The Oscars, or the Academy Awards, first took place in 1929 in Los Angeles, California. This famous ceremony was initially created to honor films of the previous year and has continued this tradition ever since. This year, the Oscars will be held on Feb. 26, 2017, with Jimmy Kimmel as the host. 2016 was a phenomenal year in film, as La La Land became the third movie ever to be nominated for 14 Oscars. Furthermore, after last year’s controversy, seven minority actors have been nominated for awards this year. These individuals represent revolutionary films like Hidden Figures, Fences, Lion, Loving, and Moonlight. Overall, the Academy Awards is a tight competition this year, but only one can come out on top!
La La Land — Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling 5/5 stars
A musical drama about romance and the struggle of making it in the Los Angeles entertainment industry.
“I initially saw the movie because it showcased modern jazz, which looked interesting. Overall, the best part of the film is the score. The songs have been stuck in my head for a week! La La Land was so uplifting that I wouldn’t be surprised if it won every Oscar it’s nominated for.” -Alexis Chu
“As a musical, La La Land is quite different from my preferred genre of action, but I ended up loving it! I really like the music, costumes, and how it was filmed in long takes! Because it succeeded at the Golden Globes and was truly a strong film, I am not surprised that it is nominated for the Oscars. I would give it Best Score, and Best Picture!” -Kate Hua
Hidden Figures — Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae 5/5 stars
A biographical drama that follows the stories of female, African-American mathematicians at NASA.
“The film was marvelous. I think its message was so important, and I loved how it gave a first-person perspective on the societal expectations of a black woman. In the film, women working for NASA were able to break limitations and prove their abilities to everyone. I’m very glad it’s been nominated because the acting was flawless and realistic, and it is a wonderful take on showing the importance of equality for colored women.” -Edie Arteaga
Manchester by the Sea — Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams 4/5 stars
A drama about a man whose brother dies, leaving behind a teenage son who the man must take care of.
“The whole film seemed very realistic, and the main character was portrayed honestly, which I enjoyed. Manchester by the Sea was incredibly original, but I am slightly surprised it was nominated because it doesn’t necessarily seem dramatic enough for the Oscars. While some parts of the cinematography lacked, I still feel that it was an above average movie.” -Chelsea Lo
Fences Denzel Washington — Viola Davis 4/5 stars
A drama film set in Pittsburgh during the 1950s that deals with racism, loss and family.
“I liked how the story built up its level of intensity; each moment and situation added conflict to the plot. Despite being somewhat slow at the beginning, I am definitely not surprised that this movie was nominated for the Oscars. The acting was particularly phenomenal, and I think the actors will win awards for that.” -David Tarazi