by Kate Beeby
The Oscars represent a night of awarding and recognizing achievement in film. Every year, there are expectations, surprises, and somewhat inevitable disappointment for many viewers. This year was no different; with a star-studded list of directors, actors, and everything in between, this year’s nominees lived up to the hype that the award entails. Many of this year’s nominations stood out for me, having watched many of the movies nominated.
The first movie that stood out to me this year was Parasite. It was no surprise that Parasite won Best Foreign-Language Film, considering the buzz surrounding its title leading up to the Oscars. I hadn’t watched or heard of any of the other nominees in the category, being that I speak English primarily, so I don’t have much to compare the film to. When Parasite won Best Foreign-Language Film, it was exciting, but generally people don’t give enough praise to the winners of that category. Many viewers assume that this and Best Original Screenplay are consolation prizes of sorts. Most movies in these categories are smaller, more groundbreaking films. Director, Bong Joon Ho, deservedly won Best director, defeating some tough competition, including Quentin Tarantino. The Parasite win that had the largest impact was Best Picture. For the first time in history, a non-English language film won Best Picture. This changed history, and to be honest, it was refreshing to see something besides mainstream actors, directors, and more traditional Oscar-friendly movies win Best Picture.
Another award that was very exciting for me was Little Women’s win for Best Costume Design. I was very impressed with the films’ ability to take the audience to another time period through costume alone. Although Little Women was nominated alongside The Irishman, The Joker, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and Jojo Rabbit, costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, captured the looks described in the original novel, written in 1868, while putting a modern spin on things to meet the expectations of the twenty-first century. The characters looked stunning in their costumes, keeping the viewers’ attention.
One of my favorite movies of the year, 1917, won the award for Best Cinematography. The movie was presented as if it were filmed in one continuous shot, making the harsh realities of World War I more real for viewers. Roger Deakins deserves the award, even if his fellow nominees had extraordinary films as well. One of his fellow nominees, Robert Richardson, was nominated for his film Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. However, what sets 1917 apart from the other films is the drama that the cinematography brings to the film. I felt like I was fighting alongside the soldiers at times, which was a truly thrilling experience.