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The Oscars in Review: Best Picture Nominees

Hi, guys! It’s officially that time: Oscar week! I am so excited to see the absolute mess that is about to result from having no host and the fact that there seems to be no consensus on what is going to win Best Picture (last year we all knew that somehow the woman sleeping with the Loch Ness Monster was going to win. Anyway). SO, all that being said, I am back once again to provide for you a review of ALL the Best Picture nominees, because I care about you and saw them all so that you didn’t have to. And now, in no particular order, here are your Best Picture Nominees…


“Bohemian Rhapsody”

This movie was a genuine good time. Do I think it will win Best Picture? No. Should it? No. But would I watch it again? Big yes. An obvious plus for the movie was having a bunch of Queen songs in there, which are objectively great. However, two points against this movie: 1) the director, Bryan Singer, has been accused of sexual assault/ misconduct by at least four women. That’s not okay at all. We can take small comfort that he probably will not win the Oscar for Best Director. 2) This movie was super historically inaccurate (lots of better articles have been written that outline all of the exact inaccuracies). That’s extra weird because actual Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor worked on this film, so I don’t know why they let that happen, but whatever. My biggest thing was that it did not focus enough on Freddie Mercury being gay. I wanted it to be gayer.

                                                                                       Courtesy: Variety

“Green Book”

*sigh* Oh, “Green Book”. This was just….not great. It was too sentimental for me. For those of you who don’t know, this was a based-on-a-true-story where its 1962 and a black piano player (the great Mahershala Ali) is going on a concert tour in the south with a white driver. And since its 1962 and the south, there is some…wait for it….racism. And the movie is like, hey this white guy and this black guy are able to overcome their differences and become friends! We all can do this! We don’t need to address the decades of systematic oppression! We can all be friends! This is probably a movie that your mom would love. And I am not a mom.

                                                                                                 Courtesy: Vanity Fair



I feel like this one could win Best Picture, because it was boring and slow but the ***cinematography*** was ***gorgeous*** and it was ***artsy*** and ***poignant*** and all that jazz. To be fair, it was beautiful, even though I did not quite understand why it was in black and white? It’s fine. And the performances were very good, I will give it that. Although I will probably never recover from the very unnecessary full-frontal male nudity. Wasn’t ready for that at all. Did not want that on my screen. No thank you.

                                                                                             Courtesy: The Pitt News

“A Star is Born”

Honestly, who didn’t love this movie? It was breathtaking. Yes, it’s a remake, and yes, there’s been many a remake of this one, but it was still amazing. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are just spectacular together. It was a tad slow at times, but the performances were just so good. And for a first-time director, Bradley Cooper really did a great job. I loved this movie.

                                                                                                 Courtesy: Variety


Spike Lee is back at it again, and this movie definitely feels like Spike Lee. It’s very good. It’s important and takes a hard look at racism in America (in a way that “Green Book” definitely did NOT), even though at times it’s a bit too in-your-face about it, but that’s fine. It’s based on a true story of a black cop and a Jewish Adam Driver going undercover as KKK members, which is a great premise but it very often feels like the movie is making up parts of the story (like the whole relationship between that KKK guy and his wife who is in charge of the bomb or something?? Felt fake). Anyway, this is an important movie and it’s about time Spike Lee got something nominated.

                                                                                       Courtesy: Chicago Reader

“Black Panther”

After a solid decade of comic book nerds demanding recognition for their films, they are finally recognized with, “Black Panther,” even though that is not the one that they wanted because it’s about a black guy. Careful what you wish for, comic book nerds. I personally loved “Black Panther,” even though the effects weren’t amazing and it did have the standard generic Act III fight scene, but that’s fine. Great performances, great plot, great representation. It isn’t going to win, but hey, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

                                                                                           Courtesy: Bustle

“The Favourite”

This movie betrayed me. I was told that it was gay. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not blame the people who told me that, because it was sort of gay. But like, it was not about loving relationships between women. It was more about women having sex with each other for power, and that is NOT the kind of representation that I was looking for. Also, this movie was a weird time. I feel like it could win, because a lot of the style choices went way over my head (the fishbowl view, the weird scene of throwing fruit at the naked guy, the wrestle-flirting in the woods, etc.) and so pretentious people (aka The Academy) want to act like they understood all that. Weird weird weird. Good performances, though.

                                                                                         Courtesy: The Atlantic 


This movie is a WILD RIDE from start to finish. I don’t know if I would necessarily say that it’s good, but like, it’s definitely not bad. It tells the true (ish) story of Dick Cheney, (whose daughter is gay!!!! I did not know that!!!) which is awkward because Dick Cheney is still alive and this is not a particularly flattering portrait, but. The whole movie feels a bit jarring, because there are crazy time jumps and also crazy tone shifts. I mean, a whole bunch of this movie is played for laughs, and there are lots of genuinely funny moments, but then there are graphic scenes of torture at Guantanamo Bay, bombings of Columbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and a full on heart transplant will all the blood you want. So yeah, it’s kinda a lot to take in all at once. I would say that it starts out pretty good and sort of fizzles out as it goes. By the end you’re ready for it to be done. Sort of like watching the Oscars, one might say.

                                                                                      Courtesy: The Atlantic


It has occurred to me now that out of EIGHT movies, FIVE of these suckers are “based on a true story.” That is insane. That is over half. Crazy. Of the other three, one is a remake (“A Star is Born”), and one is part of a global franchise and based on an existing comic book series (“Black Panther”). So, one that basis alone, my vote is for “Roma,” since its basically the only original content we got. And I didn’t even like “Roma” that much, but I will give it that at least. Anyway, tune in to the Oscars this Sunday, February 22nd, at 8pm! There is no host! Prepare yourself for a mess!


Grace is a JCU senior, double majoring in Theology & Religious Studies and Political Science. She loves social justice, Disney, and joking about absolutely everything. Her specialty is ranking movies.