Oscars 2020

The Year of The White Man in Revolt: From Old Hollywood to Divorce to Gotham


Chiara P., Editor-in-Chief

The Nominees For Best Motion Picture of the Year:

“Joker” (Todd Phillips), “Marriage Story” (Noah Baumbach), “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” (Quentin Tarantino), “The Irishman” (Martin Scorcese), “Ford.vs Ferrari” (James Mangold), “Little Women” (Greta Gerwig), “1917” (Sam Mendes), “Parasite” (Bong Joon- Ho) and “Jojo Rabbit” (Taika Waititi)


Well, it is that time of year which I usually avoid. Awards season seems to always be a long drag of Hollywood patting itself on the back. The controversy over the usual lack of diversity, big budget versus indie favorites, misread awards, comedy and politics, and the overall hypocrisy of the community at all. But this year, ironically, I think I will tune in because I actually have a favorite.

The long time film titans are having a renaissance of their own, and their favorite leading men are tied to deliver performances that reflect what this year seems to emphasize–the middle age white man’s struggle. The theme of these men searching for identity is pressing and telling. Legends are pitted against legends. Scorsese, Pacino, DeNiro, and Pesci. Tarantino, Pitt, and DiCaprio. Mangold, Bale, and Damon.

There are also the unexpected dark horses withJojo Rabbit,”Parasite,” and “Marriage Story” who pull a range of genre and emerging talent. The cinematic period pieces of “Little Women” and “1917” are listed next to what is the psychological genius and enigmatic “Joker.” They range from being high of office (“Joker” is the highest earning R rated film ever) to Scorsese’s “The Irishman” which was in development hell for a number of years before Netflix picked it up. “The Irishman” is nominated for 10 categories and yet made 8 million against a 159 dollar budget. Therefore, Hollywood is proving to still bet its bets on its long time veterans, despite a changing dynamic in cinema with the rise of streaming services.

Notably, most of the films this year follow the thematic of white men seeking rebellion within changing times of their own. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton faces being an actor in the last years of Golden Age Cinema. Adam Driver plays the careerist husband battling his own ego and family in a grueling divorce drama. The Irishman brings back the past of italian mobsters  and Joker presents questions of hypocrisy upon which society grounds itself as a man ultimately becomes Gotham’s revolutionary. Then there is the satirical spoof on Hitler, Jojo Rabbit, but could it win Best picture? 1917 is a cinematographic war masterpiece that has received critically acclaimed responses, and frontrunner via the Producers Guild.

There are exceptions to the year of this middle age white man journey with Little Women, the name of which headlines actresses from Streep to Ronan. Greta Gerwig’s modern spin on the classic is not to be underestimated with its raw and newly wrought material. Although, I am not much of a fan of remakes.

Parasite, which just won the cast SAG award for the  Kim clan and Park family drama. Parasite, a South Korean black thriller is a symbiosis between mystery and drama and  a hit at the box office and at film festivals, including Cannes. The variety this year is unique. A blending of familiar faces and new ones may be the exciting break to a new era of filmmaking. It seems though the theme of this year isn’t so diverse, but the films are diverse in their characters and creation. Does that make up for it? That’s for audiences to decide. My personal favorite? Joker. Thank you Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips for your guys’ brilliance.

Which film is your favorite? Tune in at 8 p.m. eastern time on ABC for the 92nd Oscar Awards.