Oscar Preview: Best Picture nominees

Brooklyn | 7.9/10

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: John Crowley

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohan, Domhnall Gleeson

A young woman (Saoirse Ronan) leaves a small town in Ireland for more opportunities in 1950’s New York. Based on a novel by Colm Tóibín, Ronan’s character takes a job working in a shop and participating in the Irish community, where she meets a local Italian man and instantly falls for him. She ends up going back to Ireland for a visit, and comes across some decisions she needs to make for herself, and those around her in two different countries, seperated by the ocean.


The Revenant | 8.3/10

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter

A period drama of the foundation of the American Great Plains, directed by Alejandro G. Iñarritu, features a solid pairing of actors that are fully commited to the art of the film. A beautiful back drop of unspoiled, vast landscapes in real-world regions of Canada and Argentina, will slowly draw you into the story of the 1820’s fur trade expeditions. A seemingly simple plot to explain, as a mountain man (DiCaprio) is left for dead after being mauled by a bear on an exploration, he fights for his life to survive. However, the brutality that the film entails is nothing short of savage, and also nothing short of true history.


Spotlight | 8.3/10

Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Director: Tom McCarthy

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber

A true story to educate viewers on one of the most intense, longest-running scandals involving the Catholic Church, in history.  The film tells the tale of how the Boston Globe spotlight investigative team uncovered the massive child molestation scandal and cover-up of the local Catholic Archdiocese. This is real and raw investigative journalism, and reminds it’s viewers of the importance of freedom within the media.


The Martian | 8.1/10
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig

A manned mission to Mars goes awry and astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is left behind from his crew, assumed to have been dead during a rough storm. Watney, having survived the storm, wakes up and realizes he is stranded on the foreign planet – with a small amount of resources. Being a botonist himself, he creates ways to thrive on the desolate planet of Mars, while also searching for ways to reach his crew and those on Earth, letting them know he is still alive.


Bridge of Spies | 7.7/10

Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller

Director: Steven Speilberg

Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda

During the time of the Cold War, New York insurance lawyer, James Donovan is called upon by the CIA. They ask him to take on a client; US Pilot Gary Powers, who is in custody of the Soviet Union and for Donovan to negotiate for his release. Donovan decides to argue for Power’s release with the strategy of a prisoner exchange; to trade Rudolf Abel. Abel is a Soviet spy who is the custody of the US. If the plan goes smoothly, just maybe Donovan can pull it off in order to get Power’s back to home turf.


Mad Max: Fury Road | 8.2/10

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Director: George Miller

Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

Throughout this entire movie you are sitting at the edge of your seat trying to predict what happens next. In the middle-of-nowhere Australia during a post-apocalyptic time period when all civilization is long gone. One of the many wives of the tyrannical leader decided to rebel and lead the other five wives to an escape, and that is when Max comes into the picture. With over exaggerated machinery and vehicles, the leader and his warriors, plus the warriors from a different clan, all go after Max and the wives on a thrilling car chase for the tyrant to get his brides back.


The Big Short | 8.0/10

Genre: Biography, Drama

Director: Adam McKay

Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt

The Big Short is the story of the New York Stock Exchange crash of 2008. There were very few people who were able to predict the crash, so when they betted more than one billion dollars of their client’s life savings against the housing market, most people thought they were insane. Throughout the film, the economic terms required to understand fully why the crash happened were explained by guest stars such as celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, or pop-star, Selena Gomez. In general, this film was very informative on the financial bubble that caused millions of people to loose their jobs and homes. Bale, Carell, Gosling, and Pitt were powerful characters, and a great team.


Room | 8.3/10

Genre: Drama

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Stars: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers

A mother, Ma (Brie Larson) and her lively 5-year-old son, Jack, are forced to live in a 10-by-10 foot room, in which Ma has done nothing but create a loving, nurturing, happy space for him as they are confined with no windows or access to the outside world. As time goes on, Jack becomes curious, and the two decide to plan an escape to leave the Room, and Ma realizes she has to deal with an even more nerve-wrecking reality: the outside world.


This piece was contributed by Grace Bugbee and Jessie Wade

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