Oscars 2017: 7 films you must watch before the ceremony

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony, otherwise known as The Oscars, takes place this weekend on February 26 – or rather early Monday morning here in Europe.

To get you into the spirit of the biggest night, here’s a selection of the top nominated films you should watch beforehand.


Nominated for four awards including best adapted screenplay, Fences is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name written by the late and highly acclaimed playwright August Wilson.

Starring two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington – who also directed the film – and Viola Davis, previous star of The Help, Prisoners and Suicide Squad, the film follows a working class African-American (Denzel) trying to raise his family in the 1950s.

With a nomination for best picture and a seventh Oscar nomination for acting for Denzel – it’s certainly worth a watch before the big night.

Hacksaw Ridge

This film follows the true story of Desmond Doss, a Second World War medic in the American army who became the first man in history to receive the Medal of Honor – the highest military honour in the US – without firing a weapon.

The story itself is incredible and it seems director Mel Gibson managed to do it justice as the film has picked up six nominations including best director, best picture and best actor for Andrew Garfield.

Hell Or High Water

Hell Or High Water follows the story of a divorced father and his older brother, who hatch a desperate and daring scheme to save their family’s ranch in Texas.

The film’s stars are Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges – who earned himself a best supporting actor nomination to boot.

The modern-day western received four nominations in total, including best film and best original screenplay.

La La Land

We don’t need to tell you to go and see this one really – it’s got 14 Oscar nominations, tying it at the top for all time nods at the Academy Awards.

The film is a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who have best actor and actress nominations respectively, and if it manages more than 11 wins it will become the most successful film ever at the awards.

Even if you don’t like musicals, this is clearly a film which can’t be ignored.


With six nominations, director Garth Davis must be pretty pleased with the way his debut film has been received.

Starring Dev Patel – who you may recognise from Slumdog Millionaire and even Channel 4′s Skins – the film follows the true story of a young man searching for the family he lost on the streets of Calcutta 25 years before as a boy.

Dev is nominated for best actor in the role and with other nominations including best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress for Nicole Kidman – it’s definitely worth seeing.

Manchester By The Sea

When his brother dies, Lee Chandler (played by Casey Affleck) is left to look after his teenage nephew.

Receiving six nominations at this year’s awards despite a tight budget, the film has been acclaimed as one of the best of 2016.

Ben picked up the Golden Globe for best actor for the film and with another nomination here at the Oscars along with similar nominations for co-stars Lucas Hedges and Michelle Williams – this is the film to watch if you’re looking to enjoy the best actor categories.


Eight nominations for an almost entirely black cast has caused many to cite Moonlight as a reaction to the alleged white-bias at the Academy – but this film is nominated very much on merit.

Moonlight tackles issues of race and sexuality as it follows the life of a young black man in a rough neighbourhood of Miami, cleverly focused on three separate points in the protagonist’s life.

The film has been touted as a dark horse for best picture and with acting nominations for Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris and a best writing nomination, it’ll be well worth watching before the big day.

The Oscars ceremony will start at 1:30am on Monday in the UK, with red carpet action kicking off at about midnight.

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