Oscars 2021: Yes, all of the Best Picture nominees are depressing films

Don’t worry. No spoilers

A parent fighting dementia.
Mourning the death of your best friend.
A struggling family chasing a dream.
A life changing condition.

These are just some of the topics you’ll find when watching the nominees for Best Picture for the 2021 Academy Awards. All of them deal with real challenges some of us might have to have cope with at some time or another.

They’re depressing films. There are no good times to be had anywhere.

And the way they seem to attack tragedies in so many different realms of life is very impressive.

While there is some overlap with “The Father” and “The Sound Of Metal”, and actual shared historic references with “The Trial Of The Chicago 7” and “Judas And The Black Messiah”, they each offer their own kind of sadness and hardship.

Despite the cultural differences and time gap, “Minari” is something families are going through to this day. “Nomadland” is an actual reality in some areas of the United States.

“Promising Young Woman” perhaps the most misunderstood film in the group, makes some very controversial decisions with it’s story that won’t care about how the crowd feels.

And we’ve even got the champagne problems with “Mank”. A slog of a movie in black and white, with also nothing for us to cheer for.

It’s a curious state of story telling that we’re in. Although it’s not new. Tru tragedy often wins at the Oscars. Look at “Schindler’s List” and “Spotlight”. Then there are so many other creatively sad films that also take home trophies.

Absent this year are any of your “Forrest Gump” or “La La Land” contenders. Or even films with sharp humor against depressing tones like “Parasite” from last year.

Then again, look at where we are in the world. The year 2020 was tough and we all experienced it.

Maybe these nominees are just a reflection of the roads we’ve traveled down recently. And with brighter times, we might also see more hopeful films as well.

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