Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Top 10 Films We Are Looking Forward To This Awards Season

By Josh Williams & Matt Neglia

Now that the exciting summer movie season is coming to a close, it is time for us all to board the hype train for the fall movie season. The fall is typically when the big Oscar contenders, a few more superhero films and of course the next installment in the “Star Wars” franchise all release. The fall film season is always an exciting one but for some reason, this season stands a bit taller than others. It could be the number of revered directors that are returning to the big screen or just the sheer excitement surrounding some of these projects. Now that awards season is quickly approaching we here at NBP have decided to take a look at some of the films that will be releasing towards the end of this year. Here are our ten most anticipated films that will release in the 2017 awards movie season!

​10. “The Florida Project”

​(Directed by Sean Baker, Releases October 6th)

Florida Project

​Sean Baker solidified himself within the independent film world with “Tangerine.” Shot exclusively on the iPhone, “Tangerine” is an elegant and thought provoking project but Baker is stepping into something a little more personal with his next film. “The Florida Project” is an emotional coming of age film set against a summertime backdrop. The film’s dialogue is said to be poetic and flawless, allowing for the splendid cast members to dance their way through the script. Not only do the child performances look fantastic but there is also possibly a career best performance from Willem Dafoe featured within the film. Said to be a big Oscar player, “The Florida Project” will definitely be an emotional, heartwarming film. Coming of age stories are always incredibly exciting when pulled off well, so the fact that we’ll get to see one from Sean Baker makes this statement just as true.

​9. ​”Last Flag Flying”

(Directed by Richard Linklater, Releases November 3rd)

Last Flag Flying

​2017 seems to be the year for ensemble films. It’s actually really exciting because instead of just one or two actors giving a fantastic performance, we’re seeing close to five or six actors giving fantastic performances. One of the films releasing this year that is expected to feature a terrific ensemble all acting at the top of their game is Richard Linklaters “Last Flag Flying.” Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrel, and Laurence Fishburne. The film’s trailer may have underwhelmed some people but we here at next Best Picture are still tremendously excited to see how these actors and Linklater work with one another. Allowing Linklater to flex his screenwriting muscles, the film promises to be poetic and heartfelt. After missing out on Oscars for Screenplay, Director and Picture a few years ago with “Boyhood,” Linklater is back with this personal and emotional film. Let’s hope it brings him back to the awards race.

8. “The Shape of Water”

​(Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Releases December 8th) 

The Shape of Water

​The fantasy genre has always been an intriguing one. Crossing across all kinds of cultures and mythological stories, the fantasy genre is always exciting to see brought to life. One director who has mastered this genre is Guillermo del Toro and his newest film “The Shape of Water,” looks to be quite the milestone for said genre. Revolving around a mute woman who discovers a creature within an underground military laboratory, the film combines both romance and the supernatural. With a stunning visual style and a career best performance from Sally Hawkins, the film is proving to be quite the powerhouse. First reactions are glowingly positive and we could not be more excited for what is said to be Del Toro’s best since “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Whenever directors mix genres, we get a little tingly on the inside and no one executes those combinations more seamlessly than del Toro.

​​7. “Mother!”

​(Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Releases September 15th)


​Nothing is more an exciting than a talented director returning to form. Most of us could agree that Aronofsky’s “Noah” was quite a disappointment. There are plenty of problems with that film that I won’t dive into right now. After “Noah” we all eagerly awaited to see just what Aronofsky would do next and this year we are finally getting it. Returning to his more independent, personal and intimate approach to film, “Mother!” looks like it will be quite the powerhouse and in the case of “Requiem For A Dream” and “Black Swan” absolutely terrifying. Not only is the cast absolutely stacked with Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris but the story looks horrifying and exciting. Taking cues from Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby,” Aronofsky is channeling something a little more personal and a little more dark with this film. We’ve seen him tackle emotion and we’ve seen him tackle horror but for some reason, this film seems to amplify those two aspects. Early rumors say that the film is not only terrifying but features fantastic performances across the board and we expect nothing less of the brilliantly talented Darren Aronofsky.

6. “Phantom Thread”

​(Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Release Date Not Announced Yet)

Phantom Thread

​If the name Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t get you excited here’s a name that will, Daniel Day Lewis. The incomparable Daniel Day Lewis has returned to the big screen for one more film and possibly his last. What makes this twice as exciting is that he will once again be under the direction of Paul Thomas Anderson after their masterful work on 2008’s “There Will Be Blood” which also netted Day Lewis his second Best Actor Oscar. PTA might be the greatest director working right now and while that’s up for debate, one thing is for certain: DDL is one of the greatest actors to ever step in front of a camera. The film takes place in 1950s London and revolves around the fashion industry. PTA is known for the unusual backdrops in his films so this isn’t a frightening piece of information. The project is being kept heavily under wraps but if PTA’s previous work is any indication, the film will be nothing short of a masterpiece. There has been some speculation on the project but not a ton of information has been released yet. Hopefully, it does not receive the same treatment as Scorsese’s “Silence” or Jarmusch’s “Patterson” did when it comes out and it gets the release platform that PTA and possibly Daniel Day Lewis’ swan song for us all deserves.

