The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Tuesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Wellington
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
11° & RAINY ON TUESDAY 22 OCTOBER IN WELLINGTON
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Eleven 2019 Oscar-Winning Films You Should Watch Immediately

Catch up on the best films of the last year, from 'Roma' to 'Black Panther' to 'A Star Is Born'.
By Sarah Ward
February 25, 2019
  shares

Eleven 2019 Oscar-Winning Films You Should Watch Immediately

Catch up on the best films of the last year, from 'Roma' to 'Black Panther' to 'A Star Is Born'.
By Sarah Ward
February 25, 2019
  shares

It has been a chaotic year for the Oscars, but Maya Rudolph perhaps summed it up best straight out of the gate. One of the first presenters on stage at today's ceremony — alongside none other than Amy Poehler and Tina Fey — she reminded audiences that "there is no host tonight, there will not be a popular film category and Mexico is not paying for the wall".

If you've missed the off-screen antics over the past year, there's been plenty, including the introduction and swift axing of a new field, Kevin Hart's short-lived run as host and a similarly brief decision to announce some awards during ad breaks. Thankfully, the show itself delivered a few highlights to almost wipe those mishaps out of everyone's memories. Almost.

The aforementioned trio of funny ladies killed it, naturally, as did Melissa McCarthy paying comic tribute to The Favourite. Alfonso Cuarón, a frequent visitor to the winner's podium, wryly noted that he grew up watching "foreign-language films like Citizen Kane and Jaws". Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper belted out 'Shallow' and brought the house to its feet. And Samuel L. Jackson's reaction when announcing Spike Lee's Best Adapted Screenplay win for BlacKkKlansman was one for the ages.

Stats-wise, history was made in a variety of ways. Spike 'Spikey Poo' Lee's gong was his first competitive trophy, and came nearly three decades after his first screenwriting nomination for Do the Right Thing. Green Book's Mahershala Ali became the first African-American actor to win two Oscars in the same category. The Marvel Cinematic Universe picked up its first Academy Awards, thanks to Black Panther — and ushered in the first wins by first black women in two fields, Costume Design and Production Design. And, with three-time recipient Roma, Cuarón became the first dual awardee for director and cinematographer in the same year for the same movie.

That's the ceremony done and dusted. Now, if you haven't already, it's time to enjoy all the flicks that just received shiny accolades. From more than one music-filled drama, to an acerbic take on royal history, to an eye-popping animation, here are all of the winners you should add to your viewing list.

cp-line

ROMA

Won: Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Foreign-Language Film, Cinematography (Alfonso Cuarón)

What our critic said: "For all of the highlights on [Alfonso Cuarón's] resume, Roma sees the director enter another realm. Acting as his own cinematographer, he peers so attentively at his hometown, the era of his upbringing, and at [his protagonist] Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), that he could be conjuring memories onto the screen." — Sarah Ward

Where to watch it: On Netflix.

Read the full review.

cp-line

BLACK PANTHER

Won: Best Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter), Production Design (Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart), Score (Ludwig Goransson)

What our critic said: "In a picture positively teeming with highlights, Black Panther's greatest quality is its all-round embrace of African culture. In every aspect of its look, sound and feel, this chapter is like nothing else in the Marvel universe, and that's clearly by design. Twice during the film, outsiders enter Wakanda and try not to let their jaws drop to the floor — and it's easy to understand their reactions." — Sarah Ward 

Where to watch it: On Stan. Plus, it's available to rent or buy on iTunes, Google Play and DVD.

Read our full review

cp-line

THE FAVOURITE

Won: Best Actress in a Lead Role (Olivia Colman)

What our critic said: "The savage dialogue, each line wittier, bleaker and yet still funnier than the next. The gleeful abandon of polite, ordinary behaviour. The acerbic insights that prove equal parts perceptive and awkward. Thanks to all three — plus an utter disdain for meeting anyone's expectations — being an actor in [Yorgos] Lanthimos' films seems like one of the best jobs in the world." — Sarah Ward

Where to watch it: In cinemas.

