With the ninety-first Academy Awards zooming ever closer into vision, we’ve asked some of #FilmTwitter‘s top bloggers to explain why their favourite Best Picture nominee should come out on top.
Our run through continues today with Lolo and BigJ – of Lolo Loves Films – take on BlacKkKlansman. You can follow the husband and wife movie reviewers on Twitter @lololovesfilms but not before you check out what they have to say here!
Though there are many solid choices for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, none is more deserving of victory than Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. There are a lot of factors that go into determining what constitutes a film being the best of the year. Technical aspects like cinematography, directorial style, proper sound, and stunning visuals are all must-haves, but so are more visceral aspects like emotional impact, a relevant message for today’s social climate, and of course, sheer entertainment value. No film this year checks all those boxes quite like BlacKkKlansman.
Spike Lee and his team of writers have taken Ron Stallworth’s true story and turned it into an important, entertaining, funny film with palpable tension, lots of moments of excitement and drama, and even some enthralling action. Lee was also able to take a story set it the 70’s and show that there is still a lot to learn from the mistakes of the past. Lee compares what Stallworth experienced to our current troubled political times now, showing how much of the rhetoric used by white supremacists back in the day is now used word-for-word by mainstream politicians. It examines how racism is now passed off as nationalism under the guise of patriotism. The film’s social relevance, combined with Spike Lee’s signature look and marvelous direction, produces a unique final product that could never be mistaken for anything but Spike Lee’s masterful work. Marci Rodgers’s brilliant period-accurate costumes and the incredible score by Terence Blanchard, meanwhile, help to capture the 70’s with authentic perfection.
All of these aspects are anchored with a stellar performance from lead actor John David Washington, who gets to act through a whole range of emotions from heavy drama to furious anger to light humor. As the titular “BlacKkKlansman,” Washington’s Ron means business and wants to bring down David Duke and the KKK, but he’s first required to prove himself to his white co-workers. He has to endure racists within his own workplace taunting him because they don’t want him there simply because of the color of his skin. Ron has to balance being true to himself with his very risky task at hand while simultaneously finding a way to relate to his African American brothers and sisters who want to see change happen more rapidly and radically. It’s a performance that demands a lot of nuance, but Washington manages to overcome any obstacles in front of him to give one of the best lead performances of the year.
Also amazing is Oscar-nominated supporting actor Adam Driver, who is flawless as the white face of the “Stallworth brothers.” Driver gets to participate in some of the more up close and personal, tense moments of the film as a Jewish officer constantly surrounded by KKK members, which puts him in perpetual danger of being discovered, which would ultimately mean his death. Driver’s ability to put on an outwardly cool face while still conveying his underlying fear makes these scenes that much more effective. Driver gives one of the best supporting performances of 2018.
We don’t give out perfect scores very often, but BlacKkKlansman is one of the rare films that deserves such an honour. It should win Best Picture at the Oscars this year. It has brilliant acting, excellent direction, a tremendous score, wonderful costumes, superb cinematography, and a gravely important message.
Do you agree with Lolo and BigJ? Read our review here and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Don’t forget to check out Plain Simple Tom on why A Star is Born should win, Hamish on Black Panther, Chris on Bohemian Rhapsody and Dan and Nancy on Green Book too.