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Moorpark College’s Film Club hosts its own Oscar nominations

Professor+Ben+Sampson+questions+his+Images+of+Women+in+Film+class+about+their+opinions+of+Oscar+nominations+and+possible+winners+on+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+20+in+the+Moorpark+Forum.+According+to+Sampson%2C+he+considers+the+Oscars+his+Super+Bowl.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
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Moorpark College’s Film Club hosts its own Oscar nominations

Professor Ben Sampson questions his Images of Women in Film class about their opinions of Oscar nominations and possible winners on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Moorpark Forum. According to Sampson, he considers the Oscars his Super Bowl. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Professor Ben Sampson questions his Images of Women in Film class about their opinions of Oscar nominations and possible winners on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Moorpark Forum. According to Sampson, he considers the Oscars his Super Bowl. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Professor Ben Sampson questions his Images of Women in Film class about their opinions of Oscar nominations and possible winners on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Moorpark Forum. According to Sampson, he considers the Oscars his Super Bowl. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Professor Ben Sampson questions his Images of Women in Film class about their opinions of Oscar nominations and possible winners on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Moorpark Forum. According to Sampson, he considers the Oscars his Super Bowl. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Arianna Arias

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To commemorate the 91st Academy Awards, Moorpark College’s Film Club creates Oscar ballots that allow club members to vote on the nominations.

“Oscars are viewed as an essential pillar in the film industry of high-quality films depending on the ratings the academy will give them,” said Film Club President Patrick McManus. “We wanted to throw a predictions get-together for it.”

The Film Club’s Oscar ballots mirror a real Oscar ballot and allow students to vote on every category. During their February meeting, each member voted on every category that will be announced at the awards show.

The Film Club will eagerly await to see if they chose the right winners in their ballot competition on Sunday, Feb. 24 during The Academy Awards Show.

At Film Club’s next meeting in March, the winner of the Oscar Ballots will receive a $25 gift card to the Studio Movie Grill.

Best Picture

For the best picture category, there are eight films nominated. From “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “BlacKKKlansman” to “The Favourite,” this category is very competitive.

Film Club Advisor and Moorpark College Film, Television, and Media Professor Nicole Block discussed films that are nominated for the 2019 Oscars. This included her top choice, “The Favourite.”

“‘The [Favourite’s] director did an amazing job showing the nuances between the female characters,” said Block. “I think it played on our prejudices that women are going to squabble and fight over power or access to power.”

McManus had a different pick for the best picture. His personal favorite, “BlacKKKlansman,” directed by Spike Lee, is the true story about Colorado’s first African-American detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.

“[The film] deals with themes that are still very relevant today,” said McManus. “It deals with issues of race, stereotypes, and prejudices that I feel [were] very impactful for me, but it also had a good amount of laughs.”

Film club member and Film, Television, Media student Raquel Santon said “Black Panther” was her top pick for the best picture category. Santon was impressed with the futuristic effects and thought the thematic elements related to today’s political climate.

“The chemistry between the actors was really good,” said Santon. “It was nice to see a movie about a young black man starring as the hero of his own superhero movie.”

Best Director

The best director category features Spike Lee (“BlacKKKlansman”), Adam McKay (“Vice”), Pawel Pawlikowski (“Cold War”), Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”) and Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”). However, Spike Lee, who has never won an Oscar, is the most popular contender.

“[BlackKKKlansman] was a good story about the first policeman of Colorado Springs who infiltrates the KKK via telephone … but the fact that Spike Lee made it so that the dialogue resonates to our political climate today really made it hit home,” said Block. “Even though it was set in the 1970s, it felt like it was exactly what we’re going through in America right now.”

McManus had similar views about Spike Lee’s film and style.

“Spike Lee understands how to deal with the weight of these issues, but also really good at giving light-hearted characters that can still laugh in horrible situations,” said McManus. “The direction of Spike Lee is always poignant; he knows how to use the camera very well.”

Best Actor

The Best Actor category includes Christian Bale (“Vice”), Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), and Bradley Cooper (“A Star is Born”). Block favored Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury while McManus preferred Christian Bale’s portrayal of former vice president Dick Cheney.

“I’m not really familiar with [Freddie Mercury], but [Malek] seemed to really embody the character with his body movement, mannerisms, and the way he held himself,” said Block. “He just convinced me through and through that he was Freddie Mercury and I empathized with him.”

For McManus, Christian Bale’s performance as Dick Cheney, the 46th Vice President of the United States, surprised him.

“I was expecting it to be a docu-drama about Dick Cheney but it ended up being a comedic twist on it,” said McManus. “As older Dick Cheney in office [Bale] was a shoe-in…and he seemed almost like Dick Cheney and I was shocked how good he was.”

Best Actress

The best actress category includes Olivia Coleman (“The Favourite”), Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”), Glenn Close (“The Wife”), Lady Gaga (“A Star is Born”), and Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”). Block’s choice played the main character in “The Favourite.”

“Olivia Coleman did an amazing job as Queen Anne,” said Professor Block. “[She] was nominated for best actress, and definitely deserves the Oscar for that performance.”

McManus chose the main actress from “Roma,” that follows Cleo, a maid living with a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico.

“It’s a very successful movie helping people connect with the Yalitza Aparicio (Cleo),” said McManus. “She should win for best actress … and she really fell into her role as a loving caretaker.”

Best Cinematography

For best cinematography, Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) is a fan favorite. Not only did Alfonso Cuarón direct this film, but he produced, shot, and edited it, which is highly unusual.

“It was beautifully shot,” said Block. “The black and white, the use of lighting, and the pacing … really made you think what you were looking at on a screen.”

McManus also agreed that Cuarón devoted himself to working on this film.

“It felt very much like a personal project and something he wanted to make for a long time,” said McManus. “Throughout the cinematography and also through his directing of the actors … seemed incredibly natural.”

Honorable Mentions

There were other Oscar-nominated movies that impressed both Block and McManus. For “A Star is Born,” Professor Block made a spreadsheet featuring each version of the movie. This includes the 1937 version starring Janet Gaynor, the 1954 version starring Judy Garland, the 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand, and the newest 2018 version starring Lady Gaga.

“I thought that you could see the evolution of the female, and how she is getting stronger in each one,” said Block. “In the previous films, the male protagonist is expected to be the breadwinner, but unlike the previous ones, there is no jealousy in the [newest version] with Lady Gaga.”

For McManus, movies that stood out included “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” This film is the first computer-animated feature film in the Spider-Man franchise and is set in a shared multiverse where multiple versions of Spider-Man cross dimensions and meet.

“That was my favorite action-style I had seen all year,” said McManus. “It hit all the right notes, the writing was spot on, and the animation style was just incredible.”

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About the Writer
Arianna Arias, Copy editor

Arianna Arias is an industrial design student and a staff writer and copy editor at the Student Voice. Besides having a passion for journalism, she works...

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