Summer is officially wrapping up, which means awards season is just a couple months away. Since the Academy has a short-term memory, it’s safe to say that several great films will fall through the cracks over the next few months. Here are six movies that mustn’t be forgotten when the time comes to mark those ballots.
In a summer packed with superheroes, Baby Driver stood out as one of the most unique adrenaline rushes of recent years. There’s never a dull moment in this rousing heist flick thanks to its all-star cast, which includes Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey, just to name a few. However, the film truly belongs to writer/director Edgar Wright, who fills every shot with brisk editing, engaging cinematography, and sound design worthy of an Oscar. From Shaun of the Dead, to Hot Fuzz, to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wright has directed one cult classic after another. Can the Academy please do something about his underappreciated status?
The Big Sick
The Big Sick is easily the year’s best love story so far. That might sound a little weird since our main characters break up within the first act and one of them spends a good portion of the movie in a coma. Yet, director Michael Showalter has made a funny, smart, and relevant romantic comedy about relationships, family, culture, and everything in between. Screenwriters Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, who are actually married in real life, deserve serious recognition for their wonderfully crafted script.
Of all the films that have come out this year so far, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk seems like the most likely to win big at the Oscars. The film is bound to pick up several technical nominations, but that doesn’t mean the Academy will remember to nominate it in the major categories. After The Dark Knight dominated the summer of 2008, everybody thought it was a lock for Best Picture and Best Director. Alas, the film was overlooked in both categories. Two years later, Inception seemed like another awards season favorite. While it did make it into the Best Picture race, Nolan was snubbed again for Best Director. The bottom line, we need to get this hashtag trending: #NominateNolanAlready!
Get Out is not only the most profitable movie of the year so far, but also one of the best reviewed, scoring 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. Writer/director Jordan Peele in particular should be nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but there’s just one thing standing in his way of Oscar Gold: Get Out is a horror movie, a genre the Academy rarely recognize. There have been a few exceptions, such as The Exorcist, Jaws, and The Silence of the Lambs, but can Get Out really join this exclusive club? Well, the film does touch on some timely themes regarding race. Seeing how Moonlight won Best Picture last year, perhaps it’s not entirely out of the question.
The Lego Batman Movie
In an underwhelming year for animation, The Lego Batman Movie has been a clear highlight. So that means a Best Animated Feature nomination is in the bag, right? Unfortunately, no. Everyone thought 2014’s The Lego Movie would be the inevitable frontrunner for this award, but it couldn’t even get a nomination. Why? Because Oscar voters just couldn’t see past the film’s gimmicky exterior to discover the clever, humorous, and meaningful story inside. Like its predecessor, The Lego Batman Movie is one of the most hilarious and inventive flicks of recent years, animated or live-action. Since the Academy has an evident Lego prejudice, though, we may be in store for another un-awesome snub.
War For The Planet of the Apes
It might sound like I’m joking, but War For The Planet of the Apes deserves comparison to the best war pictures ever made. Like Dunkirk, the film is a visual marvel that gets so much emotion and depth across with barely any dialog. This sequel not only improves upon Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but it might even be better than the 1968 classic. Since it’s part of a long-running franchise and didn’t leave much of an impact at the box office, the Academy probably won’t nominate the film for anything other than Best Visual Effects. While the special effects are phenomenal, it’s what’s underneath the surface that made War For The Planet of the Apes something truly special. Can we at least give Andy Serkis a Special Achievement Oscar for his incredible portrayal of Caesar?
Be sure to check out our roundup of all of the articles we’ve written on subjects pertinent to the Oscars 2018.