We here at Cosmopolitan are absolutely obsessed with movies, but we get that you’re a busy person and it’s hard to see all the films that are going to be “important” in any given year. In this series, Low-Key Highbrow, we’re giving you the basic gist on every one of those pictures you probably should have seen but never got around to. When your friend inevitably throws that Oscars watch party, we’re here to help you scam your way into sounding like the smartest person in the room.
If you’d seen 1917, you’d understand why it’s absolutely impossible to relax for a single second of the film—and why that’s a good thing. The movie takes place in the year 1917, naturally, and two British WWI soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) are tasked with delivering a message across no-man’s-land, or the space between the British and German fronts. The lives of 1,600 British soldiers depend on them getting there in time. No pressure! JK, there’s lots of pressure and that’s the premise for the entire film. The trailer, for reference:
There has been Oscar buzz surrounding 1917 since the first screenings in November. The big selling point is its “one-shot” filming technique, which makes the movie look like it has no cuts (and makes audiences feel like they’re on a roller coaster while watching). Film people are very impressed by this. War movies are typically not my jam, but I saw it and couldn’t stop thinking (and talking) obsessively about it for two weeks straight. Ask my coworkers. It was one of the most intense and relentless moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had.
The film won two of the biggest Golden Globe awards at that ceremony in January (Best Director and Best Motion Picture - Drama), which was an indicator that it was picking up awards-season steam, if you will.
Now, it’s up for the biggest prize at the Oscars: Best Picture. Here’s your guide to the inevitable discourse that will come with a 1917 Best Picture Oscar win, because being able to tweet about movies you haven’t seen is vitally important.
Why people would be pumped if it won:
- A lot of people saw this movie. Like, it’s made more than $200 million in global sales ($100 million of which happened in the U.S.), and it’s only been in wide release for three weeks now. It’s nice for the audience watching the ceremony to actually have seen the movie that wins Best Picture. You’d think that’d be obvious, but it’s not!
- People (read: me) fell in love with George MacKay while watching this film, and if it wins Best Picture, he’s probably not falling off the face of the planet anytime soon, considering it’s basically a one-man show. Again, this is mostly just me, but throwing it here for transparency. He’s hot!
- It’s a big, impressive war movie that cost nearly $100 million to make. That’s classic Oscar bait. The people who vote on these awards are (mostly) old, white, and male. I would venture to guess that the largest demographic of people who saw this movie were also old, white, and male, which helps explain why it’s so favored to win Best Picture. No offense to those mans, because I loved this movie! Just drawing some parallels.
Why people would be pissed if it won:
- The whole “one-shot” thing, in some people’s opinions, is a gimmick. Critics have said it makes the movie look like a video game and that by filming the movie this way, they made certain decisions with the plot that were janky. For the record, I really only paid attention to the one-shot thing for the first 15 minutes of the film and then I got so into the story that it wasn’t about the “gimmick” anymore.
- The movie is up for a total of 10 Oscars, but none of the acting performances were nominated. It begs the question: How can a movie be the *best* movie of the year if none of the actors in it are also up for the big prizes?
- It’s a war movie. We’ve been there, done that. It’s rough to admit, but we are clearly only at the very beginning of understanding how many people’s stories have been shut out of mainstream cinema in the past...so, yeah, do we really need another war movie?
- When I say there is one woman in this film, I mean lit’rally one woman. I get that it’s a war movie and there weren’t a lot of ladies hanging out in the trenches back in the day, but it’s definitely not a win for representation on your screen.
You Might Also Like