The Academy Awards for 2020 are not far away now, and that means we all must now list these very different films in one ranking. As always, the nominations have caused a bit of controversy and in my opinion, are a massive mixed bag.
So let’s take a look at my personal ranking of this year’s Best Picture nominations for this year’s Oscar. So, going from worst to best…
In the latest episode of the OH HI Films podcast, Jordi said something along the lines of if The Irishman wins it would be an insult to the art of editing and pacing. I wholeheartedly agree with this. The Irishman is overlong, incredibly dull and goes nowhere. You spend 2 hours waiting for something to happen then the last 90 minutes hoping it will just end because you’re not sure if you can take it anymore.
Why is it nominated then? Simple really. Netflix has a lot of money, and it has a cast and crew full of names that can cause a lot of ‘buzz’ all on their own. Plus, some people enjoyed it apparently. I can’t relate to that. Thankfully, I don’t see this winning.
I enjoyed Little Women. Genuinely. I think it is crying shame Greta Gerwig has not been nominated in the directing category as this film is her best to date. An adaption of the book of the same name that I knew absolutely nothing about going in, Little Women is full of some great performances and a great adapted script. I hope it wins in some other categories.
The film people love to hate at the moment. Joker has had a small target on it’s back since its release in October. I don’t hate it as much as some. Still, after seeing it a couple of times, I don’t think it’s the incredible masterpiece that many made it out to be when it first debuted at Venice last year.
There is no denying that Joaquin Phoenix is one of the best actors working at the moment and wholly owns the role of Arthur Fleck in this film. I am contempt with it walking away with Best Actor (it should be Adam Driver). I’m not sure if it deserves to win the Best Picture award.
I was delighted to see this make the nominations list for Best Picture. It was a surprise as I was not sure how the Academy would react to a film quite like Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. However, it got here, and that’s the main thing. In my opinion, it deserves to walk away with Best Adapted Screenplay
In my review, I said “You boil it down, and Jojo Rabbit is a film about acceptance and love, it shines a light on the atrocities committed in a heart-breaking way. While also managing to be digestible for general audience members which is something I find highly commendable.”
Ford vs Ferrari
Everyone’s favourite dad movie from last year. Ford vs Ferrari (or Le Mans ’66 to us Brits) was one of my favourites of last year and not one I expected to see here. I do not think it has a chance at winning but I guess it’s the thought that counts. I can see it doing well in the technical categories at a push, but another nominee might have these on lock.
In my review, I said “There is a heart to ‘Le Mans 66’ that you get maybe once or twice a year. There is something magically straightforward about it, yet it still engages and provides a great journey for the viewer with some crazy good performances and racing sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat.”
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Yes. Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is truly a love letter to filmmaking, LA and all the other things the marketing really wanted to hammer home. I absolutely adored it. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DeCaprio are excellent. Pitt will walk away with his supporting actor award no doubt in my mind, something he truly deserves.
The atmosphere of this movie as a whole deserves awards. I was lucky enough to see this projected on 35mm, which adds to the overall aesthetic of the film. Truly transporting you back to the 1960s like a kind of filmy time machine.
Money is on this to win, and I don’t even think I would be mad. 1917 is a brilliant cinematic experience that has been expertly crafted by Sam Mendes and his fantastic crew. The one-shot film has a lot going for it on the technical side that makes it a fascinating watch.
That isn’t to take away from it on a story or emotional level. There are plenty of points where 1917 will hit you in the gut with a lot of feelings you weren’t ready for. It is like this perfect sandwich of cinematic spectacle and a hard-hitting wartime drama. Win the award, and I’ll be happy.
For months I was constantly told just how good this film was, this made Parasite a movie that had a lot of hype to live up to for me. It did that and so much more. Parasite skyrocketed to the top of my best of 2020 list before the year had begun (I had seen a preview). The film is full of shocking twists and incredible performances, which shockingly haven’t been nominated. I guess the Academy is too scared to say if a foreign language performance is excellent.
This film should walk away with plenty of awards on the night, including Best International Feature.
The Major Snub: Uncut Gems
The number 2 position is actually where Uncut Gems should be, but the Academy completely ignored it. It deserved much better.
In my review, I said “Still, it remains a massive shame that we won’t be seeing anyone from the team picking up awards they rightfully deserve at the Oscars this year. That doesn’t mean the film isn’t good; it just means that the film has been overlooked by the small amounts of people that vote on these awards. The film is excellent and can easily stand on its own as a genuinely brilliant film which will hopefully continue to be talked about for years to come.”
Marriage Story is easily the best film on this list and of the last year. I am completely in love with it and would just for the film to go on and sweep every single award that it is nominated for, it won’t, and that is a damn shame.
In my review, I said “The most immediate difference with Marriage Story is just how deeply personal it is to him. You can sense that in the writing where every emotion and feeling has this pin-point accuracy to it. It goes to show just how much of an effect this film can have on someone when you can feel the reality of something you, personally, have never experienced.”
The Oscars are live on Sky Cinema this Sunday Night/Monday Morning