23 Oscar Movies To See Before The End Of 2017 If You Want To Keep Up With Awards Season
The end of 2017 is near and that can only mean one thing: it's award season in Hollywood. There's still three months to go before the 2018 Academy Awards, but if you want to get a head start, these are the Oscar movies to see before the end of 2017. Movies must be released before the new year to qualify for the 2018 Oscars, which will air in early March, which means that come Jan. 1, all the Oscar contenders will either be in theaters or have been in theaters. So, if you like going to the movies, now would be a good time to start thinking of planning your Oscar movie viewings.
The Gotham Awards kicked off the three month-marathon towards the Oscars on Nov. 27, giving out trophies to Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, and Lady Bird — a glimpse of the award show love these films will no doubt earn in 2018. But, following Hollywood tradition, the coming winter months will be full to the brim with Oscar-buzz releases. It's impossible to cram all Oscar movies into just a few months, so it's important for any movie fan to start planning for the 2018 Academy Awards now. (Not to mention the countless award shows set to take place between now and Oscar night on Mar. 4, 2018.) It's still early in the awards season game, and it's worth noting that in today's current Hollywood climate, every big movie is one scandal away from being completely discarded from the awards.
However, if you're looking to get a jump on the 2018 Oscars, then these are the 23 Oscar-buzz movies you need to see. Of course, with the awards season just beginning, it's unclear how some actors will enter themselves in acting categories — as Lead or Supporting. As such, the categories listed below are a mix of what appears to have been determined or best guesses. As the Oscars approach, contenders in the more technical categories such as Best Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Original Score, Sound Mixing, etc., will become more clear. For now, those categories are more difficult to pin down. Unless otherwise specified, they will be listed below as "other."
1. 'Call Me By Your Name'
Call Me By Your Name is one of the few films of 2017 that has not lost any momentum since it premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. It's earning rave reviews and picked up the Gotham Award for Best Feature, paving the way for a possible Best Picture win at the Oscars.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Luca Guadagnino, Best Supporting Actor for Armie Hammer, Best Actor for Timothée Chalamet, Best Supporting Actor for Michael Stuhlbarg
Possible Nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Original Song for "Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens (or "Visions of Gideon")
2. 'Get Out'
Jordan Peele's directorial debut, Get Out, was also a big hit at the Gotham Awards and pretty much secured a spot in the Best Picture race on the night it opened in theaters in February. The groundbreaking film might get out-shined by Call Me By Your Name, but there is no doubt that Get Out will be a major player this awards season.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay by Jordan Peele, Best Director for Jordan Peele
Possible Nominations: Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya, Best Cinematography
3. 'Lady Bird'
Another directorial debut, Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird is at the top of everybody's Oscar list this year. The film currently has a perfect 100 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and people have been praising the film on social media for weeks.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay for Greta Gerwig, Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan, Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalf
Possible Nominations: Best Director for Greta Gerwig, Best Supporting Actor for Lucas Hedges
4. 'The Big Sick'
Romantic comedies don't usually tend to make it all the way to the Oscars, but with its charming humor and romantic backstory, The Big Sick might just make it. Unfortunately, it will probably get lost in the sea of "prestige" films coming out this winter, but Oscar lovers should still check it out if only so they can complain if it gets snubbed.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Original Screenplay by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Holly Hunter, Best Supporting Actor for Ray Romano
5. 'The Post'
The Post is everything an Academy voter could ever want. Directed by Steven Spielberg, The Post tackles the true story of the first female publisher of The Washington Post and her crusade to uncover government conspiracy. It also stars two of America's most beloved actors, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, so, yes, you will be seeing The Post on Oscar night.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Steven Spielberg, Best Actress for Meryl Streep, Best Actor for Tom Hanks
Other Possible Nominations: Best Screenplay by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design
6. 'I, Tonya'
I, Tonya has been playing the long game when it comes to Oscar buzz, and the film's Dec. 8 release date certainly won't hurt its chances. Mixed reviews could keep this movie from making it big at the Academy Awards, but it's definitely one to watch.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Allison Janney, Best Actress for Margot Robbie
Other Possible Nominations: Best Picture
7. 'Phantom Thread'
Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread is just Oscar bait through and through. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, and that's enough to know it will be nominated for at least one Oscar in 2018.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Original Screenplay for Paul Thomas Anderson, Best Director for Paul Thomas Anderson
Possible Nominations: Not much is known about Phantom Thread yet (critics have just only seen the film), but best guess says it'll be a major player in multiple categories. Based on the trailer, expect to see it competing for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and potentially Best Editing and Best Cinematography.
8. 'The Disaster Artist'
Hollywood agrees that James Franco should never, ever, return to the Oscars as a host. As a nominee, however, the door is wide open. Franco could be a major Oscar frontrunner with The Disaster Artist, a fun, less serious movie about making movies. If there's one thing Hollywood loves more than biopics, it's movies about Hollywood, which means Franco might be making a strange acceptance speech on Mar. 4.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Actor for James Franco
Other Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Pixar's newest film opened under a bit of a cloud thanks to CCO John Lasseter, who took a leave of absence from the company due to allegations of sexual misconduct. However, Coco is much more than the actions of one studio head, and the charming animated movie is already an international hit guaranteed to dominate an Oscar race for animation.
