Movies are a brilliant barometer of where we stand as a society, and as the world tunes in to Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast on ABC, here are some takeaways for communicators related to the nine Best Picture finalists.
Ford v Ferrari: A spectacular feud can fuel a notion, but only outstanding collaboration can translate a seemingly unthinkable fever dream into rip-roaring reality, on the racetrack or in the boardroom. Matt Damon and Christian Bale’s characters demonstrate how building a better solution under pressure requires give and take and respect for what each person in a co-operation brings to the table.
The Irishman: Being the middleman can be a lonely position, so one should use caution when getting caught up in a life – or campaign – that lacks authenticity. Robert De Niro’s character embodies a rather sad life and tragic legacy, eschewing the needs of his family and giving into avarice at every turn of this gangster epic. It’s a reminder to stand up for what is right so you won’t have to look back with regret.
Jojo Rabbit: Especially when times are tough, look inside yourself for the best virtues you can bring forth. This WWII-era dramedy depicts the transformation of a Hitler youth when he meets and gets to know a Jewish best friend. There’s always a point of view one can learn from someone who may seem your opposite. Humans have a huge capacity to change.
Joker: Not just a conceit of comic books, a good origin story can make any messaging or narrative shine. Make sure you’ve honed yours as a leader or as a company to provide energy and intrigue for all that lies ahead.
Little Women: Just as American hero Jo March learns, hold tight to the rights of your work when you believe in it. Writer/director Greta Gerwig and her muse Saoirse Ronan showcase that life has an uncanny way of repeating itself and that one becomes immortal when defiantly claiming one’s individualism.
Marriage Story: Despite the fact that the duo at this film’s center are part of a sputtering partnership, the movie reminds us of the importance of “reading your lists.” Especially as you embark on M&A or other alliances, it’s important to enumerate what you like best about each other to ensure that 1+1 is a whole lot more together.
1917: In times of crisis, there is little time to look back. You’re either prepared for the battle at hand or you’re not going to be able to keep your eyes on the prize. For the WWI heroes tasked with getting a message through no man’s land to their fellow soldiers, the real-time uninterrupted continuity is a reminder of the “forge ahead” approach. It’s also a reminder to schedule that table top exercise to be ready!
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood: You have a chance to revise history every day, as Tarantino has taught us in previous WWII and Civil War stories. For the washed-up cowboy actor and stuntman played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, respectively, there’s a brilliant combination of doing solid work again and again while being in the right place at the right time for that stick-to-itiveness to pay off.
Parasite: One small chess move can topple a big game. In the ecosystem of this Korean curiosity of a film, one clever character hatches a small scheme that changes everything for his family and another’s. Never underestimate that one grassroots protester or that lone voice in the wilderness. In fact, do so at your peril. Not every person or situation deserves the exact same level of attention, but don’t wait until it is too late to address the outlier.