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Kmarko Breaks Down The 2017 Oscars

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It’s every movie fan’s favorite time of year – Kmarko breaks down the Oscars.

The actual Oscars as a TV show kind of sucks – it’s always super long, super boring, and worst of all – they always get it completely wrong.

So I take it upon myself to give you the REAL winners from the year in movies: not predictions, not who I think is going to win, not who you should run out and place bets on. Just the flat out truth.

Do I look like I give a fuck what the Academy thinks? I only care about what one person thinks: me.

So let’s get into it. We’ve got all the main categories. We’ve got categories that I completely made up. And we’ve got guest reviews from various Barstool bloggers of their favorite movies of the year sprinkled in.


Automatic DQ: Dev Patel

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Ok let’s narrow this down right off the bat. Automatic DQ for Dev Patel. Nothing to do with the actual performance, which was fantastic – big Dev Patel fan, Slumdog Millionaire, ever heard of it.

My issue is with this coward ass move of putting actors up for awards in the Supporting category so that they have a better chance of winning. I mean Patel was clearly the lead actor of Lion. The whole freaking story was about him. The only thing he was “supporting” was the weight of the entire movie because he was the god damn main actor. So for this cheap strate-gery I am officially DQ’ing Dev Patel from consideration.

Runner-up: Michael Shannon

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This is a protest pick pure and simple. Two reasons –

1, the fact that Michael Shannon has virtually no shot of winning this award judging from the odds shows just how little respect he gets.  Phenomenal actor, loved him in Boardwalk.

2, Aaron Taylor-Johnson not even being nominated. What? Dude, he won a fucking Golden Globe for supporting actor. And he’s not even invited to the Oscars? Bizzaro. So Michael Shannon gets the Nocturnal Animals nod in his place, for doing a great job in a great movie, and for having a clearly superior PR team to ATJ.

And the Oscar goes to…


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You think the odds of winning for Michael Shannon are disrespectful? They don’t even hold a candle to Lucas Hedges. Surprise newcomer who tried as hard as he could to steal the show in Manchester By The Sea – Casey Affleck wouldn’t let him because of an incredible performance of his own, but every scene Hedges was in, he crushed. I’ve raved nonstop about the movie (more on it later obviously) but I can’t remember the last time two actors carried so many scenes, so well. The fact that this kid is virtually an unknown and came out of nowhere to crush it in the movie of the year was insane. I don’t know how the Academy doesn’t give more props to that.

And no one else is going to mention it so I guess I will.  At some point is someone going to point out that Mahershala Ali was in 1/3 of the movie? Like literally 1 act out of 3.  He was in a significant chunk of a third of the movie.

He was great no doubt. But was he 1/7 odds to win good? Pretty much a stone cold lock when you’re in like, 26-29% of a movie? Not at the Kmarko Oscars you’re not.


Runner-up: Viola Davis

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Make no mistake about it, Viola Davis is winning this award. Last time I checked she was 1/50 to win. That’s like, nobody else even bother showing up territory. So this is the perfect place to chime back in and remind everyone this ain’t Oscars predictions, it’s the Kmarko Oscars – my rules, my final say. And my rule is that no matter how good you are, if you get out-acted by your own co-star in the same movie you’re nominated for, I’m not giving you Best anything. Because Viola Davis was A++++ in Fences, and still got curb stomped by Denzel Washington.

They’ll show you her snot-faced, crying “18 YEARS I BEEN STANDING HERE WITCHU” scene on repeat, but that was her one highlight – Denzel had like 10, 12 scenes like that.  Sorry Viola but we are equal opportunity around here and if I’m judging both of you on a totally equal plane – Denzel better.

And the Oscar goes to…


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There is only one other option if I’m not going Viola and that’s Naomie Harris.

I may have mixed thoughts on Moonlight (more on that later) but there’s no doubt that Harris killed this role. Playing a convincing drug addict is one of the hardest things to pull off IMO and if I bumped into Naomie Harris in the streets of Los Angeles I think I would just automatically assume she was strung out on crack. That’s how convincing she was.


Runner-up: Denzel Washington

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Probably comes as a surprise after my Viola Davis write up. But unfortunately for Denzel I’m a man of my word and I rarely if ever go back on what I’ve publicly stated so….

And the Oscar goes to…

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Casey Affleck

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Not to get too deep because I’m scared of emotions but this is the best thing I read about Manchester By The Sea, from the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr:

The sadness of “Manchester by the Sea” is the kind of sadness that makes you feel more alive, rather than less, to the preciousness of things.

Sums up Manchester perfectly. It’s depressing, but the good kind of depressing, the depressing you go to a movie to see. And Casey Affleck fucking nailed it. I’m not a theater major or an acting connoisseur, just a guy with a lacking social life who sees a shit ton of movies, and in my very humble opinion of not really knowing much about what I’m talking about, that was a perfect acting job.

