Film: Some exceptional films have made the Oscar short list




Remember the Oscars of 1982 when Chariots of Fire was getting the big awards? David Puttnam, the film’s producer, said in his speech: “The British are coming”. When this year’s Oscar nominations were announced, I was reminded of it, because a quarter of them were from the Emerald Isle.

I confess that I’m not a big fan of movie award ceremonies. This year ten films are listed as being The Best Film but I’m not sure how you’re supposed to compare and contrast them. Is a great science fiction film better than a great period drama or comedy for example? Also, I do have a few bones to pick with the Academy. We’re talking about an organisation that gave the Best Picture Oscar to Driving Miss Daisy, in the same year of Field of Dreams and Dead Poets’ Society. I mean … really?

Then there is the fact that, perhaps the greatest director of all time, never got a Best Director Award. I’m not sure how much that bothered Alfred Hitchcock, but it bothers me! So I’ll be doing my usual on Oscar night, going to bed at my normal time and messaging folk to “wake me up when it’s over”.

Having said all that, there are some exceptional films that have made the short list this year. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once is an exceptional science fiction movie with Michelle Yeoh jumping between universes. The Banshees of Inisherin is a tremendous drama about two friends in 1920s Ireland. Spielberg’s semi-biographical The Fabelmans is engaging and Top Gun: Maverick (a sequel 36 years in the making) wowed audiences. As did Austin Butler’s performance as Elvis in the film of the same name. Tar is about a female orchestra conductor, and I think Cate Blanchett will get the Best Actress Award; she should. All quiet on the Western Front is a stunning, stirring, shocking remake looking at the full horrors of World War One while Avatar: the Way of Water looked good, even if it wasn’t. At the time of writing I have yet to see the tenth one; Woman Talking. It’s not released here until February and looks intriguing.

On the acting front, Cate Blanchett aside, it’s probably between Brendon Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin) and Austin Butler (Elvis) for the Best Actor Award. Personally I was pleased to see Jamie Lee Curtis finally get a nod (her first ever) for playing a tax inspector in the pleasing Everything, Everywhere All At Once. Let’s hope she does well.

Main Photo: Banshees of Inisherin (Fair Usage)

Andy Godfrey

Andy Godfrey is a speaker with Outreach UK and has been in full-time Christian work for many years. He is a founding member of the Mark Kermode Appreciation Society and has a collection of nearly 3,000 movies. He’s also an ardent Bristol City fan.

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