Which 10 Films You Should Watch Before 92nd Academy Awards Oscars 2020? – Last February, NewsWorldLab Posted a Handy List of Five Films to watch before the Oscars. Citing the likes of Bohemian Rhapsody, Roma, and eventual Best Picture winner Green Book, it wound up being a fairly accurate guide to the most prominent movies. Believe it or not, though, it’s already time to start looking at the next batch of prestige films, as we enter the early stages of the latest Hollywood awards cycle.
This time around we’re doing something similar to the February piece, but further in advance. With the majority of films likely to contend for major awards either recently released or set to come out soon, we’re going to identify some of the films you may want to put on your list to see if you want to know what all the fuss is about when the award shows roll around early in 2020.
Here Are The 10 Movies You Should Try To See If You Want To Be Prepared For The Next 92nd Academy Awards Oscars 2020:
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – It appears as if this Quentin Tarantino film will be this year’s exception to the norm of autumn and winter releases dominating award season. The revisionist historical drama about Hollywood’s golden age, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, scored well with audiences and critics alike, and will likely score several high-profile nominations. Best Picture, Best Director (Tarantino), and Best Supporting Actor (Pitt) are perhaps the awards it has the best shot at.
Marriage Story – This Noah Baumbach-directed divorce drama has been getting all kinds of good attention at film festivals and critic screenings. We haven’t seen it yet, but the early buzz indicates that it would be a shock if this film missed a Best Picture nomination. On top of that though, the acting performances by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are being hailed in early reviews as something close to revolutionary. Slate referred to the duo as two of our greatest actors.
Parasite – Parasite isn’t for everyone. It’s a film by Korean director Bong Joon-ho (best known to mainstream cinephiles for Snowpiercer) that takes a quirky and unsettling yet comedic approach to explore class conflict. It’s undoubtedly bizarre, but also, as agreed upon by seemingly every living critic, brilliant. The Best Picture nomination seems increasingly likely.
Joker – Joker has actually been a fairly polarizing film, with some seeing it as a brilliant new twist on comic book cinema and others shrugging it off as contrived. Whatever the case, it’s one of the most successful films of 2019, and the performance of Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role is enough to elevate the project in major award conversations. Phoenix will assuredly earn a Best Actor nod (and may be the favorite), and Best Picture and Best Director nominations don’t seem out of the question.
The Irishman – The Irishman generated some distracting conversations early on: It was a Martin Scorsese film heading to Netflix, they were using de-aging technology on Robert De Niro, etc. But now that critics have seen it, it’s being discussed as a masterpiece and seems to have vaulted to the top of the Best Picture conversation. So, get ready to see this three-and-a-half-hour mob drama as the betting favorite.
Weathering With You – Weathering With You may not be as well known to audiences as some of these other films just yet – but it may be soon. In fact, as the latest anime wonder to come out of Japan, it may have specific relevance for the international community. Much has been written about anime’s influence on Japanese tourism; the specific style of animation and expression has in fact led to a boom in travel, with many looking beyond the big cities and famous temples and instead exploring more rural reaches of the country. Per ExpatBets Japan, these rural areas help tourists to immerse themselves in a Japanese way of living, and more tourist accommodations and attractions are being built to house the growing number of travelers. Weathering With You fits into this trend by presenting another magical vision of the country of Japan. It’s a beautiful, inviting film about two youths on the run, and it’s already earning some distinguished honors. It should be one of the frontrunners for the Best International Feature Film award at the Oscars, and further the trend of anime sparking engagement with Japanese culture.
Jojo Rabbit – Like Parasite, Jojo Rabbit isn’t for everybody. In fact, it’s a hard film to even describe tonally. But suffice it to say it’s a total satire about a young boy in Nazi Germany whose imaginary friend is his own imagined version of Adolf Hitler. It’s not as dark or offensive as that sounds, and the end result is actually a film so inventive and original it could secure nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay at least.
The Farewell – The Farewell may actually join Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as a pre-autumn award season standout – though unlike any Tarantino drama, it will do so as something of an unexpected dark horse. Simple on its face, this Lulu Wang-directed comedy/drama is about a family’s prolonged farewell to a dying matriarch (who doesn’t know she’s dying). It’s hard to explain what makes it so powerful, but ultimately it’s one of those films that just works. The Best Picture nomination is a possibility, and Wang and lead actress Awkwafina may secure personal honors as well.
Little Women – There have been several adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women before, but this may be the most original and star-studded one to date. Refinery 29 has pointed out that this is not just a shot-for-shot remake of past versions, but rather something entirely new. Even than a fresh take though, people are looking forward to seeing a cast that includes Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, and Timothée Chalamet. Any and all could earn nominations, and Greta Gerwig could be honored for her direction too.
Ford v Ferrari – This looks to be “the fun one,” which is always a good lane for a film to occupy heading into award season (as evidenced by Bohemian Rhapsody’s success last year). Starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, it will tell the true story of Ford taking on Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bale is already being discussed as a potential Best Actor heavyweight, though the film appears to be on a path toward a Best Picture nomination also.
1917 – For a Sam Mendes-directed World War I movie, 1917 has generated surprisingly little publicity to date. However, we’re starting to see more about it, and referring back to the idea that some online bookmakers will soon be posting Oscars odds, a few have actually already included this one among Best Picture favorites. The film will be released over the holidays and will star Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, and Richard Madden.
Even with a few months left before the 92nd Academy Awards 2020 Oscars (which will be held on February 9), you probably don’t have time to see every movie that might be in contention. In fact, even seeing these 10 might be a stretch. But the more you can cross off your list, the more perspective you’ll have come early February! Beyond simple preparation though, we’d also note that this seems to be a particularly strong crop of contenders, which means making your way through them ought to be a treat as well.
We’re all for supporting cinemas, but it’s worth noting that some of these contenders of this season of 92nd Academy Awards Oscars 2020 will actually be available on streaming services. That’s worth keeping in mind as a simple convenience as you make your way down the list. The Irishman and Marriage Story are Netflix Original films, and at as of late in November, The Farewell and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood are available on Amazon Prime Video.