The Oscars are almost here and the anticipation about the winners has been increasing with every passing day. This year, the ceremony has found itself muddled in one or the other form of controversy (facing the most recent backlash for the four categories it tried to get over with while the commercials played on the screen). Overall, anyway, it seems a rather decent year. The award for the Best Picture is the most important award of the ceremony. People can make their peace if one actor wins over the other, and arguments can justify anything that seems unfair in other categories. But the Best Picture is an entirely different matter. It is the most important decision of the year, and if it goes to the wrong film, well, the whole thing seems wasted. That’s why we delved deeply into Best Picture race to predict which film will win the Best Picture.
Before the award is handed out, you must judge all the nominees for yourself. You don’t want to be left behind in the post-Oscar discussions. To make matters simple for you, we have rounded up the sources where you can watch these films:
8. Green Book (2018)
Set in the early 60s, ‘Green Book’ tells the story of an unusual friendship between a talented pianist and his short-term driver and bodyguard. Don Shirley was a famous classical and jazz pianist. He was to embark on an eight-week tour which would take him to the Deep South, which wasn’t a safe place for a black man, no matter what his social status in the North. To keep him safe from the dangers of the prejudiced environment in the South, Shirley needed someone who could handle trouble. Tony Lip was just that guy. Tony Vallelonga had been working as a bouncer before the nightclub was shut down, and he had been looking for a new job. Shirley and Tony form a pair of poles apart personality. The two men couldn’t have been more different. But the experiences that they share in their travels bring them to an understanding that changes both of their lives.
This film is based on a true story and is one of the must-watch films of the year. It did raise some controversy, and compared to its competitors, it seems rather unlikely that it will receive the coveted Best Picture award. Nonetheless, it is a very good film, and quite entertaining at that. If there is one film with which you should start your Oscar binge, it is this.
7. Black Panther (2018)
We first saw ‘Black Panther’ trying to kill Captain America’s best friend in ‘Captain America: Civil War’. This minor introduction pointed towards the fact that a film was about to be served. Talks of bringing the story of the Prince of Wakanda had been in works for a very long time. It took time, but the wait was worth it. ‘Black Panther’ turned out to be a landmark in a number of ways. After smashing box-office records, it made history by becoming the first movie in the superhero genre to bag a nomination for the Best Picture award. For so long, superhero movies had been in what felt like a forbidden zone when it came to being considered for the category; and one could argue that there had been quite a few reasons for that. However, ‘Black Panther’ managed to break that stigma and while serving as a blockbuster, continuing the legacy of the previous MCU films, it also aimed to become a cultural landmark. From costumes to music, from a superhero story to a film with strong themes, ‘Black Panther’ proved to be an all-rounder and, no surprise bagged nominations in seven categories. If you had tried to keep up with the ever-increasing MCU’s storyline, you must have watched this film a year ago. Oscar fever is the perfect time to revisit this story.
6. Vice (2018)
Being a politician is not an easy task. It is a difficult place for the people who aren’t cunning, manipulative, power hungry, opportunity seekers and many, many more things that the job requires them to be. Dick Cheney could be considered most, if not all, of these things. He started as an intern and by the end of his career had served as one of the most, perhaps the only, powerful Vice Presidents of America. He held the position which didn’t really demand much of him. VP’s don’t hold much power when it comes to running the country. However, Dick Cheney took this opportunity to wield the power of the position that he knew he would never have, the power of the President of the USA. Working in the Bush administration, he was known to be the man behind most things. This film tells the story of how he got there. Christian Bale has played the role of Cheney, completely transforming himself, once again, for the role, and delivering an ecstatic performance. Directed by Adam McKay, who had previously helmed ‘The Big Short’ which had gained multiple Oscar nominations in its year, ‘Vice’ will show you how politics works while being massively entertaining.
