By Matt Neglia
One more month left in 2018. Another round of Best Picture nominees and winners to choose from for our Last Best Picture Patreon Podcast Review. We’re thinking we may change things up in 2019 but for now we appreciate you all making this one of the more fun additions to the Next Best Picture Community.
We have selected five movies tied to five new theatrical releases in December 2018. Those movies are “Destroyer,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Mary Queen Of Scots,” “The Mule” & “Vice.”
MARY POPPINS (1964)
THE STORY: When Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber), the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family, are faced with the prospect of a new nanny, they are pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the magical Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews). Embarking on a series of fantastical adventures with Mary and her Cockney performer friend, Bert (Dick Van Dyke), the siblings try to pass on some of their nanny’s sunny attitude to their preoccupied parents (David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns).
THE CAST: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson & Glynis Johns
THE TEAM: Robert Stevenson (Director), Bill Walsh & Don DaGradi (Writers)
THE RUNNING TIME: 139 Minutes
THE OSCARS: Best Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song, Best Score & Best Visual Effects (Won), Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Adaptation Or Treatment Score & Best Sound (Nominated)
THE STORY: Elizabeth Tudor (Cate Blanchett) becomes queen of a divided and dangerous England in 1558. She is roundly perceived as weak by threats from within and abroad, and she is strongly advised to marry by counsel William Cecil (Richard Attenborough). But she will be married only to her country. Intelligent and cautious, she must choose where to place her trust: with her shrewd secretary Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), a master of espionage, or her secret lover, Sir Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes).
THE CAST: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, Eric Cantona & Richard Attenborough
THE TEAM: Shekhar Kapur (Director) & Michael Hirst (Writer)
THE RUNNING TIME: 123 Minutes
THE HOURS (2002)
THE STORY: “The Hours” is the story of three women searching for more potent, meaningful lives. Each is alive at a different time and place, all are linked by their yearnings and their fears. Their stories intertwine, and finally come together in a surprising, transcendent moment of shared recognition.
THE CAST: Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Dillane, Allison Janney, John C. Reilly & Miranda Richardson
THE TEAM: Stephen Daldry (Director) & David Hare (Writer)
THE RUNNING TIME: 114 Minutes
THE OSCARS: Best Actress (Won), Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing & Best Original Score (Nominated)
MILLION DOLLAR BABY (2004)
THE STORY: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran Los Angeles boxing trainer who keeps almost everyone at arm’s length, except his old friend and associate Eddie “Scrap Iron” Dupris (Morgan Freeman). When Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) arrives in Frankie’s gym seeking his expertise, he is reluctant to train the young woman, a transplant from working-class Missouri. Eventually, he relents, and the two form a close bond that will irrevocably change them both.
THE CAST: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank & Morgan Freeman
THE TEAM: Clint Eastwood (Director) & Paul Haggis (Writer)
THE RUNNING TIME: 132 Minutes
THE BIG SHORT (2015)
THE STORY: In 2008, Wall Street guru Michael Burry realizes that a number of subprime home loans are in danger of defaulting. Burry bets against the housing market by throwing more than $1 billion of his investors’ money into credit default swaps. His actions attract the attention of banker Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), hedge-fund specialist Mark Baum (Steve Carell) and other greedy opportunists. Together, these men make a fortune by taking full advantage of the impending economic collapse in America.
THE CAST: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling & Brad Pitt
THE TEAM: Adam McKay (Director/Writer) & Charles Randolph (Writer)
THE RUNNING TIME: 130 Minutes
You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture