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Celebrities & Stars, Arts, Movies & TV

All the nominated movies you NEED to see before The Oscars

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Cassie Gill Feb 05, 2019 9:00 am

The most important event in Hollywood is just three weeks away — we’re talking about The Academy Awards, of course.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on the nominated films, get that popcorn ready because you’ve still got plenty of time to binge. Here’s our cheat sheet of the must-see films before Oscar Sunday, happening on Feb. 24.

Black Panther

Nominations:
– Best motion picture of the year
– Achievement in costume design
– Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
– Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song – “All The Stars” performed by Kendrick Lamar and SZA)
– Achievement in production design
– Achievement in sound editing
– Achievement in sound mixing

Perhaps the most brow-raising nom on the Best Picture list, Black Panther makes history as the first-ever superhero film to get the nod. The is also the first Best Picture nomination for Marvel, which released its first film way back in 1944. Set in the fictional African country of Wakanda (I repeat, FICTIONAL — please do not become one of these people trying to book a flight), the film centers around Chadwick Bosemen’s T’Challa (Black Panther’s actual name), who returns home to become King of his super-cool futuristic nation.

Even if you haven’t diligently followed the Marvel-verse, the film is a standout in the franchise for its production, writing and performances — suffice to say, Black Panther has certainly earned its spot on the coveted Oscar list. Of note, the blockbuster didn’t take home any awards at the Golden Globes, but the film won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Oh, and if you needed another reason to stream it: Michael B. Jordan.

A Star is Born

Nominations:
– Best motion picture of the year
– Performance by an actor in a leading role – Bradley Cooper
– Performance by an actress in a leading role – Lady Gaga
– Performance by an actor in a supporting role – Sam Elliott
– Achievement in cinematography
– Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song – “Shallow” performed by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga)
– Achievement in sound mixing
– Adapted screenplay

If you haven’t heard of this musical-drama starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, you’re officially living under a rock. A remake of the Barbara Streisand classic, the Cooper-directed flick follows the story of a struggling singer, Ally (Lady Gaga), who becomes an international sensation after meeting country star on the decline, Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper). As you’d expect, they fall in love but drama ensues as Maine battles addictions to drugs and alcohol.

An early favoured contender for Awards Season, the flick disappointed at the Golden Globes, taking home only 1 of its 5 noms for Best Original Song – Motion Picture…which was kind of a given. If you’re one of those people that consider the Globes to be a preview of the Oscars, it’s not looking up for A Star is Born, which also went home empty-handed at the SAGs, where they had four nominations. At the very least, listen to the stellar soundtrack, particularly the smash hit “Shallow.”

Roma

Nominations:
– Best motion picture of the year
– Performance by an actress in a leading role – Yalitza Aparicio
– Performance by an actress in a supporting role – Marina de Tavira
– Achievement in directing – Alfonso Cuarón
– Best foreign language film of the year (Mexico)
– Achievement in cinematography
– Achievement in production design
– Achievement in sound editing
– Achievement in sound mixing
– Original screenplay

With 10 nominations, no studio is more excited to be at the Oscars this year than streaming-giant Netflix. Heavily influenced by director Alfonso Cuarón’s real-life upbringing, the film takes its name from the Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City . Set in the 1970’s, the story follows central character Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), who is a young domestic worker working for a family in the middle-class area.

An Academy favourite, Cuarón won an Oscar for directing on 2014’s Gravity (which was also nominated for Best Picture, but didn’t win). If it wins, Roma would also make history — and a statement — as the first Best Picture winner on a streaming platform.

Green Book

Nominations:
– Best motion picture of the year
– Performance by an actor in a leading role – Viggo Mortensen
– Performance by an actor in a supporting role – Mahershala Ali
– Original screenplay
– Achievement in film editing

Academy Award winners Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali star in this period film, which performed well at the Golden Globes: Ali took home an award for Best Supporting Actor (as well as a Supporting Actor win at the SAGs last weekend), and the film also took him trophies for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Screenplay.

Set in 1962, Green Book follows Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) a world-class African-American pianist, as he’s about to embark on a concert tour from Manhattan through the Deep South. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian-American from the Bronx, is hired to drive Shirley through the tour, and together, they must follow “The Green Book” to guide them to safe establishments for African-Americans.

Based on his two wins this month, and his Oscar for Moonlight, Ali has a strong chance at taking home an award. Of note, Mortensen has been nominated in the Best Actor category twice before — in 2008 for Eastern Promises and in 2017 for Captain Fantastic — but has never taken home the prize.

