The Best Picture category in Oscars is always the most hotly contested. It is also the one which draws most eyeballs. Here’s the film we think will take home the Best Picture trophy this year.
Kshitij: ‘Roma seems to be the hot favourite’
This year, Alfonso Cuarón’s sedate and very personal drama Roma seems to be the hot favourite. The film, based on the live-in domestic help of a middle-class family in Mexico City’s district of the same name, is not only stunning to look at (I am still not sure, however, if the black-and-white scheme greatly enhances the experience), but it is also emotionally rich. It also has the artistic look that the movies that excel at film festivals have.
The only thing that tested my patience were long stretches of dialogue-less scenes. But even then, every frame of the film had a haunting sort of beauty.
Roma is also one of the most personal movies I have seen. Cuarón has directed, shot, written, co-edited and co-produced Roma. Its story is derived from his own childhood in 1970s’ Mexico City. No wonder the painstakingly recreated neighbourhood in Roma carries so much verisimilitude and detail. The only think that might stop Roma from winning is the conservatism against streaming services in the jury. Well, that and Black Panther.
Marvel’s Black Panther is everything Roma is not. Like most superhero movies of the modern age, Black Panther is loud, bombastic and full of eye-popping, colourful visuals. While Roma appears to be the firm favourite, I want Black Panther to take home the trophy. The reason is not so much about quality (Roma probably trumps Black Panther by a fair margin there), it is about the superhero genre finally getting its due.
There was a huge outcry a decade or so ago when Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was not nominated in Oscars’ Best Picture category. This forced the Academy to increase the Best Picture nominations, but we still had not seen any superhero film being nominated in this category until Black Panther.
Let’s face it — Black Panther is also a solid movie. It has a good story, well-drawn characters, a magnificent villain, a thumping soundtrack and visuals. Also, the political and cultural significance of the movie cannot be denied. It was the first time a mostly black cast featured in a major blockbuster, and a commercial movie explored slavery and racial oppression and became an enormous box office success.
Although the possibility is low, Black Panther may end up throwing a spanner in the works for Roma.
Anvita: ‘Green Book hits it out of the park ‘
Let’s cut straight to the chase, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is most likely to win the coveted Best Film award at this year’s Oscars. However, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen starrer Green Book should be the one to walk away with the golden trophy. Why, you ask? Because the Oscars is not about awarding someone because the cinematography is great (which Roma has), but the best picture award should ideally go to that one movie that scores on all fronts, be it editing, acting, camera work or the writing. And the semi-autobiographical/road movie Green Book hits it out of the park when it comes to the aforementioned categories.
Mahershala is grace personified, and Viggo’s Nick Vallelonga beautifully supports Mahershala’s Don Shirley. The movie talks about important things including race, identity and music, without coming of as preachy; an achievement in itself. The film doesn’t drag and you are both entertained and moved after completing the movie. If that’s not a damn good film, what is?
Unfortunately, Green Book will not be winning the Best Film prize because it has been shrouded in far too many controversies ahead of the award season– be it Viggo’s remark on the N word or the sexual misconduct allegations against filmmaker Peter Farrelly. Well, as they say, ‘maybe next time.’
Also Read | Oscars 2019 LIVE UPDATES
Sampada: ‘The Favourite has some stellar performances’
This is surely not the best year for Oscars as far as the nominations for Best Film are concerned. Out of all the nominees, the one that I feel should win is The Favourite but the one that will win is Roma.
The Favourite has some stellar performances by Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. The screenplay, costumes, everything here is just top-notch. The Favourite is a dark comedy that tells the story of a fictional Queen of England. The Queen here is an irrational child who depends too much on her confidantes and ends up being taken advantage of by whosoever is smarter than her, which, in this film, is everyone.
OSCARS 2019 PREDICTIONS: Best Director | Best Actor | Best Actress | Best Supporting Actor | Best Supporting Actress | Best Original Screenplay | Best Adapted Screenplay | Best Animated Feature | Best Original Song
The Favourite makes a strong case for strong female characters that are well written and have complete arcs of their own. The politics that each character indulges in a deep insight into human behaviour that is not period-bound and it makes this period film a story that feels timeless.