In what might be the closest round yet in our Oscars Best Picture Nominees Elite Eight Tournament, acclaimed writer-turned-writer-filmmaker Aaron Sorkin's well-received "The Trial of the Chicago 7" stakes its claim against the just-as-well-received immigrant tale, "Minari."
Oscars Best Pictures Nominees – Round Four:
Contender 1 – The Trial of the Chicago 7
At first, "The Trial of the Chicago 7" seems like a no brainer for the victory. Critics' favorite filmmaker? Check (Aaron Sorkin). Exemplary ensemble cast? Check (SAG award-winning ensemble headlined by Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and many more A-listers). And a compelling story? In spades. This ripped-from-modern-headlines but true-life-historical tale revolves around the trial of the Chicago 7 – activists prosecuted unjustly for their anti-Vietnam War and countercultural protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
It's a winning film, and it could be the winning underdog bet at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Contender 2 – Minari
However, don't count out "Minari" – it's coming into the Academy Awards with a lot of heat. It's nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, plus two more nominations. Its story of Korean immigrants attempting to make a life on an Arkansas farm in the early '80s resounds through the decades. Supporting Actress Youn Yuh-Jung has swept most of the major awards season awards. The movie's been universally acclaimed. And there's a groundswell behind the picture, which is a truly beautiful gem worth seeking out if you haven't already seen it.
Both movies are great cinematic experiences that are light years apart from the superhero fare and lighter comedies and thrillers that act as pandemic comfort food, but they offer their own substantial rewards. It's hard to call out the winner between the two. Watching either of them is victory itself.
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.