My 5 Favorite Oscar Noms


1. Moonlight

My favorite film this year by a long shot was Moonlight. The film is broken up into three parts, each following the main character Chiron through a different age in his life. The story follows his path to self discovery as a gay man and coming of age in the drug culture of Miami. The cinematography is an absolute dream - the colors are lush and the lighting choices are bold. Each of the three chapters is colored differently to emulate a different film stock and it's the most successful attempt at this that I've ever seen. The film is touching and poignant and will leave you feeling emotionally punched in the gut in the best way possible. 

2. La La Land

There was a lot of hype for La La Land and I think it's well deserved. It feels like absolute ages since I've seen a romantic musical in theaters and this one felt refreshing. Sebastian and Mia are both aspiring talents in Hollywood - Seb a jazz pianist and Mia an actor. They meet a number of times before they start to fall in love against a background of the dreamiest sections of LA. The musical numbers are clever and fun, City of Stars will stick with you long after the closing credits. I think this film was a beautiful love story and a much needed break from real life. 

3. Manchester by the Sea

I had the misfortune to see this film with a bunch of elderly people who wanted to talk the whole time and were very offended by the amount of swearing in the film. Going in I wasn't sure how this film would affect me but I sat there watching the closing credits with tear stains on my cheeks. If you've ever had an immediate family member die, you'll understand this movie. There were so many little moments that I identified with that had me choked up - especially the nit picky appointment setting and arrangements that follow someone's death - Affleck's character has to take care of so much while the whole town watches and judges how he's handling his grief. It's a quiet movie, but a powerful one.

4. Hidden Figures

This film is smart, cool, topical, funny, and just a whole lot of fun to watch. The cast is brilliant in their portrayals of the ladies who made the US space program possible through their fearlessness and intelligence. There have been so many women, especially women of color, whose contributions have been overlooked or wrongly attributed to men, and to see them finally get their moment in the sun means so much. This movie tells their stories with heart and humor.

5. Star Wars: Rogue One

Perhaps a controversial choice, as it wasn't well received all around, but hear me out. A sci fi adventure movie with a female lead, diverse cast, and no romantic storyline. That worked. I was blown away by how happy I was to see a movie like this in theaters. I enjoyed the sequences that paid homage to the first Star Wars films. I enjoyed Diego Luna. I just thoroughly enjoyed a sci fi movie for the first time in a really long time and for that reason I think it's worth a watch.

Honorable mentions for Arrival, Lion, Hell or High Water, and a few others that I never got the chance to see.

Photos; (1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5)

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