by Danielle Owen
| British LGBT historical comedy-drama “Pride”
Whatever credibility the Oscars once had as a legitimate award ceremony—assuming it ever had any—has undoubtedly been lost. The overwhelmingly white, male institution responsible for deciding which movies deserve praise is only one manifestation of a predominantly racist and sexist film industry. Instead of binge watching all eight Best Picture nominees (like the rest of the country is doing), here are some fantastic—and significantly more diverse—movies you should watch instead. Besides, any category that includes the xenophobic, highly offensive, obnoxious patriotic romp American Sniper doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.
Contrary to what’s written on all of Reslife’s “Installment” posters, Gone Girl actually isn’t a contender for Best Picture (or even Best Director). Suspenseful, creepy, and well-acted, the film certainly deserved a nomination. It’s worth watching just for Rosamund Pike’s performance.
Wild tells the story of Cheryl Strayed’s modern-day Odyssey as she hikes alone on the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s refreshing to see a woman over 30 allowed to be the centerpiece of a major film.
Are you looking to wallow in intense feelings of weltschmerz and general disillusionment for a couple of weeks? Do you enjoy thinking about the structural inefficiency of capitalism and pondering the hypocrisy of a hierarchical class system? Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s epic film Snowpiercer is the perfect blend of science fiction, action, art house, and allegory to throw you into the depths of a long and unsettling existential crisis.
You’ve probably heard of Belle before, as its New York premiere was during last year’s Athena Film Festival. The super-successful indie film tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of Royal Navy Captain in 18th century England. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays the title role, also stars in Beyond the Lights, a film being shown during this year’s Athena Film Festival.
The trailer alone makes me cry happy tears. Pride recounts the true story of gay and lesbian activists raising money for a town of miners during the UK Miners Strike of 1984-85. With an impressively large and talented cast telling a story that seems too good to be true, the film avoids feeling formulaic by instead offering inspiration mixed with bittersweet poignancy.
Danielle Owen is a sophomore at Barnard College and Social Media Strategist and Politics Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.
Image courtesy of CBS Films.