07 Feb Rollout the Red Carpet – It’s Oscars Time Again!
It’s time again for Hollywood’s biggest night of nights: the Oscars. The culminating event following a long year of late-night movie going, water cooler debate, mass fan hype and cozy weekend Netflix binges. While Australian representation on the nom’s list is seriously lacking (unlike past years such as this!), this year we see very strong contenders in each awards category, after notable successes at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, SAGs and excellent box office numbers. There has also been an absolute takeover by streaming service Netflix, receiving over 20 nominations across the board. Before the team at VMP grab the popcorn and enjoy the festivities, we’ve taken our top picks for the nominees likely to win big this year.
Firstly, the big one we all want to know! ‘Best Picture’ is the most highly contended award of the night and this year sees 9 excellent films in the running. After its recent wins for best drama film at the Golden Globes and best film at BAFTA, Sam Mendes’ epic World War I film, 1917, is primed to take home another award. However, the prize will be highly contested by Globe winning comedy Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, an audience and critical favourite by seasoned director, Quentin Tarrantino.
The Irishman and Marriage Story are Netflix’s contributions to the list which both stand a chance of shaking up the scene with a potential win. Although, time will tell whether the industry is ready to accept Netflix as a fair player amidst previous criticism that the service circumvents academy requirements and threatens the theatrical space, serving as both its own production company and distributor.
We would love to see a win for Greta Gerwig’s film Little Women, which is nominated across six categories. A win for Gerwig would be huge as this year’s nominations continues a trend in the massive snubbing of many talented female directors, with no female nomination in the ‘Best Director’ category.
Oscar’s newcomer, Bong Joon-ho is nominated for his South Korean black comedy thriller, Parasite. Bong Joon-ho would be a well deserving winner this year, with Parasite receiving mass critical acclaim as one of the best films of the decade and grossing $133 million at the worldwide box office. It would be excellent to see a win for the foreign film to challenge Hollywood traditions, however based on its long history this would an unlikely move from the Academy.
If the Golden Globes are a reference for a likely winner, however, Sam Mendes stands a strong chance of another win for 1917. Again is neck and neck with Tarrantino and Scorcese for The Irishman.
Todd Phillips is another strong contender with his acclaimed film Joker, an evolution for Batman films with a strong core social message and dark portrayal of issues surrounding mental health and neglect. A win for Phillips would go a long way to support that comic book movies can prove worthy of recognition as cinematic masterpieces.
Best Actor and Best Actress
Lastly, we have to pick our favourite cast members. Amongst the ‘Actors in a Leading Role’, Joaquin Phoenix is tipped for his portrayal as The Joker (in Joker) after taking out the award at the Golden Globes. An outstanding performance that left us truly terrified – but in a good way – and an inspired original portrayal of an iconic character. Adam Driver, on the other hand, is nominated for his performance in Marriage Story as Charlie – a father fighting Scarlet Johansson through divorce and custody of their son, in a battle between their conflicting LA and New York lives. Snubbed at the Globes maybe it’s Driver’s turn for a win in an excellent, emotionally charged performance in the Netflix film.
The most challenging category to call is for ‘Actress in a Leading Role’ as five amazingly talented nominees contend for the title. Scarlett Johansson is excellent in Marriage Story, though Renée Zellweger brings it for her portrayal of Judy Garland in the biopic, Judy. Bringing her all to role Zellweger has received excellent reviews and has taken out the award for ‘Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture’ at the Golden Globes.
So, stick that popcorn in the microwave, gather your friends and race to the best seat in front of the telly as the festivities begin! (Or if like us here in Brisbane you have to be at work when the Oscars land in Oz, set up some Google alerts and stream the best speeches later to soothe your serious Oscars FOMO!)
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