Oscars season is now in full swing, so it's time to take a look at what films are the leading candidates for Best Picture category.
Like every year, the Academy Board picked out some of the best films in terms of storyline, cinematography, acting, technical aspects and etc. While the tradition followed this year too, what was interesting to note is that they also included films that invited mass appeal and were blockbusters at the box office like Marvel's 'Black Panther', 'A Star is Born' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
Here is a rundown of the top eight Best Picture nominees:
'Roma' is a story that chronicles the life of a middle-class family's maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the movie is a personal epic that centres on a young indigenous woman who works as a maid for a middle-class white family that’s falling apart.
The indigenous woman in the film is played by actress Yalitza Aparicio who has been nominated by the Academy for the Best Actress. Incidentally, this is her debut film.
The movie shows a series of catastrophes starting with a business trip the father takes that shows the ongoing differences between the couple. There’s also an earthquake, a shattered window, an unexpected pregnancy, death and betrayal.
Cuaron served as the director of photography for 'Roma,' and his work here is astonishing. He shot the movie in black-and-white, large-format digital, creating images that have extraordinary clarity, detail and tonality.
Although 'Roma' is autobiographical, Cuaron doesn’t explicitly announce it as such.
The movie creates a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst the political turmoil of the 1970s.
'Roma' is dedicated to Liboria Rodríguez, the woman who raised him in a house like the one in this movie, where every so often you can see a jet passing overhead, a vision that points to a distant future.
A deliciously wicked tale of sex, women, and power plays.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, 'The Favourite' uses the court of Queen Anne as the backdrop for a story of pathos and intrigue.
The movie is around three central women. Dressed in all black-and-white, just like everyone at court, their morals and ethics come in every shade of grey.
'The Favourite' takes a dark view of human nature.
Women in the movie have realised that the world has decided to simply shove the most useless men around them to the sides of the frame.
It’s mixed with people wanting things like power, position, prestige, or just to not be alone. Anything that looks like love in Lanthimos’s worlds always comes with some kind of ulterior motive.
The three skilled actresses in the film are amazingly played by Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz.
A film beyond the average superhero movie having an interesting and well-plotted story with themes of family loyalty and community responsibility.
Helmed by Ryan Coogler, 'Black Panther' is about T'Challa who after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
It would perhaps have been too bold of Marvel to make this geopolitical thriller without any action.
It is a movie that takes just as much pride in showing off its CGI-heavy landscapes as it does in revelling in surreal African rituals. It is vibrant, dizzyingly well-plotted and immensely relevant when it needs to be.
'Black Panther' is a movie that is a melding of two very different kinds of cultures, both black, but from either end of the world. It stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o and Michael B. Jordan did a wonderful job helping the movie get a nod from the Academy.
The movie is about a black detective (John David Washington), an African-American police officer from ColoradoSprings, CO, who successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader.
Based on a true story, 'BlacKkKlansman' slips seamlessly from borderline-absurdist humour to all-too-real horror, conjuring an urgent blend of sociopolitical period satire and contemporary wake-up call.
'Blackklansman' proves that the 61-year old director Spike Lee's approach to America’s ever-burning issue - race, is as uncompromising as ever and that his talent for telling a story on the big screen hasn’t been compromised either.
Two artistic souls coming together, on stage and in life, 'A Star Is Born' is a love story that we have seen and want to see time and again.
Seasoned musician Jackson Maine(Bradley Cooper) discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally(Gaga).
She has just about given up her dream to make it big as a singer until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally's career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
For one enchanted moment, their chemistry is perfect, with each firing the other’s dreams. But these star paths are crossed rather than entwined.
He’s dependent on a self-destructive cocktail of steroid injections, booze and boot-crushed pills.
As for her, fame brings its own baggage, as pop-savvy manager Rez (Rafi Gavron) moulds her image with new dancers and hairdos and publicity photos.
In addition to starring, Gaga was a major contributor to the 'A Star Is Born' soundtrack.
She has writing credits on most of the film's biggest songs, including 'Shallow,' which is the strongest contender for a best original song nomination.
The epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington-insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W Bush, reshaping the country and the globe.
Christian Bale does a virtuoso turn as Dick Cheney in 'Vice', the stealth office manager of extreme right-wing power.
McKay, who wrote and directed the film, sticks mostly to the facts, though he includes a sprinkling of satirical fantasy sequences.
A chronicle of the years leading up to Queen's legendary appearance at the Live aid (1985) concert, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is an enthralling celebration of the singer.
Under the direction of Bryan Singer, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' focuses on Queen, their music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and convention to become one of history’s most beloved entertainers.
Following Queen’s meteoric rise, their revolutionary sound and Freddie’s solo career, the film also chronicles the band’s reunion, and one of the greatest performances in rock history.
The protagonist of the movie Rami Malek played his role convincingly and his impersonation added a kind of magic to the movie. For the wonderful role he played, he is in the Oscar nominations for the Best Actor category.
A working-class Italian American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
Mahershala Ali plays a jazz musician who lives in a palatial house, hires a driver played by Viggo Mortensen for his concert tour in down south. Both the characters are highly different from other. The world renowned pianist ( Dr Don Shirley) faces discrimination the moment he steps down from the stage.
Class and race aren’t the only issues – there is also sexual identity, which the film touches on.
Confronted with racism, danger- as well as unexpected humanity and humour, they are advised to set aside the differences and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.