Most Likely Nomination: Best Animated Film
Other Possible Nominations: Best Original Score, Best Original Song (the main contender has not yet emerged)
10. 'The Shape Of Water'
In addition to being every fairy tale lover's dream movie, Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water is on track to dominate the Academy Awards. As a fantasy film, it might have trouble winning over some more traditional Academy voters, but early buzz has this movie going straight for those golden statues.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Guillermo del Toro, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography
Other Possible Nominations: Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actor for Michael Shannon
11. 'The Florida Project'
The Florida Project, Sean Baker's delightfully tragic film about children who live in a motel near Orlando, Florida, is filled with Oscar potential. However, so was Tangerine, Baker's last film which failed to earn even one nomination, despite being an indie hit.
Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Willem Dafoe, Best Actress for Brooklynn Prince
Darren Aronofsky's insane drama Mother! might have earned a heap of negative reviews and not much at the box office, it could still find its way into the Oscars. Academy voters like to be a bit unpredictable, and Jennifer Lawrence's power over them should not be underestimated.
Possible Nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Michelle Pfeiffer, Best Production Design, Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, Best Director for Darren Aronofsky
Mudbound will be the first big test for Netflix original movies: will Academy voters take streaming service productions seriously? If there's a movie that has a chance of eclipsing it's Netflix origins, it's Mudbound.
Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Dee Rees, Best Supporting Actress for Mary J. Blige
Dunkirk was hailed as a rare movie to embrace the IMAX format in innovative ways — at least, it was by director Christopher Nolan. The movie was largely considered an Oscar contender upon its summer release, but since then momentum has faded, which explains why they are planning on a major theatrical re-release in December.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Picture, Best Cinematography
Other Possible Nominations: Best Director for Christopher Nolan, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing
15. 'Wonder Woman'
Wonder Woman could continue to make pop culture history come Oscar night. The massive hit that single-handedly saved the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) and inspired audiences across the globe could be on the receiving end of a few Oscar nominations, that is, if there's any justice in the world.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Costume Design
Other Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director for Patty Jenkins
16. 'Darkest Hour'
Nothing says Oscar quite like a good, old fashioned British war period drama. Darkest Hour stars Gary Oldman in a truly transformative role (seriously, he's unrecognizable) playing Winston Churchill during WWII. The moody drama might be a bit too traditional in a year that also contains Call Me By Your Name and Get Out, but there's no question the movie will pick up a few nominations at least.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Actor for Gary Oldman
Other Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Cinematography
17. 'Molly's Game'
The Best Actress race is heating up thanks to Molly's Game, Aaron Sorkin's edgy directorial debut. The movie, which Sorkin also wrote, could benefit from this year's theme of female empowerment come Oscar time.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Actress for Jessica Chastain, Best Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin
Other Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Idris Elba
18. 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is another awards season movie that lives and dies based on the film's lead female performer. Frances McDormand stars in Martin McDonagh's film about a mother on a crusade to get the local law enforcement to find her daughter's killer, and the movie could be the dark horse in this year's Oscar race.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Actress for Frances McDormand
Other Possible Nominations: Best Original Screenplay for Martin McDonagh, Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell
19. 'Blade Runner 2049'
Blade Runner 2049 was not the box office hit it hoped it would be, but the stunning visuals and positive reviews should be enough to keep the film in the Oscar race.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, other
Other Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Supporting Actor for Harrison Ford
20. 'The Greatest Showman'
Depending on how it does at the box office, The Greatest Showman could be gearing up for at least an Oscar performance or two. Light hearted musicals don't always make it to the Academy Awards, but it's 2017, and a little musical might be just what the Oscars need.
Most Likely Nominations: Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Song (song unclear)
Other Likely Nominations: Best Original Score, Best Production Design
21. 'All The Money In the World'
Should reshoots for All the Money in the World be done in time to scrub all traces of Kevin Spacey from the film and still make its Dec. 22 release date, it's possible the controversy surrounding the film's original cast could help give it Oscar momentum. The controversy could also kill Ridley Scott's newest ripped-from-the-headlines drama about the infamous kidnapping of John Paul Getty III.
Possible Nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Michelle Williams, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design
22. 'The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)'
Like Mudbound, Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) will have to work past the Netflix stigma in order to land some Oscar nominations. However, Baumbach has been nominated for an Oscar before, and the film's strong performances make a great case for the film.
Possible Nominations: Best Original Screenplay for Noah Baumbach, Best Supporting Actor for Dustin Hoffman, Best Supporting Actor for Adam Sandler
23. 'Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool'
Could Annette Bening finally get her Oscar? Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool could be the movie that gets the actor that coveted golden statue. The movie doesn't have a ton of buzz heading into its late December limited release (the movie won't hit theaters until Dec. 29), but that doesn't change the fact that Bening is one of the greatest working actors who still does not have an Oscar to her name. Now would be a good time to change that.
Possible Nominations: Best Actress for Annette Bening, Best Actor for Jamie Bell
These 23 Oscar movies should be enough to get you ready for the Oscars and the early 2018 awards season, but there are a few long shots to consider. Once you've made your way through these films, there's always Stronger, Detroit, Battle of the Sexes, Roman J. Israel, Esq., Downsizing, Last Flag Flying, Wind River, and Baby Driver, all of which could still break through that Oscar buzz wall.