Here are the eight nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Judas and The Black messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year where the films seem somewhat lackluster, but they still managed to give us some entertaining films. There has been one front runner over the past few months, but due to the Preferential Ballot system, until the envelope s opened, we’ll never know who the winner could be.
Judas and The Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
8. 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
7. Judas and the Black Messiah – Great biopic that allows us to see the way that both the Black Panthers and the FBI work from the inside. The story shows how someone can start of doing on job but after getting exposed to the ‘enemy’, he can realize that things are never so clear as day and night. The fact that this is based on a true story adds even more to the suspense of it all.
6. 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.
5. 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.
4. Sound of Metal – They do a wonderful job telling this story in a very realistic fashion which helps keep it so enjoyable to watch. The acting is superb and both Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci are amazingly genuine and powerful in their roles. I am not surprised at all that they both have been mentioned quite often in award nomination discussions for their work on this film. They help make the story and characters feel even more powerful and poignant in all that they say or so here.
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. The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Amazing film that works even better on subsequent viewings. Aaron Sorkin is a superb writer and director and it’s easy to see his adept hand in this film. The script is based on the transcripts of the trial and it’s great that that fact is publicized because otherwise it would be hard to believe some of the things that happen here along the way. The story plays out really well and they do a wonderful job keeping the story anchored and focused in the courtroom.
1. The Father – This is a film that blew me away when I first saw it two weeks ago and have been itching to rewatch ever since because it was so powerful and poignant throughout. After watching this not long ago, I declared that this was my favorite film of 2020 and this rewatch helps reinforce that idea because it is such an incredibly made film. Anthony Hopkins is superb in the lead role and this is one of his very best performances because of the way that the story unfolds.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Nomadland is a fine film, but I’m still not sold on the fact that this film is the best of the year.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!