La La Land (out now)
This romantic story of a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) who falls in love with an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) marks an astonishing return for Whiplash helmer Damien Chazelle. Here's a musical that pays homage to Old Hollywood without feeling like a pastiche. It's already picked up a record-breaking seven Golden Globes, and it's a worthy anticipated winner of Best Picture at the Oscars.
Golden Globes, winner: Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Ryan Gosling), Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Emma Stone), Best Director – Motion Picture (Damien Chapelle), Best Screenplay (Damien Chapelle), Best Original Song – Motion Picture (“City Of Stars”), Best Original Score – Motion Picture (Justin Hurwitz)
Baftas, winner: Best Film, Director (Damien Chazelle), Original Screenplay (Damien Chazelle), Leading Actress (Emma Stone), Original Music (Justin Hurwitz), Cinematography (Linus Sandgren)
Oscars, winner: Best Song ("City of Stars"), Best Score (Justin Hurwitz), Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Cinematography (Linus Sandgren), Best Production Design
Manchester by the Sea (out now)
Every so often there comes a performance so spellbinding, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that it’ll win big at the various award ceremonies. This year that honour goes to Casey Affleck. His turn as Lee Chandler, who returns home to care for his dead brother's teenage son, is incredibly nuanced and heartbreaking.
Golden Globes, winner: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Casey Affleck)
Baftas, winner: Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan), Leading Actor (Casey Affleck)
Oscars, winner: Best Actor (Casey Affleck), Best Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan)
Lion (out now)
Not many first-time filmmakers can boast garnering quite as much buzz as Garth Davis has managed with Lion, but this profound tale of a young Indian boy adopted by an Australian couple, who then seeks out his real family 25 years later, is wholly deserving of such acclaim.
Baftas, winner: Adapted Screenplay (Luke Davies), Supporting Actor (Dev Patel)
Hacksaw Ridge (out now)
Mel Gibson’s latest film tells the story of a WW2 soldier (Andrew Garfield) who refuses to kill. The battle sequences are electrifying; Gibson puts the viewer in the trenches with his characters – which is a lot more fulfilling than it sounds.
Oscars, winner: Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Fences (out now)
In 2008, Viola Davis was robbed of an Oscar for her turn in Doubt, but she might now get her hands on one for her performance as the beleaguered wife of Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) in Fences. It’s a powerful character drama based on a play that feels ineffably cinematic.
Golden Globes, winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Viola Davis)
Baftas, winner: Supporting Actress (Viola Davis)
Oscars, winner: Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davies)
Moonlight (out now)
The winner of the Golden Globes Best Drama award, Moonlight is a three-act story of a young man coming to terms with his own identity. This moving feature is here to remind us why we love cinema so much. Pre-book for this one as soon as you can, just so you know you have something to look forward to.
Golden Globes, winner: Best Motion Picture – Drama
Oscars, winner: Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Barry Jenkins)