The Oscars, still by far the biggest event in Hollywood, will take place tonight. As we know one of the hosts of the event, actress Amy Schumer – amidst the praise of movies – will not avoid unpleasant topics and will certainly focus on the war between Russia and Ukraine. Online, she had wanted to invite Zelensky himself to the evening, but the organisers refused. But let’s take a look at the films nominated for Best Picture! Here’s our (very) subjective ranking of the nominees.
- West Side Story
The big loser of the film is the 20-year-old female lead Rachel Zegler, who was left out by the studio and didn’t feel it was important to invite her to the event. Consider yourself lucky that she was chosen by the great Spielberg out of 30,000 applicants, you don’t even have to take the red carpet right away! The 1957 classic won 10 Oscars at the time, but this time it’s certainly not going to be so many, with only a few of the 7 nominations in the category. However, it could fare similarly to The Colour Purple (1985), which was nominated in 11 categories but failed to win any of them.
- Don’t Look Up!
There were 10 Netflix films in the running this year, and this star-studded satire was the biggest hit, receiving four nominations in total. Adam McKay’s comedy about a comet that threatens our planet and, of course, all of humanity, is a real piece of nonsense that has the viewer laughing at themselves.
- King Richard
The film based on the story of the Williams sisters has picked up six nominations, of which Will Smith is probably the most likely to be nominated: he’s a big favourite with two previous nominations (Ali, In Search of Happiness) behind him, and while I personally wasn’t a fan of his performance, another favourite, Sandra Bullock’s Oscar-winning performance, is another favourite… so why not…
Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographically inspired black-and-white film has been mentioned by many as a parallel to Alfonso Cuarón’s 2018 masterpiece, Roma, and for good reason. That’s why we’re not predicting much success for the film, which is up for 7 awards, Judi Dench’s ninth and director Branagh’s eighth.
- Liquorice Pizza
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, nominated for 3 awards, takes us back to the 1970s, as he did in Boogie Nights and Inherent Vice. It’s a serene, funny, nostalgic work that is more than a romantic teenage movie, transporting us scene by scene into a new world that we’re eager to immerse ourselves in.
- Drive for me
Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s film probably wouldn’t have been a Best Picture nominee ten years ago, but since the Academy is open to international films, and two years ago Parasite was voted Best Picture, we have a very interesting Japanese film that will certainly win the Foreign Language category, if not here!
- Nightmare Alley
Four years ago, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water was the winner. Nightmare Alley is a great film, but it starts the night with much less chance than the director’s previous film. The film, starring Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett, received four nominations.
One of the big and pleasant surprises of the evening may be this low-budget Sundance film, a French remake (La Famille Bélier) that was loved by both audiences and critics. A heart-warming family drama, a true cinematic experience that will be relieved and not forgotten, its three nominations are worth taking seriously! The screenplay is excellent and Troy Kotsur’s acting is quite extraordinary!
- The Power of the Dog
The frontrunner in this category is Jane Campion’s boundary-pushing, twisty, fresh and powerful western, which could win not only Best Picture but also the acting categories: Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant, playing a very different character to the one he played in 2015 when he was nominated for The Imitation Game. Among the twelve nominated actors are Kristen Dunst’s husband Jesse Plemons, who has been undeservedly overlooked, and a brand-new talent, Kodi Smith-McPhee.
Probably the biggest hit of the year was Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune, nominated for 10 awards. Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic had already given David Lynch a run for his money. What Lynch couldn’t quite pull off, Villeneuve has now put together! The French director has a proven track record in the genre (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049), and he’s cemented his status as a master of sci-fi by bringing us a world we loved watching and would love to dive into again… and will, but only in 2023.