Best Picture Nominees - Hell or High Water
Today I continue my look at the movies vying for Best Picture with a film that feels both contemporary and like a throw back to another era. But will it win any awards?
Hell or High Water
Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Katy Mixon, and Gil Birmingham
Director: David Mackenzie
Total Nomination: 4
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Bridges), Best Original Screenplay (Taylor Sheridan), and Best Film Editing
About: "Hell or High Water" is the little film that could. Released during the summer, it looked like a simple heist story. But this film tapped into something in our culture. It tapped into ideas about greed, the faltering American dream for the middle class, and the fight to stay relevant in a changing world. Coming from Sheridan, who wrote the screenplay for the exceptional 2015 film "Sicario," we should have expected nothing less. It is also a movie that felt like a bit of a throw back. There is a "Bonnie and Clyde" vibe to it that helps. And now it's among the Best Picture nominees, and nominated for a total of four awards. But, much like the last film I looked at, "Hacksaw Ridge," I'm not sure I see a clear path for victory in any category. Bridges is a past winner, and was great in this part, but he's far from the favorite. The same goes for the Best Picture and Editing category. It wouldn't be the biggest upset ever, but it would certainly be a surprise to see this film win. That leaves the original screenplay category. I think that's a long-shot, too, especially with nominees like Damien Chazelle for "La La Land" and Kenneth Lonnergan for "Manchester By the Sea," but that might be the best shot for "Hell or High Water" to grab a gold statue. In the end, I think the honor for this film comes from the nominations.
Rating: R for some strong violence, language throughout and brief sexuality.
Verdict: Three stars out of four.
Where to See It: "Hell or High Water" has been re-released in theaters nationwide.