PsychOfFilm Awards – 2017

6I’m often disappointed with who walks home with an Oscar, and even more times disappointed with who does/doesn’t get nominated in the first place.  The more I grow as a cinephile, the more frustrated I get with awards that are clearly based more on politics and media clicks than talent.  This year, I was really happy to see all things Moonlight and Viola Davis take home well deserved praise, and charmed (if not overjoyed) by Emma Stone’s win, but other nominations/wins–not so much.  So, because I can, here are my personal highlights of exceptional achievement in cinema this past year (2016).  This from the lens of someone who spends 45 hours of the week analyzing human behavior, for what it’s worth.


What I consider to be exceptional performances are ones that are fully realized, multi-layered, realistic, unforgettable, grounded, and selfless.  I am impatient with actors who rest heavy on “type,” depend on their star power to garner acclaim, or simply play hyped up or hyped down versions of their own personality.  What I consider to be exceptional films are those that are rarely self-indulgent, show dedication to all aspects that bring the film together (i.e., not relying on actors to spew out a story), and presents as genuine art that can even sometimes double as mainstream entertainment.  In my personal opinion, you can’t make a great film without great performances, which is why I am so passionate about the actors on this year’s list and highly encourage anyone unfamiliar with the names listed below to check out their performances.

And, unlike most AMPAS voters, I’ll be honest and admit I didn’t see every hyped up movie this year, including Jackie and Hacksaw Ridge.

Best Picture

Image result for arrival movie

  1. Arrival
  2. Moonlight
  3. La La Land
  4. Hidden Figures
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. Captain America: Civil War
  7. The Fits
  8. The Lobster

Best Director


  1. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
  2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  3. Damien Chazelle, La La Land 
  4. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures
  5. Anna Rose Holmer, The Fits

Best Actor

Image result for viggo mortensen captain fantastic

  1. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  2. Denzel Washington, Fences
  3. Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, & Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight 
  4. David Harewood, Free in Deed
  5. Colin Farrell, The Lobster

Best Actress


  1. Amy Adams, Arrival & Viola Davis, Fences (tie)
  2. Edwina Findley, Free in Deed
  3. Emma Stone, La La Land
  4. Rebecca Hall, Christine
  5. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures

Best Supporting Actor

Image result for Mahershala Ali moonlight

  1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
  2. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water
  3. Jeremy Renner, Arrival
  4. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
  5. Chadwck Boseman, Captain America: Civil War

Best Supporting Actress

Image result for Naomie Harris moonlight

  1. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  2. Molly Shannon, Other People
  3. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
  4. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women
  5. Sherri Shepherd, Jean of the Joneses

Will Own Hollywood One Day- Breakthrough Talent

Image result for anya taylor-joy the witch

  1. Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch
  2. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  3. Ruth Negga, Loving
  4. Royalty Hightower, The Fits
  5. Taylour Paige, Jean of the Joneses


Image result for tom cross la la land

  1. Tom Cross, La La Land
  2. Joe Walker, Arrival
  3. Jennifer Lame, Manchester by the Sea
  4. Matthew Hannam, Swiss Army Man
  5. Louise Ford, The Witch


Image result for arrival cinematography

  1. Bradford Young, Arrival
  2. James Laxton, Moonlight
  3. Jarin Blaschke, The Witch
  4. Ava Berkofsky, Free in Deed
  5. Robbie Ryan, American Honey

Best Documentary

  1. Cameraperson
  2. 13th
  3. OJ: Made in America

Best Original Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer, Arrival  

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