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8 Movies Guaranteed To Be Nominated for Best Picture This Year

04 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists | by Red Stewart


At the end of December, the ‘Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ will officially stop accepting entrees for their esteemed “Academy Awards”. Like 2015, this year has been an incredible journey, and audiences have been given a wide range of films to view and ponder for their own enjoyment, with many people no doubt already thinking about what nominees to expect at next year’s Oscars.

However, despite its prestigious nature, the Academy has unfortunately earned a reputation for being predictable. Not only when it comes to the winners, but also to the individual contenders, most notably those competing for “Best Picture”. Thus, while we have not seen every single movie released this year, we at “Taste of Cinema” have compiled a list anticipating what films you can expect to see in the Best Picture category. Tell us what you think!


8. La La Land


What do “West Side Story”, “My Fair Lady”, “The Sound of Music”, “Oliver!” and “Chicago” have in common? They are all musicals that swept the Oscars in their respective year. It is no secret that the Academy loves them, and the rules they have laid out are simple: you can be as bombastic as you want so long as there is great production value and vibrant energy, as Les Misérables proved in 2012.

“La La Land”, which debuted at Sundance and comes out December 9, has all of that, and then some. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in their third outing as a movie couple (following “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “Gangster Squad”), “La La Land” tells of two aspiring artists that fall in love, yet find themselves struggling to balance their growing careers with their social lives. Directed and written by the genius behind the Oscar-nominated “Whiplash”, “La La Land” is sure to continue his streak as a distinct talent.


7. Live by Night


Crime novelist Dennis Lehane has seen past adaptations of his works score Oscar nominations, and even some gold in the case of Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River”. His 2012 book “Live by Night” attracted the attention of Ben Affleck, who not only helmed the “Gone Baby Gone” adaptation, but also previously won the ‘Academy Award for Best Picture’ for “Argo” the same year.

Reviving the gangster genre in what appears to look like a stylish neo-noir ride, Affleck may end up making up for his ‘Best Director’ snub, and then some, continuing LeHane’s Hollywood streak in the process.


6. Manchester by the Sea


Kenneth Lonergan is an American playwright that has, over the course of the 20th century, begun a very slow transition into one of the best indie filmmakers of our time. You may remember his debut “You Can Count on Me” in 2000, which gave Laura Linney her first Oscar nomination, or his more recent work “Margaret” in 2011, starring Anna Paquin as a guilt-ridden student.

Five years since then, we now have “Manchester by the Sea”, a drama focused a man’s return to his hometown of the same name in Massachusetts. Featuring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams in the lead roles, “Manchester By the Sea” has already won rave reviews with an average rating of 8.7/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and 91/100 on Metacritic. Having secured multiple nominations at the Gotham Awards, and it is sure to do the name for the Academy Awards next year.


5. Loving


It seems strange that interracial marriage was only legalized 49 years ago, but such was the situation in the aptly named Supreme Court case ‘Loving v. Virginia’ in 1967. Now writer/director Jeff Nichols, of “Midnight Special” fame, has beautifully adapted the events of the trial to the big screen, nearly snagging the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year.

With such a sensitive subject reportedly handled with grace, it seems fitting that a film about fulfilled love end up attracting the highest award show in the country.



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  • Chrisychipz

    How about Moonlight? I’d think that even though it’s a smaller film, it would be popular during best picture discussion, but perhaps not.

    • I think that film has more of a chance than Hacksaw Ridge which looks so Oscar-baity.

      • sailor monsoon

        Hacksaw ridge is really good

        • Really? With all of that preachiness about pacifism in war? No thanks. I like Mel Gibson but I have no interest in seeing this.

          • sailor monsoon

            I think it dealt with the revaluation of courage more than preaching pacifism.
            And I think it’s refreshing to see a movie deal with pacifism or violence.

          • Inspector71

            You should. It’s extremely violent.

          • Why? It looks so Oscar-baity and I don’t like those films.

          • Rorshach Sridhar

            Hey, I know you. Didn’t you used to follow Cinemaniac’s reviews?

          • I think so. I don’t remember that site.

          • Rorshach Sridhar
          • OK, I don’t remember it at all.

          • Rorshach Sridhar

            Kk, never mind. You probably just shared the same profile pic.

          • John W. Thackery

            There’s nothing more ignorant than judging a film you haven’t seen. It’s like critiquing a book you haven’t read. What’s wrong with you?

          • Nothing. I just don’t like Oscar-bait films.

    • Rorshach Sridhar

      I doubt it. Indie films rarely get that kind of attention.

  • Luuk.vanRiel

    Am I the only one who disliked Hacksaw Ridge? It’s not a bad movie but it does nothing original. The cinematography is incredibly dull (there are a couple really powerful shots but overall it’s just completely by the book without a hint of originality) and everything else just seemed copy pasted from other, more original war films like full metal jacket or saving private Ryan.
    Not to say the story isn’t important and meaningful, it’s just that the movie is incredibly dull and safe, in a genre that is done so often and so well Gibson should have really done something original with the plot, or the cinematography.

    • Wyatt W.B

      I really didn’t like it, but only because I can’t stand Andrew Garfield.

      • Luuk.vanRiel

        He lacks any subtlety in his acting. I hate actors that just switch their face to the emotion needed for a shot and keep it there.

  • Unkle Amon

    If some “African-American” film doesn’t get at least 10 noms next year there will be riots LA ’92 style because of polictal corectness and stuff like that. My 2 cents on Oscars 2017…

    • louis

      You’re a racist. My two cents on UnKKKle Amon.

  • Vincenzo Politi

    I don’t know about the Best Picture, but I do hope that Michelle Williams will walk out the room with a statuette in her hands.

    • She has been so phenomenal for so long! I hope that she truly gives a great performance in that movie though, I don’t really want it to be a Scent of a Woman sort of thing

      • Vincenzo Politi

        Fingers crossed, my friend, fingers crossed!

    • Rorshach Sridhar

      Her performance in Blue Valentine was phenomenal.

  • I really hope 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Neon Demon get nominated for something, I don’t care if it’s for technical stuff, I just want them to get nominated.

  • ttt

    The Last Family or Wołyń for foreign language films

  • Bill Stipek

    Beavis and Butthead Pt 2! In this one the boys win the 2016 Election! Hijinks and Mayhem insue, until there Wife’s pull the plug on the TV!

  • kastigar

    “Hell or high Water” should have been included.