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The 2024 Oscar’s Best Picture Nominees Review

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The beginning of the new year brings another celebration of excellence shown in cinema through The Oscars. The 96-year long tradition of honoring the best films released in the year brings anticipation to film enthusiasts everywhere waiting to find out if their favorite movie has been awarded. This year’s 10 nominations show the wide range of storytelling and talent many directors, screenwriters and actors hold captivating the audience. Here is my outlook and review on three of these nominations.

Barbie

The bright colors and style of Greta Gerwig’s film “Barbie” takes everyone back to their childhood. The set design when it comes to Barbie World makes you feel like you’re being transported to the imaginary world with lots of pink and environments that feel like an actual play set. The visuals during the travel to the real world with no CGI and all methods from old silent films is similar to watching a play. The more humorous parts of this movie are written and executed amazingly with an outstanding performance from Ryan Gosling as Ken, between his dependability on Barbie and his improvised sublime scene. Irony also plays a big part in the movie with an all-men executive team running Mattel, the brand made to inspire young girls which Barbie even calls out when informed about this. The main focus of this movie is the message of feminism and how women struggle under the patriarchy, which was beautifully shown through extraordinary scenes like America Ferrera’s speech on how women are criticized for what seems like everything they do. This theme is also presented when Ken discovers the idea of patriarchy and turns the women-ruled world of Barbie Land into Kendom. This movie was an amazing take on feminism and a great humorous film for a movie night.

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Anatomy of a Fall

The mostly French dialogue movie gives an insight into crime and trials in court as we follow Sandra and her son Daniel after being accused of murdering her husband. With a calm start of Sandra getting interviewed and her son taking their dog for a walk in the snow, the quick discovery of her husband’s dead body catches you off guard. The use of still camera shots focusing on the dark attic of the house provides an almost eerie feel and dark atmosphere. The constant uncertainty of what happened to her husband and her friends’ doubt in her keeps you wondering whether or not she is guilty for this death throughout the whole movie, along with the pain you feel for her son while he’s grieving. As the trial continues Daniel starts to be questioned by police, yet his quick change of answers makes you wonder if he’s lying to protect his mom or being genuine. A sudden change in settings from Sandra simply being questioned to being indicted raises the stakes and suspense of the movie, along with the setting change there’s occasional changes in filming style using press and news footage. The slow pacing of this film makes it feel like you’re almost witnessing it firsthand, seeing every detail and piece of evidence. The performances given in this movie were excellent as well as the cinematography. However,the only negative aspect was the pacing and language barrier. Almost the whole movie is set during the trial, as it slowly progresses.

The Holdovers

The grainy look, wardrobe, and settings of this film provide a very nostalgic and old feel as it’s set in 1970, focusing on teacher Paul Hundham, student Angus Tully and school chef Mary Lamb as they’re stuck at school during winter break. The bitter attitude that Mr. Hundham carries with him as well shows towards his students,is executed perfectly with him constantly threatening them with a new assignment after winter break.As the movie progresses, we get to see the friendship between Mr. Hundham and Mary strengthen and heartwarming scenes of him comforting her after her son’s death. The movie provides a sense of sympathy for the characters as you see Angus be left behind by his mom for the break, Mr. Hundham has no one close in his life and Mary is still heavily grieving. The banter between Angus and Mr. Hundham flows smoothly and both of them make very humorous comments towards each other. Seeing the help Mr. Hundham provides to Angus during their trip to Boston shows how close their bond has grown over the course of the break, as it’s touching to see the relationship they’ve formed together. The ending of the movie fills you with a sense of hurt knowing how much Mr. Hundham and Angus have gone through together as well as how much they’ve helped each other through the story. This movie was an uplifting comedy that I would recommend to just about anyone with its outstanding acting and character development.

 

The 2024 Oscars best picture nominees highlight the magnificent work and achievements made in film history. From the bright world of barbie dolls to ominous trials these films provide arrays of new perspectives and experiences. As people around the world wait in anticipation for this award ceremony, the nominations continue to be films that are loved by all types of viewers. 






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About the Contributor
Ally Boldrin
Ally Boldrin, Staff Writer
Ally Boldrin is a staff writer for The Daily Howl at Castaic High School. Her intent in journalism is to bring more attention to mental health topics and discuss pop culture as well. She's passionate about shining a light on topics people tend to ignore or discard. She enjoys writing stories that are able to be seen by her peers while also informing them on certain topics while branching out and growing her writing skills. Her main goal is to improve her writing and continue to study English and literature. In her free time she's usually reading, drawing or listening to music. 
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