the AWARD SHOW list: the OSCARs

I’ve finally DONE IT. I’ve seen EVERY movie nominated for Best Picture just in time for the Academy Awards this Sunday. If you haven’t had the chance to see these nine contenders yet, this list will get you up to speed…

Arrival // Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner make quite the team deciphering a new alien language. The film soars, especially in terms of sound design and editing. It’s haunting, chilling, and perfectly exquisite. The complete opposite of Enchanted.

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Fences // I wouldn’t call this one the Best Picture of the year especially since it feels more like a filmed version of the stage play. Yet, both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis craft dynamic, complex characters more than deserving of that golden man.

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Hacksaw Ridge // The Mel Gibson-directed film isn’t anything new, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve also come to terms with the fact Vince Vaughn wants to move on from comedy. RIP Dodgeball 2. Garfield triumphs and Hacksaw stands as one of his best performances to date.

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Hell or High Water // Think Sicario. But on the border of Oklahoma and Texas, not Mexico. It’s a thrill ride, but the film falls a little flat in the first hour. It’s a GREAT weeknight movie. Take that how you may.

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Hidden Figures // I thought all my bets were on La La Land to grab this award, but Hidden Figures blew me away. The cast took home the main award at the SAGs, meaning this film could grab the title and even land on the moon. Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe also completely deserved some acting nods.

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La La Land //  Just. Win. Them. All. La La Land. If you haven’t seen it yet, HI HELLO HEAD TO YOUR MOVIE THEATER NOW. You’ll be singing and dancing the entire way home. It’s escapism at its finest and whimsically delightful in every way. Perfection from the 405 to those rolling credits.

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Lion // Although this one is a tad bit long, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman make this film. Entranced with the stunning cinematography, you’ll tear up about 5 times throughout the duration. The film is also basically a HUGE ad for Google Earth.

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Manchester By The Sea // I always see a depressing movie on Thanksgiving weekend and this one definitely left its mark. Sure Casey Affleck is good, but Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges are fantastic. With Manchester as its backdrop, Kenneth Lonergan captures the pain of loss.

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Moonlight // Throughout its three-act frame, the film redefines the power of cinema. Unfortunately, it feels a little too artsy to win Best Picture. Yes, I’ll be referencing the art design for the next five years and if I ever run a museum, I’ll be playing the film on loop in its own exhibition.

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So, who is my PICK to WIN?! La La Land.

 

the FILM list: 2016

Once upon a time I started my college career as a film major. And like everyone else, I changed my major. Four times to be exact. Yet, I still love reading film blogs all about those Oscar contenders several months in advance. Ever since Slumdog Millionaire took home Best Film and Natalie Portman leapt through award season with Black Swan, I’ve watched as many Oscar-nominated films as possible before the big night. Some of this year’s contenders made the FILM list: 2016 and some of these movies just filled an empty place in my heart. Anyways. Here we go. The 10 best movies of 2016 according to yours truly…

LA LA LAND // Hands down, the most magical, thrilling, and wonderful film of the year. You’ll smile from start to finish. I also dance around my apartment to the soundtrack daily.

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Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates // I  haven’t laughed this hard since Maya Rudolph’s street squatting scene in Bridesmaids. I’d go on vacation with these four any day.

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Sausage Party // Traumatizing. Yet, brilliant in every way. You’ll never walk through the grocery store the same way again.

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Café Society // Woody Allen at his finest. Whimsical art direction. The perfect Sunday morning movie. Plus Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, and Blake Lively.

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How to Be Single // Rebel Wilson takes over New York City with other millennials. TRUE to reality (minus the size of all their apartments). Living in the city IS actually this fun.

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The Secret Life of Pets // Basically the story of my life. The trauma associated with getting a second dog. Also the dog that likes heavy metal might as well be my spirit animal.

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Fences // August Wilson fans rejoice. Just hand Denzel Washington and Viola Davis the Oscars now.

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The Witch // Terrifying. Black Phillip. Weird. Black Phillip. THAT LAST SCENE. Black Phillip. Why bother trying to sleep???

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Manchester By the Sea // Heartbreaking and beautifully shot. I’ll vacation in Manchester anytime. Michelle Williams and newcomer, Lucas Hedges shine.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them // The Harry Potter fan in me was THRIVING. A brand new adventure that doesn’t feel cheap, like a sequel, or like it’s trying to hard.

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*I still haven’t seen Moonlight or Jackie or Arrival yet … I know?! WHAT ARE You DOING CHARLIE ?! but those will just have to wait for the AWARD SHOW list: oscars  🙂