Total movie nerd.
So when each Oscar season rolls around, I get really into it. I’m talkin’ – I listen to podcasts about Oscar nomination predictions – into it. Next. Level.
But I understand that not everyone can be a movie flick fanatic (it’s a dedicated lifestyle). So below I’ve compiled a list of My 2017 Oscar Picks for you to casually peruse.
If I’m being 1000% honest, I was actually a little disappointed with the 2016 movie season. Besides a handful of standout movies, there weren’t a lot of creative risks compared to years prior (Les Mis, Argo, 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, Whiplash, Boyhood, Mad Max, The Revenant, Room etc…). Nonetheless, I vouch for the movies below.
La La Land
I recognize that not everyone is a musical fan, and that’s totally ok. But this movie is simply captivating, and I would encourage anyone to give it a try. At one point in the movie, my friend leaned over and said, “Are you crying?” Um, yes. It’s a beautiful love story written to every dreamer, and it made me sob. Get off my back!
My Oscar Pick: Best Directing, Cinematography, and Original Score – for obvious reasons.
Let me first preface by saying this is my favorite movie of 2016. Having watched the trailer first, I thought I knew exactly how it was going to play out. Psh, that’s a nope. It took a completely different turn in character development, and the storyline evolved into something so much more. It’s a must-see.
My Oscar Pick: Viggo Mortensen for Best Actor (though I don’t think he’ll win, he won in my heart.)
Land of Mine
Land of Mine is a movie based on true events after WWII. After the war came to a close, roughly 2,000 German POWs were forced to clear landmines off of the Danish coast. What unfolds is a truly gripping story that begs the question: when is someone no longer your enemy?
Don’t be so quick to dismiss this movie because of its subtitles. This movie is exceptional, and a favorite of mine on this list.
My Oscar Pick: Best Foreign Film
This movie is trippy. It’s super dramatic and packed with incredible performances. But like – it’s really dark. It’s definitely worth watching if you’re in a weird movie mood. If you want something lighthearted, then stay clear. This movie is not for you.
Tangent – can we discuss how I’m really into Jake Gyllenhaal’s suspenseful movies lately?
Being upfront, this is one of my favorite types of movies. I’m a sucker for the looming apocalypse / collapse in society genre (think Hunger Games, District 9, Cloverfield etc.) Overall, Arrival is a really entertaining movie; if we dissect it further, the storyline is intricate, sporadic, and unique. Definitely a must-see.
Though it won’t beat out heavy-hitter La La Land in the soundtrack category, I found the movie score incredibly suspenseful. If anything, I hope it wins best sound editing because the effects were spectacular.
My Oscar Pick: Sound Editing
Hacksaw Ridge isn’t your stereotypical war movie. Though it has plenty of graphic content, it doesn’t really revolve around the progress of war. Instead, the movie is centered on the idea of bravery. It showed what we as humans are capable of doing when we believe in our convictions and walk them out through courage. Lots of rah-rah, motivational moments. Very inspiring.
Hell or High Water
If you’ve ever lived in the south for any period of time, this movie will spark loads of nostalgia. It’s the epitome of small town, southern life. It has that tough, “slow like molasses” feel. As opposed to Andrew Garfield’s aggressive attempt at a southern accent, Chris Pine does one effortlessly. Like, are we sure he wasn’t discovered in a pool hall in Odessa, TX?
*Just did a Wikipedia search on Chris – he was born in LA. What the heck…*
Also – cowboy Jeff Bridges is my favorite Jeff Bridges.
Though the movie itself wasn’t as great as I was hoping it to be, Natalie Portman’s performance as Jackie Kennedy was unparalleled. I highly recommend you watch interviews of Jackie before watching the movie. Your mouth will be hanging open in awe.
My Oscar Pick: Best Actress
Manchester by the Sea
This movie is an acquired taste. It’s heavy and simple all at the same time. Sometimes the movie wouldn’t finish a thought before moving to the next scene, and I’m still indecisive on how I feel about that.
One thing to pay special attention to – the body language / mannerisms. Casey Affleck’s simple movements added depths of character. And mark my words, Michelle Williams will make you want to cry alone in a corner.
Which movies are your favorite? I would love to hear about them in the comments! And don’t forget to watch the Oscars on Feb. 26th 7 ET / 6 CT!
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Feature Photo: Disney | ABC Television