Years from now, will the 2016 roster of Oscar-nominated movies be remembered as a particularly sexy group? I mean, Leonardo DiCaprio took a nap in a horse carcass. That’s a pretty off-putting image (even for a movie with a lot of them), and it has a lot of staying power. But even if The Revenant and Room are films that don’t need a particularly sensual element to compete for the big industry awards, this year’s crop of Academy honorees isn’t completely devoid of sexiness. These films brought both the heat and excellence in several categories to the movies this year; they’ll all be competing for one or more gold statues on Feb. 28. These are the seven sexiest Oscar-nominated movies of 2016, and they are fire.
Of course, everyone has their own definition of sexiness. Think about past possible contenders for this list: are you a Black Swan kind of person, all hot and bothered by psychological manipulation and unhinged ballerinas? Or would you rather lose yourself in the restrained, star-crossed passion of Casablanca? One tenant of sexiness is universal though: it’s not necessarily what you see (or how much of it you see, if you know what I mean); it’s about how it makes you feel. These Oscar candidates made voters feel things. Did they work on you too?
1. The Big Short
The Wall Street drama (nominated for Best Picture, among other categories) immortalizes the quiet heroes of the mortgage crisis: the socially inept guys with $15 haircuts who tried to warn the country of what was coming. And Margot Robbie drinks champagne in a bubble bath, making up for any sexiness lost by de-hunking Ryan Gosling.
This sweet, coming-of-age romantic drama and Best Picture nominee raises temperatures because of its innocence, not in spite of it. If Eilis and Tony's courtship didn't light your heart up like a Christmas tree, then you are dead inside.
Cate Blanchett's Carol is lush and forward. Rooney Mara's Therese is serene and reserved. Together, they joined the upper echelon of cinematic romances in Todd Haynes's sumptuous adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price Of Salt. Both actresses could take an Oscar home for their work.
4. Fifty Shades Of Grey
Sometimes the anticipation is even better than the real thing. Nominated in the Best Song category for The Weeknd's "Earned It," Fifty Shades finally gave fans of the EL James BDSM romance novels what they'd wanted for so long: a flesh-and-blood Anastasia and Christian to swoon over.
Sylvester Stallone is nominated for his Supporting performance in the Rocky spin-off. And while the boxing scenes may be tough to stomach, it's nearly impossible to look away from a shirtless Michael B. Jordan in prime fighting shape.
6. Ex Machina
Sexy robots. And they said it couldn't be done. Ex Machina is up for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for its tale of artificial intelligence and the organic intelligence that created it.
Will Sam Smith's Bond theme best the rest of the competition in the Best Song category? The music of any James Bond film is contributing factor to its sexiness, as is — in this case — Daniel Craig in a tuxedo romancing a United Nations of attractive women, including Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux.
Take that, horse carcass! 2016 was a hell of a year for sexy Oscar-nominated movies, and who knows? Maybe these sultry films might take home a few statues too.
Images: The Weinstein Company; carol-cigarettes-furcoats/Tumblr; Giphy (6)