Updated: April 25, 2021 12:01:07 pm
Oscars, bestowed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honour the best in American and world cinema every year. This year, they were supposed to be held in February, but were delayed to April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now that we are done predicting winners in other categories, now is the time for the big one: Best Picture. This trophy is the highlight of the ceremony and is given after all the others. A Best Picture Oscar immortalises the film being awarded, even if it was not generally liked. For instance, Green Book clinched the trophy in 2019 despite being a favourite of few analysts. Its win shocked many,. The film had received positive reviews, but nothing too impressive with 78 per cent rating at review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
That goes to show that while the Academy is usually predictable, once in a while it manages to pull off a surprise.
So which film is likely to take the Best Picture award in Oscars 2021? We believe it’s Nomadland.
Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, based on the lives of American nomadic community, specifically a book called Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, is the hot favourite to take the trophy, and for good reason. As per Rotten Tomatoes, 94 per cent critics liked this Frances McDormand starrer and it has been a clear awards season favourite in this category. It has taken the Best Picture or equivalent award in the big ones — BAFTA, Critics’ Choice Awards, and Golden Globes, and was also the winner of Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival. It would take a huge upset to beat Nomadland. And the movie that can beat it is…
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of Chicago 7 revolves around the trial of a group of anti-Vietnam War activists who were charged with conspiracy, inciting a riot and other charges due to their demonstrations. The film had a dream ensemble cast and featured timely, relevant themes. It was also extremely well-reviewed. It had depth and at the same time was more accessible to a typical movie buff than Nomadland.
Other nominees in the category are:
David Fincher’s Mank marked the director’s comeback to cinema after six years. The film, based on a screenplay penned by David’s father Jack Fincher, before his death in 2003, was about Gary Oldman’s character Herman J Mankiewicz, who was the writer of the iconic 1941 movie Citizen Kane. Mankiewicz clashed with the film’s producer and director Orson Welles over the script of the movie, and there has been much debate about the conflict.
Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, starring Steven Yeun in the lead, is about the experiences of an immigrant South Korean family in 1980s’ Arkansas. Like every nominated film in this category, Minari was reviewed very well.
Promising Young Woman
Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman has Carey Mulligan’s Cassandra Thomas who goes on a quest for revenge on those who she believes are responsible for her best friend’s rape.
Sound of Metal
Riz Ahmed-starrer Sound of Metal is an evocative and heartbreaking portrayal of a man who is unable to tackle his new reality where there is no use of his talent. He is a metal drummer who loses his hearing, bringing about an abrupt end to his music career. It is also an empathetic look at the deaf community, their emotions and experiences. Ahmed gives a tour de force performance in this Darius Marder directorial here.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Shaka King’s biopic is on the chairman of Black Panther’s Illinois chapter Fred Hampton and his betrayer William O’Neal, who ratted him out to the FBI. The film was an engrossing look at not only the historical events but also the systemic racism in the United States. It received almost universally positive reviews.
A poignant and often relatable portrayal of an old man losing his memories to dementia. Anthony Hopkins, predictably, owns the role to an extent that it is hard to separate the actor and the character. Florian Zeller has become one of the most promising young filmmaker quickly thanks to The Father.
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