Read our full review

cp-line

A STAR IS BORN

Won: Best Original Song ('Shallow' — music and lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt)

What our critic said: "With [Lady] Gaga leading the charge this time around, it's easy to see why A Star Is Born keeps glowing. A crash course in the highs and lows of the American dream, it's a fantasy where wishes come true, but where everything has a cost. It's also an underdog story, a star-crossed romance, an account of trying to make it in entertainment, a drama about substance abuse and a warning about fame's many ills." — Sarah Ward

Where to watch it: It's available to rent or buy on iTunes, Google Play and DVD.

Read the full review.

cp-line

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Won: Best Actor in a Lead Role (Rami Malek), Film Editing (John Ottman), Sound Editing (John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone), Sound Mixing (Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali)

What our critic said: "Bohemian Rhapsody is a greatest hits movie. It's the neat, easily digestible version of Queen's career, and of Mercury's professional and personal ups and downs along with them... You know what you're getting when you listen to a greatest hits album, and it's exactly what's on offer with this formulaic biopic — but it's still largely enjoyable." — Sarah Ward

Where to watch it: In some cinemas. Plus, it's available to rent or buy on iTunes, Google Play and DVD.

Read our full review

cp-line

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Won: Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Regina King)

What our critic said: Two years after directing Moonlight to an Oscars Best Picture win, Barry Jenkins' follow-up is another heart-swelling, swoon-inducing, all-round astonishing look at romance and race relations, this time set in Harlem in the 70s. From the emotive use of colour splashed across the screen, to the exceptional performances that say so much even when they're saying little, to Jenkins' piercing handling of James Baldwin's novel of the same name, this is a perfect film. — Sarah Ward

Where to watch it: In cinemas.

Read our full review.

cp-line

FREE SOLO

Won: Best Documentary

What our critic said: "As well as chronicling an awe-inspiring story, every frame of Free Solo offers a palpable, visceral reminder of life's enormous risks and immense rewards — and to the filmmakers' credit, you're all but certain to feel the impact in your constantly sweaty palms." — Sarah Ward 

Where to watch it: In cinemas and on the National Geographic channel on Foxtel on Sunday, March 10.

Read our full review — and our interview with climber and Free Solo's subject Alex Honnold

cp-line

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

Won: Best Animated Feature Film

What our critic said: "Who knew that a character who's been seen on screen over and over again for decades — and one who sports a 56-year history on the page as well — could seem so vibrant, thrilling and fresh? That's not a knock on the various live-action iterations, which have each boasted their own appeal, even if some fare better than others. But in embracing the entire big, bustling and diverse spider-world, Into the Spider-Verse genuinely feels new.." — Sarah Ward

Where to watch it: In selected cinemas (but the run is almost over).

Read our full review

cp-line

BLACKKKLANSMAN

Won: Best Adapted Screenplay (Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee)

What our critic said: "No one makes a seething big-screen statement about bigotry in the US like Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X and Chi-Raq director Spike Lee. You could call his latest joint many things, and they all fit: a crusading comedy laced with searing commentary, a tale so enraging and ridiculous that it can only be true, and a savage political polemic, for starters." — Sarah Ward

Where to watch it: It's available to rent or buy on iTunes, Google Play and DVD.

Read our full review

cp-line

FIRST MAN

Won: Best Visual Effects (Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm)

What our critic said: "First Man is, despite its scale and subject matter, an intimate character portrait rather than a history lesson. It eschews the traditional pomp and grandeur of NASA control room scenes for dimly lit kitchens and moonlit walks, yet remains every bit the space odyssey such a tale commands." — Tom Glasson

Where to watch it: It's available to rent or buy on iTunes, Google Play and DVD.

Read our full review

cp-line

GREEN BOOK

Won: Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role (Mahershala Ali), Original Screenplay (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)

What our critic said: "[Viggo] Mortensen and [Mahershala] Ali truly make the best of the material at their disposal. More than that, they exceed it — as you'd expect from both... With likely two-time Best Supporting Actor winner Ali, there's soulful elegance, resounding dignity and quiet vulnerability to his portrayal of Shirley, giving the man what he deserves even if the film around him doesn't." — Sarah Ward 

Where to watch it: In cinemas.

Read our full review

cp-line

Top image: Black Panther.

Published on February 25, 2019 by Sarah Ward

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x