Guebert: Who actually deserved the Oscars Best Picture nomination

By Kyler Guebert, Staff Reporter

Each year, I do my best to try and see all the best picture nominees before the Oscars air. This year, I was able to see all 8 films prior to the nominations being announced. As with every year, there were films that I was excited to see nominated, films that I was upset to see nominated and films that deserved to be nominated.

Here are my thoughts on this year’s nominees and what the Academy got right and what they got completely wrong.

Black Panther: The Marvel flick is the first comic book film to receive a Best Picture nomination and it’s incredibly well deserved. The film functions as a film first and a comic book movie second and it really shows in every aspect. There isn’t a single element of this film that doesn’t work incredibly well, save for some messy visual effects. The film also just won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – a huge accomplishment for the film. This win also puts it one huge step closer to potentially taking home the big award of the night at this year’s Oscars, something I would be incredibly happy to see happen.


BlacKKKlansman: Spike Lee finally got his first directing nomination for this insane true story of a black cop infiltrating the KKK. The film, overall, is very well done. The performances, especially Adam Driver’s, are all executed extremely well and the story keeps you interested in the film throughout the entire runtime. However, it never stood out to me as a ‘must-see film’ and especially a film that I thought would ever be nominated for Best Picture. The film doesn’t stand out to me as a film that could win the top prize, but it has many of the essential nominations and a social commentary that could win enough voters over to surprise and take the win.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Here’s the thing – I’ve never been a Queen fan. So I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed learning more about the band and about Freddie Mercury. What also surprised me was how much I disliked this movie. For me, the pacing was completely off and so many moments were flat out boring. The final scene was incredibly well done and Rami Malek was amazing, but the film still suffers so much from the first two hours of the film. The film did win the Golden Globe for Motion Picture (Drama) but with new backlash coming against the film due to director Bryan Singer’s sexual misconduct allegations, the film could lose steam and love when voters cast their ballots. I’m not seeing a win for this film on the big night, save for Rami Malek.

The Favourite: I absolutely LOVE this film. It’s easily my “favourite” nominee in this category. The acting is phenomenal, especially Olivia Colman’s lead performance as Queen Anne. The screenplay is so smart, twisted and hilarious that it catches you off guard immediately in the best way possible. Plus, the direction is incredibly well done. The film tied for the most nominations (10), including all of the main nominations that a film needs to win the top prize. However, the film hasn’t gotten any big wins and it doesn’t look like it will get any big wins on Oscar Sunday either, despite how truly great it is.

Green Book: If the Academy wanted to reward a phenomenal story about race in America, they should have given a nomination to If Beale Street Could Talk. I really dislike this movie. I haven’t seen something so overhyped in so long. The shots aren’t original, the story is rather boring and the performances are good but not awards worthy – especially compared to other performances this year. Everything about this movie feels like it belongs on television, not on the big screen and it certainly doesn’t feel like a Best Picture nominee. Yet, it has somehow gained lots of awards love and wound up becoming a frontrunner for the prize after a Golden Globes win for Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) and winning the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards. As much as I don’t want this film to win or be a frontrunner, it stands a good chance of taking home the top prize, despite the backlash and controversies surrounding it.

Roma: This film is an interesting case. Alfonso Cuaron is beloved by the filmmaking industry, and this film, which is based on his childhood, is an absolute work of art. It gained 10 well-deserved nominations this year, something unheard of for a Spanish language film, especially one that is entirely black-and-white. The acting is incredible, the cinematography is simply the best I’ve seen in an incredibly long time. The story, while a slow burn, keeps you engrossed the entire film. However, the film’s biggest obstacle is its distributor: Netflix. For years, Netflix has tried to prove that it puts outs awards worthy films, to little luck from the Academy. If Roma can get over the hurdle of being seen as a “streaming film,” then it could very well, and very deservedly, take home the top prize.

A Star is Born: Here’s the problem with A Star is Born: It’s the perfect Oscar movie. It’s from a well respected actor, it stars an insanely popular musician and features a stellar soundtrack. It’s everything the remake needed to be and more, with a heartbreaking story and absolutely amazing performances to boot. But in a year where safe isn’t cool anymore after 2017’s The Shape of Water just won best picture, this stellar gem has been shoved to the back of the pack. With no major wins in any of the categories (Save for Gaga, who will likely lose on Oscar Sunday), the only win A Star is Born seems poised to win is Best Original Song (which All the Stars from Black Panther deserves).

Vice: I was a huge fan of The Big Short, Adam McKay’s first big awards flick, and was looking forward to his follow-up. Unfortunately, it floundered. Performances were great, but the editing, pacing and overall story were just off and, frankly, messy. Nothing really stood out apart from one insane Shakespeare bit that was more weird than good. The film got three acting nominations and even secured a directing nomination for McKay. Annapurna Pictures pushed hard to get this film nominated, but with no big wins (save for Christian Bale, who is Rami Malek’s only competition in the Best Actor category), the film doesn’t seem to have enough push or love to get it on the stage at the end of the night.


Staff reporter Kyler Guebert can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @kguebert88.

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