Award show season is just around the corner. With film festivals underway, I thought it'd be fun to dabble in a round of early Oscar picks. This collection is a mix of movies I'm really excited for and ones that are already getting rave reviews. Who do you will be up for nominations next year? Feel free to share in the comments!
Amy Adams plays a linguist recruited by the military to make contact with alien spacecrafts landing around the world. Both director Denis Villeneuve and Adams are longtime critic faves but have yet to earn top prizes. With the film becoming a smash-hit at this summer's festivals, Arrival will probably make contact with award show season for Best Picture and Best Actress. If Leonardo DiCaprio can finally snag the big one, so can Adams!
Bill Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Upon returning home from an Iraq battle, a young soldier Billy Flynn recounts the horrors of what happened during a victory tour. From the visionary director of Life of Pi, director Ang Lee adapts the book which contrasts the reality of war, military members returning home, and a country's patriotic perception of sacrifice. This could easily put newcomer Joe Alwyn on the map and be worthy of another Best Picture nod for Lee.
Director Kelly Reichardt weaves the lives of three women played by Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Laura Dern in a small-town. Reichardt is touted as one of America's best yet quietest filmmakers but this could be the work-of-art that gains her 'mainstream' recognition.
Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) star as the brains behind one of NASA's historical achievements of launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Hidden Figures echoes the warmth and liveliness of The Help by celebrating the women who broke through barriers of gender and race.
Like icons Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis is in a special league of historical figures that Hollywood has tried to create biopics of for decades. One of the biggest surprises has been director Pablo Larrain's first English film starring Natalie Portman as the titular character. Many are calling it truly visionary and a biopic worthy of Jackie's story exploring the before and after of her time in the White House. This biopic might actually do her justice.
La La Land
Lala Land is earning rave reviews for best picture and it's leading lady. Director Damien Chazelle of the ruthless Whiplash changes his tune with an old-fashioned musical a la Singing In The Rain to explore a romance between a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and aspiring actress (Emma Stone). I love Classic Hollywood, and I'm eager to see Chazelle try to channel modern stars to Tinseltown's retro era.
Similar to Wes Anderson's slow-to-rise hit The Grand Budapest Hotel, director Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster is one of the most polarizing independent films this year. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz play two of many singles who live at specialty residences and are given forty-five days to find a romantic partner or be turned into an animal. Called everything from artistic, boring, and a weird love story, the movie has been loved or hated across the board. While I was in the middle over The Lobster - didn't love or hate it, I'd just love to see Rachel Weisz nominated for anything, The Lobster, Complete Unknown or The Light Between Oceans.
Based on Saroo Brierley's memoir A Long Way Home, a young boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta and adopted by an Australian couple, and grows up to find his lost family. The film looks beautifully directed, and I don't know - isn't it about time Dev Patel was shown more love in Hollywood?
A United Kingdom
Set in the 1940s, A United Kingdom recounts the interracial marriage that sparked international controversy when Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana married a white Londoner Ruth Williams. Uniting Oscar nominees David Orweylo and Rosamund Pike, director Amma Asanta brings her extraordinary touch to a political-fueled romantic story dealing with racism.