'Tis the season when it becomes increasingly hard to find any movies worth mentioning that haven't won some award or other. Denis Villeneuve's highbrow sci-fi Amy Adams vehicle has a whole separate Wikipedia page just for the List of accolades received by Arrival (film). And we're still one full award-dense month shy of the Oscars...
Paul Verhoeven + Isabelle Huppert! Throw in a key grip or two and you've got the recipe for a psychological thriller that won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and ranked #10 on Metacritic's tally of appearances on critics' best of the year lists. Plus there's a cat on the poster. Who doesn't love cats?
This Colombian drama was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at this year's Oscars, and took home an award at Cannes.
Three films into Kenneth Lonergan's directorial career and we can confidently name him as our foremost purveyor of emotionally intense character studies. Never were two actors better suited to carrying this kind of picture than Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams and the result, predictably, might be Lonergan's finest achievement to date.
Moonlight's been an awards-season juggernaut, with a lengthy secondary Wikipedia page detailing all the accolades it's accumulated. Don't bother inviting director Barry Jenkins to any parties the weekend of the 26th, he'll be busy. Moonlight is up for eight Oscars and six Independent Spirit Awards.
Claude Barras' deceptively cheerful-looking My Life as a Zucchini scored an Oscar nomination in the Best Animated Feature category. Rotten Tomatoes summarizes the critical consensus that its "silly title and adorable characters belie a sober story whose colorful visuals delight the senses even as it braves dark emotional depths."
Hou Hsiao-Hsien won Best Director at Cannes for his unexpected foray into the martial arts genre. The New York Times Manohla Dargis called it "staggeringly lovely".
Anna Rose Holmer bears a nomination for Best First Feature at the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards. The Fits is a vital coming-of-age drama set in and around a Cincinnati rec center and is built around a revelatory performance by young actress Royalty Hightower. The NY Times' Manohla Dargis said, "The miracle of the movie is that, like [protagonist] Toni, it transcends blunt, reductive categorization partly because it's free of political sloganeering, finger wagging and force-fed lessons. Any uplift that you may feel won't come from having your ideas affirmed, but from something ineluctable - call it art."