BONUS: Ranking the 2017 Oscar Nominees

Academy Awards 2017 | The Oscars | Beyond The Box Set

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Ah, Oscar Season. That wonderful time of year when you have legitimate mainstream cinema options that don’t have the words DC and Marvel attached to them and everybody has an opinion about the relative merits of films they’re most likely never going to see.

Here at Beyond the Box Set we’d never dream of offering an unsubstantiated opinion, so we’ve spent the past six weeks or so furiously cramming our way through the major contenders, including all nine Best Picture nominees and the majority of the acting categories. (Sorry, Best Documentary Short nominees. We’re sure you were all wonderful but, y’know…)

In a break from our regularly scheduled programming, and in advance of our annual Oscar Viewing Party, we thought it’d be a good primer to sit down with our independent rankings of the nine Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. Starting at number nine and working our way up, we compared notes, engaged in some heated debate and made our predictions for Sunday night.

As a reminder, the Best Picture nominees for 2017 were (in alphabetical order)

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight

Key discussion points included:

  • The film we both agree was the worst Best Picture nominee of the year.
  • One of us loved Lion’s unusual storytelling structure, one of us felt it almost ruined the film. BUT WHO’S RIGHT?
  • Was Denzel Washington acting in Fences, or ***ACTING***?
  • Is it possible to dislike a film while you’re watching it, but later decide it’s one of the best of the year?
  • What are our most hated Oscar winning films of the recent past?
  • Which nominee do we really wish Steven Spielberg had directed?
  • Should Best Achievement in Wigs be a legitimate Oscar category?
  • Why was our viewing experience of one nominee almost ruined by our ill-advised decision to watch it in a Dutch cinema?

We also took some time to talk through the acting categories, in which we discuss why Captain Fantastic deserved a lot more recognition, the Best Actress nominee who made John go staccato with joy, and why we should be talking less about #SnotCry and more about #DryFaceCry.

What do you think of our rankings? Were we way too harsh on [SPOILER ALERT]? Did we totally overrate [REDACTED]? Most importantly, which of us has the better list?

Let us know all your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below, or alternatively you can reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Best comments will get a shoutout on a future episode.

Happy Oscars!