Cue the music people, it’s our favorite time of year, and no, I’m not talking about the holidays, although I do hope all of you had an absolutely wonderful holiday season! I’m talking about, drumroll please, award season! Particularly the Oscars. Yes that’s right, the films that mean anything to anyone finally get their recognition and the actors who have been snubbed for years finally get their awards (shoutout my man Leo). And with the nominations coming out in just a week’s time, we here at Trove have been discussing who we think is going to win what, specifically the coveted award for “Best Picture”. Of course, the Oscars are in place to acknowledge so much more than “Best Film of the Year”, but c’mon, who can name every single category being recognized without looking it up? If so, I’ll give you all the money left in my bank account ($10.27 last time I checked! I’m doing great Mom and Dad, I promise!)
There’s a lot of speculation on which one’s will be nominated, so we might as well go through them all:
For starters, we can’t talk about the Oscars without mentioning A Star is Born. It would be blasphemous at this point attention and critical acclaim it has received, although when you have a blue-eyed heartthrob with a fake Texan accent and a superstar singer working together in one movie, you’d have to try really hard to miss the mark. I went to an early screening of this film back in October and fell IN LOVE. This feeling could be due to the fact that I was truly moved by the story and the emotions of the characters, or it could be because after the film there was a Q+A where I sat a mere 20 feet away from Bradley Cooper himself (sans Lady Gaga, annoying but whatever), and the man was an absolute doll. This film, one of many by the same name which came before, took the story of Jackson and Ally and really made it its own. While I can’t necessarily see Bradley stealing the spotlight for Best Director (no shade against him, but it’s highly unlikely that his directorial debut will be his winner), I would not be surprised if Lady Gaga was recognized as “Best Actress”. If anything, the film is a shoo-in to win “Best Original Soundtrack”, and I mean there should really be a category for “Best On-Screen Couple”, but I believe prestige awards such as those are only doled out by MTV or I don’t know, the Kid’s Choice Awards or something.
The next big contender is Green Book, Peter Farrelly‘s race relations dramedy. The film was expected to be a hit, and while I haven’t seen it yet, the trailer had me hooked from the start. Unfortunately though, its box office performance has been so-so, and to top it off, it’s been plagued by negative attention owing to the film’s depiction of pianist Dr. Shirley. Some viewers have not been too happy that this story of a black man was written from the perspective of a white man, but that’s not the only controversy the film has faced. There has been news coming out that Farrelly used to expose himself to his cast and crew (ew), one of its lead actors who plays the bodyguard to Dr. Shirley, Viggo Mortensen, used the n-word when discussing social progress in the U.S. (ew), AND one of the film’s screenwriters, Nick Vallelonga, has recently apologized and deleted his Twitter account after an old tweet resurfaced containing an anti-Muslim comment (ew). That’s three “ew”s guys. Take all of this into account, and the film is basically a PR nightmare. Nonetheless, many still believe that the film has a strong chance to not only be nominated for “Best Picture”, but win, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the film’s quality outshines its controversy.
Another film we must talk about is Black Panther. Yes, it did indeed come out in 2018 in case you had forgotten, but don’t worry guys, I forgot too, considering the film came out pretty much an entire year ago in comparison to its opponents which have all been released roughly in the past few months. It has high hopes of snagging the award, being the highest grossing film of 2018 and critics praising it for utilizing the first all-black cast in a mainstream, superhero film. While a Marvel action movies don’t exactly scream Oscar winner, Black Panther’s widespread popularity and critical acclaim has to count for something, right?
One film that’s a total toss up is the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. While audiences have been responding well to the film, it’s received countless criticisms from critics claiming that it downplayed the significance that Freddie’s sexuality played in his life. That, coupled with some historical inaccuracies found within the timeline of events in the band’s trajectory, it was pretty well understood before moving into award season that Bohemian Rhapsody would be recognized but never legitimately considered for any of the big awards. Nevertheless, the film definitely shook things up at the Golden Globes a few weekends ago when it won “Best Drama”. Even I found myself to be a tad ⁓shook⁓ when I heard the results (sorry, my millennialism just reared its ugly head). Say what you want about the film. I absolutely loved it. Of course, I wasn’t around during the reign of Queen, so my perception of the band is much different than say that of my parents. Overall though, I found it to be an extremely enjoyable, educational film, regardless of whether or not the events happened the way they happened. I also wholeheartedly disagree that the film overlooked/downplayed Mercury’s sexuality. In fact, sometimes I think they were a little too on the nose about it, but whatever you think about the film itself, there is not single person on this planet that can say Rami Malek did not absolutely SLAY his role as Mercury, and if they did, they clearly didn’t watch the same movie… or are dead inside. He was recognized at the Golden Globes for his stellar performance, and I would not be surprised should he be acknowledged again when the Oscars roll around.
