23 Movies To See Before The 2019 Oscars, So You Won't Miss A Beat On Hollywood's Biggest Night
With the announcement of the nominations, the countdown to the 2019 Academy Awards is now officially on. While many have expressed their feelings, both good and bad, about this year's selections, there are a great deal of movies that fans should see before the 91st Oscars ceremony on Feb. 24. Despite a plethora of shocking snubs, this year's nominations still managed to leave fans with many honorsd worth celebrating. Although women were notably disregarded in the Best Directing category, this year's Oscars made a huge improvement in terms of diversity with five out of the eight films selected for the Best Picture nomination being led by actors of color. The moment is monumental as it marks the first time the category featured that many movies with non-white actors in the ceremony's more than nine-decade history.
As far as performance noms are concerned, Mahershala Ali, who became the first Muslim to win an Academy Award for acting in 2017, could possibly make history, once again, for winning a 2nd Oscar faster than any actor in 24 years should he score a Best Supporting Actor trophy for his role in Green Book. Black Panther also landed a historical feat, becoming the first superhero film to score a Best Picture nomination since the Academy's inception in 1929. Meanwhile, Roma is doing its part in changing the game in terms of the film industry and streaming platforms, arriving as Netflix's first-ever nomination in the Best Picture category. The list of reasons to tune into this year's Oscars could certainly go on and on.
That said, there couldn't be a more perfect time to check out this year's most talked about films – many of which are listed below, in no particular order.
1. 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'
Although the lack of female representation deflated the hopes of many who had their hearts set on seeing a woman take home the trophy for Best Director, there were small victories, like Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? Heller was notably snubbed in the director category. However, the film received nods for Best Actress (Melissa McCarthy), Best Supporting Actor (Richard E. Grant), and Best Adapted Screenplay.
2. 'Black Panther'
As Marvel Cinematic Universe's first black superhero film, Black Panther not only made over $1.3 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, but it also earned a total of seven Oscar nominations — making it a definite must-see, if you haven't had a chance catch it yet.
3. 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'
Although it turned out to be a box office disappointment, the Star Wars franchise history factor and Visual Effects nod certainly makes Solo a watch-worthy effort.
The biographical comedy-drama not only scored a nom for Best Picture, but it also astoundingly became the first Best Director Oscar nomination for Spike Lee, who has in the past won two Emmys and received two Academy Award nods for his work.
5. 'The Wife'
Glenn Close, who is nominated for an Oscar Best Actress award, won the 2019 Golden Globe in the same category last month for her role as Joan Castlemen in The Wife. Her phenomenal performance is one that you're certainly not going to want to miss.
6. 'Green Book'
Nominated for a total of five Oscars, including best Picture, Green Book tells the story of the 1962 concert tour road trip taken by Shirley (Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actor nominee), a Black pianist, and his hired driver/bodyguard, Italian-American Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen, Best Actor nominee). With that many accolades up for grabs, Green Book should certainly be at the top of your watchlist.
7. 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
Bohemian Rhapsody which, according to Pitchfork, is now the highest-grossing music biopic of all time, has been hugely successful on this year's awards circuit. Actor Rami Malek, who was praised for his spot-on portrayal of Freddie Mercury, earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the Queen frontman, while the film earned a nod for Best Picture. The movie, which was also acknowledged in the sound editing, sound mixing, and film editing categories, is a musical experience that you won't want to miss.
Alfonso Cuarón's autobiographical drama Roma, about a domestic worker in 1970s Mexico, lead the Oscar noms with 10 nods a piece (a number matched only by The Favourite). As the first Netflix film to score a nod, Roma is super easy to stream from the comforts of you own home.
9. 'A Star Is Born'
Nominated for seven Oscars in total, A Star Is Born was a major hit at the box office for viewers who completely fell in love with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's on-screen chemistry. Both the film's music and magic make it worth re-watching, as fans keep their fingers crossed for a best acting win for both Cooper and Gaga at this year's ceremony.
