Check out clips and filmmaker interviews below for the nine nominees for this year's Academy Award for Best Picture.
Winners of this year's Oscars will be announced on Sunday, February 9, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.
"Ford v Ferrari"
Produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold
In the 1960s the CEO of the Ford Motor Company, rebuffed from an offer to buy the Italian car maker Ferrari, was said to be so humiliated that he decided to build a supercar that could beat Ferrari at an auto race they'd dominated for years: the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford spent untold millions on the efforts, and failed, in 1964 and '65. So, they decided to give it one final shot in 1966, with the team of automotive artist Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and legendary driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale).
A rousing crowd-pleaser, "Ford v Ferrari" is both a buddy movie, and a visceral tale of the dangers of auto racing, when drivers push themselves, and their cars, to that place where there can only be victory or disaster.
In addition to a nomination for Best Picture, the movie earned nominations for film editing, sound mixing and sound editing.
"If a movie works, you end up feeling a lot of gratitude for all the people who worked on it, because it's hard work," Damon told "Sunday Morning" correspondent Tracy Smith.
"Much like putting a race car together and winning Le Mans, right?" asked Smith.
"Exactly. Except we're not risking our lives!"
In this scene, Miles and his GT40 are in the zone:
"It's a chance for everybody to kind of come together in a dark movie theatre and see a story about friendship," Damon said. "That's a nice thing to put out into the world right now."
- ("Sunday Morning")
- ("CBS This Morning")
- Download the screenplay for "Ford v Ferrari" (pdf)
Produced by Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Based on Charles Brandt's 2004 book "I Heard You Paint Houses," Martin Scorsese's epic story of power, loyalty and corruption, in a familiar Scorsesean milieu, is centered on hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), who is taken under the wing of Philadelphia crime boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), and becomes a virtual aide de camp to Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Spanning several decades (and with the aid of CGI effects that de-age the actors), the movie explores in its 3.5-hour running time the seemingly limitless capacity for human beings to exercise or betray loyalty, even to those closest to them, and to experience the painful personal costs of corruption.
Scorsese's technical mastery is undeniable, and the film's period detail is exceptional. But the main selling point is its remarkable cast and the space the director gives to De Niro, Pesci and Pacino to strut their stuff.
In this scene, Ray Romano demonstrates the value of a really good lawyer, and sets up De Niro with an introduction to his cousin (Joe Pesci), a mob figure.
Describing his first experience working with Scorsese, Pacino told "Sunday Morning" correspondent Lee Cowan, "You're without a net, and you don't care, because you can do anything, 'cause you know somehow he's the net. He will take care of it. Whatever you do – go in this direction, that direction – you're safe."
Cowan asked, "Do you feel like, collectively, that this is one of the best things you guys have ever done?"
"I mean, I always knew that it would be a special thing, no matter what happened, as far as the reaction to it," De Niro replied. "That we would create something and do something together, all of us. It was gonna be special, no matter what. You can't take that away from us. That's all. It gets a good reaction? That's even better."
The film earned 10 Academy Award nominations.
- Martin Scorsese, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on "The Irishman" ("Sunday Morning")
- (CBS News)
- Download the screenplay of "The Irishman" (pdf)
- "The Irishman" is available to stream at Netflix
Produced by Carthew Neal, Taika Waititi and Chelsea Winstanley
Charlie Chaplin and Mel Brooks thought nothing of satirizing Adolf Hitler. As New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi told "Sunday Morning" correspondent Tracy Smith, "Throughout history comedy has been, I think, the strongest weapon in commenting on society and issues. And dictators, kings and royalty, they hate being made fun of. You know, when people make jokes about them, it drives them bananas."
The restorative power of humor to combat nihilism is vividly on display in Waititi's rollicking yet poignant World War II satire, based on Christine Leunens' novel "Caging Skies," in which a 10-year-old Hitler Youth (played by Roman Griffin Davis) engages with his imaginary friend, Hitler himself (played by Waititi). But Jojo's young eyes are opened wider when he finds out his mother, Rosie (played by Oscar-nominee Scarlett Johansson), is connected to a resistance movement – and is harboring a young Jewish refugee (Thomasin McKenzie, of "Leave No Trace") in a hidden room of their house.
In this scene Hitler speaks to Jojo, who is afraid he will be washed out of the Hitler Youth:
As Leunens wrote of the movie's adaptation of her book, "Taika made the bold move to make Hitler an imaginary 'friend,' and though comical, in Taika's films, the laughs are never free. Based on the countless images of Hitler courting children's admiration as part of the process of indoctrination, it was a risk that I'm glad he took."
