FBC Oscar Coverage, Part I: Your Early Viewing Guide

Well, look at my nipples and call me Chipper! It’s Oscars time again, baby!

With the Golden Globes ceremony last night, we have officially my favorite time of year: Oscar season! That’s right… even with theaters having been closed for most of 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science (AMPAS) is still moving forward with their yearly awards presenting that weird dude holding a sword to the best in cinema, and I. Am. Here. For. It.

Because of COVID-19, AMPAS decided to loosen the restrictions on what films could be eligible for Oscar consideration (previously, a film had to have a theatrical release to be considered) and when the nominations had to be done. We are two weeks away from the nominations being announced, and I could not be more excited. You can keep your Super Bowl and shove the presidential election up your dumb mother’s butt! Just give me the Oscars and I’m a happy man.

The good news about this year’s Oscars is that because of coronavirus, seeing the nominees this year couldn’t be easier. You no longer have to look for the one screen in the multiplex showing the artsy drama where Nicole Kidman teaches John Hawkes to play the clarinet even though neither of them have arms… or whatever. Each of these films is easy for you to watch on your own couch while easily ignoring it as you look at Pintrest. Will this lead to an increased viewership of the ceremony because more people have easier ways to see these films? Honestly… quite possibly. But even if it doesn’t mean that, I don’t care: It’s motherfucking Oscar season, you stupid pieces of shit!

Ok… maybe that was too far.

I’ll release my nomination predictions as we get closer to the date. However, this list is more for me as much as it is for you. I had a baby last year so I have a lot of catching up with the nominees to do, also. So, we’ll make this a group project we can both do together.

Based on what other awards groups and critics groups have nominated, here are a list of ten films that are the definite front-runners to take home nominations. In my next post, I’ll talk about some of the contenders who have the chance to sneak in and play the role of the upset special.


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: Amazon Prime
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: I get that this film and the original Borat are stupid gross-out comedies. That didn’t stop the first film from getting nominated for two major Oscars (Best Original Screenplay and Best Director), and it didn’t stop the movie from taking home Best Comedy or Musical at the Globes last night. But the real nomination chance goes to Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat’s daughter. She’s gotten a lot of love with all the awards groups so far, plus Oscar really loves to have a screwball nominee like this, but only one, because AMPAS, by in large, hates comedies.

The Father

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: The Father is the only movie throwing a middle finger to the streaming services. The film is only available in theaters right now and will not be available to rent on streaming services until March 26.
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: I’m just gonna come out and say it: I am not gonna watch this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s great, and Anthony Hopkins will be a frontrunner in the race for Best Actor, but this is a story about a woman watching her father suffer from dementia, and I am not in a state to watch a film like this right now. I’ve heard Olivia Colman, who plays Hopkins’ daughter, is also very good and deserves a nomination, and I’m just going to have to fucking take everyone’s word for it.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: Netflix
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: The film has been getting a lot of love for it’s powerhouse ensemble, which includes Viola Davis and, in his last role of his way too short career, Chadwick Boseman. Look for this film to take home at least three of the big nominees, including a very real shot at a Best Picture nomination.

Mank

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: Netflix
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: Hollywood loves to reward movies about Hollywood and Mank, about Herman Mankiewicz and the writing of Citizen Kane, is just the kind of lube that AMPAS needs as it whacks itself off. Gary Olman is great, as always, and the film is not only directed by David Fincher (The Social Network, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button), but the only script written by his late father, and that’s just the kind of story that Oscar loves.

Minari

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: This is one of the rare films you might have to pay for, but you can rent it through Amazon Prime or Apple+ TV
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: Films that aren’t majority English language usually have a hard time getting love from AMPAS, but last year, Parasite showed that a good enough film can blow that principle out of the water. Lee Issac Chung’s Minari, about a Korean family learning to adjust to their new life in Arkansas, is a film that could surprise a lot of people. Expect Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-jung to get nominations and, quite possibly, a Best Picture nomination.

Nomadland

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: Hulu
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: When Nomadland won both Best Director and Best Drama last night, the film became the front-runner to win a lot of Oscars. Expect the film to be nominated a lot, not just for Best Picture and for Chloé Zhao to get a Best Director nomination, but also one for the film’s producer and star, Frances McDormand, who is absolutely bonkers good in this. An Adapted Screenplay nomination is also probably in the cards, as well.

One Night In Miami

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: Amazon Prime
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: Regina King, in her directorial debut, is already getting a lot of buzz for a Best Director nomination. I think this film, an adaptation of the play based on the night Muhammad Ali, Malcom X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown all met for an evening of conversation, could be the film to snag the most nominees. Definitely expect a Best Adapted Screenplay as well as a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Leslie Odom Jr.

Promising Young Woman

HOW CAN YOU WATCH THIS: Another film you’re gonna have to pony up some scratch for, but you can rent this film on all the major services (Amazon Prime, Apple+ TV)
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH THIS: This very dark film is the kind of thing that AMPAS usually shies away from. The fact that this film is getting a lot of buzz just lets you know how good it is. Emerald Fennell, who is making her writing and directorial debut, could be consider for Oscars for both. And Carey Mulligan, giving a powerhouse performance, will definitely get love for Best Actress.

Sound Of Metal

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: Amazon Prime
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: As a heavy metal drummer losing his hearing, Riz Ahmed has earned rave reviews for his performance in Sound Of Metal. Expect him to be dressed in a tuxedo on Oscar night.

The Trial Of The Chicago 7

WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT: Netflix
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH IT: This ensemble cast is very good, and Sasha Baron Cohen may get a nomination for his portrayal of Abbie Hoffman, but expect to see Aaron Sorkin’s name getting thrown around a lot. I see Sorkin being nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and the film also being nominated for Best Picture.

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