Ranking the Best Picture Nominees at the 93rd Academy Awards

It's Oscar day in America, and eight films are vowing for the most prestigious award in the film industry: Best Picture. I'm counting down all eight Best Picture nominees from worst to best. Keep reading to see which was my favorite this year!

8- The Trial of the Chicago 7

There's nothing bad about Trial of the Chicago 7. It effectively tells its story and features some great performances from its ensemble cast. However, it's not a very exciting movie, nor is it one that I would have any desire to watch again. Watching it once was certainly enough for me. It felt overly long and dragged at certain points, and I didn't connect to a lot of the characters in the way I did with many other films on this list. It's definitely a story worth telling, and a movie worth seeing, with some great performances, but it doesn't stack up to the other nominees.

7- Mank

Mank is a slow burn. Slower than any other nominee this year. Luckily I don't mind a slow burn when done well. Mank is well-done, but it sure does take a while to get going. It felt as if barely anything happened during the entire first half of the film. Once the action did begin, I got into it and really came to enjoy it. Gary Oldman is, as always, great in the film, and brings his usual charms to the role. Amanda Seyfried gives one of her best performances in a role that I truly wish got more screentime. It's not a perfect film by a longshot, but it's a good one. Good lands it near the bottom of the list.

6- Judas and the Black Messiah

The strength of this film, as almost anyone will tell you, is in Daniel Kaluuya's performance. Lakeith Stanfield, Dominique Fishback and Jesse Plemons are also great, but Kaluuya is the heart of it. Even when parts of the film felt slow and didn't quite work for me, Kaluuya was consistently great and made the film work as well as it does. In the end, I didn't love the film as a whole and had some issues with the pacing, but it liked it and thought it achieved its goal of telling the story of Kaluuya's Fred Hampton, an important historial figure whose life was cut too short. 

5- Minari

Centering on an immigrant family trying to make a life for themselves in rural America, Minari is quite the emotional rollercoaster. It has moments of comedy interspersed between heartfelt and sometimes tragic moments for the family. I grew to love all of the characters in the movie and truly felt gutted when their fortunes took downward turns. Deserving the most acclaim of all for the film is Youn Yuh-jung, a favorite in the Supporting Actress category this year, whose grandmother character I had a soft spot for. She brought us most of the film's moments of comedy, which were much-needed in this film. I feel bad ranking this movie down in fifth place out of six, because it was a great film that deserves all of the acclaim it's gotten and more.

4- The Father

Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman working together is obviously going to create magic, which is what happened with The Father. The film itself is quite simple, with most of the film featuring Hopkins' character at his flat and his daughter's flat, struggling with his memory due to his dementia. It doesn't sound like an interesting film, but it's that and more. Anthony Hopkins delivers what may be his best performance in this role, bringing me to tears multiple times due to his realistic portrayal of one of the cruelest diseases of all. The film iteslf is a bit confusing, but that's okay, because we are feeling the same confusion that the lead character is feeling. It's often hard for us to know what in this movie is real and what is in the character's imagination, and it helps us feel even more for him. It's a must-see film.

3- Sound of Metal

This film isn't one I was very drawn to before I saw its awards buzz, for whatever reason. When I watched it, I was blown away by how great it was. It's a unique film, entirely unlike any other I've seen before. Riz Ahmed plays a metal band drummer who loses his ability to hear and goes to a shelter for deaf recovering addicts. He was so believable in this role and truly made me feel as if he was going through the struggles his character was experiencing. Supporting star Paul Raci was the breakout of the film, though. I'd never heard of him or seen him in anything but was floored by how great he was as the director of the shelter, and he was the emotional heart of the film in my view. This film isn't what I expected it to be going into it, and that's what was so great. It was moving and surprising and I could never predict what would happen next. Just a truly great film that deserves all of the acclaim.

2- Nomadland

The success of this film can be attributed to two people: director and writer Chloé Zhao and star Frances McDormand. With a lesser director and a lesser lead, this wouldn't be a film that works. McDormand is in every single scene in the movie and is left to carry it from start to finish. Zhao helps her along the way with stellar direction and a strong script, but that doesn't discount the phenomenal job done here by McDormand. You can be a great actor and not be able to pull off a role as demanding as this one, even if the script is great. That she is able to so effortlessly bring this role to life and make it feel genuine and real is a testament to her abilities as an actor. It wasn't my favorite film of the year, but it was still incredible and I can't recommend this film enough.

1- Promising Young Woman

Of all the Best Picture nominees this year, this is the one that I can't stop thinking about. I watched the movie months ago and I still remember it so vividly. All I need to do is look at a still from the film to bring back the emotions that I felt watching it. It was a film both thrilling and devastating, with its comedic and dramatic moments coming together to form a masterpiece of a film. It's a movie that's so important - not just in this post-#MeToo era but at any time, showing the devastating impact of sexual assault on not just the victim, but those closest to them. Writer/director Emerald Fennell masterfully crafts a clever and depressingly realistic story that culminates in an ending that's shocking and hard to swallow, but brilliant. There's characters that you deeply feel for and some you massively loathe, and it's hard to not have strong feelings about any of them. It's all anchored by Carey Mulligan's leading performance, which is easily the performance of the year. I hadn't seen Mulligan in any other film before and this film has made me a lifelong fan. While there's other stellar Best Picture nominees this year, there's none I look forward to seeing again more than Promising Young Woman. It's a home run.

What movie are you rooting for to take home the top prize at the Oscars? Let me know in the comments!

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