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The Best-Picture Race Has Begun. Could One of These Films Win?

Have you heard the one about Pope Francis, Megyn Kelly and Adolf Hitler all walking into a bar?


Welcome to this year’s Oscar race, a contest that is crowded with eccentric characters and no shortage of hot-button issues. Movies vying for a spot on the best-picture list include male-dominated dramas like Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” as well as female-led ensembles like “Bombshell,” starring Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman as Fox News anchors, and “Little Women,” reuniting the writer-director Greta Gerwig with her “Lady Bird” star Saoirse Ronan.

欢迎来到今年的奥斯卡金像奖角逐,一场怪咖充斥、热闻频出的竞赛。争夺最佳影片提名的有像昆汀·塔伦蒂诺(Quentin Tarantino)的《好莱坞往事》和马丁·斯科塞斯(Martin Scorsese)的《爱尔兰人》这样男性人物主导的故事片,也有以女性演员为主的影片,如查理兹·塞隆(Charlize Theron)和妮可·基德曼(Nicole Kidman)主演的《爆炸新闻》——两人在片中扮演福克斯新闻(Fox News)的主持人,以及《小妇人》——继《飞鸟小姐》后,编剧兼导演格蕾塔·葛韦格(Greta Gerwig)与演员西尔莎·罗南(Saoirse Ronan)的再次合作。


Gerwig may find herself in friendly competition with her boyfriend, the director Noah Baumbach, whose acclaimed dramedy “Marriage Story” will benefit from a major push by Netflix. The streaming service is fielding a strong slate this season that includes Scorsese’s drama as well as “The Two Popes,” a crowd-pleaser that gives you exactly what the title implies. And then there’s the blockbuster “Joker,” with Joaquin Phoenix, as well as smaller sensations “Parasite,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “The Farewell.”

葛韦格会发现她和男友导演诺亚·鲍姆巴赫(Noah Baumbach)要展开一场友好的竞争,他那部广受好评的喜剧故事片《婚姻故事》将得益于Netflix的大力推广。这家流媒体正在为本季摆出强有力的阵容,其中包括斯科塞斯的影片以及《两代教宗》——一部迎合大众之作,内容和标题的提示完全相符。然后还有华金·菲尼克斯(Joaquin Phoenix)主演的《小丑》,以及相比下稍微轻松的《寄生虫》、《乔乔兔》和《别告诉她》。

Could one of these movies take Oscar’s top trophy, or will they all fall to year-end entries that have yet to screen, like the war drama “1917,” Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell,” or the truly wild-looking musical “Cats,” which is still a real movie the last time I checked? Below, your Carpetbagger makes the case for the buzziest contenders that have been shown so far.

最终的奥斯卡最高荣誉,会被它们中的某一部夺走吗,亦或是落入年终才上映的候选者之手——如战争剧《1917》,克林特·伊斯特伍德(Clinton Eastwood)的《李察朱威尔事件》,或野性十足的音乐剧《猫》?后者据我所知仍然是一部真正的电影。接下来,“地毯走红”专栏来为各位评说一下这几部已经上映的热门角逐者。



In its favor: If voters want to send a message about #MeToo, they’ll have the perfect opportunity to do so with “Bombshell,” which tackles the fall of the Fox News head Roger Ailes and the women at the conservative news channel who accused him of harassment. Oscar voters like to reward a film with real-world relevance, and Theron, who plays the anchor Megyn Kelly, and her “Bombshell” cast have mounted a “conversation tour” meant to encourage discussion of social issues after screenings.

支持的理由:如果投票员想就“#我也是”(MeToo)表达一种态度,《爆炸新闻》将是一个绝佳的机会。该片致力于呈现福克斯新闻总裁罗杰·艾尔斯(Roger Ailes)的倒台以及指控他性骚扰的保守派新闻频道女员工。奥斯卡投票员喜欢与现实世界息息相关的电影。扮演梅根·凯利的塞隆和其他《爆炸新闻》的演员们搭建了一个“对话之旅”,旨在上映后鼓励社会议题的讨论。

Working against it: Though the academy has taken great pains to diversify its membership in recent years, a movie with two or more women in the lead hasn’t won best picture since “Chicago” in 2003. And will liberal Oscar voters really be eager to reward a movie that makes flawed heroines of Fox News personalities?


‘The Farewell’


In its favor: This tender dramedy about Chinese family members who keep their grandmother in the dark about her terminal illness was a specialty-film breakout this summer. The movie’s lead, Awkwafina, is suddenly everywhere after her star-making performance in “Crazy Rich Asians,” and even Zhao Shuzhen, who so wonderfully plays the grandma, has left her native China to visit the United States for the first time and campaign.

支持的理由:这是一部关于中国家庭故事的温情喜剧。在这部暑假蹿红的特殊类型片中,家人向祖母隐瞒了她得绝症的事情。电影的主角奥卡菲娜(Awkwafina)自从《摘金奇缘》(Crazy Rich Asians)出道成名后走红。出色地扮演了祖母的演员赵淑珍,甚至首次离开出生地中国赴美宣传。

Working against it: Hotshot distributor A24 has better luck with best-picture nominees like “Moonlight” when they’re released in the traditional fall corridor. Neither of the company’s early contenders from last year, “Eighth Grade” and “First Reformed,” ultimately punched its way into the best-picture race. Will “The Farewell”?