Last but not least, we have to consider Roma, the Netflix original by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón. Given that it’s a black and white film spoken entirely in Spanish, it’s not that surprising if this is the first time you’re hearing about it. Should it win, it will probably elicit more head-scratches of confusion than cheers of excitement from the average American viewer. But to us film folk, Roma winning the award could be a huge deal for the film industry. Not only does the look and language of the film go against the norm, but the fact that it premiered on a streaming service makes it stand out from the other contenders like no other. When I attended the Cannes Film Festival two summers ago (best experience ever, 10/10 would recommend if you ever get the opportunity) it was the year that Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories premiered. Both were Netflix original films and both were booed during their premieres by the audience members. I’m serious, like the French literally sat there and booed the films while members of their casts and crews were in the theater. So bleeping rude (excuse my French.) This then sparked an entire debate about the definition of film, and whether or not movies made for the small screen can be consider “real cinema”…excuse me, my eyeballs hurt from how hard I just rolled them. My hope is that should Roma be nominated, it is treated with a little more dignity than its predecessors and is hopefully considered just as noteworthy as its opponents who all debuted on the big screen.
There are a handful of other films that have come out this year that while they may not be clear contenders for “Best Picture”, their chances of at least getting nominated are pretty decent. Melissa McCarthy’s Can You Ever Forgive Me, a story about a writer gone rogue, was good enough; maybe good enough for Melissa McCarthy to nab a nom for “Best Actress”, and definitely good enough for Richard Grant to win “Best Supporting Actor”.
Bo Burnham’s directorial debut Eighth Grade also received a decent amount of attention from both critics and audiences alike. I would love for Eighth Grade to win something. Literally anything. I’m a huge Bo Burnham fan. HUGE. I went to the premiere of the film in LA this past summer, and he was there. We met. He’s tall (6’5”). We spoke. We hugged. I swooned. We took a photo together. We will be getting married in June. Okay, obviously the last one is not true, but a girl can and a girl WILL dream. I wish my unrequited love for the man could help him win an Oscar, but I don’t believe it’s strong enough to pull off that sort of magic.
Another one of my favorites this year was John Krasinki’s A Quiet Place. Normally I hate all things scary, but this was a film written, directed, and starring Jim from The Office… with a beard. Nuff said. To top it off, he was working alongside his stunning wife, Emily Blunt, which I’m pretty sure if you looked it up in Urban Dictionary, is the literal definition of #couplegoals, so I mean there’s no way I was going to just sit back and not watch this movie. All jokes aside, the story is truly captivating, and the sound design is nothing short of superb. It makes the crunching of a foot against a leaf sound like a plane just crashed into a train which crashed into another train going in the opposite direction, creating a level of suspense unparalleled. It was so intense, I found myself trying hard not to make a noise in the theater for fear that the monsters would jump out of the screen and kill me instead. What really sealed the deal for me with this movie though was the incorporation of ASL into the story and utilizing an actual deaf actor to help give it some grounding in reality. I mean seriously? Points all around man. This film is a total winner in my book, but you know, the committee still has yet to reach out to me to weigh in on the matter.
VICE, If Beale Street Could Talk, Crazy Rich Asians, Blackkklansman, and The Favourite are all in the running as well, although I haven’t had the chance to see these films yet, so my opinion on the likelihood of them winning would be essentially useless to you.
And there you have it, Trove Studio’s Oscar nom predictions! We can’t wait to hear the results next week, and don’t forget to tune in to ABC on Febuary 24th to see who actually wins!
Until next time Trove Troops!