The 2017 Oscar Nominees – What We Thought & How to Watch Them in NZ


The 2017 Academy Awards finally has its nominees, and we’re sure you’ve come across a detailed list here and a “Who got snubbed?” article there.

This list, however, is dedicated to helping you find out how to find these films – whether on the big-screen or the small-screen. We also wedged our opinions in there for more food-for-thought and shameless self-promotion.


Best Picture nominees

Arrival

Also nominated for: Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay

What we thought: “Johan Johannsson’s sonorous score is lovely; the performers spot on; and the philosophical concerns deep enough to confuse Christopher Nolan.” -Matt Glasby, 4 stars

On Blu-ray, DVD & VOD from mid February – more info

Fences

Also nominated for: Actor in a Leading Role (Denzel Washington), Actress in a Supporting Role (Viola Davis), Adapted Screenplay

Erm, we haven’t seen it yet. But The Guardian says that the “film is conceived as a showcase for its performers, and, as that, it is immaculate.”

In cinemas from February 9 – more info

Hacksaw Ridge

Also nominated for: Actor in a Leading Role (Andrew Garfield), Directing, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing

What we thought: “A highly simplistic Hollywood heartstring-tugger.” -Daniel Rutledge, 3 stars

On Blu-ray, DVD & VOD from early March – more info

Hell or High Water

Also nominated for: Actor in a Supporting Role (Jeff Bridges), Film Editing, Original Screenplay

What we thought: “A mightily lean work, but rich in brittle intimacy, karmic irony and moral ambiguity. It’s one of the year’s most pleasant surprises.” -Aaron Yap, 4 stars

On Blu-ray, DVD & VOD from early February – more info

Hidden Figures

Also nominated for: Actress in a Supporting Role (Octavia Spencer), Adapted Screenplay

What we thought: “This is the real-life tale of three African-American women who didn’t get enough credit for their contributions to NASA and the space race, making it an immensely valuable story to tell.” -Liam Maguren, 3 stars

In cinemas this Thursday – find session times

La La Land

Also nominated for: Actor in a Supporting Role (Ryan Gosling), Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Stone), Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Original Score, Original Song (‘Audition (The Fools Who Dream)’ & ‘City of Stars’), Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay

What we thought: “There’s a tangible familiarity to this world that makes it all the more accessible. And impactful. Rarely has a musical felt so…real.” -Dominic Corry, 5 stars

Now playing in cinemas – find session times

Lion

Also nominated for: Actor in a Supporting Role (Dev Patel), Actress in a Supporting Role (Nicole Kidman), Cinematography, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay

What we thought: “A big story told in a considered whisper rather than an obvious, Oscar-belching boom.” -Alex Casey, 4 stars

Now playing in cinemas – find session times

Manchester by the Sea

Also nominated for: Actor in a Leading Role (Casey Affleck), Actor in a Supporting Role (Lucas Hedges), Actress in a Supporting Role (Michelle Williams), Directing, Original Screenplay

What we thought: “What emerges is as subtle as it is shattering: ordinary, unshowy and, underneath, red raw with real feelings.” -Matt Glasby, 4 stars

In cinemas this Thursday – find session times

Moonlight

Also nominated for: Actor in a Supporting Role (Mahershala Ali), Actress in a Supporting Role (Naomie Harris), Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay

What we thought: “With the precision of a cinematic diamond cutter, filmmaker Barry Jenkins has crafted a great three-chapter chronicle of a soft-spoken black man named Chiron whose true self is constantly denied by the environment that engulfs him.” -Liam Maguren, 4 stars

Now playing in limited release – find session times


Best Animated Feature Film nominees

Kubo and the Two Strings

Also nominated for: Visual Effects

What we thought: “The most beautiful film Laika has created.” -Liam Maguren, 4 stars

Available on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD – see options

Moana

Also nominated for: Original Song (‘How Far I’ll Go’)

What we thought: “The music triumphs when it simultaneously embraces traditions and embarks from the norm – a quality that empowers the whole film.” -Liam Maguren, 4 stars

Now playing in cinemas – find session times

My Life as a Zucchini

Synopsis: Swiss-French stop-motion animated feature about a young orphan rebuilding his life.