‘The Irishman’


In its favor: No filmmaker in contention this year has as prolific an Oscar record as Scorsese, who has directed eight best-picture nominees. “The Irishman” will almost certainly be his ninth, and it’s an elegiac capper to the crime dramas he is best known for, with memorable performances from Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. With strong contributions from craftspeople that will warrant recognition in an abundance of categories, this could be our double-digit nomination leader.

支持的理由:在今年角逐的电影导演中,没人能像斯科塞斯这样,在竞逐奥斯卡上有如此丰富的经验——他指导过八部获奥斯卡最佳影片提名的电影。几乎可以肯定,《爱尔兰人》将是第九部,由罗伯特·德尼罗(Robert De Niro),艾尔·帕西诺(Al Pacino)和乔·佩西(Joe Pesci)精彩出演的影片,将会是斯科塞斯拿手的犯罪片题材的收山之作。得益于强大的制作团队阵容,该片将在众多评奖类别中获得认可,可能会是双位数的提名数量领先者。

Working against it: Scorsese has recently made headlines for his willingness to call out Marvel’s movie-theater domination, arguing that there should be more variety onscreen, as well as more recognizable human stakes. Academy members are likely to agree with that, but “The Irishman” is a Netflix production, and many old-school voters are every bit as wary of that streaming service as they are of comic-book spectaculars.


‘Jojo Rabbit’


In its favor: Taika Waititi’s daring World War II comedy won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, a trophy that has gone to the best-picture victors “Green Book,” “12 Years a Slave” and “The King’s Speech.” “Jojo Rabbit” is set in an era that Oscar often likes to reward, and its irreverent sense of humor sets it apart from the current pack.

支持的理由:二战题材,泰卡·怀蒂提(Taika Waititi)这部大胆的喜剧在多伦多国际电影节上获得了人民选择奖。该奖曾授予像《绿皮书》、《为奴十二年》和《国王的演讲》这样的金像奖得主。《乔乔兔》的背景时代是金像奖偏爱的年代设定,刻薄的幽默令其脱颖而出。

Working against it: With far-right sentiment rising around the world, not every voter will embrace the comic treatment of an eager Nazi youth who imagines Hitler is his imaginary friend. And while “Jojo Rabbit” becomes more emotional by its end, satires don’t often make it to the top of the Oscar heap.




In its favor: “Joker” started the season by snagging the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and this comic-book character study will soon gross $1 billion worldwide, a number that is all the more remarkable since it eschews the action scenes and computer-generated spectacle of its Bat-film brethren. Joaquin Phoenix’s transformative performance in the title role is widely admired in the industry, and a best-picture campaign is always bolstered if its star has a strong shot at winning best actor.


Working against it: Though the film has drawn huge audiences, it’s no one’s idea of a conventional crowd-pleaser, and it could hit a wall with Oscar voters who reject its downbeat, violent vibe. And while “Joker” has more in common with vintage Scorsese films like “Taxi Driver” than with Marvel’s “Black Panther” — a best-picture contender last season — it’s still a comic-book movie, and that type of film has never taken Oscar’s top prize.


‘Little Women’


In its favor: Greta Gerwig’s first big directorial effort, “Lady Bird” (2017), scored five nominations, but the film went home empty-handed. If voters want the chance to make it up to her, “Little Women” presents a compelling case and is stacked with Oscar favorites like Ronan, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep.

支持的理由:格蕾塔·葛韦格的第一部导演大作——2017年的《飞鸟小姐》——获得了5项提名,却空手而归。如果投票员们想弥补她的遗憾,由罗南,劳拉·德恩(Laura Dern)和梅丽尔·斯特里普(Meryl Streep)等奥斯卡宠儿们出演的《小妇人》是一个吸引人的选择。

Working against it: Though the 1933 take on “Little Women” was nominated for best picture, this is a story that has been told numerous times in the movies and on television, and remakes have almost never taken the top prize. Gerwig makes some bold structural changes to her adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott novel, but will they be enough?

反对的理由:尽管1933年拍摄的《小妇人》获得最佳影片提名,这个故事已经在影视剧中被重复讲述了无数次,而翻拍几乎从未拿过大奖。葛韦格在路易莎·梅·奥尔科特(Louisa May Alcott)原著的基础上进行了大刀阔斧的改动,但这样就够了吗?

‘Marriage Story’

《婚姻故事》(Marriage Story)

In its favor: Noah Baumbach’s film about a family navigating divorce is almost certain to score nominations for its leads, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, and for the supporting actress Dern, who steals the show as Johansson’s clever lawyer. The smart, dialogue-driven script is considered the front-runner for the original-screenplay Oscar, and though Baumbach faces heavy competition in that category from Tarantino and Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”), the road to best picture almost always includes a screenplay victory.