Perfect acting jobs = Best Actor at the Kmarko Oscars.


Automatic DQ: Meryl Streep

Ugh. You know why Meryl.

Take a year off.

Runner-up: Emma Stone

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I am a HUGE Emma Stone fan. I love her very, very much. She’s hot and cool and funny and fun. I loved her in La La Land just like I love everything she’s in. Her chemistry with my man Gosling is electric. She’s also close to a shoo-in to win this, and good for her. But in my opinion, purely performance wise…she was topped.

And the Oscar goes to…

Natalie Portman

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Real talk Jackie was a boring ass movie. Like I can’t tell you how bored I was, and I’m obsessed with JFK. But actual movie aside, just talking about performance, Natalie Portman slaughtterrreeeed her Jackie Kennedy here.

I mean do people realize how incredibly impressive that accent she used was? It was actually analyzed by real-life linguists who said it was as close to perfect as you could possibly get without actually having the accent.

Seriously, THAT is acting. It’s the literal definition of it. Transforming yourself into the person you’re playing so well that literal experts in the field tell you you’re perfect.

How do you not put Natalie in the top actress spot after that?


Automatic DQ: Mel Gibson

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Fuck off you piece of shit.

Runner-up: Kenneth Lonergan

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Only makes sense that the movie I loved so much gets a shout out for the guy who actually directed all of it.

And the Oscar goes to…

Damien Chazelle

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Let me tell you one of the most impressive things in the movie business this year. It was the fact that somebody made the movie La La Land enjoyable for me.

I do not like musicals. I do not like any movie that breaks off from a real scene with a choreographed song and dance. That’s just not my thing.

But I will be totally honest – I really, really liked La La Land. Some tough guys will try to take my man card for that, some tough guys will insist some chick just had me whipped to see it or something, but no no no. As a man very much secure in my masculinity, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone tap-tap-tap dancing their way through Los Angeles was god damn dynamite.

So props to Damien Chazelle for pulling off that feat, and for that, he has earned my best director nod.


Okay now it’s time for the main event. The moment everyone has been waiting for.

I’ve ranked each nominee from 1-9. Yes I saw every one this year.

N/A) Hidden Figures

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As a man of integrity I am officially abstaining from ranking Hidden Figures.

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When the Chernin Group bought us, they didn’t buy a bunch of bloggers who could be easily swayed. Who would write glowing reviews about things they didn’t necessarily believe in to support the bosses and help the bottom line. They bought bloggers with high moral fiber, a moral code, intestinal fortitude who stand by their opinions no matter what. Which is why I decided to leave Hidden Figures off the rankings so as to avoid all possible conflicts of interest and keep myself completely objective, and totally not because I ran out of time to see it before this blog and didn’t have any illegal screeners of the movie to watch from the comfort of my home last night. Most definitely the former.

8) Hacksaw Ridge

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Fuck off you piece of shit.

7) Arrival

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Easily the best movie about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and non linear orthography and how they relate to aliens that I’ve ever seen. I mean it’s not even close. Name a movie about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. I’ll show you a better one – Arrival. Great great movie.

No I don’t think it was a Best Picture movie necessarily, but the level of backlash it got for being nominated is a little over the top. Taking the “alien invasion” theme and making it this original and fresh is as impressive as it gets, and Amy Adams/Jeremy Renner were fantastic. The “twist” may have been a little “obvious,” but we’re not talking about a Shyamalan movie here where the entire thing depends on it.  It was incorporated perfectly into the movie overall.

My only issue with it if I’m nitpicking is that the whole “humanity needs to hold hands and work together” lesson gets a little tired.  I kind of tune out Kumbaya shit.  And let’s be realistic, Trump is our president – we aren’t holding hands with anybody outside of these borders for a few years.

6) Hell Or High Water

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Another “great movie, not sure if it’s a Best Picture” movie for me. Saw this twice, once in theaters and once On Demand, and loved it each time. It’s perfectly slow, without being boring. Like Arrival did with aliens, Hell or High Water took the “robbing banks” story and made it unique and memorable. Chris Pine was pretty good, not great. Jeff Bridges was great as always (not as impressed because he’s basically just doing the role he does in his sleep, but nonetheless, he does it better than anyone).

Ben Foster on the other hand – fucking ELECTRIC. That dude never, ever gets enough love. But he crushed the crazy, fuck-up brother role. And the machine gun highway scene? Well, you’ll be seeing that again later in this blog.

5) Lion

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Two words. Sunny Pawar.

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This little dude. Show stealer.

I didn’t really love Lion, but I know it was a good movie. Does that make sense? Like my personal enjoyment wasn’t turned up to 100 per say, but I appreciated everything I was watching and knew it was well done. Maybe it just didn’t resonate with me enough, I don’t know. Maybe I need to fall asleep in a train and wake up across a continent and not see my family for 20 years and I’ll have a greater love for it.

