Entertainment

A Look at This Year’s Oscar Nominations for Best Picture

It's that time of year. It's time for the most beautiful people in the world to get all dressed up, walk the red carpet and give humbly surprised (yet surprisingly well-prepared) speech performances. We've already seen all the movies, but thank goodness we have the Academy Awards to tell us which ones we are supposed to like.

Seriously though, there are no higher honors in the world of movies than the Oscars, and it is an event that everyone-- both inside and outside the entertainment industry-- look forward to. The 89th edition of the ceremony will be hosted by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and is sure to provide all the drama, comedy and fun that we have come to love about and expect from the Academy Awards.

This year, there are nine nominees for the most coveted of all the awards: the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year. There are many of the usual suspects to be found in this year's nominees. The gritty, indie style dramas of Moonlight and Lion; the intense action of Hell or High Water and Hacksaw Ridge; the heartelt emotion of Manchester by the Sea and Fences; the twisting thriller of Arrival. However, the Hollywood throwback musical La La Land leads the way this year with a whopping 14 nominations. We will have to wait and see whether all these nominations translate into wins, but usually when Hollywood is this determined to shove something down our throats (not to mention all our pretentious friends), it certainly has to be the favorite.

Arrival

Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.


Fences

Fences is the story of Troy Maxson, a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.


Hacksaw Ridge

The extraordinary true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who saved 75 men in Okinawa, during the bloodiest battle of WWII, without firing a single shot. Believing that the war was just but killing was nevertheless wrong, he was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. As an army medic Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded near enemy lines - braving enemy fire and putting his own life on the line. He was the first conscientious objector to ever win the Congressional Medal of Honor.


Hell or High Water

Two brothers -- Toby, a straight-living, divorced father trying to make a better life for his son; and Tanner, a short-tempered ex-con with a loose trigger finger -- come together to rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land.

he hold-ups are part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that powerful forces beyond their control have stolen from under their feet. Vengeance seems to be theirs until they find themselves in the crosshairs of a relentless, foul-mouthed Texas Ranger looking for one last triumph on the eve of his retirement.


Hidden Figures

The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.


La La Land

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.


Lion

Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.


Manchester by the Sea

Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother's heart has given out suddenly, and he's been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren't enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.


Moonlight

At once a vital portrait of contemporary African American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love, Moonlight is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths. Anchored by extraordinary performances from a tremendous ensemble cast, Barry Jenkins's staggering, singular vision is profoundly moving in its portrayal of the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives and make us who we are.

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