Will Oscar Voters Choose a Dark Movie for Best Picture or Something More Upbeat?

  • Variety
Will Oscar Voters Choose a Dark Movie for Best Picture or Something More Upbeat?
Will love and mercy prevail again this year, or will one of the season’s darker offerings take home the ultimate prize? Last year, Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” triumphed, its period story about a friendship that blossoms between a boisterous white bigot and a black, highly educated classical musician an unlikely balm at a time of rising racism and homophobia in America. It prevailed against contenders including Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” a memoir exploring class tensions and a faltering marriage in Mexico.

This year’s Oscar nominees for best picture explore dark themes such as mental illness, economic inequities and revenge fantasies, their denouements ranging from bleak to hopeful. Two heavyweights are especially bleak: In “Joker,” a clown who desperately wants to succeed as a stand-up comic (Joaquin Phoenix) descends into madness in economically ravaged Gotham (acting as a stand-in for Reagan-era New York City), while a wily lower-class
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