Also shout out Saroo Brierley –

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My man got a HUGE upgrade having Dev Patel’s hunk ass play him in the movie.

4) Moonlight

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Moonlight was one of those movies. I mean I feel like I could leave it at that sentence and you all know exactly what I’m talking about.

It was one of those movies – you saw it nominated for everything, you saw its Rotten Tomatoes score, you heard all the critics raving about it, you heard some buzz on the street about it. You knew nothing about it and knew none of the actors in it but you somehow knew you HAD to see it. And then it won a bunch of Golden Globes, officially announced its presence, so you finally fired it up, and…I don’t know your exact reaction. But you probably said “that’s it?” “Did anything just happen?” “Was I just bored stiff for 2 hours?” But because of how much everybody told you you were supposed to like it, you kind of tell yourself hm maybe I’m just an idiot. Maybe I just didn’t get it. I must be wrong.

Well folks, this is a snob free zone, and it’s a peer pressure free zone. You can tell me how deeply it moved you as a meditation on isolation and identity, on the internal struggle of existing in an unaccepting society, of the challenges of being a gay black man in America, on privilege or lack thereof.  All those things are undeniably true and there’s no doubt that if any movie this year gets the capital F “Film” title, it’s Moonlight.

I just honestly did not really enjoy watching this movie.

3) Fences

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Out of all the movies, Fences was the biggest mind-fuck for me. Because by all accounts, this is a movie I should hate – I typically hate Broadway plays-turned-into-movies, where there is nonstop dialogue, wayyyyy too many words, and you can just feel the actors reading lines to you as if you’re watching them on a stage.

But I was very, very into Fences. I was fixated on it for the entire 2 hours and 20 minutes (ok 2 hours and 10 minutes, I totally was over it by the final 10, like let’s cut this shit man). And that’s all 100% credit to Denzel and Viola Davis. I could watch Denzel tell random stories for hours, and that’s basically what I did I guess. Tell me about how you fought the Grim Reaper one more time bro, seriously tell that story again.

Also *nerd alert* I’m a big fan of metaphors and the way they used fences (literally) in the movie was perfect, I don’t know, I was an English major, sue me.

2) La La Land

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Insert what I said about Damien Chazelle here. This was a fantastic movie.


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I wrote it the day after I saw the movie and I stand by it.

If I could have your attention for just one second I have an important announcement to make. You need to collect all the Oscars and store them away and save them for Casey Affleck. Best Actor obviously but maybe even stuff from other categories. Just cancel theirs and hand the trophy over just so he can have extras. I know we’re still 3 months out but I just wanted to give some advance warning, it’s locked up, or at least it should be for anybody with two eyes and a brain and an emotional core.

Yes I know I’m a huge Affleck guy so maybe this is kind of biased but up until now that’s really only been for Ben. And I also know the last time I made a proclamation like this I said I’d boycott movies forever if Bradley Cooper didn’t win best actor for American Sniper. Lucky for me I found a loophole with that one, my opinion was 100% right, so I canceled the boycott (Eddie Redmayne? Fuck out of here). But you’re just not going to see a better acting performance than Casey Affleck in Manchester By The Sea. Incredible acting display. Incredible movie. Actors that make Boston accents tolerable. Michelle Williams is great, the teenage kid is great, Coach Taylor (!!) is great, all the random townies are great. I refuse to call them “films” but if there was any movie that qualified it would be this one.

If you like being depressed and seeing other people being depressed and watching unimaginable tragedies and hearts breaking and souls being crushed all on the big screen then man have I got the movie recommendation for you. I know the Rock and Kevin Hart aren’t in it and the CGI budget is pretty low but still, two thumbs up from me. 99% on Kmarko Tomatoes.

And I didn’t even mention this the first time around, but it’s noteworthy. I saw this movie at a theater in Lincoln Square that was comprised exclusively of 65+ year olds, who smelled like moth balls and old people, who showed up like 45 minutes early so I sat in literally the front row, and that served carrot cake and hot tea instead of candy and soda. And I still loved it this much.

If that doesn’t speak volumes I don’t know what could.


[spoilers obviously because…they’re movie scenes.]

Hell Or High Water – Highway Shootout

La La Land – 80’s Cover Band at the Party

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Can’t find a clip anywhere online but too good not to mention. People forget how funny Gosling can be.

And I may or may not have “” bookmarked on my toolbar, who’s to say.

Moonlight “Do You Sell Drugs?”

Deadpool Opening Credits

Fences – 18 Years Of My Life

Yeah, you knew this was on here.

Sully – Crash in the Hudson

I am terrified of flying and absolutely fascinated by plane crash scenes in movies. Go figure.

War Dogs – Buying Weed

Nocturnal Animals – Car Scene

Can’t get the full one online but this was top notch suspense.

Manchester By The Sea –

2) Lunch Invite

1) Police Station


And to lighten the mood…

Sausage Party – Sex Orgy