And the Award Goes To: Meet the Contenders of the 90th Annual Academy Awards

Meet the dramatic, moving, visually stunning, and critically acclaimed heavyweights that make up this year’s group of Best Picture contenders…

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The countdown to the Oscars has officially begun with the full list of nominations having been released Tuesday morning. While there’s no more need to bite our nails over whether or not Leonardo will finally take home a statuette, we eagerly await the glamour and spectacle of yet another Awards ceremony and there is still time to catch up on the films that make up this year’s picture-perfect list of contenders.

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Call Me By Your Name 

Luca Guadagnino’s romantic coming-of-age drama about two guys that meet over a life-changing summer has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Lead Actor (Timothee Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay (James Ivory) and Best Original Song (‘Mystery of Love’, Sufjan Stevens).

The film has already won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Feature Film and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for best Adapted Screenplay, while Timothee Chalamet has a New York Film Critics Circle Award and Gotham Independent Film Award tucked safely under his belt.

Could it be this year’s Moonlight?

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Darkest Hour

There’s always a space at the Oscars reserved for a political biopic and this year the spot’s taken by Joe Wright’s drama about Winston Churchill’s ‘darkest hour’ during World War II. The film is up for six Awards: Best Picture, Best Lead Actor (Gary Oldman), Cinematography (Bruno Delbonnel), Production Design (Sarah Greenwood & Kate Spencer), Makeup and Hair Design: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski & Lucy Sibbick), and Costume Design (Jacqueline Durran).

Having already earned a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for his performance will Oldman be adding a Gold Statuette to his trophy cabinet?

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There was no question about this one. Christopher Nolan’s war film –told from the three vantage points of land, sea, and air- about the siege of Dunkirk got an extended theatrical run that rivaled The Force Awakens.

Dunkirk is up for eight Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Cinematography (Hoyte can Hoytema), Film Editing (Lee Smith), Sound Editing (Alex Gibson & Richard King), Sound Mixing (Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker & Gary A. Rizzo), Production Design (Nathan Crowley & Gary Fettis) and Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer).

Will the epic love between Oscars and war films continue?

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Get Out

It’s incredibly rare to see a horror movie up for the big Awards, -let alone snag a whole bunch of nominations- but Jordan Peele’s racial chiller about a black man meeting his white girlfriend’s parents has proved impressive enough to gauge a hole through that locked door.

The film has already won an AFI Award, a handful of AAFCAs, and a BET Award and has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Lead Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (Jordan Peele).

Will history be made?

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Lady Bird

While truth-bomb movies can cut a bit close to home, they often prove to be the ones we critically admire because we can relate. Greta Gerwig’s film about a teenage girl struggling with a turbulent mother-daughter relationship during her senior year of high school is a film that definitely falls into that group.

Lady Bird has scored nominations for Best Picture, Best Lead Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (Greta Gerwig) and has already won two Golden Globes and an AFI Award.

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Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson’s post-war film about London dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock’s relationship with his muse ticks all the right boxes for a Best Picture winner: it’s a romantic drama with period costume design and Daniel Day-Lewis -reportedly, in his last film role.

Phantom Thread has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Lead Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis –not surprising), Best Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), Best Director, Best Original Score (Jonny Greenwood), and Costume Design (Mark Bridges).

Yes it ticks all the boxes, but will it take home the golden statuette?

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The Post

Spotlight proved that the freedom of the press theme is as compelling and worthy of Best Picture as any biopic or period drama, so will it pay off the The Post?

Spielberg’s film about Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham and her race to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans over three decades has scored nominations for Best Picture and Best Lead Actress (Meryl Streep) to go with the AFI Award for Movie of the Year already snug in its pocket.

Will it follow the success of Spotlight or will Meryl just outshine her fellow contenders for Best Actress again?

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The Shape of Water

It’s always nice amidst the war movies and biopics to have a little fantasy and Guillermo del Toro’s latest film about a love between a mute woman and the mysterious Amphibian Man that’s brought into the lab she works in fills that space perfectly. It’s up for an impressive total of thirteen Oscars alongside the Golden Globes, AFI awards, and other trophies already in its cabinet.

Nominated for Best Picture, Best Lead Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor), Cinematography (Dan Laustsen), Film Editing (Sidney Wolinsky), Sound Editing (Nathan Robitaille & Nelson Ferreira), Sound Mixing (Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke & Brad Zoern), Production Design (Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin & Shane Vieau), Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat), and Costume Design (Luis Sequeira), it’s the film to beat this year!

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

It often pays off to be a little rougher, edgier, and more brutal at the Academy Awards and Martin McDonagh’s film about an angry mother who paints three billboards with a message to the cop who has yet to find her daughter’s killer certainly fits the criteria.

Alongside its Golden Globes and SAG awards, Three Billboards has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Lead Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson & Sam Rockwell), Best Original Screenplay (Martin McDonagh), Film Editing (Jon Gregory), and Best Original Score (Carter Burwell).

Have you seen all the Best Picture contenders? Which one do you want to see take home the Golden Statuette? We want to know that you think! Catch the glamour and spectacle of the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4th.