Oscar Pop! 2020’s Best Picture Nominees Retold in Pop Art Posters

  • Amella Watson
  • smcus Tomsounds

Fast cars, sad clowns, childhood fascism. Family and independence, rich and poor, love and divorce. An urgent message, an alternate timeline, an unsolved murder. While it might be easy to boil down this year’s Academy Award Best Picture nominees to a few simple words, it leaves out so much from the array of powerful and deeply-felt stories that captivated audiences and critics alike. That’s why Shutterstock’s brilliant in-house design team revisits the Oscar Pop! challenge each year — to show how art and design can uniquely reveal and reinterpret these films. Shutterstock’s eighth annual Oscar Pop! poster series reimagines movie posters for the 2020 Academy Award Best Picture nominees using world-famous pop artists as inspiration, and Shutterstock’s collection of over 300 million photos, vectors, patterns, and textures as a design toolbox. From street art to collage to superflat to grunge, Shutterstock’s designers each channelled the style and aesthetic of a particular artist, capturing the spirit of the films with the surprising possibilities of stock. See the posters below, and learn how the designers blended inspiration from iconic artists with the stories of the nominated films to create them. Play through the time-lapse video to see how each designer created their poster by weaving Shutterstock images into their original graphics.

1917 - Poster by JC Moreno

1917 is a World War I film by Sam Mendes. It chronicles the journey of two young British soldiers tasked with delivering an urgent message to the frontlines.
I was inspired by David Carson, an American graphic designer, art director, and surfer. He is best known for his innovative magazine design and use of experimental typography on Ray Gun magazine. His aesthetic defined the so-called ‘grunge typography’ era. I decided to use Carson’s layered, chaotic style to depict the ‘fog of war’ and how planning and order go out the window in battle.”
Ford v Ferrari - Poster by Alice Lee

Ford v Ferrari revs the engine on camaraderie by putting corporate ego up against the skilled partnership of famous American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles.
In my poster, I explored friendly competition using Takashi Murakami’s vibrant coloring and iconic humanlike flowers, playfully juxtaposing the serious with the pursuit of the exciting and fun.”
The Irishman - Poster by Alex Bodin

The Irishman is a true crime story about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, arguably the most influential labor leader of the 20th century. To this day, the mystery hasn’t been solved. At its core, the story revolves around the hard decisions that people must make for friendship.
My poster was inspired by street artist Thierry Guetta, best known as Mr. Brainwash. Playing with the contrasts of paint dripping that’s characteristic of his work, and the moody atmosphere of the movie, I wanted to express the chaotic nature of the story in a style typical of Guetta. And I left the door open.”
Jojo Rabbit - Poster by Thanh Nguyen

Jojo Rabbit is the coming-of-age story of a lonely German boy who must confront his own Nazi fanaticism (his imaginary friend is none other than Hitler himself) when he develops a friendship with Elsa, a Jewish girl who is hiding in his attic. Just like Jojo, Yayoi Kusama’s difficult childhood and personal obsessions are important factors that made her who she is today. The infinite repetition in Yayoi Kusama’s art and the bright oversaturated colors fueled by hallucinations and phobias draw distinct parallels to Jojo’s experience in the film.”
Joker - Poster by Jac Castillo
Joker follows Arthur Fleck as he lives his day-to-day life. Society seems to fail him over and over again, which slowly blurs his understanding of fantasy versus reality.
I chose Daniel Norris as my inspiration for this poster because in his work there’s always a central focus, but the more you look, the more hidden elements you find. I wanted a challenge, so, like Norris, I also limited the color palette and showed the Joker without revealing his iconic face.”
Little Women - Poster by Alex Clem

“Little Women is a period drama that focuses on the story of four sisters in the Civil War era. Jo March writes a book reflecting on the relationships and events in her own family.
To celebrate the feminist spirit and joyful mood of this film adaptation, I chose Pauline Boty’s style as my inspiration for the poster. Her colorful collage work was always tied to womanhood and the distinct female point of view. Illustrated in this design are several iconic items to represent the sisters, from the piano to the paint brush to the book.”
Marriage Story - Poster by Flo Lau
Marriage Story presents the emotional struggles of a couple during their divorce and custody battle. I wanted to create this poster from the perspective of their son, Henry. It’s in the style of Robert Indiana, best known for his LOVE sculpture, who grew up in a family of divorce and illustrated events from his life in his Decade Autoportrait series. His family background and his bold, simple typography make the Autoportrait series the perfect inspiration for my movie poster.
I used Henry’s age, eight, an exclamation mark, and a broken heart as the main focus of the poster while adding multiple icons and types to illustrate key parts of the movie. Surrounding these elements, I added the letter—written by his mother—which Henry reads to his father at the end of the movie.”
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood - Poster by Ian Calleja
“Based on one of David Hockney’s most famous paintings, I gave a not-so-gentle nod to the final act in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood. Hockney painted ‘A Bigger Splash’ in 1967, just two years prior to the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders and the alternate history version presented by Tarantino. The poster links the film and painting further through mid-century architecture that serves as a backdrop in each. Secondary storytelling elements from the scene, like the broken window or shadow of DiCaprio’s character, are meant to draw the viewer closer and add a layer of intrigue. The poster uses over 20 illustrations, vectors, and textures from Shutterstock’s collection.”
Parasite - Poster by Nicole Dai
Parasite is a dark comedy-thriller about rich and poor families. This poster is inspired by Saul Bass’s simple but symbolic movie poster designs that transformed the visuals of film advertising. Among the numerous motifs used in the movie, I picked the staircases that appear almost every few minutes to represent the positions of the two families and the gap between the rich and the poor. As Ki-woo peers out the window of the basement while writing to his father, he sees the staircases and has hope. But is there really hope?”

Get More Oscar Pop!

One week, nine posters, almost 100 royalty free images. Our in-house design team was not only challenged to recreate an iconic style in one week, but to do so using Shutterstock assets. See how they layered in textures, patterns, and pictures from the collection to make their poster in this time-lapse design video.
Discover all of the Shutterstock images used in the Oscar Pop! 2020 collection.