Drama, action, and stunning surprises — last year’s Oscars had it all and that was just the awards show itself.
This year’s show won’t have Will Smith (who was banned from Oscar events for 10 years following the slap heard around the world) and Chris Rock is getting his hits in on his new Netflix comedy special. But that doesn’t mean the 95th Academy Awards, airing this Sunday, will be without drama, action, and more stunning surprises. Look no further than this year’s Best Picture nominees.
“The range of pictures that have been nominated for Best Picture is all over the board,” says Phoenix Film Festival founder Chris LaMont.
We sat down with him inside Arizona State University’s $100-million facility in Mesa, the Sidney Poitier New American Film School.
LaMont says the nomination process has already resulted in some fascinating surprises.
Germany submitted All Quiet on the Western Front in the Best Foreign Film category, but after the Academy saw the powerful WWI film of terror and hope in the German trenches, LaMont says, “the Academy recognized the shear brilliance and scope of that film, probably one of the best war films ever made.”
Hollywood always loves a good comeback story and this year there are two.
Brendan Fraser is nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Whale. LaMont says Fraser spoke out against and was “involved in some of the ‘me too’ issues that have come out about the industry and just chose not to act.”
Another returning face is Jonathan Ke Quan, who quit acting not long after playing Short Round in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He’s now up for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The 95th Academy Awards airs Sunday, March 12 on ABC15.