NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Actresses Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Saoirse Ronan and director Greta Gerwig attend SiriusXM's Town Hall with the cast of 'Little Women' hosted by SiriusXM's Jess Cagle on December 09, 2019 in New York City. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM/AFP
OSCAR BUZZ: From ‘Joker’ to ‘Little Women’, who has the biggest chance to nab “Best Picture”?
It’s that time of year again where stars are flying and statues are being given away. Yup, it’s movie awards season! After Ricky Gervais’ frankly shocking speech at the Golden Globes and the much more relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the Screen Actor’s Guild, we’ve come to the biggest ceremony of them all: The Academy Awards. There are two questions on everybody’s lips: who’s gonna win big, and what the heck are all of these movies? For your convenience here’s a quick rundown on every Best Picture nominee, featuring a short plot summary, the nominations each movie got, and a few choice opinions from average cinemagoers.
The Film: Joker
The Plot: Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a mentally unwell comedian driven by society to become the Clown Prince of Crime.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Actor In A Leading Role, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Music (Original Score), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
The message isn’t really fresh. It’s literally the plot of every mass shooting in America, and not very responsible in today’s political climate. A fun movie, but one that’s trying to ride the mental health wave. – Katrina
It’s trying too hard to be Scorsese, which is bad because then it feels like a subpar Scorsese film instead of its own movie. – Anonymous
Joker is a film that all comic book films should learn from, and all the polarization around it just shows it’s done something right. – Emily
The Film: Parasite
The Plot: A family living paycheck to paycheck scheme to be employed by a wealthier family, no matter what it takes.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best International Feature Film, Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Best Production Design
I hope Parasite gets some of the awards. I like a lot of the nominated movies, but Parasite has a lot more value to the industry for what it brings from its context as a non-English film. – Kyle J.
Parasite brutally depicts how absurd our social class system is. It’s disturbing, yet mindblowing. – Jerem
Definitely the best ensemble movie narrative among the contenders. It’s so original that it doesn’t compare to other movies. It’s a must-watch movie, and it’s genius. – Vaughn
The Film: Ford V Ferrari
The Plot: A biopic that tells the story of how enterprising automobile designer Caroll Shelby and his sardonic racecar driver Ken Miles take on Ferrari at Le Mans.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing
As a racing and motorsports fan myself, I find Ford v Ferrari to be one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. The racing scenes are hypersonic, making it feel as if you’re really watching the races in person. – Gabriel
Christian Bale really steals the whole show as Ken Miles, and I would watch the movie just for him. Of course, the rest of it is fantastic as well, and you can tell the movie was a labor of love. – Kyle
It’s a surprisingly good film, and one I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. The racing scenes are intense, and the two leads do a great job playing off each other. – Anonymous
The Film: 1917
The Plot: Set during World War I, two British soldiers must deliver a vital message calling off what could be a fatal attack.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Music (Original Score), Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing
1917 is one of those “visceral experience” movies. There’s nothing especially clever about the plot or the characters. You’ve just gotta feel immersed. – Ricardo
Like Dunkirk before it, it manages to evoke the horrors of war with cinematic panache and gut-wrenching emotion. – Anonymous
It’s hard to appreciate 1917 since WW1 movies have already been very present in recent years, and the entire “shocking shooter” genre has been pushed to its absolute limits. – Anonymous
The Film: Marriage Story
The Plot: It chronicles the breakdown of a marriage and subsequent divorce proceedings, drawing on director Noah Baumbach’s real marriage and divorce for inspiration.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Actor in A Leading Role, Best Actress in A Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Music (Original Score), Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
I think Marriage Story’s not just about the relationship between the protagonists. What makes it a good movie is that cinematography was good, the acting was good, and the lines were great. – Gayle
Marriage Story is an instant classic. Baumbach translates his personal human experience into a universal one. The awkward silences, the moments of humour, the monologues, and pockets of song and dance construct complex and unforgettable characters, and it’s these characters that make the story. – Ken
