Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman)
Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round)
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari)
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a category which had a clear front runner throughout the entire awards season and it won’t be much of a surprise come award night.
5. David Fincher
4. Thomas Vinterberg
3. Emerald Fennell
2. Lee Isaac Chung
1. Chloé Zhao
5. Mank – Powerful biopic that tries to give solid answers to the myths surrounding the making of Citizen Kane (1941). The cast is superb here and Oldman shines in the title role. The production and set pieces of this film are done extremely well and are able to transport us back to the ruthless Hollywood of the 1930’s, warts and all. The choice to film this in black and white helps bring forth the classic feel of the story and also finds a way to ground the story in a long gone era. The biggest problem with this film is its non-linear story that jumps back and forth through time on a whim, yet still helps establish how Mank was able to put all of his ideas together for the epic story of that would be Kane.
4. Another Round – Very interesting film that has a bold premise that just isn’t engaging enough.. Seeing the way that these characters deal with their mid life crisis has its moments, yet most of the time, the story just doesn’t flow well enough.
3. Promising Young Woman – The film is quite clever in the way that it plays out in a methodically planned out way. The characters are mostly superficial besides the lead one played really well by Mulligan. The pacing is slightly off and there are a few points where the story drags and lingers a bit too much. The story itself is presented in a very choppy manner which is done in order to conceal some of the surprises along the way.
2. Minari – Very intriguing film that quite surprised me as to how engaging it was. The cast is great and they truly help us get so involved in the story and characters as things unfold in ways one might expect. The story is able to stay quite captivating throughout and allows for us to feel something that seems both unique and familiar because of the Korean twist on the typical immigrant story that is presented here.
1. Nomadland – Intriguing film that is even more powerful due to the fact that it is based on people who really live like this. McDormand is superb in the lead role and manages to help make things feel even more realistic as the story unfolds. They are able to give us some great characters who each have their own tales of how they came to this kind of lifestyle and it actually helps make things even more powerful to see how they all live their lives. The film does a wonderful job showing the plight of people who’s lives have been changed by the economic situation, yet find ways to deal with it and still be content with the way they lead their lives. The cinematography is spectacular and shows some really gorgeous views of the country for us to savor.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! Zhao does such a great job here and is definitely the best of the group of nominees this year.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!