The Favourite

Nominations:
– Best motion picture of the year
– Performance by an actress in leading role – Olivia Colman
– Performance by an actress in a supporting role – Emma Stone
– Performance by an actress in a supporting role – Rachel Weisz
– Original screenplay
– Achievement in directing – Yorgos Lanthimos
– Achievement in film editing
– Achievement in production design
– Achievement in cinematography
– Achievement in costume design

With 10 nominations, this 18th-century black comedy is sure to walk away with an Oscar or two. Starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone, the film is a lengthy but humorous take on the court of the diva-esque Queen Anne (Colman), as two young women (Stone and Weisz) compete to become her “favourite.” The performances by all three lead women are stellar, and the stunning costumes and sumptuous sets are a feast for the eyes. British-actor Joe Alwyn, the current boyfriend of Taylor Swift, is also hilarious as a social-climbing court member.

On the awards front, Stone has been honoured with a Best Actress win before for her role in La La Land — and Weisz took home a Supporting Actress trophy in 2005 for The Gardener. Stone, Weisz and Colman were all nominated at the Golden Globes this year, however, Colman took home the sole award for The Favourite in the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Motion Picture category — suggesting she may be a lead contender at the Academy Awards. The film was also nominated for three SAGs (one for each of the leads), but went home empty-handed.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Nominations:

– Best motion picture of the year
– Performance by an actor in a leading role – Rami Malek
– Achievement in film editing
– Achievement in sound editing
– Achievement in sound mixing

A celebration of the band Queen and their music, Bohemian Rhapsody is a scripted re-telling of the band’s meteoric rise to fame, as well as the life and solo career of iconic lead singer, Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek. Directed by Bryan Singer, the film delves into the group’s revolutionary sound, and the band’s eventual reunion.

Off-screen, the movie has faced controversy: director Bryan Singer was forced to step down prior to the film’s wrap date over allegations of sexual assault involving a 17-year-old boy. There are also a number of inaccuracies in the film — for instance, the group did not break-up prior to their iconic 1985 performance at Live Aid. Further, the film depicts Mercury informing his bandmates of his AIDS diagnosis right before Live Aid, but according to Mercury’s partner at the time, he wasn’t actually diagnosed until 1987.

Malek has performed well on the awards circuit, taking home Best Actor wins at both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. This is also the fourth Best Picture nomination for producer Graham King, who last won an Oscar for The Departed in 2006. Whether you’re a fan of Queen or not, there’s no denying the band’s heavy influence on multiple genres of music and artists of today, which is reason enough to watch this flick.

Vice

Nominations:
– Best motion picture of the year
– Performance by an actor in a leading role – Christian Bale
– Performance by an actor in a supporting role – Sam Rockwell
– Performance by an actress in a supporting role – Amy Adams
– Achievement in directing – Adam McKay
– Original screenplay
– Achievement in film editing
– Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

Vice is perhaps the most topical of this year’s nominations. The film stars a brilliant Christian Bale (yes, of Batman) as former US Vice President Dick Cheney on his rise to becoming one of the most powerful politicians in American history. If the first thing that comes to mind when hearing “Dick Cheney” is the infamous 2006 hunting incident — in which Cheney accidentally shot his friend, a 78-year-old attorney — you can bet that’s included.

This is Amy Adams’ sixth (!!!) Oscar nomination, and Christian Bale’s fourth — though he did win in 2010 for The Fighter. Producers of the film have previously won Academy Awards for 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Moonlight (2016). Bale took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, but lost at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

BlacKkKlansman

Nominations:

– Best motion picture of the year
– Performance by an actor in a supporting role – Adam Driver
– Achievement in directing – Spike Lee
– Adapted screenplay
– Achievement in film editing
– Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

Produced and directed by Spike Lee, the six-time nominated film takes place in 70s Colorado Springs, and follows the city’s first African American detective, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), as he attempts to uncover members of the local Ku Klux Klan.

Gaining the support of a Jewish man, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), Stallworth begins to infiltrate the KKK group with the goal of ultimately exposing them. Alec Baldwin, Topher Grace and Corey Hawkins also star. While the film was nominated for four Golden Globes and three SAGs, it hasn’t won any major awards so far.

Notable mentions:
If Beale Street Could Talk didn’t earn a Best Picture nomination from the Academy (it was, however, nominated at the Globes) —  but Regina King is nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and the film sees three nominations overall. Can You Ever Forgive Me? — starring Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy is nominated in three categories, including one for McCarthy in Best Actress in a Leading Role and a second for Grant under Best Supporting Actor. Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns also sees four nominations for costume, music, and production — but no nods in any major categories.

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