Another Circuitous Route to Best Picture: 2017 Edition

I apologize for disappearing from the site. I don’t need to tell you that it has been an amazingly stressful year–and it’s only going to get worse. Although, I cannot exactly blame He Who Shall Not Be Named for the dearth of new criticism on CINE FEEL YEAH. Since June I have been immersed in an intensive teacher preparation program; come this fall I should be an elementary school teacher at a Baltimore City public school. Right now, I am so ridiculously busy that I barely get any sleep.

Yet I could not go on without celebrating the previous year in movies by connecting all the nominees for Best Picture. As you might recall, I place a number of restrictions on my game-playing, in an effort to stretch my associative memory of movies. First, I cannot consult IMDb for help. Second, I can only use actors to connect the films–not directors or producers. Third, the actors must have starred in a film with each other; I cannot connect the movies through the thespians’ romantic entanglements or their TV appearances.

So without further ado, I give you A Circuitous Route to Best Picture: 2017 Edition.

hacksaw-ridge-2
Andrew Garfield, presumably on the eponymous Hacksaw Ridge. I dunno; I haven’t seen the film yet. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.
  • Hacksaw Ridge with Andrew Garfield, who was in The Amazing Spider-Man with Emma Stone, who’s in
  • La La Land with Ryan Gosling, who was in Blue Valentine with Michelle Williams, who’s in
  • Manchester by the Sea with Casey Affleck, who was in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Rooney Mara, who’s in
  • Lion with Nicole Kidman, who was in Moulin Rouge with Ewan McGregor, who was in Our Kind of Traitor with Naomie Harris, who’s in
  • Moonlight with Mahershala Ali AND Janelle Monáe, who are in
  • Hidden Figures with Octavia Spencer, who was in The Help with Viola Davis, who’s in
  • Fences with Denzel Washington, who was in The Magnificent Seven with Haley Bennett, who was in The Girl on the Train with Emily Blunt, who was in Sunshine Cleaning with Amy Adams, who’s in
  • Arrival with Jeremy Renner, who was in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with Gemma Arterton, who was in The Disappearance of Alice Creed with Eddie Marsan, who was in The World’s End with Simon Pegg, who’s in Star Trek with Chris Pine, who’s in
  • Hell or High Water.
hell-or-high-water
Outlaw brothers Ben Foster and Chris Pine in Hell or High Water. Photo courtesy of CBS Films.

I checked IMDb after making this list of connections, and I recognized that I could have taken some shortcuts, such as:

  • Fences with Denzel Washington, who was in The Manchurian Candidate with Meryl Streep, who was in Doubt with Amy Adams, who’s in
  • Arrival with Jeremy Renner, who was in The Avengers with Robert Downey, Jr. who was in Iron Man with Jeff Bridges, who’s in
  • Hell or High Water.

And to connect Hell or High Water back to Hacksaw Ridge, I made these moves:

  • Hell or High Water with Ben Foster, who was in Liberty Heights with Adrien Brody, who was in Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, who were in Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn, who’s in
  • Hacksaw Ridge.

I also loved the idea of making the following connections, but I couldn’t work them into a coherent sequence:

  • Arrival with Amy Adams, who was in Drop Dead Gorgeous with Kirsten Dunst, who’s in
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion with Rooney Mara, who was in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Ben Foster, who’s in
  • Hell or High Water.

What are your ideas? Sound them out in the comments.

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