The Rankings – Best Picture Nominees:
- Nomadland ★★★★½
- Minari ★★★★½
- Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★
- The Father ★★★★
- Mank ★★★★
- Sound of Metal ★★★½
- The Trial of the Chicago 7 ★★★½
- Promising Young Woman ★★★
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Pick: Nomadland
The Prediction: Nomadland
Most of 2020’s films encompassed a dark tone, not only stylistically but thematically as well. And although the narratives depicted by these motion pictures enveloped a contemporary facet of filmmaking, the systematic procedures of watching these moving pictures of liveliness has completely altered which, in turn, has only accentuated the somber moods by these films. Therefore, I — as an admirer of cinematic creativity, along with the masses of other film fanatics — were forced to brush the cobwebs aside and appeal to a construct story that remedies the sprawling demoralization across the world, and Nomadland is, truthfully, the pure portrait of empowerment. Chloé Zhao has not only formulated one of the most emotionally potent stories, but also a consequential message that depicts the nomads of the Great Plains as they move through the continental confinement of nature’s barren badlands. However, they are still finding their way, and life’s impetus in an auspicious manner that parallels to how we are still finding our way to normalcy with the utmost optimism.
Academy Award for Best Director
The Pick: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
The Prediction: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
In order to flawlessly execute the facet of directing a film, your vision must be prominent. In other words, the script must depict the verbiage and subconscious perception of the narrative. However, the director must act as the beating heart of the tale’s construction and its overall finalization. Throughout “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao — with a glaring absence of lush undertones or high-budgeted, conceptualized themes — seamlessly conjures an evocative film that conveys the morals of those who may appear less fortunate. In the end, she justifies her directorial flair with a keen eye for art and how it can sway the mentality of anyone who views it.
Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
The Pick: Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
The Prediction: Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
Following the tragic loss of one of the most promising actors in the modern film industry, it was quite unclear if any subsequent motion pictures would depict Chadwick Boseman in the lead role. And prior to the summer of 2020, Spike Lee’s war-drama “Da 5 Bloods” proved the versatility of Boseman in a supporting role, but George C. Wolfe’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” flawlessly solidified his talent and wide acting repertoire to even greater lengths. Additionally, the Chicago-set narrative explores the ingenuity of African-American artists as they turn the page to new, innovative forms of music in the 1920’s jazz age. And in the end, the intellectual acuity from Chadwick Boseman — through his role of trumpeter Levee Green — finalizes the vibrant core of such a dynamic work of cinema.
Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
The Pick: Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)
The Prediction: Andra Day (The United States Vs. Billie Holiday)
“Promising Young Women” does appear at the lowest slot of the Best Picture nominees due to its lack of a tonally consistent substructure, but the performance of Carey Mulligan as Cassandra Thomas is nothing short of extraordinary. Moreover, the redeeming qualities refrain from latching on to Mulligan’s performance and — in the end — it’s laborious to decipher what theme the tale is venturing, so feverishly, to depict. Nonetheless, her ability to manually alter the intonation of such a statically conceptualized story is quite spectacular. On the other hand, Andra Day displays a fairly well-performed role — in a very underwhelming final cut in “The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.” However, it’s transparently evident that her portrayal of Billie Holiday is imposing to the extent to which the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences will grasp it with utter veneration.
Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The Pick: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)
The Prediction: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)
Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” contains one of 2020’s most captivating chronicles of history. The film unveils a dark, menacing exposition that only augments its uncertainty through masterfully scripted climactic confrontations. And as the narrative’s intensity evolves, the pure intelligence behind the performances of both LaKeith Stanfield as Bill O’Neal and Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton publicize a period of both empowerment and misery. In particular, Daniel Kaluuya integrates a historical figure — amidst the dawn of the groundbreaking “Black Panther Party” — with an immense amount of dexterity along with a hunger for societal change. Altogether, Kaluuya’s performance is extraordinary to a degree that motivates and bends the internal perception of anyone who immerses themselves within the “Black Panther Party’s” astounding story of advocation for interracial coexistence.
Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
The Pick: Amanda Seyfried (Mank)
The Prediction: Olivia Colman (The Father)
The retelling of Herman J. Mankiewicz and his long and winding endeavors to construct the first script of Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece “Citizen Kane” is analyzed through an extravagant recounting in David Fincher’s “Mank.” Primarily, Amanda Seyfried’s portrayal of the iconic Hollywood actress Marion Davies is quite staggering as she seizes the intensity of such a fatiguing segment in the Hollywood film industry as well as the luxurious undercurrents that circumscribe the strict overpass of a such as hardship-inducing lifestyle. On the other hand, I do feel as if Olivia Colman’s performance conveyed through Florian Zeller’s “The Father” also succeeds at grasping a character with an extensive amount of depth which will resonate greater — from an award’s vantage point. Moreover, Colman’s portrayal of the character “Anne” infuses a casual character to act as a compatible partner to Anthony Hopkins’ character “Anthony” as he attempts to circumvent the casualties of a life with progressing memory loss.
Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
The Pick: Lee Isaac Chung (Minari)
The Prediction: Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
Lee Isaac Chung develops one of the most cohesive scripts within his poignant account of the immigrational hardships of a Korean-American family. The prime ingredient contrived throughout “Minari” is the ambitious exposition in which Chung synthesizes the harrowing concept of American migration, and how it poses as an inquisitive chapter of an immigrant’s life. And consequently, its motivational subtexts finagle a staggering climactic crescendo. Conversely, I do feel as if Aaron Sorkin’s screenwriting is on full-throttle throughout the duration of his courtroom drama “The Trial of Chicago 7”, but the meticulous construction presented from the directorial postulate felt quite inferior to that of “Minari”; for this concise reason, I felt the screenplay’s prowess is degraded from Sorkin’s direction — but it still seems justifiable that he’s selected for the Academy Award.
Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
The Pick: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
The Prediction: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
The screenwriting component of “Nomadland” is, indisputably, the most cinematically striking. Each domino — both minute and significant — falls into a creative locale that’s accompanied by an imposing harmony. Chloe Zhaó wields a symbolic formula that’s saturated with both pragmatic and idealistic meaning as they splice into pure — impactful artistry that is a work of true, contemporary aptitude.