I can’t tell you how much I love this time of year. There’s a chill in the air (OK, not really but there’s the promise of one), PSLs are everywhere and I can no longer take my youngest to Walgreen’s because their scary Halloween decorations are out. The BEST part about this time of year though, is how the movie studios start releasing GREAT FILMS. Yes, Oscar Season is right around the corner and it’s packed with movies you currently know nothing about. Some of the films getting the most Oscar Buzz will be released next month, which is why I compiled this list of Oscar Contenders to See this November.
It all starts November 4th, when Hacksaw Ridge is released. This is based on the true story of a Conscientious Objector (played by Andrew Garfield) during WWII. Hacksaw Ridge is also directed by Mel Gibson, because I guess “Mel” is no longer spelled M-U-D in Hollywood. This is his first time in the director chair since Apocalypto, and since that drunk-driving arrest/horrible outburst back in 2006. Audiences at the Venice Film Festival seemed to have forgiven Gibson when Hacksaw Ridge screened there last month. They even gave it a ten-minute long standing ovation when the movie ended. I wonder if Oscar voters will be as forgiving.
Loving, a film that had the Cannes Film Festival all atwitter this year, will also be released the first weekend in November. This one stars Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as an interracial couple who were sentenced to prison for marrying in 1958. Negga and Edgerton are both getting Oscar Buzz for their tender performances, but Director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud) is getting the loudest chatter. This movie really couldn’t come at a better time, could it?
November 11th is when Arrival opens and those who watched the Rio Summer Olympics have already seen it’s trailer. Arrival is about a linguist (played by Amy Adams) who attempts to translate the language of visiting aliens while the government decides if they’re dangerous. Denis Villeneuve (who helmed last year’s fantastic Sicario) directs and is getting accolades for this surprisingly quiet sci-fi tale. Adams is also receiving high praise and might get another shot at a Best Actress Oscar. Did you know that she’s been nominated 5 times already? Yep, Amy Adams has four Best Supporting Actress nominations and she received a Best Leading Actress nod for American Hustle in 2014.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will also be released November 11th and is based on popular novel of the same name. It’s about a war hero (played by newcomer Joe Alwyn) who is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing battle in Iraq. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is directed by Oscar-darling Ang Lee, who incorporated ground-breaking technology similar to 2012’s Life of Pi. This film uses 4K resolution and 3D at 120 frames-per-second, which is five times the standard speed. I have no idea what that means, but it probably won’t matter since only a few theaters around the country are capable of screening it that way. The rest of us will just have to see the low-tech version of Billy Lynn.
November 18th brings us to one of the biggest Oscar Buzz pictures of the year, Manchester by the Sea. It stars Casey Affleck as a grieving man who must care for his nephew after his brother dies. Look, I know this doesn’t sound like a great movie, but Manchester by the Sea is getting Oscar Buzz for all of it’s primary actors (including Affleck, Michelle Williams and 20-year-old Lucas Hedges) and it’s a top contender for Best Picture. If you’re still not excited about this movie, just watch the trailer below and get excited.
Nocturnal Animals will be released that same weekend and brings Amy Adams yet another shot at a statue. She plays woman who feels threatened after her ex-husband writes a violent thriller about her. It’s directed by fashion-designer Tom Ford, who opened this movie at the Venice Film Festival right before debuting a new line at New York’s Fashion Week. The story within a story within yet another story is getting praise for it’s style (of course) and is garnering even MORE Oscar Buzz for Adams.
The Oscar Race will get even tighter in December when Jackie, La La Land and Fences will be released. I’ll keep you posted on any other Oscar Buzz pictures I hear about and check back often for free movie passes. After all, the best way to make a great movie BETTER is to see it FOR FREE!