For My Consideration: Oscar Watch 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the time for my annual race to view and critically evaluate the most buzzed about films of awards seasons before the airing of the Academy Awards. I track down any and all movies I think have even the slightest hope of getting a nod for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Screenplay, etc.  If the award is broadcast I want to have seen the movie before the winners are announced during the 89th Academy Awards.

I am starting my reviews earlier this year, though nominations will not be announced until January 24, 2017. I have a good idea of what movies and performances will be earning the nominations, as the Critic’s Choice Awards are a good predictor of the films with the best chances of earning an Oscar nod. I will also be adding a new twist to this year’s reviews and will implement a Netflix-inspired recommendations list so you can decide if any of these movies intrigue you enough to watch.

I will start reviewing movies next week and make my predictions before the Oscar ceremony on February 26th. Hope you join me on this journey and let me know your opinions, even if you aren’t as committed as I am to view all of these movies, you’ll be much better prepared to fill out your Oscar ballot and attend that Oscar viewing event with confidence.

The current list of films I’ll be watching include:

  • Arrival

  • Fences

  • Hacksaw Ridge

  • Hell or High Water

  • La La Land

  • Lion

  • Loving

  • Manchester by the Sea

  • Moonlight*

  • Sully

  • 20th Century Women

  • Elle

  • Jackie

  • Nocturnal Animals

  • A Monster Calls

  • Queen of Katwe

  • The Edge of Seventeen

  • The Lobster

  • Hidden Figures

If I have seen the following films before the nominations/ceremony, I will then try to tackle viewing the favorites for different technical awards, animated feature, and documentary.

Technical Awards

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them*

  • Live by Night

  • Florence Foster Jenkins

  • Allied

  • Love & Friendship

  • Doctor Strange

  • Star Trek Beyond


  • The Jungle Book

  • Finding Dory

  • Kubo and the Two Strings

  • Moana

  • The Red Turtle

  • Trolls

  • Zootopia


  • 13th*

  • Cameraperson

  • Fire at Sea

  • I Am Not Your Negro

  • Into the Inferno

  • The Ivory Game

  • Jim: The James Foley Story

  • Life, Animated

  • Miss Sharon Jones!

  • OJ: Made in America

  • Weiner

  • Zero Days

* I have already seen all films with an asterisk

Though nominations have not been announced, I am much more excited at this year’s slate of movies as opposed to last year. One of the things I enjoy the most about Oscar-worthy films is their tendency to be more contemplative. They tend to experiment more with mood and tone than other feature films. Though this may solely be a response to last year’s backlash, the slate of contenders is more diverse than we have seen in the past few years. Beyond the lack of diversity in nominations, the bigger issue is the lack of publicity and exposure more diverse films get when shunned by the Academy. A film like Moonlight needs to be in the Oscar conversation to get the wider audience it deserves and also for the audience to see a movie that they need to see. As Trevante Rhodes told People Magazine about the film, “I think the main reason why this movie is going to be so impactful, or I pray that it’s going to be impactful, is because in being so specific, it becomes universal,” and I think that is true and necessary. I look forward to seeing films like Moonlight, Fences, and Lion with fellow cinephiles who start to see the worth in others stories, the similarities and differences and celebrate both equally.