Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

PM film critic Sean Collier picks ten forthcoming flicks likely to rake in nominations for the 89th Academy Awards.




above: Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in LA LA LAND. Photo by Dale Robinette. © 2016 Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.
thumbnail: Jennifer Lawrence stars in Columbia Pictures’ PASSENGERS. © 2016 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 

Some movies make producers dream of second homes. Others make them clear mantle space, hoping to add an Oscar or two to their home decor. Most of the Oscar hopefuls arrive in theaters in December and January, hoping to rise above the pack of prestige pictures by the time the Academy Award nominations are announced on Jan. 24 — while some lists of contenders, such as those for the Independent Spirit Awards and the Critics' Choice Awards (for which I am a voter) are already out.

While some top picks, including excellent movies such as “Arrival” and “Moonlight,” are already in theaters, here are ten Oscar hopefuls to watch for — and when to expect them near the Three Rivers.
 

​20th Century Women
This ensemble dramedy from “Beginners” director Mike Mills features turns from Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, Billy Crudup and more; Bening and Gerwig have been generating awards buzz.
Watch For It: Probably in a handful of local theaters starting Dec. 25, although that date hasn’t yet been confirmed.
 

Fences
The long-awaited (and locally shot) adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer-winning family drama is expected to be a top contender for just about every award you can name; Denzel Washington has a shot at scoring nods for Best Director and Best Actor.
Watch For It: Everywhere starting Dec. 25.
 

Hidden Figures
Mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, respectively — were helping NASA get to space before they could share restrooms with their white co-workers. The biographical drama is starting to fade as a potential Oscar heavyweight, but should nab a few nominations.
Watch For It: Everywhere starting Jan. 6.
 

Jackie
Natalie Portman’s Best Actress nomination is all but inevitable for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in this unconventional biopic, mostly set in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination.
Watch For It: Most likely not until mid-January, though that could change.
 

La La Land
One of the year’s most hotly anticipated features, “La La Land” stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in a old-school (but modern-day) Hollywood musical from Damien Chazelle, the writer/director of “Whiplash.” It’s currently seen as the front-runner for Best Picture.
Watch For It: Everywhere starting Dec. 25.
 

Lion
The incredible tale of Saroo Brierley — separated from his mother and brother in rural India as a small child, adopted by an Australian couple and determined to locate his family without the help of any identifying information — is adapted into a tearjerker of a drama by freshman feature director Garth Davis.
Watch For It: In a handful of local theaters (and maybe more) starting Dec. 21.
 

Manchester by the Sea
There’s hardly an Oscar that this bleak drama isn’t seen as a threat to capture. The story of a uncle and nephew forced to coexist after an untimely death stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams; it’s written and directed by Broadway and Hollywood vet Kenneth Lonergan.
Watch For It: In a handful of local theaters (and maybe more) starting Dec. 9.
 

Passengers
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star as the most attractive couple imaginable in this space thriller. “Passengers,” from “Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum, is expected to compete mainly for technical awards — but make a boatload of money.
Watch For It: Everywhere starting Dec. 21.
 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Don’t get too excited: There’s no way “Rogue One” is winning Best Picture, and it’s not particularly likely to compete for other top awards. But a haul of below-the-line prizes (Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Production Design and others) is entirely possible.
Watch For It: In every theater imaginable starting Dec. 16 — although many early showings are already sold out.
 

Silence
This one is a wild card; few critics or civilians have seen Martin Scorsese’s latest as of yet (so it’s been locked out of early nomination lists). But with a stellar cast and weighty subject matter — tensions among isolated missionaries in seventeenth-century Japan — it certainly seems like Oscar material. (And Scorsese just met with the Pope, so there’s that.)
Watch For It: Everywhere starting Dec. 23.
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Health Care in Pittsburgh that Goes Beyond the Office

Innovations in Postpartum Depression Treatment, First-Aid Training and Food Security.
Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

Looking Back: Dan Rooney, Remembered

The builder of two stadiums, a billion-dollar football business, NFL labor harmony and racial sensitivity, and bridges between constituencies –– he was an everywhere man whose soft, steady hand was felt everywhere.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Pittsburgh at the Forefront of The Brain Revolution

Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive ailment to treat and the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Pittsburgh has become a battleground in the fight against the devastating illness, thanks to the decade-long quest of two Pittsburgh researchers whose work is on track to change the face of medicine and affect millions worldwide.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

New Study: Pittsburgh Drivers are The Worst of the Worst

Pittsburgh ties with one other city for having the worst drivers in the nation.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

The latest outpost of the small, Wexford-born chain isn't flashy, but offers good beer and grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

‘Use Him Like ‘Troy Polamalu’ – Steelers Should Jump on This Pick

If Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers is still available, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be wise to make him their first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

Reviews of "Free Fire," "Unforgettable" and "The Promise," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

Beautiful Blooms: Twists on the Traditional Bouquet

You’ll definitely want the story behind these stunning wedding flowers.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Rare Plants, Accessories, Up for Grabs at 2017 Garden Marketplace

Hosted by the Penn State Master Gardeners, the free event, which includes the local daffodil society’s annual show, features exclusive and hard-to-find flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants and other garden accessories from a variety of vendors.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments