It’s that time again, everybody! That time where we are bombarded with ratings and critic snippets and stars given to movies that nobody has heard of until about 3 weeks ago… IT’S OSCAR TIME! For any movie buff, this is the exciting part of the year — all the fun holidays are over and it’s still cold and dreary out so the movie buffs will fill their days with fantasy and stories that take them far, far away.
However, if you haven’t seen any Oscar-nominated films, like me, and are too lazy to head to the theatres to actually see what all the hype is about…well, this is your lucky day! I have taken it upon myself to skip all the hoopla of Oscar season and found an alternative way to fill you in on what all these movies are about!
Now, have I seen them all? Of course not. But I have seen the posters and that’ll suffice just as well. So, here is the roundup of all the Best Picture Oscar-nominated movies and what they’re about based purely on the posters. Because a picture should be worth a thousand words, right?
1. Call Me By Your Name
Brandon and Sherman Cranston have been conjoined their entire lives. They were the first set of twins to be both fraternal AND attached from ear to shoulder. Their medical abnormality confused and shocked the medical community worldwide. However, instead of being depressed about their struggles, the twins begin to see life as a funny joke and want to let everyone in on it. They start to play practical jokes on their parents (“No mom, Brandon isn’t in right now, but I can take a message!”). They start to confuse people by switching names- Brandon would say his name is Sherman and vice versa. It’s all fun and games until the CIA steps in…can these joking twins confuse the US government? This heartwarming tale shows their story. [Based on a true story]
2. Darkest Hour
Darkest Hour is a harrowing biopic based on real events surrounding Winston Churchill. It follows a story many people in the UK may not know about. Churchill had a love of gambling and swindling people out of their money. He would bet all the money he had in his pockets on silly bets like, “I bet that fellow can juggle 4 apples instead of 3” and would force someone to juggle for his amusement. He almost always won his bets. However, this story follows a dark time in Churchill’s life in which he lost the biggest bet he ever involved himself with…a simple game of hide and seek. He challenged all of his friends for a huge game around his home and swore his life savings that no one would be able to find him…because this game shall be played in the dark. Why wasn’t Churchill able to outwit friends in what those closest to him called…his darkest hour (since the game only lasted an hour)?
Bobby “Smart Hands” Dunkirk was the best foosball player of his generation. The other well-known greats that came before him: Simon “Cracked Knuckles” Blithe, George “Tied Up Elbow” Wozen, and Bruce Forsyth…none could hold a candle to this strapping, young gamer. This film follows his travels around the world playing hundreds of foosball matches, even in surroundings that most wouldn’t dare to go near: high-crime areas, desolate faraway lands, and even war-torn countries. “Smart Hands” Dunkirk must reach deep down into the depths of his soul to discover why he really plays the game.
4. Get Out
Get Out follows the strange happenings in the life of Joseph Van Zandt, a clumsy but well-intentioned man who has a compulsion to walk into areas (rooms, buildings, etc.) that he’s not authorized to be in. He developed this affliction at an early age and it has hindered most of his life, especially now as an adult when his standard explanation as to why he walked into a room he’s not supposed to be in- “I can’t help it”- isn’t sufficient anymore. He may lose his job, his wife, and even his self-worth if he doesn’t…get out. This is until he wandered into what looked like an abandoned magic shop and stumbled upon an old man who claims he can help him because he too needs to…get out.
5. Lady Bird
In the small town of Blueberry Hill, just south of Dublin, Ireland, a family of bird/human-hybrid gypsies are happily going on about their lives. They have a small community and are isolated from the rest of Ireland, but they help each other out and have always taught the children that there is no point to venture outside of Blueberry Hill when everything they need in within their town. In addition, there is no judgment like there would be on The Outside (what they call anywhere outside of Blueberry Hill); no one understands the bird-humans and no one wants to. This is until one adventurous, quirky teenage girl-bird named Robin is fed up with not knowing what’s on The Outside. This dynamic dystopian story, based on the young adult novel of the same name, explores Robin’s decision to leave her nest and her hope that she can fly where she’s always wanted to.
6. Phantom Thread
Lorry Weissmeiner, since the age of 5, has always been obsessed with clothes. While other children would beg to be brought to a toy store or ask Santa for video games at Christmas, Lorry would ask for clothes: shirts, dresses, pants, even shoelaces- she didn’t care as long as she had a colorful and interesting variety of clothes at her disposal. As she grew older, she discovered that she could make her own clothes and became one of the fastest and most talented clothing designers in her state. Lorry was the first ever teenager to earn a full scholarship for clothing design.
Everything seemed to be going wonderfully for Lorry…until her grandfather, Crocket, died. Crocket never cared for Lorry’s love of clothes and always argued with her about it every chance he got. After his passing, however, Lorry started to feel very uneasy around clothes. She started to notice her new design projects would have loose threads or missing buttons the next day; her fabric drawers would be ripped open; needles would go missing in bunches. Is Lorry’s grandfather still showing how displeased he is with her even after he’s dead? Can Lorry stitch back up her torn relationship with her grandfather or is she forever destined to fight?
7. The Post
This hilarious romp follows two neighbors, Barry Tweizel and Roberta Ceen, who are in love with each other but don’t want anyone else to know. They are both widowers who lost spouses over 10 years ago and don’t know how to break it to their children that they’re both in love and are ready to move on and start living their lives. Fortunately, because they live so close, they leave messages for each other on the lamppost on the street that stands between their houses. After many hysterical miscommunications in which the children think the notes are for them from secret admirers, will Barry and Roberta finally come clean to their children?
8. The Shape Of Water
The Shape Of Water shows us a futuristic world taking place in 4120 in which humans are now able to live in any environment without the aid of technology. Humans are now able to breathe underwater, live where there is no oxygen, or survive in the coldest temperatures without so much as a light sweater. Unfortunately, what this has done has caused Earth to be extremely populated as people are living much longer lives now. All the world governments have begun to discuss finally erecting cities in other places that would’ve been unheard before: other planets, Antarctica, and even miles and miles below the ocean surface. With this new decision comes new issues for America: the gerrymandering of the new areas that are to be populated on the ocean floor below the United States. The now 17 popular political parties of 4120 are all fighting for their voters to have the bigger areas so they have an easier time when the voting season arrives.
The only person who seems to have a clear head about this is the president, Mary Ellen Rothschild, who begins to explore the ocean floor on her own to brainstorm how a compromise can be found. While she’s exploring, she discovers that perhaps there are already human-like inhabitants on the ocean floor. Is America’s history repeating itself or will they work with these new citizens found living in the water?
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Chris, Ruby, and Ellis Billboard lived in a tent just outside Ebbing, Missouri. The two brothers and sister were abandoned by their parents at a very young age, so they decided to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and take care of themselves. As triplets, they possessed a somewhat psychic ability with one another which always helped keep them safe (especially since they were living in a tent). If Chris and Ellis left the site to go find firewood for the night, and Ruby was left alone, she would be left vulnerable to conmen or ferocious animals. All she would have to do is concentrate on her fear and her brothers would come running back in no time to ensure she was safe.
The mayor of Ebbing had always known about the Billboards but chose to ignore them because he thought these “miscreants” were actually in his town instead of outside of it would bring the reputation of his town even further down than it already was; he was usually happy to ignore them as long as they stayed outside of his town. This movie explores the moment when the mayor finally loses all patience and just wants the Billboards gone once and for all, just to give himself some peace of mind. The triplets must now use their psychic ability and homegrown ingenuity to battle the mayor’s goons to keep their tent…and their lives…intact.