Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land. Dale Robinette

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

HOLLYWOOD veteran Samuel L Jackson is a one of the select few who get to vote for the Academy Awards - and he's not one to keep quiet about his choices.

The respected actor, who has been a member of the academy since receiving his first Oscar nomination for Pulp Fiction in 1995, opened up about which films he liked - and hated - in a chat with the LA Times.

And while the colourful musical La La Land has scored a record-tying 14 nominations, Jackson admitted he couldn't even make it to the end of the film.

"The movie everybody's so hyped on, I only made it through 20 minutes. I mean, I like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,” he said, cleverly referencing the film without actually naming it.

Acclaimed family drama Manchester By The Sea also left little to be desired for Jackson. The film, featuring a brooding central performance from Casey Affleck, is "an interesting story up to a point. But I want to see dude smile once about something. Something!”

Mahershala Ali and Alex R Hibbert in a scene from the movie Moonlight.
Mahershala Ali and Alex R Hibbert in a scene from the movie Moonlight. David Bornfriend

So what are Jackson's picks of the 2017 Oscars crop? He loved Moonlight, particularly the three performances by actors Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes who play the lead role through three different ages.

"I like the kids. Mahershala (Ali, nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film) is great, but I like everybody who played that kid.”

And Jackson makes no secret of his vote for Best Actor: Denzel Washington for his powerhouse work in Fences.

"I don't think anyone did a better job than Denzel,” he said.

Back in December, Jackson slammed what saw as a current trend in Hollywood 'Oscar bait': films released solely to impress critics and the Oscar academy, without regard for audiences.

"The politics of what happens during this time of year is very interesting in Hollywood. The movies they choose to say are amazing and great, you know - Manchester by the Sea, oh my god, you must see it, it's an amazing film! But, ehh, I guess it is - to somebody,” he said.



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