5. A Star Is Born (2018)
A third adaptation of the original 1937 film had been in talks for a very long time. Directors and actors had been brought on and due to the lack of further development of the project, they left it soon after. The problem was finding a female lead, which was actually the most important and also the hardest choice for the film. (Beyoncé was supposed to star in the film when it was still in its earliest stages. Wonder how that would have worked out!) It was after Bradley Cooper attached himself with the project that it finally began to show some progress. And a couple of years later, we had the film that became an emotional roller-coaster ride while drowning us in the euphoria of its spellbinding music. ‘A Star Is Born’ tells the story of two musicians- one established, the other struggling to keep her faded dream alive. Jackson Maine sees Ally perform in a bar and he is mesmerised by her talent. He supports her to bring her talent forth in front of the whole world. As Ally rises to fame, Jackson’s own career takes a nosedive due to his problem with drugs and alcohol. What follows is a heart-breaking musical romance.[/caption]
4. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Queen is one of the most influential bands in the history of music. Their music took the world by storm and they quickly rose to fame because of their quest to keep experimenting with their music, not wanting to fix themselves to a particular form. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, named after one of the most popular songs of the band, focuses on the rise, the tests and the turmoil in the life of Queen’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Born in a Parsi-Indian family, Freddie had never been the one to follow conventions. He experimented with his looks as much as he experimented with his music. His stage presence was unparalleled, and along with his bandmates, he made Queen a brand in itself. Starting from the day he joined the band; the film sketches the growth of Queen to the circumstances of their dispute to their coming together for the iconic Live Aid performance. Rounding up all of their hits, from ‘We Are the Champions’ to ‘We Will Rock You’, the film is a tribute to one of the most successful bands of all time, and particularly to the genius of Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek has embodied Mercury’s character in this role, and the fans of Mercury will acknowledge the sincerity of Malek’s portrayal.
3. The Favourite (2018)
Yorgos Lanthimos’ films have a very eccentric character. From ‘Dogtooth’, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Film category, to ‘The Lobster’, Lanthimos’ stories often play close to the boundaries of what can be considered absurd, yet somehow, they tackle some very powerful themes in a refined manner. ‘The Favourite’ is one of those films. Set in the 18th century, it uses the background of Queen Anne’s court to set the stage for a very complicated love triangle. Olivia Colman, who is a very strong contender of the Best Actress award, played the role of the volatile Queen, who is quite easy to manipulate, yet harbours a temperament that keeps people around her on edge. Running the country in her name is the Duchess of Marlborough, played by Rachel Weisz, who is cunning, ruthless and manipulative, yet seems to actually love the Queen in her own twisted way. A crack comes in their relationship when Abigail, a distant relative of the Duchess, comes to work at the castle. With her own cunning, she quickly rises up the ladder and becomes a major contender in the power struggle that haunts the court. The three women get caught up in a game that doesn’t promise any winners.
2. BlacKkKlansman (2018)
The events shown in this film might seem quite an impossible feat, they are true, nonetheless. In the 70s, Colorado Springs hired its first African-American detective in the department. The city had become a stage for the struggle between the white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan, and the civil rights propagators fighting for Black Power. Amidst this, Ron Stallworth wanted to prove his mettle as a detective. His quest led him to take a bold step in which he talked himself into becoming a member of the Klan. The film follows the story of how Stallworth and his partner, Flip Zimmerman, take on the identity of a single person and infiltrate the ranks of the Organization. Though there are distortions in the accuracy of the film, most of the events are actually true. Spike Lee has created another gem in the form of ‘BlacKkKlansman’. Even though the film takes a satirical tone and presents its scenes and conversations in the manner that’ll make you laugh, it, time and again, emphasises on the message, connecting its relevance to today’s world. Spike Lee’s brilliance as a filmmaker is further attested by how a film can be fully entertaining yet thoroughly riveting at the same time.
1. Roma (2018)
‘Roma’ is an experience. No matter how much read in the reviews about its depth and substance, you will never fully grasp its idea until you actually watch it. Alfonso Cuarón has made all sorts of film over his career, but none of them has been as real and heartfelt as ‘Roma’. Drawing from the experiences of his own childhood, Cuarón developed a story about a middle-class family in the early 1970s in Mexico. Cleo works as a live-in maid for a family, where the father is often absent, and the mother struggles to deal with his distant nature. The children love Cleo and she loves them back. In her personal life, everything is as normal for Cleo as it can be. But as chaos begins to stir in the city, with the protests and the mayhem, the events in Cleo’s life also mirror this unrest. Sincere, ingenious, soulful and modest- ‘Roma’ is the heartfelt portrayal of life as we know it. If you haven’t seen it, then you have missed the essence of cinema (of the year, at least!)
You can watch ‘Roma’ on Netflix.