Oscars Best Picture Challenge: Part III

Welcome to the final installment of this season’s Best Picture Challenge. Check out my thoughts on films seven through nine below.

Ford v. Ferrari

With Le Mans 1966 as the backdrop, officials at Ford look to do the impossible. They plan to construct a race car that can compete against a thoroughbred of car racing: Ferrari. But can it be done with corporate interference and the law of physics working against them? That’s what James Mangold portrays in Ford v. Ferrari.

As an avid moviegoer, I saw a trailer for this months before it began receiving Oscars hype. I thought it looked like an interesting film, but not one to be recognized for the Academy’s top prize.

Turns out, I really liked the film. From the plot, to the flow, to the cast ensemble. It was a thrilling two-and-a-half hour ride full of action, drama, and even some comedic moments. While I don’t think it’ll win Best Picture, Ford v. Ferrari is a must see!

My Rating: 4.5/5

Joker

In Todd Phillips’ Joker, a mentally troubled comedian, Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), is mistreated by society. Even getting scornful looks when he bursts out into an uncontrollable laughing fit on a city bus. Arthur then turns his pent-up frustrations into a bloody rebellion as alter-ego, The Joker, against a world that won’t accept him for who he is.

Like its fellow contender The Irishman, this film has also received criticism for portraying “white male rage.” Again, while definitely true, there is more to this story as well. Joker also portrays mental illness and puts it at the forefront of the plot line. If you can bypass the bloody scenes and examine the film further, you’ll see this is the case.

While not my favorite of this bunch, Joker is a geniously creepy of a tale. Phoenix provides one of his more brilliant performances to date and would not shock many if he wins Best Actor on Sunday. While I applaud it for addressing mental illness, Joker is just too freaky and bloody for me.

My Rating: 3/5

Little Women

Greta Gerwig’s reimagining of this classic tale is full of heart. The film centers on Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) and her retelling of a story about the March sisters. Four siblings that are determined to live life their own way.

This period piece is packed with wit. I particularly love the playful banter between the March sisters and well as various characters throughout the film. Timothée Chalamet stuns again as Laurie. But taking the cake – and rightfully so – is the ensemble of the March sisters (Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen). The casting could not have been more perfect for this film.

While its first act starts a bit slow for me, Gerwig’s latest feature deserves all the hype it has received. It could very well be a dark horse in this race.

My Rating: 4/5

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