Adam Driver is emotive and intense in Marriage Story, really driving home the pain and misery of his marriage falling apart. His performance, alongside Scarlet Johanssen as his long-suffering wife, really helps to sell the whole movie. – Kyle
The Film: Jojo Rabbit
The Plot: A young Hitler Youth member must come to terms with the Jewish girl his mother is hiding in their attic, working through his beliefs with the help of his imaginary friend Hitler.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Actress in A Supporting Role, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing
Jojo Rabbit is a charming satire about the absurdity of hate and indoctrination in the form of a coming-of-age film, as earnest performances make up for the lack of terror with childlike heart and whimsy. As much as Jojo Rabbit is a social and political commentary, it’s best to walk in looking forward to the simpler story about being a young boy at its core. – Ricardo
The draw of Jojo Rabbit is watching something that is both potentially offensive and highly comedic, but the dramatic climax of the film is too predictable. It’s an interesting take on the usual coming of age stories because it revolves around prejudice and the realization that what you hate or love can also be what you are. – Jaime
Jojo Rabbit is Taika Waititi unleashed, and it’s a riotous blend of irreverence and lethal sharp commentary on fascism, childhood, and humanity in a way few other directors would dare to dream. It’s the surreal premise that ultimately allows the delicate balance of shock (or at least exquisitely chosen poor taste) and humanizing elements to really strike home. – Sam
The Film: Little Women
The Plot: The film chronicles the lives of the four March sisters as they go through lives filled with trials, tribulations, happiness, and precious memories.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Actress in A Supporting Role, Best Actress in A Leading Role
Little Women wants to deliver a feminist message rather than tell a coherent and consistent story and destroys crucial emotional beats and character development in the process. – Emily
Little Women was written in 1868 but the magic of the 2019 film makes it seem like it was written for today. I won’t be surprised to find a lot of girls and boys of all ages spamming the emails of editors selling their stories and creations (and keeping the copyright). – Ken
Little Women was great and very emotional, and left me feeling a lot better than any other film from this last year has managed to. – Anonymous
The Film: Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood
The Plot: It depicts 1950s Hollywood and the events leading up to and including the Manson family murders through the eyes of actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double and best friend Cliff Booth.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Actor in A Leading Role, Best Actor in A Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing
The beginning is quite slow and although people say it’s Tarantino’s most mature film, it feels like it should have had more violence in it to really sell the terror of the Manson Family murders. – Anonymous
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood meanders a lot while rewriting Hollywood history, but eventually pays off with cathartic Tarantino violence. – Emily
Tarantino is back in full form alongside several of his usual cast and crew, and it’s refreshing to see him taking on the less exploitative subject matter than blacksploitation and Nazi scalping. – Anonymous
The Film: The Irishman
The Plot: Chronicles the life and times of real-life crime syndicate member Frank Sheeran as he ascends the ranks from truck driver to hired hitman.
The Noms: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in A Supporting Role, Best Actor in A Supporting Role, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing
I liked it – not my favorite movie but it has a lot of low-key things going on, and the ending is very unexpected, which shows a lot of maturity on the part of Scorsese. It’s like ‘Goodfellas‘ but made by an old man. – Anonymous
It’s a good movie where Scorsese gets to showcase his directorial talent, but just a little too long. You didn’t have to do his entire life story, just start it once he actually becomes a hitman. – Anonymous
It’s kind of a struggle to get through because of the length. Maybe it would’ve been better as a miniseries. – Anonymous
Thank you to the following contributors: Gabriel Balao, Gayle Castro (@szariz on Twitter), Jaime Cojuangco, Katrina Chua (@kkrchua10 on Instagram), Ken Coseto (@kencoseto on Instagram), Ricardo de Los Reyes (@el_cid_of_the_kings on Instagram), Sam Hapgood, Kyle Jordan (@kylelewisjordan on Instagram), Emily Lau (www.youtube.com/Emiloid), Vaughn Lazaro (@vaughnlazaro), Jerem San Juan (@jeremsanjuan on Instagram), as well as the various anonymous contributors!
Kyle Tinga is a transport planner and writer. She loves going to the movies and thinks Parasite deserves this year’s Best Picture win. You can find her on Twitter at @kyle_tinga, or on IG at @kyletinga.