And The Oscar Goes To…

Roma is a frontrunner at this year’s Oscars.

Are you ready for the biggest night where movies, actors, directors, screen writers, composers, etc. all get together in their best attire in attempts to win the coveted golden statue? Well the wait is almost over as Feb. 24 sees the return of the 91st Academy Awards, airing at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. It wouldn’t be an Oscar’s celebration without controversy and this year’s debate focuses on the host, or lack of one.

With Kevin Hart stepping down amid arguments over his past remarks and views, the vacancy has yet to be filled. If left as is, this will mark the first ceremony in 30 years to be conducted without a host.

The nominations for Best Pictures this year have a wide diversity, unlike prior years. They are as follows:

Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee’s first directing nomination ), Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born and Vice. Many of these films also have many other nominations, like Vice having nods for Director (Adam McKay), Actor (Christian Bale), Supporting Actress (Amy Adams) and Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell).

Also of importance are a few films that have best Actor/Actress Nominations where their film hasn’t been given the recognition. They are:

Can You Ever Forgive Me? is directed by Marielle Heller and stars Melissa McCarthy, who has been selected in the Best Actress category for this performance where she portrays Lee Israel, a writer, who has fallen on hard times and resorts to forging letters from deceased authors and playwrights and turning around to sell them for big profits. The movie is based on Lee’s memoir of the same name from 2008. McCarthy, known for her comedic performances, proves her versatility in this role, making her a contender.

At Eternity’s Gate is directed by Julian Schnabel and stars Willem Dafoe, who is up for a Best Actor award. This biographical drama gives us a look into the final years of famous painter Vincent van Gogh while living in France. As always, Dafoe delivers an outstanding performance.

Roma is up for many awards including Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón, who also wrote the script), Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), and Best Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira). This foreign film ties with The Favourite with the most nominations as well as 2000’s Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon for the most noms for a film not in the English language. Roma has already won awards for Best Director and Best Foreign Language Film. The movie is based loosely on Cuarón’s own experiences growing up in Colonia Roma in the district of Mexico City. The film follows the year in the life of a maid working for a middle class family in the early 1970s. Her story is complicated and intertwined with the family she works for as well as another maid and how she must live with some of the choices she has picked. Roma has been getting a lot of buzz and is sure to do well at the Oscars.

The Wife, directed by Bjorn Runge, stars Best Actress nominee Glenn Close, who gives an outstanding performance as the dutiful wife of an arrogant husband, who takes credit and even a Nobel Prize for literature that she wrote. We follow the character as she becomes increasingly disgruntled and decides to not be complacent anymore. The movie is based on the novel of the same name written by Meg Wolitzer. Close, however, is no stranger to awards as she has been nominated seven times in the past, including a nomination for her infamous role in Fatal Attraction.

See a few of these deservedly nominated movies and judge for yourself come Feb. 24. Invite some friends over, make sure you have plenty of popcorn and enjoy the show.

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Cheryl Wadsworth
Cheryl Wadsworth is a writer for Long Island Weekly, specializing in movie previews.

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