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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

Nominations are out for the 2020 Oscars coming this week, and for once, I find myself mostly ahead of the game. Usually by this point I’m scrambling to watch all these non-mainstream flicks at my favourite theatre: the Princess Twin Cinemas in Waterloo. But no, this year I find myself in a position to provide some insight and some recommendations for those of you who want to know about the frontrunners. I’ve seen 6 out of the 9 Best Picture nominations (haven’t seen Joker, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, or 1917), which I think is pretty solid.

It’s a pretty stacked lineup in the Best Picture category and they’re all so unique in their individual subject matter and genre. Some really interesting and insightful movies came out this year, and there’s more beyond the nominations that got shut out. So I’ll do my best to keep from ranting too much or giving away spoilers, but know that I really want to. Here goes…


I found this movie absolutely mind-blowing, with an evolving plot that has twists and turns you never see coming. With incredible cinematography and purposeful directing choices, it’s my top pick. From watching the trailer, you have no idea what’s going on, but that’s honestly the perfect way to go into the movie, completely blind to what’s coming. It’s a South Korean film and cast, so there’s English subtitles, but I was so drawn into the movie that they didn’t take away from the experience in the slightest.

Little Women

I’ve seen this one twice now, and even having never read Louisa May Alcott’s novels or seeing any of the past adaptations, I loved it. My favourite duo, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, are back together in this one among a star-studded cast. Greta Gerwig got snubbed in the Best Director category for this one, but the film did get nominations for Lead Actress, Adapted Screenplay, and Costume Design, which should be enough to convince you it’s one you shouldn’t miss.

Jojo Rabbit

Okay, so Taika Waititi is my favourite director (see the genius that is Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Thor Ragnarok, and What We Do In The Shadows), and being the absolutely weird and wacky dude he is, he pumped out this crazy WWII satire. It has great kid actors to support the stacked adult cast, and knows how to effortlessly go from serious to funny to incredibly meaningful. You don’t want to miss it.

Marriage Story

This movie is the story of a marriage falling apart, and the complications that arise because of that. I cried more than just a couple times as Adam Driver (the love of my life) and Scarlett Johanssen portray real, well-rounded characters who have to make some tough decisions. This one might not be for everyone, it can be kind of hard to watch at times, but I think that’s just because it feels so real and it’s hard-hitting. You find yourself trying to see from both of their perspectives, and it’s really frustrating trying to grasp the best solution for all parties involved.

The Irishman

This one’s three hours long, so grab the popcorn and settle into a comfy spot, because you’ll be sucked into the world of the Italian mob and all the chaos it brings. It’s full of difficult choices, intimidating dudes, and one guy who just “paints houses”. Again, a bit of a long haul, but it allows them to take you through one man’s life story and I’d argue it’s worth it. Really cool stuff with aging and de-aging Robert De Niro, do your homework for more on that one.

Ford v. Ferrari

Christian Bale and Matt Damon really give it their all in this one, with passion, determination, and a classic underdog story. I was on the edge of your seat the whole movie and definitely gained a greater respect for race car driving. I might even consider it as a real sport now… Does it have enough horsepower to win the Oscar race though? I’d argue no, but still one that’s fun to see.

And that’s about it for what I know (or think I know). Still hoping to get in on the other three, but we’ll see if my wallet and schedule allow. I’ve heard high praise for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Joaquin Phoenix has been picking up awards left and right for Joker. But it’s also a very good possibility that I’ll just go see Parasite a couple more times… I’m begging you to please go see it.

Rachel Kehl

Waterloo '22

I'm in my third year of Global Business and Digital Arts at UW and this term I'm Senior Editor for HC Waterloo. I love discussing movies (don't get me started on Parasite or anything made by Taika Waititi) and eating peanut butter cups, preferably at the same time.
My name is Rachel Hickey,  I'm studying Psychology, Human Resource Management, and English! My interests include food, fitness, feminism, singing in obnoxious a cappella groups and petting other people's dogs.