Release has yet to be confirmed – more info

The Red Turtle

What we thought: “A gorgeous, elegant piece of storytelling…” -Liam Maguren, 4 stars

Release has yet to be confirmed – more info

Zootopia

What we thought: “Slices through complex social issues with a simple message: our differences can be joyous.” -Liam Maguren, 4 stars

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD & Neon (Jan 30) – see options


Best Documentary Feature nominees

Fire at Sea

Synopsis: Winner of Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear, providing an up close and personal window into the lives of refugees during the European migrant crisis.

Release has yet to be confirmed – more info

I am Not Your Negro

Synopsis: Director Raoul Peck portrays writer James Balwin’s unfinished book about racism in modern America.

Release has yet to be confirmed – more info

Life, Animated

What we thought: “[A] hugely affectionate, ponderously observant look at an autistic man (same age as me) whose own identity is largely influenced by Disney films.” -Liam Maguren, 4 stars

On DVD & VOD from early March – more info

OJ: Made in America

Synopsis: A look into the infamous OJ Simpson criminal case and its cultural impact.

Release has yet to be confirmed – more info

13th

Synopsis: Director Ava DuVernay (Selma) explores the injustice of the US prison system and what it reveals about racial inequality in America.

Available now on Netflix


Best Foreign Language Film nominees

Land of Mine

What we thought: “Shows you the uniquely harrowing reality many German teens suffered as the post-war clean-up crew of landmines scattered around Denmark’s beaches…” -Liam Maguren, 4 stars

Release has yet to be confirmed – more info

A Man Called Ove

Also nominated for: Makeup and Hairstyling

Synopsis: Swedish comedy-drama starring Rolf Lassgård as a grumpy old retiree who develops an unlikely new friendship.

Now playing in cinemas – find movie times

The Salesman

Synopsis: Relationship drama from acclaimed filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (The Past, A Separation) about a couple who disintegrate during their performance of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.

Release has yet to be confirmed – more info

Tanna

Synopsis: Venice Film Festival-winning South Pacific romance, based on a true story and performed by the people of Yakel in Vanuatu.

Available now on DVD & VOD – see options

Toni Erdmann

What we thought: “Farcical, laugh-out-loud funny, touching, sentimental, Toni Erdmann brings the words “German” and “comedy” together with a raucous, jubilant, twisted and hugely welcome wallop of wunderba!” -Adam Fresco

In cinemas from February 16 – more info


Other nominations (and where to find them)

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Sound Mixing

20th Century Women (coming soon) | Nominated for: Best Original Screenplay

Captain Fantastic (on DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Actor in a Leading Role (Viggo Mortensen)

Deepwater Horizon (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Sound Editing, Visual Effects

Doctor Strange (coming soon to Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Visual Effects

Elle (now playing in limited release) | Nominated for: Actress in a Leading Role (Isabelle Hubbert)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (now playing) | Nominated for: Costume Design, Production Design

Florence Foster Jenkins (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Actress in a Leading Role (Meryl Streep), Costume Design

Hail, Caesar! (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Production Design

Jackie (now playing) | Nominated for: Actress in a Leading Role (Natalie Portman), Costume Design, Original Score

Jim: The James Foley Story (on DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Best Original Song (‘The Empty Chair’)

The Jungle Book (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Visual Effects

The Lobster (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Original Screenplay

Loving (in cinemas from March 9) | Nominated for: Actress in a Leading Role (Ruth Negga)

Nocturnal Animals (coming to Blu-ray, DVD & VOD March) | Nominated for: Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Shannon)

Passengers (now playing) | Nominated for: Original Score, Production Design

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (now playing) | Nominated for: Sound Mixing, Visual Effects

Silence (in cinemas from February 16) | Nominated for: Cinematography

Star Trek Beyond (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Makeup and Hairstyling

Suicide Squad (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Makeup and Hairstyling

Sully (on Blu-ray, DVD & VOD) | Nominated for: Sound Editing

Trolls (now playing) | Nominated for: Original Song (‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’)