Of critics who have questioned the propriety of making jokes about Nazis, Waititi told "Sunday Morning," "I'd be worried if no one criticized my movie. If everyone liked it, then I'd know I've made a terrible, safe, mediocre film."
"Jojo Rabbit" received six Academy Award nominations.
- "Jojo Rabbit" writer-director Taika Waititi: Comedy is a powerful weapon against dictators ("Sunday Morning")
- Download the screenplay of "Jojo Rabbit" (pdf)
- You can stream "Jojo Rabbit" on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube; it will be available on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD February 18.
Produced by Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
An origin story for the arch-nemesis of Batman, "Joker" is unlike other comic book-inspired movies, and is instead a dark and pessimistic character study about an unfortunate soul who craves applause, and doesn't mind if it comes from a mob who are willing to burn Gotham down. Director Todd Phillips and his co-screenwriter Scott Silver took as their inspiration gritty '70s dramas by the likes of Sidney Lumet and Martin Scorsese – urban parables of crime and corruption which elevated characters like Al Pacino's Sonny in "Dog Day Afternoon" and Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver" to mythic, anti-hero status.
Joaquin Phoenix maintains his position as one of the very best actors around, and he brings an effective pain and dislocation to his performance as Arthur Fleck, a clown and aspiring comedian who suffered abuse as a child, takes seven prescription meds, consults with an unhelpful social worker, and is plagued by "negative thoughts." Violence ensues.
Especially powerful is a scene following his first murders, in which Fleck "dances" to music only he, apparently, can hear. (Score by Oscar-nominee Hildur Guðnadóttir.)
With more than a billion dollars' worth of tickets sold, "Joker" has become the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. It won top prize at the Venice Film Festival last year, probably as much for what it wasn't (superheroes clashing with evil-doers) as for what it was. It leads all other films this year in Academy Award nominations, with 11.
While some have criticized "Joker" for glorifying a nihilistic killer, others praised it as a tale of mental illness and the costs to a society that fails to address it properly.
"I've described it as, like, a Rorschach Test," Phoenix told "60 Minutes" correspondent Anderson Cooper. "It says something about the person viewing it and what they think that it's about. That's really rare for a film to kind of have that effect on people. So, in some ways, I welcomed [the controversy]."
- Joaquin Phoenix: A three-decade career filled with dark, complicated characters ("60 Minutes")
- Review: Joaquin Phoenix as "Joker," the anti-anti-hero
- Download the screenplay of "Joker" (pdf)
- "Joker" is available On Demand and on Blu-ray and DVD, and to stream via Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube
Produced by Amy Pascal.
The oft-filmed novel by Louisa May Alcott, about the four March sisters growing up in New England during Civil War times, is filled with sumptuous period detail and costumes. But writer-director Greta Gerwig's adaptation also plays with conventions by altering the timeline of the story, using flashbacks to underline the tensions between siblings, the romantic longings and disappointments that the women face, and the professional growth of the central character, Jo (played by Saoirse Ronan), as she builds her career as a writer.
"Jo March was such a beacon for so many women of so many different generations," Gerwig told "Sunday Morning" correspondent Rita Braver. "Everyone from Simone de Beauvoir to Patti Smith to J.K. Rowling to me, we loved Jo March because she wanted to be bigger than the world would allow her to be."
In this scene, Jo and a friend, Laurie (Timothée Chalamet), settle for dancing outside of a dance:
Gerwig took inspiration from Alcott's historic home, in Concord, Mass., she told Braver: "Being here, and actually being in the presence of her room and her books and her things she touched, it's incredibly meaningful, and it made me feel like I could make her movie."
The film received a total of six Oscar nominations.
- Our fascination with Louisa May Alcott's enduring classic "Little Women" ("Sunday Morning")
- Download the screenplay of "Little Women" (pdf)
- "Little Women" is currently in theatres, with no announced release date for streaming, VOD or Blu-ray/DVD.
Produced by Noah Baumbach and David Heyman.
The acting, by Oscar-nominees Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson and Laura Dern, in addition to Ray Liotta and Alan Alda, is peerless in Noah Baumbach's dramedy of a marriage's dissolution, and the painful after-effects on the husband and wife, child, and extended family who try to maintain a life that is forever altered.
In this video feature from Netflix, Baumbach describes the intimate opening sequence of "Marriage Story," in which Nicole and Charlie explain what they love about each other – the large and small things that fueled their attraction, marriage and parenting of their little boy. The irony: these professions of love are an exercise guided by a mediator helping the couple through their separation.
It's like a eulogy for a relationship that has died. But as we learn throughout the film, though emotions are raw, their ties can never be completely severed.
The film received six Academy Award nominations.
