It’s that time of year again. The greatest Hollywood stars put on their best attire and walk the red carpet in hopes of gaining recognition and praise for their work on the year’s greatest films.
With so many quality films, it’s hard to choose which one should be announced as the “best.” Let’s take a look into the nominees for this year’s Oscars awards; I’ll give my take on who should go home with the golden trophy.
Before we begin, you might be wondering...who even picks the Oscar nominees/winners? According to Variety, there are currently 8,469 eligible Oscar voters, all of whom belong to specific voting categories. Each category nominates for its respective group – for instance, directors nominate directors and so forth. Winners are voted on by all eligible Oscar voters. The most prestigious category, best picture, is the only exception. It is nominated and voted on by all voting members.
Nine films are nominated for best picture: “Ford v. Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “1917,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Parasite.” They all include some of our favorite stars but some are definitely an acquired taste.
There’s a difference between who will win and who should win. I can acknowledge who the general public and Oscar voters might be inclined to vote for. However, based on my own taste, those two lists don’t overlap.
For instance, my favorite films from the best picture list are “Joker” and “Little Women.” However, my friends don’t necessarily agree with that and the Oscar voters may not either.
Joaquin Phoenix perfectly encapsulates the broken, insecure lead in “Joker,” a heartbreaking, dark journey that brings a troubled man through the depths of despair, exemplifying the lengths people will go to when they feel voiceless.
“Little Women,” beautifully adapted the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, featuring an all-star cast including Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet and Laura Dern. The wonderful family dynamics and the heartbreaking yet uplifting romantic storylines left me overjoyed. However, the intimate, personal story of the film contrasts the long list of nominated films that gravitate toward a more grand, epic feeling.
Many of my peers and family members were discussing “Parasite” and “1917.” Contrary to who I’d like to see take home awards, I think one of these films will actually win.
Despite the language barrier, “Parasite” took audiences by storm, grossing a whopping $376,264 during its U.S. opening weekend from three theaters.
John Hayeck, a Cinema and Media Studies student, strongly believes “Parasite” will take home the best picture win due to its diverse filmmaking.
“We’ve seen a lot of war films win in the past,” Hayeck said.
“Parasite” winning would be the first exclusively Korean cast win, and the first international feature to win best picture.”
Hayeck’s prediction is a common one among USC students. Majority of students in my business club agree that “Parasite” will take home the award. The others said “1917” will take home the big win.
While I am unsure if “1917” will take home best picture, I do believe director, Sam Mendes, will take home the best director win for the film.
The British epic war film looks like it was done in one-shot and adds something new to the war drama thriller. With its Directors Guild Award win, it’s very likely to continue the pattern and win best director at the Oscars.
The Tarantino film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” definitely deserves some recognition as well. It’s a top contender for the big award. With an all-star cast, featuring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino, this comedy-drama represents the history and ever-changing landscape of Hollywood.
Let’s talk animation for a second. Everything points to "Toy Story 4” winning for best animated feature film. I mean, how could you not love Forky? But for real, few sequels can measure up to the original film. However, this fourth installment to the classic Pixar series really does stack up against the rest and is a touching, amusing film in its own right.
While there are many predictions for winners going into the awards show Sunday night, all I can say is- may the best film come out on top.