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

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


See The Tiny House with Room to Grow

See The Tiny House with Room to Grow

The housing company Module, a Pittsburgh start-up, creates an alternative housing model that grows in size as you grow in income.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Look for some big changes at the Upper Lawrenceville restaurant, which is expected to shutter for at least a year.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

The North Shore landmark's new ropes course is a draw for adults and youths alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

The desire for more a year ago helped fuel the Penguins’ quest to repeat this season. Should their thirst for yet another Cup prove as unquenchable next season, there’s no limit to what they might yet achieve. Even a Three-peat.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Reviews of "Cars 3" and "47 Meters Down," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

You’ll definitely want to pin these new summer wedding trends to your Pinterest board.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

From a forest of Japanese maples to a rocky urban sanctuary, the annual tour covers 14 very different gardens across the East End.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

On three days this summer, the college will host visit days for prospective students.

Comments

Edit Module