8. Bohemian Rhapsody
This is a genuinely bad movie. The only thing exceptional about it is Rami Malek, the rest of the movie is either poorly done, or at best, uninspired. For the life of me, I do not understand what the Academy sees here. Are they just massive fans of Queen? If so, one would think that they would dislike this movie more, since they would realize how much they botched the story of the band.
It may be the first time a biopic has ever been historically inaccurate in order to be more boring. Usually they will exaggerate moments to makes things more exciting, but in this case, they edited out the most exciting parts of Queen’s history. I do not go into a biopic looking for absolute accuracy or a history lesson, but they should at least try to tell the true story, and if they do make changes, not do so for the sake of being boring.
This movie is so safe and cookie cutter, it is almost insulting. The real story of Queen could be so interesting. Freddie Mercury is a fascinating figure. But they turned his journey to stardom into a pg-13 bore.
And that is not the only problem, it is also edited to hell, as I talked about when I predicted what film would win Best Film Editing. The other acting pales compared to Rami. It is cliche as hell, even pulling the dumb character coughs into tissue and sees blood thing.
It is bad, and it is a joke it was nominated for Best Picture. I could name a long list of movies that came out this year that would deserve a nomination before this. It also has no chance of winning. Not only because it is bad, but because the director is an abusive prick who has had multiple accusers come out against him. I very much doubt the Academy wants to deal with the backlash of giving that POS an Oscar.
It was….. fine.
I enjoyed parts, it got a laugh out of me, the makeup was amazing, and Christain Bale was fantastic. But that is about all I could say that is positive. The editing is overbearing, the plot is all over the place and seemingly has no through-line, and the parts that were not part of some joke were boring.
It was the typical Adam McKay movie. He makes okay movies that are often funny. I love Anchorman, The Other Guys, and Talladega Nights, but none of them are Oscar worthy, and neither is this. Adam McKay is a good comedy writer, but a boring director. Nothing about the direction of this movie is impressive.
And this isn’t even the funniest of his movies. It is another nomination I just do not get. It feels like they just went with the name power, instead of looking for the best movie.
But McKay was nominated for Best Director, and with 8 nominations overall, it does actually have a chance to win. I doubt it, but it is in the running. If Spotlight can somehow win, so can this.
6. Green Book
Once again, this was boooorrrrringggg
It is not bad, or poorly made, it just is not that interesting. It is pandering to the level of offensiveness. Inaccurate to the true story. It is the type of movie people write to please the stuffy old white dudes in the Academy. It lets them feel good about caring about racism, without actually challenging themselves or their own beliefs.
Not to get into identity politics, but maybe white dudes should not be the ones telling stories like this.
The acting from the two leads is good, but nothing else about this movie stands out in any way. But as I said, it is the type of movie the Academy eats up. it is Driving Miss Daisy. A fluffy story about a white guy learning that black people are okay after all, making the topic of racism feel good for the masses. And while general audiences are not putting up with this type of pandering bs anymore, the Academy may still be ok with it, so I am worried it will win since it did win at The Golden Globes. But what it has going against it, is Peter Farrelly is not nominated for Best Director. In fact, Argo was the only movie in this century to win the award without its director being nominated for Best Director. And it was only the 4th movie to ever do so. Usually, the Best Director will also end up holding up the Best Picture trophy. So that does not mean it stands no chance, just a very low chance of winning.
5. Black Panther
Black Panther is fine. To me, quality wise it is on par with the standard MCU movie. Competently made, but unremarkable. I do not think that it is technically good enough to be nominated for Best Picture. However I also clearly do not think it is the most egregious nomination.
I completely understand why people are so connected to it though. It is such an important cultural moment. So it being nominated, does not upset me. Not as upset as Bohemian Rhapsody being nominated makes me.
Black Panther is at the least more enjoyable than these other movies, and maybe even a little bit better made. It isn’t fantastic, but it represents an important cultural moment, that could significantly change the way Hollywood operates, hopefully inspiring more movies to embrace diversity, and showing diverse movies can be mega-blockbusters as well.
It will not win. Ryan Coogler was not nominated for Best Picture
4. A Star is Born
At one point, this may have been a front runner to win. It has Oscar Bait written all over it. But the lack of a showing at other Award Shows, and no Best Director Nomination for Bradley Cooper makes it a long shot.
Which is fine, because it is not really deserving of a win. The movie is fine. I enjoyed it. And while some things like the acting and music are remarkable, the movie overall is not. The story, directing, and film making, are all by the numbers. Nothing was shot in an interesting way, nothing was presented story wise in an interesting way. It was all just… fine.
Which is not a bad thing. Fine is okay. Not everything needs to be super artistic and amazing. It was a fun movie, that a lot of people enjoyed.
It has been nominated for 8 awards, but I do not think it will actually win many of them. Bradley Cooper can maybe win, though I doubt it. The Song will win, and sound mixing might win. The other 5, it will surely lose.
As I have said before, I like this movie. It has a super interesting story to tell and does so in a very entertaining way.
The editing is really clever, the score is great, it has some very good performances, and is actually really funny. This is the first movie on the list that I would not be upset to see win. I do not think it is at the level of the next two movies, but it is genuinely good.
What it has going for it, as far as its chances go, is director Spike Lee has also been nominated, and we have already covered that bein nominated/ winning Best Director is one of the most important indicators of what will win Best Picture.
What it has going against it, is of the 8 nominees, it has the second lowest number of total nominations. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Score, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor. Its poor showing in the technical awards is also a poor sign. The Best Picture Winner tends to receive more noms than that. But, it does at least have a chance.
And now we get to the true contenders. Roma and The Favourite stand out immensely from the other two.
Roma is a masterpiece. It sounds beautiful, looks beautiful, and every movement of the camera, every cut, every moment, just feels so deliberate and thought out.
Now I can understand why some would not get a lot out of this. It is not for everyone. The average viewer may watch this, and be a little bored, but it is still extremely well made.
Hell, I didn’t even truly love this movie. But I do recognize just how well made it is. One should be able to separate personal enjoyment from judging the art.
As for its chances of winning, I like them. It is tied for first, with the Favourite, with the most nominations, at 10 a piece. Director Alfonso Cuaron got nominated, and it is nominated in all of the tech awards except for Film Editing.
One thing against it, no Foreign Language Film has ever won Best Picture. But, most Foreign Films are not nominated because of the rules, as it is required to have an American release to be eligible for Best Picture. I think this could be the one to break through, and certainly has a better chance than any foreign language film before it.
1. The Favourite
My favorite movie of the year, I promise to stop making that pun now.
It is darkly funny, extremely well made, with amazing acting. In fact, one could argue this movie has the 3 best performances over all of the entire year. Olivia Coleman was outstanding, and Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz were not to be outdone either.
I have been a fan of Yorgos Lanthimos for a long time, but I think this is his best work, certainly his most accessible work. The Lobster and Killing of a Sacred Deer are great, but a little bit niche for the general audiences.
The Favourite though, while still a little weird, is weird in an endearing way that a lot of people can get behind. And that is why the Academy finally recognized him. Can his movie win though? Maybe. The 10 total nominations including one for Best Director certainly bodes well. The Movie also got nominations in things like cinematography, film editing, original screenplay, Lead and supporting actress, costume design, and production design. If it starts rattling off wins in those categories early in the show, it will bode even better.
There are so many movies more deserving than some of the movies nominated, that I will be doing a separate article on movies Snubbed for Best Picture. I don’t think the Academy has ever gotten the nomination for Best Picture more wrong.