20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020

05 Dec 2019 (PT)
THE OSCARSOSCAR

Indie movies such as “Marriage Story,” “Uncut Gems,” “The Lighthouse,” and “The Farewell” have had a strong presence so far on the awards circuit, and yet they barely skim the surface when it comes to great works of independent cinema this year that deserve to be taken seriously at the Oscars. An Oscar nomination for Harmony Korine? Never going to happen, but movies like “The Beach Bum” and “Midsommar” have such strong craftsmanship on display that to not even discuss them in the context of Oscar season is to overlook some of the best things about movies in 2019.

With Oscar nominations not too far in the distance, IndieWire looks back at the past several months and the indies that deserve a lot more Oscar buzz in a wide array of different categories.

Photo : A24

“The Last Black Man in San Francisco”

Joe Talbot's vibrant feature directorial debut “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” was hailed by many as the highlight of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. At the Gotham Awards, the drama picked up nominations for Breakthrough Director, Best Screenplay, and Breakthrough Actor. “Last Black Man” is also a three-time Film Independent Spirit Award nominee with nods for Best First Film, Best Supporting Male, and the Someone to Watch Award. Backed by some of the year's strongest critical acclaim, Oscar voters shouldn't lose sight of “Last Black Man” especially its dazzling cinematography while distributor A24 prioritizes “The Farewell” and “Uncut Gems” this Oscar season.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : A24

“Waves”

Trey Edward Shults' “Waves” was a major breakout of the Telluride Film Festival and picked up Gotham Award nominations for Best Feature and Best Breakthrough Actor for Taylor Russell. The actress won the latter category and is nominated for Best Supporting Female at the Film Independent Spirit Awards next year. Despite the critical and indie awards attention, Russell is not even considered to be an Oscar dark horse. The Best Supporting Actress race is dominated by the likes of Laura Dern “Hustlers” and Jennifer Lopez “Hustlers”, but the Academy loves an ingenue in this category see Lupita Nyong'o and Alicia Vikander as recent examples and this year Russell more than fits the bill. In a perfect world, the virtuoso cinematography and editing of “Waves” would also be breaking into the awards conversation.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Gunpowder and Sky

“Her Smell”

Elisabeth Moss gives one of the most titanic movie performances of the year as destructive punk rocker Becky Something in Alex Ross Perry's “Her Smell,” and in a perfect world she would follow her Gotham Award and Indie Spirit Award nominations for Best Actress with a strong bid in the Oscar race for Best Actress. Alas, that seems so unlikely that Perry himself wrote an open letter urging voters to consider his leading star. IndieWire's Eric Kohn named “Her Smell” one of the 19 best films of 2019, writing, “The character isn't exactly Courtney Love, but it's no grand stretch to call 'Her Smell' one of the best rock musician biopics of all time, one that takes the trope and reinvents it from the ground up.”

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : IFC

“Diane”

Kent Jones' “Diane” was the big winner of the Tribeca Film Festival and has since gone on to earn two Film Independent Spirit Award nominations Best First Film and Best Actress for Mary Kay Place and two Gotham Awards Breakthrough Director, Best Actress. IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich gave the drama a rave review, writing, “Revered critic and programmer Kent Jones nods to everyone from Paul Schrader to Matías Piñeiro in a cosmic drama that embraces the disconnect between the modesty of its size and the infinitude of its scale.”

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Annapurna

“Booksmart”

Olivia Wilde's SXSW sensation “Booksmart” has been campaigning for awards this season, an effort from Annapurna made all the more valiant given the studio's tumultuous year behind the scenes. Olivia Wilde was nominated for Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards and Best First Film at the FilmIndependent Spirit Awards, and in a perfect world her energetic direction would be getting serious Oscar buzz for breathing new life into the tired R-rated coming-of-age genre. Alas, getting a comedy taken seriously in the awards race remains an uphill battle. “Booksmart” certainly deserves the attention.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Netflix

“High Flying Bird”

Netflix has top Oscar contenders this year thanks to Martin Scorsese's “The Irishman” and Noah Baumbach's “Marriage Story,” but Steven Soderbergh's nifty corporate sports drama “High Flying Bird” deserves some attention as well. The Gotham Awards were smart enough to give two nominations to the movie: Best Screenplay for “Moonlight” Oscar winnerTarell Alvin McCraney and Best Actor for Andre Holland.McCraney will compete for Best Screenplay at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : A24

“Midsommar”