10. 'Mary Queen of Scots'
This historical drama was nominated for the Best Makeup and Hair and Best Costume Design at this year's Academy Awards. The film, which stars Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots and Margot Robbie as her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, follows the 1569 conflict between their two countries. Although neither actor was recognized at the Oscars, Robbie's performance did earn Best Supporting Actress nominations at both the SAG and BAFTA Awards.
11. 'Ready Player One'
Earning a nod for Best Visual Effects, Ready Player One will take viewers on ride through virtual reality that will be hard to forget.
12. 'Incredibles 2'
You're certainly not going to want to miss this highly-anticipated follow-up to 2004's The Incredibles. The film, which scored $182.7 million in its opening weekend, set the record for best debut for an animated film, according to USA Today.
13. 'Mary Poppins Returns'
As a sequel to the 1964 classic, Mary Poppins Returns has proven its own greatness, landing four nominations — Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song for not one, but two tunes. If you loved the original version, you're definitely going to fall head over heels with this revival.
14. 'At Eternity's Gate'
Willem Dafoe scored a nod for his work playing Vincent van Gogh in in the biographical drama At Eternity’s Gate. Critics for Rotten Tomatoes referred to Dafoe's work in the film as "mesmerizing," which certainly gives plenty of reason to watch.
15. 'Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse'
The comic book movie Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse arrived in theaters to prove that anybody can be a superhero — and it certainly does not disappoint. Nominated for Best Animated Feature, the film sure to steal the hearts of super hero fans and non-fans alike.
16. 'First Man'
Although it failed to score any major nods at this year's Oscars, First Man earned nominations in several technical categories including Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, as well as Best Production Design, making the experience of watching this Neil Armstrong biopic totally worth it. And, seriously, how could you ever go wrong learning American history via a Ryan Gosling-led film?
Nominated for Best Documentary and Best Original Song, RBG brings Ruth Bader Ginsburg's exemplary story to life and offers fans a look into her rise to the nation's highest court. While many may be familiar with Ginsburg's fight for equality through her seat as a justice of the Supreme Court, RBG also touches on details about Ginsburg's personal life, telling the lesser known story of her romance with lifetime love and husband of 56 years, Martin Ginsburg.
18. 'The Favourite'
The Favourite, along with Roma, dominated this year's Oscar noms with a whopping 10 nominations each. Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, and Rachel Weisz are all up for acting awards, while the film itself stands as a strong contender for Best Picture. Needless to say, this is one that you're not going to want to miss.
19. 'If Beale Street Could Talk'
With Regina King up for Best Supporting Actress, fans are not going to want to miss out on If Beale Street Could Talk. The actor is certainly a frontrunner for the award following her win for the same category at this year's Golden Globes. In addition to its rave reviews, Beale Street was also notably directed by Barry Jenkins, who snagged Best Picture Oscar for his film Moonlight in 2017, making it a serious must-see.
If not for its comedic retelling of Dick Cheney's rise to prevalence in the White House,Vice is a must-see for fans who are barely going to recognize Christian Bale after his flawless transformation into the nation's former Vice President.
This adorable animated short, which was paired with the June 2018 release of Incredibles 2, is the first animated Pixar short directed by a woman. The narrative of a Chinese-Canadian mother dealing with empty nest syndrome is going to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions that you never knew you needed.
22. 'Minding The Gap'
This documentary, directed by filmmaker Bing Liu, follows the lives and friendships of three young men in Rockford, Illinois, who bond through skateboarding to escape their volatile families. A review of the doc by The New York Times film critic A.O. Scott refers to the film as an "astonishing debut feature" and "a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America."
23. 'Ralph Breaks The Internet'
The highly anticipated sequel to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph Breaks The Internet gives viewers a light-hearted look into all of the good and evil that lies within the world wide web.
Catching up on these films will certainly help you keep up with the conversation as chatter surrounding the Oscars continues to make its rounds. Just make sure you also give yourself a break in between viewings.