Oscars: 12 Films That Voters Need To Make Time For During the Holiday Break

With so many films to consider, what should the average voter prioritize during the break? Here's a helping guide...

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As the Oscar voter packs his/her bag to head somewhere for the holidays, a few screeners end up in their bags for a watch on a plane, train, or automobile. With pundit sites such as AwardsCircuit offering up their Oscar predictions each and every week, we are covering what we “think will get nominated” and not what should, but with an outlet like ours, we’re trying to influence the race.

With the shortlists announced, I’ve presented a case on Twitter that a few films have been given an advantage now to get some voters attention over the break.

There are quite a bit of movies that weren’t mentioned on the shortlists for music, visual effects, makeup, or documentary but still warrant the consideration of an Academy voter.

Down below, see 12 films and their respective categories that Oscar (and if possible, YOU THE READER) should consider making time for over the next twelve days left in the year.

No ranking, just twelve exceptional things to consider.

Read and share your own in the comments:

Alessandro Nivola, “Disobedience” (Bleecker Street)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role

A character actor that has been working for decades, Alessandro Nivola delivers a career-best turn in Sebastián Lelio’s tale of forbidden love.  As Dovid, the husband of Esti (played brilliantly by Rachel McAdams, also deserving awards consideration), he is unrecognizable, honing in a vulnerable, nuanced interpretation of someone battling with their own conflicts on religion and the world.  “Disobedience” deserves so much better.

Kathryn Hahn, “Private Life” (Netflix)
Best Actress in a Leading Role

How can you not love the perfection that is Kathryn Hahn, as she has weaved in and out of some of our favorite films over the past two decades?  In the beautifully affecting “Private Life,” Hahn’s unassuming and surprisingly heartfelt portrayal of a woman dealing with fertility issues is a standout to the year.  Paired with the genius of Paul Giamatti and newcomer Kayli Carter, Hahn is worthy of joining the likes of one of the most competitive Best Actress races in years.

Andrea Flesch, “Colette” (Bleecker Street)
Best Costume Design

This small period drama may seem familiar to the untrained eye but Wash Westmoreland’s intimate drama is perfectly timed in our political and cultural climate of #MeToo.  While Keira Knightley and Dominic West make their marks in “Colette,” Andrea Flesch‘s scrumptious costume work determines to embrace its viewer and walk them into this world.  Seemingly modest, all the production values only heighten its affecting qualities.

Gabriel Fleming, “Blindspotting” (Lionsgate)
Best Film Editing

A late viewing of a surprise hit is always welcomed in a year that features the likes of all-timers like “Roma” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”  So happy to make time for Carlos Lopez Estrada’s rapturous “Blindspotting” and a key factor to its success is the quick and dynamic cutting by Gabriel Fleming.  Racism and gentrification are explored within each frame, blending the mix of laughs and seriousness.  Fleming weaves the gripping and tense scenes, finding the chuckles and having the viewer perk up when required.

Seamus McGarvey, “Bad Times at the El Royale” (20th Century Fox)
Best Cinematography

How much more do we have to wave our hands to get people to remember and notice Drew Goddard’s mysterious summer hit?  A puzzle that’s put together meticulously against the backdrop of a great cast but its mostly thanks to DP Seamus McGarvey who gives the film a David Lynch meets Wes Anderson vibe but undeniably unique.  Way more technically masterful than given credit.

Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor, “22 July” (Netflix)
Best Sound Mixing

As Paul Greengrass proves with nearly every outing that crying in his movies is just part of the experience, he also partners that direction with neatly crafted audibles by Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor that add to the moments.  Being strapped into a devastating tale of loss and redemption, “22 July” aims to be righteous and respectful while excelling as a sobering, first-rate, and visceral sound palette.

Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail, “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” (Warner Bros.)
Best Animated Feature

Listen, we know that Pixar, Walt Disney, GKIDS, and now Sony Animation are the studios that nab the attention of awards heads during the Oscar season but Warner Bros. pulled a one-two punch this year with “Smallfoot” and the delectable “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.”  We’ve become too accustomed to choosing animated films that are both for kids and adults while writing off something that can be solely for children, and still be enjoyable.  The film’s loud-mouthed and bright persona is well worth the 92 minutes.

Grace Yun and Brian Lives, “Hereditary” (A24)
Best Production Design

You don’t have to walk very far to find someone who will tell you that Toni Collette and Alex Wolff’s performances in Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” is among the very best endeavors this year.  They’re not wrong and we’re hoping for some Laura Linney/Alan Alda-type surprises for both of them on Oscar morning but it’s frustrating that modern-day films have such a hard time sneaking into the design categories, particularly Production.  The framework of Aster’s debut is resting upon the surroundings of a home that acts as another character, and the surrounding worlds of farmland, treehouses, and miniature replicas that have a soul of their own.  Don’t be afraid to look at Grace Yun and Brian Lives‘ stunning achievement and write them down.

Desiree Akhavan and Cecilia Frugiuele, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” (IFC Films)
Best Adapted Screenplay

As a big fan of “Boy Erased,” you can have equal love for the other film that focuses on conversion therapy and Desiree Akhavan’s vital and phenomenal “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” is utterly engaging.  A chilling yet optimistic search for identity is complemented by the film’s script, adapted from the book by Emily M. Danforth, and offers a bruising study of acceptance, anchored by a terrific performance by Chloe Grace Moretz.

Nadine Labaki, “Capernaum” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Best Director

What was that?  You can’t name any deserving female directors this year?  Nadine Labaki‘s excellent and harrowing portrait dares to go there and does it with grace.  Zain Al Rafeea’s natural movements are things we’ll remember for years to come and Labaki is right there, steering the train with poise and confidence.  “Capernaum” is more than just a “foreign language contender.”

Josie Rourke, “Mary Queen of Scots” (Focus Features)
Best Director

Oh, you thought we just had one female on this list?  To imagine that there could be an Oscar lineup that includes not one, but two women seem like a pipe dream but don’t mean it’s ever not been deserved before.  This year will present another opportunity for awards groups to do it and one of those is by debut filmmaker Josie Rourke on “Mary Queen of Scots.”  Making two people who exist in two separate locations, and still feel like they share the screen is a feat not many filmmakers could achieve.  Rourke’s work ties in seamlessly with the electric works of Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, while partnered with a master’s class of craftspeople.

Russell Hornsby, “The Hate U Give” (20th Century Fox)
Best Supporting Actor

It’s about the work!  That’s what it should always be about.  The reason we know it isn’t always about the work is because too few times this season we’ve heard the likes of Russell Hornsby named as a Best Supporting Actor nominee or winner during the precursors.  Immaculately committed to his guiding father role, Hornsby has paid his dues in this business and delivers one of the year’s most memorable performances.  No matter what you think of “The Hate U Give,” he’s a bright spot that stays with you long after the credits roll.

Be Sure To Check Out Our Official Oscar Predictions Page To See Where The Contenders Rank!