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By Staff | Jan 30, 2020

This year, for some reason more than others, I felt compelled to check out as many Oscar-likely films as I could squeeze in. Working, parenting, adulting – it’s hard to find the time. But there are a few noteworthy flicks to check out, if you get around to it.

– Marriage Story. The story is sad. What divorce scenario doesn’t have some measure of sadness? And when you’re watching it happen to other people, it can be uncomfortable. However, the couple, phenomenally portrayed by Kylo Ren and Black Widow, er, Adam Driver and Scar Jo, are so annoying that they are compelling. You want to dig deeper into their personalities to figure out why they’re both such assholes. It’s fascinating.

– Jojo Rabbit. Talk about uncomfortable… a funny Hitler? This film has gotten a lot of flack, with critics saying it misses the mark on satire. I wholeheartedly disagree.

Taika Waititi, a New Zealander and a Jew, not only draws tears and laughter as a director – the kid “Jojo” is excellent – but he is damn funny as an actor.

It’s heartwarming and aggravating and you question yourself because you feel like you’re rooting for the “bad” guy. When in all reality, you’re rooting for love and right to win.

– Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Leo is good. Brad Pitt is great. It’s Tarantino. It’s set in 1960s LA and it’s a different take on the Manson family story. A tad long but never not entertaining.

– The Irishman. Scorcese has created another mafia masterpiece. DeNiro, even through the creepy age regression, is still a powerhouse. I think Joe Pesci takes this one though. Get your microwave popcorn and settle in for a good 3 1/2 hour chunk. You won’t be sorry.

– 1917. See. This. Film. It is breathtaking. It is devastating and the cinematography better win every award there is to be had. It was hard for me to pick a favorite film, but this is probably it. Using pretty much unknown actors in the leads helped to put the viewer into the action. The random pop up cameos were a nice surprise. It’s an outstanding piece of filmmaking from Sam Mendes.

– Judy. I’m not so much going to praise the film. We all know Judy Garland was a hot mess and it’s been done before. But I was pleasantly surprised at how not annoyed I was by Renee Zellweger. She WAS Judy Garland. She was pill happy, she was boozy, she was a victim of her own fame. But Zellweger actually pulled off portraying the screen legend as a flawed human being who actually truly loved her kids and probably suffered from PTSD because of her childhood. Definitely Oscar-worthy.

Erin O’Neill is a film buff in her free time (hahaha) and is the editor of Graffiti.