Produced by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall
Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, "1917," is a World War I adventure in which two British troops must make their way across no-man's land to warn commanders preparing an assault on the Germans that they will be marching into a trap. With 1,600 lives on the line, Lance Corporals Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) must venture alone across desolate, crater-pocked land and booby-trapped installations to try to halt the British assault.
In this scene Schofield enters a burning village:
Director Sam Mendes (an Oscar-winner for "American Beauty") told "CBS This Morning" that the film was inspired by stories of the First World War told by his grandfather, who'd enlisted as a 17-year-old and was, among other things, a message carrier. "That was one of the things he was asked to do, because he was very small, 5-and-a-half feet. And the mist hung at six feet in no-man's land in the winter, [so] they sent him with messages so he couldn't be seen above the top of the mist by the enemy."
His grandfather never spoke of his war exploits until he was in his 70s, which was when Mendes heard them, as a child. "It was his story. It wasn't mine to tell, in a way. It was only later, after making movies and beginning to have the courage to write my own, that I thought that was the story that I wanted to tell," he said.
The film was designed to play out in real-time, as if filmed all in one continuous take (though clever editing and computer magic blended sequences together), earning veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins his 15th career nomination (he won for "Blade Runner 2049").
"I wanted the audience to experience those two hours exactly as the characters do," Mendes told "CBS This Morning." "I wanted them to feel every second passing, take every step of the journey with the characters, and feel the physical difficulty of the journey."
- ("CBS This Morning")
- Download the screenplay of "1917" (pdf)
- "1917" is currently in theatres, and will be released in streaming, VOD and Blu-ray/DVD formats in April.
"Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood"
Produced by David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino.
Quentin Tarantino's latest film is a dazzlingly-produced tale of Los Angeles in the late 1960s, when the studio system was collapsing, and the film and TV industries were desperate to attract a more youthful audience. International filmmakers like Roman Polanski, who directed the horror film 'Rosemary's Baby," represented the Hot New Thing. And TV westerns, like "Bounty Law," starring Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), were on the way out.
"Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood" captures the unsettling changes underway in Hollywood through the experience of Dalton, who is watching his career stagnate, and his buddy, stunt double and gofer Cliff (Brad Pitt). The two are each trying to find their way in the changing entertainment landscape, and that change just might come via the hot new director who moved in next door – that is, if the Manson Family members intent on bloodshed don't get to them first.
The film, which received 10 Academy Award nominations, revels in dense dialogue, the nostalgic gleam of Tinsel Town, and the violence that erupts in a bit of revisionist history that provides, as the title suggests, a kind of fairy tale happy ending (though not for the unfortunate soul roasted with a flame thrower).
In this clip Dalton forgets his lines during a scene – a sign that his drinking may be getting the better of him – and he takes it out of himself (and his trailer) afterwards. Language warning: It's a Tarantino film.
In an interview at the Irish Film Institute, Tarantino said, "I did like the idea of dealing with the town back in 1969. I do have a memory of what it was like then. I mean, it's more of a memory piece than journalistic reporting…. And then also I did like the idea of making a movie about Hollywood, about a time in Hollywood that – it's now been enough time that there's not that many people who remember it that much anymore. If I had done this movie ten years earlier, most of the critics would have even been from that time period, and that's kind of not the case now."
Here, Tarantino and diCaprio talk with Vanity Fair about their inspirations for the film's main character:
- "Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood" is available On Demand and on Blu-ray and DVD, and to stream via Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube
Produced by Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho.
A destitute family hits upon a brilliant scheme: ingratiate themselves into a wealthy family as hired help so that they may enjoy the moneyed security of their beautiful house, far from the below-ground hovel in which they reside. It helps that the wealthy Park clan are vain, gullible, and can't see the truth behind the new tutors, the new chauffeur or the new housekeeper.
But what starts off as a comedy about class suddenly turns decidedly horrific as director Bong Joon Ho ("Snowpiercer") spins genre expectations on their heads. Superbly acted, "Parasite" is an invigorating piece of cinema with twists, shocks and blood (yes, this home is indeed to die for).
In this scene, "Kevin" introduces his sister, "Jessica," as a prospective art teacher for Mrs. Park's son.
The film, which won top prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best International Feature, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Its ensemble was named Best Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"This conflict between classes, or I guess we can call it the polarization of the rich and the poor, it's a worldwide issue and something that's also happening in Korea," Bong told the Hollywood Reporter. "I believe a director's job is to try to reflect the time that he or she lives in. …
"It was a great starting point. The film deals with this income inequality issue, but it's also a crime thriller and a black comedy. It's a genre film, so I'd say that you will find a lot of fun, cinematic stuff in the film, too."
- (CBS News)
- Download the screenplay of "Parasite" (pdf)
- "Parasite" is available On Demand and on Blu-ray and DVD, and to stream via Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube
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