ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

We're more or less in the middle between the 2016 Oscars and the 2017 edition — and with the fall releases already lining up, it's clearly not too early to take a look at which movies could make the cut next year. This rough (and totally subjective) lineup will also give you a good impression of this winter's film schedule, and it's refreshing and inspiring to see it's also incredibly diverse.

Warning: With Oscar material tending to portray poignant love stories or adapt amazing real-life events, you might want to make sure you have a box of tissues or ten within reach, because your heart is going to swell like a hot-air balloon.

Manchester By The Sea – November 18, 2016

  • Stars: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler

After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Kenneth Lonergan's tale of an uncle coming back to his home town to be his nephew's guardian has been described by many as the best movie of the year, and it's not hard to see why. Just from the trailer, you can tell Manchester by the Sea is carried by extremely strong performances — and it'll hit you right in the feels.

The Light Between Oceans – September 2, 2016

  • Stars: Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz

Alicia Vikander had her first big Oscar moment this year thanks to her brilliant performance in The Danish Girl — but you can expect The Light Between Oceans to conquer hearts next year, despite such an early release. The chemistry between her and her partner in real life, Michael Fassbender, is unreal.

A United Kingdom – TBA

  • Stars: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton

Based on a true story, A United Kingdom is the perfect movie to feature in the Oscars race after the recent diversity controversy surrounding the awards. The film looks back at the late 1940s, when Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana decided to marry a white woman from London and caused an international crisis.

Lion – November 25, 2016

  • Stars: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman

Lion's got everything: the true story inspiration, the inspiring family tale, and the wonder at the magic of the internet. Back in 2012, a little Indian boy fell asleep on a train, but since he didn't know the name of his village and his parents didn't have a phone or an internet connection, he never found them. After years on the streets and being adopted by an Australian family, he discovers Google Earth... and traces back his steps thanks to his visual memory. I'm not crying, you're crying!

La La Land – December 16, 2016

  • Stars: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling

The old Hollywood glamour and dreamy vibe of the trailer make La La Land almost hypnotic — add to that the soft voices of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and this is like the movie equivalent of a love potion. The pair, who have worked wonders together before, play an aspiring actress and a jazz musician falling for each other in Los Angeles.

See also:

Moonlight – October 21, 2016

  • Stars: Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris

Moonlight should be the surprise masterpiece of the Oscars, thanks in part to the talent of Trevante Rhodes, a sprinter who just recently started working as an actor. The movie follows his character through three stages in his life, as he comes to grips with his life in a risky Miami and his own sexuality.

The Birth Of A Nation – October 7, 2016

  • Stars: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Junior

Nate Parker wrote, directed and stars in this story of a slave uprising in the South of the United States. After the success of 12 Years a Slave, The Birth of a Nation is clearly Oscar material — although it's still got to figure out its communication strategy amidst new reports about Nate Parker's rape trial when he was a college student.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – November 11, 2016

  • Stars: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel

An adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name, Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk follows a 19-year-old's journey into the Iraq War — and the struggle that follows his return home. It's a gripping look at the trauma of the conflict, and the immense gap between the perception of war and its toll on the soldiers.

See also:

Sully – September 9, 2016

  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Laura Linney

Another perfect Oscars cocktail, Sully is based on the true story of Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who in 2009 landed a dysfunctional plane on the Hudson River, saving the lives of everyone on board. The pilot is obviously played by Tom Hanks, and the movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

Loving – November 4, 2016

  • Stars: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton

As absurd as it seems, it was illegal for a white man to marry a black woman in 1958 Virginia. Loving is the real story of how Richard and Mildred Loving fought for their right to be together, and ended up overturning this racist law.

Which movies or actors would you like to see nominated at the Oscars next year?


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