OSCARS 2017: Know Your Nominees: Best Picture

In the days leading up to the 89th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well known, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these exceptional films, here is what you need to know your nominees.

Arrival

Producers: Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder, David Linde.

Release date: November 11, 2016

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017; $196,700,354 (Domestic: $100,066,532 Foreign: $96,633, 822)

IMDB Synopsis: When twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 8 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Achievement in Directing; Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Production Design; )

Other honors for this film: Received 28 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with two awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 94% (287 Positive Reviews, 18 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Arrival delivers a must-see experience for fans of thinking person’s sci-fi that anchors its heady themes with genuinely affecting emotion and a terrific performance from Amy Adams.

Dissenting Opinion: “Arrival” is the sort of superficially profound movie that initially seems deep and weighty but stops making sense the moment you put down the bong.–Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

Fences

Producers: Todd Black, Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington

Release date: December 25, 2016

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017$57,412,046 (Domestic: $55,674,734, Foreign: $1,737,312)

IMDB Synopsis: A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 4 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Adapted Screenplay)

Other honors for this film: Received 7 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with one award.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 93% (189 Positive Reviews, 14 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: From its reunited Broadway stars to its screenplay, the solidly crafted Fences finds its Pulitzer-winning source material fundamentally unchanged — and still just as powerful.

Dissenting Opinion: Feels entirely stage-bound and artificial, with set design and performances that might make sense for live theater, but which feel stilted and ineffective onscreen.–Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly

Hacksaw Ridge

Producer: Bill Mechanic, David Permut

Release date: November 4, 2016.

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017: $174,919,350 (Domestic: $66,826,611, Foreign: $108,092,739)

IMDB Synopsis: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Sound Editing)

Other honors for this film: Received 15 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with three awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 86% (192 Positive Reviews, 30 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Hacksaw Ridge uses a real-life pacifist’s legacy to lay the groundwork for a gripping wartime tribute to faith, valor, and the courage of remaining true to one’s convictions.

Dissenting Opinion: A morally repugnant bloodbath from its shallow, sermonizing first act to its ferociously brutal finale.–Ben Ferguson, Willamette Week

Hell Or High Water

Producers: Carla Hacken, Julie Yorn

Release date: August 26, 2016

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017$27,007,844 (Domestic: $27,007,844 , Foreign: N/A)

IMDB Synopsis: A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 4 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Original Screenplay; Best Achievement in Film Editing)

Other honors for this film: Received 27 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with five awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 98% (221 Positive Reviews, 5 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.

Dissenting Opinion: The action is as schematic and artificial as a chess game, and the characters have as much identity as its pieces.–Richard Brody, New Yorker

Hidden Figures

Producers: Peter Chernin, Donna Gigliotti, Theodore Melfi, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams.

Release date: December 25, 2016

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017$169,072,307 (Domestic: $146,204,734, Foreign: $22,867,573)

IMDB Synopsis: The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 3 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Adapted Screenplay)

Other honors for this film: Received one other Best Film/Picture nomination, with no awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 92% (205 Positive Reviews, 17 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: In heartwarming, crowd-pleasing fashion, Hidden Figures celebrates overlooked — and crucial — contributions from a pivotal moment in American history.

Dissenting Opinion: It is in essence a feature-length version of an inspiring social media image macro, or perhaps a Google Doodle.–Dan Schindel, The Film Stage

La La Land

Producers: Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt

Release date: December 25, 2016.

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017$342,147,616 (Domestic: $136,260,065, Foreign: $205,887,551)

IMDB Synopsis: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 14 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Original Screenplay; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Costume Design; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score); Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) (2))

Other honors for this film: Received 50 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with 35 awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 93% (309 Positive Reviews, 23 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: La La Land breathes new life into a bygone genre with thrillingly assured direction, powerful performances, and an irresistible excess of heart.

Dissenting Opinion: Sometimes a movie comes along that is so different, so refreshingly light, so right for the moment that people can happily forgive it for not being very good.–Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight

Lion

Producers: Iain Canning, Angie Fielder, Emile Sherman

Release date: November 25, 2016.

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017$84,954,141 (Domestic: $39,008,337, Foreign: $45,945,804)

IMDB Synopsis: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Original Score;  Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography)

Other honors for this film: Received 13 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with 4 awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 86% (167 Positive Reviews, 28 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Lion’s undeniably uplifting story and talented cast make it a moving journey that transcends the typical cliches of its genre.

Dissenting Opinion: The movie could have examined the limitations of white liberalism, the damage that well-meaning people can do if they don’t educate themselves along the way. Instead, it embodies that well-meaning approach, and all the harm it can do.–Sam Adams, TheWrap

Manchester By the Sea

Producers: Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Kevin J. Walsh

Release date: December 16, 2016

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017$60,980,937 (Domestic: $46,394,413, Foreign: $14,586,524)

IMDB Synopsis: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Achievement in Directing; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role;  Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Original Screenplay)

Other honors for this film: Received 45 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with 15 awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 96% (246 Positive Reviews, 10 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Manchester by the Sea delivers affecting drama populated by full-bodied characters, marking another strong step forward for writer-director Kenneth Lonergan.

Dissenting Opinion: Lonergan’s static pace and over-obvious compositions attempt fake “realism,” but each scene looks like an acting-class exercise.–Armond White, National Review

Moonlight

Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

Release date: November 18,2016

Box office gross as of February 24, 2017$21,520,326 (Domestic:$21,520,326, Foreign: N/A)

IMDB Synopsis: A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 8 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score); Best Adapted Screenplay).

Other honors for this film: Received 48 other Best Film/Picture nominations, with 32 awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 98% (259 Positive Reviews, 6 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Moonlight uses one man’s story to offer a remarkable and brilliantly crafted look at lives too rarely seen in cinema.

Dissenting Opinion: Bullying, poverty, closeted sexuality, drug abuse, and racial strife combine to form an overworked agenda of cultural woes that’s more concerned with rubber-stamping issues than telling an original story.–Scott Marks, San Diego Reader

OSCARS 2017: Know Your Nominees: Best Picture was last modified: by
About William Gatevackes 1562 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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