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The Daily Tar Heel

With the 2024 Oscars less than two months away and the Golden Globe Awards in the rearview, it’s safe to say awards season is underway.

The nominations for the Oscars will be announced on Jan. 23, and the winter weather gives every movie lover the perfect excuse to stay inside and pretend to be a voting member of the academy.

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” won five out of the eight Golden Globes it was nominated for, beating out Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic, “Maestro,” in the best drama film category. 

I have already written about the shortcomings of Scorsese’s depiction of the oil-driven violence against the Osage Nation, but Lily Gladstone's redeeming performance was recognized at the Golden Globes, making her the first Indigenous best actress recipient. 

Cooper’s “Maestro” tells the story of Bernstein’s chaotic relationship with actress Felicia Montealegre, though the film failed to garner the attention that Nolan and Scorsese cashed in at the box office, likely due to its streaming-centered release on Netflix

Nonetheless, Cooper proved his directorial eye with the slow-paced and intimate “Maestro,” which should be talked about far beyond his prosthetic nose.

Ben Affleck’s “Air” is another underrated true story that had a limited theatrical release and seemed to fall between the cracks for both critics and audiences. “Air” divulges the largely unknown details of the unlikely deal between Nike and a rookie Michael Jordan, and I can only hope the academy sees its value. 

In the comedy section, Yorgos Lanthimos’ oddball sci-fi fantasy, “Poor Things,” was shockingly triumphant over Greta Gerwig’s trend-setting “Barbie.” Emma Stone’s performance in “Poor Things” also beat out doll-like Margot Robbie

“Poor Things” is a Frankenstein-esque tale of a mad scientist’s experiment coming to life and relearning what it means to be human. Lanthimos — best known for “The Lobster” and “The Favourite" — is an unorthodox storyteller who is popular amongst critics.  

“Barbie” was undoubtedly most popular with the general public. Its billion-dollar success was recognized with the cinematic and box office achievement Golden Globe. 

One can only hope that Gerwig’s sparkly, pink depiction of the less-than-pretty limits of womanhood gets more time in the spotlight during the Oscars, but snubbing “Barbie”’s undeniable success only reaffirms the message it’s conveying — a woman’s work can never be enough.

After “Barbenheimer” took the internet by storm last summer, social media’s latest cinematic obsession is Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn,” though it’s hard to tell how much of the buzz is a result of the too-long montage scenes of Jacob Elordi’s beauty.

Barry Keoghan’s unnerving performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor, but Elordi deserves an award for overcoming his debut role in “The Kissing Booth” and claiming his spot as an on-screen heartthrob in indie productions like “Saltburn” and "Euphoria." 

The online conversation around “Saltburn” might make it seem like the most grotesque film you can find this year, but its strangeness ranks similarly to “Poor Things.” If anything, “Saltburn” is an offbeat arthouse film that found its way into the public eye — again, partly thanks to Elordi’s popularity. 

“Saltburn” is cinematically beautiful, and I recommend that anyone remotely curious should turn away from TikTok, avoid any synopses and go to the theater to judge for themselves. Sure, you might avert your eyes at times, but Keoghan’s performance alone is reason enough for Fennell’s film to make headlines.

This is certainly not the first spine-chilling role Keoghan has mastered, though I hope “Saltburn” earns him the recognition he deserves. Timothée Chalamet’s abysmal acting in “Wonka” is proof that it’s time for Keoghan to dismantle him as Gen Z's latest fixation.

I must commend the bravery it takes to fill a role like Wonka that is so synonymous with its original actor, in this case the magical Gene Wilder. However, “Wonka” felt like two hours of a high school theater production in which Chalamet delivered his lines like an unprepared understudy. 

With awards season just beginning, there is still ample time to catch up on some of this year’s most memorable films. As the Oscars loom, I recommend watching “Oppenheimer” above all, as I expect it to continue sweeping this year's award ceremonies.


@dthlifestyle |

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