Scrolling though this year’s list of nominees for Best Picture and I can’t really think of a better group of movies to fit into one category. Sure, over the past few years there have been more than one film that was deserving of the Oscar for Best Picture, but it’s this year’s group of movies that is so hard to choose.
Honestly, there have been years where there was definitely more than one candidate to take home Best Picture, and sometimes it was pretty easy to spot. However, this year seems so much more different. This group is probably the most diverse group of films I have seen in this category. I really do feel that this is the best group of films nominated for Best Picture. Let’s take a brief look at each nominee:
“Arrival”: Man, this is one alien movie I can get behind. Gone are the days of cheesy alien movies, and in are the days of well thought out, well written films that serve a much more deeper purpose. Arrival debuted at TIFF, and yeah I almost stole my friends tickets out of his car. My first thought was “Ugh aliens’ but this film is much more than that. The acting, directing and visuals are stunning, and its’ defiantly one of my top three for this category.
“Fences”: This is probably one of the few movies that made me cry. During the trailer. And being made entirely out of stone, that’s a hard job. Denzel Washington gives one of his best performances as an actor in this movie, which is hard, because he’s Denzel. Viola Davis is phenomenal as she always is. I believe the term the young kids are using is “slay” Yeah, she did that. This film is not one I saw a lot of hype for to be honest, but it’s truly one worth watching.
“Hacksaw Ridge”: This is probably my least favourite film in this category, however it’s still a pretty good movie. The only thing that really did it for me was the fact that it was based on a true story. Other than that Hacksaw Ridge was a great film, but it will likely be the runt of this litter.
“Hell or High Water”: I’ve fallen asleep in most |western| films, but this film was the least western westerny (that’s not a word) film. Ok, so it’s not actually categorized as a western, but cowboy boots, cowboy hats, a desert and a showdown so yeah. Hell or High Water was a phenomenally directed movie. It mostly takes place in the same setting, which in my opinion is harder to direct and keep the audience engaged, but it did exactly that. The direction is perfect for the type of film this is. There is no special effects or anything that would be considered “super cool” but it’s probably one of the best films I have seen all year.
“Hidden Figures”: This is the film that everyone is talking about. Literally everyone. I have never seen so much love and support for a movie like I have for Hidden Figures. And to be honest, I think it came out at the perfect time. This movie will make you laugh, cry, feel really every emotion. The best part is that it’s a true story. I cant believe it has taken so long for this story to come out, but like I said before, it came out a the perfect time. And what a movie it is.
“La La Land”: I don’t know what to say about this film other than it’s perfect. Acting, directing, story. This film literally has it all. And who doesn’t like a musical? Honestly, I haven’t watched a musical in ages (Thanks to Grey’s Anatomy and that one horrendous episode), but man La La Land is just incredible. Also, Ryan Gosling. In the worlds of Miranda from the Devils Wears Prada “That’s all”.
“Lion”: Slumdog Millionaire PT 2 was actually a pretty decent film. Again taking a true story that is so unusual and unique (Using google earth to find your family, come on), but it really was a great film. This one also premiered at TIFF and was very well received. Again, felt very Slumdog Millionaire Pt 2, but it’s definitely a one of a kind story that’s worth checking out.
“Manchester By the Sea”: If you’re feeling super happy about something and want to ruin your day, watch Manchester by The Sea. Then go cry. I don’t know how such a depressing movie could end up being so well done and powerful but this film absolutely nailed it. This movie earned six nods at this year’s awards, and was produced by a wide array of people including sniper by day, and Jimmy Kimmel’s arch nemesis by night Matt Damon. After this film, I think its safe to say Kimmel should let Matt Damon on his show.
“Moonlight”: When I first saw the trailer to this film I thought “What in the hell was that”. And then, well I watched it and though “what the hell was that”. Moonlight is this year’s powerhouse film, in that I feel it embodies every emotion you can possibly feel all into one film. If you have yet to see any film in this category, I suggest you start with Moonlight.
I believe La La Land will win, however if it were up to me, I would choose Hidden Figures. I feel this movie has brought so many people together and empowered so many people in a time where Cheeto nutcases are able to roam free. However, let me end by saying this. This year’s nominees have something to be proud of. After last years’ controversy over predominantly white nominees, this year Hollywood has something to be proud of. No matter who wins this award, there are films in this category that have done more than just entertain, They have brought purpose and encouragement to people of all genders, races and identities and that’s something far more powerful than any award, and that’s why I believe this is the greatest group of films nominated for this category.
The 89th Academy Awards will be held this Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California