支持的理由:诺亚·鲍姆巴赫(Noah Baumbach)这部讲述一个家庭离婚的电影几乎肯定会获得提名,包括主演亚当·德赖弗(Adam Driver)和斯嘉丽·约翰逊(Scarlett Johansson),以及女配角邓恩(Dern),她在片中饰演约翰逊的聪明律师,抢尽风头。这部聪明的、通过对白推进的剧本被认为是奥斯卡原创剧本奖的领跑者,尽管鲍姆巴赫在这一奖项上面临着来自塔伦蒂诺和奉俊昊(《寄生虫》)的激烈竞争,但通往最佳影片的道路几乎总是包括剧本的胜利。

Working against it: “Marriage Story” recalls human-size, family dramedies of a certain era, like the best-picture winners “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Terms of Endearment,” but these days, Oscar voters tend to prefer their winners big. This is a quieter, more thoughtful movie than most of the flashy films vying for best picture, and its fans will need to stay vocal.

反对的理由:《婚姻故事》让人想起某个时代普通人的家庭喜剧,比如获得过最佳影片的《克莱默夫妇》(Kramer vs. Kramer)和《母女情深》(Terms of Endearment),但如今,奥斯卡评委们偏爱的是非同寻常的故事。这是一部比大多数争夺最佳影片奖的浮华电影更沉静、更有思想的电影,它的影迷需要为它继续发声。

‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’

《好莱坞往事》(Once Upon a Time In Hollywood)

In its favor: Oscar voters love films about show business, and this is a love letter to the strivers who make a living in Hollywood. As characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt struggle to adapt to changes in their industry, members of the academy might similarly view a vote for “Hollywood,” the rare original film to make a mint in theaters this summer, as a bulwark against the shift to streaming. They may also seize the chance to give Tarantino the best-director and best-picture Oscars he has never won before, especially because he has threatened retirement from filmmaking.

支持的理由:奥斯卡投票者喜爱关于娱乐业的电影,这是一封写给在好莱坞谋生的奋斗者的情书。在莱昂纳多·迪卡普里奥(Leonardo DiCaprio)和布拉德·皮特(Brad Pitt)饰演的角色努力适应电影行业的变化之时,奥斯卡奖的评委们可能同样会把投票给这样一部今夏在影院大获成功的罕见的原创电影,将其视为抵制电影向流媒体转变的一道防御工事。他们可能还会抓住机会,把塔伦蒂诺从未获得过的奥斯卡最佳导演和最佳影片奖颁给他,尤其是因为他威胁要退出电影界。

Working against it: Over the past 20 years, only two summer movies have taken home Oscar’s top prize, and “Hollywood” will have to successfully reintroduce itself this winter if voters are to keep it in mind. So far, the film’s Phase 2 campaign has been awfully muted.




In its favor: Bong’s class parable about a family of scammers who work their way into a wealthy clan’s good graces has become this year’s foreign-language sensation. After winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes in May, the darkly funny “Parasite” has won over general audiences, too, and is on track for a worldwide total of more than $100 million. With its theme of income inequality, “Parasite” feels of the moment, which will help it stand out amid a crop of period films, and it will benefit from an ever-more-international pool of Oscar voters who very nearly lifted “Roma” to the top prize last year.


Working against it: No foreign-language film has ever won best picture. Though “Parasite” could make a splash in several Oscar categories, including picture, director, international film, screenplay and production design, an acting nod for any member of its ensemble may be harder to come by. Movies rarely win best picture without a single acting nomination, and the ones that do win tend to be season-long front-runners like “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

反对的理由:没有一部外语片获得过最佳影片奖。尽管《寄生虫》可能会在几个奥斯卡奖项上惹人注目,包括最佳影片、导演、国际电影、剧本和制作设计,但演员阵容要获得一点表演认可可能比较困难。很少有电影在没有一次表演提名的情况下获得最佳影片奖,而获得最佳影片奖的往往是《贫民窟的百万富翁》(Slumdog Millionaire)和《指环王:王者归来》(Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King)等领跑一整季的影片。

‘The Two Popes’

《两代教宗》(The Two Popes)

In its favor: This papal two-hander, which stars Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI and Jonathan Pryce as his skeptical successor, Pope Francis, has been racking up audience awards at festivals around the country. And though Netflix has chosen to position “The Two Popes” as a drama for the Golden Globes, the comic marriage of ideological opposites recalls “Green Book” and “The King’s Speech.”

支持的理由:这出由安东尼·霍普金斯(Anthony Hopkins)饰演本笃十六世(Pope Benedict XVI)、乔纳森·普赖斯(Jonathan Pryce)饰演心存怀疑的继任者方济各(Pope Francis)的双人戏,在全国各地的电影节上不断获得观众奖。尽管Netflix给《两代教宗》的定位是竞逐金球奖的剧情片,但意识形态对立方的逗趣结合让人想到《绿皮书》(Green Book)和《国王的演讲》(The King’s Speech)。

Working against it: Despite all those prizes, the film didn’t even make the top three when it came to the prescient People’s Choice Award in Toronto. Can “The Two Popes” stand out in a more crowded field, especially with Netflix already supporting other strong contenders?

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