The awards season is almost over with the exception of the greatest and most prestigious ceremony yet to happen. The Academy Awards, more popularly known as the Oscars, will take place on the 24th of this month, with a live telecast on the morning of Monday, February 25 in India. This year, more Oscar-nominated films have released in theatres than ever and if you missed watching them before, you can see them on the big screen now. Nine Oscar-nominations have made their way back to cinemas so make sure you catch them all before the big day. Here are the movies you can watch in theatres right now and our reviews of them all:
Nominated for: Best Picture (Kevin Feige), Best Original Score (Ludwig Göransson), Best Original Song (All the Stars – Kendrick Lamar, Mark Spears, Anthony Tiffith, and SZA), Best Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter), Best Production Design (Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart), Best Sound Editing (Benjamin A. Burt and Steve Boeddeker), Best Sound Mixing (Peter Devlin, Steve Boeddeker, and Brandon Proctor)
What We Thought: Superhero movies have taken us to many different planets, but never have we seen something as beautiful as Wakanda. And this is the first thing that impresses you about Black Panther. The second is the performance of the cast. Yet again, Marvel has delivered an admirable hero with an almost perfect villain while the women in the film are a delight to watch in action.
Nominated for: Best Picture (Graham King), Best Actor (Rami Malek), Best Sound Editing (John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone), Best Sound Mixing (Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali), Best Film Editing (John Ottman)
What We Thought: Being Freddie Mercury requires an actor to completely let go of his inhibitions and feel fabulous in his own skin. Rami Malek embodies this enigmatic spirit of the musical legend and is every bit as legendary himself. His efforts to look the part are commendable. We also get to see some amazing performances that strike a nostalgic chord among many audiences.
Nominated for: Best Picture (Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, and Nick Vallelonga), Best Actor (Viggo Mortensen), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Original Screenplay (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly), Best Film Editing (Patrick J. Don Vito)
What We Thought: Green Book is surprisingly hilarious for a film that has some serious topics. It’s not just because we get to see Dr. Shirley is being silently disapproving from the back seat of the car or Tony’s insatiable appetite that has him stuffing his face all the time. There are jokes that consistently deliver through the film. All in all, Green Book leaves you in high spirits.
Nominated for: Best Actress (Glenn Close)
What We Thought: The Wife is entirely driven by performances and it’s Glenn Close who stands out above the rest with her incredibly nuanced portrayal of a complicated woman. There are moments where she holds your attention even without saying much. Jonathan Pryce also gives a noteworthy performance as a charming man who is full of flaws.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
What We Thought: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse dives headfirst into its roots by having an animation style that has the breathless energy of a kid flipping through pages of a comic combined with trippy visuals that set it apart from other superhero films. The hip-hop score with ample record-scratching also helps make the film more modern and appealing.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK IT RALPH 2
What We Thought: Ralph Breaks the Internet is generous with jokes. The Disney film is also self-aware, which only helps with bringing in more laughs. The film’s central theme is friendship and it explores this nicely. The message will resonate well, especially with children, but it’s also neatly packaged that it will emotionally connect with the adults.
What We Thought: As soon as we hear Michael Giacchino’s score in Incredibles 2, we’re already hooked. The first film’s epilogue is the prologue to Incredibles 2 bringing us right back to the fond memories of watching the Parr family back in 2004. Much like its predecessor, this sequel is definitely a refreshing take on the usual superhero caper with a fun family dynamic and a little bit of soul.
Nominated for: Best Production Design (Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas), Best Sound Editing (Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan), Best Sound Mixing (Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee, and Mary H. Ellis) Best Visual Effects (Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm)
What We Thought: Damien Chazelle’s long-time music collaborator Justin Hurwitz knows how to craft a haunting melody with an ethereal feel with a theremin-based score. But what’s also done well in First Man is the outstanding use of silence. The script by Josh Singer marvelously retains the tension and there are several shocking moments in the film.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Nominated for: Best Original Score (Marc Shaiman), Best Original Song (The Place Where Lost Things Go – Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), Best Production Design (John Myhre and Gordon Sim), Best Costume Design (Sandy Powell)
What We Thought: Released over half a century after the original film, Disney took on a big undertaking with Mary Poppins Returns. But it’s safe to say that this remake doesn’t just live up to the original but rather reinvents it for a whole new generation. Most importantly, Emily Blunt steps into Julie Andrews’ shoes and becomes the perfect magical nanny you need her to be.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
Nominated for: Best Visual Effects (Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick)
What We Thought: For everyone who has been invested in each of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, this is payback time and you are in for a treat. While this is the biggest crossover in history, it has been done without compromising the essence of each character. The Guardians bring their amazing music and it mixes well with each character’s own brand of humor.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
Nominated for: Best Costume Design (Alexandra Byrne), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher, and Jessica Brooks)
What We Thought: The performances by Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie are one of the highlights of the film. Looking stately as a queen, Ronan excels in showing Mary’s strength even in the darkest moments of Mary Queen of Scots. Margot Robbie shows an equally skilled performance, particularly through several layers of makeup that Elizabeth puts on.
A QUIET PLACE
Nominated for: Best Sound Editing (Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn)
What We Thought: While this is a basic survival story, what makes A Quiet Place a great watch is the fresh plot and several tense moments throughout the film. You find yourself rooting for this family and any signs of danger put you into a frenzy. With little to no dialogues, the movie still manages to keep you hooked with its many jumpy scenes.
Apart from the full-length feature films, PVR also brings you Oscar-nominated short films in both live action and animation. Check out all the films you can watch in these categories.
2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films – Animation
1. Animal Behavior: Dealing with what comes naturally isn`t easy, especially for animals. In this Canadian film, five animals meet regularly to discuss their inner angst in a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist.
2. Bao: An aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively dumpling boy. Mom excitedly welcomes this new bundle of joy into her life but Dumpling starts growing up fast, and Mom must come to the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever.
3. Late Afternoon: Emily is an elderly woman who lives between two states – the past and the present. She journeys into an inner world, reliving moments from her life. She searches for a connection within her vivid but fragmented memories.
4. One Small Step: Luna is a vibrant young Chinese American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. In the big city, Luna lives with her loving father Chu, who supports her with a humble shoe repair business he runs out of his garage. As Luna grows up, she enters college facing adversity of all kinds in the pursuit of her dreams.
5. Weekends: This is the story of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents. Surreal dream-like moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken up family in this hand-animated film set in 1980’s Toronto.
2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films – Live Action
1. Detainment: Two ten-year-old boys are detained by the police under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler. This is a true story based on interview transcripts from the James Bulger case that shocked the world in 1993 and continues to incite public outrage across the UK today.
2. Fauve: Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer. Complicity evolves into a confrontation where one wants to have power over the other. Taking proportions larger than nature, this game will not prove as harmless as they thought.
3. Marguerite: An aging woman and her nurse develop a friendship that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past.
4. Madre: A single mother receives a call from her seven-year-old son who is on vacation with his father in the French Basque Country. At first, the call is a cause for joy but soon it becomes a horrible nightmare when the child tells her that he is all alone and cannot find his father.
5. Skin: In a small supermarket in a blue-collar town, a man of color smiles at a 10-year-old white boy across the checkout aisle. This innocuous moment sends two gangs into a ruthless war that ends with a shocking backlash.
These stellar films are likely to remain in theatres till the Oscars’ ceremony next Monday. Make sure you make the most of this time and remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid the long queues at the box office window!