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Lebubè's Oscar Night





Golden award statuette in the spotlight, film clapperboard and lens behind, embodying cinema

Each year, Hollywood gears up for one of the most glamorous and prestigious nights in the world of cinema: the Oscar Night. This eagerly awaited event, not just by members of the film industry but also by movie enthusiasts worldwide, celebrates excellence in film production and offers a unique opportunity to honor the talent and artistry that captivates our emotions and fuels our imagination.


For this occasion, I've "taken it upon myself" to nominate the best films for some of the values that Lebubè stands on and some of the themes we've covered this year in various articles on Lebublog.







Quick Summary


Through Oscar Night, each of us can embark on a "Dantean" journey into the world of cinema, transitioning from one genre to another, from one film to the next, with stories that, whether real or imaginary, conceal socio-cultural themes and fundamental values. Values that could stir even the coldest and most cynical of hearts, prompting reflection on our actions, our words, and our lives, helping us grow into more empathetic, welcoming, and sensitive individuals, and creating a better world.



Best Film Against Traditional Beauty Standards


Films that challenge traditional beauty standards often focus on a variety of themes and narrative approaches to challenge pre-existing cultural norms and promote a more inclusive representation of beauty. These films typically address topics such as self-esteem, body diversity, self-image perception, self-acceptance, and the importance of inner beauty over outward appearance. They may also highlight the societal and media pressures that contribute to perpetuating unrealistic and harmful beauty standards. Through diverse characters and empathetic storytelling that anyone can relate to, such films aim to inspire critical reflection on the concept of beauty itself and promote a more authentic and inclusive image, debunking the traditional idea of being "beautiful," "attractive," and "perfect" (make sure you don't miss our article to shout out a strong stop to traditional beauty standards).



Movie poster of Wonder depicting the protagonist and his family, he is walking in an astronaut helmet symbolizing strength and uniqueness

Wonder


"Wonder" is a 2017 film directed by Stephen Chbosky, based on the novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio, which tells the story of August Pullman, a ten-year-old boy with a craniofacial anomaly, who has undergone numerous surgeries. August, nicknamed "Auggie," decides to attend elementary school for the first time after being homeschooled by his mother (played by the magnificent Julia Roberts). The film explores the emotional and social challenges Auggie faces as he tries to fit in at the new school and be accepted by his classmates, who often turn into small bullies, rude and full of prejudice. The narrative also extends to the lives of Auggie's family members and some of his friends, like his sister Via and his best friend Jack. Throughout the film, Auggie and the other characters learn important lessons in empathy, tolerance, and acceptance of differences, as they face the challenges of growing up and searching for personal identity. Based on the true story of Nathaniel Newman (ABC News, 2019), "Wonder" celebrates the beauty of human diversity and the power of kindness, inspiring viewers to look beyond external appearances and find inner beauty in everyone.



Best Film Against Toxic Masculinity


Films about toxic masculinity are cinematic works that explore behaviors and attitudes reflecting a distorted and harmful conception of masculinity. These films tend to highlight cultural and social patterns that promote ideals of virility based on dominance, aggression, emotional repression, and misogyny. They explore the negative consequences of such behaviors on men themselves, interpersonal relationships, and society at large. Additionally, they often seek to dismantle the myths and harmful expectations associated with traditional masculinity, promoting a more open, empathetic, and inclusive vision of what it means to be a man.


These films can vary greatly: some focus on personal stories of men struggling between their persona and a socially accepted yet toxic masculinity; others also touch on broader themes like patriarchy, domestic violence, or sexuality (to delve deeper into the topic of toxic masculinity, click here).



Fight Club movie poster featuring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, symbolizing the critique of toxic masculinity

Fight Club


"Fight Club" is a 1999 film directed by David Fincher, boldly and provocatively addressing the theme of toxic masculinity.

The film follows an unnamed protagonist, played by Edward Norton: a dissatisfied and alienated man suffering from insomnia and desperately seeking to find his identity and meaning in life. By chance, he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic and rebellious man who introduces him to a world of anarchy, violence, and self-destruction through the creation of a "Fight Club," a secret organization where men fight each other to prove their masculinity. Through the "Fight Club," the protagonist finds a sense of belonging and power, but at the same time, becomes increasingly involved in acts of extreme violence and self-harm. Tyler's character embodies the idealization of toxic masculinity, promoting the idea that a real man must be devoid of emotions, insensitive to pain, and capable of dominating others through physical strength and control.

The film questions traditional concepts of masculinity and male identity, showing how modern society often encourages conformity to harmful and self-destructive stereotypes. Through the distorted and surreal narrative of the film, "Fight Club" explores the consequences of toxic masculinity on men's psyche and society at large, offering a provocative and disturbing reflection on the challenges and contradictions of being a man in modern society.



Best Film on Fighting Against Cancer


Films addressing the fight against cancer often offer a poignant and emotionally charged snapshot of the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges faced by patients diagnosed with this disease, as well as their families and friendships. These films can be based on true stories or be fictional, but their main goal is to raise awareness about cancer, explore its impact on the lives of those involved, share difficult life experiences that, unfortunately, anyone could find themselves in, and inspire messages of strength, courage, hope, and resilience.

