The Oscars: A Cheat Sheet to the Most Talked About Nominated Films

It’s hard to keep up with all the films that are nominated for Oscars. Though life is busy, you don't want to miss tuning it to the Oscars which airs on March 4th this year. If you usually watch for the fashion, celebrity sightings, or opening monologue, but are up-to-date with all the nominated films, this cheat sheet is for you. 

Here are some of the most talked about films of the year. A full list of the films nominated and the film trailers can be found here.

BABY DRIVER

This film is nominated in the editing and sound mixing categories. The soundtrack is a character in its own right as director Edgar Wright put a lot of thought into what songs to use to set the pace. Baby, is a getaway driver for robberies who wants to change his ways after meeting a waitress who just wants to get away, Debora. His boss, Doc, won’t set him free even after Baby has paid off his debt to Doc. This film is full of car chases, romance, and well-placed humor, making it the perfect equation for fun.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Call Me By Your Name is a lush love story that takes place in northern Italy between a 17-year-old boy, Elio, and his father’s college research assistant, Oliver. For half the of the film, the audience is waiting for Elio and Oliver to finally get together. This film features one of the most honest and raw explorations of relationships and sexuality. It’ll make you believe in love... first love at that.

COCO

This film from Disney takes place in Mexico and is about a young boy, Miguel, who gets trapped in the afterlife on Day of Dead. On his journey, he meets his idol, his ancestors, and even Frida Kahlo. It’s a “children’s film” in the same way Inside Out tackled mature issues. Some of the complex themes explored in the film include legacy, remembering where you come from, humility, and choosing your own destiny. With Disney’s track record and the celebratory reviews, Coco is my favorite.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT

Sean Baker’s The Florida Project perfectly captures what it is like to be a child. Most of the film, we are following Moonie as she gets into shenanigans with her friends in the front yard of the motel she lives in. The adults in her life (her mother, Halley, and the hotel manager, Bobby) guard her from intense, potential danger... to the best of their ability. Baker created a realistic depiction of those who live paycheck to paycheck and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep a roof over their heads. 

GET OUT

I wrote an article about the brilliance of Get Out last March. It’s nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Lead Actor-Male, and Best Director. For originality, timeliness, and commentary on race in America, Jordan Peele deserves some accolades. 

LADY BIRD

Lady Bird is about Christine aka “Lady Bird” navigating through her senior year of high school. She loses her virginity (and is underwhelmed by the experience), gets her heart broken (and still stays friends with the guy), and attempts to balance the chase for popularity and being true to herself. The female relationships – mother/daughter and teenage best friends – are refreshing and real which earned Greta Gerwig’s ode to a childhood in Sacramento five Academy Award nominations.

LOVING VINCENT

Loving Vincent is the most visually stunning animation film of the year. It is composed of Van Gogh’s post-impressionism painting style. If you can untangle yourself from the visual spectacle, then you are on the edge of your seat as a son of a mailman, Armand, is assigned to deliver Vincent’s last letter to his brother, Theo. Armand becomes intrigued by the life Vincent led and, the lack of answers to his questions plagues him with more mystique and distrust in the people that knew Vincent in his final days. This film investigates the truth of the aspects of Van Gogh we know so well, such as Van Gogh cutting his ear off, eating yellow paint, and committing suicide. Loving Vincent is the underdog in this category and a film with a limited release. But who doesn’t love an underdog?

MUDBOUND

This film is directed by a woman (Dee Rees) and takes place in post-WWII Mississippi. The cinematographer, Rachel Morrison, is the first woman to be nominated for cinematography. She also shot Black Panther, Fruitvale Station, and Dope. Mary J. Blige is nominated for her transformative role in the Best Supporting Actress category. 2018 is the year of women. 

PHANTOM THREAD

According to Daniel Day-Lewis, this is his last movie. He teamed up with There Will Be Blood director, Paul Thomas Anderson, again to make this film which features stellar performances.

THE POST

Steven Spielberg + Meryl Streep + Tom Hanks + Freedom of the press = Perfect movie that politically captures 2017/2018.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING, MISSOURI

This film is like a Coen Brothers movie turned up two hundred percent. In this dark comedy, Mildred is a mother who wants justice for her daughter, who was brutally raped and murdered. She has three billboards put up that antagonize Chief of Police Willoughby into finding out her daughter’s rapist. Mildred is a character, to say the least, but in the film we also learn how she came to be as ruthless and relentless as she is when we meet her. This film also brings up concerns and questions about race in America but does not offer answers, which could be a commentary within itself.

 

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12