By Justin Little |
Sunday, Feb. 24, marks the arrival of this year’s Academy Awards. This year boasts one of the most unique and diverse film lineups in recent years. Here is a brief field guide for this year’s best picture nominees that run down what the film is about and how it has been treated in this award season, so you’ll be ready for the most fabulous night in Hollywood.
A Star Is Born (directed by Bradley Cooper)
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliot
Synopsis: A story about a musician helping a young singer find fame even as age and alcoholism send his career in a downward spiral.
Prediction: Even though this is the fourth remake of this film, it still feels fresh with great music and performances. This film hasn’t been receiving too much love this awards season, mainly earning awards for best original song. I would say this film has a low chance of taking home the best picture award.
Black Panther (directed by Ryan Coogler)
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o
Synopsis: This installment in the long running Marvel Cinematic Universe follows T’Challa, heir to the hidden kingdom of Wakanda, as he has to step forward and lead his country into the future as the hero the Black Panther.
Prediction: Marvel Studios is still putting out their best work even after 10 years with this film becoming the first superhero film ever to be nominated for best picture. Although this film has mainly been receiving awards for its technical achievements like production design and original score, I believe it has a fighting chance for taking home the big award.
BlacKkKlansman (directed by Spike Lee)
Starring: John David Washington, Adam Driver and Laura Harrier
Synopsis: Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, Colo., successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Lee’s film is based on a true story.
Prediction: A great film to say the least, probably my personal favorite out of these due to its writing, characters and endless style. Even though this film has many great attributes, I can see it taking home a best adapted screenplay award instead of the coveted best picture award.
Bohemian Rhapsody (directed by Bryan Singer)
Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton and Gwilym Lee
Synopsis: The story of the legendary rock band Queen and its lead singer Freddie Mercury.
Prediction: A flawed but fun film led with a great soundtrack and an incredible lead performance by Rami Malek most likely has a very low chance of taking home Best Picture due to its stiff competition within the category. But a best actor trophy is almost guaranteed for Malek.
The Favourite (directed by Yorgos Lanthimos)
Starring: Olivia Coleman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz
Synopsis: In 18th-Century England, two young women fight to be the favorite servant to the frail Queen Anne.
Prediction: A unique and dark film that is full of beautiful cinematography and brilliant performances. Although this film has won several awards at the British Academy Film & Television Awards, it is unlikely that it will take home the Oscar for best picture.
Roma (directed by Alfonso Cuarón)
Starring: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira and Diego Cortina Autrey
Synopsis: A year in the life of a family’s maid in Mexico City in the 1970s.
Prediction: This film is almost guaranteed to win the best picture award on Oscar night. It has won best picture at numerous other award ceremonies, and it is a truly beautiful film.
Green Book (directed by Peter Farrelly)
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali and Linda Cardellini
Synopsis: An Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of the 1960s American South.
Prediction: This film boasts great performances and a ton of heart. It has been one of the award season favorites for many voters, so there is a chance that this one could take home the best picture award.
Vice (directed by Adam McKay)
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Steve Carell
Synopsis: The story of Dick Cheney from his days as a Washington Insider to becoming Vice President alongside George W. Bush.
Prediction: A fast-paced energetic film with an amazing transformation from Christian Bale, who becomes Cheney. Out of all the films nominated, I believe this film has the lowest chance of winning best picture. But it will for sure win in other categories such as best editing and best makeup and hairstyling.
The 91st Annual Academy Awards will air on ABC Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. (EST). Tune in to see if my predictions were right.
Contact Justin Little at JULITTLE@augusta.edu.