Florence Pugh is earning serious Oscar buzz for her supporting performance in “Little Women” absolutely warranted when she should be a Best Actress Oscar lock for her astonishing leading performance in Ari Aster's “Midsommar.” Pugh rightfully competed for Best Actress at the Gotham Awards but the chance of her landing an Oscar nomination opposite Renée Zellweger for “Judy” and Scarlett Johansson for “Marriage Story” is well below zero. What a shame, considering Pugh's gut-wrenching work as a tormented, grief-stricken girlfriend is some of the year's best acting.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : IFC

“The Nightingale”

Jennifer Kent made her long-awaited return after “The Babadook” this year with her brutally violent revenge drama “The Nightingale.” Leading actress Aisling Franciosi rightfully earned a Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Actor and her galvanizing performance ranks as one of the year's most heart-wrenchingly alive. IndieWire chief film critic Eric Kohn named “The Nightingale” one of the best films of 2019. “It doesn't skimp on the violence, but it manages to interrogate it at the same time, exploring the desire for retribution and what it actually means for the victims in question,” Kohn writes. “A brilliant provocation loaded with feeling, and worth the investment for even the queasiest of viewers.”

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Fox Searchlight

“A Hidden Life”

Terrence Malick returns to the dazzling s of “The Tree of Life” with his Cannes competition drama “A Hidden Life,” opening later this month from Fox Searchlight. The compelling religious drama is based on the true story of an Austrian conscientious objector who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. With an exhaustive runtime and no big-name stars, it's unlikely “A Hidden Life” turns into the awards hopeful Fox Searchlight thought it would be when it spent nearly $14 million to acquire it at Cannes. And yet Oscar voters should take notice. Malick's “The Tree of Life” picked up three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and “A Hidden Life” is Malick's first undisputed achievement since the release of his 2011 magnum opus.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Neon

“Luce”

Julius Onah rebounded from “The Cloverfield Paradox” with strong reviews for his Sundance drama “Luce,” which picked up Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Director, Best Male Lead for Kelvin Harrelson Jr., and Best Supporting Female for Octavia Spencer. “Luce” tells the story of a family come undone after the son's all-star image is threatened by an accusation made by his high school teacher. The film is an actor's showcase and with more visibility could appeal directly to the Academy's biggest voting branch.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Sundance

“Clemency”

Chinonye Chukwu's “Clemency” won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and is currently an Oscar dark horse. Here's hoping Neon makes enough noise when the film opens at the end of December to push leading star Alfre Woodard into the front of the Oscar race for Best Actress. Woodard earned nominations at the Gotham Awards and the Indie Spirit Awards, where “Clemency” is also a Best Feature nominee. In naming the drama one of the year's best movies, IndieWire's Eric Kohn wrote, “'Clemency' works so well at building moment-to-moment suspense — and provides such a terrific showcase for its star — that it transforms grim material into a visceral ride, an unprecedented interrogation of the death peny from the inside out.”

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : A24

“High Life”

Robert Pattinson's off-the-rockers leading turn in Robert Eggers' “The Lighthouse” has made him an Oscar dark horse in the Best Actor category, but some moviegoers would argue that his show-stopping work in Claire Denis' “High Life” is more worthy of Oscar buzz. Of course “High Life” is way too weird for many Academy voters' sensibilities, but Pattinson's soulful work is awards worthy. As IndieWire's Eric Kohn wrote while naming “High Life” one of the year's best films, “Pattinson merges with his director's beguiling aesthetic, funneling his imprisoned character's simmering frustrations into a puddle of uncertainties...Released at a moment when interstellar sci-fi continues to fuel the biggest franchise of all time, 'High Life' provides the ultimate contrast — Star Wars for the soul.”

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : A24

“The Souvenir”

Much is already being made over the fact the 2020 Oscar race for Best Director is dominated by male filmmakers, which is a shame considering Joanna Hogg's “The Souvenir” is one of the best films of the year and worthy of awards buzz. “The Souvenir” is a memory piece that finds Hogg exploring her early years as an aspiring filmmaker caught in a whirlwind romance. Hogg's direction and the stunning breakout performance fromHonor Swinton Byrne would be awards contenders in a perfect world. Just as “The Irishman,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and “Pain and Glory” find Scorsese, Tarantino, and Almodóvar in a state of artistic self-reflection, so too does “The Souvenir” and Hogg.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Neon

“Portrait of a Lady On Fire”

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” won the Best Screenplay prize at Cannes and has earned some of the year's most rapturous acclaim, and yet France took it out of the running for Best International Film when it chose “Les Miserables” as its official selection. Regardless, Neon is opening “Portrait” for an awards-qualifying run this year before a traditional release in 2020. “Portrait” can't be nominated for Best International Film, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be a contender for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and more.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Neon

“Monos”

