2018 Awards Season Must-Sees

You guys. It’s my favorite time of year. Yes, we here in the Salt Lake Valley are beginning to choke on smog, it’s freezing, and finals are creeping up on us remarkably fast – but it’s almost awards season! So sorry to all my friends and relatives, but I’ll be spending the bulk of my December budget on movies. You want a present, you can tag along and share my popcorn.

Seriously, the best thing about my first year living in Salt Lake for school was walking to Broadway Center Cinemas on Thursdays after my evening French class to catch a late show. I’d buy a European chocolate bar at concessions and try to make it last the entire movie – it was my dreamy Thursday night ritual for a couple months last winter, thanks to the fleeting success of MoviePass. Now, I’m saving up so I can see all the Oscars nominees – the Salt Lake Film Society keeps them in their theaters extra long so you can fit them all in. Last year, Lady Bird played long enough for me to see it three times: once right after Thanksgiving, again in December, and one more time in February, just a couple weeks before the Academy Awards. I laughed and sobbed over fancy chocolate seeing Call Me By Your Name; The Shape of Water; Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri; I, Tonya; and a dozen others. Basically, SLFS was the most memorable part of my freshman year of college. (Okay fine, this is a plug. But they’re a non-profit so it’s totally shameless.)

Best of all, SLFS Board Member and University of Utah professor Sarah Sinwell has curated a list of movies you have to see before the Oscars on February 23rd. Some are in theaters now, others you might have to hunt down online – but all of them are likely nominees for the 2019 Academy Awards.

Now Playing or Coming Soon

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? - Stars Melissa McCarthy in a dramatic role as biographer/criminal Lee Israel

  • Boy Erased - Features a couple of likely Oscars contenders: Lucas Hedges as a victim of gay conversion therapy, and Nicole Kidman as his mother

  • The Green Book - Mahershala Ali, Oscar-winning star of Moonlight, plays a Black concert pianist touring the South with his Italian-American chauffer

  • The Favourite - Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz could both be nominated for their performances in this period piece

  • If Beale Street Could Talk - Another complex, racially charged love story from Moonlight director Barry Jenkins

  • Cold War - Likely nominee for Best Foreign Picture

Women Directors

  • Leave No Trace

  • The Rider

  • You Were Never Really Here

Filmmakers of Color

  • Sorry to Bother You

  • BlacKkKlansman

  • Blindspotting

Documentaries

  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor

  • RBG

  • Three Identical Strangers

Other Contenders

  • First Reformed

  • Eighth Grade

  • The Wife

Lucky for us, Salt Lake City has more movie screens per capita than Manhattan – so save your money. Even if it's not at the Broadway, there's no excuse to be out of the loop this awards season. 

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