Directed, written, produced and shot by Alfonso Cuarón, Roma is a semi-autobiographical film based on his upbringing in Mexico City and follows the tale of a live-in housekeeper working for a middle-class family in Colonia Roma, a district of the city. The film has been highly praised by critics who have commented on the success of Cuarón’s personal approach, many claiming it to be his best work to date. The film also received countless award nominations and wins across the film festival scene as well as at the BAFTA’s and also the Golden Globes where it recently won 2 awards, one for Best Motion Picture in a Foreign Language and another for Best Director. It’s the first film that has been primarily distributed by a streaming service (Netflix) to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. In all the film has received 10 nominations, tying it Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon for having the most nominations for a film in a foreign language. Cuarón alone has received 4 which as well as Best Picture include Best Director, Cinematography and Original Screenplay. It’s almost certain that the film will receive the award for Best Foreign Language Film.
A Star is Born
Musicals often tend to do well at the Oscars and the latest rendition of A Star is Born has received plenty of praise since it’s released. This film is the directorial debut of Bradley Cooper who is well known for his acting career, he does of course also star in the film alongside Lady Gaga. This is actually fourth adaptation of the film by the same name first released in 1937. It follows a heavy drinking musician (Cooper) who discovers a new young talent (Lady Gaga) who he then falls in love with. The film reached great box office success, much of which is believed to have been down to Gaga’s immense fanbase. Though that shouldn’t discount one’s opinion of the quality of the film, critics also praised the film not only for its music but also for its direction and acting, noting particularly the relationship between Cooper and Gaga as a highlight. Rarely does a remake reach such an overwhelmingly positive critical response as this has. It has received 9 nominations including Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor (Sam Elliott) and Music Written for a Motion Picture for the song Shallow.
The final nomination for Best Picture falls to yet another biographical comedy-drama, this time we see the story of arguably the USA’s most powerful Vice President in history, Dick Cheney, and how he rose to that position. The film is both written and directed by Adam McKay who reached similar success with his previous film The Big Short. The film star Christian Bale in the title role as well as the likes of Amy Adams, Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell. Vice seems to have split critics quite dramatically, some believing it to be a witty and biting take on the subject matter whilst others claiming it’s a clear display of political hatred, though I suppose nothing splits a room like politics. It’s received 8 nomination which also include Best Directing, Screenplay, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.