Alejandro Landes' Sundance stunner “Monos” is Colombia's official Oscar entry in the Best International Film Race, but its death-defying direction and cinematography also deserve a considerable amount of awards attention. The same can be said for Mica Levi, the “Under the Skin” composer who returns with an original score that is just as unforgettable. IndieWire's Eric Kohn named “Monos” one of the best films of 2019, writing that “'Monos' provides a window into power-hungry mayhem on the fringes of society that could happen anytime, anywhere — but depicts its hectic showdowns with a you-are-there intensity that could only take place in the present.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Amazon

“Honey Boy”

“Honey Boy,” Shia LaBeouf's autobiographical drama directed by Alma Har'el, had a strong opening at the indie box office this fall and has considerable Oscar buzz for bothLaBeouf's screenplay and supporting role as his own father. Does Amazon have what it takes to push “Honey Boy” across the finish line? LaBeouf recently popped up as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Actors Roundtable, a surefire sign the studio is positioning “Honey Boy” as its big Oscar contender which is a surprise considering everyone thought out of Sundance that “The Report” would be Amazon's Oscar gem.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : A24

“Gloria Bell”

How quickly many forgot about Julianne Moore's marvelous leading performance in Sebastian Lelio's English-language “Gloria” remake. At the very least, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy should have been a no-brainer even if the film has considerable dramatic undertones. “Moore's compassionate performance confirms the strength of the original and its beloved heroine's universal appeal,” IndieWire's Eric Kohn writes in his A- review of the movie. “More than that, 'Gloria Bell' proves that the best stories can be told endlessly, so long as they're told well.”

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Neon

“The Beach Bum”

Harmony Korine and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences don't exactly have overlapping tastes, but any awards race this year for Best Cinematography that lacksBenoît Debie as a contender is surely snubbing what should be a top contender.Debie's neon-soaked visuals create a vibrant palette that keeps Korine's madness composed and in check. Throw in performances fromMatthew McConaughey and Martin Lawrence that are gonzo perfection and “The Beach Bum” deserves to be shaking up awards races.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : New Line

“Blinded by The Light”

Had “Blinded by the Light” became the box office word-of-mouth sensation that many thought it would be after its breakout Sundance premiere then maybe it's infectious original screenplay would've stood a better chance in the Oscar race. Regardless, director Gurinder Chadha expertly steers the movie from high school angst to immigrant bullying and parental conflict, all united through a stunning musical vision. “Blinded by The Light” is perhaps the most joyful movie of 2019 that nobody saw.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : IFC Midnight

“Greener Grass”

Jocelyn DeBoer andDawn Luebbe's “Greener Grass” is a wacky and surreal suburban satire that is just too damn weird for Oscar season, which is a shame considering the eye-popping production design is worth at least some level of awards attention. The directors manage to create a ened surreality through costumes and sets that help turn “Greener Grass” into the best kind of comedic hallucination.

20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Photo : Nigel Bluck

“The Peanut Butter Falcon

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” has grossed over $20 million to become the year's highest grossing platform release, earning more money than even A24's buzzy Oscar contender “The Farewell.” The movie was a hit at the SXSW film festival and has earned strong reviews for the performances by Shia LaBeouf and newcomer Zack Gottsagen. Roadside Attractions has mounted an Oscar campaign for the crowdpleasing hit and is pushing for Gottsagen, who has Down syndrome and could make history by landing a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Source: Indiewire

THE OSCARSOSCAR
Weekend of September 25 - 27, 2020 (IMDb)
Tenet
1.
Tenet
Net: $3.4M Grs: $41.2M
Weeks: 4
The New Mutants
2.
The New Mutants
Net: $1.2M Grs: $19.5M
Weeks: 5
Unhinged
3.
Unhinged
Net: $1.0M Grs: $17.2M
Weeks: 7
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
4.
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Net: $0.9M Grs: $1.9M
Weeks: 12
Infidel
5.
Infidel
Net: $0.8M Grs: $2.7M
Weeks: 2
The Broken Hearts Gallery
6.
The Broken Hearts Gallery
Net: $0.5M Grs: $3.3M
Weeks: 3
Shortcut
7.
Shortcut
Net: $0.3M Grs: $0.3M
Weeks: 1
The Last Shift
8.
The Last Shift
Net: $0.2M Grs: $0.2M
Weeks: 1
Kajillionaire
9.
Kajillionaire
Net: $0.2M Grs: $0.2M
Weeks: 1
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
10.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Net: $0.1M Grs: $4.4M
Weeks: 7
20 Great Indie Movies the Oscars Shouldn’t Totally Ignore in 2020
Movie News | Entertainment News | TV shows | Trailers | Videos | Movier.net for movie lovers
Copyright - www.movier.net - Email: [email protected]
Movier.net just now