If you are looking at the big picture, the directors are usually a good place to start. Not always, but more often than not, a film’s director will go on to win the ultimate prize for Best Picture.
The deaf family feature “CODA” and the Williams sisters tennis flick “King Richard” made smashing debuts at recent award outings.
The 12-time Oscar-nominated “The Power of the Dog,” had a tough go until the prestigious Directors Guild of America came along. And the marquee winner for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Film was … Jane Campion. The top award gave a much-needed boost to her unique Western. It takes Jane and her film from also-ran to front-runner in the Oscar race.
At the same time, Malibu’s Phil Lord finds himself in great shape for “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.” His flick got the Annie Award for outstanding animation. The film made a repeat performance less than 24 hours later when it reeved its engines at the Critic’s Choice Awards and snagged Best Animated Feature. Once again, “The Power of the Dog” was named Best Picture beating out “Don’t Look Up,” starring local Leonardo DiCaprio, and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.” As for Best Director, Campion got the prize. Her film also got her a Best Adapted Screenplay award.
The Oscar for Best Actor seems to be in the bag for Will Smith, who swept the awards season for playing an inspirational dad to the Williams sisters in “King Richard.” Before accepting the CCA, Venus and Serena left the court and took the stage to a standing ovation.
“What can I say about Will Smith?” shouted Serena, “I don’t think there could have been a better tribute to our father!”
“When I was the ‘Fresh Prince’ they’d just call me Will,” Smith recalled. “Then, came the movies and it was ‘Mr. Smith,’ but being at the same table as the Williams sisters is one of the biggest highlights of my career.”
The Best Actress trophy went to Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Once again, she beat out Malibu’s Lady Gaga for “House of Gucci.” But Lady G made jaw-dropping headlines in the style stakes and let’s just say her voluminous gold skirt and keep-’em-in-place velvet cups left little to the imagination.
Awards darling Ariana DeBose snagged Best Supporting Actress for “West Side Story” and Troy Kotsur took home the CCA for “CODA.” The glittery bash kept the Century Plaza Hotel hopping well into the night.
It all leads up to the biggest biggie of them all. The Academy Awards presentation takes place on March 27. Keep your eyes peeled for “Power of the Dog,” “King Richard” and Malibu’s “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.”