Must watch films: Five of the eight Best Picture nominees
By: Sydney Harrison
Earlier awards ceremonies such as the Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America Awards (DGAs) and various critic awards have been split between their winners, leading many to call this year’s Oscars the most unpredictable in recent memory. Here are some movies that are nominated for Best Picture, as well as various other categories, that are on the must watch list when it comes to getting into this season's Academy Awards.
Bohemian Rhapsody is the most fun and upbeat of the nominations. Critics did not think It would get as much buzz as It has been getting, but audiences are loving it. Bohemian Rhapsody made a splash at the Golden Globes this past January, taking home the award for Best Motion Picture - Drama. Golden Globe wins are not always an indicator of Oscar success, but the win has made more view the film as a serious contender. In addition to making audiences fall in love with Rami Malek’s rendition of Queen’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury, the movie made a ton of money. According to Box Office Mojo, it made approximately $835 million, making it this year’s highest grossing nominee.
Roma is a first of its kind movie to be nominated for Best picture. Roma is a Netflix original and is the first Netflix movie to be nominated for the Oscars top prize. The straight-to-Netflix nomination made traditional movie goers upset. Not only did it skip the traditional theatrical release, but it is also in black and white and completely in Spanish. This masterpiece could be the first foreign film to win best picture. The esteemed director of Roma, Alfonso Cuarón, also directed Gravity, which won him the Oscar for Best Director award in 2014. With Roma’s rich background, it is an interesting and unique watch this Oscar’s season.
Black Panther is a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that holds the record for the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture. The movie was released in February, whereas the rest of the nominations were released closer to the award season. This means Black Panther had a lot of staying power in the minds of the Academy. Black Panther recently won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild awards. Winning in the SAG awards is usually an indicator of success for the Oscars. This action-packed film is out of the ordinary in this category and one that could turn heads at the Oscars this year.
A Star Is Born
A Star is Born was an early favorite for Best Picture. The film captivated fans across the world with the outstanding acting and singing performance by Lady Gaga. A Star is Born is a more traditional Oscar movie that would usually win big during the award season, the original winning the Oscar for Best Writing and the 1976 remake winning the Oscar for Best Original Song. However, after several losses from smaller award shows, the film has largely fallen out of the Oscar conversation for Best Picture. This thought came to a head when Bradley Cooper was not nominated for Best Director. In years past, the winner of Best Director usually goes to win Best Picture.
Green Book seemed like it would be an easy movie to root for due to the appeal of the unlikely central friendship between African-American pianist, Dr. Don Shirley and his hired body guard, Tony Lip, an Italian-American bouncer. However it has been shrouded in controversy since its release due to complaints of inaccuracy made by the family of the real life Don Shirley. Despite the controversy, the performances by the cast and feel-good message of the film stuck out to many audience members. Even if it not historically accurate, the heartwarming nature of the movie made Green Book my favorite watch of the Best Picture nominees.
These are just five of the eight movies nominated for best picture, but are the ones most present in the American zeitgeist. I recommend checking out these films before the ceremony on Feb. 24 if you want to stay on top of the what everyone is talking about in the world of film.