Academy Award Nomination Highlights

The 2019-2020 film year saw some of the greatest releases of the 2010s even as the decade drew to a close. From a shockingly poignant dark comedy about a member of the Hitler Youth to a beautifully innovative interpretation of a classic novel, this year celebrated the visions of the artist like no other, and nowhere is the sheer diversity of good options as evident as it is in the Academy Award nominations. Here are my predictions of some key films that should perform well in the upcoming ceremony:

  • 1917 (dir. Sam Mendes – 9 nominations) – This film stands out among its competitors for telling a story of gritty realism grounded in the oft-forgotten trenches of World War One, in addition to the technical marvel of the entire film being carefully shot to appear as though it occurs in one take.
  • Parasite (dir. Bong Joon Ho – 9 nominations) – This South Korean flick took global audiences by storm when it told the intricate, often psychotic, and utterly fascinating tale of a poor family slowly infiltrating a wealthy family’s household.
  • Jojo Rabbit (dir. Taika Waititi – 5 nominations) – This dark comedy, revolving around a member of the Hitler Youth coming to understand that his dearest beliefs are based in ignorance and prejudice, hits surprisingly hard with an emotional final act.
  • The Irishman (dir. Martin Scorcese – 9 nominations) – This crime film, released specially on Netflix, marked a strong return for director Martin Scorcese, following the life and disappearance of union leader Jimmy Hoffa.
  • Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (dir. Quentin Tarantino – 9 nominations) – This film, radically different than Quentin Tarantino’s characteristic philosophical violence, follows the death of Old Hollywood through the filter of a character-driven Western.

Additionally impressive were some of this year’s performances by actors. Here are some phenomenal artists who stand a good chance of winning an Oscar:

  • Scarlett Johanson – nominated for both best actress and best supporting actress, she stunned critics and audiences alike for her performances in Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit.
  • Joaquin Phoenix – nominated for best actor, Phoenix underwent serious physical alterations and vocal training to create the skinny body and painful laughter that the titular Joker experiences.
  • Tom Hanks – nominated for best supporting actor, Hanks does an excellent job of capturing the warmth and friendliness of Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
  • Saoirse Ronan – nominated for best actress, Ronan portrays a witty, sharp-tongued, fiercely intellectual Jo March, providing a fresh take on the feisty writer who inspired so many young girls in Little Women.

Jasmine Wheeler ’20

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