As we continue to spend most of our time at home, few things are as fulfilling as watching a good film. Especially if you're a film fanatic and award season is just around the corner, with The BAFTA awards scheduled for April 11th, followed by the Academy Awards on April 25th. So, what better time to look at some of the contenders?
1.The Trial of Chicago 7
The movie tells the story of the real-life trial of seven Anti-Vietnam War protesters, arrested for conspiracy and inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The movie is dynamic and exciting and tackles important themes and historical events. It also manages to be entertaining while doing so, telling a sharp, emotionally charged story about rebellion and friendship.
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Keaton and others.
Where to watch? Netflix
Category favourite: The movie is considered to be one of this year’s favourites in multiple categories (especially Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay) with this being Sorkin's fourth nomination after winning Best Original Screenplay for "The Social Network" (2010).
The next major contender is A24’s “Minari” – a simple, yet deeply touching story about the American Dream and the inevitable hardships that come with attaining it. The film tells a story about a Korean family that moves from California to Arkansas, in order for the father (Steven Yeun) to be able to afford a redundant land on which to start producing Korean vegetables which to sell to local markets. Along the way,the family meets a lot of obstacles but also witnesses raw relationships between family members and pure family love.
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Cast: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim and others.
Where to watch? A24 Screening Room, Limited Theaters and from 26th of February available for stream purchase on Google, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and YouTube
Category favorite: “Minari” is strong in nearly all the categories but in particular for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Yuh-Jung Youn.
3. Promising Young Woman
This feature might prove to be one of this year’s most promising. It tells the story of a young woman who - after a traumatic event in her youth - dedicates her life to seeking revenge on the ones responsible for it. The movie is a combination of modern-day drama and thriller with a spark of dark comedy. One thing is certain with “Promising Young Woman” - it will make you stay on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Director: Emerald Fennell
Cast: Carey Mulligan. Bo Burnham, Alison Brie
Where to watch? Rental Purchase on Amazon Prime Video
Category favorite: The starring lead acting of Carey Mulligan currently makes her the favorite for the Best Actress in the Leading Role category but also the film has strong chances in Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
Currently “Nomadland'' is the movie with the biggest chances to take the majority of important awards on the night of 25th of April, as it is critics favorite but also widely enjoyed by the audience. “Nomadland '' is different than the rest of the films on this list, as it has an approach of more of a documentary style as it uses real people to tell their “nomad” life stories. The film tells the story of a woman, who takes on a van journey through West America after losing everything, in order to find inner peace in herself. Beautiful scenery, long shots of mesmerizing landscape make this picture a true joy to watch.
Director: Chloé Zhao
Cast: Frances McDormand, David Startharn, Linda May and others.
Where to watch? Hulu and International Theatres
Category favorite: The movie is a strong favorite for Best Picture, Best Director for Chloe Zhao and Best Adapted Screenplay.
5. The Father
Emotional drama feature that illustrates the complicated relationship between an aging father and a caring daughter, who wants to help him with his daily tasks as he starts to suffer from dementia.The film manages to tackle such an important, but yet delicate subject such as dementia in a powerful and emotional way, without leaving the audience with feeling sadness and despair. The actors in lead- Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman crate a strong dynamic that delivers a hearth-worming film that many can relate to.
Director: Florian Zeller
Cast: Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman
Where to watch? Limited Theatrical Release and availability on most streaming platforms on the on the 26th of February.
Category favorite: The film definitely impresses with an exciting acting so the two main categories for it are Best Actor in Leading Role for Anthony Hopkins and Best Actress in Supporting Role for Olivia Colman.
6. On the rocks
A fresh and captivating film by Sofia Coppola is another offering by A24 as it showcases a young mother and her playboy-lifestyle father dive into a New York adventure together. The movie is fun, yet real as it shows reality of merriage, aging and family on its different stages.Sofia Coppola personally has said she can personally relate to the main character as it portrays a woman, who even though has a successful career, marriage and a family, is still looking for herself in a new direction. he reunion of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray as a director-lead actor duo is thrilling as their previous collaboration was on the breakthrough feature of Coppola – “Lost in Translation” (2003).
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans and others.
Where to watch? Apple TV +
Category favorite: While this picture lost some of its so-called “Oscar Buzz”, in the meaning of premiering on some of the later festivals such as “Toronto Film Festival” , critic’s lists and predictions, as it was released earlier than the rest of the contenders, it is still having solid chances in the Best Original Screenplay and Best Director category as Sofia Coppola has been previously nominated in those two categories and even has a win for her “Lost in Translation” original script.
7. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Last but definitely not least comes Netflix’s other top contender – “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom”. It tells the story inspired by the real Blues legend Ma Rainey and her band, while on a recording session dealing with a tension between the record studio’s management and the musicians. The score and the soundtrack are spectacular and transport you in the world of Blues.
Director: George C. Wolfe
Cast: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman and others.
Where to watch? Netflix
Category favorite: The late Chadwick Boseman is a frontrunner for the Best Actor in Leading role as many critics call this his best acting role ever, also Viola Davis for Best Actress in Leading role. Also, nominations in the following categories are expected: Best Picture, Best Costume Design and Best Sound.
This was just a part of this year's exciting top titles, if you are interested in more you can request via our social media and also share your favourites and your predictions with us!