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Awards Season Films to see in 2018

10 January 2018 | Kate Plummer

It’s the moooooost wonderful tiiiiime of the year! No, we promise we’re not still stuck in Christmas mode, but for cinema buffs the beginning of each year comes with its own presents thanks to the abundance of film releases as we hit the peak of awards season. From modern black comedy to historical drama to dark fantasy, we’ve selected a handful of cinematic must-sees to kick 2018 off for you.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


Image credit: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri/ via Facebook
 
Following the brutal rape and murder of her daughter, and the local police department’s failure to find the perpetrator, we follow a mother’s plan to purchase three billboards to publically highlight the unsolved crime and the backlash from the split community. Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand head up a strong cast, with the latter taking home a Golden Globe for Best Actress due to her electrifying performance. Written and directed by In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths director Martin McDonagh, it’s no surprise that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri strikes the perfect balance between razor sharp black comedy and tense drama.
 
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is released 12 January.
 
The Post


Image credit: The Post/ via Facebook
 
When a film has Steven Spielberg at its helm and Hollywood stalwarts Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks leading the charge on screen, there’s more than a hint of a guarantee that high quality, considered filmmaking and storytelling is about to unfold. The Post revolves around The Washington Post’s decision and battle with the US government in publishing the Pentagon Papers regarding cover-ups over Vietnam. Hanks takes the role of The Post’s editor Ben Bradlee whilst Streep packs a punch as the country’s first female newspaper publisher, Kay Graham. As expected with Spielberg’s films, The Post has an attention to detail which draws you into the world of 1970s journalism whilst also being incredibly relevant to our current political climate, making this an extremely intriguing film.

The Post is released 19 January.
 
Darkest Hour


Image credit: Darkest Hour/ via Facebook
 
Winston Churchill, arguably the most legendary British Prime Minister in history, has been portrayed a multitude of times in film, to varying degrees of success and cliché. Luckily, Atonement director Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour doesn’t disappoint. Following Churchill’s early days as Prime Minister during World War II, the film weaves around three of Churchill’s greatest wartime speeches and explores the different facets of who Churchill was as a Prime Minister and, importantly, a man, not just simplifying him to the ‘British Bulldog’ cliché many of us think we know. Gary Oldman’s Golden Globe winning portrayal as the man himself is nothing short of extraordinary, both performance-wise as well as the fantastic work of the make up and prosthetics teams to transform Oldman. With great supporting performances including those from Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James, this charged political period drama isn’t one to miss.
 
Darkest Hour is released 12 January.
 
The Shape of Water


Image credit: The Shape of Water/ via Facebook

King of dark fantasy, award winning director Guillermo del Toro is back to fill our film screens with his own brand of magic in the form of The Shape of Water. Set in 1960s Baltimore, this in an unconventional love story between Sally Hawkins’ Elisa, a mute laboratory cleaner and the labs newest secret experiment in the form of an amphibious humanoid creature captured from the Amazon, played by del Toro regular Doug Jones. Throw in a US vs Russian spy thriller element with both parties trying to use the creature to their own advantage and you have a great cinematic alternative to the traditional Valentine’s Day romcom as despite the scaly nature of the leading ‘man’, this is a film with a surprising amount of warmth.
 
The Shape of Water is released on 14 February.
 
Lady Bird
 

Image credit: Lady Bird/ via Facebook

Although it may look like a typical Indie coming of age drama, Lady Bird has surprised critics and audiences alike with its freshness, realness and depth. Written and directed by Frances Ha’s Greta Gerwig, this semi-autobiographical film set in early 2000’s California follows the self-styled Lady Bird negotiating her last high school year with expectations, some more realistic than others, of her relationships and future. One of the key relationships explored in Lady Bird is of that between the title character and her realist mother. Played powerfully by Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, it’s this relationship that goes beyond the confused teen/overbearing parent stereotype and fleshes out to something that’s compelling and personal.
 
Lady Bird is released on 16 February.
 
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