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A trail of gold

In the wake of their release, these movies are in line for their respective awards.

Matthew Chakwin

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With the new year has come film award season. Although certain films have been dominating their respective categories of nomination at awards shows, there is still an air of uncertainty in which films will end up on top. The highest achievement in film is winning an Oscar. Here are a few films that have received critical acclaim and numerous award nominations, and are favored to do well in their categories:

La La Land, which follows the story of a struggling, yet inspired actress in Los Angeles, who meets and falls for an equally inspired jazz pianist, has been the most critically acclaimed film of the year. It is a musical film containing large scale singing, different forms of dance and lots of jazz, which has caught the eyes of not only the critics, but millions as the film has surpassed the $200 million park in box office earnings globally. The film was directed by Damien Chazelle, and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. At the 22nd Critics’ Choice Awards, La La Land led the field with twelve nominations, and garnered eight of them, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. At the Golden Globes, it had seven nominations, and won all of them. Both Stone and Gosling won Best Actor and Actress Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. La La Land received further acclaim at the 23rd Screen Actors’ Guild Award, where Stone won for the first time in an acting field outside of Comedy and Musical nominees, elevating her performance in consideration for the Academy Awards. La La Land has received eleven nominations at the 70th British Academy Film Awards, which is the final awards show before the Oscars, where the film has tied the record number of nominations with fourteen.

Moonlight is the chronicled story of  young black man, Chiron, from childhood to adulthood as he struggles through his life in a rough Miami neighborhood, family traumas, his own self discovery and acceptance of his sexual orientation. The film has gained widespread acclaim, and has received nominations for Best Picture at every award event, and won Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes. Director Barry Jenkins, and supporting actors Naomie Harris, who played Paula, Chiron’s drug addicted mother, and Mahershala Ali have received nominations at every award event. Ali has won all but a Golden Globe for his performance.

Manchester by the Sea tells the story of Lee Chandler, a janitor living in Quincy, Massachusetts, (Casey Affleck) who is asked to take care of his nephew, Patrick, (Lucas Hedges) following the death of the Patrick’s father in in rural Massachusetts town. The film is a powerful story, that expresses a very realistic appeal of trauma and stress, with layered humor within an estranged family. The film has received critical acclaim, being nominated and winning numerous awards. At the Critics’ Choice Awards, Affleck won Best Actor, and the film also picked up wins in Best Original Screenplay, and Hedges winning Best Young Actor/Actress. At the Golden Globes, Affleck was the film’s sole winner for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Manchester by the Sea had six nominations at the British Academy Film Awards, and the Oscars.

Other films to watch out for are Jackie, starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy Onassis following the death of her husband, John F. Kennedy. Portman won the Critics’ Choice Award, and is a major contender for Best Actress. Fences is directed and stars Denzel Washington,  who upset Affleck at the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards, and Viola Davis. Fences is a drama film based off of August Wilson’s award winning play by the same name. Davis has won every Supporting Actress award of the season, and is seen to win the remaining two. Arrival is tied with Moonlight for second most nominations. The film follows Adams, a linguist who is tasked with interpreting the language of alien visitors. Starring Amy Adams, the film has received critical acclaim, and is a favorite in many of the technical categories.

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A trail of gold