A Guide to the Best Picture Nominees

With the 92nd Academy Awards on Feb. 9 quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to get up to date on the buzz surrounding each of the nine nominees for Best Picture. Read on for some background on the recognized films, along with where you can binge of them before award night.

“Parasite”

It makes perfect sense as to why this dark, comedic thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho was nominated for Best Picture — and more — at this year’s Oscars. “Parasite” is a story that revolves around the gap between the wealthy and the poor and the discrimination that comes along with it. This South Korean film follows the Park family as they struggle living in poverty and turn to an opportunity to work for a wealthy family. While working for this family, the Park’s end up in an indescribable incident that you must see for yourself.

Photo from Filmcomment.com

Bong Joon-ho created a dynamic story with so many layers and meanings about society today, all while capturing humor, comedy and sacrifice. The supporting actors truly made an ensemble out of the cast. “Parasite” made history as the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

You can see the mesmerizing detail created by Bong Joon-ho in a theater near you.

“The Irishman”

Coming in at nearly 3.5 hours long, Martin Scorsese directed a tale that recounts the life of truck driver, Frank Sheeran, and his journey working with the Bufalino crime family. The film navigates Frank’s life, from his mob beginnings and how he was eventually involved with the disappearance of his friend, Jimmy Hoffa. Martin Scorsese has created a reflective, nostalgic and gripping crime epic with “The Irishman.”

Photo from Netflix.com

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are the frontmen of this thriller. The characters they bring to life from the book, “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt, are portrayed in a way that is mesmerizing to watch. Scorsese successfully made this film feel like Frank Sheeran is sitting down one-on-one with the viewer to recount his crime-filled life. From the impressive visual effects and overall look of the film, to the captivating storytelling, this movie is a must-see.

You can stream “The Irishman” on Netflix.

“Marriage Story”

The best way to describe this film is that it is a sentimental love story about divorce. Directed by Noah Baumbach, actors Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver play Nicole and Charlie, a young couple on the brink of a coast-to- coast divorce. From being in love and starting a family, to separating from one another to live on different sides of the United States, “Marriage Story” follows each and every step of a divorce.

Photo from Variety.com

The first five minutes of this film is filled with emotion poured out by Scar-Jo, and a gut-wrenching performance by Adam Driver. The scene-setting introduction is what makes this story come to life in a way that cannot be put into words. There are so many moments throughout this movie that will strike a cord in audience’s heartstrings. Due to the immaculate screenplay by Noah Baumbach, this film feels so raw and honest. At times you might forget that you are watching a movie, as it feels so genuine and real.

“Marriage Story” is available to stream on Netflix.

“Ford v Ferrari”

Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in the standout “Ford v Ferrari” directed by James Mangold. This period drama follows an American automotive designer, Carroll Shelby, and a British race car driver, Ken Miles, who team up to build a new racing car in hopes to defeat the impressive Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans Race in France.

Photo from Collide.com

There are plenty of laughs, adventures, emotions and thrills all balanced throughout the fim. Even if you are not a fan of cars, you might still find yourself enjoying this movie because of its presented themes, such as the beauty of friendship.

“Ford v Ferrari” will be available for purchase on digital platforms starting Jan. 28th, 2020.

“Joker”

Joaquin Phoenix plays striving comedian Arthur Fleck, who has spent a lifetime feeling shut-out and lonely. Director Todd Phillips gives audiences insight on Arthur’s life and how he fell into madness becoming the criminal, “Joker.” This movie becomes increasingly incredibly dark and disturbing as the audience watches Arthur self-destruct into a shattered and broken man.

Photo from Philadelphiainquier.com

Watching “Joker” is definitely a unique experience that will leave you with wide eyes and an overall sense of “what just happened?”. It is a piece that will have you thinking about the complexity of it for the rest of your day. “Joker” is the perfect example of a film that keeps you captivated from start to finish.

“Joker” is available to rent and buy on most streaming platforms and cable services.

“1917”

“1917” is an outstanding film that excels in cinematography due to its “single-shot” style. Set during World War I, this film follows two British soldiers on a mission to deliver an important message that requires them to travel through German territory in a short amount of time. Directed by Sam Mendes, this movie is unlike any other war drama. From the electric score by Thomas Newton and the creative mind of cinematographer Roger Deakins, “1917” is hands down one of the most extraordinary films of 2019.

Photo from Slashfilm.com

This movie is more heavily based in cinematography and the journey of the British soldiers rather than dialogue, yet there is so much emotion in each and every scene. A clear story about friendship and sacrifice is told, and it really pulls at your heartstrings. You will be on the edge of your seat throughout, as it is such a jarring and hair-raising film.

Since “1917” was recently released, you cannot stream this one yet, so go to your local movie theater to support this film!

“Little Women”

Greta Gerwig has created a precious and timeless adaption of the the classic novel, “Little Women.” From start to finish this film will fill your heart with joy and warmth. Gerwig tells the tale of the March sisters and their paths into womanhood in pre- and post-Civil War times. It mainly follows the life of Jo March, played by Saoirse Ronan, and how she navigates love and her passion for writing.

Photo from Screendaily.com

The dazzling cast comprised of Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Emma Roberts, Eliza Scanlen and Meryl Streep is a top reason why this film is so endearing to watch.

Due to its recent release date, you can watch “Little Women” at your nearest movie theater.

“Jojo Rabbit”

Taika Waititi directed this satirical, dark comedy in the time of Nazi Germany. The main character of this film is Jojo, played by young actor Roman Griffin Davis who discovers his mother, Scarlett Johansson, is secretly protecting a young Jewish girl in their home attic. Jojo struggles with this at first, since his imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler and that he is actually in Hitler’s army, but Jojo begins to evaluate his beliefs.

Photo from IMBD.com

The energy from Roman Griffin Davis adds to a film that is otherwise enjoyable watch, as it is so outrageous and over the top due to satirical elements. If you love a good dark comedy, add “Jojo Rabbit” to your watchlist.

“Jojo Rabbit” is currently playing in theaters.

“Once Upon a Time In…Hollywood”

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film takes audiences on a colorful adventure of stardom in the 1960s. The movie is centered around well-loved television actor Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is at a loss for his career. He does not recognize what Hollywood has become ever since his rise in the 50s and ultimately, his fall in the 60s. Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt, is his longtime friend and stunt double who helps Dalton navigate through this time of his life.

Photo from Polygon.com

“Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” is definitely a film to watch if you want a trip back in time to the golden age of cinema. It is unique and different in many ways, from the story line to the characters themselves, which makes it an interesting watch.

You can rent and buy this movie on most cable services.

The Road to the Oscars

Whew…so many great films made it into the most anticipated category this year. At this point in the award season it is predicted that this category could go to “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” or “1917.” However, keep an eye out for “Parasite.”

The Best Picture category sometimes overlaps with the other big award of the night, Best Director. “1917” director Sam Mendes has won multiple awards in this category at other shows throughout the season, which helps his chances of winning Best Picture. Mendes has competition in “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho, as he has been in talks of possibly having a chance of grabbing Best Director.

The 92nd Academy Awards will premiere on Feb. 9, 2020 at 8:00 PM EST on ABC.

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