Student movie lovers weigh in with Oscar picks

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AACC students are rooting for two animated films, “Soul” and Onward,” to sweep the Oscars on Sunday.

Dominic Salacki, Reporter

Students are rooting for Disney/Pixar to win the Academy Award for Animated Feature Film on Sunday, with two of the studio’s films up for the Oscar: “Soul” and “Onward.”

During the pandemic, second-year computer science student Icram Doku watched “Soul” on her laptop after the film premiered on the Disney+ streaming service.

“Everything [about it] was amazing,” Doku said. “It’s about life and death and it works for parents and children. It has a good chance” of winning the Oscar.

Second-year transfer studies student Kat Roth said she watched the other Oscar-nominated Disney/Pixar film, “Onward,” in a movie theater before the pandemic forced cinemas to shut down. She said she’s rooting for it to win the Oscar for Animated Feature Film.

“Onward” had “such a good story and it was done really well,” Roth said. “It was still kind of that childish-type deal but nothing was dumbed down, which I really enjoyed.”

Second-year exploratory studies student Alex Terry has seen Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” because he is a fan of Chadwick Boseman, who died from colon cancer in 2020 before the film was released. Boseman is the frontrunner for the Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role.

“I really loved [‘Ma Rainey’],” Terry said. “I’d definitely say it’s one of my more favorite movies. I think Chadwick Boseman is an amazing actor and I barely recognized [nominee for Actress in a Leading Role] Viola Davis just from the way [the costumers] dressed her up and made her look.”

Terry also watched Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” co-starring Oscar nominee Sacha Baron Cohen, whom Terry said deserved this year’s nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role. Cohen is known for his comedic turn as a journalist in the film “Borat,” whose sequel is a candidate for Best Adapted Screenplay this year.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Terry said, “really showed how serious and dramatic [Cohen] can be. I was definitely a big fan of that because it showed that he wasn’t just there for comedic effect. He wasn’t just there as a funny guy but to also drive the story forward.”

Students have turned to streaming services for film viewing as movie distribution companies have pushed back release dates because of the pandemic. For example, the next James Bond flick, “No Time To Die,” the remake of “Dune” and the Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect,” were scheduled to release in 2020 but will remain on hold until later this summer and fall.

Third-year business administration student Hannah Brown said she is a major fan of the late Franklin, known as the “queen of soul.” Brown said she would have loved to see the biopic win an Oscar this year if its distributor had released it in December as scheduled.

“I think [‘Respect’] would have made a phenomenal film and definitely would have won an Oscar,” Brown said.

Roth said Broadway and film star Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” musical, which also was pushed back because of COVID, would have snagged a nomination for at least one Oscar this year.

“I was so excited for [“In The Heights”], and the fact that I have to wait makes me so upset,” Roth said. “I’m still a little upset, especially because it would be magical to see it in a theater and I don’t know if we’ll get to do that.”

The 93rd annual Academy Awards ceremony will air live on ABC on Sunday at 8 p.m.