Believe it or not, awards season is already well underway. And let’s be honest: When everyone says “awards season,” they really mean Oscar season. But some of the more industry-focused critics association events that often determine Oscar frontrunners will take place super soon, and before you know it, you’ll be prepping your party and settling in for the holy grail — the red carpet.
As we transition from summer movie season to the months when the more critically acclaimed pictures make their way into theaters, you’ll want to keep a list of everything coming out before December 31 that’s likely to be awards gold this year. Here are the ones we’re most excited about.
1. La La Land: A musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as an actress and jazz musician who fall in love trying to make it in Los Angeles? Everything about this sounds kinda nope. But everything about it LOOKS so very, very yes. It’s already getting a ton of critical buzz, and who are we kidding, we’re already lined up to see this. (Release date: December 16)
2. Arrival: Amy Adams plays a linguist hired by the US military to learn to communicate with the aliens that have started arriving all over the world. Did we mention aliens? Sign us up. (Release date: November 11)
3. Sully: Tom Hanks is perfect for the role of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot who safely landed a crashing plane in New York’s Hudson River in January 2009. No, YOU’RE already crying at the emotional heroism. (Out now.)
4. Manchester by the Sea: We’re banking on this one being one of our favorites of the year. Casey Affleck has to take legal guardianship of his nephew after his brother dies, even if he doesn’t necessarily think he’s cut out for it. It also stars Michelle Williams, and we’re pretty sure there’ll be some nods for best acting for this one at least. (Release date: November 18)
5. Lion: Can you tell
we the Academy, ahem, are suckers for this heartstrings stuff? Lion is based on the hardly believable IRL story of Saroo Brierley, who was separated from his family at a young age, adopted by an Australian family and ended up finding his birth mother after 25 years using Google Earth. Right? (Release date: November 25)
6. Fences: Denzel Washington and Viola Davis have already starred opposite each other in the 2010 Tony-award winning stage version of Fences, and now we get to see if they can pull off a big-screen adaptation as well. Though with these two powerhouses, we have no doubt at all. (Release date: December 16)
7. Passengers: Not unlike the Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone matchup in La La Land, Jennifer Lawrence and Christ Pratt are a co-starring duo that has us screaming TAKE OUR MONEY! If you liked The Martian, it sounds like you might dig this one too: A spaceship is transporting thousands of people on a 120-year journey through space to live on a distant planet when two of the sleep chambers malfunction only 30 years into the trip. Drama, and we’re sure some hilarity, ensue. (Release date: December 21)
8. 20th Century Women: Gotta love a Christmas Day movie. Gotta ESPECIALLY love a Christmas Day movie starring Oscar fave Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning. Annette plays a single mother to a teenaged son in 1970s Santa Barbara, with the characters played by Greta and Elle weaving their way through their lives as well. It sounds like the kind of character-driven stuff awards shows (and we) love.
9. Moonlight: Is it maybe too optimistic to assume that major awards will yet recognize this film about a black gay man depicted at three stages in his life? We all remember the criticisms for lack of diversity that came to a head at last year’s Oscars, so hopefully we’re cresting that wave. It might be tough without any major names attached to this project too, but regardless of award season buzz, go see this one. (Release date: October 21)
10. Loving: You might’ve already seen the interracial couples emoji released by Focus Features in conjunction with Loving’s upcoming release, and now you should definitely get ready to see this movie. It tells the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose interracial marriage was prohibited by Virginia law and who took their case to the US Supreme Court in 1967. Leads Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga look outstanding and are sure to get some awards attention. (Release date: November 4)
11. Jackie: This trailer is straight up chills. Within a couple of hours of this trailer being released, people said Natalie Portman would very likely earn an Oscar nod, and very probably a win, for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy. We buy it. (Release date: December 2 in select theatres)
What movies do you think will clean up during awards season? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)