12 things to watch before the Oscars

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Feb 13, 2017, 3:49 PM | Updated: Mar 20, 2017, 1:37 pm

Awards season is in full swing, and you’ve likely heard about many movies that are up for awards already. Thankfully, here’s a list to get you all caught up and in the know about popular and soon-to-be classic nominated films.

Here are 12 nominees hoping to go home with a gold statue at this year’s awards. From swoon-worthy epics to documentaries, choose from a variety of high-class films to get you in the mood for this year’s upcoming Oscars.


In this sci-fi drama, strange spaceships land across the globe and things fall to linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and her team. Like many great successful films such as Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” “Arrival” is based on a short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang.


Chiron is a young gay black man who struggles with the challenges of his rough Miami upbringing. As he grows into adulthood, viewers become deeply involved with his personal story of love and loss. Mahershala Ali received a nomination for best actor in a supporting role, but many say it’s the movie as a whole that’s worth the watch.

La La Land

Although some claim this movie is over-hyped, you should probably still find a way to watch it before the Oscars as it claimed a whopping 14 nominations. Still, many find the love story of a jazz pianist and aspiring actress to be wholesome and a sweet reminder that anything is possible, especially in Hollywood.

Hidden Figures

When this film was originally pitched to Octavia Spencer, she thought, “Well, that’s a great story, but won’t people know that it’s not true?” because she thought it was just that: a story. This film offers a fresh new perspective on the women of color who acted behind-the-scenes in writing the code that sent US astronauts into space.

Hacksaw Ridge

Although director Mel Gibson’s past controversies are enough to draw some attention to this film, the cast and crew seem to do it all on their own. Andrew Garfield is up for best actor in his role as a young Army medic in “Hacksaw Ridge.” This story is about Desmond T. Doss who’s remarkable refusal to take lives during WWII results in him winning a Congressional Medal of Honor without firing a single shot.

Manchester by the Sea

Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams star in this gut-wrenching flick about going back to your roots, even when that was the last thing you wanted to do. The main character is abruptly called back home when his brother passes away and he becomes his teenage nephew’s legal guardian. While dealing with his ex-wife and other ghosts of the past, Lee (Affleck) must overcome his own grief and the challenges of raising a teen.


Denzel Washington and Viola Davis already starred once in the successful Broadway revival of this Pulitzer Prize-Winning play written by August Wilson. Now, it’s a feature film covering race relations and the lives of a struggling couple in 1950 Pittsburg. Washington and Davis take viewers for an unforgettable ride that involves blood, sweat and tears.

Hell or High Water

Ranchers turned bank robbers when two washed up brothers try desperately to pay off a reverse mortgage on their parents’ ranch. Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) stays hot on their trail, but won’t foil the final robbery attempt. Fun fact, parts of “Hell or High Water” were filmed at Route 66 Casino in New Mexico.


Follow the story of a young Indian boy separated from his mother at the age of 5. Saroo Brierley’s true story of maternal love, identity, and unity empower audiences and demand a pack of tissues or two. Incredibly, while at school in Australia, Saroo (played by Dev Patel) used Google Earth to find his home in India and eventually becomes reunited with his long-lost mother.


It’s amazing just how much is conveyed without a single bit of dialogue in Pixar’s latest short animated film, “Piper.” A small sand piper learns the ins and outs of looking for lunch on the beach by his home, and how trusting in a new friend can make all the difference.

Joe’s Violin

In this documentary film, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold donates his violin, thinking little of it. 12-year-old Brianna Perez ends up receiving it, and learning how great a gift music can be—both for her, and for a now elderly man.

A Man Called Ove

This Swedish film is just one of several nominated for the best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, but it has still managed to draw plenty of attention. Adapted from Fredrik Backman’s best-selling novel, Ove represents the grumpy old man you knew growing up that perhaps has more to him than meets the eye. This heartwarming story teaches a moral we can all practice: don’t judge too quickly.


With all these movies to watch, you might feel like you have to wait until next year to have access to them. Thankfully, PrismTV allows full access to the latest blockbuster films via HBO, StarzEncore, Cinemax, Showtime, and more. Enjoy all the latest and greatest with CenturyLink’s premium channels.

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12 things to watch before the Oscars