Best Picture Noms — 25-Word Reviews and Lingering Questions

Julio Vincent Gambuto
4 min readMar 25, 2022
Photo source: EW

Sunday is the Oscars, and despite the controversy about not televising some very major craft awards, I am excited to watch — if for no other reason than it has been a long and depressing winter in New York and in the world. Here are some quickie reviews, from the gut. Agree, disagree. It’s art.

In alpha order… (Some spoilers. Look out.)

Download your printable Oscars ballot here from ABC

Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Quickie: Charm and gravity mix for an incredibly moving portrait of how to save your family from war at your doorstep. Should and will win it.
Lingering Questions: Why does Grandma stay at the end? Who is that little boy and why is he not the new face of every cereal in America? Is there anything Judi Dench cannot do?

PC: Focus Features

CODA ★★★★☆
Directed by Sian Heder
Quickie: Two parts after-school special and one part family love story somehow marry to rip your heart out and grow it. Watch if you haven’t.
Lingering Questions: She never signed a song to her family before Act 3? Did the girlfriend learn sign and work on the boat? How do you create a climax of your Act 2 conflict without sound? They did it.

PC: Apple

Directed by Adam McKay
Quickie: Brilliant and hysterical comment on how royally fucked up our society is right now. A third of the country will loathe it, which totally tracks.
Lingering Questions: Why hasn’t Meryl played Donald on SNL? What do we do to avoid our own comet?

PC: Netflix
Julio Vincent Gambuto

Author of “Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!” // Now available in US and UK //