Oscars 2020: Why '1917' will take home Best Picture award even though 'Parasite' is the best film of the year

Oscars 2020: Why '1917' will take home Best Picture award even though 'Parasite' is the best film of the year
'Parasite' and '1917' (IMDb)

The Oscars might have the tag of being the "most prestigious" awards show, but this year's "expert commentary" and predictions also reveal the ways in which it is an antiquated system of judging talent and cinema. 

Over the years, certain films have always done better at the Oscars. The ones with "Oscar pedigree" usually have white lead characters and white male directors, preferably American but also British, at a pinch.

Foreign films and Asian, Black and women directors are often overlooked for nominations and awards in the Best Picture category.

War, violence and other typically "male" themes have done well. Anything about the World Wars (I and II), Nazis or the Holocaust have always jumped to the top of the awards contention list, especially if they have a "based on a true story" tag.

Any movie where the lead undergoes massive physical transformation is also similarly lauded — more so if they pick up skills to portray the part well like Natalie Portman in 'Black Swan'.

The Oscars also likes to pick films with simpler narratives as winners, preferably ones that can be summed up in one or two catchphrases or buzz words. The fact of the matter is that most academy voters don't have the time to watch each film.


Most will pick the films with the most buzz or the "right" catchphrases for viewing and make a stab at picking a favorite. Most will want to vote for a film made by an American film studio so that any boost in box office takings because of an Oscar win will come rolling back to the Hollywood-based film industry. 

So it is no surprise that the films getting the most amount of Oscar buzz is Sam Mendes' '1917' and 'Joker'. Going by past Oscar voting patterns, '1917' with British director Sam Mendes about a World War I "true-life story" with a "serious" subject matter and released by Universal Pictures, will win.

Another possible contender is 'Joker' with Joaquin Phoenix's physical transformation and emphasis on the fractured, male psyche that will gain the film brownie points. 

However, this means that the movie that is actually this year's best film, 'Parasite' will not win Best Picture. Despite it being a brilliant take on several hot-topic issues like class warfare and climate change with fabulous acting and fantastic direction and cinematography, it has too many strikes against it.


It is a foreign film with an Asian director and Asian actors and most importantly, released by a South Korean film studio. So a win for this movie seems improbable unless we have a bonafide Oscar "miracle" upset.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.

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