by Tyler Edwards
As a society, we love to project feelings and analogies on to big cultural events—the Patriots coming from behind for a shocking last-minute win the Super Bowl is just like Donald Trump winning the election, right?
Well, the Academy Awards are no different. The nominees all seem to represent some part of our current culture: America’s growing diversity in the African American and queer “Moonlight,” the plight of poor white America in “Hell or High Water,” the escapism of “La La Land,” the Trumpian patriotism of “Hacksaw Ridge” and the hard fought battles women of color face in “Hidden Figures.”
Despite living in tougher times post-election, this year’s batch of Oscar nominees are actually an encouraging beacon of diversity. After last year’s #OscarSoWhite controversy, the Academy decided to acknowledge an incredible slate of talent and diversity this year.
And while most of the awards appear to be “La La Land”’s to lose, don’t count out of some of the dark horses! So here is a handy guide to help you not lose your office Oscar-pool.
Predicted win: “La La Land” Dark Horse: “Hidden Figures”
Winning Best picture seems like a foregone conclusion for the hit musical “La La Land.” Despite being a movie about jazz staring two white people, “La La Land’s” escapism and joy—and Hollywood loving to award movies about itself—this is the safest bet for the night’s most coveted award. “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” are stunningly beautiful and poignant films, but they just aren’t going to have the popular appeal that “La La Land” does to bring home the Best Picture award. If anything does have a chance at upsetting “La La Land,” my money would be on “Hidden Figures.” While not the best film of the year, it’s the highest grossing of all the nominees and the way the best picture voting works could allow it to slip in under the radar.
Predicted win: Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) Dark Horse: Denzel Washington (“Fences”)
This award was in the bag for Casey Affleck and his incredible performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” but some late breaking sexual assault allegations have put a damper on some of his award-season buzz. While still the front-runner, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Denzel Washington take home the award for “Fences.”
Predicted win: Emma Stone (“La La Land”) Dark Horse: Natalie Portman (“Jackie”)
“La La Land” is going to rack-up on the lion’s share of the awards, but the only acting recognition it is going to get is for Emma Stone’s sure-fire win for Best Actress. Natalie Portman’s turn as Jackie Kennedy was the front-runner early on, but all the buzz around her performance seems to have faded. That being said, it’s never smart to count out Meryl Streep!
Best Supporting Actor
Predicted win: Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) Dark Horse: Dev Patel (“Lion”)
“Moonlight” was probably my favorite movie of the year, and while I would love ...
Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine has postponed her lecture at Millsaps College due to inclement weather in New York. The 2016 McArthur fellow and Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University, was scheduled to speak on her book, "Citizen."
Ever since Chane's announcement last year that the future of Fondren's First Thursday was up in the air, many people have speculated what will happen to it. Fondren Renaissance Foundation put out a press release on FFT this morning. Here is the release verbatim.
Jackson, MS—Fondren's First Thursday, the monthly neighborhood street party held in Historic Downtown Fondren, will return on March 2, 2017 - with a twist.
Event organizer Ron Chane says "FFT Remixed" will be a new system of alternating presenters each month to expand the depth of creativity of the two-year-old event.
Included in this year's FFT slate are three State Street Concert Series events presented by Sneaky Beans and Rooster's, showcasing a headlining main stage act; the return of Fondren Renaissance's Arts, Eats & Beats, a 15-year-old Fondren tradition; a special art-focused night helmed by the Mississippi Museum of Art; and FRF's Fondren Unwrapped, on a new date, Dec. 7. Three FFT "Throwbacks," presented by Studio Chane, round out the year and will follow a structure similar to past year's first Thursday events. Two of these, June and September, will offer vendors opportunities.
"This event has taken two years to reach its creative maturity," says Chane, who will continue to guide and support the full roster of events for 2017. "This is still a positive night of people enjoying people, seeing our neighborhood from different perspectives. There will be an ebb and flow with much more variety. In short, something for everyone."
The events for 2017 are:
- March 2 - State Street Concert Series presented by Rooster's and Sneaky Beans
- April 6 - Fondren's First Thursday Throwback presented by Studio Chane
- May 4 - Arts, Eats & Beats presented by Fondren Renaissance
- June 1 - Fondren's First Thursday Throwback presented by Studio Chane
- July 6 - State Street Concert Series presented by Rooster's and Sneaky Beans
- August 3 - End of Summer
- September 7 - Fondren's First Thursday Throwback presented by Studio Chane
- October 5 - State Street Concert Series presented by Rooster's and Sneaky Beans
- November 2 - Art Night presented by Mississippi Museum of Art
- December 7 - Fondren Renaissance's Fondren Unwrapped presented by Bank Plus
For more information: Ron Chane - FFT - firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Wilkirson - Fondren Renaissance - email@example.com Byron Knight - State Street Concert Series - firstname.lastname@example.org Nathan Glenn - State Street Concert Series - email@example.com Julian Rankin - MS Museum of Art - firstname.lastname@example.org