Movie: Straight Outta Compton
What it’s up for: Original Screenplay, Visual Effects

Straight Outta Compton tells the tale of the rise of hip-hop group N.W.A. in the late 80s/early 90s. As someone who knew nothing about rap, hip-hop, or the histories of either, this was an educational experience for me.

As a whole, the movie is solid. It is well-crafted, well-written, and well-executed. The original screenplay flows elegantly through the story, providing just enough detail for people like me to know what’s happening, but not so much that it waters down the script. The actors used what they were given convincingly. The scenes were set up beautifully and helped communicate what was happening. It created all the emotions you could hope for in a well-written story.

The visual effects are virtually invisible (which is, of course, a good thing). I had to search for what exactly was done in the visual effects realm to realize what they had accomplished. Most of the effects were to create crowds or to assist in making scenes look dated. It was well done, but I’m not sure it deserved the nomination. Meanwhile, the production designers should have been nominated for their monumental efforts in this film. They incorporated symbolic uses of color and light. They transformed locations into their early 90s counterparts. It was just gorgeous.

Original Screenplay – I actually think it might win this one.
Visual Effects – Really unlikely