Bong Joon-ho’s splendid class-war thriller, Parasite, is waiting in the wings to become the Academy Awards’ first foreign-language Best Picture winner. Only one thing stands in the South Korean film’s way: the dogged, irrepressible march of history. If Bong hadn’t devised the year’s singular masterpiece, a perfect butter-and-salt blend of popcorn entertainment and shrewd cultural commentary, the betting-market favorite (and admittedly good) 1917 would be a respectable winner. With Parasite in the mix, 1917 is a tired return to the familiar.
At the 2018 Oscars, a superhero movie was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor was awarded to a performer for lip-syncing Freddie Mercury songs, and Driving Miss Daisy defied the laws of time and space by winning Best Picture again. If 2019 is as anomalous as 2018, attempting to predict the field is a fool’s errand. In that case, let’s get silly with 25 of the most likely nominees of 2019.
A few years ago, I set out to watch every Best Picture winner dating back to The Godfather (1972). For some odd reason, after completing that monumental and occasionally boring task, I felt the need to become a true Oscar historian and watch them all. Forty-four movies later, I can say that I have. Essentially, I watched The Greatest Show on Earth so you wouldn’t have to. Without further ado: