My 2017 Oscar Predictions

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My wife and I find Oscar Awards an exciting occasion. We talk about the great movies that have come out during the last year and discuss our take at the things that stand out.

It’s not as hard this year to predict as it was the last year or the one before. That’s because the number of good movies that came out in the past was much higher than this year.

Best Picture: La La Land

I loved Hacksaw Ridge, Monnlight & Arrival too. I find that La La Land outshines the rest for doing a tremendous job across all the aspects of movie-making.

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Best Actor: Denzel Washington, for Fences

I loved Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea. But Denzel, in my view, has given a performance that will be hard to forget for years.

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Best Actress: Emma Stone, for La La Land

Let’s just say I am super-biased for her :). Jokes apart, Emma Stone has done wonders again! Isabelle Huppert in Elle would have been my choice if Emma wasn’t in the race.

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Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, for Moonlight

Dev Patel has come a long way — but unfortunately, I felt that Lion was a much better movie until we saw Dev Patel.

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Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, for Fences

If Nicole Kidman (Lion) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) did not have such short roles in those movies, my take might have been different. I loved both of them even when their appearances were for small duration.

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Best Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Do I need to say anything?

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Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia

The movie is phenominal. A very well made animation. The DMV office scene is going to be remembered for ages. Kubo and The Two Strings & Moana are fantastic too.

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Fingers crossed for the awards tomorrow 🙂

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Note: All the images used in this post are publicly available images and none is a copyright material.

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Movie Review: La La Land

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“There is something about this movie—but i am not exactly able to put my finger on it.” As I walked out of the theatre after watching the movie, I couldn’t help but remember the comment one of my colleagues had made a week ago.

He was spot on. Sometimes it’s hard to tell why you like something so much.

Two ambitious artists, two similar yet isolated dreams, two passionate lovers—so what? That’s nothing new.

The experience. That was it.

Damien Chazelle and his crew have done a tremendous job in creating an unforgettable experience for the audience. The overwhelming amount of relatability felt by the audience to the main characters’ motives and very precise dreamlike adventures in every moment to keep the audience relaxed yet excited—were the two main ingredients that made this movie a savory dish.

Emma Stone is surely aging like a fine wine. When you thought she just gave her best performance, she comes up with a better one—truly a genius.

A review of this movie couldn’t possibly be complete without talkign about the end.

So what’s special or controversial about the end?

Was it completely unanticipated? No.

Was it abrupt? Yes.

Did it do good to the movie? Absolutely, yes.

Why so? It’s like a thoroughly marvelous ride that you thought was over until the last few seconds proved you wrong.

The Fundamentals of Creative Writing

(The script of the talk I delivered on Feb 5th, 2017, to the students of Lady Shri Ram college during Tarang 2017, LSR’s annual cultural festival. Thanks, LSR Tarang, for having me!)

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Update (Jan 01, 2018)

I am truly humbled by people who reached out to me conveying how useful this post was for them. Also, a large number of you wanted this in a sharable book format. I am pleased to let you know know that the post is now available in a eBook format. A link could be found below (or click on the book cover on the right).

 

On Writing Wonderfully: The Craft of Creative Fiction Writing

Happy writing and reading.

Pawan Mishra