Oscars preview: Best Picture favorites

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(WEHT)- Oscars season is upon us but trying to watch all nine of the Best Picture nominees before Sunday may be a daunting task. Eyewitness News has a break down on each of the five main contenders for the Academy’s most prestigious award.

Joker leads the way with 11 nominations, including best actor for Joaquin Phoenix and best director for Todd Phillips. It features a dark interpretation of the classic Batman villain with influences from the early work of Martin Scorsese, including Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy.

Martin Scorsese is also nominated for best director for his work on The Irishman, which yielded best supporting actor nominations for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci as well as best picture. While the film received near-universal acclaim, some observers criticized the film’s runtime and use of de-aging technology for Pesci, Pacino, and Robert De Niro.

Once upon a Time… in Hollywood is the latest project from acclaimed director, Quentin Tarantino. Set in 1969, it tells the story of Rick Dalton: an aging television star who fears his best years are behind him. Brad Pitt received a best supporting actor nomination for playing Dalton’s best friend and stuntman, Cliff Booth. Though Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Booth are fictional, the movie features real-life figures like Sharon Tate and Charles Manson.

1917 received plaudits for Roger Deakins’ cinematography and Sam Mendes’ direction. 1917 features a bold decision to depict the movie as one long shot amid the chaos of a World War One battlefield. Mendes and Deakins have collaborated before, including on Skyfall in 2012.

With Parasite, Bong Joon-Ho became the first South Korean director to receive a best director nomination. Parasite tells the story of the Kim family, a poor family in South Korea that slowly infiltrates the home of the affluent Park family. Bong Joon-Ho and Parasite won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

These are just a few of the nine best picture nominees so be sure to check tristatehomepage.com for breakdowns on all of the best picture nominees and all of the latest Oscars buzz. Be sure to watch the Oscars Sunday on ABC 25 and watch Eyewitness News at 9 and 10 Sunday night as Brad Byrd breaks down the Oscars winners and losers with film critic, Jim Hunter.

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 6, 2020)

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