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Awards preview: movies not to miss this season

author: ethan butterfield | a&c writer

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With the Oscar deadline around the corner, Hollywood is bringing out the big films.

The Oscars approach closer and closer every day, and people are starting to ask who the frontrunners are. An interesting question, indeed, and one that I had difficulty getting a handle on. I like to consider myself a film buff. If I could review films for a living, I would. The award season creeps up, and the films that have been presented as the ‘Best Picture’ contenders are fairly decent, to say the least. Sully, La La Land, and Arrival are all in talks for racking up big numbers in terms of trophies.

Sully, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood, is a film I have heard brought up in numerous discussions. Based on the 2009 incident where US Airways Flight 154 made an emergency landing on the Hudson River, this one looks like it has all the makings of a heavy hitter. One of the praises I have heard is that, despite people knowing what happens in reality, the tension really never lets up throughout the film’s entire run.

Another film previously brought up was La La Land which, I have to admit, I did not hear any news about at all until I saw The Accountant in theatres (by the way, watch The Accountant). La La Land stars heavy hitters Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as they go back to that classical ‘40s to ‘50s style of movie magic. The stars dance, sing, and present an elegant “theatre film” instead of a Hollywood “blockbuster movie.”

The next on this the list is one that I hope gets the amount of praise it deserves, Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Mel Gibson. This film looks amazing, there is no roundabout way of saying it. Based on a true story of a soldier who fought in the WWII Battle of Okinawa but never fired a shot. Of course, the big concern with this particular piece is that Mel Gibson is indeed directing. You know Mel Gibson.

The next film I’d like to mention is Birth of a Nation, starring Nate Parker and Armie Hammer. I have not heard too much Oscar buzz for this film recently and I am not sure why. It is a wonderful period drama that does an amazing job of telling subject matter that people find uncomfortable. It is up to films like this to tell us stories that others avoid. Hopefully, it will soon receive the proper recognition that it deserves.

And finally, the last film to bring up is Arrival starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Now, this feels like one of those films that will probably win special effects awards, like Gravity did back in 2013. I am excited to see if this movie does well, because I have always enjoyed films that bring out the cutting edge of technology. At the same time though, if the story does not match, then I am not sure if it will deserve the aforementioned rewards.

Be sure to enjoy these and many more films, and find your picks for awards season this year.

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