Good news for Paramount: Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” which opens on Friday, has a 96 rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There are 27 positive reviews and only one negative one. (Imagine being the one guy who doesn’t get this amazing movie!)
But I keep getting these Oscar prediction updates from places like GoldDerby.com. These sites have turned the Oscars into a kind of 24/7 game. They are often way off the mark and not in touch with the Academy. On these sites, so far “Silence” has not emerged in any form. The leaders of the guessing game are “Manchester by the Sea,” “La La Land,” and “Moonlight.” All of this is based on critics’ awards from across the country.
“Silence” was screened too late for those groups, and too late for the Golden Globes and Critics Choice. So Paramount and Scorsese are rolling the dice for the Oscars. With the right campaigns, they should do very very well. I have to put “Silence” at the top of my list for 2016, followed by those other three already mentioned, plus “Lion,” “Fences,” “Arrival,” “20th Century Women,” “Hell or High Water,” and “Sully.”
Andrew Garfield gives a far better performance– more nuanced, better written, much deeper– in “Silence” than he does in “Hacksaw Ridge.” I hope Academy voters really watch him in “Silence.” Of course, it’s hard to beat Casey Affleck or Denzel Washington this year, but at least let’s get Garfield’s better work in there.
Also watch for Liam Neeson as a supporting actor nod in “Silence.” Mahershala Ali is already the front runner in Supporting Actor for “Moonlight.” He’s certainly my choice. But I’d like to see Neeson, as well as Dev Patel (Lion), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), and Lucas Hedges (Manchester). Also not to be forgotten: Mykelti Williamson and Stephen Henderson from “Fences.” Brilliant work.