5. “Darkest Hour”

​(Directed by Joe Wright, Releases November 22nd)

Darkest Hour

​Every fall we receive a copious number of historical epics. Some are downright terrible and some are actually quite appealing. Then there are some that are meant to stand the test of time and in the end, prove to be modern masterpieces. While it is currently sight unseen, it seems like Joe Wrights “Darkest Hour” is going to be a film that falls under the modern masterpiece category. Not only does the film tackle quite a heavy topic in history but there is also one of the most exciting casting decisions this year. Gary Oldman will be playing Winston Churchill. Yeah, you read that right. If the trailer is any indication, not only does Oldman clearly immerse himself into Churchill but he also perfectly replicates the mannerisms and inflections of Churchill. “Darkest Hour” will more than likely be a tremendous Oscar player this season giving every other Oscar hopeful a run for their money. With some other fantastic actors joining Oldman like Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn and Kristin Scott Thomas, “Darkest Hour” will be a huge awards contender across the board and may prove to be one of the most timely films of the year.

​4. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

​(Directed by Rian Johnson, Releases December 15th)

The Last Jedi

​When it comes to indie directors getting their shot at a major studio film, we all have our favorites. Patty Jenkins for “Wonder Woman,” Alfonso Cuaron for “Harry Potter,” whichever yours may be it is more than likely very warranted. One of the most exciting picks for this, however, is Rian Johnson directing “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” That sentence alone is why you should be excited. Johnson has crafted several films that are not only fun but also incredibly well crafted. Do we expect “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to be any different? Not only is it the next installment of the popular franchise but the story promises to be dark and powerful. The direction looks crisp and impactful. As always, the film is filled with a brilliant ensemble of actors and actresses. From the adorable little new creature to the “Top Gun” style dog fights, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” looks like it will deliver an emotional gut punch while simultaneously serving all of our nerdy needs. 

​3. “Blade Runner 2049”

​(Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Releases October 6th 2017)

Blade Runner 2049

​DEAKINS! DEAKINS! DEAKINS! If there is a movie that Roger Deakins deserves an Oscar for, it’s this one. They might as well carve his name into that statue right now. “Blade Runner 2049” is a sequel to the science fiction hit “Blade Runner” by Ridley Scott. Now, while that sentence may seem like blasphemy, there are plenty of reasons to be excited. Not only is the immaculate Roger Deakins behind the camera but director Denis Villeneuve is heading up the project as the director. Villeneuve has proved he is very well versed with the human condition when it comes to his films and I think that approach will fit seamlessly within the Blade Runner universe. The film stars Ryan Gosling as a new Blade Runner who is searching for Rick Deckard played once again by Harrison Ford. Not only does the film look absolutely stunning and bleak, but the ensemble is fantastic and the story feels fresh and unique. Villeneuve is treating this source material with respect and grace and fresh off of his first Oscar nomination for “Arrival” we have no doubt that he will deliver a fantastic sequel.

2. “The Post”

​(Directed by Steven Spielberg, Releases December 22nd)

Steven Spielberg

​”The Post” is probably the most “bait” oriented Oscar movie within recent memory. Not only is it directed by Hollywood sweetheart Steven Spielberg but it also stars Hollywood sweethearts, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. Those three names alone have generated a ton of excitement among cinephiles. Based on real life events “The Post” is; “A cover up that spanned four U.S. presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.” Now if that does not raise the hairs on the back of your neck, you need to reevaluate your life. Not only is Spielberg tackling another political drama but two of the greatest actors ever are also the forefront of the film. With what will probably be one of the strongest screenplays of the year, two of the strongest acting performances of the year, “The Post” will without a doubt stir up some buzz this awards season.

​1. “Call Me By Your Name”

​(Directed by Luca Guadagnino, Releases November 24th)

Call Me By Your name

​What could arguably be the most hyped up movie of this year, “Call Me By Your Name” has quite the buzz surrounding it and for good reason. Not only is its source material revered and adored but just everything about the film looks absolutely glorious. Not only are the cast of actors fun to look at but so is the films nuanced visual style. The film takes place during the summertime of 1983 in Northern Italy. The film revolves around an Italian American, Elio (Timothee Chalamet) whose life is forever changed when an American student Oliver (Armie Hammer) comes to live with his family. The two share the summer listening to music, soaking in the stunning landscapes, eating delicious meals and everything in between. The film takes a poetic stroll through the romantic relationship between our two main characters. “Call Me By Your Name” will fill that void that you’ve had in your heart for quite some time, satisfying the cinephile in you while simultaneously making you believe that true love does exist.

And that does it. Obviously there are other films we are eagerly anticipating as we race towards the end of 2017. However, these are the ones we are most looking forward to and we hope will factor into this year’s awards race. If last year is any indication, it’s going to be a fun and wild season filled with highs, lows, twists and turns at every corner. Buckle in everyone, it’s going to be a bumpy fall season.

Which films are you most looking forward to this awards season? Let us know in the comments below!

You can follow Matt & Josh and hear more of their thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture & @josh_williams09

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