Cancer-fighting films can tackle a wide range of themes, including trauma, loss, survival, the importance of social support, and optimism. Some focus primarily on the physical battle against the disease, depicting treatments, side effects, and the daily struggles of patients. Others highlight the emotional and spiritual aspect of the fight against cancer, examining interpersonal relationships, changes in perspective, and the acceptance process.

Despite the often painful and dramatic theme, many of these films also offer moments of joy and humor, showcasing human tenacity in the face of adversity (we at Lebubè have also talked about brave men and warrior women in two very sensitive articles on breast cancer and on prostate and testicular tumors).



The Fault in Our Stars movie poster with Hazel and Augustus lying together, symbolizing love and shared struggle

The Fault in Our Stars


"The Fault in Our Stars" is a 2014 film based on the novel by John Green, revolving around Hazel Grace Lancaster (portrayed by a touching Shailene Woodley), a sixteen-year-old girl with lung cancer who spends much of her time reading and attending support groups for cancer patients. At one of these meetings, she meets Augustus Waters, a charming and vibrant boy who has beaten bone cancer. Hazel and Augustus develop a deep connection as they share their hopes, fears, and passions. Together, they embark on a trip to the Netherlands to meet the author of Hazel's favorite book, but personal and health challenges emerge along the way, testing their love and inner strength. The film explores themes of love, loss, hope, and resilience as Hazel and Augustus face the harsh realities of life and illness. Inspired by the short life of Esther Grace Earl (ABC7 Chicago, 2014), "The Fault in Our Stars" is a tear-jerking and moving story that celebrates the beauty and power of love even in the most difficult circumstances.



Best Film Against Ageism and Age Stereotypes


Films combating ageism and age-related stereotypes often challenge pre-existing cultural perceptions about aging and demonstrate that life and personal value are not limited by age. These films can address a range of themes, including the autonomy of the elderly, the search for new purposes in life, vitality and sexuality in older adults, and the importance of intergenerational relationships, thereby challenging the traditional standards of old age associated with frailty, weakness, and passivity.

Some films focus on the stories of older individuals seeking to achieve their dreams or face new challenges, showing that age is not a barrier to pursuing happiness and success. Others highlight the importance of respecting and valuing the experience and wisdom of the elderly, fighting age-based discrimination, and promoting social inclusion (aging is beautiful and natural, and we talk about it right in our fantastic article that you can find here).



Movie poster for 'Last Vegas' showing Douglas, De Niro, Freeman, and Kline laughing together, symbolizing enduring friendship and the joys of life at any age

Last Vegas


"Last Vegas" is a 2013 comedy directed by Jon Turteltaub. The film follows the lives of four long-time friends, portrayed by heavyweight actors Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. After some time apart, the four friends reunite in Las Vegas to celebrate Billy's (Michael Douglas) bachelor party, as he is about to get married for the first time. The group finds themselves in a series of hilarious adventures and situations as they try to rediscover the fun of their youth and face their personal issues and fears related to aging. During their stay, they confront old grudges, fights, and rivalries, but ultimately find a way to strengthen their friendship and celebrate life together. The film explores themes of friendship, personal growth, aging, and the importance of embracing life fully, regardless of age. "Last Vegas" offers laughs, emotions, and moments of reflection on what it means to be young at heart, regardless of chronological age.



Best "Pro Mental and Physical Well-being" Film


"Pro mental and physical well-being" films are cinematic works that focus on the importance of mental, emotional, and physical well-being, promoting positive, inspirational, and motivational messages for the audience. These films often offer narratives that encourage resilience, self-discovery and acceptance, personal growth, and a healthy lifestyle.

Typically, these films explore a variety of themes related to well-being, including self-awareness, gratitude, stress management, overcoming adversity, the importance of interpersonal relationships, physical exercise, and self-care. They may also provide insights into tackling mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress.

Often, the protagonists of these films face personal challenges or difficult situations and find positive ways to overcome them, inspiring viewers to pursue their own well-being and happiness (don't miss our self-care tips for aiming at mental and physical well-being).



Eat Pray Love poster with Julia Roberts eating gelato next to a nun, symbolizing self-discovery and pleasure

Eat, Pray, Love


"Eat, Pray, Love" is a 2010 film directed by Ryan Murphy and based on the autobiographical novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. The story follows a woman named Elizabeth Gilbert (portrayed by Julia Roberts), who, after a difficult divorce and an "existential crisis," embarks on a journey of self-discovery through Italy, India, and Indonesia.

In Italy, Elizabeth explores the joy of life and gastronomy, immersing herself in the culinary culture and learning to enjoy the simplest and most genuine pleasures. In India, she joins an ashram to practice yoga and meditation, seeking inner peace and spirituality she has never experienced before. Finally, in Indonesia, she meets a local guru and falls in love, finding a balance between her past suffering, present serenity, and future hope.

Elizabeth's journey is a path of healing and self-discovery, in which, by identifying with her, anyone can learn the fundamental lesson of loving oneself, forgiving the past, and finding joy, serenity, and balance in life. The film celebrates the power of rebirth and authenticity, inspiring viewers to follow their hearts and seek happiness wherever it may be found.



