12 Movies to Watch Before Awards Season

Posted on January 6, 2017 - After the fireworks have finished and the champagne has been drunk, it’s time to start gearing up for a new year. And no one will be getting into gear faster than Hollywood because January marks the start of awards season! While you’re still fighting off a Christmas turkey coma, Hollywood’s elite will be running to dress fittings, attending film screenings and hitting every entertainment TV show to promote their latest work. And they have to hurry! Awards season officially kicks off with the Golden Globe Awards on January 8th followed by the People’s Choice Awards (Jan 18), SAG Awards (Jan 29), BAFTA Awards (Feb 12) and, the big one, The Academy Awards (aka The Oscars) on February 26th.

Want to keep up with the glitteratti and know what’s happening this awards season? Then check out the 12 movies you have to watch before the votes are cast and the winning ballot is read.


Nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, Lion stars Dev Patel who plays a young man who was adopted from India by an Australian couple and sets out years later to find his birth family. Lion also stars Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara. A griping story, superb acting and stunning visuals – what more could we ask for? Someone please pass the tissues, it sounds like we’ll need them.

Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a WWII army medic, who refused to kill. He was the first American man to win the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot. Directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield as Doss, Hacksaw Ridge is nominated for three Golden Globes thanks to the powerful acting, gut-wrenching war scenes and emotional story telling.


Denzel Washington and Viola Davis star in Fences, the story of an African American family finding their way through 1950s race relations and their relationships with each other. Washington also directs Fences, based on a 1983 play. Both he and Davis starred in the 2010 Broadway revival of Fences. Expect Oscar-worthy performances from Washington and Davis, and a beautifully written script by the original playwright.


Loving tells the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interacial couple in the 1950s who become civil rights activists. The Lovings, whose marriage and subsequent children are seen as both immoral and illegal, take their case all the way to the Supreme Court and are a driving force behind the Supreme Court striking down national segregation laws. Loving is a powerful anti-segregation movement and love story flawlessly delivered by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton.

La La Land

Perhaps the most buzzed about movie this awards season, La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and is nominated for seven Golden Globe awards. La La Land is a musical that tells the story of an aspiring actress and jazz pianist who are looking to make it big in Hollywood. It has been called a movie that defies genre, transports you to another world and takes your breath away.


Amy Adams stars as a linguistics professor who is asked to interpret an alien language in Arrival. Adams’ Louise Banks must discover what the alien visitors want before war is declared and humanity is put at risk. Unlike your typical sci-fi alien invasion movies, Arrival features an emotional storyline, moving performances and a beautiful soundtrack and cinematogrophy to boot!

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures tells the true story of the African American women behind NASA’s first successful mission to send a man into space. While many people have heard of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and other famous white male astronauts, few knew of the strong and smart African American women who made those trips into space possible. Until now. Marvel at the girl power and Taraji P. Henson’s phenomenal performance in Hidden Figures.


You may be wondering if we needed another Jackie Kennedy biopic. And the answer is, absolutely yes. Natalie Portman stars as the fashionable former first lady in the years following her husband’s assasination. Fans of Jackie are saying this film may earn Portman her next Oscar, a possibility since she is nominated for a Golden Globe already.

Manchester by the Sea

Nominated for five Golden Globes, Manchester by the Sea, starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, is the story of an uncle (Affleck) who has to return home to Manchester to be the guardian of his nephew after his brother dies. Expect beautiful scenery of “Manchester”, actually shots of Massachusetts, and superb acting by Casey Affleck, who is garnering lots of Oscar buzz with this performance.

Hell or High Water

A cowboy movie getting Oscar buzz? That’s right. Hell or High Water follows two brothers, one a divorced father and the other, an ex-con, as they work together on a desperate scheme to save their family’s ranch. Unlike your typical Western or heist movie, expect stellar acting, a well-written script, beautiful landscapes and a mesmerizing score from Hell or High Water.

Florence Foster Jenkins

How can we pass up Meryl Streep? We can’t. In Florence Foster Jenkins, Streep plays the titular character, a New York heiress who dreams of becoming an opera singer, even though she can’t sing. Nominated for four Golden Globes, this film has been called “delightful” many times over thanks to the moving storyline and brilliant performances by Streep, Hugh Grant and the rest of the supporting cast.


Nominated for six Golden Globe Awards, Moonlight follows the life of a young black man growing up in a rough Miami neighbourhood. The story is told in three parts: childhood, adolescene and young adulthood. Fun facts: the entire film was shot over 25 days and the three actors who portray the main character in the different parts of his life never met during filming. The director wanted them each to invent their own unique persona for their stage of the character’s life.

How many of these great films have you seen? What are you still hoping to catch before awards season officially starts?

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