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The biggest Oscar contenders so far

Maya Dennis, A&E reporter

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Some extraordinary films have come out this year, and with the Academy Awards on their way, looking back at those films to determine what should be nominated is always a heated discussion among colleagues.

“The Shape of Water”

Guillermo del Toro’s fairy tale-like film is being called one of his best. The film focuses on Elisa, a mute — which is already breaking barriers — and a mysterious scaled creature who lives in a large tank hidden from the public. The film looks to mirror old monster movies, allowing audiences to revel in the old times with a modern twist. Del Toro’s directorial ideas give the film a noir feeling, providing it with a bit of weight that could allow it to garner an Oscar nomination.

“Darkest Hour”

This film stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and is the second side of “Dunkirk,” which was released earlier this year. In the film, Churchill must make a decision about the men trapped on a small island on the coast of France. The film explores what it’s like to be in a position of power during a time of crisis. Oldman’s performance parallels that of the man himself and is sure to receive buzz.

“Dunkirk”

While “Dunkirk” did come out earlier in the year, the film has been considered one of the best of the year. Christopher Nolan’s use of time and craft help to create a chaotic atmosphere that leaves the audience on the edge of their seat. The director received nominations for “Inception” back in 2010, but didn’t walk away with a glittering gold statue. The structure Nolan used has also encouraged  a lot of buzz. By evoking tense emotions, along with its beautiful cinematography, “Dunkirk”should make it on the nominations list.

“The Post”

One of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming films, “The Post,” shows audiences his magic storytelling skills. Starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, the film discusses what it was like to be a journalist  — and the first female publisher — when the government had been lying about the Vietnam War. Spielberg has done many historic films including “Lincoln,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List,” which should indicate that he knows what he’s doing and should be applicable when discussing nominations.

“Lady Bird”

With praise from critics everywhere, “Lady Bird” is sure to be a part of the nominees. The film explores the life of a mother and her family after her husband has lost his job. However, she keeps a strong relationship with her teenage daughter, a rarity on the big screen. The use of realistic ideas and what it’s like to be an adolescent in a fast-growing world allows the audience to connect with the on-screen-characters and feel what they feel.

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The biggest Oscar contenders so far