Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Best Picture Nominees 


Gus Spence and Graham Hammond


        This dark, psychological, thrilling adventure from director Todd Phillips, also known for The Hangover and War Dogs, is one of the academy award nominees of 2019. Based in the fictional gloomy city of Gotham, a man named Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a former clown and patient of a mental institution, navigates the labyrinth of his mind, turning down deep, disturbing paths, and uncovering strange, haunting secrets of his past. Arthur comes to know Gotham city’s true colors though his discoveries, and decides it is time that Gotham should change, not only for the so-called ‘good’ of the city, but for the good of others just like him.  


 Little Women

            Based on Louisa May Alcott’s historical fiction novel Little Women, which was published in 1868, the film tells the story of the four March sisters during the civil war, ranging in ages from 12-16 in the beginning, and following them until they are adults. The film is a great adventure, ranging from the many accidents of the youngest sister, Amy March, to the very mysterious old man’s mansion down the road from the March’s house, and the shadowed boy, Laurence, who lives inside his grandfather’s house doing schoolwork with his tutor all day and night. The tale is full of unexpected surprises, fun, and a relationship that, by chance, will bring a tear to your eye. The story is an all-around classic, and has a heartwarming core.



         From director Sam Mendes, also known for Skyfall, comes an action packed, daunting adventure that takes you along for the ride. The film is not only based on a true story, but also brings out the reality and tragedy of the great war. The movie was filmed in such a distinct and different way than most, seeming to the viewer to be one, continuous, long cut. From this manner of filming, the audience grows close to the lead roles in the film, two British soldiers. The soldiers are tasked a treacherous and risky mission, traveling across the enemy’s frontlines to save a friendly troop that is about to walk into a deadly trap. Though the maze of German forces and trenches are a lethal opponent, the real enemy on the two soldier’s journey is time. The nominee is truly a stunning adventure, and a high-octane roller coaster of pure intensity and thrill.


The Irishman 

        From Martin Scorsese, known for Gangs of New York, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Good Fellas, comes his new groundbreaking film based on a true story, The Irishman. The movie follows Frank Sheeran, an Irish hitman for the mafia in the 1950s all the way to the 2000s, that puts the ‘tough’ in ‘tough guy’. Frank sails his way through the ocean of crime, and reaches the summit of the food chain, becoming ‘friends’ with political figure Jimmy Hoffa and crime boss Russel Buffalino. With an outstanding cast, including Robert DeNiroAl Pacino, and Joe Pesci, the acting is near unbeatable, as well as the film itself. The Irishman is truly a hit in the film industry, a magnificent tale, and a thrilling and historically accurate work of art.



          Parasite is not just the best film of the year… It’s one of the best films of the decade. Reminiscent of last year’s Get Out, Parasite presents relevant social issues in a new and provocative way. The film, written and by former cult icon Bong Joon Ho, is set in Seoul, Korea, the city Bong has lived in for most of his life. What sets Parasite apart from its peers is the audience that it appeals to, which is much larger than films it has drawn comparisons to (such as the aforementioned Get Out.) Its presentation represents the rising socioeconomic gaps in modern societies and the struggle of living a life “underground.” In the film, a poor family becomes acquainted with the wealthy Park family and surreptitiously inserts each member of the family into a role around the wealthy Park household. These people are the titular “parasites,” leeching onto the rich by pretending to be people they aren’t, but as they gain the trust of their rich counterparts, they slowly realize that money isn’t the reason to put someone on a pedestal, and that going through with these lies and deception do not make them “better people” but suckers; chewed up and spit out by their own environment.

Jojo Rabbit

        Set in of Nazi Germany, Jojo Rabbit is a hilarious and heartwarming tale of acceptance. Jojo, a young Nazi who is obsessed with Hitler and the ongoing war, discovers that his mother is housing a Jew in the walls of their attic. It seems as if the world is screaming turn her in, whether it be from his school or his imaginary best friend: Hitler himself. But, after talking to the girl in the walls a few times, Jojo realizes that the Jews may not be so different from himself.


Marriage Story 

            Noah Baumbach’s latest feature will break your heart. Full of untied shoelaces, crooked lawyers, and brilliant acting, you will not be disappointed with the depth of this movie, but, the strength of its depth may also be its most glaring weakness. The brutality of divorce, and the desolation that it bestows upon the people it affects is almost too painful to watch. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver both deliver career best performances in Marriage Story, and its script is more than phenomenal, but I caution you, this film is not for the faint of heart, and could very well be placed in the category of horror.


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

            Quentin Tarantino’s ninth feature is different than any movie he has ever made before. Set in the golden age of Hollywood, Once Upon a Time follows Rick Dalton and his stuntman Cliff Booth through a meandering story of the Manson murders. From the story, most would assume this film to be an ultra-violent, fast paced, typical Tarantino film: but it’s not. It is slow and thoughtful; artfully and seriously done in a manner that is so unlike Tarantino (except for the final scene) that I nearly forgot he had directed it in the first place.