2019 Oscar Nominated Films: What’s Worth Watching…

...Now That All of the Oscar Uproar is Over

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2019 Oscar Nominated Films: What’s Worth Watching…

Lauren Walston, Staff Writer

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Each year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chooses what they think is the best of the best in film to be nominated for one of the most coveted prizes in Hollywood— Best Picture. The 2019 Best Picture Nominees are A Star is Born, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, and Vice. I have watched all 8 nominees and have sorted out which ones are worth watching.


A Star is Born: Directed by Bradley Cooper


Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in the fourth remake of A Star is Born. Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a country star nearing the end of his career because of his issues with alcoholism. His character meets Ally (Lady Gaga) a struggling musician, at a bar one night and they click almost instantly. She joins him on stage one night to perform a duet she wrote and immediately blows up. As Ally becomes more popular and successful with her music, her relationship with Jackson becomes more complicated as they begin to start drifting from each other. The film handled the difficult, heavy subject of Jackson’s battle with alcoholism and addiction, very well. It also covered the character’s relationship and the different stages that they go through in their lives as well as their careers beautifully. The music in the film is so touching, and one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard all last year. This work of art is a powerful, moving film with extraordinary performances by the two leads. Worth watching!

Rating: 4.5 stars


Black Panther: Directed by Ryan Coogler

Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan in the first ever superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture. Black Panther is the story of T’Challa, a prince who is about to be crowned King of Wakanda, a hidden country in the middle of Africa, shielded by a barrier, protected at unknown from the outside world. Things do not go as he had planned when His kingship is challenged by Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). I found this film very empowering and entertaining to watch. It is a step in the right direction for creating more diverse stories in Hollywood. Worth watching!

Rating: 4.5 stars


BlacKkKlansman: Directed by Spike Lee

David Lee

The movie BlacKkKlansman is based on the very intriguing true story of how the first black police in Colorado, Ron Stallworth, infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s. It stars John David Washington, Adam Driver, and Laura Harrier. The story follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a man who discovers an ad for the KKK in the newspaper. He calls them, pretending to be a white man looking to become a member. He then teams up with his colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), and begins an undercover investigation to find out what they’re doing. Flip attends meetings, pretending to be Ron, to find out information about a possible violent attack that they’re planning. This film kept me on the edge of my seat throughout its entirety, and the ending was immensely chilling and thought-provoking. Movies like this are very crucial and essential, especially in today’s times. Worth watching!

Rating: 5 stars


Bohemian Rhapsody: Directed by Bryan Singer

20th Century Fox

Bohemian Rhapsody is the story of the legendary band Queen’s journey to success. It stars Rami Malek as the flamboyant Freddie Mercury and follows him and the band from their humble beginnings up to the iconic Live Aid concert. Although extremely fun and entertaining to watch, Bohemian Rhapsody falls short with a weak script and odd-pacing. The band members Brian May (Gwilym Lee), Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), and John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) felt very one dimensional and lacked depth. They were just there, and I didn’t learn anything about their characters and who they were as people. For a film about a risk taker who always pushed the limit, Bohemian Rhapsody sticks to the same classic Hollywood routine, with a story that is very predictable and unoriginal. Rami Malek gave a powerhouse performance and shines as Freddie Mercury, carrying the entire film on his shoulders. Overall, this movie is great if you want to have a fun time and watch a feel-good movie. Worth watching!

Rating: 3.5 stars


The Favourite: Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

David Rooney


Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz star in The Favourite. In 18th century England, the close bond between Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) becomes imperiled at the arrival of Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), Sarah’s cousin. A rivalry starts between the two to see who will become the Queen’s favorite. I found this movie engrossing, as there are many metaphors and things happening in the background that can be interpreted and dissected. The dialogue is clever and witty, and the performances were phenomenal. This movie is not for everyone. Nonetheless, I think it is an excellent piece of work. Worth watching!

Rating: 5 stars


Green Book: Directed by Peter Farrelly

Universal Pictures

Green Book is the story of a working-class Italian American bouncer, who becomes the driver of an African American classical pianist. The movie is based on the real-life friendship between the two. Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) hires Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) to accompany him as his driver on a tour of venues in the Deep South. Because it is the 60s, segregation still exists, and Dr. Shirley has to abide by a Green Book, a guide to where people of color are allowed and where they are not. Green Book is a story we’ve all seen before, but with a breath of fresh air. I found it very humorous, and the chemistry between the two leads was top-notch. The film is very subtle, as it has certain themes that it doesn’t really address, that it could’ve explored more. Overall I think the performances were spectacular and I really enjoyed watching this heartwarming film. It is definitely a crowd pleaser. Worth watching!

Rating: 5 stars


Roma: Directed by Alfonso Cuarón


Roma starring newcomer Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira is the first Netflix film to be nominated for Best Picture. It is tied with The Favourite for the most nominations this year, in the lead with 10. Roma is loosely based off of the director, Alfonso Cuarón’s, childhood growing up in Mexico City in the early 1970s. The story follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a domestic worker who helps a mother of four (Marina de Tavira) care for her children while her husband is away. I was astonished at how intrigued I was watching this since it is in a foreign language. This is a simple story, but the characters felt so real that I became emotionally attached to them. It isn’t for everyone, as it can be slow at times, but I found it very beautiful, emotional and unpredictable. The performances are very authentic, and the cinematography is gorgeous. Worth watching!

Rating: 5 stars


Vice: Directed by Adam McKay


Vice is the story of Dick Cheney, a man who quietly maintained immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country in ways that still affect us today. Christian Bale and Amy Adams star as the leads of this biopic. The film follows Dick Cheney as he ages and starts to become more about politics. Though Cheney was a very secretive person, they do their best to allude to what would’ve happened in certain situations. During some parts of the movie, it felt like I was watching an SNL parody documentary. Many things were going on, and the number of plot points became a little over the top and unrealistic. I’ve never seen anything like the editing in this film before. It was very different and stylistic. The casting was spot on, and Christian Bale was unrecognizable. Though a creative and unique film, Vice was a miss for me. Not worth watching.

Rating: 3.5 stars