A movie concocted and shot during COVID-19 might be a gamble in this climate – but showcase it with the invigorating talents of John David Washington and Zendaya, and you might have a winning recipe for success, maybe even at the Oscars. “Malcolm & Marie” is an actor’s showcase, utilizing the most exquisite instincts and sensibilities of its performers, both of whom could find room to squeeze into the main actor races.
Written and directed by Sam Levinson, the film tells the story of Malcolm, a director, and his girlfriend Marie, who, one evening after the premiere of his latest film, examine the ups and downs of their time. relationship pending. responses from critics.
Do you know what the Oscars love more than the movies? Films on “the films”. Sprinkle on a struggling director who struggles to express his art through film, and Academy voters, especially men, will be salivating at his premise and execution. Washington’s best work, however, exceeds his work in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman”, which narrowly missed the Oscar cut. Cementing her place as the future of the Hollywood industry, this could be her entry into the Academy’s graces.
Zendaya is one of the biggest stars in the world, slowly but with certainty introducing her line of actors from blockbusters like “Spider-Man: Homecoming” to the hit HBO series “Euphoria”, for which she became the star. second black woman to win Best Actress in a Drama Series in 2019. Can she overtake or enter this year’s Best Actress race who is as dynamic and competitive as ever? It’s possible, and imagining a lineup that includes her alongside Viola Davis, the first black woman to an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series, will be a passing moment for the next wave of diverse performers. .
Outside of the acting categories, Levinson will be a favorite among a certain demographic in the director’s branch, who sees the film as a living metaphor for their entire existence. There may be a more grounded and less impressed group of filmmakers, especially writers, who will struggle with overdone dialogue. It reminded me of the story of Darren Aronofsky’s “mother”! which spanned the gamut of film criticism with its divisive reception. It was widely shared that Aronofsky wrote the film in a single weekend. Comparing him to Levinson, who wrote the screenplay in eight days, this creation and creation likely served as an echo chamber for personal feelings. The Academy in general may have a hard time answering them, but these types of predictions can be difficult to read early on.
Marcell Rev’s cinematography is expertly crafted and might find love with members of this branch.
There is history to be made if enough voters commit to it when it comes to the best image category. Along with Levinson and his wife Ashley Levinson, Washington and Zendaya are both producers. If one of Netflix’s other features, “My Rainey’s Black Bottom,” is nominated alongside “Malcolm & Marie,” Washington, along with her father Denzel, would be the first father-son couple to be nominated next door. on the other in the history of the category.
If Zendaya is nominated for Best Picture, she ticks a lot of record boxes. She would be the second black woman to be nominated in the category after Oprah Winfrey for “Selma” in 2014. She would also be the most nominated black woman in a single year in history, matching Mary J. Blige.
Also of note, if she is nominated alongside any of the black actresses at the Oscars, including Nicole Beharie (“Miss Juneteenth”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Andra Day (“The United States against Billie Holiday ”), It would be the second time that more than one black woman would be nominated in the same year in the category best actress. Already.
At 24, she would be the youngest female producer nominated in category history. More importantly, if she were nominated for both photo and actress, she would be the first woman to be nominated to star and produce. Frances McDormand of “Nomadland” is also on the verge of breaking the same record.
Not to mention that Washington and Zendaya would be the first main nominees to be nominated for the photo as well, should that happen.
When it comes to winning, which is too close to the call with this vast field of acting, if she beats the odds, she only joins Halle Berry as a black woman to win the category in 93. She could also be the first actress since Helen Mirren to win an Emmy and an Oscar in the same year. Finally, she would be the fifth youngest winner of all time surpassing Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” of 1953, a few days behind Joan Fontaine in “Suspicion” of 1941.
Quite an achievement and certainly an uphill battle. All of this could break his path.
“Malcolm & Marie” will be released on Netflix on February 5th.