Verde oscar picks: films deserving of an academy award

Verde oscar picks: films deserving of an academy award


Viewer’s eyes ogle and mouths fall agape at the 94th Academy Awards as they process what is now known as “the slap heard ‘round the world.” All attention goes to actor Will Smith as he returns to his seat after his vicious slap to entertainer Chris Rock during Rock’s presentation for Best Documentary Feature. The 10-second clip became one of the most viewed online videos in the world. 

Although it may be hard to top the unprecedented and unexpected events like “slapgate,” this year’s award show may have another controversy in store. The Oscars have historically been a white-dominated award ceremony, but the majority Asian film “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is in the lead with 11 nominations. 

“It [“Everything Everywhere All At Once”] has diversity, it’s fantastic, but just being a great movie is what really matters,” Palo Alto High School Film Club president Bennett Hardy said. “It is fantastic and people seeing that it’s a great movie with a fully Asian cast shows that there’s real change happening in Hollywood for sure.”

With the 95th Academy Awards to take place on March 12, these are some of the 2022 films that Verde believes deserve an Oscar. 

Best Picture: “Everything Everywhere All At Once” 

Michelle Yoeh stars as Evelyn Wang, an overworked woman running a failing laundromat with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan). In the midst of a heated debate with IRS auditor Deirdre Beaubeirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis), Evelyn discovers the power of the multiverse and the existing battle within it. 

Everything Everywhere All At Once” explores topics such as queerness in the Asian-American community, the tensions of adolescence with immigrant parents, guilt, regret and the infinite possibilities of the future. 

The risks taken by “Everything Everywhere All At Once” in both its casting and concept made it Verde’s pick for Best Picture. The film brings together the action of a big budget superhero movie with commentary on the meaning of family and gratitude, all with a predominantly Asian American cast. 

“It’s a very well made film and it definitely deserves all the hype and also it was very cheap to make, so it’s pretty awesome to see a movie that’s independent make the awards,” Hardy said. 

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Michelle Yoeh — “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Michelle Yoeh’s outstanding performance brought nuance and complexity to the experiences and struggles of Asian Americans in America and the challenges of motherhood. Acting alongside Stephanie Hsu, who plays her daughter, the two quarrel in a painfully real manner capable of bringing tears to mothers and daughters everywhere. 

Her dazzling, yet raw, performance set her apart and made her Verde’s pick for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 

Visual Effects: “Avatar: the Way of Water” 

Thirteen years after the original “Avatar” was released, audiences returned to the mystical land of Pandora in December. After its release in 2009, fans on online forums described something they later dubbed “post-Avatar depression” to describe the gloom following the realization that the beautifully realistic world and care-free lifestyle of Pandora doesn’t exist, according to Variety. The sequel was highly anticipated for what landscapes director James Cameron would bring to the silver screen. 

The unique lush floating landscapes, glowing plants and animals returned in another installment of Jake Sully’s fight to protect the Na’vi — blue humanoid — people, their culture and land. The signature glowing plants and creative animals are joined by new visuals of the underwater world — never-seen-before fish, animals and coral. The film was a visual effects masterpiece as 70-75% of it was computer generated, according to BBC Culture

In “Avatar: the Way of Water,” the adventure continues largely underwater with visual effects done by Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett. One reason why production took so long to complete was because technology had to be developed to track and generate computer images underwater — according to BBC Culture — The actors were filmed underwater in suits with sensors and markers so their performance could be translated into the computer generated images. 

Because of this film’s breathtaking visual effects work, it earns Verde’s pick for Best Visual Effects. Throughout the film, the viewers genuinely feel as if they are transported to a different planet.