The only thing that got me out of bed this grey, cold Tuesday morning was the recently released list of Academy Awards nominations. The Oscars are pure magic-the gowns, the acceptance speeches, the celebration of art. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of my favorite films nominated for Best Picture for those looking to catch a few before February 26.
Here are all the films nominated for Best Picture: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight.
My Top Five Best Picture nominations:
Who to see it with: Your best friend who will weep next to you shamelessly (based on experience)
What to expect: If only I had words for how much I loved (was moved by/inspired by) this movie. Barry Jenkins paints perfectly (only his second film!) the often unheard narrative of a black man's coming of age. The cast is flawless, each showcasing parts of themselves that feel unique from roles you might recognize them from. It's essentially a story that feels new, fresh, and completely relevant, told lyrically.
2. La La Land
Who to see it with: Anyone (no, trust me, anyone)
What to expect: Go to see La La Land to be a part of cinematic history (14 nominations?!) and leave playing when you can see it again. This film is an experience in art as escapism. It's loud, colorful, and perfect. Emma Stone shines in a story that defies the classic love story structure. Think Singin' in the Rain circa 2017.
Who to see it with: Your friend you spend hours philosophizing in coffee shops with
What to expect: Expect to leave the theater with this film on your mind for days after you've seen it. The plot is stunning and captivating. Forget what you thought you knew about space/alien movies. Arrival is closer, more intimate in a way that recent space movies have attempted in vain. Be prepared to be moved and reminded what it means to be human.
4. Hidden Figures
Who to see it with: Your mom, your sister, your aunt
What to expect: Hidden Figures is empowering, funny, and as feel-good as it gets. Maybe the soundtrack produced by Pharrell is what sets it apart, but something about the movie is special. The message is timely and hard hitting, while providing a history lesson of the most important kind. Seeing it as a Best Picture nomination was a pleasant surprise.
5. Manchester By the Sea
Who to see it with: Yourself (more on solo movie going to come)
What to expect: On the opposite end of the spectrum from La La Land exists the brilliance of Manchester By the Sea. It's simple, quiet, and touches emotions you didn't know you had. Michelle Williams with a Boston accent? There's reason enough. It's the perfect picture of how a great story is always enough.
Enjoy! I highly recommend seeing these films at Fleur Cinema, with a massive bucket of popcorn, and sweatpants. There is nothing better.