The Oscars boot camp

Written By: K Krishnakumar
Delhi Published: Jan 15, 2020, 01:23 PM(IST)

Oscars 2020: Best Film Nominee Photograph:( Twitter )

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So be it 'Joker' or 'Parasite'- the parallel between the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2020s are fascinating.

It's one of those Oscar seasons where the names are big and the movies are fun enough for a lot of people- other than film junkies.

Headlining the event is a box-office smash. And not just any other money-spinner. One that dominated conversations across the board. With 11 nominations 'Joker' is the one film that's the biggest draw of them all.

Why? Well whenever the wider audience has seen the nominated films, there's automatically more interest. Will it win? Is it worth an Oscar?

Case in point 1998. The year of 'Titanic' dominated the Oscars. An entire generation of Oscar watchers was born that pivotal year.

'Titanic' was a movie event like no other. There have been big-budget movies before, but this one came in the age of TV.

It was nominated for 13 Oscars and ended up taking home 11. At par with the other Hollywood epic- 'Ben-Hur'.

People watched 'Titanic' in the theatres. And then watched it create history on TV. A whole lot more people on TV, than at the time of 'Ben-Hur' for sure.

Cut to 2020.

While almost nothing compares to 'Titanic'- Todd Philips' 'Joker' is what you call a bona fide box-office success. And it received positive critical reviews as well!

Followed by a raging debate on its morality.

However, it has been a serious contender in the awards circuit. I feel in the coming days, 'Joker' is what every Oscar click-bait article is going to be about online.

But apart from 'Joker', there have been other films that have caught the audience's fancy this year. Like 'The Irishman' and 'Marriage Story'.

Both these films were produced by and released on Netflix. And hence in the digital age, they have become the most talked-about films. Despite having only a token theatrical run.

Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' is another well-watched film this year much like 'Ford V Ferrari'. While the former is touted to win Best Picture, the latter is unlikely to win anything at all.

Sam Mendes' film '1917' arrived at just the right time with all the right buzz.

A $100+ million World War I epic has been directed the same filmmaker who has won an Oscar for 'American Beauty' and scored a box-office bombshell for 'James Bond' with 'Skyfall' in the past.

It won the top honours at the Golden Globes days before it premiered worldwide. Talk about timing!

Incidentally, there is talk that this was the Hollywood Foreign Press Association providing back up for an expensive film without any stars in it.

But the Academy Awards jury too has bestowed it with 10 nominations. So that's that!

2020 is also the year when a Non-English film is poised to create history. The first film from South Korea to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. 'Parasite' has been nominated for 6 Oscars. Including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

This has been widely regarded as 'The Film' of the season, year, decade etc.

It won the prestigious Palm D'or at Cannes in 2019 while on its way to the Oscars.

Here's a quick flashback. A year after 'Titanic' swept the Oscars, in 1999, the Italian film 'Life Is Beautiful' created magic. A tragicomedy set in the Holocaust it was nominated for 7 Oscars. And won 3 including Best Foreign Film.

The film's director and star Roberto Benigni became the first non-English speaking actor to win the Best Actor Oscar. His antics at the awards ceremony was one for the ages. That film too had won the Cannes Grand Prix award before the Oscars.

So be it 'Joker' or 'Parasite'- the parallel between the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2020s are fascinating.

If ever there was a time to get in on all the Oscar talk. Then it is now. And if ever there was a place to read before you speak. Then this is it!

(Views expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

K Krishnakumar

Krishna Kumar is a TV news Anchor at WION(World Is One) in Delhi NCR. A senior broadcast journalist, he has expertise in a wide gamut of subjects including Business, Politics, Films & Entertainment, Technology and Sports.

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