Best Film for Disability Acceptance and Against Ableism


Films on disability acceptance and against ableism and ableist stereotypes are cinematic works that explore the challenges, experiences, and victories of people with disabilities, as well as society's reactions to them. These films aim to promote awareness, empathy, and inclusion, challenging stereotypes and ableist discrimination associated with people with disabilities.

Typically, these films provide realistic and humane portrayals of the lives of people with disabilities, showing their resilience, determination, and abilities (often focusing on their adaptability to new conditions). They can explore a wide range of themes, including the pursuit of independence, accessibility, equality, dignity, determination, and acceptance of people with disabilities.

Some films focus on the daily physical or cognitive challenges faced by people with disabilities, showing how they adapt to their surroundings and autonomously overcome ableist barriers. Other films tackle more complex issues, such as social prejudice based on ableism, workplace discrimination, access to healthcare difficulties, and the importance of interpersonal relationships.

Many of these films also offer a positive and optimistic viewpoint on people with disabilities, celebrating their humanity, tenacity, achievements, passions, and dreams, their unique abilities. Additionally, they can highlight human potential and the beauty and normalization of diversity (to contribute to breaking down barriers, start by reading our article against ableist stereotypes).



The Intouchables poster with François Cluzet and Omar Sy smiling, a story of transcendent friendship and acceptance

The Intouchables


"The Intouchables" is a 2011 film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, based on the true friendship between Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his caregiver Abdel Sellou (Bright Side).

The film follows the story of Philippe, a wealthy French aristocrat paralyzed in a paragliding accident, and Driss, a young Senegalese immigrant in precarious financial conditions with a troubled past involving drugs and other crimes. Despite their social and cultural differences, Philippe hires Driss as his personal assistant, and their relationship evolves into a deep friendship based on humor, sincerity, and mutual respect. Driss brings joy and spontaneity to Philippe's life, encouraging him to live fully despite his disability, while Philippe offers Driss stability and opportunities for personal growth. Together, they navigate the challenges of daily life and support each other through tough times.

The film explores themes of disability, empathy, social integration, friendship, and being there for each other. "The Intouchables" is an ode to diversity and the strength of human connection, showing how friendship can overcome all barriers.



Best Film Against Racism


Films that combat racism address the (unfortunately) very current issue of racial disparities and social injustices, aiming to raise awareness, educate, and promote change. These films explore a variety of perspectives and experiences related to racism, highlighting its historical roots, contemporary manifestations, and devastating consequences.

Typically, these films emphasize discrimination, violence, segregation, and other forms of oppression based on skin color, showcasing their impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole while dwelling on the psychological and emotional implications, how people fight against it, and seek to create positive change. Some films focus on significant historical events, such as slavery, racial segregation in the United States, or apartheid in South Africa. Others address more contemporary issues, such as racial profiling, police brutality, workplace or educational discrimination, and interracial tensions. Many of these films are based on true stories or inspired by real events, providing a powerful testimony to human experiences and struggles against racism. They aim to make viewers aware of the wrongfulness of believing in privilege based purely on skin color, recognize systemic injustices, and actively engage in the fight for equality and social justice (join the fight for equity and the elimination of discrimination starting with our article for Black History Month).



12 Years a Slave movie poster with Solomon Northup running, symbolizing the fight for freedom and justice

12 Years a Slave


"12 Years a Slave" is a 2013 film directed by Steve McQueen, based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, an African American man who was kidnapped and enslaved for twelve years before regaining his freedom (Time, 2013).

The story follows Solomon Northup, a violinist and carpenter from Saratoga Springs, New York, who is deceived, drugged, and sold into slavery in the Southern United States in the early 19th century. Solomon is renamed Platt and sold to various masters, facing a series of physical and psychological abuses while desperately trying to survive and maintain hope for regaining his freedom.

During his twelve years in slavery, Solomon encounters a range of characters, some compassionate, like the Canadian carpenter Bass, and others cruel and sadistic, like plantation owner Edwin Epps. Despite the hardships, Solomon maintains his dignity and humanity, attempting to seize every opportunity to seek help and liberation.

The film explores the brutalities and injustices of the American slave system, highlighting the deep wounds inflicted by racist institutions and systemic violence. "12 Years a Slave" is a touching and powerful story of survival, courage, and resilience, celebrating the power of hope and human endurance even in the face of the most adverse circumstances.



Oscar Night: From Fiction to Reality


Oscar Night is not only a moment to celebrate excellence in cinema but also an opportunity to reflect on the fundamental values that guide our perception of the world. Through films that promote diversity, inclusion, and social awareness, we can look beyond stereotypes and conventions, pushing ourselves to closely examine the challenges and aspirations that define the human experience, as well as to look within ourselves and explore the complexities of our identity, our relationships, and our role in society. As we eagerly await the Oscar winners, we can draw inspiration from the stories offered to us to reflect on our own lives and the possibilities for growth and transformation that present themselves every day, inspire positive changes, encourage mutual understanding, and promote a more inclusive and empathetic world.



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