The Battle for Best Picture

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The 91st Academy Awards air live on Sunday, February 24 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born, and Vice are the eight movies nominated for Best Picture this year.

Marvel Studios

Black Panther is a superhero movie from Marvel comics that takes place in the made up country of Wakanda. The main character, T’Challa is crowned King of Wakanda following his father’s death, but is challenged by the antagonist who plans to begin a global revolution. Black Panther is the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture for the Oscars. It tackles timely and relevant questions in between the punches and witty one liners. Although Black Panther winning Best Picture is unlikely, a win for the Marvel phenomenon would be historic.

“BlacKkKlansman” / Cannes Film Festival

BlacKkKlansman is a biographical crime-comedy drama that is set in 1970s Colorado Springs. The movie follows the first African American detective in the city’s police department that sets out to infiltrate and expose the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. BlacKkKlansman is highly respected by the film industry and is one of, if not the most socially aware Best Picture nominee out of the eight films. A win for BlacKkKlansman would be very significant because of its message about race hatred but is also unlikely due to the other films it is competing against.

Alex Bailey/ Twentieth Century Fox


Bohemian Rhapsody is a biographical film about the band Queen. It follows the singer, Freddie Mercury’s life from when he joins the band in 1870 to their iconic Live Aid Concert in 1985. Even though the movie earned mediocre reviews from critics, it resonated with audiences on many levels and was rated highly by global audiences. Although it is unlikely to win Best Picture, the film was a smash hit amongst audiences and its leading man, Rami Malek, may win Best Actor.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Favourite is a historical comedy-drama set in early eighteenth century England. The film follows two cousins who want to be Court favourites of Queen Anne. The film has a rather dark view of human nature and it includes humor that is both mean and humanistic. The Favourite is tied with Roma with for the most nominations overall and could easily be the underdog of the Oscars. While the clothes and games in the movie may seem a little off from the period in which the film is set, The Favourite has a good chance of winning Best Picture.


Universal Studios

Green Book is a biographical comedy-drama film inspired by the true story of a 1962 tour in the Deep South by Don Shirley, an African-American jazz and classical pianist, and Tony Vallelonga, Shirley’s driver and bodyguard. The film received some criticism for the historical inaccuracies but overall positive reviews from critics. It has earned five nominations for the Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Green Book did well in the box office and its chances of winning Best Film are strong.


Roma is a black-and-white critical favorite that took the top trophy from the Directors Guild of America. It is a drama set in 1970s Mexico city that follows the life of a live-in housekeeper of a middle-class family. Roma is streaming on Netflix and is tied with The Favourite for the most nominations overall. The film is in Spanish and won the BAFTA for Best Film in the UK, but there have been revolts over nominating films that are streaming on Netflix. Roma was the front-runner for weeks and is heavily rumored to win Best Picture along with Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón.

Warner Bros.

A Star is Born is a musical romantic drama that follows Jackson Maine, a famous country singer struggling with inner demons, and Ally, a waitress and singer-songwriter, as their lives go through drastic changes after meeting one another. The film is probably the most classic to be nominated and it has a lot going for it: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and an amazing soundtrack. A Star is Born received positive reviews from critics and although its chances of winning Best Picture have decreased over the last few months, it is still possible.

Courtesy of AnnaPurna Pictures

Vice is a biographical comedy-drama that follows Dick Cheney on his path to becoming the most powerful vice president in American history. The film has been praised by others as the best film of the year and slammed by others for being the worst. Vice received eight nominations at the Academy Awards, six at the Golden Globe Awards, and six nominations at the British Academy Film Awards. Due to its various reviews by critics, Vice winning Best Picture would sent a political message but is unlikely.

So which film is most anticipated to win Best Picture? Roma.


For more information:

Vanity Fair

The New Yorker

The New York Times

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