival
Captain America: Civil War
Disney’s The Jungle Book
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Patriots Day
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Edge of Seventeen
Winner: La La Land
La La Land, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

Much as I expect will happen tonight, La La Land dominated with 8 wins (if the Academy and I agree on Best Picture I think it will be only the second time in the last 15 years).  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the Killing TIme Community pick, but still made out with 3 awards here.  Hell or High Water and Fences each grabbed 2, and a number of films grabbed a single trophy.  If a film like La La Land hadn’t come along and gobsmacked me at the end of the year, I think this would have been the most diverse Rennys in recent memory. Denzel Washington has won multiple Rennys, but Viola Davis, Emma Stone, and Jeff Bridges all received their first acting honors as did Damien Chazelle for directing and Justin Hurwitz for composition.   Patriots Day had the dubious honor of being the highest-rated film of the year on my list not to win an award and fellow Best Picture nominees Hacksaw Ridge and The Edge of Seventeen,  were shut out as well.  2017 has a lot to live up to match the movie year that was 2016.  Tune in tonight to ABC to see how the Oscars will make me furious and then we can all have a group therapy session tomorrow.

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