Record low ratings proved the lack of viewership of this years nominee pool.
Producer Steven Soderbergh might be talented, but not talented enough to make 10 million Americans simultaneously turn on their televisions to watch the 93rd Academy Awards. Here’s a recap of this years Best Pictures- which you probably didn’t see.
The Father: Let’s not forget about old people
Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman do wonders in this chilling tale following the narrow downfall of a man quickly losing his memory. Normally I would complain about another great role in a great story being handed to a great old white man. But even at 83 years old, Hopkins is giving his all. He propels the film through skill that could only be delivered by a master of his caliber. And there’s no woman more suited to work off Hopkins than Coleman. Or at least, that’s what I imagine from rewatching the trailer and reading reviews and listening to podcasts because this movie has been damn impossible to see up until a couple weeks ago!
Judas and the Black Messiah: A historical drama I can care about
Daniel Kaluuya is show stopping and director Shaka King is brilliant. King takes a crucial moment in history that could easily be cloying in the hands of a rushed director and turns it into an unforgiving tragedy. Kaluuya has steadily become a household name and continues to further his resume of incredible work. Even if history doesn’t interest you (which it should), Kaluuya alone makes a case for why this is worth a watch with one of the most celebrated performances of the year . Another well-rounded and deserving pick in this years Oscar’s race.
Here’s how to see it: HBO Max or $20 rental on Amazon
Mank: Okay Netflix…here we go again
10 years ago no one would have believed that Netflix would put a movie through the awards cycle, yet alone regularly churning out Oscar-worthy material. But here we are. The streaming giant has taken David Fincher’s passion project as its next chance for the big prize. After almost lucking out with the similarly artistic Roma in 2018, Mank seems like a much more promising opportunity. Despite being available to stream, little interest has circulated the film. Again, Gary Oldman is a well known talented old white man, he is unquestionably good in this. But sadly this will be the movie I chose to watch only as a compromise with my old white father.
Here’s how to see it: Netflix
Minari: Get ready to start crying over some plants
Minari is the most unapologetically American movie on the slate this year, and yet the Golden Globes still found a way to say there wasn’t enough English in it. Despite that fluster, Minari proves the subtle power studio A24 has over promoting the indie aesthetic. A poignant tear jerker to say the least.
Nomadland: Frances Mcdormand is amazing…but we already knew that
(Read my full thoughts here)
Nomadland, Hulu’s bid for the big award, has long been thought to be the winner for months. Which makes this whole awards cycle kind of boring. The film received excellent critic marks for its portrait of escapism but failed to satisfy everyone (me). It’s not perfect (to me) but I think it could be a valuable viewing experience for many people. I’m a hypocrite though because I would never put myself through watching this again.
Here’s how to see it: Hulu
Promising Young Woman: Revenge Feminists? Yay!
I would draw a comparison here to 2017’s Get Out for its risky and devise genre blending and societal messages. Similar to how Get Out delved in to the universality of the black experience; Promising Young Woman plays to the universality of the female experience. Combining social commentary with artist humor, Promising Young Woman has fled under the radar of many Oscar discussions despite hefty nominations. I suspect that the lack of proper theatrical contributes greatly to its short outreach. Luckily, it’s available to rent for just $6.
Here’s how to watch it: Amazon
Sound of Metal: It’s cool
Riz Ahmed is the breakthrough actor of this season, his acting chops are on full display in this harrowing portrait of a drummer going deaf. Sound of Metal balances a simply story with a heavy journey and an immersive sounds-scape ties it all together. If you want this to be your next Whiplash (as I did), look away. But definitely worth a watch.
Here’s how to watch it: Amazon Prime
The Trial of the Chicago 7: Take a shot every time Aaron Sorkin writes a line
Who was going to tell us that The Trial of the Chicago 7 was about a courtroom trial! This is probably one of the most seen nominees because of its accessibility through Netlfix, but I still can’t wrap my brain around how that is the case. It’s fine I suppose. I don’t remember what it’s about and I don’t care to look it up. But watch it I guess since I know no one wants to pay to see the others.